Sherlock USA Primaries and more
The Republican campaign on page 11
Film and TV reviews on pages 24 & 25 Special feature on page 28
Monday 23 January 2012 • Issue 588 • www.exepose.com • Twitter: @Exepose • www.facebook.com/Exepose
Free Photo: Josh Irwandi
Online submissions enter trial phase The University plans to move to online submissions for academic work using the ELE system. A pilot scheme will start on 30 January
Lizzie Mackley Senior Reporter
STUDENTS on particular modules will be able to submit assignments online through ELE from 30 January in a pilot responding to the results of the National Student Survey. Students on 33 modules across all colleges will be able to upload assignments and receive feedback online for the rest of the academic year in response to calls for more legible and timely feedback. James Eales, VP Academic Affairs, told Exeposé: “In short it will shift the system of essay submission and feed-
back into the 21st century.” He continued: “With the remote submission of work students won’t have to dash round looking for a printer, or absorb printing costs. It should be a cheaper, more environmentally sound system. “For academics it stops the processing of essays from eating into turnaround times, as well as meaning they don’t have to carry piles of essays around!” Exeter will be the first to offer the entire assessment and feedback process online and University-wide, although some UK universities already use online submission in particular departments. Gareth Richards, a PGCE student at
the University of Cambridge, told Exeposé: “Online submission is far more practical, very easy to use, like attaching something to an e-mail.” Richard Mackley, a University of Wolverhampton student, also notes the benefits: “The bonus of having an esubmission is you don’t have to be on campus to hand work in.” “Very easy, straightforward. And none of the hassle of queuing on the day!” tweeted Cardiff graduate Oliver Townsend. Sue Milward, Project Manager, told Exeposé that after evaluation in the summer, which will include ‘Wish Lists’ from staff and students, the online system will be available to all modules
from September 2012. An Exeter student from a module already testing the system said: “There appeared to be no errors or issues in the submission process.” However, Dominic Holbrook, a fourth year student at Exeter, said: “It sounds like a good idea in principle but whether it can be practically accomplished is another matter. I mean, how would it function if the service crashed on the last day due to too many people trying to use it?” The project management team added that the pilot was prepared to meet these contingencies by accompanying online submission with hard-copy submissions through BART during the pi-
Exeter’s Debating Society President, Ben Jones, commented: “It sounds like a great idea and I’m pleased to see that a pilot scheme is being tested and if there are problems they can be worked out now. If it is successful it should improve and modernise the submission of work for students.” Lauren Hitchman, studying a Masters in English at Exeter, said: “If it works it could mean easier submissions and quicker feedback but I don’t think realistically we’ll see it University-wide for a couple of years.” Students currently on participating modules are encouraged to send feedback to S.A.Milward@exeter.ac.uk.
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P 10 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Dr Shirin Ebadi, talks about Iran in 2012.
Lifestyle chooses the top ten places to visit in 2012.
23 january 2012
Aaron Porter fights for students
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The Royal Albert Memorial Museum re-opened at the end of last term
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Pete Edwards, Leader of Exeter City Council, said: “New visitors will be pleasantly surprised, and people coming here for years will see a lot of new stuff, stuff we’ve had for years but never been able to display.”
Julia Parsons, Head Curator of the Museum, added: “We’ve used familiar objects which are great attractors, and added them to new objects that can tell a new story.”
“The Museum is an eclectic but brilliant mix of history in Devon” A third year Politics student
A third year Politics student at Exeter described the Museum as “an ecclectic but brilliant mix of history in Devon,” adding it is “worth a visit.” The museum hopes to provide an economic boost for Exeter. Camilla Hampshire, Manager of the Museum, said: “We’re one of the city’s largest cultural organisations, with a 150 year history of serving the public. Last open year, a quarter of a million visitors came, and we’re hoping for at least that this coming year.” Hampshire continued: “We’re about the history of Devon and Exeter, and we’re for the people of Devon and Exeter, but also for tourists. We’re a big contributor to the quality of life for the city, there’s a big knock on effect of having a vibrant cultural scene, which is an economic driver.” See Arts page 28 for a review of the RAMM
DecAid raises £150,000 for ex-service people Peter Collins
Screen Editors Tori Brazier & Luke Graham
ON December 15 the Royal Albert Memorial Museum re-opened after being shut for four years. The museum closed in 2007 for a refurbishment, costing £9 million more than the original budget, and it has been brought up to date with a new entrance, glass walkways and white walls. There are natural history exhibitions, art installations, a gallery of Impressionist paintings, and a display of the history of Devon, from prehistoric times to the present day. Despite there being 8,000 objects on display in the museum, the visible collections count for just 0.01 per cent of the museum’s research collection.
Pete Edwards, Leader of Exeter City Council
Music Editors Andy Smith & Amy Weller
“New visitors will be pleasantly surprised, and people coming here for years will see a lot of new stuff”
P 31 Video Games talk to Oli Welsh, Eurogamer’s Review Editor, about the industry and internships.
Follow us on Twitter @ExeposeNews
Royal Albert Memorial Museum re-opens
The Music Editors pick the best albums of 2011 and look at the talents of the next year.
Lifestyle Editors Cyan Turan & Zoe Dickens
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A CHARITY appeal set up by Exeter and Plymouth students has raised over £150,000 for charities helping ex-servicemen and women. The DecAid appeal was staffed largely by members of Exeter University Officer Training Corps, which incorporates students from the Plymouth and Exeter Universities. Organised to mark the tenth anniversary of the Afghan war, DecAid aimed to increase awareness of the work of the armed forces, and to raise money for charities that work with current and former servicemen. Team members also wished to pay tribute to the fallen. Rupert Laing, cofounder of the group, noted the importance of “honouring those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice on this important anniversary of the conflict.”
The year-long appeal saw DecAid members organize a number of events, including a talk by the former Deputy Commander of the forces in Afghanistan, a carol service at Exeter Castle, a charity night at The Lemon Grove and a parade in Edinburgh which alone raised over £50,000.
of several significant figures, including the Duchess of Cornwall, who has called the appeal “a great way of showing the appreciation that we all feel for the inspiring and courageous work of our armed forces.”
James Fox, Vice President for Participation and Campuses, said: “The work that DecAid have done is absolutely incredible. They are a credit to themselves as well as to the University.” Photo: DecAid
“The work that DecAid have done is absolutely incredible. They are a credit to themselves and to the University”
James Fox, VP Participation and Campuses The team were also tested physically; two Exeter students undertook the Munro Mission, scaling 283 of the highest Scottish mountains in 49 days. DecAid has attracted the attention
The charity appeal has raised more than £150,000 to help ex-servicemen and women
Exeposé WEEK fourteen
Birks misspell signs Sex assault on campus Photos: Josh Irwandi
Graham Daydy THIS week a series of events and social activities will be taking place on Streatham Campus promoting opportunities available to students at Exeter University. Refresh Week will give students the opportunity to experience new things, win prizes, and join clubs and societies. There will be quiz games, dance classes, debating and elections, arts and crafts sessions and many other activities for students to take part in. On Monday 23 January in the Great Hall there is a Health and Wellbeing Fair which will inform students about health issues. The Wellbeing Fair is supported by many national, regional and local charities as well as health organisations. There will be events throughout the week culminating with an Activities Fair in the Great Hall on Friday. There will be 100 stands for societies, AU clubs will be present, and there will also be trade stands. The sign-up system will be the same electronic system first used in October. James Fox, VP Participation and Campuses, said: “Refresh is set to be a fantastic week with lots of opportunities for all students to try out new things. Culminating with what will be a great day at the Activities Fair; with lots of freebies, societies and AU clubs to sign up for and even a Bungee Run all in the Great Hall!”
Spelling errors on recently erected signs near Birks Grange have now been covered up
Safer Sex Ball raises £36k Helen Carrington Senior Reporter
THE Safer Sex Ball took place at Westpoint Arena on 8 December 2011 and succeeded in raising over £36,000 for charity. The annual ball, the largest World Aids Day event in the country, was organised by RAG and was attended by approximately 4,000 students. Of the £36,000 raised, £20,000 will be donated to The Eddystone Trust, a charity that works to promote awareness of HIV and other areas of sexual health.
“I think they did the best they could under the circumstances, but it would be much better back on campus” Third year English student
The remaining money was donated to RAG’s nominated charities: Headway Devon, CLIC Sargent, Refuge and World Child Cancer. The Guild Com-
munity Action organisation also received a donation. Organisers had received bad press leading up to the event due to a joke in the RAG promotional magazine that seemed to condone sexual activity without consent. After several official complaints the magazine was reprinted, and RAG apologised unreservedly for any offence caused. “We, the SSB Committee, RAG and the Students’ Guild have all apologised for the mistake. However, it was a mistake that we aimed to move on from in order to maximise the success of the night and to raise as much money as possible for charity. This is something we hope to have achieved.” The Ball took place one day after a case of serious sexual assault occurred on Streatham campus. The incident took place on 7 December at approximately 02:00am near Prince of Wales Road. A spokesperson for the SSB committee commented: “In light of the assault on campus prior to the event, the Students’ Guild and University acted extremely quickly to ensure provisions were in place to maximise the safety of
“The money raised will make a huge difference to many people” SSB spokesperson
“Measures included a ‘Welcome Team’-style security presence at all coach drop-off points, as well as a vastly superior Police presence to previous years. Thankfully it would appear these measures worked in the intended manner. “Thank you for your continued support to RAG. The money we raised will make a huge difference to many people.” Addressing suggestions that the Safer Sex Ball may not go ahead next year, Guild President Nick Davis said: “As long as all involved with the organisation of the SSB feel the aims and objectives of the event were met and will continue to be achieved in the future, I see no reason why this fantastic event shouldn’t carry on for many years to come.”
AN investigation into an alleged sexual assault that took place on campus on Wednesday 7 December is still ongoing. A woman in her twenties is said to have been assaulted at approximately 02:00am near Prince of Wales Road. The suspected offender has been described as a male, approximately 6ft tall and having a stocky build. He is alleged to have been wearing dark clothing with a hood. Allan Edgcumbe, Head of Campus Security, said: “The offender is still at large and the police enquiries are still ongoing.” With regards to frequency of such incidents, Edgcumbe added: “This is an unusual incident.” In 2011 there were 183 crimes reported on campus, the majority being theft. There has not been a reported attack on a student in eight years. He continued: “The university is extremely concerned and have taken it very seriously.” Since the incident, there have been several meetings of the Emergency Response Team. The team, with the help of Sergeant Tom Cunningham, have been working on schemes to improve the security in and around campus. Lighting on campus has been reviewed and foliage has been cut back to keep key walkways clear. The Police Crime Prevention Officer and the Police Architectural Liaison Officer are also going to be car-
rying out security reviews of each of the halls of residence. They will begin with Hope hall, the site of the assault. Campus security had already been increased at the start of the year. In September, security presence was doubled by the introduction of residence patrols.
“The offender is still at large and the police enquiries are still ongoing. This is an unusual incident” Allan Edgcumbe, Head of Campus Security
Nick Davis, Guild President, commented: “The serious assault that occurred on campus was taken incredibly seriously by both the Guild and University. Both have been working together and with external agencies to ensure that the issues highlighted around student safety are addressed.” To avoid further incidences, university security has advised students to not go out alone and to ensure that they have the Estate Patrol (01392 723999) number in their phone. This service is available 24/7 to any student who needs help. Taxi agency Gemini will drop students without money at the Estate Patrol Office where their fare will be paid and details taken to ensure repayment.
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23 January 2012
Partnership with London Film School BAFTA Photo: Jim Wileman
Charlie Marchant Senior Reporter EXETER UNIVERSITY has partnered up with the London Film School (LFS) to offer doctoral film students increased resources to hone their practical and academic skills. The partnership marks the launch of the new Exeter-London Film School Doctoral Programme, which will give students access to LFS’s facilities as well as Exeter’s academic resources and research culture. Students will be expected to demonstrate a high level of scholarly research, whilst also producing a finished film. The agreement was signed on Monday 9 January by David Allen, University of Exeter Registrar and Deputy Chief Executive, and Mike Leigh, Chairman of the LFS and director of a number of well-renowned British films including Naked, Secrets & Lies and Vera Drake.
“I’m confident that this doctoral programme will play a vital role in the serious, innovative cinema of tomorrow”
Mike Leigh, Film Director and London Film School Chairman Mike Leigh commented: “Our new relationship with the College of Humanities at Exeter is very exciting. It’s
Joe Johnston News Editor ABI MORGAN, an Exeter graduate in English and Drama, has been nominated for a BAFTA award for writing the screenplay for The Iron Lady. Morgan has been working in film, theatre and television for the past 15 years since graduating. Professor Tim Kendall of the Department of English at the University said: “We’re delighted to see Abi doing so well. Her success acts as inspiration to our current students.”
“Her success acts as an inspiration to our current students”
Left to right: Professor Nick Kaye (Dean of the College of Humanities, University of Exeter), Ben Gibson (Director, LFS), Mike Leigh (Chairman, LFS), Alan Bernstein (Head of Studies, LFS), David Allen (Registrar and Deputy Chief Executive, University of Exeter)
gratifying to be working with kindred spirits, and I’m confident that this doctoral programme will play a vital role in the serious, innovative cinema of tomorrow.” Professor Nick Kaye, Dean of the College of Humanities, said: “By combining our strengths we are able to offer innovative and exciting opportunities for postgraduate research that will not only benefit students, but also the film industry. I look forward to a very fruitful partnership.” Tim Allwright, Film Studies gradu-
ate and Exeter Film Society’s Production Supervisor, said: “I have found it very difficult to find a career in film; you start at the bottom, being a runner on minimum wage. Perhaps this programme will help a lot of students gain the necessary practical experience they need to be able to have a more successful career and one that can progress more quickly.” He added: “With Exeter’s Film department moving into the English department, the opportunity for practical filmmaking decreases: not only do we
want to keep students interested in film but introduce more students into this exciting, hands-on side of the field.”
“This programme may help students gain the necessary practical experience to have a more successful career” Tim Allwright, Film Studies graduate
Prof. Tim Kendall, Department of English
Morgan, whose first professional credit was the play Skinned in 1998, has written for ITV, Channel 4, and the BBC, with her most recent project being the BBC drama series The Hour. The BAFTA Awards ceremony will be held in London on 12 February 2012. The Iron Lady has already been in the spotlight recently for Meryl Streep’s performance as former prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, which earnt the actress a Golden Globe award. See Screen page 25 for full review of The Iron Lady.
Professors embark on Bronze Age boat project Simon Dewhurst Senior Reporter A GROUP of Exeter University professors are aiming to build the first ever replica Bronze Age boat. The experiment has received national media attention and will be carried out using ancient tools and materials from the era, such as bronze axes, with the aim of recreating the oldest vessel ever found in Western Europe. Such sewn-plank boats existed from 2,000BC and were unique to England and Wales. It is hoped that this project will help discover how fast they could move and how they were controlled. The construction of the 16 metre boat begins in April at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall in Falmouth, where members of the public will be able to monitor its development. The project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and will be supported by archaeologists
and engineers from the University of Southampton and Oxford Brookes University.
Photo: Jim Wileman
“The boat will help to bring history and archaeology alive” Douglas Yeong, third year history undergraduate
Professor Robert Van de Noort from the University of Exeter’s Archaeology department is leading the experiment. He explained that “because none of the boats have ever been found as complete boats this project will seek to understand how they were constructed, how to steer such a long boat, measure how fast it can go, understand how the crew used paddles and how watertight it is.” Douglas Yeong, a third year history undergraduate, commented: “This is a creative and innovative project. When it is finished the boat will look great, helping to bring history and archaeology alive.”
Left to right: Andy Wyke (National Maritime Museum), Brian Cumby (boat builder) and Professor Robert Van de Noort (University of Exeter) pictured at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall
Exeposé WEEK fourteen Photo: University Press Office
Time capsule buried beneath Forum A TIME CAPSULE has been buried under the foundations of the Forum building to give a snapshot of student life at Exeter University in 2011-12. Items were chosen to reflect both the academic and non-academic aspects of the University, and to represent both students and staff. The location of the capsule will be marked both in the University’s estate records and also online via the campus Google map for future generations to discover.
Included in the time capsule are the best selling items from the University supermarket, students’ photos celebrating what Exeter means to them, a speech about student experience and fees by the Vice Chancellor and books and a brick from the library before it was knocked down. There is also publicity material to show what students came to study and a Welcome Week programme from 201112, along with memorabilia from student societies, the AU and the Guild. Photo: Henry White
National Student News
Student rejects Oxford University A STUDENT has sent a rejection letter to Oxford University after applying and attending an interview there. Mimicking the University’s distinctive style of rejection letters, 19 year-old Ellie Nowell wrote in her letter: “I am afraid you do not quite meet the standard of the other universities I will be considering.” She continued: “I realise you may be disappointed by this decision, but you were in competition with many fantastic universities. “While you may believe your decision to hold interviews in grand formal settings is inspiring, it allows public school applicants to flourish and intimidates state school applicants, distorting the academic potential of both.” An Oxford University spokesperson said the University generally received few complaints from applicants.
More students awarded firsts Contents of the time capsule included popular food from the University shop and an Exeter University hoodie, along with other memorabilia and University publications
Plans for new disease Medical school to split research centre Hannah Sweet News Editor
Hannah Mawdsley THE University of Exeter has announced plans for a £20 million scientific research centre. The interdisciplinary centre will bring together mathematicians, physicists, engineers, biochemists, biologists and clinical scientists. The centre will have space for up to 200 scientists and technicians, from postgraduate students to professors. The centre will research how cells operate and how diseases are caused, and will focus on developing improved diagnostic and therapeutic tools to alleviate disease. Nick Talbot, University of Exeter Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the School of Biosciences, stressed the importance of Exeter being at the forefront of research which develops our understanding of things that “impact the progress of humanity” adding: “This centre will help ensure Exeter is at the forefront of this effort.” He said: “We are already breaking down the traditional boundaries between different scientific disciplines in a way that most other UK universities have not yet even considered.” David House, first year Physics stu-
dent, said: “The research centre will be a fantastic way for members from different scientific disciplines to collaborate and secure Exeter’s already high reputation among the wider scientific community.”
“We are already breaking down the boundaries between scientific disciplines in a way that most other UK universities have not yet even considered” Nick Talbot, University of Exeter Deputy Vice Chancellor
He added: “This move shows that the university is investing in both itself and us, and will ensure that facilities for research at Exeter are alongside the best.” The building work is due to begin in 2012 and the centre is expected to open in spring 2015. The project will be funded as part of the University’s £230 million investment in science, medicine and engineering.
EXETER UNIVERSITY will create a new Medical School following the split of the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, founded by both the University of Exeter and Plymouth University. Medical student numbers will be split between both schools, while all dental students will study at the Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry. Professor Sir Steve Smith, Vice Chancellor of the University of Exeter, said: “The current partnership has worked well to get medical and dental education to its current strong position. But we now require a different model to respond to the challenges of the future.” Professor Wendy Purcell, Vice
Chancellor of Plymouth University, commented: “These new proposals bring new opportunities and possibilities for us to build upon our work to address health inequalities in the region, promoting social inclusion and making a real difference to the community.” Current students and those entering the College’s programmes in 2012 will be taught under the terms of the current joint arrangements. From 2013, students will study under either the University of Exeter or Plymouth University. It is hoped that more places will be available to study medicine in the South West following the split. The changes are still subject to the approval of the General Medical and Dental Councils, the Higher Education Funding Council for England and the NHS.
The Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry will split into two medical schools
THE number of UK students being awarded firsts and upper second class degrees has increased. Recent research by the Higher Education Statistics Agency has shown that 64 per cent of students were awarded upper second class degrees, an increase of 6 per cent since 2006-7, whilst 15 per cent received a first class degree. Nicola Dandridge, chief executive of Universities UK, has stated: “It has been clear for some time that the current degree classification system is a blunt instrument for assessing achievement, hence Universities UK’s support for the ongoing trialling of the Higher Education Achievement Report.”
Unis make £50m from library fees A TOTAL of nearly £50 million was made by UK universities from library fines in the past six years, new figures from the Press Association have revealed. The university with the highest fund raised is Leeds University, with a total of more than £1.8m. At the bottom of the table was Imperial College London, which collected just £26,703 in fines. Following claims that a £5 debt at Exeter University will prevent graduation, a University spokesperson has stated: “Only outstanding fines of more than £50 are classed as part of an overall debt to the University which, in extreme cases, may affect the right to graduate.”
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Teaching Grant cuts behind £9,000 fees
The Exeter Student Newspaper
New year and new commitments
Happy New Year! Welcome back to Exeter for a new term. One in which students can now use the completed library to their full advantage, a new sabbatical team will be formed and the building works on the Forum project will be completed (hopefully!).
“The sabbatical elections have consistently allowed Exeter to prove that we are one of the most committed and democratic universities in the country”
As people attempt to adhere to their New Year’s resolutions and start planning what they want to achieve this term, there is no better time for Refresh Week, which is taking place 23-27 January. It’s a time to try new things and join new societies, doing all those things you meant to do last term but didn’t, so don’t forget to attend the fair on Friday 11-3, or join online. The main event of the term will be the Guild sabbatical elections, the closing deadline for candidates being 27 January. These elections have consistently allowed Exeter to prove to the rest of the UK that we are one of the most committed and democratic universities in the country. Whether you find this week exciting, or the almost-relentless canvassing annoying, it is important to vote. The Guild sabbatical team are there to give the students a voice and represent your views on big issues that may change your university experience. This year is looking set to be the most hotly
contested year to date, with numerous high-calibre candidates in every category. Whatever the outcome of the vote, next year’s Guild looks like it might be one of the strongest ever seen here. Of course, Exeposé will be covering the elections in its entirety in our next issue, giving you detailed candidate profiles and manifestos so you can make a judgment and vote. Continuing the theme of change and all things new, the University has embraced the online world and announced plans to introduce an online submission system for academic work. While this is a very intelligent step forward in a world dominated by the internet, questions must be asked of the IT infrastructure and its capabilities. Every student at Exeter has experienced some form of IT disruption in the last few years and should these problems occur again when everything relies on it, the consequences could be disastrous.
“Exeter is demonstrating its commitment to being cutting edge and up-to-date with developments in the wider world”
Providing the system is robust, secure and reliable, then this move to digital submission will be a huge benefit to students; saving time, money, queues and also helping the environment. Exeter is demonstrating its commitment to being cutting edge and up-to-date with developments in the wider world.
James Eales VP Academic Affairs
Person 1 “I pay £3,400 a year and get six hours of contact a week, it’s a joke” Person 2 “That is terrible. I get 18 hours a week” Person 1 “So I pay the same, but get 1/3 of the contact hours, what?!” SO goes the discussion, with slight variations, which I regularly hear on campus. If anything, the impending rise in tuition fees to £9,000 has only accentuated the focus of current students on what they get for their money – and yet when considering this, the only figure factored in is the tuition fee payment. I suppose, in many ways, this is seen to be ‘our money’. Yet, when you consider the total funding package the University get per student, the “6 contact hours” a week for £3,375 seems less of “a joke.” I’m talking about the Teaching Grant. This grant explains why academic provision varies dependent on subject, and why, when looking at the changes in 2012, it’s important to look beyond tuition fees and acknowledge the other income streams universities receive for their students. The Teaching Grant is the sum of money given by HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council for England) under the present system to a University per student. Student numbers are divided into four bands based on the subject of study. Briefly and broadly speaking, Band A is Medicine, Band B Hard Sciences, Band C Softer Sciences, Band D Humanities and Social Sciences. This means at present, once bursaries/fee waivers are removed, the University gets an overall funding Band
Net HEFCE Funding
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23 January 2012
package of around £16,200 for each Band A student, £7,700 for Band B, £6,200 for Band C and £5,192 for Band D. So slightly more than the £3,375, and for some students significantly more. This should inevitably make you consider ‘what do I get for that?’, as well as explaining why some students seem to get more despite paying the same fees. This raises the question of how this money is spent. Of course, when encouraging you to think what you get for this money, it’s not just the teaching experience that has to be accounted for, the extra stuff costs money too. That it is called the ‘tuition fee’ does not intrinsically link it to your tuition, it helps pay for your entire University experience, including student support services, infrastructure, IT (please no letters on this one), the library and much more. So rather than thinking I’m paying “3,400 for six hours contact,” it should be “the University is getting between £5,000-£16,000 for x hours of contact, to keep the library open and staffed and stocked, for the support staff etc...”. This broader view is often harder to quantify, but nonetheless it is the one that current students operate in.
