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4,000 students, only enough clothes for 20: it’s the Safer Sex Ball 2010 SSB PICTURE SPREAD: CENTRE PAGES

Exeposé

Monday January 24 2011 Issue 574 www.exepose.com

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Manic rush for student houses Photo: Henry White

Henry White Photography Editor

EXETER’S annual ‘housing hunt’ started with the release of the Cardens Estate Agent housing list on Monday December 13. By mid-afternoon on Sunday December 12, a number of students were already queueing outside the office on Longbrook Street to secure a property. James Morrison, a second year Law student, commented from the queue, “Housing is getting worse and worse in Exeter and the Council’s new initiative will make it even harder to get houses.” He explained he was waiting to secure a house before Christmas and was staying overnight to guarantee beating the competition. By 9pm there were roughly 20 people queueing, some with sleeping bags and duvets, with more expected to arrive throughout the night. The Black Horse Public House offered free chips to the students, many of whom were splitting the queue time into shifts with fellow housemates. On Wednesday January 19, the Exeter housing list was released onto the Student Pad website. The list provides information about most of the student properties available in the City, with many being signed for within the first two days. Thousands of students have been competing for houses this January, with as many as 40 viewings per day at some of the most sought after houses. Large queues also formed outside some properties as prospective renters waited for viewings. With the increasing student population and the Council’s proposed plan to block the creation of more student properties in the future, finding housing is increasingly becoming a major concern and looks set to become even more competitive in 2012.

Exeter student queue overnight in freezing temperatures outside Cardens to secure houses for the next academic year.


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Exeposé

The Exeter student newspaper

Exeposé, Cornwall House, St German’s Rd, Exeter, Devon, EX4 6TG (01392) 263513

Comment

P 7-9

Student opinion on the issues that matter: From the national to the local, Guild campaigns, the SSB, student housing problems and the failures of MyExeter.

Features

P 10-12

Helen Gale looks at the issue of independence for Southern Sudan and Joanna Clifford considers the Oldham by-election. P 21-3

Music Music’s crack team of critics review the singles that made 2010.

Sport

P 33-36

Sport’s writers cover the Ashes victory and look forward to a term of BUCS success for Exeter’s Green Machine. Editors Tristan Barclay & Andrew Waller editors@exepose.com

Deputy Editors Rachel Bayne & Jennifer Seymour depeds@exepose.com

News Editors Ellie Busby & Charlie Marchant news@exepose.com

Features Editors Columba Achilleos-Sarll & Anna-Marie Linnell features@exepose.com

Lifestyle Editors Laura Le Brocq & Clare Mullins lifestyle@exepose.com

Music Editors Ellie Bothwell & Ben Murphie music@exepose.com

Books Editors James Henderson & Jacob Moffatt books@exepose.com

Screen Editors Calum Baker & David Brake screen@exepose.com

Arts Editors Rosie Scudder & Ellie Steafel arts@exepose.com

Video Games Editors Stephen O’Nion & Alice Scoble-Rees games@exepose.com

Sports Editors Alexander Cook & Andy Williams sport@exepose.com

Photography Editor Henry White photography@exepose.com

Advertising Stuart Smith S.C.G.Smith@exeter.ac.uk (01392) 722432 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.

January 24 2011

News

Exeposé

Aaron Porter fights for students

Ellie Busby & Charlie Marchant - news@exepose.com

Where have they bin?

Photo: Henry White

Tristan Barclay Editor

Rubbish clogged Exeter streets over Christmas as the City Council struggled to keep up with bin collections during the festive period. A combination of freezing weather conditions and the way in which three Christmas and New Year bank holidays fell was blamed for the Council’s inability to remove waste from pavements at the normal rate. The problem served to embarrass Council leaders as it was widely reported in the national media, making the BBC News and even featuring on the front page of The Daily Telegraph. Local business leaders accused the Council of turning the City into a laughing stock, spoiling the reputation of a city on the up after news of investment from companies such as John Lewis. However, City Council leader Pete Edwards said, “I do not see it as a major problem.” Chris Hardy, VP Welfare and Community, said, “I think that with the changes to refuse and recycling collections, there does seem to be some confusion about when to put bags out. Unfortunately the adverse weather conditions compounded this problem, but this was a City wide issue rather than just a student problem.” Mark Wiggins, 3rd year Engineering student and resident of Park Road,

AGM

Rachel Bayne Deputy Editor

FEWER than 30 people attended the Guild’s rescheduled Annual General Meeting on Thursday January 20, which lasted only 20 minutes. The meeting saw an overwhelming majority approve the accounts from 2009/10. There was only one vote against the decision to choose KPMG as the auditors for the Guild’s accounts. Jonnie Beddall, Guild President, announced that the Guild is now officially registered as a charity. He added that the Guild has a £73,685 surplus from 2010, and are moving “towards a period of finanical stability.”

Rubbish in Exeter was left uncollected for almost a month, due to bank holidays and snow, leaving residents angry. said, “My alleyway was completely full of rubbish. When I left for Christmas, it was there. When I got back, it was still there.” Concerns have been raised that the

three four-day weeks in Spring could cause more problems with refuse collection. Hardy added, “The Community Engagement Strategy recommends that

people recycle where possible and we would encourage people to do this. If people are confused about what days their collections are on, they can always check through the Council website.”

Overreaction to Original Sin Ali Rowley

ORGANISERS of the After Exams Project pub crawl have hailed the event a success, despite initial opposition from local figures who feared the event would lead to binge drinking and antisocial behaviour. The five venue event was attended by 1,600 students from all years as a celebration of the end of exam week on Sunday January 16. Local figures, including city centre manager John Harvey, expressed their opposition to the event taking place as it could lead to excessive alcohol consumption resulting in rowdy behaviour.

Tom Wye, Managing Director of the event organisers Original Sin Events, said that the company had kept such concerns in mind when organising the event. He said, “We have been working closely with the Police and Licensing authorities to create a safe environment for Exeter students.” He also praised the “excellent work” of the Police and Original Sin Events marshals in ensuring the night ran smoothly. Malicka Ahluwalia, a second year student who attended the event, said, “The After Exams Project was a great night and the students participating showed that we can have a good time without overindulging. I would definitely attend similar

events in future, as you’re guaranteed a good, well organised night out.”

“The students who attend our events, in general, behave responsibly” Original Sin Spokesperson

Two pub crawls organised by Carnage UK were cancelled in 2009 following concern that they would result in disorderly behaviour, but Original Sin asserted that “the students who attend our events, in general, behave responsibly.”


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Exeposé Week fourteen

Uni servers suffer repeated crashes Nathan Dilliway

DURING exam week, the University Network’s switches started to experience excessive network traffic, which caused all major University IT services, including MyExeter and BART, to stop responding. On Wednesday January 12 at 12:17 pm the University’s online services were either not working or very inefficient for approximately four hours, with the exception of three exchange databases holding approximately 3,000 mailboxes. Students unable to access MyExeter and the key services were increasingly frustrated as those with exams lost key revision time with the downtime of ELE and they were unable to check on exam timetables. Staff were also hit by the failure and were unable to access emails or upload relevant material for the forthcoming term. Around 40 Engineering students faced special problems, after having finished an exam in the morning only to find that they were unable to do final preparation for their afternoon exam, beginning at 3pm. Gareth Dawkes, third year Engineering student, said, “It was bad enough that we finished our morning exam about 45 minutes late due to some delay and then only to find that we were unable to access MyExeter for last minute revision before the next one began.” Charlie Cole, fourth year French and Italian student, said, “Various people had all of their emails deleted after the crash, and when you called the IT support service on campus there was just one automated message stating that we should be patient and wait, and after 24 hours they should come back. I know they wouldn’t have intentionally deleted the emails, but their lack of response and interest during a critical time of the academic year was incredibly insulting and reflects badly on the university.”

Photo: Henry White

BART, the web-based system that manages the receipting and subsequent processing of written coursework, was unavailable for long periods on Thursday January 13 with many students affected. Long queues were reported at key computer points on campus. The College of Humanities advised students “to be sure to submit your work well in advance of the 4pm deadline to avoid last minute problems and/or queues.” When questioned, The Assistant College Managers (Education) for Humanities assured that in response to questions from the Student Staff Liaison Committees the issue would be raised with appropriate colleagues “to establish the reason for the difficulties students experienced and avoid repetition.” Bertie Archie, VP Academic Affairs said, “It is disappointing that the University’s systems cannot keep up with the demands placed on students. Days with

large numbers of essay hand-ins should be coped with without a problem if so many deadlines are going to be set at that time. Students are expected to check their emails and timetables regularly, but how can they do this without adequate provision? This has to be improved and quickly.” In response, the Academic Services IT helpdesk said, “All accounts that were on the affected databases were able to send and receive new e-mails from 11am on Thursday January 13. Over the coming days we will be implementing a change to the network set up of the email service, which should make it more resilient. This work will be carried out early in the mornings to minimise disruption to staff and students and we will send an advanced notice to those affected. We do apologise for the disruption to service to staff and students whilst this essential work is being carried out.”

Commentary

Tristan Barclay Editor Not only did the MyExeter and BART downtime either side of the Christmas holidays cause a lot of angst for students attempting to turn in work and take exams, but it also revealed the fragility of our reliance on the internet and IT services for our modern university educations. MyExeter certainly seems committed to failing at the most inopportune moments, rendering contact with tutors almost impossible. Schools should look at compiling lists of students’ Hotmail and Gmail accounts to alleviate the problem, but a focus should be on stabalising these pieces of vital infrastructure.

‘Soft’ subject lists to be announced Charlie Marchant News Editor EXETER UNIVERSITY will be forced to release a list of A-Level subjects that it considers ‘soft’. David Willets, the Universities Minister, revealed the new requirement for institutions to reveal the courses which are considered substandard this January. The aim is to inform students of accepted A-Levels so as not to jeopardise their chances of a successful application to university or higher education. Furthermore, institutions will be obliged to publish a list of subjects taken by their successful applicants. There has been increasing concern that students are prevented from gaining a place at top institutions because they have undertaken A-Levels in-

cluding subjects such as Media Studies, Dance and Psychology. Geoff Parks, the Admissions Director, commented, “Doing these Alevels individually is not a problem, it is doing too many of them. We know there are bright students on track to get As but in subject combinations that essentially rule them out.”

“Universities have to be able to know that their intake will cope”

Bertie Archer, VP Academic Affairs There have also been claims that students from independent and grammar schools receive better advice from parents and teachers about which A-Level options to take. Willetts insisted the change would

improve social mobility and offer equal chances to all students. He said, “Young people need to know if there are banned subjects. It is far better this information is out there rather than secret.” Bertie Archer, VP Academic Affairs, said, “In many cases students are ‘pushed’ into taking the softer subjects in the interests of the school, not the student. An easy subject gives an easy A, but this A has the most worth to the school - since an A is good for league tables - and it is not considered academically rigorous enough by many universities. Schools are jeopardising their pupils futures by not providing adequate information about how certain subjects will affect their university prospects.” He added, “Now, if a subject can be proven to not be academically rigorous enough should universities

accept it? I believe not - universities have to be able to know that their intake will cope at university. The solution to this should be better information in schools for students and improving the A-levels so that they meet the grade required by universities. “Until this is achieved Exeter’s policy of not accepting more than one ‘soft subject’ is necessary in the interests of the institution and the students. It is not ideal, but it is not elitist because the University is not ruining the chances of a student, the school and A-level are.” Exeter University is currently still among the majority of institutions which do not explicitly warn potential students about ‘black-listed’ A-Level subjects.

News

Top 200 Film

EXETER UNIVERSITY has produced a video in order to gain recognition as a world-class institutiom. The seven-minute film, narrated by Jonathan Dimbleby, describes the international strengths and ambition of the University and shows beautiful and historic images of Exeter. The film has been created to make sure that Exeter University is regarded highly internationally. Dr Shaun Curtis, director of university project International Exeter, said, “Our internationalisation strategy recognises the need to imprint the city, region and university on international audiences.” He added, “The University has a very strong national reputation but its international profile is less pronounced. Despite its prestigious history, the city of Exeter as a place is not well known outside of the UK.” You can view the new film on www. exeter.ac.uk/international/film.

Welcome Week

The applications for the Welcome Week team have opened. Undergraduate, Postgraduate, International, INTO and Arrivals Teams all need recruiting for the start of the next academic year. To apply you will need to go onto www.exeterguild.org. Or you can pop into The Works in Devonshire House or the Activities Office in Cornwall House for more information. James Fox, Welcome Team Senior 2010, said, “Being on the Welcome Team was a really rewarding experience. I met a lot of new people, had a great time and, although it was tiring, was brilliant fun. It also felt like we were making a real difference to the new students.” Interviews for the team will take place from March 1- 4.

Burglary Spate Eight burglaries have taken place between January 8 and January 13. Mainly targeted was the St James ward, including Union Road, Culverland Road and Devonshire Place. Burglars broke in through open windows and insecure doors. The majority of the burglaries occurred during the night. Further to this, eight students had their belongings stolen during an exam in the Amory building. This suggests that criminals are currently active in the area on and around campus. Rory Cunningham, Community Liaison Officer, said, “Police Staff have been collaborating with our Student Community Wardens - delivering advice door to door and offering to ‘security mark’ valuables in the streets that have been worst affected.” He added, “We hope that students will listen carefully to the advice and have as many valuables security marked as possible.”


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january 24 2011

News

Class of 2011 goes green Simon Dewhurst FINAL year students at Exeter University are being given the chance to leave a lasting legacy through the Class of 2011 Project. The project is being run by a committee of final year students with the support of the Development and Alumni Relations Office. It aims to improve on the £1,000 raised last year which has been used to refurbish the Ram Bar. This year students have voted to pledge money towards creating a green space on campus. Money will be raised by a combination of donations and fundraising events, including club nights and raffles. The committee will then decide what shape the green space should take before revealing their final plans. The project has been supported strongly by students, with 850 taking part in the recent survey. One final year student commented that it gave them

Photo: Hannah Walker

the chance to “give something back and leave a lasting legacy for the University.”

“The project is all about creating a way for final year students to leave a memorable legacy on campus.” Josh Cowls, Chair of the Class of 2011 Committee

Josh Cowls, Chair of the Class of 2011 Committee, explained that “the project is all about creating a way for final year students to leave a memorable legacy on campus, and make a positive impact on future years.” He also added that the project needs as “many students as possible to lend some time and help make it a success.” Final year students plan to raise money towards increasing green space on campus.

Plans for new indoor climbing centre

Photo: Henry White

Police investigate sex attacks Amelia Greenwood TWO separate incidents involving serious sexual attacks on males have occurred near the Arena nightclub. The two attacks took place near Summer Street, Western Way and Belmont Park in the early hours of New Year’s Day and Sunday January 9. The police have launched an appeal and a photo of CCTV footage from the night of the first attack has been released. Anyone in the photo is urged to contact the police if they think they could be of assistance to their investigations. They have also asked people to look out for two missing items of clothing

Hannah Sweet Senior Reporter EXETER could have its very own indoor climbing centre thanks to plans to convert the old electricity building in Haven Banks on the quayside. The £1.2 million project would be led by Aaran Eade, a former army rehabilitation expert, along with his business partner Jon Whitfield. Plans include the construction of a £400,000 climbing wall, along with two shops, a cafe and a treatment room. Michael Tibbits, Exeter University Climbing Club President, told Exeposé, “A serious climbing centre in Exeter will provide us with more professional and exciting facilities to train and teach in without the hassle or expense of the drive to our nearest alternatives. For anyone not yet interested in the sport, it will provide somewhere perfect for learning the skills to get started.” The Climbing Club, which has over 130 members in total, regularly takes a number of its members on a two-hour round trip to the nearest climbing wall in Tavistock. Tibbits said that he thought member numbers “would be much higher

Exeposé

which may be linked to the attacks: a white short-sleeved River Island top and a white fleece-lined long sleeved top. Chris Hardy, VP Welfare and Community, commented, “When incidents like these occur, they’re extremely shocking to hear about. We’re lucky that Exeter is a lot safer than many cities, and that incidents like these are relatively rare.” He added, “However, they do serve to highlight the importance of staying safe on nights out: always make sure before you go out that someone else knows where you are, and plan how you’ll get back safely afterwards too.”

Duchess of Cornwall: Royal Patron of DecAid Hannah Brewer Senior Reporter

The old electricity building in Haven Banks may be converted into a climbing centre.

if we had access to better facilities.” Josh Belsher, Athletic Union President, is supportive of the plans: “An increase in sports facilities in the local area is great for the community. It gives our students another space to train in a different environment that will only help develop the sport.” The old electricity building was first built to provide electricity for Exeter’s trams in 1905, and since closing in 1955

there have been a number of different proposals to make use of the building. More recent suggestions have included a roller skating centre, a gallery and arts centre, a boutique hotel, and a soft play area for children. Eade and Whitfield are confident about their application for the climbing centre. Eade said, “There is huge demand for a climbing wall, and the one we are proposing is very large and ambitious.”

HER ROYAL HIGHNESS, The Duchess of Cornwall, has agreed to support the DecAid appeal by becoming their Royal Patron. DecAid, which is led by current and former members of the Exeter University Officer Training Corps, is set to raise over £350,000 for those affected by the war in Afghanistan and will mark the decade-long commitment of British Armed Forces in Afghanistan. Her Royal Highness’s affirmation comes just weeks after Prime Minister David Cameron stated in a personal letter that he is “delighted to pay tribute to the excellent initiative and very much hopes that DecAid will be the outstand-

ing success that it deserves to be.” DecAid, which was officially launched in October 2010, is organising a coordinated year-long campaign. The appeal has organised a series of extreme physical challenges which will involve several thousand people nationally, including ex-servicemen, their families and friends. All funds raised will be donated to three service charities: Soldiers, Sailors, Airmens and Families Association, The British Limbless Ex-Servicemen Association and Talking 2 Minds. As the sole Royal Patron of DecAid, the Duchess of Cornwall joins other influential supporters of the charity, including BBC war correspondent, Martin Bell.


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Exeposé Week fourteen

Exeter’s big week of debate

Photo: Henry White

News

National Student News

Student jailed for throwing fire extinguisher

Steve Smith, Exeter University Vice Chancellor and Aaron Porter, NUS President, take part in a debate over tuition fees at the university.

Heated debate took place on campus following the proposal to raise tuition fees Ellie Busby News Editor AARON PORTER and Steve Smith concluded a significant week in the future of Higher Education with a debate on campus. On Friday December 10, 300 students attended the Guild organised debate, ‘University Funding – Where Next?’, in Amory building. The debate was also simulcast to the Falmouth Campus. Aaron Porter, NUS President, and

Steve Smith, Exeter Vice Chancellor and President of Universities UK, both addressed the audience for ten minutes each and then participated in an hour long question and answer session. The speakers discussed whether raising tuition fees was necessary and whether it can be justified. Although they have distinctly different roles in Higher Education, they seemed to agree on many topics. A second year English student who attended the event said, “The debate was very insightful. However, there did seem to be a lack of conclusion.” The debate came after the Government passed the plans to treble the cap on tuition fees by 323 votes to 302 on Thursday December 9. Many students protested across the nation, including the violent protests in

London which resulted in the Duchess of Cornwall being assaulted on the way to the theatre.

“The debate was very insightful. However, there did seem to be a lack of conclusion” Debate attendee

However, Exeter University students peacefully protested against the cuts during the week. On Wednesday December 8, many students participated in a march from campus through the city. In Bedford Square, the university students were joined by around a 100 Exeter College students.

After the march, over 100 students staged a sit-down demonstration in the Newman A lecture theatre and a candlelit vigil was held before Thursday’s vote with the words ‘We Will Resist’ illuminated in front of Northcote House. The students occupied the building for over a week. The organisers of the occupation held a range of events, including lectures and massages. Vegan food was also supplied. A university spokesman commented that there had been co-operation with the students and no major disruption. He said, “The university has worked with the students concerned to ensure lectures are not disrupted. Where necessary, this has meant that the protesters have temporarily reduced their number to allow lectures to take place and have operated a no-interruptions policy.”

Exeter Council can no longer fund Christmas lights Alex Wynick EXETER CITY COUNCIL have announced that they will no longer fund the Christmas lights on the high street during the festive season. This comes as part of a £2.4 million budget cut which also includes switching off normal street lamps at night, as well as fewer sports pitches and waste collections.

Currently the Christmas lights cost the council £38,200, with any additional expenses paid for by local businesses. After the budget cuts the high street Christmas lights will have to be funded entirely by retailers - as the Princesshay lights already are - or scrapped altogether. Exeter City Council say that in a recent survey of what residents wanted to be saved from the budget cuts the lights didn’t feature highly, and so withdrew

funding. Becky Hall, a second year English student, said, “It’s a shame because the switching-on ceremony was a fun event that signified the start of the Christmas season.” Retailers are concerned that without the lights and the switching-on ceremony thousands of shoppers will reject the Exeter high street in favour of more festive cities. However, Andrew McNeilly, Guild-

hall Shopping Centre manager, says, “The harsh reality for the businesses is if they want it they have to fund it. We have frequently said to them the gravy train would grind to a halt at some point.” Tom Wilson, a second year Physics student, disagreed, saying, “I don’t think it’ll make any difference. The lights are tacky and they go up too early, nearly £40,000 is way too much money to waste.”

THE student who threw a fire extinguisher from the roof of the Millbank centre during the London student fees protests has been jailed. On November 10, Edward Woollard, 18, from Brockenhurst College Sixth Form in Hampshire, was among protesters who broke into the Tory party headquarters. He was jailed for two years and eight months after admitting to committing violent disorder. After being persuaded by his mother, Woollard went to a police station and admitted to throwing the fire extinguisher after footage of the incident was shown on television. Judge Geoffrey Rivlin, QC Southwark Crown Court, said to Woollard, “It is deeply regrettable, indeed a shocking thing, for a court to have to sentence a young man such as you to a substantial term of custody but the courts have a duty to provide the community with such protection from violence as they can. This means sending out a very clear message to anyone minded to behave in this way that an offence of this seriousness will not be tolerated.” He added it was “exceedingly fortunate that your action did not result in death or very serious injury either to a police officer or a fellow protester.” In a police statement read to the court, Woollard apologised for his actions, saying: “When I was told I had potentially endangered people, I felt sick. I was absolutely not intending that anyone in any way would be hurt.” Cdr Bob Broadhurst, the Metropolitan Police’s Head of Public Order, said the sentence was “a significant period of imprisonment.” He added, “I would ask those intent on causing violence and undermining those committed to peaceful protest to reflect on today’s outcome.”

Crystal Meth Bomb Scare A STUDENT at Aberdeen University caused a bomb alert after being caught mixing lethal chemicals in the kitchen inside his halls of residence. Ricky Layton, 26, is being held by police under the Mental Health Act after trying to make the highly addictive drug crystal meth. The Esslemont House block was evacuated and around 35 students were relocated. A fellow chemistry student said of Layton, “Supposedly he’s been getting supplies from the chemistry labs. He’s apparently a drug user himself and was taking LSD and various other stuff. He’s a bit of a loner and a bit of an oddball.”


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Exeposé week fourteen

Comment Tristan Barclay & Andrew Waller - editors@exepose.com

Exeposé

The Exeter Student Newspaper

Thinking locally The end of 2010 saw Exeter students firmly focussed on national student politics. The furore surrounding tuition fees sparked what promised to be a sustained attack on Government policy, but the Christmas break seems to have cooled the protests as students packed away their placards and went home to mum. However, this might not be such a bad thing. There is certainly plenty to think about on Exeter campuses this term, all of which firmly relies on student engagement. Perhaps it is time to turn our attention from the national to the local. The most important thing happening in the Guild this term is the 2011 Sabbatical election. Although the current officers still have six months of their terms left, campaigning for next year’s Officers will begin shortly and the closure of Stocker Road will ensure canvassing becomes an even more cramped affair. For the apathetic, this is a nightmare period when they are delayed on the way to lectures

in the name of a cause about which they do not care. For others, this is an opportunity to make a difference in their student union. For a final group, it’s a tight job market; they have to do something next year. No matter which group is yours, remember that you can’t lose out by engaging. It’s no use sitting in Coffee Express complaining about the Forum, this is an opportunity to voice your opinions. And if you haven’t got an opinion on anything, then many of the candidates hand out free sweets. An Exeter issue that must be addressed in Sabbatical campaigns is the perennial problem of the rush for private housing in the City. As our front page shows, first years in particular seem gripped by a panic to secure housing as fast as possible. This can come at the cost of a happy year as decisions are made too quickly without the necessary information. It is ludicrous that freshers should be signing for houses in their first term at the University.

Diversity Week 2011

Today is the start of Diversity Week 2011, a celebration of the various cultures present at Exeter University. In the recent past, Exeter has been accused of a distinct lack of integration between the home and international student populations. Indeed, who can forget Emma Thompson’s remarks to students in 2009, when she claimed that the BNP would feel comfortable on campus.

No matter the truth behind such incendiary comments, it is important for students to face up to questions of diversity. Exeposé encourages readers to take a look at the events on offer, all of which will help us appreciate one of the priveleges of university life; namely the opportunity to meet people from all over the world. See the Guild’s website for details.

