What makes Exeter great? pages 10-11
Interview on page 20
Interview on page 40
Monday 19 March 2012 • Issue 592 • www.exepose.com • Twitter: @Exepose • www.facebook.com/Exepose
Russell Group: Our “natural home” Photo: Ollie Bradburne
Joe Johnston News Editor EXETER UNIVERSITY has accepted an invitation to join the Russell Group of leading research-led universities. The announcement on Monday 12 March from Vice-Chancellor Sir Steve Smith stressed that the Russell Group is “the natural home for Exeter”.
“The Russell Group is now the natural home for Exeter” Sir Steve Smith, Vice Chancellor of Exeter University
Exeter was one of four universities along with Durham, York and Queen Mary, to accept an invitation and leave the smaller lobbying association, the 1994 Group. Notification of the new membership was shortly followed by a climb in Exeter’s global league table position from 184 to 156. Exeter’s rise up The Times Higher Education rankings, released on Thursday 15, was counter to the national trend of UK universities heading downwards. Reactions from students have been broadly positive. Hannah Barr, a second year Theology student, tweeted immediately following the announcement: “So @UniofExeter is now in the Russell Group. Slogan change to ‘definitely the best university in the world?’ I think so.” However, another tweet from an Exeter student questioned the University’s intentions: “Does joining the Russell Group mean even more emphasis on research and even less on students? @UniofExeter #Priorities.” Stuart Franklin, Director of Communication and Marketing Services at Exeter, has denied such claims of a shift in emphasis from students to research, stating: “The two aren’t mutually exclusive. In fact the best universities for
teaching quality also tend to be the best at research.” Franklin emphasised the value of belonging to the Russell Group, stating: “The Russell Group brand is incredibly powerful and this will aid recruitment of the best students and staff.” When asked where Exeter’s acceptance into the Russell Group leaves the remaining 15 members of the 1994 group, Franklin stated “this is probably a question for the 1994 Group”. Michael Farthing, chair of the 1994 Group, expressed his disappointment at the departure of the four institutions. He said: “Like all members of the 1994 Group, they are excellent institutions with global reputations. It is a mark of pride that they have been able to build on these reputations through 1994 Group membership.” James Eales, VP Academic Affairs at the Students’ Guild, has expressed his delight in Exeter’s admission into the Russell Group, calling it recognition of “the improvement that Exeter has experienced nationally over the last 5 years, and its current position within the UK ‘Ivy League’.”
Tom Payne Books Editor
“Does joining the Russell Group mean even more emphasis on research and even less on students? #Priorities” Anonymous Exeter student on Twitter
He continued: “This should have really positive teaching impacts for our students, and looking beyond University could have a positive impact on their employment opportunities.” The move has increased membership of the Russell Group to 24, placing Exeter alongside universities such as Cambridge, Edinburgh, UCL and Oxford.
Bracton Law Soc expenses challenged
Sledging across the Arctic See page 2 for full story
THE Students’ Guild has conducted a review of the spending of Bracton Law Society (BLS) after an anonymous group questioned the society’s expenditure. The group, called ‘A Fairer BLS’, issued an email to Law students claiming that the society spent more on netball matches and cake purchases than on employability events. They said: “We have no aims other than to engage Law students with their society and acquaint them with the real issues in the BLS.” After a review of the society’s expenditure, the Guild determined that A Fairer BLS had misinterpreted BLS’s financial figures. While the anonymous group claimed that BLS this year has spent £337.85 more on netball than on mooting, the Guild has recognized that these figures are inaccurate, and that a total of £1,201 was actually spent on mooting, a significant amount more than the anonymous group’s calculation. The society estimates that they spent £19.07 less than last year. Julia Paci, the Employability and Work Placement Officer for the College of Social Sciences, has said: “In terms of employability activities, the Bracton Law Society has organised over twenty events so far this year – this is a significant achievement that should not be underestimated.” Continued on page 6
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Alice Walmesley, Vice President of the Dance Society, commented: “The standard of the other universities was outstanding so we were honoured to be recognised as the best overall university. Everyone on the squad worked so hard and being so successful made all the hours of rehearsals more than worthwhile.”
“The squad worked so hard. Being so successful made all the hours of rehearsals more than worthwhile”
US special: Lichtenstein, “8” and more
Alice Walmesley, Vice President of the Dance Society
Exeter entered five categories in the event, described by the organisers as ‘the biggest and most prestigious inter-university dance competition in the country’. The squad was placed 1st in Tap, 2nd in Contemporary and 2nd in the highly contested Hip Hop category, while also
impressing in the Ballet and Jazz sections. Individual awards were also given to Exeter’s Hip Hop Rep, Tawanda Chetse, and Tap Rep, Emily Watkins, who were judged to be the Best Male and Best Female dancers in the competition.
Squad member Louise Lundblad also added: “I’ve competed at Loughborough for the past three years, but this year could not have been more successful! I was most excited about coming second in Hip Hop. “You’d think that we wouldn’t stand a chance against the trained crews, but it was amazing to see that we were able to surprise them all, and come up to their standard.” The competition was judged by industry professionals, including Bethany Rose Harrison, from the television programme So You Think You Can Dance, and Northern Ballet’s first soloist, Hannah Bateman.
including Macmillan Cancer Support. Ollie said of his own achievement: “It was incredibly rewarding, all the hard work physically paid off.” He said that he championed the cause because a family friend and mother of three has developed MND.
tion that affects two in every 100,000 people. It acts by damaging the motor neurones of the brain that transmit signals to the muscles. As the disease progresses individuals become unable to move their muscles voluntarily.
Ollie had previously organised a charity raffle at Walkabout, which raised around £320 for the MNDA. He had also set up sponsored runs and quad-bike journeys from John O’Groats to Land’s End.
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Exeter Dance Society won Best Club along with five other awards at the Loughborough Dance Competition on 3 March
Dance Soc two-step to success Sophie Gargrave
EXETER DANCE SOCIETY’S squad has beaten 25 other universities to win six awards, including Best Club, at the Loughborough Dance Competition, held on 3 March.
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AN EXETER student travelled 200km across the Arctic Circle by dog sledge to raise money for research into Motor Neurone Disease (MND) earlier this month. Ollie Bradburne, a second year History student, trained for two months to prepare for the challenge, avoiding alcohol and completing physical workouts. The Arctic expedition raised over £3,000 for the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA), which funds research into the condition, promotes awareness, and helps the afflicted. During the expedition Ollie experienced -20°C temperatures, poor visibility, strong winds, and unstable terrain. He noted: “In places the ice is already melting and it will crack.” Ollie rose at 05:30 every morning to feed his dogs, and ate reindeer and fish caught through holes in the ice. He travelled with a team of 14, some of who were also raising money for charities,
Photo: Ollie Bradburne
“It was incredibly rewarding, all the hard work physically paid off” Ollie Bradburne, second year History student and Arctic explorer
Comments left by Ollie’s family and friends on his JustGiving page show the support that preceded his attempt. Geoffrey Pennells said: “Fantastic effort and a great cause,” while Robert Fletcher advised that “pain is just weakness leaving the body”. Francesca Trafford added “You are insane, but good luck!”. MND is a poorly understood condi-
Ollie navigated in conditions of -20°C, low visibility, strong winds and unstable terrain
Exeposé WEEK twenty two
Pow! and the Ball is gone Drunken ‘burglary’ Rebecca Smyth
THIS year’s Kick Ass Ball has been cancelled due to low ticket sales. The organisers were unable to confirm a headline act for the event, which they claim accounted for the lack of interest. The Ball was scheduled to take place
on 21 March in the Great Hall and Devonshire House. It had a ‘Superheroes versus Villains’ theme and was publicised as “the newest ball in Exeter”. Flyers promised live band performances by headline acts, an outdoor cinema screen and themed bars, for the ticket price of £25. The Guild apologised for the cancelPhoto: Henry White
lation, and commented: “Many acts had been approached in the last few months. However, due to a combination of busy schedules and an increase in demand following the recent awards ceremonies, the availability of acts became increasingly limited.
“I guess I’ll have to find another excuse to ‘kick ass’” A third year English student
The Ball follows Powderham in failing to reach sufficient ticket sales to be viable
“Despite this, we were able to line up one of the highest-selling acts of last year. Unfortunately, because of contractual issues with the promoter, we were unable to finalise the booking.” The organisers expected that had this act been finalised, the announcement would have attracted more student interest. This is not the first time an Exeter ball has been axed. In February 2011, it was announced that the Powderham Ball had failed to reach its ticket sales target, and for practical reasons the committee decided to cancel the event. This Ball had previously been cancelled in 2009. A third year English student who was looking forward to the Kick Ass Ball commented: “I was really disappointed to hear the event had been cancelled. I had my costume bought and ready. I guess I’ll have to find another excuse to ‘kick ass’.” The Guild advises students who have bought tickets to visit the Information Point in Devonshire House, where they can receive a full refund.
Frinting: It’s free printing! Hannah Sweet News Editor TWO second year Exeter students are piloting a new printing service which aims to supply students with free lecture notes, sponsored by graduate recruiters. The pilot ‘Frinting’ service, which began on 27 February and will run until the end of term, is currently providing notes for students in three Business School modules. Students Ed Latham and Alex Nechoroskovas came up with the idea and have received support and funding from both the Business School and the Innovation Centre. Ed told Exeposé: “Alex and I came up with the idea because he didn’t have a printer and we wanted to find a free way of providing the notes because the University have stopped doing that.” Alex calculated that the average Business School student would spend around £150 a year if they printed all of the required course materials. Currently PWC and Santander are sponsoring the printing in exchange for advertising banners on the top and bot-
tom of each page printed. Shweta Singh, a Business School student who has received some of the free lecture notes said: “Having the lecture notes printed out for me before every lecture I attend certainly saves me a lot of hassle and money. In terms of convenience and availability, free printed notes are a welcome gesture.”
“It saves me a lot of hassle and money. In terms of convenience and availability, the notes are a welcome gesture”
Shweta Singh, Business School student
The printing is all double-sided, uses sustainable Forestry Commission paper and vegetable ink, and is performed on highly efficient printers, reducing the carbon footprint of the average printing by almost 60 per cent. Dispelling environmental concerns, Ed added: “Paper’s not bad for the environment; bad paper is bad for the environment.”
David Kolitz, Senior Lecturer and Director of the KPMG BSc Accounting Programme, supports the project. He said: “My only concern is that students need to appreciate the importance of pre-reading before the lecture and they cannot simply arrive at the lecture and look at the material for the first time. I will continue to work with Ed and Alex to make this venture a success.” Ed and Alex would like to have lectures printed for the whole of the Business School from September and they are looking to expand and offer the service to students from other colleges. They are also in talks with the Guild about selling advertising space. James Eales, VP Academic Affairs, commented: “It’s really great to see this level of ingenuity, with the creation of initiatives aimed at helping their fellow students.” In terms of printing being a hidden course cost, he added: “Of course, hopefully the online submission of coursework will be widely used next academic year, which will mean that students don’t have to print out assessed work, and therefore cutting down on compulsory printing costs.”