“It’s important to look beyond tuition fees and acknowledge the other income streams universities receive for their students” Of course the upcoming changes to tuition fees provide a greater impetus for universities to meet student expectations, but they also signal the need to align expectation with reality. The rise in tuition fees is well noted; the implications for the Teaching Grant perhaps less so. Delving below the water line these changes do not increase funding as much as it appears, 2011/12
with the teaching grant and tuition fee rebalancing. For Band A and B students, remnants of the teaching grant will remain, leading to a total income of around £18,700 and £9,500 respectively. The situation is markedly different for Band C and Band D students, with the total removal of the Teaching Grant, leaving a total income of around £8,000 per student – all from tuition fees. In comparing now and then, in loose terms the University will see increased funding of around £2,000-3,000 per new student. Thus, while income across the bands will increase, it will not match increased student fees.
“The rise in tuition fees is well noted; the implications for the Teaching Grant perhaps less so”
£2,000 doesn’t go far. It certainly can’t bridge the perceived rise from £3,375 to £9,000. As such it is important to prioritise the areas for investment and how to maximise the student experience as part of that. The Guild is currently pushing on four areas: student-staff ratios and how improvements in this area can impact on assessment turnaround times and contact hours; teaching spaces; library and IT provision; and hidden course costs. By making improvements here, we can help meet student expectations across the University, as well as ensuring that current students see some benefits from higher fees, albeit indirectly. I think that it is important to write this article given the number of people commenting about the £9,000 experience. The current experience is not a £3,375 one, nor will the 2012/13 one be a simple £9,000 one. It is important to move beyond the alignment of tuition fees with programme delivery; it’s much more complicated than that.
Net HEFCE Funding
Total (minus bursaries/ fee waivers/ outreach) £
Difference: 2011/12 to 2012/13
Total (minus bursaries/ fee waivers/ outreach) £
Exeposé WEEK fourteen
Library Level 0: Justifying the Forum Project Flora Derounian
Everybody is grumpy about the building works going on around campus, even the builders sigh audibly at the students crossing the road and impeding their important hard-hat work. However, my building-related bad humour was momentarily interrupted by the announcement that the second floor of the library (somewhat confusingly called ‘Level 0’) is now… drumroll… open! If I were a first year student, I might look at the flurry of emails circulated by various University officials on the subject with some disdain. However, as a final-year student, I was not only thrilled by this announcement, but actually anticipated it, thanks to my ‘following’ the library on Twitter. Before you judge me for this, consider these key motivations; I want to go into the media, I applaud
the library’s effort to be ‘down with the kids’ on social media, and you know… I thought they might ‘follow’ me back (they didn’t).
“The opening of Level 0 is a shiny yellow-shelved taster of the library delights to come”
maybe I’d be better off in the library.” Because there genuinely were occasions in my second year when I risked laptop-related paralysis, since I knew that trying to study in the library was
a risk. Being able to find a computer, a quiet space or a nearby radiator were all uncertain. On the contrary, with the renovation of the library nearing completion
and newly opened Level 0, computers, quiet space and helpful library staff (see earlier comment vis-à-vis house-elves) are now in abundance! Recently, they were in such quantity that, to my great admiration, one of them was employing their time in just going around telling people to “shh” – now that’s what I call a library!
“Computers, quiet space and helpful library staff are now in abundance”
Back on the subject of the shiny new floor in the library, and I have to say I fully approve. I personally feel that the zillions (estimate) of pounds which have been spent on the Forum Project should be justified. I’m not saying we should have books that are actually horcruxes, or house-elves to tidy up after us, or free iPads, I just think that every student should be able to think “Balancing my laptop on my knees has made my feet go numb,
The opening of Level 0 is a shiny yellow-shelved taster of the library delights to come, and I am more than satisfied. I look forward to seeing the completed Library, which, of course, I will find out about before everybody else on Twitter.
Graduates face a long struggle as Reasons to be a Sabb unemployment rises applying for jobs.
Henry White Editor
Last week it was announced that unemployment for 16-24 year olds had reached record levels, with over one million young people listed as unemployed. This was part of the bleak news that 2.6 million people across the country are now out of work. There has never been a more difficult climate for graduates to find work in. Many Graduate schemes now require the (successful) completion of numerous online tests, followed by several stages of interviews and assessments, to gain a place on a scheme that still won’t necessarily guarantee them a job at the end of it.
“Will we reach the point when [...] nobody below the age of 30 will be qualified enough to work?” Those applying directly for jobs are being asked for more and more qualifications and extra-curricular work, or to participate in hours of internships, many of which are often unpaid or only cover basic expenses. One has to wonder at what point this growing list of criteria will stop? Or will we reach the point when the demands on graduates, and those desperate for experience and
a chance to demonstrate their abilities, will become so extensive and unrealistic that nobody below the age of 30 will be qualified enough to work? Let alone the fact that a degree is now seemingly so far down the list of requirements it is almost completely irrelevant.
“All we can seem to do is jump through the hoops the ringmasters put before us” These are tough times for us all, and for many, our peers and friends
are now potential competition in a jobs market that is clearly struggling to meet the demands placed on it. This demand, in turn, leads to ever more rigorous vetting processes from companies who, understandably, want to employ the best candidates, and right now have a huge pool of potentials to choose from. Sadly, this situation looks likely to get worse before it improves, and in the mean time all we can seem to do is jump through the hoops the ringmasters put before us; something that can often be demoralising and demeaning for those who simply want the chance to work.
VP Academic Affairs
Nominations are open until the 27 January to stand to be a sabbatical officer in the February 2012 elections. Don’t miss this opportunity. From my own experiences I can only say what an amazing responsibility it is. As VP Academic Affairs I’ve researched, produced and presented initiatives that will enhance the learning experience of every student at Exeter. I cannot stress the extent to which the University engages with the Guild, and the opportunities it presents to sabbatical officers. Quite often you set the agenda at top level meetings, an almost unique opportunity in the Higher Education Sector. You also have the chance to engage in national initiatives. For instance, I’m a member of the NUS European Coordination Group and I also go to events which bring officers and Unions from around the country together. As a sabbatical officer, you’re part of a national network that offers additional opportunities to deliver change, continue your professional development, and enhance your CV. While providing a platform to improve the experience of your fellow students, the opportunities for personal development are almost limitless. As a sabbatical officer you receive professional training, as well as being mentored by a senior member of staff at the Guild. Most importantly you learn so much in the role, providing you with the skills and experiences that are invaluable when
10 Reasons to be a Sabb: 1. Your peers voted for you. Quite simply, you are the person they wanted to win. 2. You represent 17,500 students. You’re their point of contact, their representative. That’s a lot of responsibility. 3. As a representative you have a key position allowing input into University decisions and initiating student led change. That’s a lot of influence. 4. Your previous years may have seemed disjointed. As a Sabb you get a year in Exeter where you see the bigger picture. It all starts to make a lot more sense. 5. You work with people at the top of their profession in the Guild and University, including both academic and professional staff. Not bad for networking. 6. You organise events such as Refresh, Teaching Awards, and the Housing Fair. Amazing event management experience. 7. You gain invaluable presentation skills, giving speeches to up to 1500 students. You also present initiatives to academics, professional staff and students. 8. You are a Director and Trustee of a £3 million charity (the Guild), which employs over 60 staff. Not bad when looking for your next job. 9. Depending on your position, you manage student reps, often hundreds of them. You’re top of the food chain. 10. You meet amazing people. Being a Sabb becomes more a way of life than a job. Nonetheless, the last six months have been amongst the most amazing of my life. If you have the drive and the vision to make a difference, don’t miss out on this opportunity.
23 january 2012 Exeposé
Refresh Week: get involved James Fox
VP Participation and Campuses Last January, for the first time ever, the Guild launched Refresh Week and it subsequently became the most recognised campaign of the year. Building on its success, this year is going to be bigger and better with over 60 different events put on by different Societies, AU clubs and the Guild. Some of the highlights include donkeys from Sidmouth Donkey Sanctuary on campus, a Cowboys and
Indians pub crawl, life drawing and a Cross Party political debate. The week will culminate with the Activities Fair in the Great Hall. One of the reasons that I believe Refresh Week is so important is because it gives students who start at Exeter in term two a fantastic opportunity to engage with what the Guild and AU have to offer. So many activities that are on offer at Exeter are geared up for students who start in September, but with a whole new intake of INTO students, Erasmus students and Postgrads, Refresh provides a great opportunity for new students to get involved. At the same time, I’m sure there are many students who, for whatever reason, are not a member of a society, or have never contemplated
the plethora of different things to get involved with at Exeter. Getting involved is a fantastic way to try out something new, meet new people and gain valuable volunteering experience that looks amazing on your CV. Refresh is the perfect opportunity for students, regardless of age or year group, to try out different activities and meet new people. Even if you miss out on the events during the week, make sure to come along to the Activities Fair on Friday 27 January, 11-3 in the Great Hall. You’ll be able to sign up to societies, get a load of freebies and even win prizes by having a go on a bungee run! Refresh Week is running 23-27 January.
Letters to the Editors
Send your letters to email@example.com
I’ve been thinking of writing to Exeposé for a long time but was waiting for the right moment. I am a PhD student, invited by the University and grateful for the opportunity to do my work. I arrived here 12 weeks ago. I live in family residences on the campus with my young daughter alongside families from many, many countries, some of them from extremely fragile political and/or conservative states. The families have many cultural and religious traditions, conservative and liberal, but we clearly share the value of education and intellectual exchange, and of our children who may be seen playing together on the lovely grass field that is at the centre of our housing. It’s wonderful to see the families and children mixing. So what does this have to do with such events as the SSB and the ongoing discussions featured in Exeposé of who did what, when, where and why, and what are the repercussions? A joke about sexual assault, hideous violence, is something a primary student would clearly acknowledge as worse than stupid, and really isn’t worthy of discussion. It’s a no-brainer. As my young teenager commented when she heard the story about the ‘joke’, “Mom, consider the source, what do you expect from guys who wear diapers?” (When we arrived by taxi in late September we stopped outside Holland House to pick up our keys to our lodging and three grown men were standing in disposable diapers with baby bottles and bonnets. My daughter said, “Oh God, that’s too much information Mom, gross!” when she looked at them. I replied, “Get used to it, it’s Freshers’ Week. Welcome to uni!”) And Freshers’ Week and the SSB are all fun and games, but what I would like to do is invite a wider conversation on the “rite of passage” i.e., the university experience, that seems too acceptable
and the norm on this campus (and others I assume). I am attaching my name to the University of Exeter as a PhD and a scholar, I came a long way to do so, and I am embarrassed by the narcissism I see. “Sex, drugs and rock and roll” may be fine pastimes for some (go for it), but they contribute to a fourth-rate ethos for a university. What’s the point of the SSB anyway? As someone who worked in the HIV/AIDS field I’m confused by the mixed messages I continually see around me. A trip to the health centre indicates that STDs are a major concern if the posters and brochures are anything to judge by. And I wonder how many international students from conservative cultures feel inclined to attend the SSB, or even included, in the “major social event of the year”? Another issue I wish to address is the overt drunken screaming and shouting that occurs on a regular basis around the undergrad residences late into the night and early morning, so much so that we sleep with our windows closed, especially on weekends (and indeed for the two weeks around Halloween and Bonfire Night), adult men and women walking around with open bottles of alcohol and swigging on them as they make their way downtown to go clubbing (and then returning at 4 am to scream and shout and wake us all up), and the general ethos of alcohol and resultant behaviours. Again, my daughter’s maturity signals that I’m not just a grumbling post-grad student when she makes a droll comment about what she sees and hears as extreme immaturity. Okay, I AM a grumbling post-grad student. Because, my final grump is how marginalized and invisible post-grads can be. Literally and figuratively. There are very few social events that seem suitable for post-grads for one, thus the invisibility, and literally, I am regularly bumped into on paths and in shops and buildings on campus by students attached to the life-support of their
mobiles, or talking with each other etc. and there’s never an apology. I just don’t exist. Now I’m a grownup girl, have been in a war zone (Afghanistan), and don’t get my feelings hurt by this, I just wish to open the conversation on what I perceive to be the general unawareness of others outside the “norm”. I lied, that wasn’t my final point. I’d like to draw attention to the tiny article on page 4 of the Dec. 5th Exeposé that announced the death in Afghanistan of Lt. David Alexander Grant Boyce, a former University of Exeter student. Without discussing the pros or cons of the war, I wish to say that I met many young people from dozens of nations serving overseas, Afghans, UK, British, French, Dutch, etc. etc. Maybe Exeposé could tell us a bit more about our fellow student and what he was doing before he was killed. Look folks, here’s the deal. Education is a gift, a true gift, a luxury in fact. Just ask the women and girls and boys in Afghanistan and any number of countries around the world who have no access to basic education. Education and scholarship, freedom to discuss ideas, all of these are very, very precious ideals. I’m pleased, truly pleased to have been invited to Exeter and I find it to be safe and lovely here. I’ve met some really lovely people, and more than a few young ones from the residences have helped me with parcels and boxes when I’ve asked them to help me carry them down to my residence. But universities are ultimately ambassadors to the intellectual world, keep this in mind late at night and when you walk the pathways. Remember that other students who may not share your values exist alongside you on this beautiful campus, remember that we from other countries are curious to know you and to engage with you, albeit not in an inebriated fashion always (!), and that’s a fine thing. Best,
A comment from your local police
Are you keeping your valuable Christmas presents safe? Having received all those expensive Christmas presents, including a new iPod, a specialist mountain bike and top of the range Sony laptop, you don’t want to have them stolen. It makes it even worse when you realise you have lost all your previous term’s coursework on your new laptop. What do you do – panic? Well, there is a way you can help prevent this from happening in the first instance or at least increase your chances of having these items returned. It is unlikely crime is the first thing you associate with returning back to university after the Christmas break. Yet, one in five students will be a victim of crime while studying at college or university (NUS). Criminals see students as easy targets but fending these thieves off is easier than you think. By following the advice and information from Devon and Cornwall Police you can reduce the chance of becoming a victim of burglary:
• Keep all windows and doors locked and secure • Keep valuable items, such as laptops and mobiles out of sight from people who might be looking in
• Make sure you have strong doors and windows – talk to your landlord if you have any concerns PC Ian Lugg says: “By taking a few simple security measures students can reduce the chances of being burgled.” To increase your chances of having stolen items returned we recommend you mark and register your valuable Christmas presents. • Mark your Christmas presents by using your house name or number followed by your postcode • Join Immobilise online - the world’s largest free register of possession ownership details - www.immobilise. com PC Ian Lugg says: “For the Police, Immobilise allows front line officers to search the serial numbers of recovered goods or suspected stolen property and then take the appropriate action.” Property from over 250 burglaries is returned every week to those who have signed up to Immobilise. For more advice on marking your property and preventing your student house from being burgled visit: www. devon-cornwall.police.uk and www. nus.org.uk/en/Campaigns/The-Lock/
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23 january 2012 Exeposé
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INTERVIEW: Dr Shirin Ebadi Jack Flanagan talks to the Nobel Peace Prize winner about the challenges facing Iran IRAN
SINCE 1979, an aggressive ideological government has dominated Iran: one that abuses the teachings of Islam to garner popular support and to justify gross human rights violations. Though popular support has long been eroded, this regime persists and exhibits increasingly bold political statements - research into nuclear power; refusal to cooperate with the UN, including the rejection of a UN rapporteur; and the supplying of arms to the Syrian dictatorship. Shirin Ebadi is an Iranian woman, lawyer and civil rights behemoth. The author, founder of three Iranian NGOs (Non-Government Organisations), and winner of the 2003 Nobel Peace prize, gave a speech in Exeter’s Amory Moot room on 10 January. She was passionate and reprimanding, indicating her distress with the Iranian situation. She described the modern Iranian state, from the 1979 Islamic Revolution (which formed the current Islamic Republic of Iran), to the current regime under Ahmadinejad, placing her opinion along-
Dr Shirin Ebadi delivering a talk
Photo: Université de Lausanne
side the events that have accompanied this change. In person, talking to Exeposé, Shirin is all she promises to be on paper – demur, sensitive and erudite. It therefore becomes easy to forget you’re in the presence of an extraordinary power in human rights. She has that characteristic necessary for all public figures: the ability to be endearing but forceful, emphatic but sincere.
“Shirin is particularly concerned with the rights of women and children – after the establishment of the Iranian Republic the legal gap between the sexes has widened”
Ebadi herself has lived through an incredible and extensive life. She was born in 1947 (her family moved to Tehran, the capital, in 1948), she studied law at the University of Tehran, and became a judge; she was the first woman in Iran to ever preside over a legislative court. However, after the Islamic Revolution she was demoted to the role of ‘law expert’: “because I was a woman”, she says – a status which, in the new regime, meant she was unfit to be a lawyer. Photo: University of Exeter
Dr Shirin Ebadi during a visit to Université de Lausanne in Switzerland
“Before time I took early retirement and opened a lawyer’s bureau. I had some freedom of action: I concentrated both in theory and in practice, defending people and also working on human rights.” It focused on cases involving victims of human rights violations, especially children and women. One most controversial case was the defending of Zahra Kazemi, an Iranian-Canadian journalist. “He was actually killed in prison because of the cases that he took against the government. I had some very important cases. I also established, founded, three NGOs in Iran. “I published 12 books on legal issues and human rights, some of which have also been translated by the United Nations into English. One was on the rights of the refugees and another on children’s rights.” Shirin is particularly concerned with the rights of women and children. After the establishment of the Iranian Republic the legal gap between the sexes has widened. Suffering for children, too, has increased – Iran is the number one country for the execution of minors. “After the revolution they passed some very bad laws, especially those dealing with children and we tried to change those laws and help the children.” The age for legal culpability in Iran is 15 for boys, and nine for girls; Shirin notes: “It is interesting that in a legal system that lowers the rights of women, they have greater responsibility.” This has been an upward battle: Shirin has received multiple threats from the government; all of her NGOs have been closed. These protected the rights of children, helped legislative prison-
ers and supported the victims of mines. “Iran has the second largest number of mines in the world. Most of them are not mapped. The government has cleared some of them near the oil wells and installations but left the rest of them intact.” Her family have been arrested and jailed in the past. Shirin states that “the government is very scared of the people as it has lost its popular base.” The government no longer targets only political NGOs – recently Tehran’s House of Cinema has been closed.
“Though she welcomes Western governments to critique Iran, she admonishes strongly against the possibility of war” In 2003 Shirin gained global renown after she won the Nobel Peace prize. She used part of her prize money to aid the families of ideological prisoners, as well as buying an apartment to act as “headquarters” for her bureau. Upon returning to Iran, amid provocations from the Iranian government (“only the literature prize is important” – then President Khatami), she received such a popular welcome that many flights within the airport had to be canceled. She describes Iran as being in a state of “cold war” with Western nations. However, since she has taken up the mantel as a promoter of human rights she has strongly advocated against the direct interference of the Western world;
“only democratic people can establish a democracy,” she says to me. Though she welcomes Western governments’ critique, she admonishes strongly against the possibility of war, primarily with America, and calls it “America’s biggest mistake.” Part of the action she is taking is to warn other countries not to repeat the same mistake as Iran, commenting that, “After the Arab spring I have written a number of letters addressed to the Arab countries and warned them.” The country’s switch from a secular government before the revolution, though with a primarily Islamic population, to the Islamic Republic is now a regret of its people, “the Iranian people have experienced the result of the introduction of religion into politics and what it has done to society and so they have come to the decision that religion and politics must be separate,” she laments. She further states that now, far from increasing a sense of a nation bound beneath the Koran, Iran is a country where most of the population is secular. In fact, she likens Iran’s current transitional period as analogous to that of Europe, during the Middle Ages and before the Enlightenment. She believes in a future for Iran and looks forward to the day that her own and other’s research can be used to punish “the violators of human rights,” the Iranian government. The recent death of a nuclear professor, the day after her talk, provides yet more evidence that Iran still contains those propagating violent agendas, amid people, such as Ebadi, who call for peace and reform. Resolutely she declares “patience is the key to victory.”
Exeposé WEEK FOURTEEN
INTERVIEW: Literary Medicine
Georgina Banfield speaks to Dr Johanna Harris, Exeter Lecturer, on her project with Exeter’s elderly
EXETER UNIVERSITY lecturer Dr Johanna Harris, has not only understood the needs of care home residents, she has set up a project to help them. The Exeter Care Homes Reading Project trains English Literature student volunteers to not only read to elderly care home residents but also to cope with the emotional issues that might arise. The theory that reading can heal, benefiting people with depression or even dementia, is one that particularly interests Harris. “That reading has therapeutic benefits makes sense,” she commented. “Studying literature, seeing through different characters’ experiences, helps you consider alternative perspectives as well as providing escapism and entertainment.” Interestingly Johanna discovered a place in London which has professional bibliotherapists. “If you have a particular problem, you go for a 40 minute session, and they prescribe a whole list of books!” Aside from reading as “literary medicine” Harris also suggested its calming effects, “Nobody takes the time to slow their pace of life and find time to read.” An email looking for student volunteers alerted me to the Exeter Care Homes Reading project. According to Johanna, care home residents rarely receive visits, even from family members. “And as we have seen from recent reports, there is sometimes just too much work for carers, which means that they often don’t have time to spend with the
residents,” she said. Hence the need for people like us. But the project is not just about connecting care home residents to the outside world, it can also help the students themselves. Johanna emphasised that “a lot of students come to university and really don’t have any contact with people outside their own peer group, apart from their lecturers.” Unless students have grandparents close by, “it feels like you actually have to go out of your way to recreate that kind of community for yourself.” Immersed in student life, it is also easy to forget about those members of the community who need care. “I was struck by just how many care homes there are in Exeter,” observed Harris, who hopes that the project will raise students’ awareness of the society around them. This also means helping to repair what Harris calls the “disintegration between young and old. One of the things that came up in the training session was that, in light of the riots, students wanted to show that young people do care and that they’re not all disruptive,” Harris explained. Given the ageing population, it seems more important than ever to respect the older community. Vanessa Langley, an Exeter care home worker, described how care homes in Indonesia keep photographs of residents when they were younger next to their beds, so that staff remember that the patients were young once and deserve to be treated considerately. “I thought that was a fan-
tastic example to use of how we should be thinking about the project,” said Harris.
“In light of the riots, students wanted to show that young people do care and that they’re not all disruptive”
When asked why she feels that reading bridges the gap between the two generations, Johanna explained: “At my previous university I taught a ten week course on Milton as part of a continuing education program. Most of the class were probably over 75, but it was one of my best teaching experiences. I felt that I was learning so much because most of the discussion revolved around the way they had been taught Milton 60 years ago, which was completely different from how I teach it today. It proved how much can come out of a shared reading experience, and I thought it would be great if undergraduates could experience this.” This idea of a shared reading experience took most students at the training session back to fond childhood memories of being read bedtime stories such as Michael Rosen’s We’re Going on a Bear Hunt. “It’s interesting that this has encouraged people to go on and study
literature and proves just how sensitively fiction works. If it has such a profound effect when you’re young, it is going to stay with you forever,” suggested Harris. Why then do we no longer read aloud? After all, the sense of community that it creates is how literature was meant to be experienced. Harris said: “My teaching focuses on the Renaissance period and back then, everybody would have been reading aloud or mouthing the words. It was not until the 17th century that private reading began to increase. I think you gather a lot more about what is going on in a text when you read it aloud, particularly what an author or poet was intending.” Harris’ determination to make the project possible is admirable given the amount of red tape she has encountered.