Library openings don’t often cause uproar, but Exeposé is at a loss to explain the University’s apparent obsession with building creative places in which to work. The new Level -1 in the Main Library now resembles a lounge rather than an academic space and too much room has been allocated to group study, a term that smacks more of oxymoron than academia. It has become difficult to find silent

places in which to study on the Streatham Campus, a problem that has not been alleviated by bright colours and ‘breakout space’. The Library might have been tatty, but the problem now is that it has become a social area. If you want to encourage students to work, keep the orange paint because all they really need are desks, peace and quiet, and maybe some of those little green lamps.

Silent study space please

Thanks to all those who helped proof this issue:

Felicity Stone, Claire Wotherspoon, Cyan Turan, Tom Nicoll, Meriel Royal, Declan Cooney, James Crouch, Hannah Brewer, Sophie Duncan, Emily Leyshon, Marie Notermans, Robert Zimmerman, Edward Itors, James de Souza, Fiona Lally, Devika Pandit, Esmeralda Castrillo, Kate Gray, Tori Brazier and members of the Exeposé editorial team.

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Guild campaigns going strong James Eales Campaigns Officer

Whenever I talk to students on campus, they quite often ask how the Guild’s campaigns are progressing, to which I respond “good, but...”. It is this response which accurately represents the balance between Exeter’s potential, and what we are achieving now. Last term was defined by two vitally important campaigns: national opposition to increased tuition fees, and a local opposition to HMO (student housing) legislation. These issues directly affected the ‘University experience’, whether by increasing the cost of a degree, or by limiting where students could live in Exeter. Of central importance to my approach in both of these campaigns was that students of all opinions should get involved. In this regards the tuition fees campaign was a brilliant success. Around 350 students travelled to London for the NUS march, hundreds

But things could be better, and this is something that I really want to build on this term. This has to centre on more active involvement from the student

body. This University has the potential for tremendous levels of participation, with our sabbatical elections having the highest turnout nationally. If we can replicate this in the campaigns we organise then students in Exeter will have a tremendously strong voice. Instead of 700 HMO forms, we would have completed thousands, a massive influence in a public consultation. So what’s coming up? Well, at the moment there are campaigns on issues such as the Council’s plans to turn off street lighting, legislation to abolish International students’ right to work after completing their degree, as well as the second phase of the HMO campaign. These encompass diverse issues that affect students from all backgrounds, and all of which can be influenced by you. So I end with this plea: get involved! As Campaigns Officer I want to represent you, to fight for you and to ensure that students have an impact. But on this I am reliant on you. I know how easy it is to ignore a flyer, to delete an email or to ignore a poster. Yet it is only with your engagement that you can be represented, and your influence applied.

albeit having had their purpose reconstituted as promoting inter-human empathy. By forcing ambitious stateschoolers to tick traditional boxes, these measures may break barriers in university. The price however, is narrowing education, whilst reinforcing illogical, but traditional, hierarchies. How many students will pick up degree-level Drama, Art History, Sports Science, or Theology without exposure to their GCSE equivalents? Even if they pick up these in addition, they will have internalised the explicit hierarchy of subjects, which is unhelpful when measuring by anything other than a corporation’s job criteria. The distinction between humanities is profoundly unfair. Art, Drama, History, Geography, RE and Music, all actually elicit similar skill sets at GCSE level. If the point of prioritising History and Geography is to instil a sense of humanity, surely RE, Drama, Art and Music, which deal profoundly with real-world issues, are equally adept choices. The reality is that Gove’s vision is based on tradition. Change may be minimal. Science,

Maths, and English have always been compulsory. Most schools require students to continue a language, tech and humanity. Yet treating the English Bac as a performance indicator will affect the university population and what graduates teach. Sixth form college places are increasingly competitive. How many will now ask for the English Bac? How many universities will use the English Bac as a ‘tie-breaker’ in a tightening system? Given that so few state schools are meeting targets for the new qualification, does this not temporarily place their pupils at a statistical disadvantage? More permanent effects could include an increased need for teachers in English Bac subjects but a surplus in those outside. Indeed, where university departments rely upon good intakes for continued funding, small changes in student’s choices could spell further cuts. Non-English Bac researchers need to defend their subject’s worth at the opposite end of the education system. If they don’t they may find they have fewer students and a hierarchy based on tradition rather than thought.

marched through Exeter, and the Guild sent 780 emails to MP’s on behalf of individual students. This was a terrific mobilisation of the student body, ensuring that MPs across the country received input from their constituents, and that concerns were represented. Our second campaign centred on council plans to introduce student targeted HMO legislation. We reproduced the public consultation form so that students could complete it online, ensuring that student voices were accurately represented. Critically a healthy debate emerged on this issue, with different perspectives and opinions carefully argued. In total, over 700 forms were completed online, a great achievement.

“Only with your engagement can you be represented”

England Bacs a new hierarchy James Freeman PGU Deputy President

Last week Michael Gove threw secondary education back into the old debate: ‘all subjects are equal, but some are more equal than others.’ Beyond the ethics of shaping children’s choices to suit economic needs, the English Baccalaureate also raises issues for universities. There are some opportunities. The English Bac’s requirement to study multiple science subjects may boost the number of students able to pursue Science degrees. Moreover, it is shameful that languages are a weak CV point for many of us, in a globalised academic, let alone economic, world. The new pressure to study a foreign language at GCSE may begin to halt the decline in language skills which often divides state and public pupils at university. For their part, History and Geography are at least back in the fold of acceptable subjects;


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january 24 2011 Exeposé

Comment

The Safer Sex Ball 2010: How was it for you? SSB Committee 2010: Rachel Magner, Ruth Andrews, Cathy Bell, Annie Chisholm, Abi Allen THE preparations for the SSB 2010 began in February when the five of us met for the first of many meetings. December 8 seemed a long way away, although the ever-growing list of things to do made us realise we would all be very busy for the next ten months. However, tickets for The Circus sold out in record-breaking time, which was both a huge relief and also a realisation that the countdown had begun. One of the highlights of our preparations was meeting staff at the Eddystone Trust. They do such a brilliant job and were so grateful for our efforts; it put all the worry and craziness into perspective and gave us all a much needed motivational boost ready for the night itself. When the doors finally opened to the Circus, we were amazed at how much

Paul Middleton My blurred recollection of the Safer Sex Ball was the less than ideal repayment for the time and money that I had spent preparing for it. Thousands of half-naked men coupled with the chance to ride a giant penis should be every gay guy’s dream, but the night just didn’t live up to expectations. The massive venue destroyed any hope of the close-knit orgy of an SSB that many had predicted and even my double vision didn’t help to occupy the space. The size of the room completely overpowered the theme, and the open spaces and gar-

Rebecca Lodder Though it was freezing cold and there were thousands of scantily clad women and men about, the Safer Sex Ball was more exciting than I thought it would be. As a Fresher, I was completely unsure as to what to expect. The least clothing you could possibly buy? Not a difficult description to follow, but one infinitely hard to be comfortable in. However, this year the venue seemed to make sure that everyone was warm enough; a definite improvement on the Freshers’ Ball, and everyone seemed out to have as good a time as possible. Tinchy Stryder was a serious surprise on my part; his performance was superb, though short, in comparison to what I had imagined. Though my friends

effort people had gone to with their costumes. As everyone flooded in, the venue was finally looking how we had imagined. Standing in the Big Top on the evening was a very surreal experience, but it was truly incredible to look around and see everything in place and 4,000 semi-naked people enjoying themselves. The cheers were certainly noticeable during the Full Monty, which went down a storm. Despite being somewhat busy, we managed to talk our way into Tinchy Stryder’s dressing room for a cheeky group photo. One of the highlights of our night. The morning after and Westpoint had certainly seen better days, not to mention the biggest pile of lost property that it had probably ever accumulated. It was such a relief that it had finally happened and we hoped everyone had a fun-filled evening. 2011 will see SSB turning 20 and we have no doubt that the student support will enable the event to be the best party yet!

ish lighting just made everyone feel like they’d been caught in the headlights of a dogging site rather than in a £38-per-ticket venue. Alcohol was the only way for people to overcome initial insecurities, but this also meant the work and effort that had been put into the night failed to be remembered by the thousands who attended. The only positive of the night was the sheer military precision in which everything was carried out, with the coach transport and entrance into the arena providing very few disturbances to the night as a whole. So, overall the Safer Sex Ball fell short of the Cirque du So-gay experience that I had hoped for, but like a standard night in Arena, the embarrassing stories and photos I took away from it were definitely worth the ticket price and my naivety will probably see me there again. were completely trampled at the front of his performance, I still enjoyed the songs I recognised, despite the fact that I could not wait to board the coaches that would take me home later. The circus theme definitely added an eclectic amount of performances and costumes, though the price of drinks managed to dissuade everyone from being happy enough with the ticket they had purchased. I could only argue that ‘it was for charity’ for a couple of hours before I too began to question what it was I was paying for exactly. The inflatable penis was indeed an enjoyable memory, but was it really worth the ticket price? Then again, how could you refuse donating so much to charity? How can you possibly criticise an event that was established to raise money for the numerous charities that RAG support? Any criticism is superfluous in light of how well charities were supported during this event no matter what individuals themselves thought.

Lizzie Annett The suspenders were on, the hair volumised and the fake eyelashes glued. We had been looking forward to this evening for months and my friends and I were certainly excited. Yet even though the evening was full of promise, unfortunately we found the hold-ups held up much better than our expectations for the night. We had a brilliant pre-drinks and hilarious taxi journey to campus but unfortunately this was where the frivolities ended. Our optimism plummeted as we saw the queue for the

coaches, a queue that was certainly not going to be the last of the evening. We ran off the coach and spent the next two hours queuing for the toilets, queuing to drop of our coats and queuing to have our photo taken. The venue was huge with no recognisable place to meet friends. Couple the gigantically high ceilings with far too bright lights and you have yourself one non-existent atmosphere. The situation looked grim, not made better by seeing a boy in a clown costume fall off a mechanical penis. The only thing for it was drink, and a lot of it! So to the bar we headed and were faced, yet again, with that infamous queue. The thoroughly under-staffed bar was putting more effort into pushing the manoeuvrable tables back into place than pouring

drinks. Half an hour later with drink in hand our celebrations were short-lived as we saw a guy very swiftly steal his way to a bottle of Aftershock. With no bouncers around it was an easy stunt and one I am sure was repeated throughout the night. We enjoyed Tinchy Strider and getting dressed up in our underwear but with no food or drinks included and an inability to find any other attractions promised, my friends and I were left feeling rather short-changed. The majority of people I have spoken to agree they have had better nights clubbing in town. The lovely Exeter city where the bars don’t move, it’s not freezing cold and it only costs four pounds to get in. If only it was acceptable to run around Arena in your underwear.

BART sheets in advance and submitting their work well before the 4pm cut-off point. With the benefit of hindsight, this would seem like a reasonable and logical path to take. Yet when you are putting the final touches on a 10,000 word essay, by far the longest piece of work that many of my fellow students had ever written, one which it was suggested we spend in excess of 300 hours brooding over (a source of much incredulity and amusement) and which, on its own, easily makes up the most significant portion of our degree to date, I hope readers can understand why so many of us attempted to squeeze every

last minute out of the remaining allotted time. I freely admit that the sheer volume of students attempting this very feat would have made access to BART that much more difficult, but surely the Humanities department and IT Services must have seen this coming? If MyExeter and BART prove inaccessible when the majority of students need them most then substantial improvements need to be made either in the system itself, or in the essay submission procedures, which currently seem somewhat esoteric and only conducive to exacerbating students’ already acute stress levels.

MyExeter and BART offline Patrick Taylor

The recent MyExeter and BART malfunctions proved somewhat ill-timed for those students (myself included) endeavouring to hand in their final pieces both before and after the Christmas break, with the result that some work was submitted after the normal deadline of 4pm. One might argue that students should organise their time better, printing out

A brighter shade of orange

Ben Kelly

AS a second year history student, I find myself spending a bit of time in the library. Thus, deep down, I was quite excited to see the new -1 floor on my arrival in Exeter after the Christmas holidays, and while at first the cleanliness and newness of the area impressed me, I couldn’t help but feel disappointed with the outcome of a whole term’s worth of renovation.

“The whole space feels like a science lab or office floor rather than a library” Firstly, the decoration of the floor feels too clinical, with its whitewashed and pristine walls, the only colour being

provided by the overly vivid orange shelves. This makes the whole space feel like a science lab or a corporate office floor rather than a university library. Secondly, the decision to replace the cubicles and desks which were on the old floors with large open tables is a choice which makes the level look pretty and clean, but isn’t conducive to work. The smaller desks and quiet isolated work areas in the older library floors were much more cosy and private, and I have found it much harder to study in the new floor (if a space to work is even available). I am not suggesting that the renovation of the new floor is a step back. The 20 new computer stations are much needed, and the floor is much cleaner and brighter than its predecessor. However, the area is distinctly lacking in character. I understand that part of this stems from the newness of the space, and that once the level becomes more used, the floor will feel less soulless, but until then, I’m going to be working on the old level 0. I hope that when the other floors are renovated they retain some of the character that the -1 floor has lost.

Katharine Bardsley A library should inspire hard work, be quietly motivational, and be a place reserved for thought and originality. It should not provoke a violent reaction in the eyes of the student. I am sure I am not alone in my dislike of the current citrus zing of the new library floor. In fact, I am certain that many unfavourable comparisons to Sainsbury’s and the Orange network have already started up. In an ideal world, we would all be able to study in a space precisely suited to our needs. As this is clearly not possible, compromise is the next best thing. However, I am sorry to say that the choice of design and colour scheme here does not do so; it is a disappointment to many who have been so inconvenienced by the costly Forum Project to discover such a luridly coloured space in which to write their essays and do their reading.


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Exeposé week fourteen

Timetable problems James Crouch This week thousands of us are returning to our lectures, some thankful just to be going anywhere other than an exam hall. Surely the last thing any of us expect is to be left standing like a spare part at the back of the room during lessons which have, supposedly, been properly timetabled over five months in advance. My mischievous joy at turning up to a lecture theatre that could only fit in half those taking the module was followed by half an hour waiting for a lecturer who didn’t actually turn up. Rather than just being a one-off, it appears to be endemic. Half of my modules are booked in rooms too small and I was given a clash with a lecture in the same school. Why on earth is our timetabling system so completely up a proverbial creek?

“Why on earth is our timetabling system so completely up a proverbial creek?” Before I hand out undue blame, the office staff have worked diligently to sort out what problems have shown up so far – honestly, I could not complain about them at all. But there are serious questions about how we timetable at Exeter. Why are small rooms given to large compulsory modules? Why does no one even check this before we hike up the hill to the lecture? Apparently, it’s standard procedure to swap rooms for these reasons, but when you fall a week behind on a module I’d rather know why it’s not standard procedure to not assign an impossible timetable in the first place. It took me five clicks on MyExeter to figure out this issue. So unless we are all game for another round of musical chairs in our lectures, we need to have a rethink about how to avoid obvious dilemmas that need not affect our learning experience.

Comment

The search for housing in Exeter Freya Joseph

I have just sent off a deposit on what seems to be the perfect house – excellent location, beautiful bedrooms and even small a garden. We are now part of the masses of first years beginning to breathe a sigh of relief – we’ve found a place for next year. Instantly forgettable is the trauma of the last weeks. As freshers at the end of the first term, we are warmed to the idea of house hunting by our second and third year friends with the motivating mantra: “Oh, you’ll be starting to look for houses soon! Yeah, total hell.” Frightening, but not inaccurate. But finding the houses proves not the hardest part of the process; in fact, the trouble begins once you find one. Walking out of our ideal house, we came face to

Henry White Photography Editor I finally sorted out my housing for next year this week. This has been an on-going issue since November when I began to think about it. It strikes me as both depressing and ridiculous that students at this University have to start worrying about houses so early in an academic year. For first years there is barely time to get to know who you like and dislike and who your friends are before you are thrown into an unclear and chaotic housing race. You are also up against more experienced and savvy second and third year students who know where and how to look and usually snap up the best houses. Why has the University not taken any steps to prevent this trend? This year people were looking as early as November, the year before it was December, next year it will probably be October. The houses are fixed, they

face with the next group to view it. The looks exchanged between both parties was similar in atmosphere to an old Western shoot out. Being told the house would no longer be shown if we asked for the contract didn’t stop us surreptitiously slinking off at full pelt, because despite the fact that your rivals are safely tucked away inside, you’re really participating in a high speed chase for tenancy. Really, it’s not the Exeter housing stock that makes it difficult to find a house: its each other. From December, when people start declaring that they have found ‘The Dream House’, we will settle for nothing less than an even more idyllic abode. Most people succeed, there appears to be a fleet of heavenly properties tucked away in Exeter, each with more impressive features than the last. First it’s off road parking, then shortcuts to campus, then pubs on the corner of the road, conservatories, the list goes on. In all seriousness, the main problem that cannot physically move and more than likely will not change dramatically in a few months. The rents, landlords and rates will vary slightly but not significantly and the academic year will carry on past December. So why is there such a rush? Why do students feel they have to sort this so quickly? I think the University seriously needs to address this issue, especially with the definite rise in student numbers over the next few years and the potential fall in housing, not to mention the tremendous pressure that already exists on Exeter’s housing market. Why has this situation been allowed to exist already and how much longer will the powers that be allow it to? Housing should be left until, at earliest, late March or April, when friendships are stronger, students are settled (and the weather is nicer) and the pressures of exams and the festive season are long gone. The University needs to seriously consider working with the council and landlords to prevent the ‘housing rush’ beginning so soon, and being so competitive and stressful for all involved.

arises is the panicked tendency to rush into it.

“It’s not the Exeter housing stock that makes it difficult to find a house: it’s each other” Which leads me on to my least favourite feature of the process: the groupings. At this time of year, it is common to see large groups of friends that have mysteriously stopped speaking awkwardly avoiding each other in the dining hall. This, I believe, is the ‘Hell’ we were warned of. More subtle than this, but still evident in most cases, are groups of future housemates committing to spending all their time together to ‘strengthen’ (read forge) their bond. You cannot speak of the rental process without speaking of the Landlord – a fearsome figure, utterly unreadable. Is the jolly, balding chap who cheerfully shows you the house, throws in a sofa ‘just for you’ and knocks down the

Tom Goodsir

For someone new to the university, I found the commitment of some students to their housing cause quite remarkable. We’ve all heard the stories of people queuing overnight outside estate agents (not quite Wimbledon finals day or the DFS Boxing Day sale), contracts being signed half an hour after first viewing and estate agents charging disproportionally large fees for seemingly random reasons. I myself am moving into a house with seven potential nutters I barely know. There has to be an element of haphazardness in student housing; if you want it cheap and well located you do have to move fast. Should we, however, really be entering into this confidence-fuelled spiral of madness year upon year? As soon as the first few early birds begin viewings

deposit just an example of the hospitality you can expect for the next year? Or is this the Jekyll to the money draining Hyde? We’ve all heard the horror stories: unreachable landlords who leave you to wade through your home when the washing machine breaks down, mystery additional deposits which seem to have no benefit to the house although the landlord’s car interior seems vastly improved. We certainly don’t have time to check up on his reputation or the incriminating fine print in the contract; we need to run and get it signed before the vultures with the next house viewing pull it out from under us. It would be nice if the Exeter Accommodation property lists had gone up before the middle of January, but that’s only because we’re all racing towards this imaginary deadline that we have completely invented. Or maybe we’re all rushing to be the first to arrive back in halls, arms raised triumphantly and sing out those two magical words: ‘Dream House’. (around early November) everyone else feels obliged to follow suit. A few clever words from a ‘nearly sold out’ letting agent and all of sudden casual enquiries become a mad rush to get signed. This can only have a negative impact on the student property market in Exeter; it allows private letting agents (and landlords) to charge us excess fees and excess rent when, given more time, we’d normally look elsewhere. This mad surge of demand can only push the rental prices in Exeter upwards. It’s late January, there are still plenty of properties available - what were we worried for? Given the George-Osborneshaped cloud of financial worry that’s already hanging over our prospective students, should we really be putting them off Exeter by driving up housing prices in this way? I think we need more advice, we need more support and if we’re to keep attracting students into the future we need to prevent this happening next year.

Letters to the Editors - Want to respond to something in today’s Exeposé? Send your letters to letters@exepose.com

Lemmy doorstaff over-enthusiastic Exeposé I feel I must raise the frequently remarked on, but rarely reported, behaviour of the doorstaff at the Lemmy. Arriving to a large queue on Saturday, we decided against going inside and spoke to our “lucky” friends who had already got in. To my right there was a small disagreement between a student, who asked repeatedly why he had been removed, but apparently the doorstaff could give no answer. Instead, on his 5th

attempt, four doorstaff picked him up, moved him away from the queue and forced him to the ground. The student remained incapacitated for over 30 minutes until the police took him away in handcuffs, during which his screams of pain, as the doorstaff pushed his face onto the tarmac, pierced through the loud, muffled thuds from the bass inside. Although I denounce the brutality with which this arrest was conducted, my greater concern lies with the door-

staff’s, and Estate Patrol’s, belief that censorship of the situation was their right. I was in a public place and they were in a public position of trust. I wanted to document their callous behaviour so I pulled out my camera. However, I was suppressed by another member of doorstaff who claimed I had to have a license to take pictures. If that is the case, I want every photo destroyed that has been taken in the Lemmy, where I appear, and have not expressly given my permission.

The bouncer even threatened to confiscate my phone for “evidence”. Does he really think I am that stupid? They must be held accountable for their unashamed brutality. Next time, I’m bringing my SLR. Sam Lush (Visiting Graduate) Apologies to the Library Staff Exeposé Last term, I wrote a letter complaining about a lack of help from the University’s Library Staff regarding

the Exeposé winter fashion shoot. Particularly, I was annoyed that the Old Library was closed even though we had requested to we wanted to take pictures in there. However, upon being gently advised by Steve Mossop, the Head Librarian, I discovered that in a previous email I had been advised not to turn up to Research Commons at that time, as the room would be shut. My sincere apologies to Steve and his team. Laura Le Brocq, Lifestyle Editor


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Features

january 24 2011 Exeposé

Columba Achilleos-Sarll & Anna-Marie Linnell - features@exepose.com

Oldham by-election waves goodbye to the Coalition hopes Joanna Clifford considers what the Oldham by-election may mean for politics. ON January 13, Debbie Abrahams of the Labour Party won the by-election for Oldham East and Saddleworth. The byelection was called after the previous Labour MP, Phil Woolas, was found guilty of lying about his Liberal Democrat opponent during the last election campaign. According to the court, this invalidates the result.

“The mood of hope that surrounded the general election has rapidly shifted towards a backlash against the Government”

At this point, the Exeposé readership may well be wondering why a one-off vote in a constituency of Greater Manchester concerns them particularly. Yet this by-election has been increasingly credited as a reflection of public opinion on the Coalition Government’s first months in office. The candidates attempted to focus on local issues, but media hype around the campaign indicated that the vote carried national implications. The importance of such implications was emphasised by the strong support shown

by party leaders in Oldham: Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband visited the constituency three times, David Cameron once. The Coalition has attempted to play down the political message of the byelection result through claims that, as Labour has held this seat since 1997, the victory of Labour candidate, Debbie Abrahams, is neither of great surprise nor consequence. However, through a look at the distribution of votes, the discerning reader can tell otherwise. Oldham East and Saddleworth was a marginal seat in May; Phil Woolas won by just 103 votes. This time around, Abrahams managed to secure a majority of over 3,500, despite the disgrace of her predecessor as a fellow member of the Labour Party. The mood of hope that surrounded the general election has rapidly shifted towards a backlash against the dramatic cuts currently being enforced by the Government. Vindicated by the result, Ed Miliband hailed the vote as “the first major verdict on this Conservative-led Government.” It is a verdict which denounces changes such as the VAT rise, trebling of the tuition fees, and cuts to front line services.

Although government parties tend to face defeat in by-elections, the Liberal Democrats fared much better than their coalition partners and marginally increased their share of the vote by 0.3 %. The Conservative candidate, Kashif Ali, on the other hand, received less than half the number of votes that he achieved in May. Some blame this swing in Conservative support on the Tories holding back in order to help their Coalition partners, a claim which has been

A league of its own?

denied by the party leadership. Why then do the Conservatives seem to have faced a harsher punishment than the Lib Dems for the coalition’s unpopular policies? The possibility that the Liberal Democrats have defied their critics and remained, as Nick Clegg asserted, “a strong, united party” must, of course, be considered. The Coalition, having been in office little more than six months, may have supporters still willing to give them a chance. Yet continued Lib Dem support may have occurred for less positive reasons. For example, party members may have hoped to limit the shame of a Labour defeat, or to place pressure on the Lib Dems in an effort to destabilise the coalition. Although one seat will not dramatically alter the composition of the Commons, the Government cannot afford to continually face electoral defeats, even small ones such as this. Their tenuous majority only sustained by the Tories’ successful wooing of the Liberal Democrat leadership, the Coalition, particularly the Conservative sector, will recognise the need to retain

power for the next five years in order to push through their £81 billion worth of cuts. With an upcoming by-election in Barnsley Central, and possibly Leicester South, the need to continue winning over voters remains of utmost importance. For Labour, one seat is hardly a ringing endorsement. Ed Miliband himself recognised that this was only the “first step on the road of the Labour Party to win back trust.” For those who remain angry about the mistakes Labour made whilst in government, it may be a very long road indeed. The turnout, dramatically reduced from 61% to 48%, signifies a return to the apathetic approach to politicians of every party after the brief, albeit somewhat naïve, excitement that the “Vote for Change” slogans of the general election would translate to a ‘new’ politics. For Oldham, a town credited with such minor accolades as being home to England’s first chip shop, the birthplace of Louise Brown - the world’s first test tube baby, such extensive media coverage must have been surprising. The town’s population, however, may have unwittingly been the first to predict the slow swing of support back to Labour.