Charlie Marchant Senior Reporter
A DRUNKEN burglar was caught and stopped by students whilst attempting to rob their house on Mount Pleasant Road. The incident occurred on Monday 5 March at 20:00. The burglar used a screwdriver to break the lock on the front door and proceeded to enter the house unnoticed while four of its five tenants were playing video games in the front room. During the attempt to steal items including a TV, two laptops, a PSP, a knife and a pack of condoms, the fifth tenant, Miles Holbrook, returned home. Not realising who Miles was, the burglar asked him to help pack the stolen TV into his bag, at which point Miles called his other housemates outside.
“He was quite small, fat, with a couple of tattoos. He insulted us a lot and was trying to scare us, but that’s about it” Gwilhelm Charbonnier, victim of attempted burglary
The burglar then attempted to wrestle Philip Peterson, a second year Engineering student, to the ground but was overpowered. The police were called and arrived promptly while the students
restrained the man. After the incident, Peterson told Exeposé: “He tried to push me around, but I had no trouble wrestling him to the ground with help of my housemates.” Fellow housemate Gwilhelm Charbonnier further added: “The burglar was not especially threatening; he was quite small, fat, with a couple of tattoos on his arm. He insulted us a lot, and was trying to scare us, but that’s about it.” Wojciech Pawlawk, a second year Economics and Finance student, reflected on the burglary saying: “We were very lucky that we managed to catch him on his way out, and that he was a fairly clumsy robber. Also the police were extremely quick to arrive. I never thought this would have happened to us though!” Rory Cunningham, Exeter University Community Liaison Officer, said that as a result of the recent burglaries in Exeter, the student Community Wardens have helped the Police to deliver burglary awareness letters to all the main streets where students live. He added: “We would urge students to read these letters carefully and work as a household to take sensible precautions.” PC Alex Kennedy warned students: “Opportunistic theft happens everywhere, but is more common during warmer weather.” He further suggested that students consider “marking valuable items with your postcode or student number using a UV pen. This will allow us to match stolen items with their owner if we find them.”
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Exeposé WEEK TWENTY Two
Colourful festivities paint the Devon landscape
Photos: Fiona Lally
The 250 attendees threw coloured powdered paint in celebration of the Hindu festival Holi, while looking out over the views of the Exe Valley at the top of Stoke Hill
worldwide every year.
CELEBRATIONS for the Hindu festival of Holi took place on Saturday 10 March on Stoke Hill in Exeter, organised by the University of Exeter’s Asian Society. Holi, also called ‘the Festival of Colours’, is celebrated by Hindus
Nitika Jain, President of Asian Society
“I loved how everyone was getting involved and it just looked so spectacular”
The festival celebrates the emergence of Spring, and is a time for enjoying the rich colour of the season and commemorating the good harvest. On the second day of Holi, participants throw bright perfumed powder called Gulag over each other, and celebrate with song and dance. This part of the festival was attended by over 250 people in Exeter on Saturday.
Traditionally during Holi strict structures such as social status and caste are loosened, bringing people from different backgrounds to celebrate together. Many UK, International, Muslim and Christian students came to the event, along with the Hindu community. Nitika Jain, President of the Asian
Feature film premiere is student first Sarah Holmes THE first ever feature length film created by Exeter students was premiered in a red carpet event at the Exeter Picturehouse cinema on Friday 16 March. The heist-thriller film, Words Not Money, is based on a hard working student named Jeff who decides to steal the papers for his next exam, in a risky bid to confront the injustice of the university exam system. JD Productions conceived the high budget, hour long project with significant support from XTV, who provided recording equipment and a cast of over 30 students, including Becki Pantling, George Watkins, Tan Boon Kit and Nick Daryanani as the starring undergraduates.
“I have a feeling the film will set a benchmark and show people they really can do whatever they like” Dan Orton, Station Manager of XTV
Cambria Bailey-Jones of JD Productions, told Exeposé: “Words Not Money is, without a doubt, the biggest
project ever attempted by Exeter student film. It is truly down to the hard work and commitment of everyone involved that it has been completed to such a high level, and we are all very proud of this.”
Photo: JD Productions
Moberly Half Marathon Celia Richardson
“It is, without a doubt, the biggest project ever attempted by Exeter student film” Cambria Bailey-Jones, JD Productions
Dan Orton, Station Manager of XTV, who also declared his admiration for the dedication of the cast and crew stated: “I have a feeling Words Not Money will set a benchmark and show people they really can do whatever they like.” Calum Baker, Head of Creative for XTV said: “With this, our hour-long ‘Longest Week’ documentary, and an 85 page script currently being filmed, it seems ambition has really grown of late and hopefully more people are getting inspired to give this a go.” Following the film’s Picturehouse premiere, producers are working to organise another showcase in Campus Cinema, which will also be available to watch on the XTV Youtube channel.
Society, commented on the festival’s success: “My favourite part of the day was definitely the colours! I loved how everyone was getting involved and it just looked so spectacular.” Resources were pooled together on the day; the Asian Society provided the colours, and the Exeter Hindu Temple provided the venue, food and entertainment.
Words Not Money is the first feature length film to be produced in Exeter by students
ON 22 March, Exeter students will participate in the Moberly Half Marathon, a 13 mile scenic run along the River Exe in aid of charity. The half marathon, which is taking place for the second year running, will raise money for Cancer Research and The Prostate Cancer Charity. Approximately 20 runners and eight bikers are taking part, many of whom are residents of Moberly and Birks Grange Halls. Runners of all abilities have been encouraged to join in, and preparation has been advised, with some runners training for over two months. Last March a similar run was completed by 13 runners in aid of the Japanese Tsunami Appeal. It was generally considered to be a success, and Hannah Carr, the event’s organiser, said: “It was one of the best days of last year! It was such a hot day, and the run was beautiful.” In regards to this year’s run, she said: “The sense of achievement is always something to look forward to, and even the aching - physical evidence of serious hard work.” This year’s run will start at 9:30 on Blackboy Road and will finish by 12:45 in Belmont Park.
19 march 2012
Meet the Mark Zuckerbergs of Exeter Uni
Photo: Fantasy Shopper
Joe Johnston News Editor WITH the unemployment rate for new graduates climbing to one in five, Exeter University alumnus and entrepreneur Chris Prescott has advised students against listening to “doom mongers”. The co-founder and CEO of the globally acclaimed start-up Fantasy Shopper, located on Streatham campus, told Exeposé that students graduating this summer should “drink loads of alcohol and enjoy the festivals”. Fantasy Shopper is an online social shopping company that was launched in 2011 by Chris Prescott and business partner Daniel Noz. After having already turned down an acquisition offer Chris Prescott’s quick tips for budding entrepreneurs: • Forget about a 20 page business plan, they’re outdated and cumbersome • Think about the business model, optimise the shit out of it and keep things lean • Remember that it’s easy to spend money on crap: keep expenses as low as possible and hustle every penny • Get a co-founder with complimentary skills and equal passion. Believe in yourself and you will be fine
BLS clarifies spending Continued from front page A Fairer BLS also questioned a £240 three-course meal, paid for by BLS. It was later revealed that this amount was spent on a meal for senior representatives from law firms, and that each external speaker paid £30 towards their lunch. BLS’s President, Miriam Kaufmann, said: “I am very proud of the society this year; it has almost doubled its sponsorship and, for the first year ever, has over 500 members. This year the BLS has offered more careers and social events than ever before. It has been a very successful year.” Thomas Walker, a third-year Law student, and a member of the BLS added: “As a BLS member for three years, I have seen the number of opportunities the BLS provides. I am disgusted with the way that the so called ‘honest/fairer BLS’ group decided to use the University email to brandish accusations that are without good standing. From my understanding several of their figures are inaccurate.” While the Guild refutes any claims of financial mis-management on behalf of the BLS, it always welcomes emails of concern from students who do not feel they are getting value for money.
National Student News Third of graduates in low skilled jobs Dominic Holbrook
Exeter graduate Chris Prescott (left) and Daniel Noz (right) founded Fantasy Shopper in 2011 and have since won international acclaim
of $20m, Prescott and Noz have won a multi-million dollar investment from Accel, the main shareholders in Facebook. “‘Get shit done’ is the company motto,” Prescott stated, speaking of how the company has set an example for aspiring entrepreneurs, “It’s easy to get distracted so we all try to focus on the important stuff like actually building the product.” Having recently won the Amazon Global Startup Challenge in Silicon Valley, becoming the first ever non-US company to win the competition, Prescott spoke of the company’s unexpected location in Devon: “It’s considered
random enough that we’re even from the UK, so being from Exeter - where no-one there has heard of - is awesome because we have the underdog branding and that keeps us grounded.”
“‘Get shit done’ is the company motto” Chris Prescott, Co-founder and CEO of Fantasy Shopper
Recently Leicester University vicechancellor Robert Burgess described traditional degree classifications as “a blunt instrument” for picking candidates for jobs. When asked what he looks for
in a graduate when hiring, Prescott admitted “we don’t look specifically for graduates, we just look for super smart people who are passionate and continually teaching themselves new things.” He explained that he always asks the same question when hiring: “Is this person an outright beast? If we have a beast on our hands, we hire them.” Giving advice to all aspiring entrepreneurs, Prescott stated: “Think about the business model, optimise the shit out of it and keep things lean. Believe in yourself and you’ll be absolutely fine.” Fantasy Shopper is launching in the US, across Europe and in Asia before the end of the year.
Forum offers food for thought Lucy Cryle Senior Reporter
A NEW section of the Students’ Guild website, which went live on Monday 19 March, is offering students a forum to debate important campus-related issues. The new ‘Have Your Say’ section aims to offer students a chance to raise and discuss issues they feel need to be brought to the attention of the Guild and the University as a whole.
“I believe the student body has a right to decide who they let speak on their campus”
on the behalf of customers, but to send a signal that our Student Guild is not supporting a company like Nestlé that seems to act ethically only when it is demanded heavily by public pressure.” The second question has been raised in response to the controversy over guest speaker Gilad Atzmon, whose visit to the Friends of Palestine society last November sparked protests from the Jewish Society. George Ayres, General Secretary of the Friends of Palestine Society, said of the ban: “By hiding controversy through speaker bans we merely sensationalise very real and pressing issues which urgently need serious academic discussion.”