Anyone who has filled out the lengthy CRB forms knows just how tiresome the process to become a volunteer can be. But Harris would not let the complexity of the system deter her. “I want to show the care home residents that we do really want to help, and not just fall at the first hurdle. I think that is what they face all the time; lack of volunteers because the system is so time consuming and complicated.” And Exeter students are certainly willing to support her with this project. She has been delighted with the student response, highlighting that “there really seems to be an interest in forging links with the elderly community.” She hopes that above all the students involved will not be afraid to strengthen friendships with the care home residents.
Is second hand smoking really dangerous?
James Dyson on how objective science can fall by the wayside when politics gets involved
AT the end of last year, a small but somewhat troubling proposal emerged from the British Medical Association calling for the nation-wide banning of smoking in cars. The primary reasons behind such a statement were, firstly, the oft-repeated and somewhat vague citing of ‘health reasons’, and secondly, the intensely dubious claim of wishing to protect children. I use the word ‘dubious’ here because of the fact that the ban itself would not differentiate between those with and those without children in the actual car itself, a move that could be called heavy handed at best. The proposal, should it pass, is only the latest in a long line of misguided legislation against smoking. All were passed and supported by the general public on the assumption that the evidence which backs up such measures, along with the governing bodies that introduce them, are nothing but objective and rational. It has been anything but, and indeed, the shrill public outcry against this personal habit has often reached such heights of fanaticism as to negate any basic concept of ‘rationalism’ at all. As such, whilst these column inches could be dedicated towards dealing with the actual issue at hand, it would perhaps be more fitting to dispel the pernicious myth of neutrality that has been used as justification for increasingly draconian measures over the years. One of the most cited reasons for justifying the banning of smoking in
various locales has been the idea of second hand smoke (SHS); it was the crux of the argument in favour of the 2006-7 ban in pubs in Great Britain, and is the driving force behind the current proposals. Without wishing to mince words, however, the actual evidence supporting the damaging effect of SHS was, and is, little more than a blatant and cynical fabrication. In 1993, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that, according to conclusions from its research, SHS was a Class A carcinogen, that is, a substance that can greatly heighten the likelihood of cancer.
“What was meant to be objective research was twisted to fit a foregone antismoking conclusion”
To begin with, even before any actual research had been done, the EPA had publicly committed itself to the conclusion that SHS, or ETS (Environmental Tobacco Smoke), was a significant risk to others. But the most damning analysis of the whole affair was to come in 1998 from federal judge William L. Osteen, who lambasted the EPA for “cherry picking” data and withholding “significant portions of its findings and reasoning in striving to confirm it’s a priori hypothesis.” The fact is that the entire report (in its un-doctored form) could not conclu-
sively confirm, or even give reasonable evidence to suggest, that SHS had any potential to increase the risk of cancer to those who absorbed it. Indeed, in 1998, the chemist Michael R. Fox, in ‘Toxic Toxicology: Putting Scientific Credibility at Risk’, wrote that, “the cancer risk of ETS to a non-smoker appears to be roughly equal to the risk of becoming addicted to heroin from eating poppy seed bagels.” One particularly interesting comment about the whole matter came from the late Alvan Feinstein, a Yale University epidemiologist present at the proceedings. Feinstein went on record as quoting a colleague at the World Health Organisation for saying, “Yes, it’s rotten science, but it’s in a worthy cause. It will help us to get rid of cigarettes and become a smoke-free society.” In short, what was meant to be objective research was twisted to fit a foregone anti-smoking conclusion. It was a fantastic victory of politics over science. One would have thought that, having been revealed for the charade it was, no store would have been set by the EPA’s conclusion and those responsible for it would have changed their tune. Yet, as history has shown us, neither of these things happened. Instead, to this day, research about the effects of smoking continues to use the 1993 report in findings and proposals. Furthermore, taxation hikes on cigarettes, anti-smoking advertisements, as well as outright bans
– most notoriously the ban of smoking in pubs in the UK, have all justified themselves on false ‘evidence’ derived from the study. The obvious question is why, and the answer somewhat obvious. For a start, SHS is a perfect political tool for the anti-smoking lobby; when confronted by the ethical dilemma of forcing someone to stop a private habit they disagree with (as John Stuart Mill once wrote: “Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign”), the claim that his actions are in some way negatively affecting other people’s health serves as a justification which simultaneously transforms the smoker into a criminal and the anti-tobacco lobbyist into a beneficent paternalist. On a broader level, this begs the question as to why smoking, if, in reality the danger is so minimal, has become the target of junk science and numerous regulations over recent years. I began this article by stating that neither the governments of the world nor the scientific community takes a neutral and fact-based approach to smoking, and I offer this as my explanation. The humble cigarette has become a focal point for the worst kind of fear mongering from politicians trying to ‘act tough’, or research institutes relying on generous government subsidies; a cheap shot for those trying to corner votes from concerned parents with the maudlin cry of ‘think of the children’ as their banner. (On that note, it is worth noting that a
World Health Organisation study in 1998 concluded that – much to the institute’s dismay – “results indicate no association between childhood exposure to ETS and lung cancer risk).
“The actual evidence supporting the damaging effect of SHS was, and is, little more than a blatant and cynical fabrication”
If not the parents, it is an appeal to those who cannot bear the thought of allowing others to smoke in their company, whether it be at the train station, a restaurant, or a pub. As a smoker, and as one concerned with the private rights of citizens, it enrages me that such barefaced, biased and blatant propaganda has been allowed to dominate the rights of individuals, telling them where and when they can and cannot smoke. The last word I shall leave to Dr. Gio Batta Gori, Former Deputy Director of the National Cancer Institute: “People should feel offended by the complicity and sham paternalism of health authorities and profitable tax-exempt charities. Such an officially imposed tyranny has no place in countries that claim and presume to be free, enlightened, and just.”
23 JANUARY 2012 Exeposé
Is there a real challenge to Obama?
James Crouch tracks the rise and fall of the Republican presidential candidates
ONCE again, it’s the primaries for a US presidential election. Most will remember 2008’s epic struggle between Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton for the Democrat nomination, which was dragged out over almost the entire primary season. This time, the Republicans are centre stage, and it’s not looking quite as exciting. Everyone knows who the front-runner is, and so far no-one’s giving us enough of a reason to doubt he’ll stay the front-runner. Mitt Romney has consistently been first or second in opinion polling. Clearly, a large minority of Republicans have made up their minds that Romney is the best placed to beat Obama. Primarily the centrist of the campaign, he’s moderate and can attract those middle ground American voters (who are, of course, still significantly to the right of the UK’s floating voters). Despite having this on his side, there’s something nagging at the back of Republican minds. It’s not every day that a frontrunner is faced with repeated and frantic attempts by the majority of his own party to find an alternative. For the right-wing party of American politics, Romney is quite simply not right enough. This is the era of the Tea Party movement (most of whom are Republicans) who are in no mood to play moderate politics. They don’t want an Obama Mark II, or even a moderate candidate for expediency’s sake, they
want their own kind of conservatism in the White House. Their desperation for a credible candidate has been obvious. They’ve tried everyone: at one point polling even suggested Hermain Cain was first choice, who, as a black man, may not strike people as the obvious flag-bearer of the American right. This was of course before whisperings about his sexual history caused him to rule himself out. The next step on the primary pilgrimage was the rise and fall of Rick Perry, the Texan Governor (successor of George W. Bush) with a mainly Evangelical base. A blockbuster of an ad saw him storm onto the scene as the next candidate to shoot up in the polls. Sharp, relatively young and good looking, it was quite a surprise that his downfall would be the debates, where he embarrassed himself ranting about departments he would abolish, before proving himself unable to remember what they even were.
He came an incredibly close second to Romney in Iowa, but fell far back in New Hampshire a few days later. This brings us to the obvious problem: the American Right is split. Evangelicals and Tea Party supporters are not synonymous. The former are hardline social conservatives and so are, for example, largely anti-abortion. The Tea Party movement is economically on the right, supporters of the small state and spending cuts. Social conservatism is often neither here nor there for them. In fact, if you’re a Ron Paul supporter then you are far more likely to be against the state dictating social policy in any way. And at the moment, he’s the one with the momentum from that wing of the party.
At 76-years-old, he shines as a beacon of aged experience, and is distinctly unlike the others in the informal way he presents himself. This is the key factor which many Paul supporters think is lacking in Romney, who is seen as too much a part of the damaged political class on Capitol Hill. Paul also seems to be the only right-winger performing well enough so far to stand a chance, coming third in Iowa and then second in New Hampshire. As for whether the USA will be entirely happy to have an octogenarian running for re-election in 2016 is a question for another time. However, at the moment it still looks like a clear Romney win. The only thing keeping the race alive is the vehemence which some Republicans
have in attacking the former Massachusetts Governor. The latest whisperings being that he looks ‘French’ (apparently, a bit like John Kerry). When he recently described his annual income from speaking, $370,000, as ‘not very much’ critics suggested that he was out of touch with the financial hardships facing many Americans. The possibility is that this race could get so dirty it damages the winner - whoever they may be - before they even start campaigning for the presidential election itself. Until the decision has been finally made we can’t ask the question which is on everyone’s lips: is Obama going to get a second term? Photo: The Telegraph
“For the right-wing party of American politics, Romney is quite simply not right enough”
In the second primary in New Hampshire, Rick Perry recieved a poor 0.7 per cent of the vote, a low figure which no winning candidate has received in a major primary in recent memory. Although this New England state was nothing like his home ground, it’s not surprising that he dropped out of the race soon after. Following this came the springing of the second evangelical Rick, a certain Mr Santorum who recently and publicly attacked the NHS as the cause of everything wrong in Britain.
Republican presidential canditate hopeful and front-runner, Mitt Romney.
Primaries damage Republican hopes and American politics What’s the impact, asks Imogen Watson THE primary season has actually only kicked off this month but you’d be forgiven if you thought it had been going on for several – that’s because it has, but in the form of so-called “invisible” primaries. These are so invisible in fact that no names, stories or accusations have been bandied about in the press and nobody has heard of anybody. Yeah, right. Even on this side of the pond we receive a complete barrage of press coverage.
“Who can blame them for being disillusioned when the process is so long, repetitive and boring?”
This demonstrates the very heart of the problem: considering a president is only in office for four years before they turn back to the voters for approval,
the American election period is far too long. Those in office have roughly 18 months in which to attempt to accomplish anything before the tirade of invisible primaries, actual primaries, and then the final race for the White House itself begins; campaigning takes far too much time out of governing. This gives 18 months before some group, somewhere in the States, is going to try and give them a good kicking at the ballot box. That’s if the voters bother to turn up anyway – who can blame them for being disillusioned when the process is so long, repetitive and boring? Of course, the primaries are not just lengthy, they are also downright nasty. Even in a year such as this, with an incumbent president where only the Republican party is in-fighting to choose their best candidate, the mud-slinging is ever-present, even dragging down campaigns through accusations of adultery. How is anyone really to unite a party, let alone a whole, vast, diverse
country such as the United States, after they have spent the last year attacking, and being attacked by, their fellow potential nominees for the presidency? After all, each candidate has at least some supporters to be won over. Jon Huntsman, on giving up his quest for the Republican nomination, called for an end to the “current toxic form” of the race and, rather begrudgingly, endorsed the current frontrunner from Massachusetts, Mitt Romney. Huntsman himself, however, in a typical case of the pot calling the kettle black, has described Romney in the past as a “perfectly lubricated weather vane,” on “three sides of every issue” and “unelectable because he lacks a core.” Each of the other candidates, the Republican Party at large and conservative interest groups has pelted South Carolina and every other early voting state with personal attack television advertisements. In 1984, the first voting at the Iowa caucus took place seven weeks later
than it did this year; John F Kennedy in 1960 announced his candidacy 66 days before the first primary, but in 2004, John Kerry announced 423 days in advance. The entire election process is being increasingly dragged out in order for candidates to gain their momentum.
“What’s wrong is a process which is getting ever longer, and ever more vicious”
Let us not forget that the final election itself is fixed and does not take place until November, which anybody can work out is over eight months away, and which bodes badly for both this and future campaigns. Moreover, if coverage and campaigning are early, brutal and non-stop this time around, when only one party is actively executing the primary process, imagine how much worse it will be in 2016 when
Barack Obama (should he win this year) is unable to stand for re-election and there are two parties squabbling. There is nothing wrong with a healthy debate, scrutiny and a long process which tests the stamina, political backgrounds and opinions of candidates before they start their autumn campaign for the White House. What is wrong is a process which is getting ever longer, and ever more vicious, resulting in fewer voters and a lack of concern on their behalf for the road to the presidency. Disillusionment helps no democracy. This year, depending on your personal politics, there is perhaps a bright side. The bickering ought to help Obama and his campaign: the longer the Republicans battle it out, the more reasonable an option Obama appears to be to those in the American public who still care.
Exeposé WEEK FOURTEEN
See no evil: how to wage war in an online world
Matthieu Perry examines the difficult US balancing act between troop safety and freedom of speech that has occurred over the past decade of military personnel deliberately uploading documents and videos exposing evidence of human rights abuse by the US military. Worthy of note is that this issue highlights the changing nature of how military secrets and incidents, which the military would prefer to remain confidential, can be leaked and spread with ease. With the Internet playing such a pivotal role in the way that information is gathered and shared, it is now a tool for soldiers to share their experiences and opinions with those outside the conflict. No longer is the information the public gathers from war based solely on government statements and professional media. Examples of events like this are unfolding on the front lines, events that are rarely broken by the mainstream media. The US soldiers acted in an unprofessional and disgraceful manner, which put the lives of both troops and civilians at risk.
A sniper from the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, to which the men in the video belonged
FOR over ten years, following the invasion in 2001, coalition forces have maintained a presence in Afghanistan. Within the first few months of the conflict it had become increasingly clear, as the conflict wore on, that this would not be over in a short space of time. There was no clear exit strategy for foreign troops, the Taliban maintained a strong presence over much of the country and
the ‘democratic’ government which had been formed under the supervision of the US was fragile, plagued with vote-rigging at every election and corruption within its public institutions. As time passed, the coalition realised that a simple occupation of the country, lasting for only a few years was not going to become a reality. For the troops to be able to leave with a sense of victory and an accomplished mission, they need to feel that the hearts and minds of the Afghan population have been won over. This challenge has been made increasingly difficult by the information and allegations of human rights abuse leaked on the Internet. On 11 January, footage was released on the Internet of three US Marines urinating over the bodies of three
Afghans. This clip spread like wildfire and was soon being shown on major news outlets around the world. The video is believed to have been captured between March and September, when the division were on deployment in Afghanistan. Photographs have also been leaked of the same Marines division posing in front of the bodies of other Afghans. The incident has been an embarrassment for the US government, who are desperate to improve their public image in Afghanistan and across the world. Branded as a “recruitment tool for the Taliban” by the Afghan government’s peace consul, Arsala Rahmani, this incident comes at a time when the conflict has reached a stalemate and the coalition is in need of local support. This is one of a series of incidents
“No longer is the information the public gathers from war based solely on government statements and professional media” Further attention has been paid to how the US government deals with cases like this. Earlier this month, the court martial of US soldier Bradley Manning began, who is suspected of uploading over 700,000 top secret documents, including a video of an army helicopter opening fire on Iraqi civilians and a Reuters photographer while stationed in Iraq onto the Wikileaks website. Manning’s defence claims that he
had uploaded the documents because he was under ‘emotional turmoil’ as a gay member of the military, serving at a time when ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ was still being implemented. Manning, either through psychological issues and/ or disillusionment of the military had leaked this information as a means of protest or to ‘reveal the truth.’ Manning’s supporters, many of whom have joined numerous online campaigns for his release, have hailed him as a ‘heroic whistle-blower,’ someone not afraid to tell the truth, citing the US State Department’s statement saying that no one had been harmed as a result of Manning’s actions. Whereas it is difficult to tell what disciplinary action will be taken by the US government in the case of the 11 January video at the time of going to press, history has shown that actions like this involve court martials and lengthy detention and imprisonment. Despite this, it does not seem to act as a successful deterrent to all personnel. With the ever-increasing use of the Internet, and many members of the public and media turning to it as a source of news, some are tempted to leak documents as a means of protest. The Internet offers some chance of anonymity and is largely uncensored. What recent instances have highlighted is that governments, particularly the US government, are unable to prevent the flow of confidential information through simply covering its tracks via the traditional means of discipline. What has arisen is a debate between the soldiers’ rights to freedom of speech and expression, and state security. The image of the US as being a ‘defender of human rights’ has been eroded over the past few years over instances such as this and it continues to shed new light on the conflict.
“Denial is not acceptable”
As the French outlaw Armenian genocide denial, Usman Butt analyses the politics behind the move
ON 22 December, the French Parliament passed a law against denying the Armenian genocide in public; those found guilty of the offence face up to a year in prison and a 45,000 Euro fine. The law came after President Nicholas Sarkozy visited the Armenian capital Erevan in October, in which he publicly stated, “Denial is not acceptable”. This law sparked a diplomatic crisis between France and Turkey, as the Republic of Turkey does not accept that the Ottoman State attempted to carry out genocide on the Armenian people.
Up to 1.5 million Armenians died during the genocide, which occurred during the First World War when the Ottoman Turks allied themselves with Germany against Britain, France and Russia. The facts surrounding the event are still highly contested. Turkish historians refute the claim of genocide and argue that according to the UN’s Genocide Convention 1950, which states that there had to be an intent to destroy at least in part a racial, ethnic, cultural and religious people, the deaths do not qualify. There would have had to be a deliberate policy of genocide.
“Is criminalising denial, however disgusting, acceptable in a free society?”
Many Turkish historians claim that no such policy existed and argue that Kurdish Tribesmen, who sought to take
land from the Armenians, carried out many of the killings. It is still disputed to what extent they were acting under orders, if at all, from the Ottoman state. When the Ottomans lost the war, the British and French occupied Turkey and war crimes trials were held. However, most of the suspects were acquitted when it was no longer politically convenient to continue them. Since then, no one has been tried for the genocide; in a sense this law in France is a way of amending past mistakes, but is criminalising denial, however disgusting, acceptable in a free society? The term genocide didn’t exist at the time, as it was a term coined in 1943 by a German Jewish philosopher Raphael Lemkin. Most western scholars accept that this was genocide, as opposed to a massacre but genocide is an interesting term. There seems to be no set qualifications in applying the term genocide, after all what is the difference between ethnic cleansing and genocide?
Are they the same thing? Is it a question of numbers of dead? There is no clear distinction between the two, except that genocide carries more weight politically.
“Denial doesn’t always mean denial of the historical fact of the event, but rather not accepting the interpretation and narrative that comes after”
In the years since the genocide there is another interesting development. From the 1980s onwards, there has been an attempt to ‘holocaustise’ the Armenian genocide. The language and discourse of the Armenian genocide is draped in the language of the Holocaust;
as in western societies the holocaust has become the bar by which all genocides and ethnic cleansings are judged. Anyone who picks up a book or reads anything about the Armenian genocide today will find quotes from Hitler on the Armenian genocide which is sometimes also called the Armenian holocaust. So we return to our original question, what does denial mean? If I accept the historic facts of the genocide of the Armenians by the Ottoman Turks, but refuse the comparison between the Armenian genocide and the Holocaust am I still denying the Armenian genocide? After all denial doesn’t always mean denial of the historical fact of the event, but rather not accepting the interpretation and narrative that comes after the event. Perhaps the greatest tragedy in all this, apart from the actual genocide itself, is that fact that the genocide has stopped being about the actual victims and become more about power politics.
: 6 o N s e i r r o W Uni
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Exeposé week FOURTEEN
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New Year’s revolution Zoe Dickens & Cyan Turan - email@example.com
Alex Tindall takes a sincere look at the origins of the humble New Year’s resolution JANUARY: the time to forget the mistakes, regrets and over-indulgence of the last 12 months and set goals to become better, kinder, slimmer versions of ourselves in the next. Usually vastly over-ambitious, these flaky commitments are a time-old tradition we participate in on our endless mission for self-improvement. Whimsical as they are, New Year’s Resolutions reflect a trend in human nature for self-criticism and improvement traceable to our ancient relatives. There is evidence to suggest the New Year was celebrated over 4000 years ago by Babylonians (though, given the different calendar, theirs was more likely a celebration of fresh crops than discounted gym memberships), and the modern tradition of looking back on the past to make changes for the future has clear links to ancient Rome. Janus, the Roman god of beginnings and endings, was the consecrated god of the New Year, fittingly represented with two faces: one looking back, one forward. Romans sought forgiveness of their enemies and exchanged gifts with each other on entering the New Year in order to begin it as they intended it to carry on. Though we celebrate it slightly differently today (an excuse to have a party, drink and kiss someone), the intention remains the same. However nowadays it seems almost as traditional to break them as it is to make them. One statistic claims 88 per cent of New Year’s Resolutions fail - a figure most of us probably accept as true of ourselves. It doesn’t help that we determine our own failure before we even start by setting ourselves unachievable resolutions during this time of reflection and ‘Fresh Start’, ‘New Me’ thinking. We look to make ourselves paragons of achievement and virtue: this year I will excel academically, save more and exercise daily (whilst also contributing to World Peace). The truth is, 1 January is just the day after 31 December, we’ve just created this big imaginary divide between the two - so why do we bother? The thread common to all New Year’s Resolutions is improving one’s life and bettering ourselves. Personal wellbeing appears top of the list of the most common resolutions we make in the aftermath of ‘well, it is Christmas’ binge eating and festive inactivity. We promise to get fit and lose the fat, with gyms in the New Year becoming crowded and memberships soaring until laziness prevails again by mid-February. Likewise, quitting
smoking and cutting back on drinking are just as common following the season’s obligatory tradition of excess. Other common resolutions are made in the spirit of life-evaluation; I’ll work harder, I’ll get a better job, I might even find love. But alas, we are not entirely self-absorbed beings as most people altruistically dedicate at least one resolution to the Greater Good; this year I will donate to charity, volunteer, or maybe start recycling (I could even give curing cancer a go whilst I’m at it). But does this annual drive for self-improvement suggest we are inherently dissatisfied with our lives? Could the grass always be that bit greener? Or perhaps setting goals are simply a way of giving ourselves a sense of purpose? Whatever they mean to us it is clear that year in, year out we are reluctant to let go of our New Year’s resolution tradition. We humans seem to hold onto and rely upon the idea of fresh starts and second (third, fourth, fifth, one hundredth) chances: I’ll go the gym tomorrow, I’ll start that essay
on Monday, I’ll go to more lectures next term. Is it because we know we are likely to fall short of our overenthusiastic resolutions that we hold onto the fact that we will always have another chance tomorrow, next week or next year? I think so. I find the idea that there is always another leaf to turn over a comforting idea.
“The modern tradition of looking back on the past to make changes for the future has clear links to ancient Rome”
New Year’s resolutions reflect our simultaneously self-critical and will-do-better nature, they are a gently chivvying reminder to get the most out of life. Though most of us know in January that we will have forgotten them by March, to me they don’t seem to be an entirely pointless exercise because after all, the sentiment behind them is one of hope, which is surely not a bad thing.