Edward Willis reflects upon Michael Gove’s league table reforms and what this means for the future of education.

WHEN Michael Gove announced the retrospective reform of league tables to include a new English Baccalaureate, he provoked a giddying assortment of responses. This English Baccalaureate, hot on the heels of the International Baccalaureate at secondary level, ranks schools on grades achieved in English, Mathematics, a Science, a Language and a Humanities subject. For all the obvious benefits of a broad education, the problem with Gove’s reforms is that they are by nature prescriptive and therefore restrictive. Not only does he presuppose a hierarchy among academic subjects, but Gove willingly reinforces it. Although there is no obligation for pupils to sit these five subjects, it would be naïve to assume that bright children who also happen to be highly accomplished in the arts will be allowed to abstain. This process will occur in three ways. In an academic environment dominated by rigorous league tables, schools will be keen to bolster their rankings by encouraging high-achieving students to study Baccalaureate subjects rather than those deemed interesting by the

students themselves, or less academic. Similarly, parents concerned by the increasingly competitive scramble for university places will arguably nudge their children towards the Baccalaureate. Likewise, students themselves, having observed what amounts to a governmental stigmatisation of other subjects, will, subconsciously or otherwise, lean towards it.

“In an academic environment dominated by rigorous league tables, schools will be keen to bolster rankings by encouraging high achieving students to study baccalaureate subjects”

Crucially, in an age of educational cuts schools are unlikely to devote stretched funds to the arts or sport, two areas which rely upon consistent investment. Of course our imperilled economy needs a graduate workforce with grounding in traditional disciplines, but that does not necessarily mean students should be compelled to take them if their

abilities are more suitable elsewhere. It is a dangerous idea that schools are but factories whose production lines roll out white collar students for a white collar workplace. After all, students typically achieve better results and develop lifeenriching interests in subjects in which they are interested. More pressingly, the haemorrhaging of creative talent and the narrowing of the subject base does nothing to foster the kind of creative solutions needed to tackle the global crises such as environmental change. Indeed, this risks creation of a cultural vacuum in the wake of students being forced to abandon the arts so early in their school careers. This kind of thinking would deprive the world of burgeoning artistic talent, a state-sponsored abortion of future literature, art and music. When confronted on these issues by a caller to BBC Radio 5 Live, Gove’s response was patronising. He invited the caller to “construct your own league table” and frequently manipulated the caller’s words. Despite the criticism of the Baccalaureate discussed here, it is not fundamentally a bad idea - merely the

imposition of this new system in times of spending cuts is potentially destructive. Gove is right that schools have a duty to teach certain skills. Defying the onslaught of vocational qualifications which are granted equal academic credit, such as the much-pilloried McDonalds GCSE, traditional subjects do require protection. After all, even if children choose not to pursue education beyond GCSE level, certain basic skills are fundamental to general social interaction and sustainable domesticity. Moreover, these are skills that are all too often absent in many children’s domestic lives. The National Curriculum does an invaluable job in instilling these skills and for this it deserves high praise. One of the key benefits of the Baccalaureate, like the International Baccalaureate at sixth form level, is that it encourages students to continue subjects that they might otherwise drop: subjects which nurture different skills and test different abilities. Science demands precision, Languages foster cultural sensitivity, English exposes students to a canon of seminal works, whilst Mathematics expands

human possibilities. In this respect the English Baccalaureate will act as a progressive measure, opening up a kaleidoscope of opportunities both for sixth form subject choices and subsequently for university study. That does not necessarily mean, however, that prescriptive education is a panacea, or that it is suitable for every student. There comes a point at which the Government has to empower head teachers and pupils themselves to make their own choices about their education. The niggling irony of these reforms is that they arrive just a few months after Gove’s insistence that “headmasters need to be the captains of their own ships.” The point of education is that students themselves realise the merits and limitations of subjects and tailor their education accordingly, learning and adapting as they go. Of course, it is beneficial for students to have a wide subject grounding, the only question is how much government interference do we want to achieve it, and how constrictive might it be in times of austerity. Back to you Mr Gove.


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Exeposé week fourteen

Features

Peace at last for Sudan?

Helen Gale discusses the long awaited referendum on the secession of southern Sudan.

THE past week has been a milestone event in African history. On Sunday January 9 polling stations across southern Sudan opened to begin the long awaited referendum on the secession of southern Sudan from the North.

“Sudan like many other African countries is a product of its colonial legacy. Many of the failed states in Africa can partially be attributed to the boundaries which were drawn by the 19th century white colonialists” The week-long ballot, in which only southerners were eligible to participate, is widely predicted to approve independence and thus begin the process of dividing Africa’s largest country into a predominantly Arab-Muslim North and new Southern state. This will encompass over 200 ethnic groups with mainly

Christian or animists’ beliefs. The referendum is the culmination of the peace process which finally ended decades of civil war in 2005. The civil war, which began in 1955, between the North and South has dominated Sudan’s post-independence history. Ever since Sudan’s independence from Britain and Egypt in 1956, the South has been yearning for its own independent state. In 1972 there was a ten year hiatus in the conflict, during which the southern region enjoyed a level of autonomy, but the war was reignited in 1983 and continued until the American backed peace treaty in 1995. The human cost of this war and associated famine since 1983 is estimated at around two million lives. Sudan, like many other African countries is a product of its colonial past. Many of the failed states in Africa can partially be attributed to the boundaries which were drawn by the 19th century white colonialists. These borders, imposed during the ‘Scramble for Africa’ often took little notice of the realities on the ground, dividing ethnic groups, slicing through rivers and

lakes and throwing together people of different cultures, races and languages. However, if the Sudanese referendum achieves the majority needed for independence, South Sudan will become a rare exception in Africa: a country that has redrawn its colonial era borders. This has reignited the old debate over trying to hold together the cumbersome colonial borders which the continent inherited. The line of the African Union since independence has been that the inflicted borders are sacrosanct and instead of conflict over them it has called for Africa to unite. This era, however, may be drawing to an end as the expected independence of south Sudan may set a precedent for many other nations to seek secession. The results, being counted this week, are already indicating an overwhelming support in favour of secession, and where the 60% turnout rate needed was exceeded mid-week. South Sudan seems set to declare its independence on July 1. The country, which would become the 54th African state, already has its own flag and a new national anthem thanks to an X-Factor style talent show. However, beyond the fury of jubilation surrounding the ballot, the question remains as to whether there is real hope for lasting peace. In the short term it seems so. Despite some clashes during the week of the referendum there has been nothing like the full scale slide back into civil war that was initially predicted. The president of the North has announced that he will be the first to recognise the South. Furthermore, there is little motivation at the current time for the Southern leaders to restart the conflict having peacefully achieved their dream after decades of sacrifice. If the secession is granted at the polls this week, it is not the end of South Sudan’s struggles, merely a new beginning, albeit a free one. Amongst the manifold problems, the new state

will face the problem of drawing the dividing border. Areas are still in dispute with the North such as fertile and oil rich Abyei, the territory of the Misseriya nomad community who are refusing to be classified as northern or southern. Additionally, the widespread poverty of the region is likely to cause problems for its development. The South is far less developed than the North, a result of colonial policies and post-independence inequality from the government in the North. The fledgling country produces some shocking development statistics, such as an adult literacy rate of just 15% and only 20% of eligible children enrolling for primary education of which just 2% complete it. A further issue for South Sudan will

be its oil. The exportation of its oil will be South Sudan’s key to development. As a landlocked country, however, it will rely on the North to allow the pipe line to flow freely. The North stands to lose billions of dollars a year through

the secession. Nevertheless, the interdependence between North and South may ultimately hold Sudan together, with the south containing much of the

“The results, being counted this week, are already indicating an overwhelming support in favour of secession. South Sudan seems set to declare its independence on July 1” oil and the north’s possession of most of the infrastructure. With the results of the referendum not due till next month, Sudan, Africa and the world wait with baited breath to

see the outcome, and both the short and long term consequences of the ballot. Although South Sudan will face a tough start, let us hope it will be both a peaceful and prosperous one for a nation that has suffered so much.

Lifting the lid on a sensitive issue

The apparent problem of the sexual grooming of girls by men of Pakistani heritage has attracted much media attention, Ellie Purves asks if it is justified. AT the beginning of this month, The Times brought the worrying trend of the sexual grooming of young white girls by some men of Pakistani heritage to the attention of the public. These crimes have primarily affected areas across the north of England and have taken place for a number of years, but the problem has yet to be addressed due to the authorities’ fear of being branded racist. Such reluctance is cultural sensitivity gone mad. The former Home Secretary, Jack Straw, has spoken out in an attempt to address the root of the problem, but has been subsequently criticised for describing the issue as a “specific problem which involves Pakistani heritage men”. Previously, the ethnicities of

those involved have been overlooked to avoid such a backlash. One judge involved in the prosecution of two men of Pakistani heritage in Derby for the sexual exploitation of girls as young as twelve, for instance, referred to the ethnicities of the men and their victims as “coincidental.” Yet to ignore any trend in an investigation of criminal activity, including the ethnicity of offenders, must be considered an incredibly short sighted approach. This could limit the ability to prevent similar crimes from happening in the future; for any crime which repeatedly occurs to be tackled effectively, investigators have to look into its causes. It is obvious in this case that there are cultural issues which need to be considered.

Some – not all, there should be no blanket generalisation made here some groups of men of Pakistani heritage hold the view that western women are more sexually available than their Muslim counterparts. Liberal western attitudes to sex have spurred some men to take the view that white girls are morally loose and inferior – a view which apparently demeans the seriousness of sexual grooming and exploitation. The view that these girls are all ‘whores’ anyway seems to make the abusers believe it is acceptable to use them for sex and pass girls around groups of older men of Pakistani heritage. Often the offenders’ view of Muslim girls, who are traditionally expected to remain virgins until they marry,

is that they should be treated with the respect one would offer to a mother or sister. For these men to view young Muslim women on unequal levels with white women in terms of morality, and subsequently worth, is actually a demonstration of extreme racism on the part of the offenders. Race is an issue then. However, it is the likes of Jack Straw who risk being branded as racist for an attempt to examine the attitudes which have come about through cultural difference and present a bigger picture of these abhorrent crimes to the public. Keith Vaz, MP for Leicester East, is one of those to speak out against Jack Straw’s recent comments. Vaz has accused Straw of stereotyping a whole community and maintains that “this is

not a cultural problem”. The danger of highlighting race in such an issue is that it increases the risk authorities will focus search for this type of crime within a specific ethnic community. The argument is that if you focus on offenders of one race you may end up missing others of different ethnic backgrounds and therefore alter the statistics and distort the bigger picture. This is a danger which must be considered. However, the particular crimes highlighted by recent investigations do have clear cultural origins which cannot be ignored if such harmful attitudes, particularly those of some Pakistani heritage offenders towards white girls, are to be eradicated.


12

january 24 2011

Features

Exeposé

Stuck in the Middleton with you When sensationalism Davina Cameron Gale thinks about the nation’s preparation for gets serious a royal treat. ONE would think that we’ve come a long way since Jane Austen’s time. However, I would say that 2011 has already been pervaded by a distinct whiff of Pride and Prejudice, with its questions of marrying for love versus marrying for money and the pure, unadulterated social climbing of the novel’s matriarch, Mrs Bennet. I’m referring, of course, to the scale of response to the news that our future king, William, is engaged to marry his civilian sweetheart, Kate Middleton. I would hazard a guess that, upon hearing the news of the impending nuptials, there was a great exhale of disappointment from latter day Mrs Bennets across the country. “If only Ginny had gone to St Andrews/been a brunette/networked in Mahiki with more vigour”, you’d hear them say. If only indeed. The announcement has triggered a fascinating national response, from the girls who truly believed that they would get to meet and marry Prince William one day

“Then there are the rest of us: from the antiroyalists who really couldn’t care less, to those who think it’s all rather nice and bear absolutely no grudge towards the happy couple” to the angry women who would have been the mother to the future Queen of England, had the opportunity not been snatched from their grasp. Then there are the rest of us: from the anti-royalists who really couldn’t care less, to those who think it’s all rather nice and bear

absolutely no grudge towards the happy couple. Both of these latter groups can of course watch the former, the disgruntled climbers of the greasy aristocratic pole, with amused detachment. We can also appreciate what a fascinating insight this wedding fever provides into the modern face of the British royal family and our class system. You can barely open the Daily Mail (not that I ever do, you understand) without coming across a reference to how ‘normal’ and stoically ‘middle class’ Kate is. There are constant sharp jibes about the fact that her mother is a former air hostess and that her uncle was once involved in some mild drug offences. There are constant, endless dissections about her choice of clothes. That Kate chose to wear a high street brand for the engagement announcement was considered a newsworthy item for weeks. For an ordinary girl to marry a prince makes for a wonderful modern day fairytale. Kate’s humble origins shouldn’t be overstated. To be educated at Marlborough and St Andrews isn’t exactly the same as starting your life on a council estate, before being plucked from the common folk and transformed into a queen-in-waiting. But her middle class origin does allow the press to create a juicier story and for more bitter vitriol to be directed at the couple – Kate in particular – by all those that have a chip on their shoulder, either about the royals in general or just the fact that Kate is a pretty, well-brought up girl with no obvious flaws or scandals in her wake. Pictures of Kate modelling in a university fashion show have been bandied about. The supposed fact that this was the night and outfit which helped her secure William is frequently reported with a knowing tone (so it’s the sight of a girl in her underwear that gets a girl a prince? Thank God for that searing clarity). There are also comments from ‘inside’ (ie. invented) sources,

which claim that Kate was always a ‘good time girl’ at university who knew, wait for it, how to have a good time. Unfortunately this seems to be a habit of the British press, which chooses someone - usually someone female - puts them on a pedestal to

“Kate’s humble origins shouldn’t be overstated. To be educated at Marlborough and St Andrews isn’t exactly the same as starting your life Declan Cooney, longtime on a council estate” build them up and then tears them down. Kate Middleton has already endured the patronising nickname, ‘Waity Katie’, for years and constant references to the fact that she doesn’t have a job. I’ve come across several articles with titles that focus on the subject of ‘How to bag a prince in 2011’: ‘If Kate can do it, so can you!’ Apparently to bag an aristocratic man (and royalty if you’re really keen) requires dedication to the task with ardent fervour. Military precision is needed when you’re targeting every polo field or shooting day and night out at Boujis, so don’t enter into it half-heartedly. Some people – and their mothers with aristocratic aspirations – will read these kinds of articles with interest, and why not? There’s nothing wrong with aiming high. But spare a thought for Kate, who is, by some, being treated very unfairly. She is after all, just an ordinary girl who happened to fall in love with the man who will one day be King of England. Why not allow a happy ending, for once, in this very modern fairytale.

fan of EastEnders, thinks about the soap’s most controversial plotline.

UPON arrival in Exeter last September, I struggled to find a single person who regularly watched EastEnders. A couple of people had heard of the Mitchells and The Queen Vic rang a couple of bells, but otherwise I pretty much accepted that I’d have to iPlayer solo for the foreseeable future. Now? Quite the opposite. The New Year plotline of the BBC soap, which sees tragedy-prone Ronnie Branning lose her baby to cot death and exchange it for the newborn of her neighbours, the Moons, has got everyone talking. Glad as I am that Kat and Alfie now count as valid subjects of conversation, such attention must be ridiculous. EastEnders has never been known to shy away from controversial topics. The BBC Director of Vision, Jana Bennett, has pointed to the soap’s “long history of tackling difficult issues” in response to the media storm which surrounds this recent plot. Such a description puts the EastEnders stories somewhat mildly. One only needs to look at Ronnie’s history on the show to see EastEnders’ tendency to favour grim topics. She’s been abandoned by her mother and bullied by her father, watched her daughter – who was adopted away at a young age - get run over by a car prior to a reunion, suffered a miscarriage and seen the love of her life shot in the head. We’re talking about the show which celebrated 25 years on the air with a live screening of the death of one character, another admit to being abused and a third confessing murder. Why is this plot deemed less acceptable than any other; does this mean that rape, murder and drug abuse are somehow less unsettling? Opposition to the storyline would argue that the screening of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is not the problem, but rather the way this topic has been handled. Some users of Mumsnet, the parenting website which has offered a particularly vocal challenge to the plot, have criticised the BBC for using such a sensitive topic for entertainment. In a discussion forum about the storyline, HereMeRoar picked up on EastEnders’ apparent “need to sensationalise cot

death”. The post goes on to argue that “They [the BBC] missed the chance to do a genuinely good thing in raising awareness both about the risk factors and about the experiences of bereaved parents, and they missed it because this swap has overshadowed everything”. HereMeRoar appears to be under the impression that EastEnders is a documentary rather than a drama. Soap operas do consciously sensationalise: one can’t expect to watch an episode free from embellishment. Defenders of the plot have not argued that Ronnie Branning’s actions are typical of bereaved mothers. True, the programme doesn’t represent issues completely realistically: but it doesn’t claim to either. Whilst someone who wants to find out about the complexities of SIDS cannot turn to soaps, I refuse to accept that EastEnders has damaged awareness of infant death through this plotline. A month ago I, for one, had no perception of this syndrome which annually claims the lives of thousands of newborns. Do we not owe EastEnders something for drawing attention to this awful area? The press attention may give the involved charities and families a chance to communicate how vital it is that this issue is researched properly. In an interview with the BBC, former TV broadcaster Anne Diamond argued that the EastEnders writers “crossed the line” with the storyline. As someone who lost a son to SIDS in the early 90s, Diamond knows better than anyone the crushing effects of the syndrome. But a fear of pushing acceptable boundaries in soaps and reluctance to represent harrowing situations isn’t the way forward. Where should we draw the said line? Should soaps only be permitted to show topics that won’t potentially offend or trigger difficult memories? To face, at least to some extent, life’s challenges through the media gives a better understanding of how to cope if, God forbid, we are ever confronted with them. Although EastEnders is an infamously dramatic television programme, recent reports claim that scriptwriters have been forced to reschedule and depict the conclusion of this storyline in the least controversial way possible. Critics 1, EastEnders 0.


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and Corporate Finance. If you’re interested in joining a world-leading professional services firm that will challenge, develop and reward you in equal measure, visit www.deloitte.co.uk/graduates to see what’s possible. It’s your future. How far will you take it?

© 2010 Deloitte LLP. Deloitte LLP is an equal opportunities employer.

© 2010 Deloitte LLP. Deloitte LLP is an equal opportunities employer.


14

Lifestyle

january 24 2011

Exeposé

Laura Le Brocq & Clare Mullins - lifestyle@exepose.com

The future’s bright, the future’s tangerine

Esther Privett takes a look at our fashion icons for the year ahead. 2011, in fashion terms, is set to be huge. Over the last few years we have been establishing new names in the fashion industry such as Alexa Chung, Victoria Beckham, Olivia Palermo, and the newly heralded French Vogue Editor Emmanuelle Alt. We don’t know what changes Alt will make to Carine Roitfeld’s infamous Vogue but some of the following people and trends are sure to feature. To begin with, 2011 is bound to see the emergence of new talent. In the March issue of British Vogue we will be finding out who wins the British Fashion Council/ Vogue Fashion Fund. The fund was set up just over a year ago in order to support new fashion designers who deserve recognition. The obvious winner from the line-up is Christopher Kane, but having already won the New Designer of The

Year at the British Fashion Awards in 2007, perhaps Vogue will wish to support a lesser known talent. The pieces showcased are incredible, from Osman Yousefzada’s highly structured elegant dresses to Charlotte Olympia’s quirky shoes. You can see all the entrants on Vogue TV talking about their designs. The model of the year must surely be Karlie Kloss. She’s starred in campaigns from Aquascutum to Dior. However, there are some lesser known models emerging, such as Constance Jablonski. At 20 she has already appeared in an impressive number of advertising campaigns and been photographed by the likes of Regan Cameron and Steven Meisal. She has also appeared on the cover of Vogue Hellas and Vogue Deutch but has not yet been a British Vogue cover girl. Perhaps 2011 will be her year. In terms of women in the limelight we are surely going to be seeing a lot more of Natalie Portman after the release of Black Swan. For the Christian Dior screening

she wore a black Dior dress and she is also the new face of Miss Dior Cherie. Her fashion credentials do not stop with Dior. She wore a beautiful clean line smock dress with golden cuffs by Vionnet as she won the 2011 Desert Palm Achievement Actress Award. Though already a well established actress, Port-

It’s not all plain sale-ing

man is not a fashion icon; 2011 may see her blossom into one. One of the biggest fashion questions for 2011 is what dress Kate Middleton will choose for her wedding day. Bookies are backing the Diana dress designer Bruce Oldifield. It seems pretty certain that she will reject designers such as Vera Wang in favour of a British maker, but it seems unlikely she will opt for Oldifield. After receiving Diana’s old ring the likelihood of her going for a double Diana look seems small. Nude was a huge trend for last year but we seem to be emerging from this. Many fashion designers have been embracing tangerine and after Victoria Beckham’s appearance in one of her own orange designs this looks to be something that will hit the high street. However, we cannot reject white as a classic tone for the summer. Dolce and Gabbana’s incredible spring/summer collection was almost completely white.

They kept their classic shapes and high-waisted shorts and managed to incorporate both a sense of purity and sexual energy. The duo said their inspiration was a bride who changed her mind and cut up all of her wedding clothes to make her wardrobe. The pieces are exquisite and the thrown-in contrasting black outfits evoke an Odette/Odile moment. Finally, this year could see the birth of future fashion icons. Victoria Beckham’s fourth child is due in the summer and of course we must anticipate some truly beautiful outfits if said baby is a girl. With such stylish parents as Orlando Bloom and Victoria Secret’s model Miranda Kerr, the newborns of 2011 could lead a new generation of style sensations. Pictures from left: Christopher Kane’s Galaxy print silk dress, £1,420 at net-a-porter.com, Constance Jablonski on the cover of Russian Vogue, Victoria Beckham in tangerine, zimbio.com.

A dream or a nightmare? The January sales experience is a thin line between the two, Jessica Gay concedes. SO you’ve found that perfect skirt eagerly waiting for you on the hanger in Topshop. It’s the one that you dreamt about owning, it’s the one you know will complete your wardrobe and the one you must, without a doubt, buy right this instant. Your heart is pounding as you gently sift through the rail to find your size, it’s there fervently expecting to be picked up, waiting for the moment when it leaves the shop and graces your curves at your best friend’s party. You take a quick sneak at the price, praying that it won’t break your bank balance. You glance, sweaty palms, throbbing head, heart...slowly...breaking. It shatters. Your balance won’t be the only thing that gets broken if your mum hears your justification about the lack of money in your account. You return the skirt swiftly back to the rail, wiping aside a tear and storm out of the shop trying to convince yourself that the skirt was the wrong shade of blue. You wait months, it seems like years, for Christmas to be over and for the sales to roll in. You rush back to Topshop in desperation, barging an innocent old lady on the way in, hunting savagely for that

same skirt which slipped your clutches last time. You find it, 50% off, you do a mini celebration dance, and you rush to the checkout chucking your money at the sales assistant, and fly out of the shop on cloud nine. Its moments like these that make the January sales totally worth it. Very well, you may have nabbed yourself your dream skirt and countless other spontaneous buys at cheaper prices but are the sales really all that they are cracked up to be? Very often, and certainly to the average student they are not, as these so called ‘sale prices’ are pretty much at the top end of our budget. The standard

price of clothes is so expensive that the everyday 18-24 year old essentially must live in cast offs in order to afford to feed themselves for a week. Ok, so maybe we are not at the point of starvation but you get the point. As so many prices are constantly on

the up, the sale price is now, more often than not, just the standard price of the item. As such, year after year the expectant sale shopper gets more disappointed as they get less and less for their money. Every year it is harder to find that ‘bargain’ and every year it is not just the normal price of the item that is ridiculous, but the sale price too. Certainly it seems everything associated with ‘The Sales’ is getting more and more ridiculous, from the burst of adverts onto our screens as soon as the clock strikes midnight on Boxing Day morning, to the ludicrous hour that shoppers arise just to queue outside of

a shop! Not to mention the hours wasted queuing once inside just to buy that one item. In any normal situation such behaviour would be condemned as lunacy yet for some reason the excuse of ‘The Sales’ makes such crazy behaviour seemingly ‘normal.’ Most definitely ‘The Sales’ can have an effect on some like the full moon to a werewolf. A once timid and shy girl can become rampant and aggressive as she battles past the competition, guns blazing, to reach her prize. In any normal circumstances we could probably be arrested for grievous bodily harm as we burst past people sometimes ‘accidentally on purpose’ thumping that lady who got there first. So yes, you may have that skirt but was it worth the bags under your eyes, the bruises and the revelation that you are partly psychotic? Probably not. Nevertheless every year we go to the sales all the same and every year we unleash that hidden side of us, the lunatic shopper. The sales may be hell but if you’re committed it’s a small price to pay for that smirk on your face when you know that you beat the others to it.