However, Benjamin Salamon, President of the Jewish Society, said: “The safety, security, and well-being of students, particularly those from minority ethnicities and religions, have not yet been adequately protected. I believe the student body has a right to decide who they let speak on their campus.” The ‘Have Your Say’ section replaces the former online system ‘Democracy Hub’. Nick Davis, President of the Student’s Guild, explained how the issues raised will be resolved: “There will be a student committee in charge of making the decisions or putting them to a campus vote. However all decisions made can be appealed by students.” Photo: metro.co.uk
Benjamin Salamon, President of Jewish Society The first two issues raised are: Should Nestlé products be allowed back for sale on campus? And, should guest speakers be vetted two weeks before they speak at the University? Nestlé products have not been on sale at the university for over four years due to questionable ethical standards. Mirjam Haas, project manager of Be the Change society’s Fair Cocoa Project, believes the ban should remain: “The main aim of a ban is not to make a decision
Nestlé products have been banned from sale in campus outlets for over four years
MORE than a third of recent graduates are currently employed in low skilled jobs, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The ONS includes jobs such as hotel porters, waiters, bar staff, and retail assistants as low skilled. The recent recession and rise in unpaid internships have been cited as causes of this downturn. Vocational degrees had the highest graduate employement ratio, whilst arts based subjects had the lowest. Nick Davis, Exeter Student Guild President, found the report unsurprising but praised the resolve of students who sought such work. He told Exeposé: “Taking an unskilled job one does not diminish the worth of their degree, they show determination to work.” Despite this, graduates still have better prospects than non-graduates, with a 13.7 per cent higher employment rate. Liam Burns, NUS President, notes that although the ONS survey makes for grim reading, it is “infinitely preferable to a growing dole queue.”
Print Shop move worries Rebecca Smyth THE PRINT SHOP will relocate overnight on Wednesday 2 May, the day before a common dissertation deadline. It will move from its current position by Queens Building to the new Forum Student Service Centre, and will re-open at 9:00 on Thursday 3 May. There are concerns that the move will cause disruption for third year students, as the hand-in date for some subject dissertations, including English, is scheduled for this day. A third year English student stated: “It’s likely I’ll need to print and bind on 2 May or 3 May. If the move doesn’t run to schedule there’s bound to be extra stress.” However, the Guild stressed that extra efforts will be made to ensure the move runs smoothly at such a crucial time, and should not affect normal operations. They said: “We are installing some extra loan equipment and some new equipment in the Forum in advance of the move, with some other equipment being left in the Portacabin as a backup until after dissertation hand-ins.” The Print Shop has been in its current location since the Forum Project’s inception.
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19 march 2012 Exeposé
Editors: Ellie Busby & Henry White Deputy Editors: Ellie Bothwell & Rosie Scudder email@example.com
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Russell Group acceptance
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A University we can be proud of
In a slightly different approach to Comment this week, we invited members of our team and other writers to discuss what it means to be an Exeter student in our very own student survey. As you will read, the responses have been varied and diverse, highlighting just how much there is for students to experience here in Exeter. From the University joining the Russell Group later this year and, once again, rising up the world rankings list, to the Forum opening in a matter of weeks, it seems Exeter is truly on the rise and we should all relish being here at such a significant time in the University’s history. Of course, the change is not just limited to academia: this time of year sees elections for many societies and organisations. Wherever you look change is afoot; be it the high profile Sabbatical elections which took place earlier this term or the RAG and CA elections this month, and, of course, Exeposé is no different. This issue marks the end of the current team’s year-long tenure over the paper and as you can see from our front-page timeline running through Comment, we have had a dramatic and eventful year as Editors. It has been a privilege to have led Exeposé from strength to strength over the last 12 months, covering such a huge variety of student events, issues and occasions. Our status as Exeter’s independent, student-run newspaper has always been at the heart of what we do, and we have striven to provide our readers with the most relevant, important and impartial news possible. Whether it be breaking stories, reviews or debate, we have been there when it matters most, from the controversial Gilad Atzmon talk to a vast range of interviews with leading poets, authors
and athletes. The coverage of the AU controversy surrounding Josh Belsher last summer demonstrates the vital role Exeposé plays in ensuring student interests are realised. Were it not for our tenacious news team, such events would remain undisclosed, to the disadvantage of Exeter’s student population. We truly believe in the important role this paper plays in ensuring Exeter is an open, free and democratic society.
A moment of pride or shame?
“Exeter is truly on James Green the rise and we If I am being honest, the news that should all relish the University of Exeter had chosen to accept an invitation to join the Russell being here at such a came as a surprise to me. Not significant time in the Group from any belief that it wasn’t deservUniversity’s history” ing of a place amongst the “leading With the imminent arrival of Exeposé Online, the presence of Exeposé on campus is set to escalate, in what will be one of the most exciting developments in the paper’s history. Breaking from this column’s tradition, as Editors we would like to use this space to thank all of our contributors, those who help proof the pages on a Friday and our incredible Editorial Team, who have worked tirelessly over the last year to bring you the very best of student journalism. We hope you have enjoyed reading this paper as much as we have enjoyed creating it over the last year and we would like to wish the brand new team all the best in what will be Exeposé’s 25th year as a paper. Thank you. Ellie Busby, Henry White, Ellie Bothwell and Rosie Scudder
Thanks to all those who helped proof this issue: Imogen Crookes, James Crouch, Fiona Lally, Marcus Beard, Callum McLean, Clara Plackett, Emily Tanner, Megan Furborough, William O’Rourke, Meg Drewett, Anthony Prodromou, Owen Keating, Louis Doré, Tom Nicoll, Maddie Soper, Kate Gray, Jon Jenner, Will Kelleher, George Graham, Adam Western, Sofy Bevan, Ben Winsor, Mark Carvell, James Dyson, Joshua Irwandi, Lucy Cryle, Tom Bond, Tom Ling and members of the Exeposé Editorial Team.
UK universities,” or that it didn’t produce the “very best research,” but because I was accustomed to thinking of the Russell Group as a monolithic and untouchable group of universities; its membership hasn’t changed since it was established in 1994, after all. My first reaction was understand-
ably one of pride – in the work of the students, teaching staff and everyone who has made the university such a success; it was gratifying to feel that their achievements were being recognised in such a positive way. Objectively, of course, nothing has changed as a result of its new membership – no one awoke the next morning to find that the roads of the campus were paved with gold or the outbreak of a coup d’etat amongst the teaching staff. For most people it will be a matter of pure-and-simple prestige, if it is of any consequence at all – another adornment to a curriculum vitae, in a time of increasing competition for jobs. But the pride I felt was also tinged with shame. In accepting the invitation of the Russell Group, the
University necessarily had to leave another organisation of researchconducting universities: the 1994 Group. However, leave is perhaps too soft a word. Abandon is far more appropriate, and it soon becomes clear why this is the case: in announcing the news on either the University website or via email, not a single mention is made of the 1994 Group. There is no parting compliment, no ‘So long, and thanks for everything’ – not even the vaguest recognition of something that the University has been a part of for almost two decades. This is why, for me, this was a moment of both pride and shame: if inclusion into the Russell Group must come with an elitist mentality, a denial of the past and the work of others, then I don’t believe it is a price worth paying.
Are there benefits to Exeter’s new status?
We all recently received the news via email informing us that Exeter was one of four universities including Durham, York and Queen Mary, University of London, that had been offered a place in the Russell Group, a coalition of some of the best public research universities in Britain. However, although it is a great achievement highlighting what a fantastic centre of research and learning the University has become, as far as the extent to which it will benefit the University, this is likely to be exaggerated.
When remembering back to those sixth form days it is difficult to say whether a university being a member of the Russell Group had any influence at all. At the very least it was a very minute factor and, considering that we all opted to attend, at the time, a 1994 group institution, I cannot imagine anyone at Exeter considered it of vital importance. Especially considering most of us had A Level grades sufficient to gain admittance to a Russell Group. Moreover, given the current economic woes of the population, what is more important is value for money and whether Exeter’s position in the Russell Group will influence the standard of education. If we take into account the increased cost of fees and the distinct lack of affordable accommodation it seems unlikely that we shall see a sig-
nificant rise in applications for 2013. Including its most recent additions the Russell Group now boasts a 24 strong collective of institutions of higher education, but with the UK being home to 119 universities this would appear to place Exeter in the top fifth. This appears to be misrepresentative considering the Guardian ranks us at a very impressive 11th position and this ranking came prior to our recent acceptance. It is not my intention to put down the University’s achievement, yet more to emphasise that Exeter already had a good reputation to begin with; whether it is in the 1994 group or the Russell Group will not make it appear any more or less prestigious. I believe a friend of mine, a second year English student sums it up best with the query: “Whatʼs the Russell Group?”
Exeposé WEEK TWENTY TWO
Teaching Awards: Recognising our academics Rebecca Lodder The teaching awards at Exeter are now in their third year. In this short space of time, student participation has increased greatly, with this year’s nominations almost doubling the figures for last year. Personally, I didn’t feel I particularly understood what they were about last year. They were so close to other Guild elections that I was still sending the majority of my emails to my recycling bin! But for the 2012 awards, I heard more about them from fellow students and mini-campaigns that started appearing all over social networks. People were genuinely more interested and I felt I should be a part of what was happening. I think it’s necessary for the future of our degree courses to be given the opportunity to give positive feedback to specific teachers and lecturers. If they are the reason why we are enjoy-
ing what we’re doing, then we should let them know so they are aware their efforts are having constructive results. It’s no different to them giving us feedback for all the work we do, so if they’re doing a particularly good job who is going to give them the recognition for it? I didn’t vote in all the categories, but this made me more enthusiastic for the ones I was voting for. I didn’t have to think about who I wanted to nominate which was a sure sign they had truly made a difference in teaching me. I also felt that the categories allowed for such quick decision making as their descriptions seemed to bring someone straight to mind. I felt this most strongly for ‘Best Lecturer: the lecturer who excels overall in all areas leading to the highest quality academic experience. Actively engaging students in their learning and enthusing a passion for the subject.’ Certainly the lecturers and/or tutors I put forward were the ones who motivated me to work harder than I was previously. They were also the ones who seemed genuinely interested in their subject. Maybe the awards will
motivate the teachers as well, as they are given the chance to be rewarded for all their efforts. I feel that next year the University should work a lot harder to make more students aware of the awards. I think they should be an integral part of the academic feedback process in a similar way to M.A.C.E forms. They can only bring about more positive and enthusiastic teaching. Chart highlighting the increase in nominations made from 2011 to 2012
905 students 2021 students
Nominations 2012 Nominations 2011
Hannah Maher Academic Representation Coordinator
When we started the Teaching Awards three years ago it was a very different affair to nowadays. We faced, understandably, some hostility from staff who thought it would be purely a popularity contest. However, over the years we have proved the robustness of our process; whereby there are four nomination and short listing stages, involving students and staff throughout, and as a result received fantastic support from the colleges and senior University management. We are very proud that it is now one of the university’s ‘halo projects.’ This year saw a huge increase in the number of nominations received from students; 2021 up from 905. After the Sabbatical elections, the Teaching Awards now have the highest level of student engagement. This shows just how highly the students rate and appreciate the teaching and support they receive. 588 individual members of staff received at least one nomination – some received consider-
ably more. They will all receive these nominations, anonymously, over the coming months. English received the most nominations; however, Theology deserves great credit for receiving the second most despite being possibly the smallest department in the University. It was also fantastic to see members of ‘behind the scenes’ staff being nominated where they haven’t been before. Something that we are especially proud of is that the previous winners of the Best GTA category are now both fully fledged lecturers – we like to take a little bit of credit for this! It is our aim that in time the Teaching Awards will play a central role in career progression for staff at Exeter. We have just completed the SSLC stage; where the SSLCs received all the nominations submitted for staff in their department and, based on the quality of nominations, decide on their departmental winner for each category. We are now moving onto the third stage where two students and two staff members will whittle the SSLC selected winners down to the short list. We will announce the shortlist on Friday 23 March.