Ever the cynic, Thomas Ling considers the limits of resisting temptation
GOOD thing you don’t have to set a New Year’s resolution as you’re too busy succeeding with last year’s one. What’s that? You can’t even remember what resolution you broke this year, let alone last year? Well don’t worry; you’re not alone on this one. A survey of 3,000 Brits led 88 per cent of participants to confess they had never succeeded in keeping a New Year’s resolution and a further 12 per cent of participants were later revealed to be compulsive liars. Yet, despite the success rate of resolutions many students still endeavour to start the new term with newly made promises of self-improvement. Whether you’ve promised yourself to sign up to the campus gym or avoiding starting your essays at the last minute, there’s a good chance that in a few weeks time you’ll find yourself fecklessly putting off work in order to gawp at the guy with the big teeth from The Jeremy Kyle Show. “Ha! Ha! Ha!” you’ll say. “Corr, he actually is the biological father! Look how ugly and miserable he looks! Yeah, that essay due this afternoon can definitely wait! This
probably counts towards some sort of research anyway.” Fear not though, since it’s January everybody’s swapping the latest tips on the ways to keep up resolutions as if they were trading Pokémon cards. However, it’s quite unfortunate that the nature of self-improvement is so inherently cheesy that most of the time suggestions on the subject are completely useless. There’s occasionally an effective tip like never taking your credit card out with you on a night out if you’re trying to budget this term, but most of it is painfully patronising. People giving advice such as “Let all your flatmates know about your new goals so they’ll be able to join in with all the fun” have somehow managed to confuse reality with a lifelong episode of Sex and the City, ignoring the sad fact that most of the time you’re going to have to rely on willpower alone no matter what your ‘gal pals’ say. However, the conclusions of a Stanford University experiment suggest that humans are so mind numbingly stupid that it’s almost impossible to keep our resolutions without our brains seeping out of our ears. In the experiment, two groups of students were given a number to remember; one group had to remember a two-digit number, with the other group memorising a seven-digit number. After a brisk walk the two groups were then given a choice of snack: a healthy fruit salad or an appetising piece of chocolate cake. Strangely enough, the students remembering seven digits were nearly twice more likely to choose the cake than the students given two digits to memorise, leading the professor in charge of the experiment to conclude that simply remembering just seven digits was such a “cognitive load” that it significantly influenced their decision in picking the unhealthy option. All this simply means that humans have such little willpower that if somebody were to ask you to remember just ten numbers and then offered you the bowl of salad or a bit of cake, that the “cognitive load” would probably drive you temporarily insane. Face it, you’re only ever just ten digits away from stripping naked, eyeballing a slice of Battenberg and then publically defecating into a salad bowl, by which point only the approaching police sirens would be able to drown out the terrified screams of a few hundred students. Probably the best advice is not give yourself too much to deal with and stick with just the one resolution for this term; you’ll almost definitely kill somebody otherwise.
23 JANUARY 2012 Exeposé
What grinds Georgia’s gears? Best friend marketing
Lifestyle’s columnist, Georgia Goodyer, isn’t sold on amiable ads I VIVIDLY remember a few years ago buying an Innocent smoothie and smiling at the twee messages on the side, sweet endearments that try to convince you that this Coca-Cola owned brand is as friendly as it is healthy. Fair enough, I thought, they did start as a small business founded by three kooky Cambridge grads, quite clever marketing really. Wrong.
“When it isn’t department stores with sickeningly cute children, it’s banks attempting to get on your good side through the medium of song” Now, when it isn’t soups, smoothies or organic mousse, its department stores with sickeningly cute children, or banks that insist they aren’t robots, through the medium of song, attempting to get on your good side. Note: Good side in this instance refers to that squishy corner of your brain, the one usually reserved for Raindrops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens etc. I used to consider those double glazing adverts, or my local politician sending me a letter on my 18th birthday, the most infuriating of them all. Surely nothing could be more annoying than a balding man shouting ‘BOGOF’ as you drink a cuppa waiting for the next half of Downton Abbey, and that was just the politician. Yet these, along with those horrifically exploitative 20790 per cent APR
loan shark adverts or affectionate ‘no win no fee’ announcements don’t come close to the puny pre-pubescent whining of the child on the Thomson commercial who insists that there just isn’t enough time in the day to see his parents. They simply must book a holiday to have the lasting nuclear family he’s always dreamed of. I can imagine those marketing execs sitting around a large table with those boring blue chairs, brainstorming the best way to catch us unawares and snap our feeble heartstrings. But, giant corporate marketing person, maybe, just maybe I would like a smoothie that just has the ingredients on the label, adverts where noone sings, Yummy Mummies who don’t play Bingo online together and a world where Google Chrome isn’t the only tool for family interaction. What was wrong with Dad making little Sophie a real scrap book? What if she accidentally deletes those online memories or her external hard-drive falls ill with a techno virus, what happens then? Children don’t really jazz up their parents spreadsheets out of love, regardless of what Windows 7 insists, and as much as The Saturdays are extremely talented artists, watching them stroke an animated puppy isn’t going to make me go out and buy a Nintendo DS. I would argue that those adverts are even worse than pop-ups that exclaim: ‘Are you SURE you want to leave this page? You have been chosen as a $1,000,000 prize winner!’, or spam emails that encourage you to click on them only to bombard everyone you’ve ever met with discounted soft porn. At least they don’t pretend to be your best mate. They knowingly lie and laugh at you; much less scheming and more admirable
really. Maybe this is all technology driven. Perhaps if I switched the television and radio off, popped my laptop under the bed and played dominoes with chums we would all be safer. Those suited conmen and women... con-people would be out of a job as we regain our bank balances and claw back our detached and fragile dignity. That is until the doorbell rings and the Royal Mail delivers an affectionate letter from that nice clothing shop offering you a cheeky discount if you rack up lots of
“Children don’t really jazz up their parents spreadsheets out of love, regardless of what Windows 7 insists”
juicy debt on their credit card. We must count our blessings though. In America, they have 20 minute infomercials where Katy Perry talks through the ultimate cure for acne, and pharmaceutical companies sell wonder drugs that warn of side-effects such as Liver Failure and Death in a laid-back ‘just gone surfing’ Southern California drawl. Back in the UK, the nauseating voice of the Marks and Spencer’s pudding ad, beautifully slim models scoffing chocolate and ‘celebrities’ flashing their wobbly bits in fitness videos, it’s enough to make you want to run a mile, and that’s before noting the irony. Maybe I’m just getting old, but if Boots play ‘Here Come the Girls’ one more time as a group of (you guessed it) girls go shopping, I may scream.
Your problems solved Aunty Jess and Uncle Ben are here to help “Dear Lifestyle,
I’m a single second-year student who moved in with three equally single girls at the beginning of the year. The problem is that they’ve all got boyfriends now and I’m feeling increasingly isolated. They spend pretty much all of their time with their significant others and I feel totally left out. They are forever talking about their relationships and I find I never get to spend time with any of them alone any more. It’s beginning to ruin my social life and I don’t know what to do! Help! Embittered Second year”
NO wonder you’re feeling isolated! Looks like your housemates aren’t paying attention to the unwritten rule of ‘bros before hoes.’ Talk to them about how you feel and, if they’re good friends, they’ll see the error of their ways. When we get in a new relationship, we can become blinded by the excitement of a new partner and can accidentally neglect the people close to us. Try and arrange a girl’s night once a week; be it staying in with a movie or hitting Arena, your social life will definitely be back on form. Have you also considered branching out your friendships? If your friends are all wrapped up with their boyfriends maybe it’s time for you get more chummy with people on your course. It never hurts to have a few more clubbing buddies! And who knows? Maybe in the process you’ll meet the man of your dreams!
It’s a tough world to live in when you’re the only single one in a house. First and foremost is communication – let your housemates know how you feel. Try not to be too embittered; your housemates are struggling in their responsibility to you as a friend and a housemate, but they are also at the beginning of something that is really exciting for them. Be decisive. Organise some house meals just for the girls and make it a real communal activity. Before you know it you’ll all be back to how it used to be. When things aren’t going great for your friends you’ll be the one comforting them. Also, remind them of their responsibility in helping you find love. See this as a great opportunity; the second term has only just begun so meet up with coursemates or friends from First year. Most importantly, don’t let inaction ruin what could be a brilliant year. If your housemates can’t see you’re not very happy, let them know.
Campus Style Spotter: Sale Special OUR roving photographer and style aficionado, George Connor, brings you the best style on campus!
“This issue we’ve been looking for the sale’s best bargains. Hannah’s Urban Outfitters ensemble shows that it’s making waves in turning Exeter into the Paris of the South West. Her Fedora and IRO Jacket both echo the Parisian chic of Isabel Marant showing there are always gems hiding away. Kate’s Missoni inspired scarf from H&M cost only £2 and looks brilliant with pareddown casual wear. Harriet’s boots are from an independent boutique and show that smaller shops can bag you a brilliant new pair of ontrend suede boots – great for the cold walk to campus. So Stylistas, get rummaging through the sale racks, who knows what you could find.” Left-right: Hannah, Kate and Harriet
Exeposé week FOURTEEN
Ten top trips for 2012
Charlotte Mason gives us her pick of this year’s best destinations THE Christmas decorations are firmly packed away for another year, our New Year’s resolutions have already been broken and many of us have been working hard revising for exams (or not, either way). They tell us the days are getting lighter and longer, but with the onset of January blues, frankly I think the weather girls are lying to us. So, what better way to step into 2012, than looking ahead to warmer weather, weekend getaways and the not-sofar-off summer holidays? Here are my top ten suggested destinations: 1. Paris This city of love and light is well worth a visit (even if, like me, you have already been, but have only hazy recollections of climbing the Eiffel Tower). Only two hours and 15 minutes from London and from £69 return on the Eurostar, travel is fairly affordable even for us students. Stay in a charming (cheap) hostel, wander down the Champs Élysées pretending to be a celebrity, watch a few car collisions at the Arc de Triomphe and enjoy a dose of culture at the Louvre. “Paris, je t’aime!” 2. Barcelona As one of Spain’s wealthiest cities, Barcelona has lots to offer, from its designer shops to its eccentric architecture and rich culture. You will, of course, want to visit Gaudi’s architecture including the incredible Roman Catholic Cathedral, the Sagrada Familia and the intact medieval city centre in the Gothic quarter. Sample Spanish tapas and typical Catalan cuisine, amble down La Rambla, the busiest street in Barcelona, home to street sellers, performers, thieves,
and many tourists. Furthermore, having hosted the Olympics back in 1992, Barcelona’s port and beaches are in beautiful condition and include a modern shopping centre, a range of bars and clubs and, of course, an aquarium! 3. Pompeii and the Bay of Naples Similarly, another great short break is a trip to the Bay of Naples where one can take in the sights of Pompeii. For those feeling particularly energetic, there is the possibility of climbing Vesuvius, one of only three active volcanoes in Italy. Retreat to Sorrento, an energetic small town, for the evenings to stuff your face with ice cream, mozzarella and/or limoncello. 4. Croatia Croatia is becoming an increasingly popular holiday destination, particularly for students, due to it’s fairly low prices. With beautiful scenery – including mountainous forests, glistening beaches and 1185 islands (yes, you read that correctly!), Croatia has something to offer everybody. As a country that has undergone Roman, Venetian, Italian and Austro-Hungarian rule, Croatia’s culture and history is rich with ancient ruins, traditional folklore and permeating European influences. Oh, and apparently the nightlife is pretty good too. 5. Amsterdam If the last time you rode your bike was when you took your Cycling Proficiency Certificate in Year 6 (I never took one which
perhaps explains my ineptitude on a bicycle), this is an excellent opportunity, to practice those skills. On a serious note, Amsterdam has lots to offer besides it’s notorious red light district. Visit the house of Anne Frank, the Van Gogh Museum, take a stroll along the markets and the canal before hitting the clubs in the evening. 6. Morocco According to The Independent, Morocco, another up-and-coming student destination, is possibly the “most exotic place you can reach within three hours from Britain” Inland, Marrakech and Fez are buzzing with activity as vendors, monkeys, fortune-tellers and tourists throng the streets. The Medina and Souks in the old quarter alongside the nineteenth century Bahia Palace are not to be missed. Venturing from the centre, along the coast, Casablanca is famed for it’s cosmopolitan atmosphere and the High Atlas mountains are waiting to be explored either on foot or by camel. 7. InterRailing If, like many, you are struggling to decide where to go, on a budget and with limited amounts of time, then InterRailing may be the answer. With a variety of passes, and with the ability to choose your favourite destinations, the world really is your oyster. 8. Beach Break Live If you love music, are looking to stay in the UK and are free 14-18 June, why not head to Beach Break Live at Pembrey Country Park in Wales. Although the 2012 line up is yet to be announced, last year’s acts included Tinie Tempah, Example, Professor Green and Ed Sheeran. With eight miles of sandy beaches, 500 acres of woodland, outdoor activities including windsurfing, a dry ski slope, horse riding and 20,000 students, Beach Break offers a great way to
let your hair down after exams. 9. London Olympics 2012 I really couldn’t do a list of suggested top ten destinations for 2012 without including the London Olympics, could I? London hasn’t hosted the international games since 1948 and so obviously, there’s been a lot of hype and expensive rebuilding programmes in the capital. While many of you may be lucky enough to have tickets, others can still get involved in this global and historical event by volunteering or applying for job opportunities ranging from catering and ticketing to cleaning. Over 100,000 people will be employed by the Games and one of these could be you!
10. Exeter And lastly, but not least, Exeter, Devon’s own historic capital and home to our University should not be forgotten. There is plenty to do in and around Exeter especially as the days get warmer and less dreary. If you’re feeling brave, take a walk on Dartmoor (just don’t ask me to accompany you as my sense of direction is terrible and last time I got more than a little lost), or relax in Topsham with a cream tea. If it’s really warm (or you’re mildly insane), head to Exmouth or Dawlish Warren to soak up the sun on the beach or visit Powderham Castle, home to the Earl of Devon. Many of these destinations are accessible by train so there’s really no excuse to be unadventurous.
23 JANUARY 2012 Exeposé
This is your life...
Harry McCarthy gets to grips with Facebook’s new Timeline feature
MEMORIES. We lose them so quickly, don’t we? An endless stream of birthdays, funerals, celebrations, commiserations, days out and nights in pass us by in a flash; people enter and exit our individual spheres so quickly that were we called upon to catalogue our lives from the very beginning to the present day, most of us would barely know where to start (well, at birth, obviously, but it would doubtlessly get a bit hazy from there). This is a great shame; there’s a lot of our time on Earth that’s worth remembering, and even the moments that we’d rather forget can provide a few laughs when time is behind us. Thankfully, it would appear that a solution to the loss of our precious memories has been found. Not by neurologists, psychiatrists, or any other kind
of boasting ist, but by Facebook. I am referring, of course, to the new Timeline feature which, as with every other change that the top dogs dare to make to the site, has caused uproar in cyberspace. I defy anyone to open their News Feed and not find reference to it normally in the form “WTF is this timeline Facebook?!” For those of you who haven’t been tempted to “Launch” your timeline yet, here it is in a nutshell: the feature transforms your once-humble profile page into a timeline dating all the way back to the day you joined. This means that every status update, picture, wall post and event are now easily visible to you and all of your friends which, certainly makes for some pretty interesting reading.
Ever one to embrace change, I became a Timeline convert as soon as the feature became available. Once I’d spent a good half an hour in agonising deliberation over which of my 1,800 photos to use as the “cover” for my new profile (I settled on a Harvey Nichols cocktail - for £18 it’s only right to share it with everyone) I settled down to have a good flick through my past. And boy, was I surprised by what I saw. Did I really do that to my hair? Did I think I could get away with that outfit? Did I honestly allow myself to be friends with them? These are, I’m sure, questions that more or less anyone would be prompted to ask were they presented with a large collection of images of their 14 year-old self. But embarrassing as it was, I was utterly fascinated by it. Being able to track my “evolution” made me realise just how important each and every one of those experiences were - the discovery of skinny jeans being a particular turning point. The availability of all these memories was really quite overwhelming and actually bloody marvellous, however ready I thought I was to rid myself of some of them. I couldn’t be more grateful to Facebook for allowing me to look back on everything that has made me ME. And for making it even easier to stalk my old flames. That goes without saying.
Lunching lows Ruth Currie laments the lack of choice in the university vending machines
AS we escape the clutches of the January exam period and contemplate the dizzying number of second term deadlines, for many, one library or another is likely to have become a familiar place. Blank white walls, wooden booths and silent study rooms imprinted on the inside of countless tired eyelids. As a History and Archaeology student I understand this all too well; often feeling it would be fairer to pay the Law Library rent than my landlord. Don’t get me wrong, my purpose is not to complain about long library stints, but instead the rations provided by the university during such stretches. You leave home in the morning after a healthy breakfast, with a packed lunch of pasta salad and fruit, and arrive at a study space for a lengthy essay-writing session. Six o’clock looms but you don’t want to leave, you’re on a roll. Why not stick it out until ten? You begin to flag and head down to get some refreshment but by this time all local shops and cafés are closed. You are confronted by a row of vending machines, full of chocolate, sweets and crisps, or perhaps, if you’re lucky, a hard, tasteless and heinously overpriced cheese and ham toastie. The correlation between an unhealthy lifestyle and concentration spans in schools is a popular talking point of late. Obesity levels are still on
the rise. We live in the age of Jamie’s School Dinners and graze.com and yet even at a highly esteemed university such as our own all we are offered during times of intense study are snacks high in fat, sugar and salt. This can only be having a negative affect on performance, and I for one can barely stomach it.
“I hope the university will ditch saturates in favour of omegas, and change”
Change, however, is far from unachievable. Several companies are already tackling this issue, The Healthy Vending Company perhaps most notably. They offer vending products such as mixed nuts, oat bars and fruit smoothies, and by offering good dietary choices, they also presumably answer the prayer of many a restless student. Thus I propose that there be at least one healthy machine at every current vending location, to offer students a choice. Such a choice will not only benefit the student on an individual level, but also may potentially improve academic performance. I hope that the university will soon ditch saturates in favour of omegas, and satisfy the current appetite for change.
London luxury on a student budget James Crouch gets his Group-on with a bargain meal in Chelsea STUDENTS are supposedly known throughout the ‘adult’ world for living off the bare essentials, watching every penny as if it were their last. Clearly, they’re not yet familiar with the world of vouchers and money saving websites! I, for one, will carry on doing what I want to do, providing I don’t have to pay full price. My first adventure into the world of paying-only-half-your-way was with Groupon, a website which gives you daily access to new deals in every city around the country, with a giddily-high percentage off. From the corner of my eye I saw six courses, in Chelsea, with 70-something per cent off. Who could refuse? Got three friends on board and off we went. To be honest, it still wasn’t the cheapest meal I’ve had, but I enjoyed going to a top-class restaurant for a night which otherwise I most definitely would not have been able to afford. In short, it allows me, and others, to do things that simply aren’t feasible without lopping a chunk out of the price. Of course, especially with Groupon, it’s a bit hit and miss. Firstly,
we were stung with ‘extras’ - service charge on meals that would otherwise cost £240 was not pleasant to pay. On a general note, most of the deals offered are far from worthwhile - a year of being signed up has resulted in two deals being purchased. And while London’s
offer may be a half-price night at the theatre, Essex’s will be discounted colonic irrigation. Not really my dream night, I must admit. Regardless, the internet is not the only place I pillage prices, and in fact not even the most important to me: my
lifeline is wine vouchers. Virgin wines, naked wines, Laithwaites; all inside Amazon packages as delightful little extras that spill out onto the floor and brighten your day. A 15-bottle crate for £50 - in other words, £8 bottles for three quid - was just what the doctor
ordered for third year! So after half of Exeter watched me slip into a winesoaked delirium, I sobered up (sic) and realised the possible pitfalls. To get the deal you have to sign up to a plan, which after the first month does not guarantee you such generous offers, in fact it guarantees you none. Eventually I had to get round to phoning up and getting out, and trust me they don’t like it! After having heard stories of women pretending to be with child to wriggle out of the agreement, the actual process wasn’t as bad as I’d imagined. The two problems I encountered in the phone call is that “no” is only a word after the 17th repetition, and for some reason is often misheard for “I’d love to put myself on a more expensive plan.” But despite the catches - there really is no such thing as a free meal you can still treat yourself as a student if you have a look around for vouchers on the web or elsewhere. And honestly, there’s nothing sweeter than pre-drinking that crate of decent wine knowing you saved £60 for Jaegers in Arena later.
23 january 2012 Exeposé
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Ones to watch in 2012
29/01 - Exeter University Amy Weller, Music Editor, looks at the rising talents on this year’s music scene Jazz Orchestra, Michael Kiwanuka PROBABLY a name a lot of you will Amber Rooms
be familiar with following his recent victory in the BBC Sound of 2012 poll. Despite the deluge of recent media hype, Kiwanuka certainly lives up to the vast praises of all the big shot musical ‘tastemakers’ with his winning combination of soul infused vocals and folk-acoustic elements. Starting as a session guitarist, then making the giant leap to supporting Adele on her recent European tour, Kiwanuka is finally taking centre stage as the release of his debut album Home Again on 26 March approaches. A refreshingly rich sound that epitomises modern soul; think Otis Redding meets Laura Marling.
29/01 ExTunes Live! The Old Firehouse 30/01 - Feeder, The Lemon Grove
05/02 - ExTunes Live! The Old Firehouse 15/02 -David McAlmont and Guy Davies, Exeter Phoenix 16/02 - Steve Knightley, Exeter Phoenix 19/02 - Breabach, Exeter Phoenix 23/02 - Roll Deep, Exeter Phoenix 27/02 - Ellen and the Escapades, Exeter Phoenix Featured Event: Itchy Feet at The Phoenix Friday 03/02 Exeter Phoenix 10pm- 2:30am Dance off those post Christmas blues at The Phoenix with the Itchy Feet DJs and bands. Tickets: £6 for early bird tickets on Facebook page, or £7 tickets will be sold from 28 January at 6 Pennslyvania Crescent. There will be 5 Golden tickets hidden around the campus and city. Go to the Itchy Feet Exeter fan page to access the clues.
Tracks to check out: ‘I’m Getting Ready’, ‘Worry Walks Beside Me’
Michael Kiwanuka, winner of BBC Sound of 2012
Daughter HAVING supported Benjamin Francis Leftwich on his winter UK tour, Daughter are now supporting one of 2011’s most refreshing folk artists, Ben Howard. Daughter, led by Elena Tonra, captivates listeners with her raw vocal talent and beautifully crafted lyrics. Although it is fair to say Elena creates music inspired from pain and heartache, what is produced is not just your average traumatic break-up record. Daughter’s two EPs The Wild Youth and His Young Heart enchant with a mix of melodies and her voice, which although gentle, commands an arresting power. Tracks to check out: ‘Candles’, ‘In the Shallows’, ‘Landfill’ Keaton Harrison A SINGER songwriter from London with a difference, Harrison refuses to perform in public. His misanthropic lifestyle has not however prevented the production of a debut album set for release later this year. You can place him alongside the likes of Bon Iver, particularly in light of his claim that it was a record produced in the aftermath of a relationship breakdown. He carries on the trend of gentle acoustic with softly pained vocals, which seems to be a popular feature of 2011’s male indie artists, but does it well. If you’re looking for cheery, he probably isn’t for you. Tracks to check out: ‘You Don’t Know How Lucky You Are’, ‘Small Hands’
Weeknd AN R&B performer who so far has released all his material as free downloads. This Canadian producer furthers this highly modern approach to music with his latest online advertising campaign to find a guitarist and bass player as he branches out from the web into live performances. With lyrics that are at times troubling, he has the depth and intelligence that is often missing from mainstream R&B acts and delivers soulful vocals. Track to check out: ‘Wicked Games’ Azaelia Banks HAVING acquired significant radio airplay with single ‘212’, Banks proves to be more than adequate to succeed in the hip hop scene. Feisty, cool and reminiscent of a female Tyler, the Creator, she is currently working on her debut album with Florence & the Machine’s producer. Coming third in the BBC Sound of 2012 poll, she is set to rival the success of Nicki Minaj and Lil Kim
Little Dragon DESPITE having released three studio albums to date, Little Dragon are emerging stronger than ever having built up a strong back catalogue featuring collaborations with Gorillaz, Jose Gonzalez, Sbtrkt and Outkast’s Bigboi will soon be added to the list. A Swedish trio who generate dreamy rhythms and electro-pop oozing with groove, they are currently embarking on a big UK tour. According to the Chinese zodiac 2012 it is the year of the dragon, so we can expect great things.