15

Exeposé week fourteen

Wouldn’t it be great if...

“We did away with Horoscopes?” Cyan Turan, Lifestyle’s columnist, forecasts the demise of the horoscope.

NOW that the Christmas decorations are back in the attic and the champagne hangover is a hazy memory, writers of all publications are singing the dawn of a New Year, forecasting absolute rubbish for all those whose daily lives are guided by none other than the media’s interpretation of the star sign under which they were born. How on earth horoscopes merit pages in national newspapers and magazines is beyond me. Graduates from the Politician’s School of Fraudulent Activity, horoscope writers can’t seriously believe in the twaddle that they write. Have you ever noticed that you’re experiencing the same financial woes as every twelfth person you know? Nope, thought not. Call me a cynic (who isn’t these days?) but I, for the sake of human intellectual development, hope to God that there’s not a single soul on earth who reads their horoscope with any illusions of grandeur any more. January is a perilous time for reading horoscopes. Not only are they everywhere but they also purport to tell you what’s in store for the next 12 months (‘What’s in the stars for your zodiac sign this year?’). Not content with giving you monthly or weekly updates, you get a nice little rundown of your life for the next year in about 100 words. Comprehensively well-informed by the movements of Venus, this year I can expect to be mischievous in August under my Taurean star sign. Never one to doubt, and in the name of research, I read on. Big mistake. Apparently, due to my love of good food, 2011 will be the year that I contract throat inflammation and laryngitis. I inform my boyfriend, who reminds me that he is also

Campus Style OUR roving photographer and Lifestyle team bring you the best style on campus! Whether it’s a floral playsuit, ripped jeans and an Exeter hoody or a classic trench, New Year style on campus is nothing if not diverse. Style Spotter grabbed a slice of the action in the first spot of sunshine of the year. [Centre] Name: Studying: What [Left]she’s wearing: Name: Victoria Stuart Studying: French, 4th year. Did you make any New Year’s resolutions? “No, because I never manage to keep them!”

Taurus, and we foresee a period during which our throats are both so swollen that communication becomes impossible. This would be fine by me, if it wasn’t for that burning ball of perennial optimism, otherwise known as the Sun, expanding my ‘professional options’ at around the same time. Goodness knows the calamity that might ensue. Thankfully, most sane people are aware that this is, of course, complete nonsense. I don’t dispute that star signs are derived from the zodiac, which is fundamentally an elliptic coordinate system. What I resent is that the popularised personality guessing-games that have become associated with the signs of the zodiac and perpetrated by the media distort the scientific basis of this branch of astrology. I wish some of the things that are written would come true, but there is no factual support for the accuracy of horoscopes and therefore no good reason why you should waste valuable minutes of your life reading them. There is no element of truth involved in horoscopes and I know this for certain, given that the star sign I fall under actually varies from publication to publication. I call myself a Taurus, but in actual fact, my May 21 birthday is on the cusp, so I could really be Gemini. In the past this has led to sad and fairly deranged attempts to assimilate the best parts of each horoscope in order to fashion a perfect life for myself. This practice proved to be as pathetically futile as it sounds, but it does demonstrate the ridiculousness of the horoscope as a medium of pseudoontology. I have often wondered how upstanding publications get away with

publishing such psycho-babble. The best answer I have come up with so far is that horoscopes are written for the period ahead, and nobody I know actually goes back and reviews their week/ month/year to check for horoscope correlation and anomalous results. Thus the miraculously incorrect prediction goes unnoticed, forgotten and unaccountable. Can you imagine the shock of your personality functioning in a way that the stars didn’t dictate? There is a pervading sense that horoscopes are just a bit of fun, but I can’t help but see their presence as a sign that they are still in demand, as if people would rather read a fictitious story about a life that they will probably never lead, written by someone who they will probably never meet. We should do away with horoscopes because they are a fallacy. My career prospects don’t look good because Mystic Meg decided that Mars is in conflict with Jupiter; if anything, they look good because I’m writing this column. Luck isn’t pre-destined, we have to fight for it, and horoscopes are symbolic of the pervading complacency that plagues our society. I’d probably be willing to bet money on ending this year free from laryngitis and if my ‘professional options’ (sounds ominous) expand, then it’ll be because I went to an interview of some description. If you do still read and believe in horoscopes, then I hope the stars spell out a nice narrative for you. If you happen to be Libra, you have the pleasure of looking forward to some ‘weird health complaints’ and any Sagittarians should watch out for their ubiquitous ‘expanding waistlines’. Happy New Year!

Lifestyle

New Year, new you?

New Year’s resolutions are doomed from the moment they start, writes Francesca Morosini. THERE is one clear flaw in the idea of New Year’s resolutions which I have identified: the timing. Although at first the logic appears to make sense (new year, new start) the beginning of January is quite possibly the worst time to be trying to drastically change your lifestyle. For a start, Christmas has only just ended. It seems to fade quicker every year, and by January is forgotten apart from the discount decorations piled in the front of shops, but it still has some power. One of the most common resolutions is to diet and lose weight, but with half a turkey shoved in the freezer and mountains of cheap chocolates as gifts from relatives you never see, just after Christmas is not the time to be attempting a new healthy eating plan. And it’s hard to be motivated to lose weight when you know you have nothing to dress up for – it’s a long time until any real celebrations come round and in the meantime you’ll be living in about six layers of oversized jumpers in order to save on heating. No-one is going to notice if you lose weight – or put it on. “It’s Winter” is actually a surprisingly effective excuse for eating more; you need to take care of yourself and stay warm, and shedding pounds probably won’t help with that. Nor do you want to go jogging on a freezing winter morning, so motivation to start exercising might dwindle and quickly disappear. So it’s not the right time to be considering losing weight. In fact, most common New Year’s resolutions require a lot more time and a much more relaxed atmosphere than we get in the new year. Spending more time with the family, giving up a bad habit, getting yourself out of debt… none of these are things you want to attempt at the start of January. As harsh as it sounds, after a long holiday where all the family you forgot you had were squished into one house to pull crackers, arguing about

what to watch on the telly and yelling at the kids for playing their games too loud, you’ve probably had enough of ‘quality family time’. Sure, it would be nice to be around more and not always lost in work, but perhaps a little work-based break first would help this seem like a more welcoming idea. Bad habits always increase when we’re stressed so they’re not about to disappear when all the hassle of getting back into a thankless and sleep-deprived routine kick off, along with all the New Year themed sorting out and the aftermath of Christmas sorting out. And although it might be a good time to write up a new budget (and stick to it), getting out of debt will be slow work when you’ve just spent all your money on overpriced gift sets for everyone you know and have still ended up with nothing you need. The way I see it, January is just a bad time to start rebooting your life. If we want New Year’s resolutions to stick, we need to begin them at a time that isn’t actually New Year. Getting off to a strong start makes you more likely to peservere over the coming months, even when things do get tough. So my suggestion is that we should save these promises for summer. All the parties and beach trips are great motivation to slim down a bit and with the heat, you just don’t get as hungry in summer, nor do you feel the need to fill yourself with soup and pie just to keep warm. Exercising in the gentle morning sun is also much more appealing than venturing into sub-zero temperatures for a jog, just to get rained on, splattered in mud and laughed at. Especially for us students, the long holidays are a prime time to prioritise with our abandoned families, work out our budget and quit whatever we need to quit. If we want to succeed with these resolutions, we need to start our strongest. And that’s not, surprisingly, at the beginning of the year, but halfway through. [Centre] Name: Lucy Preece Studying: French and German, 4th year. Did you make any New Year’s resolutions? “To give up smoking - it’s not going so well!” We love your hat! “I got it in the River Island sale for a tenner!” [Right] Name: Ollie Bevan Studying: French and German, 4th year. Did you make any New Year’s resolutions? “I did not, I’m a sinner!”


january 24 2011 Exeposé

16

Lifestyle

Something to roast about

Tom Goodsir waxes lyrical on the five pound Firehouse roast.

IT is no coincidence that on the seventh day God elected to rest. He could, of course, have created unicorns or a second moon, he could have made us a few more Jude Laws or, if he’d really put his mind to it, finished the Forum Project. Instead, God decided he’d kick back, chill out and enjoy his Sunday morning. God made a spot on decision: a good Sunday is a Sunday wasted. Don’t do that bit of reading you didn’t do during the week, don’t go for your New Year’s Resolution run; crack open The Sunday Times, fry up a bacon sandwich (or two) and while the hours away. Sundays, to quote the oracle on all such matters (Lionel Richie), should be “easy”. If you do feel obliged to leave the house on Sunday and a lazy one in the confines of your own bedroom is not quite “what you’re looking for” then there is only one other place to be. The Old Firehouse, just off Longbrook Street, is one of Exeter’s best known secrets. Famous for its challengingly sized pizzas, shabby-chic service and Hogwartsesque ambience, The Old Firehouse is a favourite for a relaxed evening amongst wizards and muggles alike. What is perhaps a lesser known secret is that, from around 12.30 every Sunday the Old Firehouse offers its ‘Firehouse Roast’ for (wait for it) just five of your finest English pounds. Already, I can tell you are suspi-

cious. Restaurants in the UK are infamous for adhering very strictly the law of ‘you pay for what you get’. You pay a fiver at most places for food and you’ll end up with something expertly defrosted (Spoons) or something amateurishly deep-fried (McDonalds). It’s the two extremes of the scale of food evil: neither are good for you, neither are tasty... although both do the job very well when cooking is too much to bear. However, I can assure you The Old Firehouse bucks this trend with style. Find yourself a seat in some nook or cranny on one of the three floors (being careful to avoid Ron and Hermione, they’re always up to something) and cast your eyes over the menu. The menu is pretty dynamic and tends to vary week in week out but you will normally find some combination of beef, pork, turkey or chicken in tandem with a more than tempting (no sarcasm) veggie offering. Though, before we even start discussion of food, get some drinks in. I can recommend very little except the Mulled Cider because I’ve never had anything else. It’s warming, sweet, and spicy; it’s something stupid like £1.40 for a mug’s worth. The ‘minimal’ alcohol content should nurse that hangover nicely too. For me, beef proved to be a fabulous choice (just gnarly and meaty enough without being overcooked) and is served with everything you could want: a clev-

er broccoli-cauliflower cheese combo, carrots, peas, horseradish and, the best thing to come from the North since Vernon Kay: Yorkshire pudding. The potatoes, as is true for all good roasties, can only be described oxymoronically; soft yet crispy, buttery but firm, potatoes of wisdom, potatoes of foolishness. The portion size (though you’d expect some profit-margin-preserving stinginess) is more than adequate, though if you really are hanging you can ‘go super size’ for an extra two-fifty. Cries of ‘I couldn’t possibly eat another thing’ will ring and then will be hastily withdrawn when the dessert menu appears. Obviously, to be a ‘pudding’ it must have some chocolate content; go for the clotted cream smothered fudgechocolate-wondercake (around £3) and wash it all down with that third cider. The Old Firehouse really is a winner. You can go with two, you can go with eight; you can do it in half an hour or half a day. You’d be hard pushed to find a better atmosphere in England, let alone in Exeter and yes, I’ll say it; for a fiver, you’d be hard pushed to find a Sunday roast much better either. Having said this I simply can’t recommend the Old Firehouse to anyone and everyone: if all you lot decide you want to go this Sunday, I will never get a seat.

Fishy Fintastic

Head to the sea with Marie Notermans. FISH. Most people would have a significantly less enthusiastic reaction to the word than if I said “steak”. Many associate a ‘fishy’ taste with food that is less than fresh, assume it is more expensive than a veggie or meat alternative, and a complicated food to cook at home. But is it? I, for one, am certainly guilty of ignoring fish on a menu in favour of a meat dish, but when put on the spot in one of the country’s best fish restaurants, it was not quite so avoidable. Loch Fyne Restaurants began as an oyster bar on the banks of the eponymous loch started by two friends with a passion for fresh, local oysters. Following immense success with tourists, in 1998 they teamed up with a pair of restaurant entrepreneurs and began to expand into outlets all over the UK, a process that is still continuing. Nowadays, the menu is far more than just oysters, and not without alternative pasta and meat dishes. There are influences from as far afield as India and Japan, ranging from that British staple of fish and chips, to Goan curry, to grilled lemon sole. The flavours are fresh and exciting, with a seasonal ‘Warm and Hearty’ selection for cold days. Not only this, the restaurant also has a solid commitment to sourcing sustainable produce as locally as possible. I had a beautifully simple, sashimi

Comfort food for the Winter mood

Mushroom risotto and chocolate pudding: Esther Privett serves up the perfect night in.

RISOTTO is one of the most comforting meals you can make. It is a savoury porridge that requires not much more effort and only a little more patience. The secret to getting a good risotto is making sure it is creamy but not wet. Most people have different tastes when it comes to

risotto, so it is just a matter of trial and error until you achieve risotto perfection. A similar thing can be said when it comes to quantities. In general, a handful of risotto rice is enough for supper but if you are like me and have little hands, or a large appetite, you might want to go for two handfuls. Remember that the rice

expands by quite a lot so what looks like barely enough for a sparrow will turn into something a little more substantial. The choice of what kind of rice you use is also up to you. Generally it is best to go for Arborio rice but if all you have is basmati then this will do - it will just

have a slightly different texture. The type of stock you use also makes a difference to the outcome of your risotto. Homemade stock tends to be a bit weaker and less salty so you might want to add some packet stock as well. For best results I would go for Marigold Bouillon stock. It has quite a distinctive flavour and

you can buy it in tubs rather than cubes, which mean you can alter the strength to taste. Finally, what you add to your risotto is subject to your fancy. Adding leftovers is a good way of emptying the fridge, but pretty much anything goes with risotto. Here I have added mushrooms. The texture works well with the rice, and some chicken. Smoked salmon is delicious but it depends how far your budget can stretch. Also, according to the Italians one should never have parmesan with seafood, but it tastes good, so I do it anyway. For the risotto: A large knob of butter A small onion or about 4 spring onions A generous handful of Arborio rice A glass white wine (optional) About 500ml of stock 6 medium mushrooms Some cooked shredded chicken or smoked salmon Parsley Parmesan • Melt half the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat whilst you chop the onions finely before adding them to the butter. • Let them soften for a few minutes be-

fore adding the risotto rice. Quickly mix the two together and allow the rice to soak up the moisture before pouring in the wine, followed by the mushrooms. • Be patient and as the rice soaks up the liquid add the stock a ladle at a time. You might not need all of the stock so don’t just pour it all in at once. Keep stirring to stop the rice from sticking for approximately 20 minutes. • When the rice looks cooked and is soft to chew add the chicken or salmon and warm it through. Next, stir in the remaining butter to make the risotto creamy. Finally sprinkle over the chopped parsley and parmesan. COWPAT PUDDING may sound repulsive but the dessert itself is delicious. It gets its name because, well, it looks like a cowpat. The chocolate cake mixture rises to the top and the runny sauce drips to the bottom. You will need to find a few friends to share it with, though no more than six if you want to feel at all satisfied.

For the sauce: 10 fluid ounces just boiled water 4oz muscovado or dark brown sugar 2 tbsp. cocoa powder For the cake: 4oz butter

style (read raw) starter with melt-inthemouth salmon, soy and wasabi. I am not a great fan of the flaky, often dry texture of cooked salmon, but raw and fresh, the flavour was delicate and the texture smooth and buttery. Pan-fried sea bass fillets with ginger, garlic and sweet chilli followed. The portion might have been far too large but it was well-cooked and warming without being rich or sickly sweet. Total price for two courses for two people and a shared pudding? £35, thanks to some savvy voucher searching beforehand. Although Loch Fyne is not comparable with standard high street chains, it is certainly affordable for a special evening, and certainly worth checking for discounts before you go! Living in the British Isles, one often forgets how fresh seafood can be, but bearing in mind you are never more than a few hours from the coast, it is certainly worth a second glance. In the supermarket, the fish counter is definitely a place to visit, particularly with a student budget – fish like mackerel, haddock and salmon are easily comparable with chicken price-wise. They are also surprisingly quick and simple to cook well: white fish react well to simple lemon and salt, whilst darker fish such as salmon can take stronger flavours such as soy or balsamic vinegar. Grill it, bake it, fry it it’s sure to impress the tastebuds.

4oz caster sugar (preferably vanilla caster sugar) 2 eggs 4oz self-raising flour 2 tbsp. cocoa powder • Preheat the oven at 180 °c (slightly less if a fan oven). Mix the sauce ingredients together and leave to stand whilst you get on with the cake. • Cream together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. It is best to do this with an electric mixer but a wooden spoon will work just as well, only it takes a bit longer. • Next, add the eggs one at a time and beat in. If the mixture begins to curdle add some of the flour. When the eggs are completely amalgamated add the flour and the cocoa powder and mix. • Splodge the cake mixture into a round oven proof dish deep enough to allow for the mixture to rise. Don’t bother to spread it out flat, this is not a pudding for perfectionists. • Finally, pour over the sauce mixture and place in the oven for about 35 minutes. • Serve hot with ice cream for the full winter-blues-beating effect.


17

Exeposé week fourteen

Lifestyle

Living with HIV

Clare Mullins, Lifestyle Editor, talks to a university student about the challenges of living with HIV.

WITH sexually transmitted diseases, there is one in particular that evokes the strongest of reactions: the Hypo-Immunodeficiency Virus or HIV. Over 33.3 million people are estimated to be living with HIV or AIDs but few people in the UK ever believe their lives will be one of those touched by the virus. With the development of Antiretroviral drugs, the virus is no longer a death sentence and, from the outside, people living with HIV can appear to lead quite normal lives. This has led to the misconception that HIV is no longer an issue in the UK. However, the virus is still spreading rapidly. In 2009, in the UK alone, over 6,600 people were newly diagnosed as HIV positive and, according to the HPA, in the London population more than 1 in every 500 people is HIV positive. Alile*, a first year student, was diagnosed as HIV positive in her first term at university. A victim of chance, she caught the virus from her mother at birth but remained unaware of her condition. Like most people living with HIV, Ali has chosen to keep her condition secret for fear of the reaction she’ll receive. The stigma surrounding the disease is a result of the way that it emerged into the public consciousness in the 1980s. Initially prevalent in the homosexual community and amongst drug users, HIV was portrayed as a shameful disease, contracted in a shameful manner. Whilst attitudes may have altered and in some cases softened there is still significant stigma attached to being HIV positive. This can take the form of discrimination at work or in the healthcare system. It can even, according to ‘People Living with HIV Stigma’, result in violence. In a recent survey, 21% of those asked had suffered abuse as a result of their positive status. Over 12% had also suffered physical assault. Much of the prejudice that those living with HIV suffer is as a result of ignorance about the condition. Since the emergence of HIV and AIDs in the 1980s, government organisations and charities have been trying to com-

bat the myths that surround the virus. Catching HIV from a toilet seat, a razor blade, contracting through spitting or biting, all were once common misconceptions. Millions of pounds have been spent in schools and the wider society to educate the population on the basic HIV facts. It can be transmitted in three ways: through unprotected intercourse, by contaminated blood or needles, and from mother to child. However, even within families where a member is living with HIV, misinformation can easily be found. Ali’s sister advised her to tell her dentist about her diagnosis, “so that he can wear double gloves.” The falsehood that you can catch HIV at the dentist has survived despite no recorded cases of infection in either direction. Some of the reactions she received had even less foundation: “When I told my aunt she was like, ‘So you can’t play contact sports then?’” Even with all the facts it is often hard for people to overcome their prejudice about the disease. A survey for the Office of Public Management found that whilst 81% of those questioned knew that it was impossible to catch HIV by sharing a cup, only 27% would actually be willing to do so. In addition, 11% of those asked said they would stop being friends with a person if they found out they were HIV positive. These results are made more surprising when the age range of the participants is considered between 14 and 18 years old. The prejudice against HIV is not generational and will not fade away without intervention. The stigma that is faced by those living with HIV may not be the same as that faced in the 1980s but it is no less damaging. The casual way in which AIDs can often become the subject of jokes or a sick punchline, allows real prejudice to slip by unchallenged.

Ali has learned not to take such comments personally. As the raw shock that accompanied her diagnosis has rescinded Ali has found it easier to deal with insensitive remarks: “In that situation I would just have to hold it in and that made me want to cry. Now when people say something stupid, I’m just like “Okay, anyway… You need to get clued up.”

The Eddystone Trust, a South West based charity, not only provides education about HIV but also much needed support for those living with HIV. In a society where HIV is still a challenging topic, openness about the disease is difficult. “I feel like I can’t tell people because you never know how they’re going to receive it. I think the best advice I was given is that you can’t un-tell anyone. Once they know, they know. There’s no going back. You have to think really carefully about who you tell.” Like many of those living with HIV,

Ali often feels isolated by her status, “When you can’t talk about it, it feels like you have a mask over your face. Everything has to be filtered.” Only her immediate family and three close friends know of her diagnosis but even sharing with those people can be difficult, “A lot of the time I find myself playing the part, pretending I’m fine.” Places like The Eddystone Trust provide a space where those with HIV can share the challenges they face in their everyday lives: practical difficulties with medication and relationships, deeper worries about the impact HIV will have on their future options. At university, Ali’s HIV positive status has made many aspects of her life difficult. After her initial diagnosis she had to take the year out of university, “I was just like, I can’t go back to university, catch up with everything, study and deal with the side effects at the same time.” Now that she’s returned, keeping the condition private from her flatmates has proved challenging. “Taking the tablets is always tricky. I can’t take them in the morning because they make me feel sick. I have to take them at ten but if I’m going out and I drink, it makes me feel sick. I have an alarm on my phone so every time I need to take my tablets it’ll remind me. But then it got to the point where my housemates were like: ‘Why do you always have an alarm at 10pm?’” She is reluctant to talk about the way it has impacted on her relationships. When asked how it has affected her ability to become close to anybody she replied simply, “I can’t. I’m finding it so hard”. The subject of safe sex is something Ali feels strongly about, “If you meet someone when you’re out, you’re not going to know their secrets. You can’t.

I know it’s meant to be about trust but sometimes you’ve got to put yourself first. I mean, there’s no going back from it, is there?” On this point the statistics are particularly powerful, of the estimated 86,500 living with HIV in the UK over a quarter are unaware of their condition. Education about safer sex and early testing is, therefore, vitally important, not only for the health of the infected person but also to reduce the spread of infection. The earlier the medical intervention, the better the anti-retrovirals function. Grahame Flynn from the Eddystone trust re-emphasises the importance of safe sex: “HIV is no longer a death sentence. Through anti-retroviral treatments and universal access to health care, HIV can be a manageable illness. However, anti-retroviral treatments are not a cure and have to be taken every day for the rest of a person’s life. It is important to remember that the safest way to protect yourself is by using a condom.” Getting to grips with her HIV diagnosis is something that Ali is still struggling with: “The more I sit and think about it, the more it feels real and I don’t like that. I find that if I’m really busy all the time, like when I’m at uni in term time, I never really have the opportunity to stop and think about it. At home it hits you all at once.” Last year RAG raised over £38,000 from the Safer Sex Ball and this year their target is even higher. Organisations like The Eddystone Trust, to whom the money is donated, are part of the ongoing mission to improve the lives of those living with HIV/AIDs. To support the charity, or find out more, visit www.eddystone.org.uk. To support World Aids Day, you can donate or buy a red ribbon. Ali admits that before her diagnosis, “I never really used to think about it.” It is now a symbol that she knows very well: “my parents have permanently got one on their notice board and I know it’s for me.” *Names have been changed.

Powderham Ball makes a comeback

After a short absence, the Powderham Ball returns to Exeter with a bang, writes Jessica Wong.