Letters to the Editors
Send your letters to firstname.lastname@example.org Re: “Student political parties need to engage with each other” (Comment, p6, Issue 591) I was left in a quagmire of disappointment to read Meg Drewett’s piece last week regarding engagement between political parties here at Exeter. Initially, I was hurt and appalled to read that Miss Drewett wasn’t considering joining the Conservative Future. This was eventually overcome by a sweeping wave of distress that Miss Drewett didn’t think we humble student politicos ‘engaged’ with each other properly to encourage cross
party debate and discussion. I must say I have always found quite the opposite. Though we may spend much of election time engaging in little other than low-brow political mud-slinging, it is on campus that our societies flourish as fine examples of debate, discussion and, dare I say, engagement with each other. As the President of one of the three main parties, I have always felt that we enjoy a mature relationship with our sister parties here on campus. Indeed, I am aware that several of our members attended the ‘Drop the Bill’ evening to which Monday 9 May 2011 Exeposé campaigns for the inclusion of a bookshop in the Forum
Exeposé Timeline: Our year in Front pages In this issue, our last with the current Editorial team, Exeposé looks back over the year and picks out our leading stories. From the Belsher controversy to the University’s entry into the Russell Group, Exeposé’s 25th year has been marked by some truly memorable headlines.
Miss Drewett refers. Perhaps, then, there is far more grassroots cooperation between our members than Miss Drewett is aware. And this is just the sort of cooperation, on the ground and not forced on by committees, that fosters true engagement between the political societies here on campus. We certainly aren’t going to be forming our own little cross party coalitionlite, but we do enjoy all the benefits that a close working relationship between our members has to offer. One might even say it was akin to an unspoken bond of friendship, of sorts. With this in mind, I must disagree
with Miss Drewett’s implicit contention of student political parties as squabbling and counter-productive. We work hard to maintain the type of working relationship that we need for the sort of friendly debate that Miss Drewett craves. But for this friendly debate to occur, you need members happy to get involved and participate in it. And that’s exactly what I believe our approach is fostering. After all, what’s the point in doing it in the wrong way once if our members will never want to do it again? So I say to Miss Drewett: your challenge has been noted, I assure Monday 6 June 2011 Exeposé breaks the story of the AU President’s mishandling of funds
you. It’s something that political societies work very hard towards, and something that will happen when the time is right. In the mean time, become a member, get involved, and contribute to grassroots cooperation which will one day allow for just the sort of formal debate that you long for. James Roberts Chairman, Exeter University Conservative Future
19 MARCH 2012 Exeposé
Exeposé student survey: evalu Ellie Busby Editor
WHEN I first journeyed to Exeter for an open day, I fell in love with the beautiful green campus and looked forward to spending my days on the beach and walking in the countryside in sunny Devon. However, this idyllic vision was soon displaced with the imminent arrival of cranes and builders en masse, and my realisation that the South West is actually one of the rainiest places in the UK. And yet, even with three years of the Forum Project building works and the challenges which cardiac hill have thrown at me, I still believe that Exeter is
Dorothea Pease The first time I had ever been to Devon, let alone Exeter, was when I arrived on the first day of Fresher’s Week. Exeter University had been my insurance choice, I was a late entrant, I didn’t get a choice in my accommodation; in short, it could have gone so horribly wrong. The confused blur of ‘Welcome Week’ and the weeks that followed were beyond exhausting, so it was only really when Christmas arrived that I had time to reflect on how much I was enjoying myself. I spent the holidays praising the Uni to everyone I met, recommending it to friends on gap years, getting them to visit this term and generally making an overarching claim that Exeter was definitely (not probably, as the tagline suggests) the best University in the world. Monday 10 October 2011 Exeposé follows events as police engage in a stand-off with a man on the roof of student house
Meanwhile the University is going from strength to strength in league tables, has just become a member of the Russell Group and let’s not forget the fact that Exeter has, allegedly, the highest student to tree ratio in the UK, which for me consolidates its status as a University to be proud of. Nevertheless, statistics can only go so far in giving an overall impression of the vast range of activities, societies and general opportunities that are on offer, something that as a first year I was immediately seduced by. Unfortunately, this meant I ended up spending far too much at the Fresher’s Squash in an attempt to be the best musician-cum-writer-cum-sportswomancum-charity worker the University has ever seen. However, accepting the fact that I can’t do everything has made my experience better, not, as I originally believed, worse, although I have a feeling that the Summer term combination of no lectures and trips to the beach will prove the best experience so far.
Zoe Bulaitis Arts Editor
As a third year student I am already getting nostalgic about my University experience at Exeter. Since Christmas, I have been sitting in the RAM feeling teary and already slightly outside the hub of student activity. Having signed up for a Masters course here next year, I am really excited about another year in this beautiful city but feel that change is coming with the new Forum and that Exeter without diggers, luminous jackets and road closures somehow won’t be the same. Being an undergraduate is such a unique experience as it places you in a massive community of people, and moving into the world outside of a BA is definitely a daunting one! From day one at Exeter I have had
one of the best places to study. Although our campus has been criticised for cutting students off from the ‘real world’ (it is only 2 hours from Land’s End), living in a bubble does have its advantages. In Exeter we have such a tight-knit community; often a friend is only a few footsteps away. What I love most about the University is the amount of students who participate in activities alongside their degrees. Exeter students are keen to get involved; we have a good balance of work and play. With 167 societies, there are so many opportunities to meet new people. For me, it was getting involved in Exeposé, which has been truly rewarding. From participating I have acquired both new skills and new friends. Although 13 hour stints in the office may not sound like everyone’s cup of tea, being part of a team of 26 students who have similar
interests to me, and a fervour to create the best paper possible, has made my University experience. So, what are the first things which spring to mind when I think of Exeter? Curly fries in the RAM, “Alrigh’ me lover,” Sabbatical Elections week, wearing flip flops in all seasons, Soul Choir gigs in Mama Stones, spending two solid days in the press room without sunlight, cider black, and “Sorry the building works have been delayed again.” After three years living here, my annoyances about having to walk an extra five minutes to lectures due to the closures on campus or that it rains a lot no longer matters. Ultimately the memories I will take away from Exeter are of the amazing people I have met from getting involved. No rain or building works will taint my idyllic vision of this beautiful place.
a fantastic University experience and I wouldn’t want to swap it for any other place. Yes, I was rejected from Oxbridge, but no, I haven’t looked back regretfully since and I can’t imagine a better place to live and study. The only thing that I regret is how quickly the time has passed. I would retrospectively urge all first year students to grab onto every Cheesy Tuesday, every BART submission and even every 9am lecture with enthusiasm, as it will all be over so fast. There is no time quite like being at University and I am certain that my growing nostalgia is only going to get worse as I draw ever closer to the finale that is Graduation. So what’s made my experience so great to provoke such nostalgia? It’s got to be all the people that I’ve shared my time with. Exeter is a special city in that it has greenery without limiting the possibility of having a social life. As a result I think that the people who choose Exeter as their city of study are generally really lovely people. Whilst the lure of
the North’s intensive clubbing scene might be attractive to some, people who settle on Exeter are happy to embrace nights out that feature ‘Buck Rogers’ and a portion of cheesy chips walking home at 2am. I mean this as a positive! Exeter students are up for making a good time out of pretty much anything, and this enthusiasm is one of the things I love about living here.
Monday 21 November 2011 The Occupy movement reaches Exeter. Exeposé reports from the Cathedral
“Exeter students are up for making a good time out of anything, and this enthusiasm is one of the things I love about living here” So am I sad to be graduating? Definitely. However, here’s hoping that there is still room for a nostalgic post-graduate at Ram-e-oke!
Monday 5 December 2011 Exeposé explores ethical fashion in the glossy Lifestyle fashion shoot
Exeposé WEEK twenty two
ating your Exeter experience Jessica Leung Video Games Editor
As a final year student I felt obliged to write a comment on my time here at Exeter; the invites for graduation events and final meals out are flooding in and the realisation that I will be leaving in a few months has only just hit me.
My time here has certainly been memorable, and I’m sure, with the wealth of possibilities available at Exeter, everyone has different experiences and memories to take away with them. I study Theology, a very small humanities subject which many people don’t even realise exists. Our classes are small – we barely fill one of the small rooms in Peter Chalk let alone a lecture theatre – and we’re a close knit group, something I feel larger subjects lack. I feel that this has shaped my time here as I have got to know my course mates quite well and there are Photo: Henry White
always familiar faces in my modules. Living on campus in first year gave me a wealth of experiences which I’m sure differs to those who lived further afield. We were truly at the heart of the ongoing forum project and it made an impact on my time here at Exeter. I’d like to say my memories of Exeter would stretch beyond the building works, though this would be untrue – they started when I arrived, and are only now just finishing. It’s a shame that I can barely remember what campus was like before all the roads were blocked off. Having said that, the reopening of the RAM was a very exciting moment for me.
“I’d like to say my memories of Exeter would stretch beyond Rachel Bayne Sports Editor the building works, With only nine games left of the though this would be 2011/12 League One football season, untrue – they started eight contact hours left of my degree and four months (for the foreseeable when I arrived, and future) left in Exeter, multiple things are only now just are coming to an end. So, what does Exeter mean to me? finishing”
Monday 6 February 2012 Exeposé provides a comprehensive commentary on the Sabb elections
I think my experience of Exeter will be shaped by my need to ‘get involved’ - I have been a member of many societies, had a position on the editorial team for Exeposé and acted as an academic rep for my subject. I truly believe that this is the way to get the most out of university life. Also, enjoy your Fresher’s year – you only get one! Although I’m sad to be graduating, I am happy to know that I will be taking a lot of priceless memories and experiences with me. I’d like to think I will be graduating with no regrets of my three years here and I am confident that this will be the case when I look back in many years’ time.
Although 2011/12 has been a somewhat imperfect season for the Grecians, with countless groans, Nardiello antics (yes we all remember Charlton) and 0-0 draws, standing at St James’ Park has truly been a privilege and, even with dissertation nerves, I will be there with my fingers crossed for another season of League One football for Exeter City. This year, as well as the stress of local sport, I have spent countless hours working with our brilliant AU. With fantastic varsities and a great season for EULFC, EUMHC, EULHC, Exeter Demons, Exeter Lacrosse, Exeter’s Polo team and all the competitors up at the Sports Park, it has been a blast. Sorting content, both-
Monday 20 February 2012 Accommodation prices on campus reach a record high. Exeposé breaks the story
Monday 5 March 2012 Exeposé addresses media frenzy surrounding Diversity Week guidelines
ering people on Twitter and a huge email footprint, working in the Press Office to publicise Exeter University’s sporting heroics has been challenging, but incredibly exciting. Exeposé has been a huge part of my University career, from my first news reporting experience at the Birks Fire Alarm fiasco in 2010, to editing the sport pages this year. Interviews with Jason Gardener, Tom Staniford, Unisportonline and Ben Nash, reports down at the Sports Park and the occasional review, the paper gives so many memories. Exeter also means three years of studying in Queen’s, countless walks up to campus and huge bags of library books. Cups of tea in Mount Pleasant is sometimes the only thing to get you through those essay deadline nightmares. Of course, I cannot forget three years of Firehouse Pub Quizzes – including the infamous dance off. Terry and Jude’s barmy quiz will always be a highlight for me and my house, including dancing on the tables, sangria and embarrassing half-time challenges. Huge pizzas, straining to remember that beloved song lyric and film intros; Monday nights will not be the same without it!