Niki and the Dove THE second musical product of Sweden to feature on this list, this Swedish electro duo features an eccentric Kate Bushesque front woman with a penchant for abstract dance moves and flamboyant costumes. This act takes quirky electropop heavily infused with unconstrained synths and wild percussion to the next level. The result is somewhat psychedelic with overtones that would not be out of place in a sinister fairytale. Having come fifth in the BBC Sound of 2012 poll, their debut album is eagerly anticipated
Tracks to check out: ‘Twice’, ‘Ritual Union’, ‘Blinking Pigs’
Tracks to check out: ‘DJ Ease my mind’, ‘The Fox’, ‘The Drummer’
Track to check out: ‘212’ ft Lazy Jay Lianne La Havas ORIGINALLY a backing vocalist for Paloma Faith, Lianne La Havas occupied the support for Bon Iver. Like Kiwanuka, La Havas is causing a soul resurgence amongst the indie circuit. Her Lost and Found EP features a collaboration with singer songwriter Willy Mason, proving her ability to master the cross over between soul and folk. Tracks to check out: ‘Forget’, ‘Final Form’
Niki and the Dove, Swedish electro duo
Exeposé week fourteen
Top Albums of 2011
Andy Smith, Music Editor, looks at the Exeposé Music top picks of 2011, and what makes them our favourites 21 Adele (Released 24 January) HAVING broken into the charts and gained instant recognition as an artist to be paid attention to in 2008 with 19, Adele exploded back onto the music scene with her follow-up in early 2011. While her debut release seemed to be more cautious musically, 21 goes that little bit further with the confidence of
Mirrorwriting Jamie Woon (Released 18 April) JAMIE WOON came to our attention through his videos on YouTube in 2010, causing a definite stir in the music world, and he has never failed to impress. Mirrorwriting is no exception. Experimenting with electronics, synthesizers and loop pedals to create an interesting and
new sound, Woon intertwines subtle melodies with his soulful vocals to leave his unmistakeable mark on this collection of tracks. The standout tracks on the album, ‘Lady Luck’ and ‘Night Air’, are pushed by an electro beat, but Woon’s soft vocals bring out the intricacies and the fascinating lyrics of the songs. This happens throughout the album, Woon having a real penchant for catchy lyrical hooks and conveying real meaning through his
words. His musical abilities really shine through in ‘Spirits’, in which he builds harmonies and beat boxing over each other to create a haunting and infectious sound. While being one of the lesser known releases of our ‘Top Albums...’ list, this is truly a dazzling offering from Woon, and we cannot wait to see what he does next.
Goblin Tyler, The Creator (Released 10 May)
tracks with intelligent wordplay and strong lyrical force. Tyler has natural lyrical flow, and while the beats behind the songs are not particularly awe-inspiring, the repetitive, filthy bass and driving synths ensure that the attention of the listener is where it should be: on the words The album begins as a concept piece, with Tyler, The Creator in a session with his psychiatrist ‘Dr TC’ and the openings songs document his psychological desires. While this seems to
STORMING the underground rap and hip hop scene as part of California collective OFWGKTA, Tyler, The Creator has released a Never Mind the Bollocks of an album. With a new breed of music, Tyler paints pictures of violence and horror, while still resisting falling into the ‘horrorcore’ genre by injecting the
4 Beyoncé (Released 24 June) BEYONCÉ KNOWLES has come a long, long way since her pop-based beginnings with ‘90s chart group Destiny’s Child, and what she has to show for it is something great. Shedding the clichéd pop sound, while still dominating the charts, Beyoncé has become one of the greatest modern soul
her songwriting, showcasing songs like ‘Rolling in the Deep’ and ‘Rumour Has It’ which have a defiant passion that underpins the entire record. More than this, 21 also ventured into deeper emotional extremes with songs such as ‘Take It All’ and the single ‘Someone Like You’. Her true songwriting talent allows the real emotions of her relationships to shine through, and really connect with the listener, in a way which could be considered quite rare compared to the vast
Track to listen to: ‘Take It All’
A Different Kind Of Fix Bombay Bicycle Club (Released 26 August)
Track to listen to: ‘Lady Luck’
singers of our generation. This album has cemented her position at the top. While her previous albums have showcased some chart-topping tracks, this albums proves her worth even more by being consistent and enjoyable as an entire record, with every song proving a possible hit. This may have come from Beyoncé’s break from her old manager before writing and recording this album, as well as taking a sabbatical to spend time with family and friends. This is
possibly why the album feels like a new musical beginning, with a fresh sound and a new energy. The carefully orchestrated arrangements, from the catchy R&B pulse of ‘Love On Top’ to the emotive ballad ‘Best Thing I Never Had’, and touching and insightful lyrics, ‘Countdown’ detailing her relationship and desire to make more of it, highlight this album as one of the best of its class.
Every Kingdom Ben Howard (Released 30 September)
The instrumentation of the album is careful, with well judged backing from drums, bass and cello, which adds an extra depth to the music. The main feature is Howard’s sweeping guitar work, which is wonderful to listen to and shows the makings of a folk virtuoso, underpinning the entire album, gelling the record together in a style that many ‘acoustic’ albums fail to attain. Lyrically, the album is extremely strong, many songs procuring feelings of unrestrained nostalgia in the listener,
ON the tail-end of the modern folk revival, Ben Howard has something different and exciting to bring to the listeners, and his debut album exhibits this perfectly. His Nic Jones-esque guitar, and his stirring vocals combine to create a record of moving and energetic folk songs.
majority of popular music. The album as a whole gels together really smoothly, with every song telling a story in an adventure into the emotional highs and lows of relationships and friendships. This is driven by Adele’s exceptional lyrical talent paired with her powerful vocal ability, and overall has led to her rise to a position as one of the UK’s most important musical talents.
tail off towards the end of the record, it is an interesting idea, and the often jilting beats between different songs resonate Tyler’s instability. While many have slated the album as being simply offensive and nothing more, this just isn’t the case, and when observed with the same mindset as when reading a murder novel, or watching a gritty film, this hip hop record unfolds as a piece of artistic brilliance. Track to listen to: ‘Yonkers’
THE Bombay Bicycle Club boys have given us high expectations with their two, highly contrasting, previous releases, and yet their third record may just be their best so far. 2011’s A Different Kind of Fix sees BBC return to their upbeat, energetic and exciting selves, while retaining the maturity and delicacy that Flaws offered. What really makes this album great is the range of emotions which BBC tap in to through their music. The upbeat lead single from the record, ‘Shuffle’, is energetic and reminiscent of time spent with friends and messing around, while ‘Still’, with its stripped down combination of piano and vocals, stings of regret and remorse. This wide emotional arsenal that Jack Steadman, appearing wise beyond his years with this catalogue of music, can deploy with his jilted and hypnotising vocals really moulds the album into a shining example of a great a musical work. Track to listen to: ‘How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep’
Shortlisted Albums Laura Marling - A Creature I Don’t Know (Released 9 September) Track to listen to: ‘Sophia’ Kanye West & Jay-Z - Watch The Throne (Released 8 August) Track to listen to: ‘Gotta Have it’
Track to listen to: ‘Love On Top’ with songs ‘Old Pine’ and ‘Keep Your Head Up’ really capturing the freedom and joy of Howard’s teenage years. This record really speaks: through the unassailable combination of Ben Howard’s vocals, songwriting abilities and musical talent, as well as the tight arrangements and backing from his band, Howard manages to reach emotional highs and lows of the listener, while allowing them in to his world. Track to listen to: ‘The Fear’
Florence and the Machine - Ceremonials (Released 31 October) Track to listen to: ‘Only if For A Night’ PJ Harvey - Let England Shake (Released 11 February) Track to listen to: ‘The Glorious Land’ Jessie J - Who You Are (Released 28 February) Track to listen to: ‘Mama Knows Best’ Nero - Welcome To Reality (Released 15 August) Track to listen to: ‘Guilt’
23 january 2012
Foreign Beggars, national treasures
Ben Wright talks to the London Grime trio about collaborations, their sound and the scene
WHEN it comes to touring, Foreign Beggars are in for the long haul, their performance in Exeter being the eighth stop on a 22 date tour. Their last trip was over two years ago and Exeter appears to be a place they are quite comfortable in, engaging with the crowd as they blast through tracks both old and new. Foreign Beggars, comprised of Orifice Vulgatron and Metropolis - both of whom I had the pleasure of speaking to - and DJ Nonames, find their origins in South London and their roots have played a role in creating their sound, emerging as part of the early 2000s London grime scene. The UK’s Hip-Hop Grime scene has progressed into two clear spheres since it entered the mainstream: artists such as Dizzee Rascal moving towards chart based pop tracks, while Foreign Beggars are among those engaging with today’s dubstep scene. “We’ve always been open to working on any kind of genre as long as we like the beat,” says Metropolis, “Now it’s a lot more electronic, when we started out it was much more sample based,” notes Vulgatron.
“They can be seen to be bringing a fresh take on an increasingly popular dubstep scene”
Foreign Beggars’ live show in the Lemmy demonstrates how they’ve progressed. ‘Hold On’, taken from their first album, gets a raucous reception from the crowd, encouraged by Vulgatron to mosh like they were at a Metallica concert. The group have “tried to pull in influences that [they] actually like into the show” states Metropolis, and if their recent collaborations with Noisia and Skrillex point to their engagement with electronic and beat based sounds, their live shows echo Vulgatron’s metal days. After making waves when first
emerging onto the grime stage, they’re doing so again today with tunes like ‘Still Getting It’ feat Skrillex and ‘Badman Riddim’ feat Vato Gonzalez, as they can be seen to be bringing a fresh take on an increasingly popular dubstep scene: “As artists coming from a hip-hop background in the UK maybe we’ve pioneered it and now we’re seeing a lot more people looking at our shows and bringing more dubstep and dance elements into their shows.” Unsurprisingly, this has led to them featuring on a number of other artists’ tracks, and this doesn’t look set to end any time soon.
Getting It’. Their hectic tour schedule has meant that despite releasing singles and featuring on a variety of tracks over the past year, they haven’t released an album since 2009. “We’ve been on the road so much,” states Metropolis: “We’ve got a back catalogue of work that we need to do.” Due to this, they “have made the decision for next year that we’re going to block off
time to get the recordings done.” Foreign Beggars evidently not only believe in the type of music they’re making, they love it too, embracing all the opportunities it brings. “Someone sends us a track and we’re like yeah cool we want to work on that and by the time we know we’ve got 20 tracks we need to get done. Next year we’re going to be a lot more focused.” On this evidence, Foreign Beggars appear
to be a group to watch out for. ‘Jump Back’, a collaboration with Flux Pavillion and Skism has recently been released and this year, as well as recording some new material, Foreign Beggars will be releasing a project with Noisia. If the reception they got here is anything to go by, 2012 looks like it’s going to be a good year for the trio.
slower compared to the Maccabees of old, but it builds to a crescendo of infectious guitar riffs and vocals to ease you nicely into the album.
most chanting tracks such as ‘Glimmer’ and ‘Heave’. However, ‘Pelican’ is more similar to their previous work with thumping bass and guitar, that is instantly recognisable and you’ll quickly be singing along midway through your first listen. The band embraced technology using drum machines to make tracks such as ‘Go’, with its uncharacteristic and almost confusing intro beat, you would be forgiven for thinking that you were no longer listening to The Maccabees. This song constantly changes pace and is packed with breakdowns, yet it highlights the amount of time and work that has been put into this record. There is a theme throughout the album and a track to break up the almost
floatyness would be nice and perhaps show some of the older, harder, catchy guitar and drums. Nonetheless it takes you on a journey of emotional synths and harmonies that can’t help but be enjoyed. This album marks the return of The Maccabees and it seems they’re back bigger and more epic than before. If you haven’t listened to them yet, now is the time to act as they are likely to be playing every other festival over the summer and by the standard of this record, they deserve to be high on the bill. Just be careful when listening to this album, as you could get lost in the wild for hours.
“We’ve pioneered UK hip-hop and now we’re seeing a lot more people bringing more dubstep and dance into their shows”
Sifting through Beggars’ history, collaborations have always been a large part of what they do and today they are working with a diverse mix of artists and producers, not only through Foreign Beggars work, but also through their record label Dented Records. The high tempo of their live shows, as well as the number of gigs they do, would indicate that recording is simply a necessity for them in order to get back on the road again. However production is also something they take very seriously. Metropolis describes working with Noisia as “incredible” and “a lot more organic,” simply sitting in the studio with them coming up with the beats on the spot, “and I think that shows in the music we’ve made.” ‘Contact’, one of a few songs Foreign Beggars have produced with Noisia, gets one of the best receptions of the night, along with their collaboration with Skrillex ‘Still
ALBUM REVIEWS Given to The Wild The Maccabees
GIVEN TO THE WILD is the third installment that marks the long awaited return from The Maccabees. The
London-based indie rock band return from a three year gap, with the initial release delayed as final tweaking and re-editing was carried out to achieve a sound the band were fully happy with. They have increased production to give a fuller feeling to this album, with the inclusion of brass and synths throughout. Although it is only early in 2012 this record is going to take some beating and is a great way to kick off the year. The Maccabees have pulled out all the stops to take the listener on a musical journey. The album starts with the aptly named ‘Given to the Wild’ (intro track), with psychedelic synth and echoey vocals before leading straight into the second track ‘Child’. The second track is more relaxed and
“The Maccabees have pulled out all the stops to take the listener on a musical journey”
‘Unknown’ has to be the stand out track: it starts dark but quickly changes pace. With catchy drums alongside euphoric vocals this has the potential to be nothing short of a sensual experience when worked into their live shows. There are moments to catch your breath with more ambient, al-
Exeposé week fourteen
Love What Happened Here James Blake
or awkwardly sound-tracking some low-key documentary on BBC2 (my mother claims to have first heard the prolific glitch-stepper on a history programme). As is clear to anyone who has seen him live, however, Blake’s minimalist productions befit club dynamics far too well to be resigned to the dinner party.
“Blake’s minimalist productions befit club dynamics far too well to be resigned to the dinner party” YOUR aunt’s favourite post-dubstep singer-songwriter returns with another nugget of jittery electronica: one that might move towards appeasing fans of his earlier work, if not slightly underwhelming and confusing your aunt. Love What Happened Here seems to sit, if not on the dichotomy between accessibility and gritty digitalism, then on the fence between the critics who praise the lanky Londoner’s intricate electronic craftsmanship and versatility, and those who dismiss his A-list-bothering “drabstep” to mere coffee table dance music. These comments are often presumably levelled by those familiar with James Blake as heard on daytime Radio 1,
In fact, it often only takes a twist of the volume dial to realise that Blake’s music is just too weird to be boring and the new EP is no exception. Its triptych of sonic experimentation ranges from psychopathic energy to the plain unsettling. That said, the eponymous opener doesn’t do much to dispel coffee table accusations: its jaunty Hammondsampling and offhand pace set a sure-fire recipe for sitting, smoking music. But its familiarly meandering keyboard tones, its sprightly collage of vocal pops, and most of all its gradual reveal of a moreish, playfully ascending melodic hook, comprise a masterful subtlety on a vibrant, engaging level that avoids
relegation to the background-music pile. Subsequently, ‘At Birth’ gives a macabre take on four-to-the-floor which retains this engagement through its claustrophobic bassrattles and piano stabs, the jovially unrestrained use of space in the previous track noticeably condensed by a viscous sonic wall. Blake’s pitch-shifted trills also take on a discomfiting tone only set to increase throughout the EP’s three tracks. The last of these, ‘Curbside’, juggles hoarse sax samples, acid-trip vocal squeals and rusty percussion to strike a precarious balance between intriguingly off-kilter and ownright unpleasant. In this way, the sonic noodlings that prompted comparison to lounge music in the first place prove to be gripping, even jarring. Indeed, pondering whether James Blake is catering towards the coffee table, the bass-purist or your aunt is ultimately futile. Love What Happened Here only proves that the creative output of an artist known for both avant-garde two-step and Joni Mitchell covers is seemingly directionless, hugely multi-faceted and unstoppable. CALLUM MCLEAN
SINGLE REVIEWs Ray Charles Chiddy Bang
LOADED with melodic hooks and propelled by an imaginative arrangement, Chiddy Bang’s ‘Ray Charles’ is a breezy yet appealing
Born to Die Lana Del Ray
LANA Del Rey manages to tick all the boxes: talented songwriter, easy on the eye, and with one of the most distinct and seductive voices around. Since the native New Yorker exploded into the music scene last
track that follows the example of Maroon 5 in harking back to vintage greats for inspiration. The second release from their upcoming debut studio album, Breakfast, the track continues in the direction of 2011’s Mind Your Manners in combining rap-driven verses with catchy choruses. This time, however, Chiddy Bang draw on the traditions of 1950s and 60s soul music for its piano hook and soul-inspired refrain. Lyrically the track is a fairly standard affair: a string of selfpromotional clichés with a few passing references to blindness to justify the Ray Charles connection, and its fair share of rather painfully forced rhymes (the couplet: “And I think I’m preheated, oven...
They hear me spit, they think they know me like they cousin” springs to mind). Lyrics aside though, ‘Ray Charles’ manages to draw in the listener in other ways. The unusual use of bluesy piano in the backing track is one highlight, another being the belted chorus, reminiscent of Aretha Franklin and other soul and gospel music. All-in-all, this record provides a pleasant diversion from the clubdriven music scene in its incorporation of elements of soul music, while still finding space for a strong melody and a very danceable beat.
year, her popularity and recognition have only been growing. Del Rey’s vocals possess an almost nostalgic quality. There is a richness to her voice that has a Billie Holiday-esque tone, and a unique style lacking from many contemporary female vocalists. From the introductory swelling strings and layered melodies, this track is instantly haunting. Some greatly polished production by Justin Parker flaunts the best aspect of the song - its simplicity. Offering a snapshot of a love story that is unpredictable, almost dangerous, it is a chilling tribute to reckless abandon. The underlying message of Del Rey’s latest venture appears to be that love is most beautiful at its most tragic. The true triumph lies within the lyrics; the eerie chorus of “Sometimes love is not enough / and the
road is tough / I don’t know why” fits beautifully within the melody. The concluding “Let me kiss you hard in the pouring rain / You like your girls insane” in Del Rey’s velveteen tones for some reason fails to deliver the exepected panache upon first listening, but after a few repeats has a striking effect. This second single is one to be proud off, even if it fails to hit the heights of last year’s masterpiece ‘Video Games’, but that was the kind of “extraordinary” that only comes along every decade. Nevertheless her material is still remarkably original, with hidden depth. Del Rey is definitely a talent to watch for this year.
America Give Up Howler
HOWLER have been heralded as the next big thing to happen to guitar music and America Give Up is the debut from the Minneapolis band. From the title of their debut, as well as their EP released late last year entitled, This One’s Different, Howler is nicely summed up as proudly narcissistic, dirty rock and roll. Whilst I wince at comparing their sound to the likes of The Drums, The Vaccines and The Strokes as many (aka all) reviewers have done before me, it is very difficult not to. The grungy guitar riffs could comfortably be placed in any song by the aforementioned bands which, going beyond Howler’s hype, suggests that they are not as outstanding as NME likes to rave. However, it is unfair to take credit away from Howler, who have produced a very good first record, and with it, managed to catch Rough Trade’s attention and break into a tough niche in the music market to get themselves noticed. The album kicks off with ‘Beach Sluts’ which, in the opening guitar
riffs and thrashing vocals, contains enough sun soaked grunge to make you forget about the cold, cold depths of January. Moving through the record into ‘Wailing (Making Out)’ and ‘Too Much Blood’, the adolescent abandon of frontman, Jordan Gatesmith, becomes more and more evident. With more thrashing guitar riffs and scratchy sandpaper vocals, which Mr Casablancas himself would be proud of, Howler prove that they know the magic formula to make an indie rock record.
“This is what the album is about being young and just not caring”
Whilst ‘This One’s Different’ is not, in all honesty, different to the other ten tracks on America Give Up, it has another catchy chorus, snaring the indie kids’ hook, line and sinker. ‘Told You Once’ is one of the tracks that stand out on the album. With egotistic lyrics such as “I hate myself more than I hate you”, it embodies what the album is about – being young and just not caring. Jordan Gatesmith (vocals/guitar) has said Howler came about through boredom and wanting to play in a rock band. At just 19 he is certainly comfortably filling his time nowadays; Howler toured with The Vaccines last year and have tour dates coming up for 2012. Wehilst not being ground-breaking, Howler’s first offering satisfies a rock ‘n’ roll craving in a concise 32 minutes. DAISY MEAGER
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23 january 2012 Exeposé
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Tori Brazier & Luke Graham - firstname.lastname@example.org
HELLO there, and a Happy New Year to you all! It’s our first issue back and the awards season is well and truly upon us, with the Golden Globes already done and dusted. Michel Hazanavicius’ The Artist was the biggest winner of the night with a modest clutch of three globes; this included Best Original Score, and Best Picture and Actor in the Comedy/ Musical category. Its star, Jean Dujardin, delivered one of the most delightful (and French) speeches of the night, rivalled only by Best Supporting Actor winner, the iconic Christopher Plummer (Captain Von Trapp, no less!). Not a dry eye in the house. Meryl Streep was, unsurprisingly, a winner for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher, leading her well on her way to a possible record seventeenth Oscar nomination. Both The Artist and The Iron Lady are reviewed this week. BAFTA Award nominations have also been announced, with recognition for the stunning Drive and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, a Michael Fassbender Best Actor nomination for Shame again (Tori- yay!), but a rather controversial field for the Orange Wednesdays Rising Star Award. All five nominees are male: is this an issue? Should it be? Tom Hiddleston’s nominated! The award is voted for by the public.
TO ease in 2012 and the continuation of rigorous academia, we have ONE PAIR of FREE TICKETS to be won to see any film, courtesy of Picturehouse Cinema, Exeter. All you have to do is email us at email@example.com with the subject ‘2012: A Disaster Movie!’ Judging by the normal flood of entries, your chances are preposterously good.
Deadwood or The Killing?
Helen Carrington discusses when a show should just end
because of the on-going mystery of the identity of ‘The Mother.’ As a viewer, every new female character seems a potential candidate, and inevitably turns out not to be. After
Take, for instance, the popular teen drama Skins. The first series passed into the status of a cult programme, such was its avid fan base, and the second series was nearly as well received. The second generation were treated with some suspicion by viewers - apparently we’re not as well adapted to change as we’d like to believe - and yet, in January 2010, the third generation arrived on our screens, characters as two-dimensional as cardboard, and with about as much acting skill. You might question,
after the first two series, why did I continue watching? Surely, television is optional viewing, nobody forces me to tune into a particular series every week. But every new episode, I watched with fresh hope, only to be disappointed once again. Perhaps I’m just of an optimistic nature. There is one programme I ended up caring so little about that I succeeded in dropping it from my usual weekly entertainment, despite quite enjoying the first two series. How I Met Your Mother started out as yet another Friends-like sitcom, light entertainment with endearing characters and occasionally clever plotlines. Some of the episodes were brilliantly engaging, such as ‘The Pineapple Incident’, effectively The Hangover crammed into 20 minutes, and the mystery identity of Ted’s perfect girl in ‘Drumroll, Please.’ In fact, the programme works so well primarily
five series of gradually less entertaining episodes, I started to doubt she even existed, so I stopped watching. Just like that. More or less. Some of the best programmes, as heart-wrenching as it may seem at the time, are best finished on a strong note, than left to flounder on, losing quality and viewing numbers. Take Green Wing for instance. Every episode is a gem, and treasured the more because there are only 17 of them. Perhaps the lyric has some truth: “You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.”
BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH and Martin Freeman are battling it out for the “Is he in everything?” award this year, but judging from critical and public response to Sherlock, the roles, truly their own, reside snugly within 221B.
This modernisation of Conan Doyle’s classic creation continues to go from strength to strength, proving that Holmes is a character who transcends eras, perfectly at home in the technology-andgossip fuelled 21st century.