POWDERHAM Powderham Powderham! In the shadow of Christmas and New Year and as the sinking feeling of essays and exams sets in, immerse yourself in the fabulous festivities that celebrate “Powderham Week” and have fun once again. As the campus buzzes with talk about the Powderham Ball, why not treat yourself to a taste of what’s to come by shimmying on down to one, of what is set to be, four spectacular nights? The excitement starts with Saturday Lemmy, and continues with Monday Mosaic, Wednesday Timepiece, Thursday Rococo’s and Thursday Mosaic. Enjoy carnival shot girls, free candy floss and other delights in the amazing raffle, which by

entering you could be in with a chance of winning: Timepiece gold cards, free Nandos, Wagamama’s goodies, Richard Beaumont treatments and many more exciting prizes – what more could you want? These incredible celebrations are only the run up to the grand finale. With Radio 1’s Greg James and Utah Saints now confirmed, we just know something good is going to happen and the excitement behind the scenes is running high. However, if you’re looking for a more chilled out feel then you won’t be disappointed. Ryan Keen, a local acoustic artist and hidden gem, who is up and coming on the London music scene, will

also be performing in the cosy tepee tent alongside other acoustic acts. Check out his latest single ‘Aiming for the Sun’ available on iTunes now. Just when you thought they couldn’t possibly squeeze in any more entertainment enjoy circus acts, dodge the stilt walkers and don’t forget to save a jive for the live swing band that will also be performing on the night. The committee are working hard to make the 2011 Powderham Ball one to be remembered. As the posters and flyers spread through campus, spare a thought for the models who braved the icy climate in December to adorn the stunning Castle with marvellous tutus, kilts, glitter and top hats sponsored by

The Real McCoy. Shocking the sleepy fifteenth-century Cinderella castle with their moves and hemlines, they frolicked around the castle and creating fantastic photos in the fun. We know The Powderham Ball will be as spectacular as it sounds, but be sure not to miss out by setting your alarms bright and early for January 28 as tickets go on sale at 9am and they’re sure to go quickly. The Powderham Ball will be held on March 28 in aid of Cancer Research UK, Headway Devon and Amantani UK.


Exeter Uncovered: The Safer Sex Ball 2010


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Frequency guide To use this guide simply find the start point of your journey down the column on the left hand side and then read across until you reach your destination. The information in the box will tell you which bus to catch and how often it runs. Service D Service H Service D & H combined

Cowley Bridge

Cowley Bridge

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University Exeter of Exeter City Centre

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Information correct at time of going to press (January 2011). View buy online terms & conditions here: http://www.stagecoachbus.com/buyonline.aspx. The Stagecoach Code of Practice is available to view online at www.stagecoachbus.com/codeofpractice.aspx.


Exeposé week fourteen

21

Music

Ellie Bothwell & Ben Murphie - music@exepose.com

Upcoming 24/1 - Kate McGill, Cavern Club

INTERVIEW

Day of the Jackal

Photo: Sapphire Mason-Brown

26/1 – Harry Mundy, Mama Stone’s

28/1 – Itchy Feet Launch Party, Exeter Phoenix 29/1 – Johnny Mars, Mama Stone’s

30/1 – Walter Schriefels, Cavern Club 30/1 – I Am Kloot, Lemon Grove 31/1 – Devil Sold His Soul, Cavern Club 31/1 – Smoke Fairies + The Sea of Bees, Exeter Phoenix 2/2 – Roddy Woomble, Exeter Phoenix 3/2 – We The Machines, Cavern Club 4/2 – Bob Marley’s Birthday Night, Exeter Phoenix 5/2 – Rinseout, Exeter Phoenix

Book Now 5/2 - The Hold Steady, o2 Academy Bristol 9/2 - Little Comets, Cavern Club 11/2 - Andy McKee, Exeter Phoenix 11/2 - White Lies, O2 Academy Bristol 11/2 - The Go! Team, Anson Rooms, Bristol 21/2 Carl Barât, Anson Rooms, Bristol 6/3 - Jackie Oates, Exeter Phoenix 9/3 - Caitlin Rose, Exeter Phoenix

Ellie Bothwell and Ben Murphie, Music Editors, chat to Conor O’Brien from Villagers. Conor J. O’Brien is idiosyncratic by nature. From the way he feels about writing songs, to the type of instruments he uses, he is different from other performers. Back in April, he was another unknown man with a guitar, despite having toured with Tracy Chapman and performed at Electric Picnic and Latitude festivals; mainstream success was still eluding him. It was a slot on Later… With Jools Holland that attracted attention, and a Mercury Prize nomination that confirmed his first album, Becoming a Jackal, was more than another emotional effort from a lonely singer-songwriter. Meeting the man himself ahead of his show at Exeter Phoenix, he animatedly recounts a summer of festival dates and touring with his band.

“We played more festivals than we’ve ever played in our life ever”, he tells us. “Glastonbury was exciting… I’ve never been there before.” Villagers are an old-fashioned band making music in a modern time, shown by Conor’s auteurist approach to his work. He relates how his music begins as a drawing: “It started as the front cover of the album and the name Becoming a Jackal… and I built the album around that picture.” Yet his drawing and songwriting aren’t as engineered as you might first imagine: “In some weird sub-conscious way they kind of all intertwine thematically [but] I think sometimes when you’re making stuff if you think about it too much it can destroy the natural impetus.” Yet for someone who appears to take such a free approach to songwriting he is remarkably honest when it comes to his inspirations: “sometimes it’s just the shape of a word and you want to fit it into a song so you think about that and all these things that you didn’t think you had such strong feelings about suddenly crop up and you’re like ‘wow’ and you sort of surprise yourself”. It becomes clear that this is something he is keen to talk about, yet inevitably his songwriting is often

spontaneous and even sometimes out of his control: “[it’s] at that stage, it’s four in the morning and you’ve had too many cups of tea and your mind’s not working so well and the song perhaps maybe writes itself.”

“It’s four in the morning and you’ve had too many cups of tea and your mind’s not working so well and the song perhaps maybe writes itself” The complicated and poetic nature of his lyrics have often led many to question their meaning, which Conor believes helps create the song’s value: “if you construct the words enough and it’s something that people can get out of themselves, then it’s got a worth to sing to people.” On the nature of playing his perhaps melancholy music live he says, “It’s just like an old Blues

thing, a song can be very sad but it can be the most uplifting thing in the world if you’re singing it in front of a group of people and everyone in the room has a shared experience.” In terms of his musical inspirations he cites Elvis Costello as the man he can’t stop listening to: “He’s kind of my hero. I wanna meet him and get him to produce an album or something.” Growing up in Catholic Ireland has also had an influence on his music. The song ‘The Ship of Promises’ “was about freedom from social constraints and I just found the Church had a very obvious metaphorical value…massive scandals about child abuse in the Church obviously make you go ‘why am I going to this thing?’” When asked if a forthcoming album is on the way, Conor responds with evasion: “I don’t know. I think I might try and spend next year writing and touring… Maybe I’ll do a bunch of drawings and paintings.” However, he hints at the future when he tells us how live performances have affected his music: “[The songs have] become a bit more wild or something, more rugged, exciting. I want to approach the next album and almost capture that a little more, rather than be too perfectionist about it or something.”


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january 24 2011

Music

Exeposé

TOP SONGS OF 2010

Our expert panel of judges recall the songs that made last year special. The writers: Immi Blake, Jess Crandon, Dan Horgan, David Johnson, Stephen O’Nion, Lizzy Quinlan, Celia Roberts, Oscar Warwick-Thompson and Amy Weller

ever, and with lines like “She makes my heart beat the same way, as at the start of Blue Monday” how can you not fall in love with the song’s nostalgic charm? DJ

Substance Girls

Walk in the Park Beach House

When Broken Dreams Club was released in November, Christopher Owens announced it as a “snapshot of the horizon.” If Girls stay true to this declaration, then the EP serves as a thrilling taster of what’s to come. ‘Substance’ is the most emotionally chilling number on the EP, capturing the despair and loneliness of the album, but also exploring the band’s infamous drug use in a different manner. As opposed to the celebratory lust for life, Owens sings about coping with life through his self-help lyrics: “If you take it day by day, don’t try to fight it.” You get the feeling he’s referring to any substance that gets you through the day. The lonely ballad’s sombreness is countered by Girls’ growing confidence, as Owens nonchalantly announces his guitar solo. Furthermore, improved songwriting and production on ‘Substance’ and the EP leave Girls fans craving more. OW-T

Nostalgia inducing duo Beach House released ‘Teen Dream’ back in January, their debut for Sub Pop. It marks an evolution in their dreaminess, with crisper production and greater instrumental variety, and features the sorrowful ‘Walk in the Park’, which is about the struggle to forget someone: “In and out of my life, you would slip from my mind.” The track’s dreamy melodies soar into a pop crescendo, which gives it purpose, unlike the sense of hovering that marked ‘Devotion’ and their selftitled debut. The explosive chorus epitomises the duo’s progression, as there is no longer the permanent sense of being in a psychedelic subdued state. Melancholy as always, but they’ve kicked on. OW-T

God and Satan Biffy Clyro The song’s acoustic vibe and Simon Neil’s ever-poetic lyrics ensure its place as one of the top songs of 2010 is thoroughly deserved. Lyrics such as “I talk to God and Satan because I want to hear both sides” speak of doubt, cynicism and questions of tolerance. Yet ‘God and Satan’ does not manage to depress despite its dark subject matter. The chorus ends on a hopeful note: “I just want to take my chance and live through a miracle”, and by the time the track has reached the bridge, ‘God and Satan’ has built to its climax, the rising notes of the orchestral background giving hope to the listener. It isn’t often that Simon Neil’s usually nonsensical, although always beautiful, lyrics make you stop and think. ‘God and Satan’ is that rare occasion when a Biffy Clyro song succeeds not just melodically but lyrically as well. IB

Kissing Strangers Cherry Ghost Despite having opening slots for mainstream acts such as Doves and The Coral, Cherry Ghost have been sadly overlooked by mainstream audiences. However, those who bought the Bolton quintet’s 2010 album Beneath This Burning Shoreline were treated to a real gem. Simon Aldred���s lyrics are some of the best from any artist in 2010, and lead single ‘Kissing Strangers’ showcases this very well. A beautiful, twinkling arrangement that has a classic Hollywood feel, fused with lyrics from the more cynical 21st Century, create a wonderful, bittersweet ode to an ageing romantic, no longer as young or prolific as he once was. DJ

Girls: just wanna have fun

He Would Have Laughed After Dark The Count and Sinden feat. Deerhunter Mystery Jets In the last four years, Bradford ‘After Dark’ is a track which succeeds in being a brilliant, feel-good dance tune and never fails to put a smile on my face. Mystery Jets’ William Ree’s upbeat vocals teamed with fellow band mate Kai Fish on guitar are a perfect match for the electro beats of emerging club duo The Count and Sinden. Bringing indie music into the dance world, this teaming proves that it’s definitely an exciting time for dance music. Fingers crossed, such collaborations will continue in 2011. For any Mystery Jets lovers, get this track onto your pre-lash playlists. AW

Take Over The World The Courteeners The Courteeners established themselves as a band for the everyman with their debut album St. Jude, while 2010’s Falcon showed a more sensitive side to frontman Liam Fray. The title ‘Take Over The World’ could be a sign of things to come, as The Courteeners certainly have the potential to become superstars, much like Oasis or The Smiths. The track itself is a heartfelt love letter to a partner who waits back at home, while the band is performing on the other side of the world. The honesty of the lyrics and Fray’s undisguised Mancunian accent create a strong sincerity, which really makes the song work. DJ

Cox has released six albums, making him arguably the most prolific indie artist of his generation. 2010 was another memorable year for Cox, with Halcyon Digest being Deerhunter’s strongest and most organic record to date. ‘He Would Have Laughed’, the emotional apex of the LP, is an ode to Jay Reatard about absence. Half-formed lyrics and an abrupt ending reinforce this theme and it is centred around a simple looped guitar melody, reminiscent of Atlas Sound. Drifting into a dream halfway through, it’s effortlessly picked up again by Cox’s ghostly vocals. The accessibility of the song and the LP pick up from where Microcastle left off, and allow emotion to surface, as Cox expresses personal tragedy in the elegy that concludes the number. ‘He Would Have Laughed’ finally sees the enigmatic Cox open up in his lyrics, no longer concealed by layers of explicit experimentation. OW-T

At The Indie Disco The Divine Comedy The Divine Comedy is most likely a band that has long since vanished from people’s radar, as the days of their most successful songs, such as ‘National Express’ and ‘Something For The Weekend’ belong to the ‘90s. The song references various artists (such as The Pixies and Blur) and well known tracks (like ‘Tainted Love’) from a musical age gone-by, whilst also telling a simple ‘boy-meets-girl’ love story, Neil Hannon’s penchant for effective use of simplistic lyrics is as present as

Life’s a beach: Beach House


Exeposé week fourteen

23

I Feel Better Hot Chip

Dark Fantasy Kanye West

‘I Feel Better’ is a masterclass in electropop by the masters themselves, Hot Chip. Opening and sustaining a riff of such high calibre is no mean feat, but infusing it with subtle breaks and reassuringly sentimental lyrics is capable only through inspired song writing. The synthed vocals release the song as a free-flowing electric fantasia, coupled with a resounding drumbeat that penetrates the atmosphere of any situation. This truly is a song that is as equally suitable for dancing as it is for relaxing which, sadly, can be said about few records nowadays. Perhaps some Exeter nightclubs should give it a listen. DH

Kanye West’s ‘Dark Fantasy’ is my favourite track from what could possibly be the album of the year. Commencing with an attention grabbing spoken introduction, the captivating chorus appears immediately, setting the song up for a relentless four minutes of Kanye’s readily identifiable potent lyricism and superiorly polished musical production. The genius that transpires through the numerous cultural references in the lyrics is enough to make this song be noted as something out of the ordinary. Being produced by Kanye, however, means that us mere mortals are exposed to a song that can improve anyone’s mood, no matter what the situation. I am not usually one to advocate compositions that steer towards the rap genre, which shows just how impressive ‘Dark Fantasy’ and the entire album for that matter, really is. DH

Wonderful Life Hurts For a year largely defined by such horrifically brash inanity-fests as ‘California Gurls’ or the execrable ‘Billionaire’, it’s certainly a relief for the pseuds amongst us that synthpop duo Hurts was also on hand to provide something a little more sombre and moodily pretentious. And with ‘Wonderful Life’, they struck gold. Somehow managing to be both heartbreakingly bleak and uplifting, the song eschews common pop subject matter (‘The Club’/swagga/catching grenades etc) to tell the story of a suicidal man saved from jumping off the Severn Bridge by, obviously, a bit of star cross’d love. Overdramatic? Certainly, but there’s no arguing with THAT chorus. Add in some desperately noir-ish synths, Theo Hutchcraft’s smouldering vocals and one of the most epic breakdowns since ‘Losing My Religion’, and you’ve got the most ‘80s sounding single since, erm, the ‘80s. Pop genuinely does not get better than this, readers. Your move, dubstep… LQ

Music

Telephone Lady Gaga and Beyoncé Originally written by Lady Gaga with the intention of Britney Spears recording and releasing the song (her version can be found on Youtube), ‘Telephone’ is considered by many as the best song on Lady Gaga’s The Fame Monster LP. The song sees Lady Gaga and Beyoncé become a powerful duo who, in the nine minute long video, create a 21st Century Thelma and Louise style follow-up to Gaga’s ‘Paparazzi’ video. In the world of pop music, 2010 belonged to Lady Gaga, and this song seems fit to represent the year as a whole. With a fast, steady beat and catchy lyrics, not to forget a rap that is full of attitude by Beyoncé herself, this song really does deserve a place in the top songs of 2010. CR

Emily’s Heart Jamie T Gone are the raucous, chaotic vocals and instrumentals familiar to Jamie T: ‘Emily’s Heart’ introduces a new, pure vulnerability. Lyrically, he is ambiguous, but there is an absence of his usual couldn’t-care-less attitude; a sense of shame and sadness overriding it: “I am aware that I let the poor girl down/…This is what happens if you fuck around.” The minimalistic impact of the instruments, mixed with Jamie T’s pensive voice, creates a wistful, yet more intimate tone, and it is this variation from tracks such as ‘Sticks and Stones’ that individuates ‘Emily’s Heart’. The slower pace adds a relaxing edge to the energetic album, whilst the melancholy lyrics and vocals are impossible to forget. ‘Emily’s Heart’ stops you in your tracks, pulling you away from everything, leaving only goosebumps and an unreachable thought in the back of your mind. JC A bird in the hand: Jamie T

Good call: Lady Gaga and Beyoncé

(It’s Not War) Just The End Of Love Manic Street Preachers James Dean Bradfield described the Manics’ latest album as ‘One last shot at mass communication’, and that shines through most on lead single ‘(It’s Not War) Just The End Of Love’, a radio-friendly pop/rock song with a singalong chorus, orchestral strings and big guitar riffs. Lyricist Nicky Wire knows that he’s not as young as he used to be, but he is still fuelled by the same anger and passion as when he was a teenager. The dark meaning of the lyrics is cleverly juxtaposed with the accessibility of the sound, which should appeal to casual listeners as well as die-hard fans. DJ

Bloodbuzz Ohio The National

Zorbing Stornoway

The National have very much been slow burners over the last five years, gaining much critical acclaim for albums Alligator and Boxer, but they broke new ground with this year’s High Violet; the centrepiece of which is ‘Bloodbuzz Ohio’. Something that has earned The National consistent praise is the drumming of Bryan Devendorf, which is on display from the word go with this track, as a fastpaced, commanding beat pulls the listener in. Layered guitars, brass instrumentation and subtle piano chords all work in conjunction, giving support to Matt Berninger’s deep baritone, which coolly carries the song. DJ

Stornoway’s ‘Zorbing’ was originally released in 2009 but the 2010 rerelease highlighted a song that managed to capture the essence of the relaxed, enjoyable nature of the music scene last year. The rapid evolution in the music industry means that it is now acceptable to rely on a catchy beat and some excellent vocals to create a successful song. Initially it would seem that in essence this is what Stornoway have done, but the record then proceeds to establish an unflinching aura of positivity by revealing some refreshingly original instrumental work and a chorus that makes a subconscious smile creep across any lucky listener’s face. DH

Year Without Rain Selena Gomez

Giving Up The Gun Vampire Weekend

In waxing about how a single day without her love equates to an entire 365 days without rain, Selena Gomez (and her band, The Scene) explores the depths of human emotion and the heights of musical nirvana. Indeed, Gomez’s powerful proclamation that “the stars are burning / I hear your voice in my mind” turns our minds to Selena herself. For so long playing second or even third fiddle within the trinity of Miley Cyrus and Demi Lovato, and burdened with the history of the greats like Duff and Bynes, it has taken until 2010 and ‘Year Without Rain’ to define her as the true star of the Disney family. It’s been a long time coming. SO’N

The New York City prepsters answered their critics head-on with their triumphant sophomore effort, Contra. The LP is unashamedly pop friendly, embracing the same accessible, multicultural indie bliss that drew both widespread praise and backlash. ‘Giving up the Gun’ is arguably its top single, and like Contra maintains freshness and an experimental nature. Christopher Thomson gives us his finest effort on the drums to date and combined with gentle synths we get euphoric electro-funk. The track epitomises how the group has created new, inventive tracks, but with the same rich ingredients. It fits all too well with the song’s message - the possibility of returning to the past’s simpler way of life. It’s more of the same from Koenig and co., but different. OW-T


24

Screen

january 24 2011

Exeposé

Calum Baker & David Brake - screen@exepose.com

NEWSREEL

LADIES and gentlemen, roll up, roll up! It’s award season! The first award ceremony, the Golden Globes, went as everyone predicted, aside from a brilliant/ crude Ricky Gervais as host who insulted/laughed with celebrities throughout with his routine receiving great praise/ hatred. (Delete where appropriate). Furthermore, the BAFTA nominations have been announced with the late, great Pete Postlethwaite receiving a Best Supporting Actor nomination for The Town which although in itself is ridiculous, lets not begrudge the celebration of the great man once more. In other film news, Bond is finally back! With Sam Mendes confirmed to direct, a hot script by Peter Morgan and possibly Rachel Weisz as the Bond Girl, this is certainly one to look forward to and it’s great to see the franchise back in action. Plus, every weekend this year sees BFI Southbank screening a classic Disney animation in honour of Tangled. 50 weekends, 50 films. Check it out!

COMPETITION

THIS week, we are again offering THREE PAIRS of tickets for any ODEON film at any time that you fancy. All you need to do is email us with the subject line “I LOVE DIZNAY”, and you’ll get entered into the draw. Simples. All entries should be sent to: screen@exepose.com Deadline is February 7.

We don’t need another hero David Brake, Screen Editor, looks to the future of superhero films.

THIS month, Sony released the first still from Marc Webb’s reimagining of Spider-man, showing a broody and angstridden Andrew Garfield in his Spidey suit. Although nothing sensational, it marks an extremely sudden renewal of a franchise that only presented its first reincarnation with Sam Raimi less than a decade ago. So, why the rush? In 2010, worldwide ticket sales fell over 5%, roughly 800,000, and with Sony holding the rights to a franchise with returns of $2.5bn already with a guaranteed market of fans... it’s simply business. Indeed, in a market where Hollywood stars fail to bring successful returns, the Superhero movie looks set to thrive in 2011. So what makes this genre so popular and what does its future hold? It all began with Saturday morning adaptations of Superman and Batman, the latter adapted for the big screen in 1966 with the ever-iconic Adam West having to take down the evil Underworld of Gotham City. Although hilarity ensues due to the exaggerated performances and fantastically camp dialogue, Batman (‘60s model) did not represent any form of a hero as imagined within today’s society; mainly due to the fact they didn’t need one with America enjoying such a successful age. Therefore, one had to wait till Richard Donner’s 1976 version of Superman which was a critical and commercial hit. Superman, as a character

came through several external factors, the core reason was the removal of what made the protagonist Super, as the suspension of reality can only be maintained for so long. Thus, the genre lay dormant until the new millennium. In 2000, the modern world entered a new age filled with anxiety and worries. Enter Spider-man. Here, Sam Raimi echoed the voice of a generation through Tobey McGuire’s gawky, nerdy secret-hero. He suffered like other young Americans

Begins as director Christopher Nolan aimed for a noir thriller rather than the obvious genre tropes, yet, through all the darkness and moods, the iconography of the hero remained. A force of good in a world of evil: it’s an idyllic idea but not unrealistic. Personally, superhero films have always been close to my heart for various reasons. I watched Batman Begins as my parents’ relationship fell apart, SpiderMan 3 after five fillings from the dentist, Hellboy II with my dad (first time we’d been to the cinema) – this genre of films

has provided me with some of my key memories of the cinema and helped me escape to a place of CGI, action and the odd witty line or two. Modern day budgets and technologies allow these films to become utter escapism and, hell, they worked for me and millions of others. For example, in 2008 the world suffered a bank crisis on a level unseen since the Great Depression. Almost to combat this, there were eight superhero movies released grossing a collective total of over $2.6bn. It is clear that the genre is incredibly popular due to its easy access for all demographics and the studios have noticed this to the extreme. In the near future, X-Men will receive three forms of rejuvenation, as with the Hulk and Superman less than five years since their last attempts. The slates for 2011 and 2012 releases are overflowing with superhero movies, so I ask: has the proverbial cow been milked dry? Matthew Vaughn recently said that the overload of superhero movies would soon end and that audiences would soon grow tired of the influx of flashy suits and hero stories. Thus is Tina Turner correct in singing ‘we don’t need another hero’? The overload of sequels and spin-offs is mind-boggling and one must wonder how long they can flog the same horse. Indeed, when reviewing other comic characters, there is a limited range of new options, even with Arm-Fall-Off Boy and Captain Boomerang. So, for the near future, the superhero film will continue to plaster our screens with bigger explosions and more CGI and although this genre is excessively used, this type of movie will never disappear as we all need and want a hero.

ed breath of fresh air to the proceedings and granted the chance to see pretentious actors squirming under his magnifying glass. Robert De Niro was in stitches throughout the speech - those around him seemed less impressed. The thickskinned Italian was the evening’s recipient of the prestigious Cecil B. DeMille Award for outstanding contribution to film; ironic considering his biggest gross this year came with franchise stock comedy Little Fockers. Despite this, he is undoubtedly one of the most talented actors of his and perhaps any generation and his career deserves no less than unanimous acclaim. Obvious wins came for Colin Firth in The Kings Speech, Natalie Portman in Black Swan, and Annette Bening in The Kids Are Alright but the night’s grand champion was indisputably The Social

Network. Helmed by David Fincher of Fight Club notoriety, it scooped four awards including Best Film (Drama), Screenplay and Director. It even wrestled Best Original Score off Inception’s goliath composer Hans Zimmer. Christopher Nolan’s intricate masterpiece has ultimately changed the scope of modern cinema in a major way, yet sadly this was not reflected on the night. Despite the hype surrounding Best Picture, one may argue that the most fiercely contested award took the form of Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama. Previous winners Michael C. Hall and Hugh Laurie again found themselves nominated as eponymous anti-heros in Dexter and House respectively, and Mad Men’s Jon Hamm was also looking for a second gong. However, the real speculation surrounding this category was for Bryan

Cranston, playing a maligned chemistry teacher diagnosed with cancer in Breaking Bad who pursues a secretive career in meth amphetamine production so that he may leave something for his family. In previous years his incredible work has gone unrecognised and whilst the HFPA finally yielded a nomination under intense pressure this year, it was the severely underrated Steve Buscemi who ousted him with his portrayal of Nucky Thompson in Boardwalk Empire. Empire also claimed Best TV Drama on the night so one can assume the HBO hit will be on our screens before too long. In a night remembered for the performance of its host, and not its stars, it seems unlikely that Gervais will be recalled for next year. The entertainment industry is a society blessed with fame and fortune; here’s hoping they don’t keep taking themselves too seriously.

and a film, represented everything America wanted. A year after the wholly depressing Vietnam war, Donner presented us with a masterstroke of a character; a hero, an icon, and a man people could look up to. Audiences loved the prospect of a man always prepared to save the day, as seen with Donner’s Superman and Tim Burton’s Batman (’89 model). Although their decline in popularity

Get a globe of this

Nicholas Gilbert reviews a largely dire ceremony.