19 March 2012 Exeposé
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Kony 2012: viral video sensation
Jack Flanagan looks at the impact and the influences behind the Facebook phenomenon
Photo: Getty Image; CTV News
Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, formerly based in Uganda; posters from Invisible Children’s Kony 2012 Campaign, whose video went viral last week
“The widespread knowledge of the atrocities of Joseph Kony is undeniably a good thing”
There are, indeed, hundreds of thousands of cases of human rights abuses across the world but this does not excuse action – it compels it. They are many that say America is ‘addicted The video has been a viral hit on YouTube and on social networking sites such as Facebook. According to YouTube statistics, the video’s most numerous demographic was American teenagers. It proved most popular with females aged 13 to 17 years old and males aged 18 to 24 years old. Viewing figures (millions) for the KONY 2012 video on YouTube: 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0
to interventionism’, but this is to ignore America’s status as a leading global power, and to condemn its moral obligation towards extending human rights. In whatever mind one might be about the video, the knowledge now widespread of the atrocities of Joseph Kony is undeniably a good thing, whether they are past or present. More inspiring is the unity of such a large quantity of people to one cause, albeit in varying degrees. Certainly, what should be understood is that such a topic is never tedious or unimportant, as it has been regarded by some. All we can do is hope for the peaceful apprehension of Kony – hope, and do what we can; to not respond with uneducated fervour, or with stoic apathy, but to assist with the time that we have available. Invisible Children, the charity behind the Kony 2012 video, have been accused of overspending on media, product and manCentral African agement costs. (IC & Oxfam) Programs Central frican Central AAfrican Invisible Children Expenditure 2010/11: Programs Awareness Programs Programs African Central Awareness rograms Awareness PPrograms Central African Developmental & Central Africa Programs Fundraising Programs Programs Humanitarian Aid Awareness P rograms Awareness P rograms Awareness Fundraising Awareness Programs PFundraising rograms Media & Film Fundraising Fundraising Fundraising Fundraising Crea8on Media & FF ilm ilm Media & Fundraising Media & Film Crea8on Products Crea8on Awareness Crea8on Media & FF ilm Media & ilm Awareness Awareness Campaigns &roducts Awareness Products Crea8on PProducts Media & Film Crea8on Management Developmental Management & & Advocacy Awareness P roducts Crea8on and General Awareness Products Developmental & Management nd Humanitarian Aid Other aand Awareness PManagement roducts Humanitarian A id Other C osts ( 1%) General General Management aand Oxfam Expenditure 2010/11: Management Developmental Fundraising nd & General General Management and Fundraising Developmental Humanitarian A& id Developmental and Aid General Humanitarian Humanitarian Aid
Fundraising Campaigns & Fundraising Campaigns Advocacy & Advocacy Other Costs (1%) Campaigns Other Costs &(1%) Campaigns Other Costs &( 1%) Advocacy Advocacy Other Costs (1%) Other Costs (1%)
Stated in the video is the IC’s success thus far, which primarily is the investment by America of $40 million, and 100 military ‘advisors’ who will travel to Uganda and assist in the capture of Kony. There is a fear in Uganda that this will only ignite retribution from Kony, and further invoke conflict in the region. Further controversy has arisen, as people ask whether this is all a little neo-colonial, or indicative of a persisting “white man’s burden”, a redemption from evils past. Furthermore, America’s intervention too closely resembles scenarios such as Afghanistan,
on the part of IC, what becomes even more ludicrous, even distressing, is the response from some critics. Some say that due to the amount of bloodshed and corruption that take place globally, the intervention by any external parties are ill-advised intrusions. This must be extreme political cynicism, immorality or, most likely, pointless wrangling.
“Uganda is now looking to rebuild, not to chase after a largely inactive criminal”
and Vietnam – it may be worth noting that the American intrusion has been given no deadline. And yet Kony 2012 cannot be denied to have brought about some good. The mini-documentary is now recognised as the most successful viral campaign, although perhaps due to its subject material. At a fundamental level, that 80 million people are now aware of Joseph Kony, a hideous abuser of power and religion, cannot be anything but miraculous, and this information now needs to be elaborated. This information is ‘sort of’ available: despite claims on the IC’s website, in response to recent criticisms that they are ‘sensationalist activists’, they state, very fairly, that the video was intentionally exciting and superficial. They released a full-length documentary in 2009 on Kony which has had close to no impact; now they are appealing to a short-attention span, to which we can hardly fault them; one enthusiast wrote on Facebook, “I know it’s 30 mins guys, but it’s really important.” However, they also state they are a “transparent” organization, and provide their sources from which the video was derived. Worryingly, they provide only four links: one of which mentions neither the LRA nor Kony and is only quoting statistics about Uganda as a whole, another is a paragraph summary of LRA statistics, and a third is a two page class-room exercise (I’m not making this up). Transparent to the point of invisible, apparently. Despite these obvious indiscretions
HAVE you seen the Kony 2012 video? By now 80 million people across the globe have read the words “nothing is as powerful as an idea,” and the number continues to rise. With such a meteoric rise to fame, so too does the information, rumour-milling and confusion surrounding Joseph Kony, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and, indeed, Invisible Children (IC), the charity behind the viral video, continue to grow exponentially – by a wide margin exceeding the fame they wished to attract to Kony. The blogosphere and sociospheres have, since 5 March, lit up with talk of the remarkable video – but not unified under one opinion. While some have raised their eyebrows, arms and wallets to the Kony cause, others have responded with apathy, anger or antagonistic sentiments to the video, citing it as misleading and sensationalist. What is abundantly clear to all discerning individuals is that the video, and a good proportion of the public, are lacking in information about the situation in Uganda. As a case in point: since 2006, the LRA has not been operating in Uganda,
and are believed to be in Congo, South Sudan or in the Central African Republic. The LRA are to blame for huge disruption, abduction and murder, but they are now a rebel group in hiding; the video’s statistics are outdated, a Ugandan official states that the situation is “the exact opposite” to what is portrayed in the video. The Goldin Institute, which focuses on recovery from the destruction of the LRA, as well as that caused by the Ugandan government and its army (UPDF), say “Maybe Kony 1995 or Kony 2005 would have been a more powerful campaign”; they say that now Uganda looks to rebuild, not to chase after a largely inactive criminal.
Campaigns and Advocacy
Exeposé WEEK TWENTY TWO
Are we wrong to criticise big bonus culture? Tim Soare asks us to look again at the importance of bankers’ bonuses
THE furore over bankers’ bonuses has dominated the media over the past few weeks and politicians have made their fair share of comments. Mark Littlewood, Director General of the Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA), a London based think-tank, gave his opinions on the debate whilst visiting Exeter to take part in DebSoc’s Question Time event. Littlewood believes concern surrounding bankers’ bonuses can be ascribed to anger over the 2008 crash and straightforward envy over well-remunerated people.
“Bonuses help nationalised banks and encourage good performance by bankers on behalf of the tax payer” The IEA’s director was keen to defend RBS chief executive Stephen Hester, whose bonus has been the focus of so much media attention. Hester’s near-£1m bonus, which he waived in response to public outcry, was only 60 per cent of what could have potentially been awarded on top of a salary matched by many mid-to-top level premiership footballers. According to Littlewood, the most worrying aspect of the bonus fiasco so far has been the fact that “the day that Hester’s bonus was
the No. 1 item on the news, £900m was wiped off the RBS share value because of negative publicity and a fear that Hester would go.” In leveraging bonus criticism at banking executives, the media and politicians have been effectively de-valuing RBS and other tax-payer funded banks and this will do little to help the economy. Littlewood is concerned the UK is becoming too hostile an environment for bankers and that a real brain-drain threat exists; Switzerland, with its lower tax rates and general financial privacy, holds a definite allure. The issue of losing skilled financial operatives is a concern at both a national and international level. As the IEA’s director pointed out, “Britain isn’t world-class at many things” but still maintains its strong financial services reputation. To sustain this reputation, talented financial executives are needed and must be retained at commercially competitive rates. Big talent requires big pay. Internationally, as BBC News Business Editor Robert Peston has observed, the UK has three G-SIFIs or ‘global systematically important financial institutions.’ RBS, HSBC and Barclays each have total assets and liabilities greater than £1.5 trillion – a collapse of one of these institutions could well trigger another global crisis similar to that seen in 2008, so it is imperative they are overseen by competent individuals. These individuals should be paid according to the significant stresses and rigours un-
der which they operate and the responsibility they hold.
“It makes sense to build-up relationships with banks, other private financial institutions and their employees” The IEA’s director was happy to state his approval of bonuses, saying: “I love bonus culture,” and also remarking that “Exeter University could benefit if lecturers were to be awarded bonuses.” However, Littlewood did express sympathy for those who believe bonuses can be based too much on short term results – “we should tie bonuses to a share-price in five to ten years’ time rather than the end of the financial year.” Overall “bonuses help nationalised banks and encourage good performance by bankers on behalf of the tax payer.” Asked whether politicians have been towing a populist, media line on bankers’ bonuses, Littlewood said “politicians are good at displacing the blame onto bankers rather than the UK’s ridiculous regulatory structure.” Banks have been “slow to defend themselves and could have done more” in the face of criticism. In some ways, this is to be expected – serious bankers are not politicians when it comes to publicity and
RBS chief Stephen Hester has admitted to hating the limelight he has been cast into by the bonus saga. Rather than castigating bankers, many of whom have moved on or changed their ways since the 2008 crisis, the government and media ought to take a more moderated stance on the issue of bonuses. At the end of last month in a pre-Budget warning the Chancellor George Osborne stated, “The British Government has run out of money because all the money was spent in the good years… The money and the investment and the jobs need to come from the private sector.” It would therefore make sense to build up rather than break down relationships with banks, other private
financial institutions and their employees, especially as they provide the loans to small and medium sized businesses which are the backbone of the UK’s economy. Under the current tax system, income up to £150,000 is taxed at 40 per cent and over £150,000 at 50 per cent. This means the Government pockets £485,000 of each £1m cash bonus, leaving the banker with £515,000 to re-invest in the UK economy, so long as they haven’t been scared off to Switzerland or other more hospitable markets. Bankers’ bonuses are a source of revenue and investment that the Government and media should think carefully about discouraging. Photo: Getty
Stephen Hester, the CEO of RBS, who gave up his bonus of nearly £1m earlier this year
International Women’s Day: Raising the profile Perdi Harris, discusses the significance of the day and what it represents in 2012
“WOMEN’S issues are men’s issues”: This was the leading point made by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, in his speech on International Women’s Day last Thursday and it encapsulates the cause of feminism today. IWD may be a celebration of the successes and achievements of women to date, but it does not represent a desire to wage war against the male sex, far from it in fact. There is still a lot of work to be done in the fight against inequality and in this the entire global community can play a part. The origins of IWD are firmly rooted in the Socialist movement of the 1900s, as early as 1908, when 15,000 women took to the streets of New York to fight for their rights. The idea for an official day where women could push for their rights was proposed by Clara Zetkin at the 1910 International Conference of Working Women and, on 19 March 1911, the first International Women’s Day was celebrated in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. The struggles for gender equality throughout the twentieth century represented a strong Feminist voice, but the kinds of fights IWD supports today can be supported by men and women alike. Mr Clegg drew on two examples: firstly, that the concern over flexible working hours is an issue shared by
both mother and father, citing himself as an example. Secondly, he stressed that everyone needs to take responsibility for the issue of violence against women, explaining that it should be something that men care about just as much as women.