Reinventing Irene Adler as a dominatrix who sits naked in an armchair like she’s doing it a favour was surprisingly effective. Lara Pulver’s performance oozed confidence and sex appeal, but also brought emotion when required. Moffat and Gatiss occasionally stray on the side of writing that’s too clever for its own good, but were certainly in their element with the deerstalker moments. Gatiss shines equally on-screen, portraying Mycroft with all the aloof superiority one could ask for. ‘The Hounds of Baskerville’ explored genetic experimentation and its moments of genuine horror were equally striking; Russell Tovey was also terrific as the disturbed Henry Knight. Sherlock is as driven by the relationship between the two leads as it is by the
mysteries. Their friendship and domesticity is enough to make you as warm and fuzzy as John’s Christmas jumpers (also developing a fan-base of their own), with generous amounts of subtext to boot. Anyone in any doubt of Freeman’s acting prowess need only look to the triumph of the finale – especially that phone call. As the shadow of Reichenbach falls, Moriarty returns as the despicably delicious spider weaving his intricate web, with an ending no one was expecting – even for those familiar with the books. I’m not even going to cobble together a theory. After all: you see what you want to see. And what we want to see is the next (already commissioned) series.
DOES a time come when it’s better just to let a series go, to know it has had its time in the world, but it’s kinder to the programme, the characters and all its viewers, just to turn off the machine and let the programme go out in dignity?
“Television is optional viewing- no one forces us to tune in every week”
TV Overview: Sherlock
Films to see before you graduate: Trainspotting (1996)
Director: Danny Boyle Cast: Ewan McGregor, Robert Carlyle, Kelly Macdonald (18) 94 mins
“CHOOSE life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a f*cking big television…” So opens Trainspotting, a film that follows the lives of a group of heroin addicts living in a run-down Edinburgh suburb. Renton (McGregor) hasn’t chosen life; he’s chosen heroin. Through a series of vignettes we watch as Renton and his friends struggle with their addiction, attempting to tread the balance between normal-
ity and the depths of dependence. The result is a powerful and edgy depiction of desperation and depravity, lined with dark humour and surprising moments of humanity. One of the best (and perhaps most controversial) things about Trainspotting is that it neither glorifies nor decries the group’s addiction, but treads the middle line; whilst some characters suffer, succumbing to poverty and disease, others attempt to beat their addictions and reintegrate with society. This leads to many brutal and tragic moments, with a few heartwarming occasions thrown in, as Renton pulls his life back together, only for his past to catch up with him,
threatening to pull his life back into the abyss of addiction. It’s these elements of realism that makes the characters, and the world that they inhabit, so believable, and that’s why the audience feels emotionally invested in their journey.
“We would have injected vitamin C if only they had made it illegal!” Danny Boyle’s direction, along with an iconic soundtrack, results in an assortment of powerful and vividly memorable scenes. From visions of a neglected baby crawling across the ceiling to Renton’s toilet hallucinations, Trainspotting is full
of quirky moments, some hilarious, others harrowing, all of them thought-provoking and hugely entertaining. The script is incredibly well written, providing even the most depraved characters with a rounded, often charming, personality. The film is incredibly quotable, whether it’s discussing consumerism, addiction, love or morality. I could still give you a multitude of reasons to watch Trainspotting but, as Renton so aptly puts it, “Who needs reasons when you’ve got heroin?”
ALEX HAWKSWORTH-BROOKES VIDEO GAMES EDITOR
MADDIE SOPER Catch the series on BBC iPlayer
Exeposé week fourteen
TV Review: New Girl NEW GIRL is the latest TV offering from across the pond, having already gained success in the States. It stars Zooey Deschanel as Jess, who moves in with three men after breaking up with her boyfriend. Comparisons for any American sitcom with Friends are inevitable, yet New Girl feels fresh and original, no doubt because of the decision to unbalance the gender ratio. As the sole female in the flat, it is very much “the Zooey show”, and her performance is worth watching alone. Known for portraying the cinematic role ‘Manic Pixie Dream Girl’ in films such as (500) Days of Summer, Deschanel is given free reign to sing, mess around and melt the coldest hearts. Much of the humour centres on her innocent and awkward reactions to real scenarios such as dating or buying a TV. Her “hungry badger” smile and farmer’s daughter overalls accentuate her lovable nerd character. Jess bounces off her male counterparts, who provide worthy support in the comedy. The expressions on their faces when they see Jess watching Dirty Dancing for the sixth time in a day hilariously highlights the differences between the sexes. Schmidt is particularly funny as the guy who has to fill a “douchebag jar” in his most sexist moments, yet will still produce a cracking Bill Medley impression. However, it is Jess who really makes New Girl one of the most exciting shows of the new year.
MATT BUGLER New Girl: Channel 4, Friday, 8:30pm. Series catch-up available on 40D
The Iron Lady
Director: Phyllida Lloyd Cast: Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent, Richard E. Grant (12A) 105mins
IT is difficult to approach a film charting the rise and fall of one of the twentieth century’s most significant figures without some preconceptions. Margaret Thatcher’s legacy is unparalleled in our modern age in its ability to divide views and her tenure as Prime Minister in the 1980s is still the subject of heated debate. It was disappointing, therefore, to discover that most of the significant political landmarks of the era, such as the Falklands War, were skated over in the film as though they were nothing more than marker-points on a timeline of the 1980s. Another problem with this film lies in the disjointed narrative, which frequently flits in contrived fashion between the present-day and the tumultuous episodes of Thatcher’s premiership. It is in these episodes which we are given a glimpse of those characteristics and traits which gave rise to Thatcher’s alternative title ‘The Iron Lady.’ We observe how she progressively lost the
Director: Steven Spielberg Cast: Jeremy Irvine, Emily Watson, Tom Hiddleston (12A) 146mins
sationalist film-making – a tour de force of kitsch, emotionally
AT its best, War Horse offers a poignant, often poetic charm that finds beauty in the midst of utter chaos, but more often than not, delves into a clichéd mess of sen-
Director: Michel Hazanvicius Cast: Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo (PG) 100mins
THE Artist is a romantic silent drama about a fading movie star and an aspiring actress, set in Hollywood when silent cinema was phased out by the ‘talkies.’ Dujardin and Bejo light up the screen with charisma, terrific comic-timing and intensely powerful performances as movie stars George Valentin and Peppy Miller. Dujardin’s character evokes memories of classic 1920s moviestars like Douglas Fairbanks, yet resonates with the tragic experience of ‘talkies’ casualties, like John Gilbert. James Crom-
confidence and devotion of her Cabinet colleagues, most notably in the shape of Geoffrey Howe (Anthony Head) and Michael Heseltine (Grant). Yet these episodes are dealt with at such speed that the effect is to convey the impression that these are merely episodes, rather than part of a coherent feature film.
“The writers have missed a golden opportunity”
Much has been written about Meryl Streep’s depiction of the aged and dementia-ridden Baroness, who struggles to remember those around her and frequently imagines her now deceased husband Dennis (Broadbent) walking the corridors and conversing with her. Irrespective of the morality of portraying her in this light, Streep’s performance is a tragically remarkable impersonation of a once great figure of British public life and an Oscar nomination surely lies ahead. Unfortunately, however, the writers have missed a golden opportunity to tell, what should have been, a far more insightful tale.
manipulative cinema, if ever I saw one. Following the eponymous protagonist, the film traces well and John Goodman play unforgettable supporting roles and a mention must go to Uggie, the talented, adorable dog.
“The Artist demonstrates that audiences are fickle”
The soundtrack is perfect, the cinematography stunning and the intertitles are wittily entwined into the narrative. When comedic, the film is hilarious, when tragic, it’s heartbreaking, taking the audience on an emotional rollercoaster from joyful ecstasy to shattering despair. It’s a beautiful, honest portrayal of the new overtaking the old and a deliciously entertaining pastiche of Hollywood. The obvious film that came to mind was Singin’ in the Rain: just as
the military service of Joey the horse as a part of the cavalry against the backdrop of WWI, as well as his owner Albert Narracott’s (a mediocre Irvine) own military career, and how after being separated by the horse’s initial conscription, they come to find each other again. Whilst its supporting cast is perhaps a bit sparse in terms of A-list material, particularly for a Spielberg film, performances from Watson and Hiddleston don’t disappoint. Even with the film’s reliance on melodrama, nothing feels overly forced, though some may be disappointed that the man of the moment, Benedict Cumberbatch, is underused. The film essentially works on Spielberg’s own back catalogue, combining the brutality of war seen in Saving Private Ryan, as well as the more sentimental children’s narrative of E.T. This is perhaps the film’s most vital strength, as Spielberg has proven time and time again that he can do war films. The encounter between an English and German soldier during the
final act of the film is a testament to his vision and scope when approaching the subject. His direction, similarly, plays to this epic conflict, echoing in many scenes the pomp and spectacle of Tennyson’s Crimean War poem, The Charge of the Light Brigade. But this in itself is the film’s main problem: instead of focusing on the “noble” charge of the millions of men who fought and died on the battlefields of WWI, the focus remains with Joey. One can’t help but feel troubled by the insignificance of the human conflict surrounding that of the horses’ in a film that plays them emotionally like their human counterparts. Ultimately, the haunting scenes of the war that Spielberg crafts so well are drained of all lucidity when paired with the painfully overwrought romanticism of its equine-based narrative.
inspiring, witty and uplifting but with a darker twist. The fascinating point that The Artist demonstrates is that audiences are fickle and lose interest if something new and exciting is dangled in front of
them. When the ‘talkies’ arrived in Hollywood, audiences were thrilled to see stars ‘talk’ and quick to dismiss silentcinema as outdated. The Artist has cooked up a massive critical-storm, partially because it is stylistically different from the norm. We are accustomed to ‘talkies,’ therefore silentcinema now (ironically) appears edgy and fresh to current audiences. Watching the film provoked similar feelings to Midnight in Paris – the notion that we are nostalgic for a past we did not experience. Glamorous actors, blackand-white cinematography, jazz and toe-tapping dances are enough to send us into a giddy longing for 1920s glitz.
XTV Review: The Longest Week
THE sheer scale of this project is impressive: Numerous XTV camera crews went out every day and night of Freshers’ Week 2011, filming everywhere from Birks Grange and Arena, to alleyways and hospital waiting rooms. Shoulder-mounted cameras worn by members of the Welcome Team captured hours of footage of a variety of incidents, all of which are tactfully dealt with in this
hour long documentary. Intelligent and considered editing leads you into the week from the Welcome Team’s perspective as you embark on their journey, absorbed in the unfolding events. Dan Orton’s narration provides a perfect, well-delivered commentary on his project, which compliments the charismatic Welcome Team members followed by the cameras. The documentary works its way through the week chronologically, with each team member given enough screen time to display their personalities, opinions and experiences. The impressive cinematography places you close to the action, almost uncomfortably at times, and no punches were pulled in what was filmed. This combination of strong characters and well-filmed sequences creates an immersive and absorbing feature which will keep you glued to the screen. The Longest Week covers various aspects of Freshers’ Week, from trivial, humorous conversations between team members and inebriated students, to the more serious effects of alcohol. XTV have carefully constructed a sympathetic but critical message, highlighting both the fun of Freshers’ Week whilst not shying away from what happens when
things go too far. As the credits roll, you will have experienced everything from humour and elation to exhaustion and fear. Comic moments are balanced perfectly with serious and frightening ones: it is a credit to XTV that they have been able to include and deal with such a range of events so seamlessly. Polished production quality and an intriguing subject make this one of the best documentaries I have seen, not only from XTV but of any broadcaster. It is a fascinating insight into individuals coming together for one week to make Freshers’ Week a success, doing something that often goes unnoticed. If there is one thing to do before you leave Exeter, it should be to watch The Longest Week. There will be tears and laughter, but most importantly, you will be left feeling proud to have been a student here with such committed and sincere people, both on and off camera.
HENRY WHITE EDITOR Check out The Longest Week online using tinyurl.com/7d2o8a4
23 january 2012
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Esmeralda Castrillo & Tom Payne - firstname.lastname@example.org
If you read this, you may like... Photo: Hannah Walker
Rhys Laverty on the major challenges facing the books industry in a commercial culture fraught with austerity WE are hearing more and more each year about the adverse effects of internet shopping on high street and independent retailers. You can bet that by the end of January we’ll be hearing about another increase in online Christmas shopping and how it will send a few more big high street names the way of Woolies and Zavvi. After all folks, it is a harsh economic climate out there.
“Kindles and e-readers are an anathema to me. Impersonal, unreliable, soul-destroying slabs of faceless consumerism”
Should we celebrate the decline of the High Street book store?
Understandably, men like James Daunt (managing director of Waterstone’s) who still believe in real people selling you real things in a real place, are miffed. And rightly so, in my eyes. I’m your stereotypical first year English student – I love the smell of books, wandering through the endless shelves of a bookshop, rummaging through for hours until I find a few choice purchases. Kindles and e-readers are an anathema to me. Impersonal, unreliable, soul destroying slabs of faceless consumerism (yes I do use a Moleskine notebook). Whilst I use Amazon for many things, when it comes to books, I always endeavour to
go to the shops. So you’d think I’d be 100 per cent behind James Daunt’s criticisms. And I would be – if it weren’t for the fact that shopping for books in Waterstone’s is about as intimate and personal as trying to copulate with Nelson’s Column during tourist season. It’s one of the biggest names in Britain’s One-Size-Fits-All high streets, alongside other impersonal, pandering institutions like Wetherspoons and Starbucks. Can you really take Waterstone’s seriously as a cultural vanguard for our nation when the innards of their branches house outlets of Costa Coffee? Like any other faceless giant, Waterstone’s can’t just accept the fact of its grand anonymity either. Branches attempt to dress themselves up as somewhere quaint and niche, like one of the countless local bookshops they’re eradicating. You’re familiar with the setting – low lighting, mahogany shelves, dark carpets, a suspicious lack of windows. Nice and sleepy and friendly. Gradually, you lose all sense of time, place and self, so you just spend, spend, spend. A lot like Amazon or a Las Vegas casino. James Daunt rightly criticised the pitfalls of the “If You Read This, You May Like…” structure of Amazon’s recommendations, but this is coming from a man whose retail workforce consists of
thousands of gormless teenagers whose literary frame of reference is questionable at best. When was the last time a Waterstone’s clerk tried to personally recommend you a decent book? Scratch that – when was the last time you were served by a Waterstone’s clerk who looked as if they had read a book?
“Shopping for books in Waterstone’s is about as intimate and personal as trying to copulate with Nelson’s Column during tourist season”
Now don’t get me wrong – I’m a big user of both Amazon and Waterstone’s. As with all things, there are pros and cons, yadda yadda yadda. Amazon is here to stay, and will only get bigger. Real book shops aren’t going anywhere soon, but they’re going to stay on the back foot. We’ll all be using both, and the debate will rage on. I just hope it doesn’t continually include people like James Daunt insisting that when we shop in Waterstone’s, we’re anything other than calves being fed by the cold metal teats of a prosthetic udder, our natural parent long since butchered and served in a flour dusted bap in some high street Wetherspoons – a distant memory.
Hannah Rogers recounts the life of Christopher Hitchens, the author, journalist and critic whose militant atheism remains a source of great controversy WE come across columnists all the time whose opinions we admire or scorn, and then – quickly enough – we forget them. Their arguments provoke or please us, but their personality, the sense of being addressed by a human being, is strangely absent. Whether Christopher Hitchens provoked or pleased you, his writing–and, of course, his speeches–rang out with the force of his character and convictions. His staggering YouTube presence is proof of the attention he could command. His erudition, sharp and irreverent style of debate, and his inclination to challenge rather than respect an opinion, certainly made for entertaining viewing. But it was his commitment to principled iconoclasm that earned him so much admiration and respect. Identifying himself with a tradition of provocateurs, the Anglo-American journalist was unafraid of conflict,
and lived – and wrote – to expose hypocrisy, exploitation, and dishonesty. John F. Kennedy, Mother Theresa, Princess Diana, and God were all the recipients of an uncritical and unadulterated praise that Hitchens found sinister and unnerving. In Letters to a Young Contrarian he set out to persuade young
writers that their first allegiance was to their own critical abilities and individual consciences. A writer’s value lay in his, or her, dissenting voice, in resisting the totalising effects of consensus. Although discouraging the idea of hero-worship, Christopher Hitchens confessed his indebtedness to George Orwell’s political writing and an affinity for his democratic socialism. A
more enduring legacy than his blasphemous views is, perhaps, the belief in the individual’s right to freedom of thought and expression which Hitchens shared with Orwell.
“Hitchens’ inclination to challenge rather than accept an opinion, certainly made for entertaining viewing”
Hitchens was, he maintained in an interview with Jeremy Paxman in November 2010, still a leftist, despite his vocal support for the US invasion of Iraq. He accepted the inevitability of the charges of neo-conservatism and islamophobia laid against him, without yielding an inch to their claims to truth. One of the most admirable things about Hitchens, even after
he began to support some aspects of the Bush administration, was his refusal to allow political allegiances to dictate his opinion – at 59 he voluntarily underwent waterboarding to prove that the American military’s use of such procedures against enemy combatants or prisoners did constitute torture. Christopher Hitchens defied expectation until the end, eschewing the victimhood afforded to cancer-sufferers, and continuing to write on foreign affairs in the months leading up to his death from oesophageal cancer in December. Far from living in denial, however, he faced his own mortality with truly astonishing good-humour, clarity and courage. He met his death with the self-possession of one who had truly owned his own life, and succeeded in using up his time as intelligently, and ironically, as he could possibly have hoped.
Exeposé week fourteen How I Escaped My Certain Fate Stewart Lee
Faber and Faber ISBN: 0571254802
THE comedian Stewart Lee isn’t for everyone. Throughout his career as a writer and stand-up, he has been described as “a dishevelled bin bag of a man”, a “boring tosser” and “smug and self-satisfied”, insults which he gleefully uses to advertise his stand-up shows. Lee embraces his divisive personality, and throughout his long and arduous career, has stuck by his principles of producing thought-provoking, intelligent and alternative comedic fare. His recent autobiography, How I Escaped My Certain Fate, details not just the changes and challenges of his life, but that of the world of comedy as a whole, and offers touching sentimentality and hilarious bitterness in equal measure. Adopted and then accepted into Oxford, Lee approached the world of comedy in the 1980’s as an outsider, alienated by the highbrow Oxbridge satirists of the
The Sense of an Ending Julian Barnes
Jonathan Cape Ltd ISBN: 0224094157
JULIAN BARNES’S 2011 BookerPrize winning novel, The Sense of an Ending, is defined by and constructed around the death of Adrian Finn, an Oxford student who, aged 22, commits suicide. The story is told by one of Adrian’s friends, Tony Webster, who, now in his 60s, returns to his friend’s suicide intrigued at having been left some of Adrian’s possessions in a will. The novel, a brief 150 pages, passes rapidly over the events of the interven-
period. Eschewing this comedic elite, Lee took inspiration from the anti-humourist alternative comedian Ted Chippington, and set out on a career of playing small dingy clubs to audiences who were perplexed by his unique approach to comedy. Lee recalls his smallest audience as being “15 people in Dundee”, and not dissimilar audience sizes meant that, for large parts of the 80s and early 90s, Lee was homeless, often sleeping in the office in which he worked his day job. Combined with the intestinal disease diverticulitis, which lead to a prolonged period of hospitalization, as well as near-bankruptcy caused by a fundamentalist Christian campaign against Jerry Springer: The Opera, which he co-wrote, Lee would have been forgiven for throwing in the comedy towel, or, at the very least, making his shows more accessible. He did neither. His autobiography is laced with his inner convictions to be different, to mock the changing face of comedy, and to make the audience experience as uncomfortable as possible, a process he likes to call “refining” the audience to his high standards. Often derided for his intense smugness, Lee’s hilarious criticisms of other comedians are multiple in My Certain Fate, targets including Daving years – Tony’s work, marriage, divorce and child would struggle to fill fifteen consecutive pages – and becomes firmly mired in the past as Tony re-examines old memories. Tony’s drive to discover what happened to Adrian puts him back in touch with his ex-girlfriend Veronica Ford, igniting old feelings and raising worrying questions about the role that he might have played in Adrian’s suicide. Barnes’s novel is greatly preoccupied with the corrosive figure of Time, and as the narrative progresses Adrian’s memory of past events is shown to be increasingly patchy and incorrect. As a clearer indication of the ties that bind Adrian and Tony to Veronica Ford and her family are given, the malleability of memory becomes worrying clear with seemingly unimportant actions taking on a tragic and growing significance. Tony realises that “mem-
id Baddiel, Michael McIntyre, Frank Skinner, Ben Elton, Russell Howard, Joe Pasquale and Frankie Boyle, to name but a few.
“Throughout his long and arduous career, Lee has stuck by his principals of producing thoughtprovoking, intelligent and alternative comedic fare”
true to his craft in the face of mounting adversity. My Certain Fate is far from being merely an indulgent look back at Lee’s life, however, and Lee provides cutting insight into issues such as re-
His writing style is as frustrating and divisive as his bizarre, metacomedic stand-up style. The book charts the experiences leading up to his three major stand-up tours, and a full transcript of each stand-up routine, which are laced with enormous footnotes, some of which stretch for pages at a time. His style appears rambling and selfindulgent, much like his stand-up, but the footnotes provide the greatest laughs and emotions, providing anecdotes ranging from the hilarious exploits of the alternative comedy scene, to poignant vignettes of Lee’s struggle to remain
Barnes’s novel is beautifully concise – no word unnecessary – and richly evocative. This short novel will only take an hour or two of your day to read, but will change the way you think about the time that has passed. NICK ARMSTRONG
ligion, freedom of expression, and the creation of a stand-up routine itself. The exhaustive footnotes reveal how every word and pause of his routines are specifically chosen to create humour or tension where appropriate, providing an unprecedented view into the graft and difficulty of stand-up comedy. It’s easy to discredit Lee as a self-righteous, liberal dullard, but throughout My Certain Fate, he makes it clear that he couldn’t care less, heaping praise and scorn on colleagues, his audience and himself in equal measure. The autobiography is inventive and rewarding, and is worth buying merely for the story behind his infamous “vomiting into the gaping anus of Christ” routine. A genius at work. BEN WINSOR
ory is what we thought we’d forgotten” and that such a discovery can have painful consequences.
“Barnes’s novel is beautifully concise - no word unneccesary - and richly evocative [...] It will change the way you think about the time that has passed”
Fig Tree ISBN: 1905490437
KATHRYN STOCKETT sets her debut novel in Jackson, Mississippi, 1962, in a world of sweltering summers, peach cobblers, and lynching. Stockett draws you into a delicate environment of social politics, which bring together the three narrators: Miss Skeeter, Aibileen, and Minny. Miss Skeeter is a white lady, who finds herself becoming increasingly alienated from the other white society ladies. As her aspirations change, this
bridge-playing society of taut smiles and social manoeuvres becomes unbearable to her. Struggling to get a job, Skeeter attempts to start her career by recording the stories of The Help, a task which she naively thinks will be easy. Aibileen and Minny are black maids who run white households, raise their offspring and yet cannot be trusted with the silver. Set against the backdrop of the civil rights movement, The Help uses a small community to dramatize the effects of the Jim Crow segregation laws. And yet this novel is more than an expression of white guilt. It is a snapshot of the lives of three beautifully believable characters, each with unique, compassionate stories. It is this compassion, underscored by a combination of humour and explosive anger, which gives the book its bittersweet taste. EMILY LUNN
Epilogue . . . reviews of essential literary classics Snow Falling on Cedars (1994) David Guterson Harcourt Brace ISBN: 0747522669
FOR many authors, the great first novel is a tricky one to manage. Some will spend years – even decades – perfecting their technique and refining their ideas. David Guterson, a rarity among debut novelists, is an author who knew exactly what he wanted to say, and how he wanted to say it, in his first book Snow Falling on Cedars. Snow Falling on Cedars is a book which excels on three levels. Set on an island off the coast of Washington,
where everyone is either a fisherman or a berry picker, during 1950s America, it is first and foremost a thrilling and suspenseful courtroom drama, with a murder-mystery narrative that is genuinely tense and thrillingly addictive.