ON Sunday 16, Hollywood’s elite flocked to the Beverly Hilton Hotel for the 68th Golden Globe Awards. Unique in that it honours achievements in both film and television, many consider it to be amongst the season’s most notable ceremonies, second only to the Academy Awards. In recent times, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) has come under scathing criticism because its results have proven increasingly predictable. This year did little to abolish such criticism, save perhaps the controversial performance of its host, Ricky Gervais. The comedian heralded last year for his dicey humour and shameless selfplugging returned to the podium armed

with a more dangerous comedic arsenal geared towards his A-list observers. The HFPA were accused of favouritism when gifting Johnny Depp not one but two nominations for ‘Best Performance by an Actor in a Musical or Comedy.’ Ignoring the fact that Alice In Wonderland and The Tourist should simply not be in this category, the listless performances by Depp were panned by critics even before the longlists were drafted. Thankfully Paul Giamatti triumphed with his role in Barney’s Version, yet their precarious host did himself no favours when commenting that ‘Toy Story 3, Despicable Me, Tron – it seems like everything this year was three-dimensional...well, except the characters in The Tourist.’ Whilst the politically correct within the industry have dismissed Gervais’ antics as completely inappropriate, his tightrope act provided a much-need-

but could fight the bad guy, win the girl and look great doing it. X-Men and X2 also improved the genre, mixing gritty realism with great characters but here, there were no capes or masks; filmmakers realised their audiences now wanted ordinary heroes. Suspension of reality and lycra suits were no longer the hot ticket as the Fantastic Four, Catwoman and Elektra all found out the hard way. This ethic was epitomised with Batman


25

Exeposé week fourteen

Tangled

Blue Valentine

Dir: Nathan Greno, Byron Howard Cast: Zachary Levi, Mandy Moore, Donna Murphy (PG) 100mins

Dir: Derek Cianfrance Cast: Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams (15) 112mins

AS an embittered cynic I found myself chuckling far too much during this, Disney’s 50th animated feature. Not “ironic” derision, you understand, but because it was genuinely funny throughout. A real joy for all the family – and I was seeing it alone. Tangled revolves around Flynn Rider (Levi), an Aladdinish thief with good heart and great looks who, on the run from the law, finds himself in the altitudinous, secluded hut housing one Rapunzel (Moore). Rapunzel, we are told through a classic Disney opening sequence, was accidentally infused at birth with the life-giving powers of a magic flower – leading to her somewhat unreasonable kidnapping by the elderly hag Gothel (Murphy), who was using that flower to restore her youth. At the moment Flynn is knocked out by Rapunzel’s frying-pan (just one of many neat running gags), the unaware Princess is planning on stepping out for her 18th… unbeknownst to “Mother”. The ensuing “unlikely” romance, luckily, is played out in a fairly unorthodox manner; like Rapunzel

stepping onto grass for the first time, this pic is a breath of fresh air for the apprehensive animation fan. Flynn is so inept as to even transcend the phrase ‘chancer’ while Maximus the horse is not of the ‘hip’ bent that has so bugged recent cartoon sidekicks; in fact, for a long time, our equine law-enforcer is tracking Flynn down with all the zeal of Tommy Lee Jones in The Fugitive, leading to some surprisingly gigglesome moments. Amidst the neat surreal comedy (horse-man sword/ pan-fight being a highlight) there are also, of course, the usual manipulative, maudlin emotional bits. Did I care? Suffice to say if you thought the ‘Kiss the Girl’ sequence of Little Mermaid was well-animated, Tangled features that scene times 10 – even if you strive to distance yourself from the drawn-out suspense engendered by an upcoming kiss, the scope of the scene, the beautiful lights, even the 3D, all work towards a wonderful sense of romance which may not deviate terribly from the norm but is still a standout scene. As an exercise in the studio’s ‘second Renaissance’, this is a damn sight better than last year’s The Princess and the Frog, and that was - I’ll get the stand-

Blue Valentine is, in essence, an intelligently and realistically-written reflection on the gradual disintegration of a relationship. And while you may be thinking this is a familiar story, this particular one is beautifully told. With the abrupt interjection of flashback scenes, devoid of the usual intrusive and by-now clichéd intertitles, we are cleverly forced to realise the drastic changes in the ways the married couple relate to each other. Sad though it naturally is, this film has some genuinely touching moments of romance, including the poignant repetition of the couple’s signature song, when we have sadly already seen the ard Disney description out the way - simply magical. This is at least partially down to the CGI - the directors

are clearly not afraid to try and recapture the handcrafted lushness associated with The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast, something which was arguably lacking in Frog despite the loud noise made about its traditional animation. Perhaps not quite as visually dense as the surprisingly three-dimensional Tarzan, but Tangled had jokes and less pervasive Phil Collinsery, so the phrase ‘Disney Classic’ may, with time at least, prove greatly appropriate. Ultimately, the most interesting aspect of this landmark is its attitude towards tradition: it actively embraces Disney’s Princess-infused past whilst actively dropping the related conventions and making it more of a comedy buddy-pic, the buddies being a guy and a gal. Even whilst moving towards a more modern attitude, the tropes of current, post-Shrek animations are thrown out the window in favour of something less cringeworthy and juvenile-pandering - there’s something refreshingly current about the innovatively retro lack of ‘current’ pop-culture references. It is this freshness combined with the acknowledged, nostalgic tradition that really appealed to me and makes Disney’s 50th as great as their first, Snow White. Yes, even cynics can love Rapunzel’s adorable story, from the top of her head to the end of her substantial barnet. CALUM BAKER SCREEN EDITOR

future it holds. The flashbacks, coupled with the camera’s obsession with closeups, render the two main characters in their vulnerable psychological clarity; every motive for separation is scrutinised, until we can relate to its necessity. Indeed, with no gimmicky devices denoting a change in era, Valentine breaks away from the popular trend of a hazy, golden past, to make the incredibly romantic past seem all the more painfully close to the loveless, stressed present. Valentine comments on some revealing truths about the fragility of love, shown by the superb acting of Williams and Gosling, the dynamic between them often tense. The topic is dealt with artistically and sensitively, and is well worth a watch. MIA NASHE

The Green Hornet Dir: Michel Gondry Cast: Seth Rogen, Christoph Waltz, Jay Chou (12A) 119mins FLASHY, action-packed and featuring an unlikely bromance, The Green Hornet is a satisfyingly fastpaced, enjoyable film. Superhero duo Britt Reid, AKA the Green Hornet (Rogen), and chauffeurturned ‘sidekick’ Kato (Chou) masquerade as

public enemies to fight crime. Playboy Reid inherits a media empire after

Black Swan Dir: Darren Aronofsky Cast: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel (15) 108mins IN Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan, two genres are blended in an hitherto-unseen combination, but one that makes perfect sense: the psychological thriller and the dance film. Considering the pressure that young girls in particular put themselves under to succeed in such a competitive and unforgiving profession, the nature of this film is entirely appropriate. The story is focused on the New York City Ballet and its fragile, newly-promoted Principal Dancer Nina (Portman in a career-best performance). It follows her as she deals with the demanding preparations for her leading role in the upcoming production of Swan Lake, a dual role for which she is required to dance in two distinct styles - as the innocent and delicate White Swan and as the predatory and erotic Black Swan, something with which the naïve Nina struggles. Her anxiety is heightened by striking new dancer Lily (Kunis), who excels at the aspect of dancing which Nina finds most difficult, as well as by related pressures at home, stemming from the suffocating presence of her ex-ballerina mother (Barbara Hershey). Nina’s world then begins to unravel as she enters into a twisted and destructive friendship with Lily, leading to the film’s fantastically frantic climax, which runs parallel with the opening night’s performance of the ballet.

SAMMY BROOK

Black Swan has been generating awards buzz, and, as a truly innovative film without being overly pretentious, it is justified. Cast performances are excellent, including Cassel as the unscrupulously seductive Artistic Director of the Ballet, and Winona Ryder, steadily re-establishing herself as a force to be reckoned with in supporting roles, as jealous retiring Prima Ballerina Beth. The use of professional dancers to swell the ranks of the Company only heightens the film’s impact and plausibility, as does Portman and Kunis’ evident months of gruelling dance training. The soundtrack is an exquisite merge of Tchaikovsky’s iconic melodies from Swan Lake and original music by Clint Mansell, neither being used at the expense of the other. The same can be said for the blurring of the film’s genres; the introduction of more sinister images from Nina’s mind jar brilliantly with the dancing, which is at no point superfluous. The less extravagant images, such as one involving skin peeling, are more likely to linger after the credits than the equally creepy but more CGI-ridden images nearer the film’s denouement. Black Swan may not hold universal appeal, but anyone prepared for a genuine cinematic experience should form an orderly queue pronto.

TORI BRAZIER

Classic Films #11: Duck Soup (1933) Dir: Leo McCarey Cast: Groucho, Harpo, Chico & Zeppo Marx (U) 68mins

his inattentive yet acclaimed father is killed by a bee sting. By chance he bonds with coffeebrewing, gadget-building, martial artstrained Kato over their shared dislike of his deceased dad. Together, in a rather immense car (the Black Beauty), they challenge Chudnofsky (Waltz), crime lord in the middle of a midlife crisis, for the streets of LA. Reid and Kato’s relationship takes centre stage; Rogen manages to make Reid both funny and likeable even through moments of selfishness and Chou is able to hold his own. Chudnofsky however is played overly for laughs resulting in a fairly unconvincing villain and it seems Cameron Diaz is left little room as the supporting secretary Lenore Case, unknowing mastermind of the Green Hornet’s operations. Some parts are a tad clumsy and certain actors underutilised but ultimately The Green Hornet is a fun film which doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Screen

IT’S very tempting to start off this review with that cliché beloved of everyone’s grandad: “they don’t make ’em like this anymore!” But of course, as with all clichés, it would only be telling half the story. Fact is, they very much do make ’em like this. Watching Duck Soup (the first Marx Brothers film I’ve ever seen) made me realise just how many comedies (from Tom and Jerry to The Young Ones to Family Guy) have aped the formidably anarchic stylings of Groucho, Chico, Harpo and Zeppo. The action centres around one Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho), the newly appointed President of the tin-pot Republic of Freedonia, and his diplomatic scuffles with neighbouring Sylvania, all provoked through his vying for the love of the wealthy Mrs. Teasdale (Margaret Dumont). Although Groucho could almost certainly have made the film great on his own, it is elevated to a work of genius by Harpo and Chico who steal the show (along with numerous personal effects of the supporting cast) playing the inept, kleptomaniac spying/peanut-selling duo Pinky and Chicolini. As you would expect, the chemistry between the four Marx brothers is phenomenal, reaching a pinnacle at the

famous mirror scene, impossible to do justice to on paper, in which Harpo (disguised as Groucho) pretends to be Groucho’s reflection in a mirror that doesn’t even exist. The film also offers a sharp satire on the time it was shown, especially as its two poverty stricken nations descend into outright war, and in fact, the points it makes remain almost as valid today. With the world in the 1930s in the depths of one of the worst economic recessions ever known and nationalism and war mongering on the rise all across Europe, it is entirely possible to see why Duck Soup appealed so much at the time and continues to touch nerves to this day. OWEN WOOD


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Books

january 24 2011

Exeposé

James Henderson & Jacob Moffatt - books@exepose.com

FEATURE

Dick King-Smith passes away, aged 88

Laura Le Brocq, Lifestyle Editor, takes a look back at her relationship with the life and works of the beloved children’s author. AS you will have heard, Dick KingSmith died on January 4. Feeling a little sad and somewhat nostalgic about one of my favourite childhood authors, I dug out some of his books and immersed myself once more in the wonderful worlds King-Smith creates. Upon re-reading Animal Friends, I was surprised at how short and honest King-Smith’s writing was. I remember adoring these stories as quite a young child, because they were just long enough to hold my attention and impart some useful pieces of information, as opposed to having a complicated plot. The stories are based on episodes throughout King-Smith’s life, some dating as far back as his own childhood. “I didn’t realise you had to have a father tortoise as well as a mother” he admits sheepishly, after his tortoise egg didn’t hatch after weeks in the airing cupboard. King-Smith doesn’t shy away from child-curious topics either, mentioning “Juno the rat, busy having babies”, yet treating such ideas with a delicacy and quaint naivety that somehow incites you not to ask questions. Humour certainly isn’t absent either, combined with a sense of realism from King-Smith’s own experiences. His ‘Chameleons’ story is rooted in the Second World War: “Just before we got to Tripoli, I let them all go. I didn’t think they’d enjoy coming on the invasion of Italy”. I particularly love the story entitled ‘Badger Biffing’, in which KingSmith persuades a badger to head back to his sett by ‘biffing’ it with his hat. Although I may not feel the need to start a badger biffing society, which is probably for the best given that badgers are both protected and dangerous,

I shall certainly be adopting the word ‘biffing’ into my general vocabulary. Watch this space. Of course no mention of Dick King-Smith would be complete without also mentioning The Sheep Pig, which was then made into the infamous film Babe. I watched Babe again as part of my ‘research’ for this piece, and decided that nothing could be a better illustration of KingSmith’s work, though the American accents did begin to grate on me after a while. Having recently seen a lot of pictures of King-Smith himself, it struck me that James Cromwell, who plays Farmer Hoggett, is not unlike King-Smith, and the character is portrayed with a quiet reserve and kindliness, that I have always imagined King-Smith himself to possess.

The Finkler Question

The Finkler Question, Howard Jacobson’s latest novel and winner of the Booker Prize 2010, has much to recommend it. Unfortunately, it also has plenty – almost as much, perhaps – to recommend that you leave it well alone. Julian Treslove is approaching middle age, and suffers from a lack of direction and identity, an inferiority complex, indecision and a predilection for the tragic. He finds “something exquisite […] in the presentiment of a woman he loved dying in his arms” particularly when it’s accompanied by goodbyes sung in phrases borrowed from popular Italian opera. The successful Samuel Finkler, on the other hand, has always known “which side his bread was buttered” but in his grief over the premature death of his wife he is uncharacteristically uncertain; rather than sorrowful he finds himself pre-

Howard Jacobson ISBN: 1408809109

pet that fondly haunted our childhood days. Magnus Powermouse is bizarrely memorable for teaching you about pig-fattening pills and at the same time somehow rendering mice cute and attractive. As a child King-Smith was a member of the National Mouse Club, which sounds almost more unusual than a badger biffing society. There is inspiration to be found from the man himself, as well as his stories. Dick King-Smith was in fact called Ronald Gordon King-Smith, but had always preferred Dick. He was born on March 27 1922, and

lived to the age of 88. In spite of his impressive bookshelf-sized load of published books, King-Smith did not actually have anything published until he was 54, and had previously worked as a farmer and a teacher. He was a farmer for 20 years, and ran his farm at a terrible loss until he finally gave up. His example is surely one that is full of hope, and shows that an opportunity never fully passes us by. We may be on the threshold of leaving University for whatever glittering career awaits us, but what’s to say we can’t change direction at 54? I’ll be

bearing that thought in mind. King-Smith earned many awards, including the Guardian Prize for The Sheep Pig, Children’s Author of the Year 1991, and was also awarded an OBE in the 2010 New Year’s honours list. It is evident from the reigning popularity and timelessness of his work that we will be reading it to our own children in years to come, though probably from our iPads with childproof protective covers. For now though, all I have to say is: if I had words to make a day for you, I’d give you the words of Dick King-Smith.

dominantly angry that he never knew, and that she never told him, how much she loved him. Libor Sevcik, now an old man, briefly taught the pair History at school, and the three have remained friends ever since. His wife, Malkie,

The story follows and examines the three friends’ relationships with each other, with themselves, with various women and with their respective Jewishness. Treslove, initially at least, is a Gentile, the only one among them, but in his search for some kind of meaning to his life he gradually arrives at the bizarre conclusion that he too is a Jew, and in fact has been all along. Thus far, I think, it sounds like it might be quite good. Bits of it, indeed, are excellent. Jacobson attributes to Finkler, author of The Existentialist in the Kitchen, the ability ‘to make a sentence trot along’; Jacobson, however, has the ability to make them gallop, rear and jump. The problem is that he is equally prone to retreading the same ground over and over again, and ultimately making them trudge. He consistently refuses to deal in hints and

suggestions, generally preferring to patronisingly spell out precisely how a certain character feels. He will insist, for instance, on telling us for the second time, by way of a differently worded but equally arch rhetorical question or one sentence paragraph, what we already knew before he told us the first time. The effect is distinctly grating: one feels as though one is being persistently and needlessly nudged in the ribs after having been gently caressed. At times, The Finkler Question is a beautiful and touching study of grief, friendship, men and women, full of humour and understanding, but Jacobson’s complacent lapses into a style of prose that is irritating and artless mean that such times are far rarer and far less powerful than they might otherwise be.

“His example is surely one that is full of hope, and shows that an opportunity never fully passes us by” Dick King-Smith wrote over 100 books spanning four decades, and the ones you may remember include The Sophie Stories and The Queen’s Nose, which was also made into a TV programme. I remember carefully checking a lot of 50 pence pieces to see whether or not they were magic enough to make my wishes come true. Magic was to be found in KingSmith’s stories, however; as a child I had no pets and reading one of his books was a far superior substitute to any Furby, Tamigotchi, or other fake

“The Finkler Question is a beautiful and touching study of grief, friendship, men and women” has also recently died, and since her death Libor has placed his four favourite photographs of her on the piano in front of him and learned to play the Schubert ‘Impromptus Opus 90’ that Malkie had played so well.

BILLY WILSON


27

Exeposé week fourteen

Feature

Thomas Payne

debates the value of reading plays for pleasure and asks, should they be reserved for the stage? I’ll admit that few things in the world satisfy me more than the reassuring assumption that Othello’s use of iambic pentameter connotes power and authority, or that the sibilance in Faustus’ speech gives audible expression to themes such as evil and lust. Sadly, these kind of contrived analyses seem to plague our study of plays, often to the disregard of the dramatic intensities involved in leaving the oppressive confines of a lecture theatre to watch and experience a play. Today many modern audiences demand a theatrical spectacle, and increasingly, plays need to be watched rather than read. In the twentieth-century,

Review James Fixter walks us through the powerful Alone in Berlin, a novel based on a true story about resistance under the Nazi Regime.

This is one of those rare reads – a novel whose back story is just as intriguing as the plot itself, and whose true significance can only be grasped with an understanding of the context in which it was released. Based on a true story, and having first been translated into English in 2009, Alone in Berlin has been a surprise success in both the UK and US markets. For those familiar with the liberal, avant-garde face of Berlin in the 21st century, it is almost inconceivable that the dark city in Hans Fallada’s novel, set in 1940, bears the same name. Central to the plot is Otto Quangel, an industrial labourer who becomes disillusioned with the Nazis after the death of his only son in the war, and who sets about performing seemingly small acts of resistance in the form of scribbled postcard messages to be scattered around the city. The paranoia and perpetual anxiety of German citizens living in fear of such a harsh, unforgiving regime becomes apparent in the reactions of those who find these messages. In fear of such blatant resistance, many of them dispose of the cards immediately. Others, fearful of the consequences, report them to the secret police, who are tasked with the eradication of political dissenters and the shadowy resistance cells of Berlin’s underworld. One Gestapo inspector begins to take a particular interest in the case, and sets about trying to find the perpetrator himself. The compelling narrative sweeps

drama took a turn for the absurd. Things became, frankly, weird as playwrights derided the traditional conventions of days gone by and adopted modernist concepts likely to induce brain damage to the idle spectator. I have painful memories of reading Bertolt Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle and being told by my teacher that I had to see it to understand it. I remember acting out Peter Shaffer’s decidedly raunchy Equus and realising that a classroom full of sixth-form lads eagerly anticipating the play’s nude scenes was hardly the most appropriate atmosphere for such a visceral and intense production. Novels and poetry don’t have to compromise.

“There is something eerie about experiencing something so profound without entirely knowing what it is” Essentially, nothing can beat watching a play in a theatre. Whether you through every echelon of German society, drawing blue-collar workers and party officials alike into the intricate network of those affected by Otto’s actions. His own apartment block serves as a cross-section of society, from the ambitious Persicke family, with their unwavering party loyalty, to an elderly Judge who takes it upon himself to harbour a Jewish refugee. The reader finds that in spite of the far-reaching effects of Otto’s actions, almost everyone is engaged in some form of small scale resistance. The consequences for any of these courageous dissenters are grave, and if caught, they face execution.

“One of the greatest ever written on the topic of resistance” Originally published in post-war East Germany in 1947 (having been commissioned by a Communist party official), Hans Fallada’s impressive novel is considered by many to be one of the greatest ever written on the topic of resistance to the National Socialist regime, despite the author’s own shady past. Fallada himself declined the possibility of leaving Germany in the 1930s, and neither resisted nor fully endorsed the Nazis at a time when many other contemporary artists had, whether voluntarily or forcibly, gone into exile abroad. It is, however, ironic that he should be the author of a book about resistance to a regime with which he had once complied. Regardless of his own somewhat dubious political orientation, as someone who experienced life under the Nazis he is far more able than any writer today to accurately depict the realities of Germany at the time. Whilst the reader can get the feeling that some emotion has been lost in translation as they trudge through occasionally clunky dialogue, the endless stream of grotesque characters and the vivid descriptions of life in, and resistance to, such a sinister regime more than compensate.

like it or not, there is something eerie about experiencing something so profound without entirely knowing what it is. It’s in the little things. You can read Othello as much as you want, become a renowned Shakespeare scholar and publish ground-breaking criticism on his works. And yet, nothing can prepare even the most well-read for the sight of a single black man amid an ensemble of white cast members. Really, it’s about giving the play’s symbolism a much deeper resonance. It’s also about the heightened sense of immediacy in theatres. With the exception of interval ice cream, your focus is inescapably fixed to the action on stage. This produces great moments of theatre, instances where theatre-going patrons share in a sense of amazement, emotion or fear. The collective gasp of audience members during the twist ending of Mousetrap springs to mind. And then there’s the well-worn technique of ‘breaking the fourth-wall’ of theatre, involving the audience in events on stage. The point is you don’t experience it as a cold and detached

Review

Troubles J.G Farrell

ISBN: 1590170180

Major Brendan Archer has a fiancée, one Angela Spencer, but he doesn’t remember proposing. Whilst on leave during the First World War he had a brief, and mostly innocuous encounter with a young Irish girl – they shared a single parting kiss - and was quite, understandably, surprised when he received a letter signed “Your loving fiancée, Angela.” Polite and mild mannered the Major makes no protest; and now that the war has come and gone he is travelling to Ireland to be married. Set against the backdrop of revolutionary Ireland, J.G. Farrell’s novel Troubles, winner of the Lost Man

reader of a script. In Tony Harrison’s adaptation of The Mystery Plays, one scene involved a miner’s lamp illuminating the otherwise pitch-black con-

“Dramatic literature belongs on the stage rather than the page” fines of the Lyceum Theatre. He was in Hell, and so were the audience. Cue self-reflection on the basis that life equals Hell. Although this technique is perhaps a little overused today, it rocked the socks off the modernist theatre-goer and demanded that dramatic literature be experienced first-hand. So then, why bother? Why sell scripts of plays for students to read, when the power of a play derives from its dramatic performance? Should we really allow great literature to be tainted by providing us with the reader’s own objective interpretation? I think the key lies in how we define great literature. Of course, as book lovers we love it when texts blossom into a multiplicity of difBooker Prize, offers the reader a darkly humorous vision of life, love and colonial Britain. Upon his arrival in Ireland the Major travels and takes up residence at the deceptively named Majestic, a hotel owned by the Spencer family. Dilapidated and run-down, dozens of the Majestic’s rooms are uninhabitable. Angela isn’t quite the same as the Major expects, either. However, it’s of little consequence: after a brief conversation with Angela on his arrival, his fiancée locks herself away due to an unexplained illness before promptly dying. The Major, unimpressed with Ireland and the peculiar Irish, returns to England to tend to his dying aunt, who in turn passes away. Later however, the Major is drawn back to Ireland, drawn back to the capricious and temperamental, yet beautiful, Sarah. Farrell is often ironic and Troubles is darkly funny, the novel���s humour

Books

ferent meanings; it’s nice to have an interpretation. For me, this is often really refreshing. In 2009 Waiting for Godot came to Bath, it starred Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen so the performance was filled with clueless audience members and an unaccountably large amount of crying babies, all because Gandalf had come to their quaint local theatre. The interpretation of the play wasn’t to my liking and the uncomfortable atmosphere of the theatre also damaged the experience. There is an exceptionally fine line between a good dramatic performance and a bad one, especially in the case of popular and revered works by Shakespeare, Marlowe, Beckett and Stoppard for example. I suppose an apt summary would be that sometimes, it’s nice to not rely on a director to provide us with a good or bad play. Providing we acknowledge that dramatic literature belongs on the stage rather than the page, there’s something really pleasurable in the knowledge that how we interpret a play lies between us and our imagination.

built upon the absurd characteristics of its cast, which includes such characters as the senile and possibly narcoleptic Doctor Ryan or troublesome twins Charity and Faith, whose names belie their natures. Troubles, however, is also a deeply satirical novel, ruminating on British and Irish attitudes to the IRA’s acts of violence and Britain’s acts of retaliation. Farrell firmly places his characters in their historical setting, interrupting the narrative at various points with newspaper articles documenting post-war violence in colonial Britain, with a focus on the mounting death toll in Ireland. Yet Troubles isn’t a political piece, rather it is tragically personal. The Major is a likeable character who we are invited to sympathise with, Farrell encourages us to recognise his personal plight first and Ireland’s history second. Nicholas Armstrong

Review

Our Spoons Came From Woolworths Barbara Comyns ISBN: 0860683532

During the Christmas holidays, I decided to play avoid-reading-what-youare-supposed-to-read-by-reading-something-else, and in that procrastinating frame of mind picked up Our Spoons Came From Woolworths by Barbara Comyns. Barbara Comyns is highly underrated as a writer, and Our Spoons Came From Woolworths demonstrates her power as a novelist. Set during the 1930s, and written in a unique, truthful and often incredibly funny style, the story is told from the point of view of Sophia, a 21 year old who rushes into marrying Charles, a fellow young artist. Though poor, Sophia believes that her

marriage will be wonderful and nothing can go wrong, but when babies come into the picture the marriage soon begins to crumble. Living in poverty, resented by Charles, who dislikes babies and can think of nothing but his art, and criticised by a mother-in-law who believes her son is the world’s next artistic “genius”, Sophia takes refuge in an affair with Peregrine. Yet even this is ill fated and Sophia faces one disaster after the next. But there is always hope on the horizon, and the reader knows from the beginning that there will be a happy ending. Through the eyes of Sophia, Barbara Comyns deals with poverty, babies, family and marriage, yet retains a compelling, humorous and wonderfully true voice. Sophia is young, eccentric and naïve in the extreme, but you fall in love with her all the same. Carrying her newt Great Warty around in her pocket, Sophia is always full of wide-eyed innocence, yet she has a sharp and canny judgement of those around her. She relates the horror of Charles in its full

dreadfulness, capturing the mother-inlaw’s, Eva, petty criticism and hypocrisy with delicious humour. Yet this book is not all light hearted. Not as darkly humorous as some of Comyns later novels, such as the brilliantly insane Who Was Changed and Who Was Dead, it still has its moments of tragedy. Sophia must deal with the problems of poverty and providing for two children that her husband cannot stand. The image of her sheltering on a cold doorstep with her two young children, having left her husband and had her hopes of being sheltered by her lover crushed, is heart wrenching and almost Dickensian. But Sophia is never down for long, and her irresistible spirit always rises up to overcome whatever life throws at her. Our Spoons Came From Woolworths is a wonderful book, and an excellent way to become acquainted with a little known female author whose talent has for too long gone ignored by modern readers. Take a look at the world through Sophia’s eyes, and she is guaranteed to win over your heart. Amy Deakin


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january 24 2011 Exeposé

Arts

Rosie Scudder & Ellie Steafel - arts@exepose.com

“Much too good for children”

Jennifer Drabble reviews the RSC’s sell out musical, Matilda.