“Given the status of women in Britain today, it is puzzling that IWD seems to have a much quieter voice in Britain”
Some may argue that highlighting gender difference and praising female success in fact widens the gender gap and takes us further away from equality, but the fights and feats of women such as Marie Curie, Amelia Earhart, Emmeline Pankhurst, and many others undeniably deserve recognition. It not only shows their incredible skills as individuals, but represents an acceptance of women into male dominated spheres that were, for such a long time, denied them. To commemorate these women is not in any way a negation of the achievements of men, but a celebration of a society which allows both sexes to succeed. Given the status of women in Brit-
ain today, it is puzzling that IWD, a recognised holiday in over 20 countries and actively celebrated in many more, seems to have a much quieter voice in Britain. People in many other nations give flowers or small gifts to the women in their lives much in the same way that we do on Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day. Having spent last year in Italy where mimosa flowers are thrust at you all day long, I was made far more aware that this year the only nod to this yellow flower I saw was in the google doodle designed to commemorate IWD 2012. This lack of festive paraphernalia in itself is not a problem, but it’s the ritual of celebration that raises awareness of the day and its causes, and it’s this that seems to be lacking in Britain. Do we think that adopting this traditional flower giving would distract or undermine the serious issues women are campaigning against? Home Office statistics show that 22.2 per cent of MPs are women (source: Parliament website, March 2011). When we know that there is still a significant pay gap between the sexes and that women are underrepresented in politics, surely a ritual like this would spur more interest in understanding what the day is about? In speeches at the IWD 2012 Downing Street reception last week,
the coalition leaders expressed their plans to clamp down on violence against women. In Britain, a woman is raped every nine minutes. Two women a week are killed by a partner or former partner in England and Wales. When we are faced with these shocking statistics, why are we not doing more to promote a day dedicated to
the acknowledgment, discussion and counteraction of this appalling situation? More people celebrating would mean more people asking what IWD is all about and supporting its causes and this is exactly why more needs to be done to raise the profile of International Women’s Day in Britain.
19 march 2012 Exeposé
Is conservative America waging a war against women?
Birth control is an important battleground, argues Sophie Parker
RUSH LIMBAUGH, the controversial American radio talk show host, has once again polluted the airwaves with his toxic opinions when he branded a third year law student “a prostitute” and “a slut”. Georgetown University student, Sandra Fluke, appeared before Congress arguing in favour for private insurance companies to cover the cost of contraception services. Fluke estimated that it would cost an individual student $1,000 over the course of an academic year, and hence, many lower-income students were having to go without contraceptives, risking both unwanted pregnancy and further health implications. The hearing came after Fluke had been refused permission to speak before an earlier, Republican-chaired committee looking at contraception and religious freedom. Despite being the only female witness, the chairman, Darrell Issa refused her permission to speak, claiming she was “not appropriately qualified” to discuss the subject. She
had been hoping to speak about a classmate who had lost an ovary. This was as a result of her health insurance denying her contraception, which could have prevented her illness developing to that stage. To Limbaugh though, Fluke was just promoting casual sex. “Can you imagine if you were her parents how proud...you would be?” he said, “Your daughter ... testifies she’s having so much sex she can’t afford her own birth control pills and she wants President Obama to provide them, or the Pope.” Despite accusing her of asking the state or the Roman Catholic Church to pay for her contraceptives, Limbaugh, the man who earns $54 million a year, was determined to ‘get something for his money.’ “If we are going to pay for your contraceptives and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch.” Such opinions failed to shock the Republican presidential frontrunners, with Mitt Romney saying mildly: “It is not the language I would have used,” while Newt Gringrich (whose wife has stated she was “giving up opinions for lent”) blamed the media for exaggerating the story. These Republican views represent everything which stands against American females in their fight for equality. Currently, in Virginia, a woman must
Photo: Getty Images
now have an ultrasound before she is allowed an abortion, whereas in Utah, politicians have passed a law which bans any sex education that mentions homosexuality, and will only advocate abstinence. Any mention of sex before marriage or contraceptives and the class is considered illegal and removed from the curriculum. Even the Girl Scouts have been caught up in the argument, with Indiana Legislator, Bob Morris, accusing them of being “feminists, lesbians or communists.”
“She’s having so much sex she can’t afford her own birth control pills and she wants President Obama to provide them” Rush Limbaugh
This sad state of affairs is so evident that Fox News, the cable channel which reaches 102 million American homes, thinks it is appropriate to personally attack Fluke, calling her “a harlot,” and a “democratic plant.” She has also been called a “FemiNazi” by various media outlets; a term originally used by Limbaugh, meaning an extreme or militant feminist.
Sandra Fluke testifying before a House committee on contraception.
Fortunately, her institution has celebrated her courage, defying the actions of the media, stating that “she has been rewarded with the basest sort of namecalling and vilification, words that aim only to belittle and intimidate,” when trying to advocate her beliefs and raise awareness about an important issue which calls for widespread concern. President Barack Obama has even offered Fluke his support. With International Woman’s Day following just eight days after the original outburst by Limbaugh, we are invited to see just how far we have to go in or-
der to gain gender equality. Several stories from around the world have raised awareness of the imbedded sexism that still exists within multiple cultures. A year ago, the SlutWalk marches were born, after a Toronto police officer advised that, to prevent rape, “women should avoid dressing like sluts,” while our own Justice Minister, Ken Clarke, tried to defend his comments when he suggested that some rapes were “serious” while others were not. It is no longer a case for the feminists alone, it is a case of standing up for your beliefs.
Nick Clegg: It’s just one bloody thing after another
As the cracks begin to show, Alasdair Wood asks whether the LibDems really are ‘all in this together’? Photo: The Mirror
Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, at last week’s Liberal Democrat Conference
WHEN former MP Lembit Öpik recently published a book calling for Nick Clegg to step down as party leader for the sake of the Liberal Democrats, it was easy to dismiss his idea as a shallow publicity stunt. Öpik, of course, is always willing to do anything to get a bit of the media spotlight, from appearing in “I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here” to having a go at stand-up comedy (unsurprisingly with little success). However, Nick Clegg’s leadership of the party is increasingly seen as going in a direction against the will of the party’s grass roots and his leadership will only be increasingly brought into question. The defeat for Nick Clegg at the
LibDem Spring Conference over the government’s NHS reforms is serious. It showed a great level of frustration with the party leadership. One delegate speaking on the motion said: “Last year, Nick talked about not doing the easy thing, but doing the right thing and withdrawing this bill, is definitely not easy, but it is definitely the right thing to do.” Clegg’s change in tone last year was, of course, following disastrous local elections, which led him to suggest he would fight harder for LibDem policy in government, particularly in regards to the NHS reform bill, but for many activists, it doesn’t seem to be enough.
It’s important to point out that LibDem members take it very seriously that it is their conference that decides what party policy is. In continuing to push for the NHS reforms, Nick Clegg is essentially pushing a policy that his party has rejected. One delegate warned online: “Note to Nick Clegg. If you defy Conference on the NHS Bill there are those of us willing to get the signatures from 50 local parties to trigger a leadership contest.” This is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to internal dissatisfaction. A survey of members by the website “libdem voice” reported half of respondents (out of 500) were dissatisfied with Nick Clegg’s performance over the NHS. Apart from local elections in May, which will inevitably be as much of a struggle for the LibDems as they were last year, Clegg faces many more personal challenges. The Conservatives are pushing for the abolition of the 50p tax rate, whilst the LibDems are left fighting for an alternative tax on the wealthy, be it a mansion tax or a socalled “tycoon tax,” which Nick Clegg announced at party conference to the dismay of colleagues, including Vince Cable, who commented that he was yet to see the details of the policy. A failure to find an appropriate alternative if the 50p tax is abolished would utterly destroy the early principle of the coalition that “we’re all in this together.” This cringe-worthy delusion hasn’t
been used in the rhetoric of government recently, but as austerity hits the poorest hardest, a tax break for the rich would be a devastating blow for what is left of the LibDem’s progressive image. The LibDems have long been advocating a rise in the level at which you start paying income tax, in an effort to help the poorest, but the Institute of Fiscal Studies have stated these changes will benefit wealthy families the most. Hope of getting this change will provide little respite from the rhetoric that cuts are hitting the poorest and most vulnerable hardest.
“If you defy Conference on the NHS Bill there are those of us willing to get the signatures from 50 local parties to trigger a leadership contest” LibDem delegate
Aside from this, Nick Clegg’s main task as deputy Prime Minister was to reform our political system. His battle for this, however, has been a bitter one, with a disastrous defeat for AV, whilst having to concede boundary changes that are likely to significantly endanger
LibDem incumbents. But he has one hope left for political reform. It’s the House of Lords, an undemocratic institution, which will do all it can to oppose any such change. Failure here would leave Clegg with little positive legacy. Even those within the party who support Nick Clegg and the efforts of the coalition may start to see a need for him to serve as a sacrificial lamb for the sake of the party. The party needs to be detoxified and re-energised before the next general election and many will question whether Clegg is best placed to do this. Öpik suggests that Clegg should stay on as deputy Prime Minister until the general election, with a new Liberal Democrat party leader being elected. Such a move is constitutional and is often done in European nations used to coalition politics. Guido Westerwelle, for example, remained German Foreign Minister, whilst resigning as leader of the Free Democrats, as they plummeted in the opinion polls. A new leader may help rebrand the LibDems; responsibility for government must be accepted, but a different leader would be able to advocate a different leadership style and a different way of doing coalition politics. There lies one major challenge for Liberal Democrats in facing up to a leadership challenge. Who wants to admit to taking this suggestion seriously, when it was first made by the clown of the party, Lembit Öpik?