“This is a novel where even the most seemingly insignificant narrative detail mingles with broader themes of love, death and morality”
The main narrative is supplemented by a moving and heart-felt account of one of America’s most disgraceful
episodes of recent history – the internment and racial oppression of its Japanese citizens in the years following the Second World War. The third and perhaps the most masterful aspect of Guterson’s debut work is his flawless crafting of space and sense, where island-bound claustrophobia is combined with deeply evocative descriptions of sea-fog, pelting storms and howling winds. This is a novel where even the most seemingly insignificant narrative detail mingles with broader themes of love, death and morality. But perhaps the most admirable quality of Snow Falling on Cedars is its subtleness. Guterson rarely flaunts the novel’s greatness in any kind of obvious way, and it is in the low-key construction of natural, well-rounded
and believable character types that the novel truly shines. This was, and remains, a remarkable achievement for a humble debut novelist from a relatively unliterary background. His construction of the Japanese residents warrants particular praise; intentionally crafted as inwardly-tranquil, serene and ghostly, Guterson stresses and challenges racial assumptions and prejudice with a voracious and deadening vigour. Not every reader has appreciated Snow Falling on Cedars for these same reasons. It has, since its release in 1994, been described as a pondering, meandering tale which fails to make a convincing murder mystery and over-simplifies the deeply-rooted racial tensions which existed in 50s America.
“Guterson constructs natural, well-rounded and believable character types. This remains a great achievement for any debut novelist ”
Granted, the novel has a simple mind, but it is in Guterson’s quiet, poetic tone that love, justice, betrayal, hate and tragedy are presented in their most raw forms as a moving expression of human guilt. If the reader can accept the book’s simplicity, there is a great deal to enjoy here. TOM PAYNE BOOKS EDITOR
23 january 2012 Exeposé
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WE asked students to vent some of those winter blues with this sunny painting A Bigger Splash by national treasure David Hockney. His retrospective ‘A Bigger Picture’ opens this week in London, but what did you think? Luke Webber: Proof that Microsoft Paint isn’t just for children.
RAMM-ed down their throats?
Jack Flanagan headed down to the newly opened RAMM Museum to explore what Exeter’s new venue has to offer
THE opening of the RAMM on Queen Street has provided the population of Exeter with a centre for culture, history and education. An understated, neutral décor allows for real appreciation of the artefacts and items on display, which range from an immense stuffed bull giraffe, to an Inuit totem pole and a vast collection of impressionist art, currently on loan from museums around England. Of special interest is the Roman exhibition, which provides information on Exeter’s establishment and growth as a Roman settlement.
“Suggestions to ‘close your eyes’ and ‘soak it in’ encourage making an exhibition of yourself”
Ghost Writer is a special addition to the museum, designed by the Blast Theory team, who are described as ‘pioneers in interactive media’. Ghost Writer exists as a panel on the rear museum reception and on the screen is a phone number to ring. Upon ringing the number, you are received by a somewhat wooden, certainly impersonal, woman’s recording who begins to describe to you the Roman wall which lies outside of an adjacent window.
Somewhat like a tour, this unnamed woman leads you through parts of the museum, all the time encouraging sentimentality in the objects you encounter. The route you take is not set and relies on you choosing (via keypad) which room to visit. However, you aren’t given the chance to observe the room properly, but rather have to follow her narration, which guides you to set exhibits. While this is charming, suggestions to “close your eyes” and “soak it in” encourage making an exhibition of yourself. It’d be my opinion that: if you aren’t thrilled enough by museum exhibits already, this frozen hammy monologue will probably not achieve much in the way of inspiration. Another perspective, viewing Ghost Writer as an art exhibit, allows it to be observed as an interesting portrait of the self-referencing that occurs within museums. It removes the cultural, historical tone for a more personal sense of the items – the Roman mosaic on which a family once trod; a Japanese fan maybe used by a landed lady, or maybe a prostitute. There is a growing trend in museum display to extend the accessibility of museum exhibits to people who do not have a natural interest. This attempt at universal appeal, though valorous,
might in fact deter serious entomologists entering the “creepy crawly” section, or ornithologists invited to greet “our winged friends.” “Insects” and “birds” could just as easily replace these colloquial titles, but they would not generate the same excitement. Oddly, other disciplines, such as art and history, remain unblemished from the sensationalist initiative. Ultimately, the cost of this is a reduction in detail – and the credibility of the museum.
Sam Lambert: California Dreamin’. Joanna Spindler: Just the one deck chair seems a little lonely. If Hockney could please add a few more then I’d happily rescue the Exeter 3rd years from January blues! Rebecca Lodder: I think it’s great to get back to good old fashioned paintings where the picture is self-explanatory and not something you have to struggle to see what it is. I like the bright, block colours too, it gives a very 1960’s feel.
“A growing trend in museum display is to extend the universal appeal”
This would be my criticism of Ghost Writer, and the approach to natural history taken by the museum. And though I disagree with the action taken, I support the sentiment: that museums should make an effort to attract a wider audience. However, making exhibitions into sideshows reduces the quality of the items and their appeal to parts of their already sizeable demographic. Real progress would come in the form of changing advertising and public relations, and not from changing their already awe-inspiring appeal.
CAPTION COmpetition ! WE have an absolutely fantastic opportunity for all Exeposé Arts fans! We have managed to get our hands on four tickets (worth £100) to give away for FREE to see Tropicana- The Passion Tour 2012! What a great way to inject some colour into your frosty student homes and join the sultry ice show that promises passion, flair and sex appeal to melt away those January blues. These tickets are for the 14 February so we can give them away as a
pair or as a group of four depending on whether you want a super cheap date or a night out with friends watching smouldering Latin rhythms being grinded out on the ice. So how do you get to see this sparkly showstopper?! Join Exeposé Arts on Facebook (you’re not a member already?!) and write a caption for the photo of our polar bear relaxing on the ice and the funniest caption will win! We wish you all the best of luck!
Nick Vines: One can only assume from the faint horizontal lines throughout the piece that it was painted on cardboard. James Crouch: The mental image Hockney offers us is tantalizing: a summer holiday for us to indulge in on these cold January nights. Perhaps even reminding us faintly of a resort we have been to in the distant past. And as a thought, what could be nicer than jumping into a cool pool on a hot sunny day? Jessica Leung: There seems to be no story behind the painting and it feels like no emotion has gone into it. The ‘splash-marks’ may be the artist’s attempt to “paint a story”, yet the whole thing looks rushed. Won’t be finding this one in my living room! Charlotte Monk-Chipman: Thoroughly modern.
Exeposé week fourteen
The Heart of Robin Hood @ Stratford upon Avon 18 November - 7 January
THE unique selling point of this particular Christmas play is, at least to my pantomime-hating parents, that it was advertised as ‘not (quite) a pantomime.’ Most adults presumably like the idea of a Christmas show, but don’t like the three words ‘he’s behind you.’ The Heart of Robin Hood stepped gamely into the breach to fill this market niche. The immediate problem with doing so, was that its target audience included small children, their older parents, and the kind of bored retiree who will apparently watch anything if it’s at the RSC. The play revolved around Robin Hood and his band of merry men - merry priest-murdering, sword waving, wolfhowling men – living a ‘no gurlz alowd’ existence in Sherwood Forest, until the spiky-haired tomboy Maid Marian decides to reform him into a ‘good’ murdering bandit. Ensue lots of fighting with the psychopathic Prince John, an inquisitorial Guy of Gisbon, and various other scary characters. Actually it must be said that some of the characters were pretty dark, presumably to make them a little more three-dimensional. However, misogyny and murder usually leads to a lot of awkward questions from small children on the journey home. The acting was solid, no complaints, the direction of comedy and fight scenes
particularly impressive. However the play itself, especially written for this run, was not stunning. To keep the action going and make it understandable to smaller children the dialogue had to be pretty basic, and the overall plot could have had sections expanded upon and other parts trimmed down. What was stunning were the techniques used to amaze adults and children alike; a set that resembled a giant astroturfed death slide, actors flying in, climbing up, and sleeping on ropes. Alongside a pond on stage that people were pushed into at least three times, that people burst out of (and that served as a convenient bin for any props no longer needed). Any animals, like a dog or wild boar, were played by actors with instruments, which I thought was a particularly nice touch. All in all the cleverness and the spectacle of the whole thing was simply outstanding, and amazed everybody with its inventiveness and technical brilliance. ALEX CARDEN
ART review Panorama @ Tate Modern 6 October – 8 January COINCIDING with the German artist Albert Richter’s 80th birthday, the exhibition presents the greatest moments of his remarkable career, from illusory photo-paintings to beautiful, squeegee abstracts. The retrospective reminds us why the continually creative Richter is viewed as one of the most significant figures in contemporary art, and stresses his refusal to adhere to one style. Richter’s early career saw him construct paintings based on photographs from magazines and family albums, in which he addressed the usually unacknowledged Nazi past. Uncle Rudi features his grinning uncle in an SS uniform, blending into the wall behind him, suggesting a clouded memory. It is a poignant insight into Germany’s past, and reflects Richter’s belief that painting is capable of capturing moments in history. The 1980s saw Richter transform his style, as he formed acerbic abstracts with the aid of his famous squeegee, which aggressively pulled layers of impasto paint across the canvas to achieve his trademark blur effect. The squeegee created random juxtapositions of colour, such as those in Yellow Green. The two-panelled work articulates discontinuity; the border between the panels interrupts the brash shapes and lines. Stylistically, it is a huge step away from his photo-paintings, and highlights
Richter’s belief in the possibilities of art.
“This exhibition showcases Richter’s refusal to adhere to just one style of art”
He returned to photography in the late 1980s, when he forged one of his most famous portraits, Betty. The picture captures his daughter turning away from us, agonizingly anxious to view her face. Funeral portrays the memorial of the radical leaders of the Baader-Meinhof and harks back to his blur technique in photo-painting, which appears horizontally across the work. Though he did not sympathise with the group’s politics, the contentious subject matter sparked debate over the nation’s current state, and again reflected Richter’s fascination with the past. In September the blurred, grey marks, formed with a knife, recall the
Thoroughly Modern Millie taking centre stage
EVERYTHING today is thoroughly modern: Footlights’ Thoroughly Modern Millie opens at the Northcott Theatre this week. It’s set to be a great production: the story of Millie, played by Rosie Abraham, a country girl making it big in New York in the 1920s, with all the jazz and flapper girl style that comes with it. Directed by Tom Carpenter, the five shows over four days are the
culmination of months of hard work behind the scenes. I spoke to director, Tom, to dig a little deeper into the process of putting the show together.
“Working as part of a team is what makes the performance”
The show was chosen for its scope for participation – “there are over 70 talented people from all over the University involved” – and its fun, uplifting tone - “nobody wants a sad show at the end of January. Auditions began on 3 October, straight out of Freshers’ Week and by the following Sunday we had a cast, and rehearsals have been every week since then.” It’s a gruelling process with everyone involved still having a degree to do on top of the show. The peak of Footlights’ rehearsal period usually comes with the traditional Footlights Week: the week before exams, and
before term begins – pretty exhausting! Creating the show and working as part of a team (albeit a pretty huge one) is what makes the performance: “The best thing is seeing so many people collaborating and sharing their talents for one cause.” It might be a student production, but to play a show at a theatre like the Northcott, the standards have to be high.
“A story of a country girl making it big in New York, with all the jazz and flapper girl style that comes with it ” And it’s not just dedication onstage either. Down below the stage sits the band in the orchestra pit. Musical Director, Naomi Shaddick, co-ordinates a team of nearly 20 musicians, performing something of a balancing act between the singers onstage and the players in the band. It’s not just glamour and glitz, even
in a production such as this one. Rehearsals can be frustrating; they can be stop/start, long and exhausting. For the whole team it’s a physical effort – a great performance isn’t all innate talent, it’s hard work too, but a great cast is a good place to start. For Tom, “the perfect cast walked through our doors at auditions and have consistently blown me away with their talent and dedication.” KATHARINE BARDSLEY
memory of the two planes that crashed into the Twin Towers. Richter, who was en route to New York on 9/11, admits the impossibility of representing such an event and thus destroyed much of the minimalist work after initially painting with colour. The large-scale Cage abstractions (based on the musician’s work) mark the apex of Richter’s squeegee abstracts. We see thick layers of paint on varying surfaces where the squeegee has paused, scraping has occurred, or paint dried. The artist’s intuitive process of spontaneously adding and subtracting paint culminates in sheets of colour resembling windows through which we can see, and mirrors the composer John Cage’s music, in constant flux. An artist without a fixed identity, it’s impossible to discern a typical “Richter” whose photo-paintings and destructive abstractions could not be more different. OSCAR WARWICK-THOMPSON
Don’t Miss Thoroughly Modern Millie @ Northcott Theatre 25 - 28 January 30 Cecil Street / In The Making (Art and Life) @ Exeter Phoenix 24 January Monkey Poet @ Northcott Theatre Exeter Laugh Out Loud Festival 29 January Tropicana - The Passion Tour @ Westpoint Arena 14 - 19 February
23 january 2012
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Game of the Year is here! Alex Hawksworth-Brookes & Jessica Leung - firstname.lastname@example.org
We asked our writers to fight the corner of their favourite game from 2011. Here is their verdict Bastion
BASTION is my game of the year because of the way it mixed graphics, gameplay and narrative to create a compelling and thought provoking experience. On the surface, it’s a cartoonish dungeon crawler with bobble-headed characters pulled from an anime, but its innovative use of “dynamic voiceover” in which the narration responds to your choices and actions, pulls you into the world of Caelondia. The silkysmooth-voiced narrator, doing his best Clint Eastwood impression, tells us a complex story about war, the end of the world, race relations and rebuilding after disaster. The game forces you to make tough choices and hallucinogenic, dreamlike levels explore the protagonist’s psychology. Its combination of colour and music creates a distinct and unique atmosphere, and points of the game left me elated, shocked and haunted by my actions. The gameplay’s not bad either: the large number of upgradeable weapons and selectable skills means there is a great deal of variety, strategy and replay-ability, as well as the option to ramp up and tinker with the difficulty which allows the hardcore gamer to increase the challenge. I highly recommend this thematically brilliant and fun game.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword AFTER feeling slightly disenchanted with the overly tired and formulaic recent entries to The Legend of Zelda series, I started Skyward Sword expecting the worst. Thankfully, the game is as much a departure from the tired tropes of older Zelda games as it is a thrilling and faithful homage to the 25 year-old series. The first thing which really typifies and propels the titles greatness is its use of Motion Plus, an un-
derused add-on to the Wii which allows remote swings to be translated into sword strikes with pitch-perfect precision. This, together with a series of inventive and original items to collect, really help to typify Skyward Sword’s freshness and originality. This is a stunning departure from the norms of the Zelda series, and there are great moments of refreshing familiarity amid the sense of freshness. Skyward Sword deserves every accolade it receives – to take such a familiar, and in many ways tired formula and to make it feel so new and ingenious represents a masterwork of game design and creativity. tom payne, books editor
Let us know on Facebook and Twitter Tom Bond: “L.A. Noire, because I don’t like to see the cast of Mad Men get typecast.” William Madsen “Skyrim, because I’m not allowed to be a kleptomaniac cannibal in real life.” Alex Phelps: “Deus Ex, because slamming old ladies heads together never gets old.” Ellie Busby: “Temple Run, because I was never a gamer before this app but now I find myself slacking off my degree to be chased by demon monkeys.” Henry White: “Portal 2. No competition. Physics and intelligence and Glados! What more could you need?”
I KNOW - I’m just as surprised as you are. I can’t understand how other games can even be considered for Game of the Year when this behemoth of brilliance, this masterpiece, this epitome of gaming excellence exists. I’m baffled. I have no doubt I will remain baffled until the next time I turn Skyrim on, and I forget such trifling earthly matters. For a short (alright, long) while I will become Jondel, the flame-throwing, axe wielding, Nordic crazy man with a very loud voice and a penchant for slaying dragons. You see, Skyrim isn’t as simple as playing a game; it’s more like channeling a part of yourself into its captivating world. Like the 40 year old man screaming at his little boy from the sideline of an Under 5s football pitch, you really do live through it. If you think I’m being dramatic, then you clearly haven’t played it yet. Skyrim. Game of the Year. Game of the Generation. FUS RO DAH! jonathan jenner
luke graham, screen editor
Exeposé Video Games asks ‘What Was YOUR Game of The Year?’
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Star Wars: The Old Republic: Bioware; EA; PC Dec 20 2011
AFTER literally years of anticipation for geeks the world over, Star Wars: The Old Republic is live. It’s still early days, but having spent a fortnight or so with the game, it’s clear that World of Warcraft finally has some serious competition. For the few people unfamiliar with the genre, Old Republic is an MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game). Players create a character at the start of their adventure and embark on a series of quests, exploring a vast world, levelling up, and finding increasingly powerful weapons and armour. Crucially, this can be done with real life players, who are running around in the same world as you are. There are people
to fight with and people to fight against, depending on your faction – Republic (the good guys) or Empire (the baddies). Within the first hour or so of playing it’s clear that Old Republic is a massive leap forward for MMOs. All characters and quests have full voice-overs, and various dialogue options that allow you to give your character a real sense of personality. It also gives the game a real sense of immersion; quests are still essentially ‘go here, kill ten of these’ very much like World of Warcraft, but with the overarching storyline and the abundant cutscenes, potentially menial tasks have a real sense of purpose. Despite this refreshing story-driven difference, the game doesn’t do too much to shake up MMO mechanics – pets become companions, for example, and dungeons become flashpoints – and
it is still essentially looting things and doing quests to get better gear for your increasingly powerful character. But with such a cinematic storyline, there is an enormous sense of progression; when my character forged his first lightsaber and became a full Jedi Knight, I felt a genuine sense of pride. With the first content patch on the way this month and an immersive story this could finally steal WOW’s crown as the greatest MMO out there – the Force is looking strong with this one.
The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings
IN a year of quality RPGs The Witcher 2 stands out as one of the best, yet most underrated, games of 2011. It’s rare for a game to make me so invested in the story and characters but with full voice acting, a well-written plot and plenty of choices The Witcher 2 kept me engrossed throughout. Many games this year included dragons but The Witcher 2 used them to the greatest effect by keeping their appearances rare but exciting. Fewer dragon encounters meant that the experience was never diluted to the point of becoming standard and there were plenty of other interesting monsters to fight. Graphically, The Witcher 2 was one of the most beautiful games of the year with distinct environments and character models crafted to an astonishing level of detail. The world may not be that large but it’s varied and full of life.
“Many games this year have included dragons”
During my inevitable post graduation unemployment The Witcher 2 is definitely one of the games I will be going back to for another play-through. The Witcher 2 deserves to be game of the year for its engaging story, varied and fluid combat and totally immersive world. athanasios skarlatos
Exeposé week fourteen
Love video games? Want a job?
Exeposé Video Games Editors caught up with Oli Welsh, Eurogamer’s Review Editor, about industry insiders and interns FINDING an interview for the Video Games section is always difficult as there are so few big names in the industry (well, Bill Gates excluded) which could evoke an excited reaction on a similar level as, let’s say, an interview with James Corden. However, we believe we managed to find the perfect guy at the Eurogamer Expo – meet Oli Welsh. Never heard of him? Well you’re in for a treat. Oli Welsh is the Reviews Editor for Eurogamer.net. This basically means that he has the final say on all things review related (basically our job, but on a grander scale, and for a living!) Oli started out as the MMO editor of the website and worked his way up through the ranks. We were curious to know some of the details of his day to day routine at Eurogamer: “I need to know which games are coming out when, where to get review copies, which writer to give the review to – I always try to match the right game to the right writer.” Despite being a bit of a tongue twister, that’s only half
the day’s work. “I also then have to edit the reviews, proofread them and schedule a time for them to be published on the site.” Being an online Reviews Editor requires a lot more time management than print publications; the traffic is constant and the readers demand more frequent updates- “As a rule we publish three features a day as it brings in more traffic.” Being a reviews editor is demanding; as Oli points out, he has to be constantly up to date with the latest releases and always chasing up writers to meet their deadlines (which could sometimes be as short as a few hours). The journalism industry is very competitive, but it is even more so for video games journalism as there are so few publications and so many would-be writers. We asked Oli to divulge some tips for writing the perfect review. He states that there is no specific formula for reviews: “Since MMOs can never be finished you would have to focus on other aspects in the article, whereas a game such as Uncharted 3 would have to be
completed in order to write a good review on it.” The key is to address the following main points: “It’s important to explain the basics; you have to assume that the readers have not followed the development of the game.” This avoids the problem of confusing readers with little to no background knowledge. Oli also links this to writing any successful review, not just one for video games: “You have to describe it in such a way that the audience can decide for themselves whether they want to see it – this is vital.” Technical terms should be kept at a minimum, and there should be a larger focus on trying to encapsulate the game as a whole. Spoilers should definitely be kept at bay.
“Time off is very good for enjoying a game, though I can never switch off the ‘review voice’ in my head!”
Oli also thinks it is important to not compare the game too much to other ones. “You have to think about the context and the passage of time – things move on and each game has its own quirks.” The review should stay relevant and specific to the game in question, rather than dwelling on childhood favourites or similar titles. We asked Oli whether, now he has to play and review games for a living, he ever finds it difficult to switch off and play for pleasure. “Of course! You
Alice Scoble-Rees discusses how to make the most of work experience
AS an English student, my aspirations in life are working on an unpublishable novel, and journalism. Only one of those is a real job. I was lucky enough to get some work experience for it at Official Xbox Magazine, and thought I would share some of the bits of advice that I picked up.
Be Prepared to Actually Do Stuff. Before I started friends told me I’d mainly be getting coffee. Not so. If you can prove your ability to string words together, you may be entrusted with writing content for the website. Perhaps little bits for the actual magazine. Your unaccredited words, in print! I nearly had an excitement/terror hernia.
It’s Not What You Think. OXM is a glossy monthly mag that comes with a disc and all kinds of interesting crap. I thought it would have a load of staff all doing different yet vital things. There are eight of them. There’s the Editor (an Exeter alumnus), the Dep Ed, the Online Editor and two staff writers, plus the three people that are the art department.
There’s nowhere to hide. Not only that, but Future, the company that puts out OXM, has the monopoly on this market. It publishes two Nintendo magazines, two Playstation ones, and even a couple more that are 360-centric. OXM is 100 yards from Official Nintendo. So no cross-platform hating, yo.
“Getting paid to play games before anyone else? Seems like a pretty ideal job to me”
Being an Industry Insider is Awesome. They have nine Xboxes. NINE. A huge flatscreen in the middle of their desks to game on. Like it ain’t no thing. They also get sent a load of cool promotional bits and pieces, a lot of which seem to be themed alcohol products. Fancy a bottle of Pißwasser, the favourite light beer of Liberty City? Sure, you probably get used to it after working there a few years, but getting paid to play games before anyone else? Seems like a pretty ideal job to me.
Make a good impression. Make no mistake, you lucked out. There are hundreds of people like you and me looking for internships, so if you get one make the most of it. Yeah, it’s a pain not getting paid, but on the other hand what you do they could just as easily do themselves. You pretty much take up the spare computer. But if you do your tasks, do them well, and get along with people, then you might get to go back again. To be honest, everybody’s so nice it’ll be your own fault if you don’t.
just associate it with work! Despite the fact that having time off is very good for enjoying a game, I can never switch off the ‘review voice’ in my head!” That seems like quite a large sacrifice to make, though is his job worth it? “Yes, absolutely.”