THE Royal Shakespeare Company never fails to put on a good show and so when Matilda, in a new and updated musical form, was announced as its annual Christmas family treat, there were no doubts about it being successful. In fact it seems its success was rather underestimated. Running for only 3 months, November through to January, tickets were golden. By midNovember the majority had gone, and by December locals and visitors alike were queuing from the early hours for day release. So what was so good about it? For starters, the RSC struck gold with the duo of Dennis Kelly and Tim Minchin. Roald Dahl’s classic story was given just enough twist by Kelly to unleash new life (Matilda demonstrates her gift for storytelling through an inset tale of an escapologist and an acrobat) without dramatically altering the essence of

art review Shadow Catchers: Camera-Less Photography @ The V&A October 13 2010 February 20 2011 ‘SHADOW CATCHERS: CAMERALESS PHOTOGRAPHY’, two impossibilities? Catching shadows and taking photographs without a camera were two things I considered unlikely, if not unfeasible, before seeing this exhibition. However, the exhibition has changed my view, as I have seen photographs made with no lenses and shadows trapped on paper for eternity. The definition of a photograph is ‘a picture made using a camera, in which an image is focused on to light-sensitive material and then made visible and permanent by chemical treatment’. The works by five contemporary artists defy this definition. Floris Neususs, Pierre Cordier, Susan Derges, Garry Fabian Miller and Adam Fuss each work with photographic equipment, chemicals and light processes without bringing a camera

this heart-warming childhood tale. And yes, Bruce Bogtrotter’s infamous chocolate cake scene is still a feature, proving that Kelly hits just the right note between keeping the best-loved scenes sacred and updating the rest. Combine this with Minchin’s score and witty lyrics, and it is no wonder Matilda was a knockout. A show for all the family, it is definitely not just for the kids. Minchin’s lyrics had young and old laughing (admittedly for different reasons) and the choreography by Peter Darling was fantastic. Not since Darling brought us Billy Elliot have I seen a cast, predominantly made up of children, perform so brilliantly. As well as being impossibly cute, the talented young things, aged eight to eleven, pulled off the show with utter style and complete conviction. Performing on a rota, the three groups of children in the cast portray rebellious school children just on the right side of corny, and my, could they sing. The star of the show, however, was undoubtedly Bertie Carvel in his

grotesquely hilarious performance as headmistress Miss Trunchbull. Now featuring a hump and a heavy bust (which he pauses to rearrange every now and again), Carvel commandeers

the stage in gym routines and sweat sniffing before revelling in the delight of ‘The Chokey’. From the opening few seconds of the show it was clear that it was going

into the equation. The V&A makes the claim that the art on display is, therefore, ‘an original’, whereas a photograph is a copy made from a negative, a reproduction of a reality. The pieces that adorn the walls of the exhibition have a more enticingly mystical quality than standard photographic exhibitions, al-

though they do not extend so far into fantasy that they become paintings. Each artist uses different techniques to abandon camera, to great effect. My personal favourite was the work of the eccentric Pierre Cordier; an artist experimenting with the chemicals in photographic development to create pieces

“[Derges] worked in Devon during the 1990’s and used the night sky as her darkroom and the currents in rivers as her subject. The work she has created is sublime; it is captured by reflecting water on photographic paper held under the flow of water.”

Photo: Susan Derges

of art that are far from reality. Cordier describes how he experiments with hundreds of pieces, processed randomly. Developer and fixers are used to create light and dark, whilst anything from nail varnish to eggs is added to the concoction to create new patterns. The work at the end of this slightly insane process is amazing: labyrinths of intricate parallel patterns, swirls of never-ending neatness. The randomness is lost in the end product which appears totally contained and calculated. The works created by Cordier are called ‘chemigrams’ and he is the pioneer of this increasingly popular technique. Another artist who caught my eye in the exhibition was the British artist Susan Derges. Her interest is water, its movement and its strong symbolism. She worked in Devon during the 1990’s and used the night sky as her darkroom and the currents in rivers as her subject. The work she has created is sublime; it

be a hit. So, next stop the West End? Rumours have it that it will indeed be making a reappearance next Christmas, and the cast recording is already in commission. Watch this space.

is captured by reflecting water on photographic paper held under the flow of water, with sheets of foil to reflect the light. It appears a bit like the bark on a withered tree, but with the feeling of movement and dynamism, which can be lost in photographs. Derges’ work is big, bold and beautiful. It is as close to true nature as you can get in artistic reproduction. On the whole, the exhibition is seamlessly curated and easily explored. A series of video installations at the heart of the exhibition provide a truly moving artist’s view of the world of camera-less photography and the pictures are indescribably absorbing, clever and natural. The exhibition runs at the V&A until February 20, so if you get a chance, get up to London and see this contemporary exhibition – it is the best thing I have seen in The V&A for a long time. ZOE BULAITIS


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Exeposé week fourteen

theatre review Hamlet @ National Theatre, January 2011

NICHOLAS HYNTER (director) has not just adapted Hamlet for the modern age, but, in Orwellian fashion, has created a chilling vision of the future. Set in a modern police state, Hynter’s Hamlet points to a world where privacy is a thing of the past, truth is the property of the media and violence hides in every corner. If “something is rotten in the state of Denmark” the characters would rather not know about it. As the audience, we are forced to ask, how closely does their situation resemble our own? There is always the danger in modern adaptations of Shakespeare of the language jarring with the modern setting. In the opening scene, the militantly-dressed guards’ conveyed shock at the appear-

theatre review Birdsong @ The Comedy Theatre, January 2011

SINCE its publication in 1993, Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks has been notoriously difficult to capture on film or adapt for stage. However, this adaptation directed by Rachel Wagstaff for the stage is very successful. Her use of set is well arranged, with a handful of props being used for more than one purpose. For example, a large board is used in the war scenes and is raised or lowered to express trenches, barracks or tunnels. It is also toppled from an upright position to create an image of Hell that Stephen is condemned to by the ominous Azaire, after he absconds with Isabelle. Ben Barnes, star of Prince Caspian and The Picture of Dorian Gray, plays protagonist Stephen Wraysford. His performance was exceptional throughout, particularly in the act concerning the war years. A brooding officer, Wraysford has the respect of his colleagues but finds no lasting companionship among them; Barnes captures this well. The destructive nature of the war takes its toll upon him and we watch his helpless descent into a fragile state of mind and body. This illustrated the fact that many people from

ance of King Hamlet’s ghost is quite awkward. However, this production does not simply rely on Shakespeare’s script for its effect; the emphasis is on the visual (the outfits, the guns, the shadows). The scene swiftly changes: the red carpet rolls out, the lights come up, cameras and portraits are positioned and members of the court flood the stage. Death and disturbance are literally brushed under the (red) carpet. Rory Kinnear makes a very intriguing Hamlet. Initially he is ignored, lost in the hustle and bustle of the court. His marked contempt for the crowd makes him more of an outsider than an ordinary man. The most striking element of his performance is his response when he learns that his father has been murdered by his uncle (the new king) Claudius. Chalking a smiley face on the wall, with the word ‘villain’ scrawled underneath, his wild reaction seems less insane and the war era saw their friends and sons destroyed by loss and fatigue. The only acting I would criticise would be that of Genevieve O’Reilly (Isabelle). Her passion for Stephen was half-hearted and she didn’t fulfil my expectations of the character. Their affair happens at such a momentous point in Stephen’s young adulthood and her role play didn’t quite encapsulate this significance. However, when she and Stephen meet when they are older, they are both weakened forms of themselves and O’Reilly’s acting was commendable during this tender and endearing scene. The intensely emotional scenes were punctuated by comedy in the form of Stephen’s comrades in the trenches. The actors who performed the roles of Firebrace, Shaw and Evans created several witty exchanges, which served as effective light relief from the severity of the play’s topic. As the action advances we see Stephen grow closer to them. This develops his character, both as an officer and as a human being. Birdsong is a play of progression; its series of episodic consequences reveal the fragility of human nature and how easily relationships can be built and fractured in an instant. It reminds us of how tragedy can weaken even the most resilient of characters, but also how the smallest inkling of hope can revive a near-extinct generation. POLLYANNA COTTERILL

Arts

Editors’ Top 10 1. Landings:

Reviewing the World

more anarchic. His madness lies in his rejection of the corrupt system. The pained humanity in his soliloquies, most notable in his understated deliverance of “to be or not to be,” ensures that we can sympathise with the supposed ‘madman.’ His performance is not the only one worthy of mention. Patrick Malahide (Claudius) wields a strong presence throughout the play. He is the Man – he owns the place and will go to any length

theatre review

The Winter’s Tale @ The Roundhouse, December 2011 COMMONLY described as “Othello in the first half and Midsummer Night’s Dream in the second” The Winter’s Tale is a tragi-comedy that pulls its audience through the pits of Leontes’ jealousy, the gut-twisting torture of Hermione’s plea for freedom and the frolicking joys of the young lovers with a speed that leaves us gasping for breath. One of Shakespeare’s final plays, it is often looked down upon by literary snobs, condemned for not fitting in a classic category and containing plot twists that force even the most imaginative audience to suspend their belief in reality. The RSC reaffirmed their reputation as the greatest Shakespeare company with this fantastic production starring Kelly Hunter as Hermione and Greg Hicks as her insanely jealous husband Leontes. The opening scenes are stiff with royal decorum, the gold plated candlesticks and padded chairs complimenting the decorative stage of the Roundhouse. Unfortunately this emphasis on etiquette detracts from the initially warm friendship between Leontes and his childhood friend Polixenes described by Shakespeare. Instead of a life-long connection these two kings seem like wary colleagues on stage, using heavily pregnant Hermione as a messenger rather than an equal. Any doubts as to the abilities of this queen are instantly dispelled, as she stands barefoot, in her prison rags still covered in the traces of giving birth, and she gives a painfully emotive speech whilst her husband remains icy and unmoved in his chair. As the play moves into its cheery second act it becomes less impressive,

to ensure it stays in his control. Ruth Negga gives a beautifully tender performance as Ophelia. Whilst Malahide enforces the play’s political dimension, Negga successfully appeals to its more vulnerable side. This is a thrillingly intense production. It is about to leave the National Theatre to tour and will arrive at the Theatre Royal, Plymouth in March. JAMES DE SOUZA with Perdita failing to be a charming heroine, merely a grating presence with her lover Florizel proving far too dependent. The comical shearing scene was heavily cut from the original text, but included a bizarre primitive dance including giant phalluses which was amusing but entirely unanticipated and somewhat out of place.

“The great glory of this production was without a doubt Jon Bausor’s ingenious and dramatic staging, with his great library shelves collapsing as Leontes’ kingdom and family crash all around him ”

The great glory of this production was without doubt Jon Bausor’s ingenious and dramatic staging, with his great library shelves collapsing as Leontes’ kingdom and family crash all around him. This ruined palace transforms into a hostile world with a fragile baby in its centre and paper bears prowling the edges. Father Time suspended from the ceiling and Autolycus bursting his way upwards through the floor of the stage were charming and hilarious, giving what could have easily been bland bit-parts a weight of their own. The contrast between the flower-filled, blooming country of Bohemia and the icy, derelict Sicilia whose inhabitants are literally covered in dust has a beautiful correlation with the warm lovers and the frosty Leontes. The reuniting of these two kingdoms brings an emotional and heart-warming conclusion, bringing many viewers to tears. ALEX WYNICK

Exhibition January 15 - Feb 26 SPACEX

2. Voices & Playing

with Daisy

2 Short Plays January 25-29 BikeShed Theatre

3. A Chorus Line Footlights Musical January 25-29 Northcott Theatre

4. Murray Lachlan

Young

Performance Poet January 30 BikeShed Theatre

5. Mark Steel

Comedian January 30 The Phoenix Centre

6. Gepetto

Play February 1-2 Northcott Theatre

7. Cul-de-Sac

Play February 1-12 BikeShed Theatre

8. Monkeys with

Puns

Impro Comedy February 3 BikeShed Theatre

9. Dan Antopolski

& Andy Zaltzman: Best of the Edinburgh Fringe Comedy February 3 The Phoenix Centre

10. Showstopper!

Improvised musical February 3-4 Northcott Theatre


30

Video Games Stephen O’Nion & Alice Scoble-Rees - games@exepose.com

Feature

Stephen O’Nion and Alice ScobleRees look ahead to the year that will be ... 2011

It’s nearly the second month of this fine year already, and boy howdy what a year it’s shaping up to be. 10 years ago the world saw new entries released in the Pokémon, Total War, Civilization and Halo franchises. What a different world we live in now. Rather than delve into the annals of history though, 2011 has a host of major games waiting for us to get our grubby little hands on and froth at the mouth for. January has already seen Little Big Planet 2 and Dead Space 2 doing what sequels demand, i.e. improving upon the original, whilst DC Universe Online is the next game to try and crack the MMORPG market. February on the other hand has a great month planned for all you numbers fans! Dragon Quest VI, Conduit 2 and Killzone 3 are all on course to burst onto our screens. If you’re not already a fan of March then 2011 is here to change your mind! First up is Pokémon - set for an early March release before Bioware step up to the plate with Dragon Age 2, which gives budding St. Georges a chance to return to the rich world of

NEwsBYTES

Another week and another story decrying the bad influence of video games. Alas fellow depressives, Iowa State University has concluded that excessive gaming may increase depression, anxiety and social phobias. Bummer. It’s too late now, in a few years every social interaction will be online anyway, why else do the films Gamer and Surrogates exist? To entertain?! On a subject which definitely isn’t evidence of a growing addiction to gaming, SEGA have invented a games console controlled through the player’s urine. The console includes four minigames, including The North Wind and Her where the player makes a woman’s skirt rise with wind blasts controlled by his powerful stream. No word yet on whether this Japanese [surprise!] innovation will have a woman’s version. Still, the ‘Toylet’ console probably holds some appeal at the moment for all those Runes of Magic players locked out of the game by hacker, augustus87. This

Ferelden. Close on DA2’s heels is the superhuman strength and speed of Crysis 2 and the superhuman stamina of Tiger Woods in his twelfth title on March 29. April and May, by comparison, appear to have no stamina at all, with few confirmed releases to call their own - but what they do have packs a punch. As well as Brink, April brings the longed -for Portal 2, much

anticipated for the soothing Bristolian tones of Stephen Merchant in its voice cast. The spring quarter also sees FEAR 3 in May, and the distincly less chilling release of the 3DS on March 25. It’ll be like a tiny world in the palm of your hand! With the summer months come iced cream, stickball and bonus pocket-money for offerings such as (with any luck) The Old Republic, L.A. Noire, Deus Ex and The Witcher 2. Whilst we’re guessing though, let’s also state that Half-Life 2: Episode 3 will be announced for 2014 and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ will return to walk among us once more. Later, the crunch of fallen leaves heralds some stonkingly great titles to take advantage of stocking-filler season once more. We’re talking the Dark Knight himself taking wing again in Batman: Arkham City; an eighth Call of Duty which will surely cover something the others have somehow missed (our money’s on Russian/Arabic terrorists with added controversy) and the trio of trilogies - Gears of War/Uncharted/Mass Effect 3 all coming to epic conclusions (?). Whatever sparks your interest, stock up on tinned food and medigel now, it’s a long year. We can’t wait. brave warrior has taken it upon himself to hack the game’s servers and issue a list of demands including ... better security and a halt to ingame hacking. There’s something not quite right about his methods but damned if I can put my finger on it. Anyone not playing RoM would be well pressed to get out there and start buying more games. For the second year in a row, sales of new video games, hardware and accessories was down 6% on the last year. Think, people! If you don’t buy Wii controller peripherals or second-hand copies of Medal of Honor, this industry could crash down upon us. For those that did trade in Medal of Honor due to its ‘difficulty’ - you now have an excuse! The University of Illinois has recently published a study identifying who would do well and who would get pwnt in strategic video games by analyzing activity in certain areas of the brain. So, to ensure your clan is of ideal ability, just purchase some callipers and measure the brainpan of your friends today!

2010: the year Retro Civilization IV: that was Firaxis, 2K;

PC/Mac November 2005

2010 was a great year, with indie hits, blockbusters, and advances in hardware. Perhaps of most importance to the industry was the advance in motion control gaming. As was expertly covered in the last edition of Exeposé (still available in certain recycling bins around campus), 2010 has seen the logical advancement of gaming to rapidly flailing about in any average living room, and it can only go further! 2010 also brought the whole spectrum of that new phenomenon - DLC. From the highs of Undead Nightmare and BFBC2: Vietnam, to the lows of overpriced COD map packs and priced online activation, DLC continues to entertain or infuriate depending on your choice of game. And that will only continue. Also continuing is the climb in purchasing games digitally. Servers like Steam give basement dwellers the option to never leave the basement again, and with their competetive prices they’re leaving street retailers in their virtual wake Ultimately when it came to choosing our own GOTY we tallied the votes and the importance afforded to the caster, and determind that Mass Effect 2 was the victor. This ain’t a democracy, people!

Sid Meier’s incredibly successful series of turn-based strategy games keeps going from strength to strength, with a fifth instalment released in the autumn. However it is its predecessor, Civilization IV which was released five years before that saw huge worldwide success, from the release of numerous expansion packs, to even inspiring a show on the world’s largest fountain display in Dubai! The game puts you in control of one of many major civilisations as you guide it to success from pre-history to the modern-day era and beyond. During your campaign, you have to build industry and infrastructure in your major cities, create an army to conquer and defend your empire and manage diplomatic relations with your neighbours. There are numerous objectives that you can use to achieve victory, from a straightforward territorial victory, where your army controls most of the world, to a space-race victory where you have to become the first to colonise space. Now I have to admit, before I bought this game I was a Total War fan, a direct competitor to Meier’s franchise, but playing this game converted me straight away. Not only did the level of detail surpass any Total War game to date, but the vast variety of campaign modes and longevity of the game left me wasting months on it. The end result was my copy of Rome: Total War gathering dust on the shelf. Another great selling point is the amount of additional content available

january 24 2011

Exeposé

from add-ons, both official and community created. Two expansion packs, Warlords and Beyond the Sword are definitely worth getting to increase the number and variety of maps and campaigns, with the best being the European and Asian Second World War maps from Beyond the Sword which allows you to either play out the exact historical events of the war, or allows the player and the computer-controlled opposition to have a carte blanche over the scenario. One main negative criticism though is that this game is definitely not for the ‘pick up and play’ gamer. The player does need to be patient as it takes time to learn about the details of the game and all the campaigns last a long time. What this game also lacks is the ability to control armies on a specific battlefield map, unlike the Total War series, instead relying on the main world map, to carry out battles for you. The graphics themselves were not the best around at the time, however in general, this does not detract from the appeal of this title.

“Playing the game converted me straight away to the franchise” The lack of complex graphics does however allow the game to be played on more basic PCs, a selling point that is somewhat lacking in Civilization V which boasts state-of-the-art graphics and is therefore very processor-hungry. Overall, in terms of gameplay, Civilization IV was incredibly good for its time and is still a title I would play nowadays. It’s a game that requires a little bit of time to learn, but once the player has learnt the basics, it is guaranteed that he or she will be hooked for a very long time. Thank you Mr. Meier. Matthieu perry


31

Exeposé week fourteen

Dance Central: Harmonix, MTV; 360 November 4 2010

I love dancing but the sad truth is I cannot dance to save my life. Even dance classes have not been able to tame my two left feet - trust me, I’m actually known for my crazy dancing. Finally, I think I’ve found my cure: Dance Central for Xbox Kinect - easily the best game of 2010! Gone are the retro days of Dance Dance Revolution! Dance Central allows you to bust some real street dance moves to popular club tunes - all in the privacy of your own room! The moves are all professionally choreographed and are relatively easy to follow. You also get feedback on where your moves need work so you can actually learn to dance - now there is no excuse to shy away on a night out! Its big personality characters and vibrant venues are convincing enough to make me feel like an extra in Step Up (minus Channing Tatum unfortunately!) Kinect tracks the movement of your whole body which means you actually have to break a sweat and get up onto your feet! (That was directed at Wii users who champion the “waving arms around” move.) There’s even a workout mode so you can feel good about yourself whilst gaming! Anyone can play as long as you are prepared for an evening of excessive laughing and fun! This probably makes it the most sociable game available on Xbox (online multiplayer does not count as socialising!) The best part of this game? It regularly tells you what a brilliant dancer you are... Now if subtle flattery is not an incentive to buy this then I don’t know what is. JessiCA Leung

Heavy Rain: Quantic Dream, Sony; PS3 February 26 2010 It was a tough call, but in 2010 it was Heavy Rain that really gave gaming new potential. It validated my favourite hobby by showing that games can be so much more than whimsical diversions; it’s less a game and more an interactive experience, a movie you direct as you watch it. The world of Heavy Rain is immersive and believable, the graphics beautiful, the controls natural and intuitive and the story absolutely compelling to play. So compelling that myself and my best friend sat up going through it until 5 am, whilst another friend with no interest in games watched. And yet another kept coming in to check our progress. Heavy Rain: the game you love without even playing.