Exeposé WEEK TWENTY TWO
The changing nature of Russian politics
Josh Hughes, in Siberia, Russia, looks at the recent elections, the accusations, and the signs of change
THE beauty of an election is not what is proposed by those contesting, but the fact that it reveals exactly how the power structures of a country operate. The state, the parties, the media, the NGOs and the influential individuals all do their best to inform, misinform, or be downright biased and manipulative. The Russian Presidential election on 4 March was no different from any other election, in that it revealed an interesting and ever-changing power relationship. The traditional power structure of Russia has been top-down; the media, the politicians and rich individuals should be subservient to The Kremlin, in order to protect the internal security of the country. The creation of a democratic state in the form of the Russian Federation has tested this traditional relationship.
“Not only is Moscow geographically thousands of miles away from many voters, but so is the relevance of the politicians” In the 1990s, many viewed the Oligarchs as too powerful and Vladimir Putin centralised power back to Moscow once more. However this relationship is being tested again, this time challenged by a population that wants to be listened to, rather than instructed. Trying to change the political structure, culture and solve the corruption problem of a country as large and diverse as Russia is difficult and it would be naïve to view the election as a failed exercise in democracy. The difference now is that the Russian people are fed up with the arrogant, centralised, state-
centric form of governance; not only is Moscow geographically thousands of miles away from many voters, but so is the relevance of the politicians. When Vladimir Putin recently visited the town in which I currently live in Siberia, he visited a school and a science park, and then left. There was no crowd greeting or public speeches. In fact the day’s plan remained a state secret, in spite of this being an election campaign, and nobody really cared about it. The media has, by and large played its part of being a servant to the state. Overly critical newspapers have either been bought up or closed down. Television channels until recently have applied self-censorship in the fear that saying too much will risk a government reprisal, such as a comedy sketch impersonation of the outgoing President Medvedev dancing at a university reunion in 2011, which was removed by Channel One in spite of Medvedev having no problems with it. This meant that when Putin announced he was standing for president in October, discussions about democracy and the future of Russia in general moved to the internet. Internet in Russia is almost censorship free and because of this the younger generation will often search for news and opinion on the internet, rather than by print or television. You can find many satirical posters of Putin and of the elections on the Russian social networking site Vkontakte, and many critical blogs on Livejournal, including that of Alexey Navalny, whose influence the BBC vastly over exaggerates. Candidates therefore viewed the internet as a serious medium for the first time. One opposition candidate in particular, the oligarch Mikhail Prokhorov, who ran as an independent, focused largely on attracting young voters by running adverts on popular sites like Yandex and Facebook. The state television networks responded by organising a televised Presidential candidate debate. However Putin smartly claimed he was too busy to participate, which diminished the status of the debate to who would be the best challenger to Putin. The internet was also used to help monitor the legitimacy of the election process. The Russian government set up webcams in every polling station,
International Profile Name: Josh Hughes How did you come to spend time in Siberia? As with every other Year Abroad Student in the Foreign Languages Centre, we were given relative freedom to study where we wanted. I decided that I wanted to study in Siberia as it’s a bit more out there and there would be fewer English speakers. I live just outside Novosibirsk, Russia’s third largest city.
which were all viewable on one website. This helped eradicate elements of electoral fraud, including ballot box stuffing, but corruption manifested itself in different ways. Although difficult to prove, many blogs and Western news organisations made reference to voters being bussed together, travelling large distances and then filling out absentee vote forms in polling stations. Although efforts to prevent corruption should be praised, it is difficult to believe in an election process where 90 per cent or more of the voters in certain republics voted for Putin. In the disputed region of Chechnya for example, 611,578 people voted for Putin and 616 people voted for the other four candidates combined. In spite of continuing structural problems in trying to change the political culture and remove elements of corruption, this election has opened up the media of Russia and brought even the most untouchable of politicians down to a level of scrutiny. Putin managed to secure 63.3 per cent of the votes and as such his victory is beyond doubt. But crucially this election has created the conditions under which opposition parties can hold Putin to account and challenge his Party of United Russia in the next set of elections.
Photos from top: Ivan Sekretarev/AP; REUTERS/Sergel Karpukhin; Ilya Naymushin/REUTERS
From top: Vladimir Putin after his election is announced; supporters of Putin; a ballot box being taken into a remote village in Siberia
What’s been most different about living in Russia compared to the UK? Not the weather, surprisingly, you just adapt to it. -30C becomes normal. The distances are huge. A city 10 hours away is considered close. Is there a feeling of optimism amongst the community you’re living in? There’s no great sense of optimism for the future, but people seem happy living day-to-day without interruption.
What is the level of interest in Politics where you are? Is it different to the UK? Generally people are very interested in politics but apathetic about change, much like the UK. Internal politics is contested but many people would agree about NATO being the main foreign threat.
unbearable and I wouldn’t be able to go outside. You can quite easily. Snow is always cleared the next morning. I also thought that I wouldn’t be able to buy many Western products here. I can buy West Country cider (for a very expensive price) in my local supermarket. And I don’t live in a wooden hut.
What sort of stereotypes/preconceptions did you have about living in Russia before you moved there? Were they disproved? I thought the weather would be
Would you like to return to Siberia in the future? I would happily return here, but I don’t think I could live here. One Siberian winter is enough!
Zoe Dickens & Cyan Turan - firstname.lastname@example.org
19 MARCH 2012 Exeposé
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Careers: Who cares?
Rosie Lewis on why having a long-term career plan isn’t everything WHENEVER I hear or read the word ‘careers’, there comes a subtle sense of dread that has been niggling me ever more vigorously since secondary school. Clearly I am not one of those people who knew since the age of six they wanted to be a doctor, and I feel confident enough to assume that most of you reading this aren’t either. It’s a cruel fact, because, since a young age, we have been prodded and shoved into trying to figure out
tion – what else would we be doing it for? The thing that strikes me as most unnatural is about making such huge decisions at such an early point in life is that it’s unrealistic. Four years ago, I was convinced that I wanted to be an architect, and today I find myself in Exeter doing a Languages degree. I love it, but that’s of absolutely marginal importance when considering how I’m going to live after Student Finance England inevitably ditch me in the gutter, with my share of our generations’ insurmountable debt to amuse myself with.
what it is that we want to do with our lives, even though it is virtually impossible to make a firm choice that will withstand the fickleness that growing up inflicts. At the time this early decisionmaking seems like a logical step, because we are all investing gargantuan amounts of our time and money in our own educa-
In such times of crippling self-doubt, I sometimes turn to the words of the delightfully subversive Albert Einstein (since he is one of my favourite people in the history of the universe), who soothes my qualms with his wise, and possibly over-optimistic perspective. He says that “a happy man is too satisfied with the present to dwell too much on the future.” I like those words a lot. For one thing, they are clearly valuable words because they come from a man who overturned ancient notions of space, time and the Universe. And for another thing, those words mean that next time I have a careers interview, I must solemnly refuse the meeting in the interest of my spiritual and psychological well-being, and may guiltlessly stay in bed. Thank you Albert, you lovely man Einstein himself hardly took what you may call a conventional path to success, having written some of his most important papers while working a 40-hour week in a patent office, after attaining extremely low grades at university (astonishingly). There is an overwhelming number of people whom society considers successful who are where they are because
of the decidedly un-planned path they took through life. Even Steve Jobs, who before his untimely death achieved legendary status in modern society, not only dropped out of university, but also attributed his own success to the opportunities that arose from doing so. I recently read an article about an Australian nurse, Bonnie Ware, who recorded the deathbed epiphanies of many of her patients and compiled them to form her book, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying. What was interesting about most of these regrets is that they were quite unexpected. None involved swimming with dolphins or having more sex. Very poignantly, ranking at numbers one and two of the top five regrets were ‘I wish I hadn’t worked so hard’, and ‘I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me’. I’m sure these regrets strike a very resonant note of recognition in most of us. They are the doubts that we ourselves sometimes have about the paths we are taking. Despite what we are led to believe by a majority of the living, the dying can show us that a fulfilled life does not necessarily involve ‘success’ in your career. Following closely after the first two, regret number four was ‘I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends’, which drops heavy hints at what could be more important than working hard for a living. Our connection with other people is far more valuable than desperately striving for our own success but it becomes very easy to
Relax, take it easy
Callum McLean suggests you take a break from exam stress with Relax Week AS the shadow of exams begins to loom over the student body nationally, so does an opportunity to help combat the effects of exam-related stress, and for Exeter’s nightline service, Voice, to raise awareness of student health at such an important time. This week (starting Monday 19 March) is Relax Week: seven days of activities organised by Voice “aimed at encouraging students to consider their mental and physical wellbeing in the run up to revision and exams,” in the words of Polly Netto, Voice’s publicity officer. A Guild-endorsed initiative, the week attempts to tackle an unmistakably, and to some extent universally, crucial issue for student health and welfare at this time of
the year: stress. Figures from last year’s Studentbeans.com survey highlighted the impact of exam stress on student health; while it might not surprise anyone that 48 per cent of students “get very stressed or worried whilst studying for their exams”, a more worrying 61 per cent cite lack of sleep or insomnia as a symptom of exam stress, 51 per cent headaches and migraines and an unexpected 19 per cent anxiety attacks. Stress is clearly an extra-psychical, physical problem, and with 8 per cent of students resorting to medication to tackle such anxiety, it seems clear that a pro-active, remedial approach to stress relief – and particularly one that doesn’t involve prescription drugs – would be welcomed
by most of the student body. Rebecca Hunt, PR Officer at Nightline Association identifies the simplest way of coping with stress as “keeping to your usual sleeping and eating routines,” to keep the mind “alert and ready for revision,” but also stresses the importance of taking “advantage of support services offered by universities if you feel that your stress levels are affecting your health.” Our own service, Voice, aims at achieving this precisely through Relax Week. As well as providing revision skills workshops (the first is in Queens D at 3pm on Monday 19 March), the Nightline service have co-operated with other societies to promote and hold various stress-relieving activities. Amongst others, they have
teamed up with Bodysoc to publicise pilates and yoga sessions, Artsoc for an outdoor art workshop and Meditation Society to host guest speaker Caroline Jones, a specialist in student stress. The week marks then, a chance to involve students in inter-societal activities, a welcome response to a national student issue and a deserved platform to promote Voice as the conscientious support service it continues to prove itself to be. More information and a schedule of the week’s activities can be found on flyers handed out by Voice-employed ‘118 men’ throughout campus.
Photo: Josh Irwandi
lose sight of this. This exploration of the nature of success seems to be leading me to the verdict that it is not something you can plan. Whether or not you will achieve success also very much depends on what you think success is. A pursuit of your own curiosity, passion and enjoyment will, if it doesn’t lead to you being the president of the UN or a pioneer of a generation, at least bring you satisfaction and happiness. And whichever of those outcomes you choose to see as ‘successful’ is really up to you.