“Don’t call me ‘sir or madam’... I’m likely to think you haven’t done your research” So if this interview has not put you off video games journalism then read on as Oli was kind enough to give some tips on how to break into the industry. After writing a feature or review, it is time to send it off to editors. This can often be the most difficult part. “Don’t go on for too long in your email, we editors have very little time to check emails. You need to stand out from the beginning: don’t comment on your weaknesses.” We asked what sort email would be the most successful. “Include links! We want
SO there you have it, two great insights into the world of video game journalism. But what’s that we hear you cry? You don’t want to be a journalist? Well fear not, beause there are still plenty of options open to you! As with any other media, there are hundreds of people working behind the scenes in order to get that freshly sealed game into your excited mits. Magazines, websites, and developers alike are all businesses, and rely on dedicated staff working in areas as diverse as marketing, HR, communications, etc. If none of that sounds like it’s for you, then read on, for there is still hope! If you’re convinced that writing about video games isn’t for you but you’d still like to work in the industry then there are multiple ways to achieve that dream. Companies such as Train2Game offer a wide range of courses, offering qualifications in everything from game design and development to animation and art. You can even take a course in QA testing if you like the sound of earning money for playing games. Although, if you wanted to earn some big money, why not go pro? E-
to be able to get through the email with speed – links and attachments help us to do this. You want to offer your work for people to see.” This doesn’t seem too difficult, so why are so many people’s articles rejected? “To be honest, if they call me “sir or madam” then I’m likely to think they haven’t done their research. Find out the individual contact names of the relevant people and address it to them – it makes it more personal.” The interview gave us a helpful insight into the industry, and we would like to thank Oli Welsh and Eurogamer. net for giving us such an opportunity. With job hunting in the air on campus, there is no better time to start approaching editors and writing pieces. With one question left we asked Oli what his favourite game was. After a long pause, he answered: “Yoshi Island, it’s the happiest game!”
Sports has prospered in recent years, with the very best professionals earning hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, in both prize money and endorsements. Sure you might not be recognised as much as David Beckham, or have the star power of Madonna, but with unemployment continuing to rise, anything’s worth a shot, right? If you’re still stuck for ideas, then worry not. If you’re the dramatic type, then voice acting could be the job you’ve been looking for. With roles ranging from bit-parts to full-blown monologus and motion-capture sequences, video games have featured some iconic dramatic moments. If that wasn’t impressive enough, you could get the chance to have your voice featured alongside those of real life celebrities such as Sean Bean, Patrick Stewart and Mark Hamill. If none of the above gets you excited, then it’s possibly time for a career rethink. However, if the prospect of playing/making games is for you, then the best of luck. For those with an interest in journalism, feel free to bombard us with questions - you know where to find us!
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Exeposé week Fourteen
Updates from the track Athletics season so far
Photo: Sam Harris
Ultimate Frisbee Mixed Nationals 2011 Ultimate Frisbee
Amie Cripps Publicity Officer
Exeter University Ultimate Frisbee team had a successful end to 2011. After taking the title of Indoor National Champions in the BUCS league in thrilling form, they went on to achieve 4th place in the Mixed Nationals Tournament. The team’s result makes them the highest placed South West team in the 2nd division in a season where Exeter’s Ultimate Frisbee set-up moves from strength to strength. The mixed team competed in their Nationals event with only eight players, meaning that they only had three subs for the event. Exeter lost two out of four of theirpool games, but managed to come top of their group due to the poor performances from their rivals in this round. Exeter went on to compete in the quarter finals against UEA, a team who had beaten them 10-6 the previous day. The team beat all odds against UEA Zoom: Exeter University Athletics Club are put through their paces in the first half of the Athletics Season
Sam Harris Publicity Officer The winter period is, on the whole, a quiet one for the Exeter University Athletics Club. However, the cross country team was very active last term. The team was invited to take part in the South West United Services Cross Country League. Participating against the armed and emergency services, the athletes performed spectacularly. Sam Blanch won the individual women’s event, along with team wins for the women’s team, junior women’s and junior men’s team. The men’s team finished a close second after being edged out of first by HMS Raleigh on home turf. There were some notable individual performances, Blanch notched up two 1st places, with Hannah Vosser consistently placing in the top ten. The men’s teams saw consistent performance throughout the season from Will Cullen and Liam Stubbington.
“Taking into account this early season form, things are most definitely looking promising for the coming summer season” Moving forward, in November a team of 30 from University of Plymouth travelled to take on a team of 30 from Exeter, to register some early season performances for the BUCS qualification standards in the New Year. Both men’s and women’s 100m
were won by Exeter through Tyler Johnson (11.1) and Becca Jones (13.6), with George Derisley (11.5) also putting in a good performance to win his heat. Johnson and Derisley again both pulled out first places in their respective 200m heats, with times of 22.6 and 23.4 respectively. Laurence Thrill was just beaten to first in the girls’ event by 0.1 sec with a time of 28.1. The men’s 300m was a closely fought race, with Exeter taking the top 4 places. Johnson won the event in 36.8, followed by James Clayton, Chris Tucker and Sam Harris. The girls took 1st (Helena Corbin, 42.1) and 2nd (Abbie Rudd, 45.2). Tucker also won the 400m hurdles by a clear margin in 61.5.
“In the male combined events Ian Whittaker scored 2089 points and came 2nd in the high jump 1.80m” Alex Warna placed first in the 1500m (4.37.9) and Jemma Neate placed first out of the girls in 5.43.1. Will Cullen rounded off the long distance events placing first in the 3000m in a time of 9.45.2, over 20 seconds ahead of second place. In field events, Ian Whittaker won the high jump with a jump of 1.80m, Simon Sobczak was placed second in javelin and George Karkera came second in the long jump. The event concluded with the relays, with the Exeter girls winning both the 4x200m and the medley. December saw the first indoor event of the season, with a team of 20 Exeter students travelling to Cardiff to compete. Tyler Johnson placed 6th in the final
“Both men’s and women’s 100m were won by Exeter through Tyler Johnson (11.1), and Becca Jones (13.6) with George Derisley (11.5) also putting in a good performance to win his heat”
of the 60m in 7.17. In the heats Sam Horton posted a time of 7.53 and Shawn Wee followed suit with a 7.67. Shawn also placed 3rd in the 60m hurdles with a time of 9.66. Hannah Gladstone placed 2nd in her heat of the 60m hurdles in 10.54. Johnson also won his heat in 300m in 36.57 along with Steve List with 38.01, followed closely by James Clayton coming in second with 38.99. In the women’s 300m, Helena Corbin and Abbie Rudd both placed 2nd in their heats, in 42.38 and 45.35 respectively. List placed 2nd in his 600m heat in 1.24.93 and Chris Tucker 3rd in his in 1.31.37. Corbin also placed 2nd in her women’s 600m heat in 1.35.15. Will Cullen won the 3000m heat in 9.31.30, followed by Alex Warna and Paul Middleton, who finished in 4th and 5th place respectively. Sam Blanch placed 3rd in the women’s race in 10.54.50. In the male combined events Ian Whittaker scored 2089 pts and came 2nd in the high jump 1.80m. In field events Rhiannon Dunlop put in a PB in the pole vault at 1.80m in her first competitive outing in the event. Taking into account this early season form, things are most definitely looking promising for the coming summer season with EUAC.
and with some hard and fast frisbee play, were victorious. They qualified for the semi finals after their 6-2 win. Exeter went on to face Stirling in the semi-finals. The game was close, forcing the players into a sudden death competition. Exeter unfortunately lost the game 5-4. The team went on to face Dundee for the 3rd v 4th place match. They unfortunately lost this match and went on to take a well-deserved 4th place.
“The team achieved 4th place in the Mixed Nationals Tournament”
Emma Kingston, Captain of the Ladies Ultimate Frisbee Team, spoke about how proud she was for the Mixed team for their performance at the Mixed Nationals. She went on to say: “I’d just like to say how impressed I was with my ladies. Their positive atttiude and determination will stand us in good stead for women’s regionals in February.”
Demons triumphant over Gladiators American Football
Mark Cohen Publicity Officer
THE EXETER DEMONS got their season back on track with a 35-0 win over the Gloucester Gladiators on Sunday 4 December. Having suffered a tough loss to Bristol Barracuda in overtime two weeks previously, the Demons were keen to resume their winning ways. They began the game with an imperious first drive. The return of running back Charlie Hall from a one game suspension had given the Demons an offensive spark. After several long gains on the ground, Hall scored on a one yard run to give Exeter a 6-0 lead. The Demons defense was in suffocating form, forcing the Gladiators to go three and out. Exeter scored again on the first play of their next drive. Running back Cody Yellowlees-Bound, playing in his first game of the season, ran through an enormous hole in the Gloucester defensive line on his way to the endzone. The resulting point after was no good and the Demons led 12-0 at the end of the first quarter. However, the break did nothing to stop the “wildcat” offense. Exeter added to their lead midway through the second quarter. Quarterback Mark Cohen tossed a “jump ball” pass, which was batted around and caught for a touchdown in the endzone by tight end Michael Goodacre. Kicker Jamie Sancto added a field goal before half time to give Exeter a 22-0 lead. The second half continued in the same fashion, with the visiting
defense in complete control. On the ground, Gloucester backs struggled to find running lanes. Exeter’s defensive backs did not surrender a pass completion until late in the fourth quarter, with Yellowlees-Bound also grabbing an opportunistic interception of the Gladiators’ quarterback on a fourth down pass play.
“The Exeter Demons got their season back on track with a 35-0 win over the Gloucester Gladiators on Sunday 4 December”
Offensively the Demons struggled for the same ruthlessness they had shown in the first half. However, with a consistently dominant offensive line and hard running from the likes of Hall, Yellowlees-Bound and wingback Will Budge, they still managed to add two more scores. Cohen threw a second touchdown pass to Goodacre and Hall added to his earlier score by finding tight end Marcus Gardiner in the endzone on the penultimate drive. The Demons go into the Christmas break at 2-1 and face the Cardiff Cobras on 29 January in their next BUAFL game. The Demons went into the Christmas break in 3rd place in the South Western Atlantic conference after three games played, with 62 points for and 32 points against.
23 January 2012
Exeter Updates... Chiefs aiming high Rugby
Simon Dewhurst Reporter Exeter Chiefs have started 2012 with two victories as they continue to impress in their second season in the Aviva Premiership. The Sandy Park outfit went into Christmas after two hard-fought matches against Newport-Gwent Dragons in the Amlin Challenge Cup. The first meeting of the two sides saw fly half Ignacio Mieres kick six penalties taking Exeter to a comprehensive 18-6 win. The return fixture was a much closer affair with a late James Phillip try giving the Chiefs a 23-19 victory, stretching their unbeaten run to five games. Exeter returned to Premiership action with a tough away game at London Irish. Despite 17 points from the boot of Mieres, the Chiefs succumbed to a 29-22 loss, meaning they are still to beat the Exiles in a Premiership encounter. Following this disappointment, the Chiefs returned to Devon for a tough New Year’s Eve clash against Premiership table-toppers Harlequins. A packed crowd at Sandy Park witnessed a war of attrition between two sides desperate to end 2011 on a high. Harlequins started
brighter with an early try by England scrum half Danny Care putting them ahead. Despite five missed kicks from Quins fly half Rory Clegg, his side sill held a slender 8-6 advantage at half time. With five minutes remaining, Irishman Gareth Steenson slotted a penalty to leave the Chiefs’ fans sensing victory. However, it was not to be as Clegg responded with a penalty of his own to keep his side top of the league. The following week, the Chiefs made the long trip to Newcastle for a very important match for both sides. Exeter were looking to bounce back after two consecutive defeats whilst Newcastle were attempting to climb off the bottom of the Premiership table. Exeter made the early running with a Haydn Thomas try and five points from Mieres giving them a 10-0 half time lead. Despite a spirited second half comeback from the Falcons, Exeter held on for what Head Coach Rob Baxter described as a “pivotal victory”. This was followed by an impressive 50-10 victory in Italy against Cavalieri Prato to set up a massive home clash against Perpignan to decide who goes through to the quarter finals. With European silverware and a Premiership title still a possibility, 2012 looks set to be a great year for the Exeter Chiefs.
City struggle in league Football
Jonathan Jenner Reporter Despite a dominant display in the second half, the Grecians were unable to capitalise on a host of chances, drawing their game with Hartlepool 0-0. Exeter remain in 18th place in the League One table, only two points above the relegation zone. Hartlepool started the brighter of the two sides, looking far more confident in possession than the home team. Whenever City were on the ball it was launched up field and lost within two or three passes, leading to some genuinely threatening counterattacks from the Pools. Thankfully, Exeter centre back Richard Duffy was in top form, making some fine challenges and winning every last header. The same could not be said for his partner Troy ArchibaldHenville, who was more hindrance than help in defence with a bevy of incomplete passes. Surprisingly, however, it was Duffy’s single mistake of the game that almost led to the visitors leaving with all three points. A terribly misplaced pass across the face of goal was gleefully intercepted by Hartlepool, and a quick pass forward saw the ball in the back of City’s net, only to be disallowed for offside. The narrow escape put some life into the Grecians, and
they produced the chance of the half just before the whistle for half time. A series of first time passes around the area ended in a shot from midfielder James Dunne, but it was a fairly easy catch for Pools keeper Scott Flinders. Exeter miraculously carried the momentum from their chance into the second half. A belter of a shot from striker Guillem Bauza sent the keeper flying across his goal, but the strike was just wide. City started to enjoy good spells of possession, and, importantly, were putting Hartlepool under pressure, something they hadn’t achieved once in the first half. The home side won corner after corner, and looked dangerous whenever they had the ball, with a series of shots on goal. The pick of the bunch was a magnificent turn followed by a rocket from substitute Jake Taylor. It looked destined for the top corner but Flinders produced a world class save to tip it round the post. The last chance of the game fell to Archibald-Henville from a free kick, but his header was straight at the keeper. That summed up the Grecians’ afternoon; they simply couldn’t capitalise on the multitude of chances they produced. Tisdale is looking to add to the squad towards the end of the transfer window, with a defender top priority – but based on this performance, the current squad should be capable of winning points and climbing the table.
EUTC Men’s triumph, while Women
Lucy Burton Reporter EUTC kicked off the term with a sterling effort against Bournemouth on Wednesday 18 January. As the current leaders of the league, the Bournemouth game represents one of the most anticipated fixtures of the season, and Exeter were keen to give
their rivals a run for their money.
“ Positive performances in the doubles for EUTC”
The men’s 3rd team put on a valiant effort against the Bournemouth 2nds in the doubles, with men’s captain Dan Hunt and his partner Andy Higham working well together to present a united front against a formidable op-
posing team. James Hooker and George Hackett also played well, but lost out on several crucial points at deuce. Sadly, nerves were running high and both pairs succumbed to unforced errors, leading to defeats in the doubles games. 3rd team captain James Hooker commented afterwards: “Two slightly rusty but positive performances in the doubles for EUTC, against a very strong top of the league Bournemouth 2nd team.”
Exeter University ‘Be a Champion’ Olympics
Rachel Bayne Sports Editor EXETER UNIVERSITY have embraced Olympic fever with the introduction of their ‘Be a Champion’ Programme. In the run-up to London 2012, a host of events have been organised to involve students and locals in the Olympic spirit, including alumni talks and the AU Olympics, where more than 15 teams competed in a series of athletic events to win the coveted trophy on Friday 20 January. With less than 200 days until the Olympics, the University played host to a panel discussion on the ‘Sport of Science’, which included two elite athletes who have studied at the University, alongside alumni who are involved in the organisation and team management for the Games. The panel looked at the role Science plays in sport and jobs available to Science students at the Uni-
versity in elite sport. Nick Brothers, the current Great Britain Hockey Goalkeeper, who graduated from the University in 2004 with a degree in Exercise and Sport Sciences, spoke on the science of hockey training. He explained how difficult this year will be for a Hockey Squad not used to the amount of media coverage an Olympics brings. He said that he has had to: “develop from a good sportsman to an elite athlete” through being more “disciplined and scientific” in his training regime. Brothers explained the change science has made to his work-outs, with match preparation starting more than two hours before a game kicks-off. He joked that he has a nightmare every time he goes to the supermarket sorting out his strict dietary requirements and that “beetroot juice is prescribed across all Olympic sports.” With all this work though, he and team still “don’t know how the expectation of a home Olympics will affect us.”
Robin Williams, a blind footballer currently studying for his PhD in Mathematics, is also in the running for a spot on Great Britain’s Paralympic Football team. Robin spoke about the pressures of training for a Paralympic sport. He explained that to him playing football was very similar to his mathematical work as both involve a lot of pattern recognition. Williams, who has been blind since he was two, said his sport was “like a game of chess.” He said: “My main focus really is getting as skilful as possible” and he has been overwhelmed by the work of Channel 4 and Locog in building the profile of Disability sports. Through his work for the GB team, Williams has appeared on TV adverts alongside David Beckham in a demonstration of Paralympic football, and this year he will travel to France for warm-up matches in preparation for the Olympics. The panel also included Piers Jones, who graduated from the University in
Exeposé week Fourteen
have bad luck against Bournemouth
Photos: Ron Liong
“Men’s 1st team secured a convincing 8-4 win”
Exeter were back on form for the singles, with all but one of the men’s fixtures resulting in a win for the home side. James Hooker and Will Philips both triumphed in their matches, and Dan Hunt won convincingly in straight sets. While not enough to secure a win,
Andy Higham came back in the second set of his match, completing Exeter’s strong performance in the singles. The day ended in an overall draw of 6-6 for the men’s 3rds, allowing Exeter to retain their respectable position of second on the leader board. The men’s 1st team secured a convincing 8-4 win in their away fixture. The women also played well, winning one of their doubles matches. While this was not quite enough to secure them a
win, they ended the day with a respectable result of 4-8 to Bournemouth. The women’s team suffered several last minute changes due to injury, forcing them to pull in reserve players on the eve of the Bournemouth fixture. Director of Tennis, Will McNally, applauded the women for their valiant efforts given the circumstances, and observed that both teams rose to the challenge amiably.
Programme: London 2012 1998 and has since gone on to work for LOCOG – the Organising Committee for this year’s games as a Sports Group Manager. He explained how science has transformed his career, as he never would have thought how useful a degree in Engineering could be for his project management role. Peter Exley from RSPB South West spoke about his work at the Olympic Sailing Venue in Weymouth, which is amidst a Wildlife Nature Reserve. He passionately told us: “Animals are better Olympians than the Olympians,” and informed us of his work with the albatross in the run up to this year’s Games. Nick Besant, the University’s Assistant Director of Sport, also featured on the panel, offering insight into his work for the British Hockey set-up. He spoke of the importance of “creating a winning culture” and how science has made an impact on the High Performance Units at the University through training and psychological techniques.
Phil Attwell, Director of Sport, introduced the panel and spoke of the need to make the most of the Olympic year. Gwyneth Leonard, of Relays – Regional, Educational Legacy for Arts & Youth Sport, spoke of her work to bring the Olympics to the South West region. She commented that London 2012 isn’t “just about London,” and works in inspiring local youths to volunteer, be creative and try new sports in the events of this year’s Cultural Olympiad and onwards.
“Exeter have invested over £230 million into the science department and a further £8.1m into sport programmes” The event, which was held on Tuesday 17 January, was organised by the
College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences in conjunction with the College of Life and Environmental Sciences. Over 100 people attended, alongside a further 150 people who viewed the event via UniSportOnline. The event runs in collaboration with the University’s programme of investment into sport and science. They have invested over £230 million into the science department and a further £8.1m into the University’s sport programmes. Emma Royle, Alumni Relations Officer, commented: “The event was a great success, with over 100 attendees including students, staff and local school children. The speakers were inspirational and feedback from the students was really positive. We were also able to live stream the event thanks to UniSportOnline and figures suggest we had 150 viewers, which is fantastic.”
No. 28 by Clare Mullins
Across 1. Surroundings (11) 8. Bottled water (7) 9. Small morsel (6) 10. Impervious to light (6) 11. Turtle (8) 15. Contact sport played with a longhandled stick (8) 17. Blanche DuBois’s sister (6) 18. Third largest island in the world (6) 19. Polygon whose internal angles add up to 1080 degrees (7) 20. Professor Plum in the Library with the … (11) Down 2. Bird – person who preys on the
helpless (7) 3. Queen Bee of the Plastics (6) 4. A technique used to memorise important facts (8) 5. The country which has donated the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree to since 1947 (6) 6. Small blue flower (6-2-3) 7. Essential piece of medical equipment (11) 12. Photograph on self-developing film (8) 13. Japanese word meaning “harbour wave” (7) 14. Woolly animal found in the Andes (6) 16. Greek Island (6)
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EUNC 5 s top of BUCS table th
Rachel Bayne Sports Editor
EXETER UNIVERSITY’S 5th Netball team are flying high at the top of the Western 5A BUCS league after winning 58-10 against Winchester 3rds on Wednesday 18 January. The team started the match playing with incredible pace and verve, impressing Winchester with their shooting prowess. Exeter scored 14 goals in the 1st quarter, going into the break at 14-2. Exeter 5ths went on to double their score in the second quarter, building possession as a team and working to their focused game plan. It was essential that the team managed a strong goal total from the match to maintain the gap in the League between themselves and the second placed team – Exeter 6ths. The team powered through the 3rd quarter, gaining more and more momentum as the match went on and went into the final quarter 45-7 up on Winchester. The last quarter of the match saw the least amount of goals scored by EUNC, but they still managed to win the game 58-10. This score was a huge improvement on their previous match against Winchester, which they won 39-16. After the match, it was announced that Olli Bateman, who shot incredibly and smoothly during her time on the pitch, was players’ player and opposition’s player of the match. Exeter worked well as a team, with Tish Barber’s strong interception rate strengthening their defence. Emma Perkins, EUNC, commented: “We all played really well as a team, especially considering we had all been retrialled the day before and were playing with quite a few new players. The other team were weaker but that did not make us lower our performance at all. Our target was 55 goals at least and we achieved this.” The 5th team now have 15 points from six games played this season and lead their closest rivals, Exeter’s 6th team by three points, with a superior goal difference of 11 goals scored. The 6th team have a massive advantage on UWE’s 4th team in 3rd place in the league as they have scored 69 goals more than UWE this season. In other netball news, the 1st team are currently sitting in 4th place in the BUCS Premier South League with six points, but unluckily have a poor goal difference of -30, which may cause problems for them come the end of the season. The 2nd and 3rd teams are also both sitting in 4th place in their respective leagues, but the 3rd team have had much better fortune in front of goal and currently have a goal difference of 18.
EUNC’s 5th side triumph 58-10 over Winchester 3rds to put them in poll position in the Western 5A league
Photo: Josh Irwandi
Double EURFC England call up Rugby Union
Andy Williams Sports Editor
Two EURFC players have been selected to represent England Students in three international matches over the next few months. Number 8 Matt Chambers, 21, third year BA Geography, who captained Exeter to a thrilling 16-14 victory over Bath in this year’s Varsity match, has been selected along with openside Flanker, Tom Sargeant, 22, who is also in his final year studying BA Geography. Sargeant will not only be making a return to the squad, for he played for them in 2010-11 scoring two tries in three games, but he will also retain the captain’s armband for the forthcoming matches, having captained the side during the narrow loss in the final game of last season’s campaign in Versailles against France Universities. The 2011-12 squad will face tough opposition this spring, with just the one home fixture sandwiched between two trips abroad. Their first, and perhaps most formidable, opponent comes in the form of the full Portuguese national side, who currently sit 24th in the IRB world rankings, on Saturday 28 January in Lisbon. England Students will be looking to build on their strong performance against Portugal last season and avenge their narrow 29-25 defeat. As well as the Portuguese, England Students will also take to the field in a highly anticipated home fixture against Wales Students at Twickenham Stoop on Friday 24 February. They will then round off the 2011-12 campaign with a daunting trip across Europe to face Italy ‘A’, the national second team, in L’Aquila on Sunday 18 March. Sargeant, however, is no stranger to The Stoop or top flight Rugby, for he spent two years playing with Aviva Premiership side Harlequins before joining the University in 2009. With regard to the upcoming campaign, Sargeant commented: “I am really excited and proud to have been selected to play for England Students again this year, and to be made captain is a great honour. “It is a fantastic opportunity and I am really looking forward to what promises to be some really tough and challenging fixtures.” Chambers added: “I’m really proud to be selected, it’s been a really competitive selection process and a lot of strong players didn’t make it. “I think it is also important to thank all the guys that have helped both me and Tom get to this point, Beef and Andi in the HPP set up have been amazing all season as have Keith Fleming, Tony Yapp, James Hanks and Haydn Thomas, the 1st XV coaches.”