Alice scoble-rees

Video Games Editor

the first annual exeposé video games award for outstanding achievement in the field of excellence! [Video game category]

Monster Hunter Tri: Bioware, EA; Wii April 23 2010

Not for a long time had I anticipated a games release as much as that of Monster Hunter Tri for Wii. As soon as I heard of its announcement, I knew straight away this was a game I would love. After all, who doesn’t love teaming up with three buddies to battle against gigantic beasts? Speaking of multiplayer, Monster Hunter Tri is without a doubt the best online Wii game to date. The game has a nice lobby system that allows you to form your hunting party as well as voice chat support and, best of all, no pesky friend codes. It is the online mode that has destroyed all my free time this year. The challenging combat, fantastic enemy design and incredibly deep crafting system have kept me hooked since the day it launched. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of satisfaction you get from taking on a ferocious behemoth and reducing it to a lifeless corpse. However, more than anything else it is the game’s staying power that has allowed it to fend off stiff competition to become my game of the year. After over 300 hours of gameplay I’m still discovering new quests to undertake, new monsters to fight and new weapons to forge. Whilst other games are doomed to simply sit on my shelf, Monster Hunter Tri is a game I will still be playing well into 2011; and from me, there is no greater praise than that. Adam Koziol

We asked you to send in your nominations for 2010 Game of the Year and the response was literally underwhelming. However what we did receive represented the crop of 2010’s offerings. From the crime-solving to the alien-seducing, and the monster-hunting to the football...managing, 2010 offered hit after ruddy hit. Still, we’d like to recognise the achievements that may otherwise be lost in the mayhem of 2010 roundup lists. BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT No, not me Dad, but Medal of Honor. Beating games like Kane & Lynch 2 and Fable III, MoH’s sheer blandness and repetition really set it apart in 2010, Good job guys! BEST CELEBRITY VoiceOver Martin Sheen, your career is complete. Your star turn as ME2’s Illusive Man has beaten Seth Green’s commendable performance as Joker, Matthew Perry’s surprise appearance in Fallout: New Vegas and the entire cast of Fable III. BEST Villain A hotly contended prize. Nominees included Heavy Rain’s Origami Killer, Sophia Lamb of Bioshock 2 fame, Dr. Fetus from Super Meat Boy, and everyone’s favourite developer Activision! Ultimately though, we’ve awarded this to the villain that limited our fun with all games, and even stopped us playing a few. Time Itself. Why can’t we live forever?

Red Dead Redemption: Rockstar; PS3/360 May 18 2010

Critically acclaimed, loved by the players and even lauded by some Hollywood types as rather good, Red Dead Redemption is classic Western. Men are men, women are women and grizzly bears are scary. The player assumes the role of John Marston, an ex-outlaw, tasked with seeking out members of his old gang for the fledgling Federal Government who are holding his family in ‘protective custody’. The game takes place in the vast Wild West, the turbulent Mexico and the haunting northern mountains and prairies, with graphics so good it makes your head hurt (particularly the weather, which is as unpredictable as a drunken bandito with a shotgun). There is so much depth to the game; a story rich with wonderful characters voiced by actors who have clearly put in the hours to make this game; music that sounds as if it’s come straight from Ennio Morricone; gameplay that encourages exploration and adventure and graphics to impress everyone, even your grandparents. A far cry from the “but its just GTA with horses” argument…I challenge those people to a duel! It is superb, it is rewarding, the Undead Nightmare DLC is utter genius (Cowboys AND Zombies? YAYA!), and the multiplayer is also impressive; exploring, hunting and battling in Red Dead’s world online just as you do offline. A seriously impressive piece of work, Rockstar you should be proud as you ride off into the sunset. Hugh Blackstaffe

Video Games

Mass Effect 2: Bioware, EA; 360/PC February 26 2010

Mass Effect 2 continues the established pace, depth and intensity of its game-changing predecessor whilst improving upon almost all aspects of gameplay to ensure its position as not only the best game of 2010, but Bioware’s finest title to date. Immediately you’re right back in Commander Shepard’s armour-clad boots; still the universe’s only hope against an immeasurable force, but now working for a shadowy organisation and tasked with assembling a rag-tag team of specialists to aid your cause. ME2 is an epic cinematic central narrative more often found in any of the best sci-fi epics. Throughout, Mass Effect 2 is always the player’s story, where each action yields a tangible result and makes gaming a deep and meaningful experience; even the death of NPCs is affecting, and interactions with characters from the first game feel like meeting an old friend. It’s fitting then, that just as ME2 transcends the cinematic and the immersive, it’s also the most seamless combination of RPG and third person shooter to date, streamlined to prevent common activities like grinding or looting, and with combat revamped to be smoother and, most importantly, more fun than I could have ever hoped. Ultimately, ME2 is the best game of 2010 because it is more than just the sum of its incredible parts. My first playthrough lasted 11 hours, until 9am, before sleep set in, and every minute was sheer unbridled pleasure. Take note: Mass Effect 3 arrives later this year, so if you haven’t already, you’ve got time to buy and play through ME1 and 2... at least twice. stephen o’nion Video Games Editor

Football Manager 2011: Sports Interactive, Sega; PC/PSP November 5 2010

Football Manager 2011 is not for the faint-hearted or a simple lunchtime game. It’s all tactics, transfers and training schedules with precise details and great depth to all the resources meaning once you go in, you can only go deeper. An Inception of gaming if you will. The developers know their target market. Football Manager is the clear leader in its field, with no rivals even coming close to its superior nature. The reason behind this superiority is Football Manager’s attention to detail, which is outstanding and vast. The large database of players and details is astounding, making the game wholly absorbing and timeless, with no point of conclusion available. However, this means the prospect of Football Manager is incredibly daunting to the uninitiated. All in all, Football Manager has not changed since its original conception and thus, if you like football and have no social life, you David Brake are in for a real treat. Screen Editor


Online Application Form Competition Be ÂŁ250 better off just by practising your application skills!

Open to students from all years – undergraduates and postgraduates. From Monday 10 January 2011, competition rules and the application form can be found at www.exeter.ac.uk/ employability/applicationcompetition Complete and submit the application form by 5pm on Friday 4 February 2011.

Sponsored by:

university of

exeter

www.exeter.ac.uk/employability

The Exeter Leaders Award is designed to encourage you to focus on your leadership skills and achievements and enable you to further develop the skills that graduate employers are looking for. For further information visit: www.exeter.ac.uk/exeterleadersaward

The Exeter Leaders Award is sponsored by

university of

exeter

www.exeter.ac.uk/employability


33

Exeposé week fourteen

Historic win for EURL Rugby League

Tom Goulston Rugby Correspondent Wednesday December 15, 2010 will go down as a momentous day in Exeter’s Rugby League history, as this season’s 1st XIII travelled on the long away trip to Loughborough where they recorded their first ever away win, 18-8, against their bitter rivals. The victory also meant that the EURL 1’s continued their unbeaten season and topped Premier South, heading into 2011. Head coach Matthew Cuss stated, “Beating Loughborough away was on our list of must do’s and to finally beat them shows that the boys have taken a massive physiological step forward and matured as a squad”. The team arrived after the four

“Punishing hits were administered from both sides” hour coach journey, focused for a battle. In the changing rooms Cuss passionately reiterated the historical significance of a victory away at Loughborough and stated that, “destiny was in our own hands”. The first half proved to be a defensive battle with both teams racking up the tackle counts. Punishing hits were administered from both sides,

however on half an hour, EURL did manage to break the Loughborough defence through a great line cut by centre Cormac Healy, only halted by a fantastic cover tackle from the Loughborough full back. For the next ten minutes Exeter found themselves on the back foot, defending three consecutive sets on their own line, before the Loughborough 6 managed to break through the line and cross over for the game’s first score. This meant at half time Loughborough led 4-0.

“This win illustrates what hard work and determination can achieve”

When the second half commenced the game opened up, but both sides were littered with mistakes. It took a Cormac Healy break off a scrum move for Exeter to get their first score, duly converted by Nico Flanaghan to give them a 6-4 lead. Nevertheless Loughborough managed to hit back against the run of play and their prop crashed over from five metres out; they missed the conversion and moved into a narrow lead of 8-6. With 15 minutes to go Exeter continued to pile on the pressure and a Josh Jones break from a Nico Flanaghan offload, put the away side back in front and made it 10-8 to Exeter. Five minutes

later captain Flanaghan slotted over a penalty after more pressure exerted by an increasingly confident Exeter side. Then with two minutes remaining the final nail was hammered into the Loughborough coffin, as Josh Jones darted from ten metres out and crossed for his second try. The try was converted which put the score at 188. Exeter managed to hold out for the final two minutes, to record a famous victory. Club captain Tom Williams stated that “this win illustrates what hard work and determination can achieve. We have worked incredibly hard since September and seven wins and no losses is the outcome. Each player can be proud of what they have achieved so far this year”.

BUCS Rugby League Premier South 1. Exeter 2. Loughborough 3. Nottingham 4. Northampton 5. Oxford 6. Birmingham

Sport

A word from your AU President...

Welcome back, I hope you’re feeling suitably rested after Christmas and the exam period didn’t prove too stressful for you! We’re at an exciting stage in the BUCS competition. With the snow affecting the last two weeks of term the Wednesday fixture list is jam packed with some exciting finales in the league tables. Looking ahead, well over half of our 64 league teams will go on to play knockout fixtures, which would be great to see Exeter move into the latter stages of the Championship, Trophy and Conference Competitions. Good luck to all teams in these fixtures and please do your best to get out there are support our teams. But what else can you look forward to this term? The Canoe Club are hosting the always enjoyable Adventure Ball on the February 19. It is a black-tie event held at Crealy Adventure Park, a short bus journey from campus. There will be a hog roast, fully licensed bar and access to the parks giant ball pits and death slides – you do not want to miss out! For more information go to www. theadventureball.co.uk. Sunday March 13 sees the return of the International 5-a-side Football Tournament - can Algeria take the title again? Two weeks later, Sunday March 27 will see the biggest Inter-halls sports day ever on campus ever - can your hall conquer all others to be crowned the number one hall on campus? More information to follow.

The Annual Dodgeball tournament returns in the last week of term on Wednesday March 30. We are expecting the highest standard of dodging seen in Exeter in the last decade and entries are again expected to be through the roof so don’t miss out on putting your club, society, subject group on the dodgeball map. Again more information to follow. One quick note, congratulations to Sam Harley (2nd year History and Ancient History) who was selected to represent Great Britain Under 25s as part of a 12 man squad for the World Long Range Rifle Championships in October 2011 in Australia. Lastly, do you want my job? Nominations are now open for the sabbatical elections 2011. Come up to the AU office for more information if you think you might be interested in being the AU President next year! Follow the AU on facebook at “Exeter University Athletics Union”.

EURFC dust away the Christmas cobwebs by losing to Bristol Simon Dewhurst provides a re-freshing perspective on EURFC’s first game of the year.

Exeter University RFC 1st XV started the New Year on a disappointing note with a 17-6 defeat against Bristol University 1st XV. On a bright and sunny afternoon, the opening exchanges of the match were scrappy with a lot of possession for both teams in the middle of the field. There was no lack of determination though with both sides putting in big tackles from the start. This resulted in a lot of early injuries which were possibly exacerbated by the long winter

break. Despite a couple of promising moves from Exeter, it was Bristol who scored first. After giving away a couple of penalties and collapsing the scrum, the referee lost patience with the Exeter pack, showing a yellow card and awarding a penalty try which was duly converted by the Bristol fly half. Despite playing the remainder of the half with 14 men, Exeter came back into the game with Tom Chalcraft breaking the Bristol line and pressuring

them into conceding a penalty. This allowed fly half Chris Reakes to step up and score Exeter’s first points of 2011. Unfortunately, this was to be Reakes’ last act of the match as he injured his ankle in an awkward collision with an opposition player from the resulting restart. Exeter were given a confidence boost soon after though when the Bristol fly half was penalised and sin binned for coming in from the side. Full back Mike Pope took on kicking duties, reducing the deficit to just one

point at half time. The second half started much like the first with neither team stamping their authority on the game. Exeter’s passing was not as fluent as in previous weeks and they struggled to get near the Bristol line. With a partisan crowd behind them, Exeter did eventually force a Bristol line out five metres out but it came to nothing. As the half went on, Bristol came back into the match and they were rewarded when they spread the ball out wide allowing

their winger to cross for a try. With the conversion added, Exeter looked like a tired and defeated team. Bristol’s victory was secured when their fly half slotted a last minute penalty, giving them a 17-6 win. The victory moves Bristol to second in the BUCS Men’s South A Division whilst Exeter remain in midtable. With a lot of away games coming up, Exeter will need a lot of self-belief to achieve their aim of finishing in the top half of the table.


34

january 24 2011

Sport

Also in the news... Netball

Kerry Lewis EUNC

At one o’clock on January 19, a game of intense rivalries began; a game that pushed each team to their limits; a game that none would want to lose without a fight. It was a netball match between Exeter’s Fours and Exeter’s Fives. The match was a rollercoaster ride for both teams, but for the Fives it started on a high. The Fours were clearly dealing with nerves and were committing unforced errors that meant that the Fives, with their steady pace and their shooters that

Badminton

Araminta Gilders EUBC THE women’s badminton 1st team were back in action away at Cambridge in their final group fixture for this season. After a long drive the team produced a fantastic performance, winning 6-2 overall. The match started well with team captain Minty Gilders taking the first singles in straight sets, although Cambridge pulled a game back taking the second singles, Exeter’s ladies doubles pairings of Beth Hunter/Kat Thornton and Georgie Stapleton/Jiayi Pan were dominant in their first doubles winning comfortably. The second round matches followed and Cambridge took a strong start in

Womens Lacrosse

Anna Wylie EULC

SIX hours of travelling and a travel lodge snooze later, the team arrived in Cambridge energetic and ready to play their best, despite the odds being against them. The team started the game feeling confident. However, the first half saw them disheartened as the Cambridge girls took the lead by storm.

Exeter City

Rachel Bayne Deputy Editor & Grecian Guru EXETER CITY FC came away from a difficult Christmas and New Year period with five points out of a possible 15, in a comfortable 15th place position, after losing at home to league leaders Brighton 2-1 and away to promotion contenders Southampton 4-0 at St Mary’s. Exeter showed promising form against both highflyers in League One and went on to lead in their matches against Brentford and MK Dons, only to find their opposition equalise in the last minutes, leaving the Grecians with 1-1 draws in their last two league matches. This promising attacking form continued into the away leg of the

just kept scoring, led the first quarter 7-4. However, in the second quarter, it appeared that the Fours pulled their act together, holding on to possession and converting that possession into points on the scoreboard. That’s not to say that the Fours could prevent the goals that the Fives managed to sneakily slip through their defence, but by the end of the second quarter the Fours were in the lead. Although in the third quarter the Fives managed to hold the Fours at bay, the fourth quarter was clearly a quarter for the Fours, as they tightened their defence and the attack demonstrated their speed and accuracy, ending the match at 31-20. the singles, taking one singles to claw back to 3-2 overall. However, the team stepped it up again and Minty came back from a set down to take the singles and was followed by the doubles pairings closing out tight matches to give Exeter the win.

“Exeter’s Ladies were dominant in their first doubles, winning comfortably” The Ladies have managed to finish 3rd overall in the premier division, and Helen Ward (director of badminton) reflected that it had been “a fantastic season for the ladies who have made significant improvements and produced some great performances.”

By the end of the first half morale was low and a comeback was looking unlikely. However, following the half time talk, it was decided that the team must up their game as they were not playing anywhere near their usual standards. Back on pitch and the team stepped it up significantly, preventing many of the Cambridge girls from scoring. Unfortunately in the end, the team were outplayed but the concluding score in no way represented the teams’ efforts. Southern Area Final of the Johnston’s Paint Trophy against Brentford. Exeter dominated the first half at Griffin Park, where they enjoyed a vast share of the possession, with missed chances for Nardiello that should’ve put Exeter ahead early on in the first half. Jamie Cureton scored in the 38th minute with a neat strike into the bottom left-hand corner of the goal, after a spell of strong possession from the Grecians. Exeter deservedly went into halftime ahead, but unfortunately, Brentford’s Gary Alexander scored in the 64th minute, bringing the Bees level in the first leg with a repeat of the previous Friday’s league result. Although Exeter’s performance deserved a few more goals, this draw sets them up nicely for an exciting home leg in February.

Exeposé

Ricky leaves Aussies Ponting in the wrong direction

Joe Shaw-Roberts recounts with delight at Ricky Ponting’s role (or lack thereof) in the Ashes.

To a fan of English cricket, there are few more comforting sights than the great Australian captain standing in the field with a deep frown, chewing his nails frantically. Ricky Ponting’s contribution to the Ashes was negligible: he averaged 13 with the bat, scoring a total of just 113 runs- a statistic which he will no doubt not wish to see. On occasion his dismissals seemed a little unlucky- he edged behind off his hip in Brisbane and saw Collingwood take an outrageous slip catch to dismiss him in Perth. Sympathy must also go to Ponting for the team he had to lead. Mitchell Johnson the supposed strike bowler - was expensive and ineffective in all tests but Perth. Ben Hilfenhaus was too predictable, and did not show the control he is capable of. It is Australia’s lack of a class spinner, however, which really showed up their skipper. When England were on top of the seam attack in previous Ashes series, Ponting brought on Warne, who took a quick wicket and triggered a batting collapse an alarming number of times. Doherty, Beer and Smith did not pose the same threat by any stretch of the imagination, and left their captain looking uninspired and helpless. Where I cannot sympathise with the Aussie great is in his outbursts to umpires and the opposition. His expletive-laden rant at Duncan Fletcher in 2005 was far worse than his disagreement with Aleem Dar this time round, but Ponting has a habit of making himself look like a sore loser when things do not go his way. His anthropoidal appearance serves only to make such tempers all the more enjoyable for viewers.

England retain Ashes Ashes Cricket

Andy Williams Sports Editor

In the early hours of Friday January, 7, England’s cricketers achieved what many presumed to be impossible: beating the Aussies in the Ashes on their own patch. However, not only did they beat them, they absolutely hammered them 3-1 whilst only needed to bat once in each victory. So what has brought about all these changes? The last time England were in Australia the series was a 5-0 Aussie whitewash. However the Australian team of 2010-11 is a far cry from that of 2006-7. The likes of Hayden, Langer,

Charitable EURFC EURFC

James Iman Publicity Officer The best ideas are always the simplest ones. Take one gregarious university sports club that loves their Wednesday nights and match them up with one charity shop on the high street; the end result being a very keen bunch of lads ready to spend their pennies on charity shop items (they were told to make their

Warne and McGrath are no more and their replacements have not been able to fill the very large voids left behind. Similarly, the big name players failed to deliver when they were asked. Ricky Pointing and Michael Clarke both failed to make a serious impact with the bat. Their style of captaincy must also be called into question, with fielding positions and bowling attacks often exploited by England’s top order. Michael Hussey might be the exception to this rule, yet it takes more than just one man to win a cricket match, and many a time Hussesy’s dismissal brought an end to Australian hopes of success. In fairness, the Australian team are going through a transitional phase with a large crop of promising purchases as ridiculous as possible) in turn making £449.50 for SCOPE! The charity shop social has now become an annual venture for the EURFC. The idea stemmed from a wise old clubman that thought it ridiculous that we had so many fancy dress socials without some degree of uniformity. Why not combine this process with a contribution to charity? However, that is not to say that the EURFC does not have a proud philanthropic tradition; the Varsity match, avid undertaking of ‘Movember’ along with a number of individual contributions to


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Exeposé week fourteen

Crossword

Across

with emphatic 3-1 series win

young players working their way through the ranks, however this year they just didn’t make the grade. Having briefly looked at Australia’s role in this series, one cannot deflect any of the deserved attention and praise away from the England team. Australia did not throw the series away, England ripped it from them. In style. I’m sure many people woke up on the mornings after the first two days of the first test with the familiar sinking feeling that accompanies an Ashes tour down under, having seen England bowled out for 260 whilst they responded with 481. Yet that mammoth first wicket partnership between Alistair Cook and Andrew Strauss proved to the world that England were not

there just to make up the numbers. England’s top order dominated the Australian attack in four out of five test matches. This was down to the fact that they just kept on making hundreds. Six out of the top seven all made it to triple figures, but it wasn’t just small ones, there were plenty big ones too: 150+s and double hundreds, with Alistair Cook leading from the front with an array of classic centuries. Yet it wasn’t all down to the batsmen. England’s bowlers arguably had the toughest job. With the injury to Stuart Broad after the first test ruling him out for the rest of the series, there was a serious gap that needed filling fast. Jimmy Anderson stepped up to the plate as the senior bowler, guiding

the likes of Steven Finn, Tim Bresnan and Chris Tremlett through the series. Not to forget Graeme Swann, the best bowler in the world. Both the English batting and bowling outfits combined superbly down under, proving just too good for Australia. So for the first time in 24 years the Ashes were reclaimed again by Englishmen in Australia. Not through the bold brash Flintoff, (early) Pietersen and Harmison way of circa 2005 which worked well in England but failed down under, but by playing the game as it should be: cool, calm and collected. English cricket appears to have started a new chapter, so the likes of India and South Africa best watch out. Because the fun has only just begun.

charities are just some of many ways in which the EURFC seeks to benefit the wider community. Although, there is something rather special about supporting a local branch of a nationwide charity, and it cannot be recommended enough for other clubs to try. So why not tell your club to get themselves down to a pre-arranged charity shop and start cultivating those outfits! Aside from the EURFC’s contributions to charity over the past month, the season has also been progressing in a highly pleasing

manner. The 1st XV put on a fantastic show for all who attended the Varsity extravaganza at Sandy Park earlier in the month. An unfortunate loss to UWIC two weeks later followed, with injuries and mid-season fatigue beginning to set in. Nevertheless, the team look strongly placed to compete effectively in the knockout stages of BUCS. Further down the club the 2nd, 3rd and 4th XVs have all been playing well, with some very encouraging results throughout. The 2’s win over Exeter’s archrivals Hartpury deserves a special

mention. Unfortunately the weird and wonderful weather we experienced meant that the final games of November had to be cancelled, to the dismay of all. Sporting success and contribution to charity have always been mutually beneficial and the EURFC intends to uphold this tradition. Whether it be dressing up in old clothes, growing ridiculous, and occasionally disgusting, facial hair or even sitting in Nandos peddling a bike for Local Hospice Care, this energetic bunch are willing to do whatever it takes.

1. Climbing paraphernalia (9) 5. Pays d’__ - notable wine region of Northern France (2) 7. Lethal Aircraft (6) 8. Sweet Home _______ (7) 10. American Parent (3) 11. Scottish instrument (8) 14. Grin (4) 15. Mouthguard company (4) 16. Back chat (4) 19. Sports brand (3) 20. Living (5) 21. Obtained (3) 23. Trainee barrister; Part of eye (5) No 14 Solution: Across:1.Nonchalant 6. Awe7. Numerous 10. Glee 11. Titration 13. Up 14. Teach 16. A Bit 18. Blasted 19. UAE 21. Tessellate Down: 1.Nonentity 2.Che 3. Laud 4. Table 5. Penelope 8. Mantra 9. Rada 12. Orb 15. Crass 16. A Feel 17. Taupe 18. Bee 20. Elf

Sudoku

Sport

No. 16 by Alexander Cook

Down

1. Rhetorical tool denoting symmetry of ideas or syntax in a phrase (8) 2. Postal service (5,4) 3. Hearty-voiced Shakespearian Actor (5,7) 4. Notable Italian destination for student sports tours (6) 6. Type of fish (4) 7. Bilbo_______ (7) 9. In reference to; in the case of; concerning (2) 12. Rock, _____ , Scissors (5) 13. Instrument for underwater exploration (7) 17. Spill liquid (4) 18. Beer (3) 22. Second person singular French (2)

Easy

Medium

Medium

Hard


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january 24 2011

Sport

Exeposé

Alexander Cook & Andy Williams - sport@exepose.com

Demons dominate; Plymouth capitulate

Demons continue run their of success, annihilating local rivals Plymouth Blitz.

American Football

Will Budge American Football Vice President The Demons triumphed 12-2 over their rivals the Plymouth Blitz in a close, hard-fought encounter in Plymouth. While the score line would suggest a closer game, Exeter’s defence shut out the Blitz offence to give Exeter their third win of the season, already besting last year’s campaign. Touchdowns came from Fin Brown and Will Budge. The previous week’s game against

the UWE Bullets was cancelled which meant the Demons came to Plymouth determined and looking for the win they hadn’t managed in two encounters last year. Exeter’s running game came up against by far the strongest defence that they had faced yet and while remaining effective, the Demons looked to the air in a more balanced offense. This allowed the Demons to dominate possession and spend a significant amount of time on the field wearing out the Blitz defence. The Demons’ new-found balance and clinical ball movement culminated in Brown charging into the end zone from

ten yards out, dragging two Plymouth defenders with him for the first points of the game. The connection between Brown and Budge was on good form with Budge catching five passes from his quarterback, one for a touchdown. An improvised pass from a quarterback rollout saw Budge lose his marker to get free in the end zone and make the grab to put Exeter up 12-0. However, on the ensuing two point conversion, Brown threw an interception to a Blitz defender who returned it eighty five yards to the house to give Plymouth the two points. These two points were the only

points Plymouth would score on the day as the Demons defence was again dominant. Rhys Regan’s peerless performance at middle linebacker earned him the team MVP award at the end of the game and helped Exeter to shutdown the Blitz offense. The defence also had several chances for turnovers but wet conditions stopped them from capitalising on these chances. Josh Amis also made a noteworthy performance in the return game and showed flashes of brilliance and extreme pace, tearing holes in the Plymouth special teams. With this game, Exeter made a

strong statement that they have emerged as a contender for the SWAC title and won over their local rivals, which they failed to do twice last year. The Demons went into the Christmas break undefeated and sitting high atop the SWAC. They hope to continue this impressive run into the New Year. The club is hosting a Superbowl party on February 6 at Walkabout. Join the Demons to watch the game and take part in events including a raffle in aid of education in Palestine.


10/11 Week 14