Exeposé week TWENTY TWO
Trials & Tribulations of a Fresher Sexual encounters
This fortnight, Jonny Buck gives you the lowdown on the various s-extra curricular activities available to students WITHOUT a shadow of a doubt, girls have been my biggest ‘tribulation’ since my arrival in Exeter. This week, I’m going to attempt to discuss the various types of relationships I’ve ‘experienced’ (witnessed) during my brief sojourn through University. The types of relationship I’ve seen spring up range from the very ‘Unay’ one night stand, to the least ‘Unayish’; the full on exclusive relationship. I’ve been advised to write about my experiences for each of these columns, however for this one I can’t exactly draw on a wealth of personal experience, and therefore many of the points here have been given to me by my good looking friends who actually know where the gym is. This is some scientific stuff right here. The one night stand is without doubt the strangest social convention I can think of. Think about it for a minute; you may have known your partner for less than two hours, communicated in a club where apparantly “Jonny” can be mistaken for “Donald” (I was too scared to correct her…), and your introduction to each other coming from simply bumping into one another during some tacky Flo Rida song and hoping that you won’t get slapped. If you did that in the street on a Tuesday afternoon you’d be looking at sexual harassment, but apparently as soon as the questionable DJ in Arena bangs out some S Club 7 the hormones start flying and it becomes socially acceptable. Crazy. Another thing I consider extremely strange about the
one night stand is that there are just so many things that can go wrong. For instance; they may steal your sheet, you may lie about having a 9am seminar in Peter Chalk only to realise it’s a Saturday morning, they may leave your room but forget something and have to come back in at 5am looking for it, you may forget protection and have to jog two miles to the nearest Shell garage, they may steal your t-shirt (you know who you are) or they may necessitate changing your entire bed, including the mattress. Therefore, although you may see this informal sexual event as a good, trouble-free idea with no pesky emotions involved, the best advice I have heard throughout all my research is ‘choose wisely’. The next relationship is a step-up from the one-night stand, without the effort of trying to find someone. It also comes without those troublesome emotions that we’re not allowed to have at ‘Unay’. This situation is one that can only be achieved by these people that are Gods among us mere mortals, or maybe perhaps people that are just really good at sex, but the no strings attached situation is undoubtedly one dreamed about by boys and girls alike. However, what I have constantly pondered is how does this come about? Does one say to the other: “Lets have regular sex, but I don’t want to talk to you in the day, and I don’t want to see you unless I’m drunk?” I’m by no means an expert on seduction but I can’t see that many people going for that. I’m told that this ‘relationship’ does of-
ten end in heartbreak however, the strain of regular sex taking its toll on many an emotion. Society would have it that it is the females that seek a more secure, exclusive relationship at first, however I’ve seen enough teary faces outside Timepiece to know that this simply is not the case. Therefore again, although this is seemingly the perfect situation for the ‘Unay’ student, I have been informed that one must proceed with caution, and try to choose the most emotionally unavailable person you can find. The final relationship the veritable smorgasbord of university sexual encounters has to offer you is the fully exclusive relationship. This one isn’t particularly funny, and I don’t really want to write about it, but I suppose I have to. Okay, we get it, you’ve found the love of your life and you want absolutely everyone to know about; but honestly PDA in my stats seminar really is just unnecessary. You will probably get a bit of abuse for this relationship, telling you that you’re not embracing the liberal, careless and emotionally vacuous experience that is university; but in reality most people are just jealous. Again however, I’ve been informed by a very reliable source that this one is also very difficult to maintain, and may not be worth the stress. What can we draw from this ‘scientific’ research? Well, my conclusion is just not to have any sort of relationship at all, ever, which is good considering I’ve been doing that all along.
Your problems solved Aunty Laura and Uncle Harry are here to help
“Dear Lifestyle, I have issues with money and I don’t really know what to do. Not only do I not have any, but my friends in halls all seem to have loads. Now that it’s getting towards the end of term, I’m really broke but they don’t seem to be struggling at all. I never know whether to act like I can keep up with them or save the money and miss out. I’m worried that they’ll think differently of me if they find out that I’m not as well off as them. Even worse, I’m living with a group of them next year and all of them are having their rent paid by their parents. Please help, I want to sort this out before I get out of my depth. From, Frugal Fresher”
WOULDN’T it be great if there was a money tree growing for every student in Exeter? In reality, if these are true friends they shouldn’t care how large or how little your bank balance is. It would be a good idea to be honest with them. You already sound concerned about your spending but need to realise that if you keep acting like you can keep up, before long your financial situation could spiral out of control. Also, you may not be the only one feeling like this in your friendship group. Suggest things to do that cost pennies rather than pounds. Instead of going out for a meal why not stay in and cook a meal together? Have you thought of taking up a part time job? This could help boost your weekly budget. Your friends might have things a little easier but remember that you are all students and saving money is always a positive. Who knows, it could even be a fun challenge to find fun things to do for free!
NO matter what anyone may try to tell you, money is an important issue for every student, regardless of how much they have (or don’t have). You’ll find that regardless of how well off they may appear to be, the chances are they’re all just as keen to save a bit of money here and there – these are tough times we live in, after all! Exeter is a great place for doing things on the cheap – most restaurants have weekly deals, and every club has at least one night a week with reduced price entry and cheap drinks. Try to steer your friends towards these options; you don’t need to pour your heart out about your financial situation, as if they’re happy enough to live with you, they’re bound to be happy enough to compromise. Don’t worry about them thinking less of you, either; it’s a common misconception that those with more money think badly of those with less, especially in this situation – they are your friends after all!
Campus Style Spotter: Pastels OUR roving photographer and style aficionado, George Connor, brings you the best style on campus!
“FOLLOWING on from last week’s issue, StyleSpotter has been out in force looking for the newest, the best and soon to be the most pervasive of all trends this summer; the pastel. Like Fairisle was to Autumn/Winter 2011, soon you shan’t be able to walk through campus without looking at 20 pairs of bedecked pastel pins, louche boys in peppermint chinos and artfully draped peach cardigans. So what else could we do but try to help you navigate through the biggest trend of the year. Alyssa demonstrates a really easy way to update other pieces of your wardrobe with a cardigan paired over an older dress or top, it keeps your style fresh without needing to substitute your basics. Lauren’s plum leggings are another Left-right: Lucy, Lauren, Alyssa
really easy way to explore the trend without stepping too far out of your comfort zone – these kind of staples will soon be available in every shade under the sun for next to nothing from all of your favourite shops (read: Primark). Lucy on the other hand is really channeling the trend – her mixture of strawberry-and-cream tones with a denim jacket is one of the best summery looks to pull off while it’s still a bit nippy for pink jean shorts. Complimenting the tones of her top, jeans and scarf make for an almost perfect example of how to pull this off with minimal effort. So StyleSpotters, go and stock up now and get ready for a pastel-hued Summer.”
19 MARCH 2012 Exeposé
When James met Caitlin
This fortnight, Lifestyle sent James Crouch and Caitlin Synnott off on a blind date. Did sparks fly? Read on to find out. If you’d like Lifestyle to send you on a blind date, email email@example.com
James on Caitlin BEFORE the date what were you hoping for? Not really sure. Meeting someone new is always nice, and I was pretty sure I was going to have a fun night regardless, although I was worried when I was told I was meeting up with a Fresher. First impressions? She seemed really confident and talkative, which is great, and definitely rescued the situation when the place I suggested we go to was closed! What did you talk about? We talked about a lot of stuff! Home, wines, friends, previous relationships, and even famous people we’re vaguely connected to. Any awkward moments? When I was silly and said John O’Reilly instead of Baba O’Riley, but I’m sure The Who will forgive me, even if she doesn’t. Best thing about her? She was really open and made me feel comfortable right from the beginning, and she had a great laugh! Worst thing about her? I spilt Berrylicious on my trousers because she made me laugh... so actually, not really her fault at all to be honest. Did you go anywhere after? Rococos! Believe it or not, and considering she won free Cava, it was definitely a good choice. Would you like her to meet your
friends? Sure. I think in Rococo’s she did actually meet two, but yes, I would. Did you kiss? Later on, yes... Marks out of ten (and reasons). 10. I had a great night with a great new person, who could possibly complain?
Caitlin on James BEFORE the date what were you hoping for? I was hoping to meet a boy whose only mission in life wasn’t to master the act of sharking girls on his nights out… And also that hopefully he would buy me the first drink. First impressions? He was quite the gentleman from the very start – a species quite hard to come across these days. Oh, and I also instantly noted his converse shoes, which get a thumbs up from me! What did you talk about? Oh you know, the whole usual beginning conversations about university, our degrees, friends, the boring things… but things got REALLY interesting when James told me Mark Wright from TOWIE went to his school and that he lives where the show is set! But then again, he got equally as excited when I told him I went to the same school as Caggie from MIC. Any awkward moments? There was one (which I won’t say for
risk of embarrassing James), but I swiftly sorted it out. Best thing about him? James’ laugh (when I cracked a witty joke of course), it put a smile on my face. There was never a dull moment, the jokes and stories he told me made me laugh, and I’m a sucker for a guy who shares my sense of humour. Worst thing about him? I felt like I had to grill James with questions at the beginning, but that was probably due to my fear of an awkward silence arising. Did you go anywhere after? I only felt it right that a third year revisit his fresher memories in Rococo’s (it did take quite a LOT of persuasion to get him there, but he gave in when I told him I wasn’t going to go to Arena – he was whipped already). He was also there to prep me, as I got myself into a popcorneating contest on the club stage against another male fresher. I somehow won this competition. Would you like him to meet your friends? Seeing as James reluctantly came along to Rococo’s, he’s already met a few of my friends! Did you kiss? I don’t normally kiss and tell… but yes. Marks out of ten (and reasons). 9 – From start to finish, I had such a fun night – something I COMPLETELY wasn’t expecting. I had my first date with a genuine gentleman.
Volunteering: a summer well spent
With summer fast approaching, Jessica Gibson considers the various options on offer WITH a long summer holiday ahead for most of us, are you starting to think about how to spend it? Does going back to work or staying at home with the parents not sound like the best of options? Well if this is the case, it
sounds like some summer travelling is in order! Whether it’s spending a gap year on an exotic continent or a couple of weeks in nearby Europe, what student doesn’t think about hopping on a plane
and exploring abroad? But the thought of this can prove daunting to some, especially if you are contemplating travelling alone. It can also be costly and not everyone has the time to travel. Plus the pressure is mounting to build up a stellar CV before graduation, so is there really time to do all this and see the world? Well in fact there is a way to kill two birds with one stone. Combining travel with volunteering can be the perfect way to expand your CV and visit some incredible places. There are a wide variety of options out there ranging from community projects in Morocco to working on wildlife reserves in Africa. The place to start your search is online and finding a placement that links to your future career path can impress prospective employers. Keep
your eyes peeled around University as well and watch your emails as Exeter University is fantastic at offering and advertising volunteering programmes, and if you have missed out on one that caught your eye this year be sure to get involved next year. Some of the volunteer abroad programmes can also prove costly so if you’ve got the spare cash then there’s no problem. But for those of us without the leftover loan there are volunteer programmes closer to home and one to look out for is festival volunteering. You can be employed to work at events like Glastonbury and for the small price of directing traffic or selling tickets you not only get paid for your services but get a free pass to the festival to use on your time off! So if you were looking to earn a few more
quid over the summer, schemes like this are ideal and once again are easy to apply for online. And something to remember (although it may seem obvious to you well educated travellers) is wherever you go this summer or whatever you do make sure it’s safe! Check that any agency you volunteer through is legitimate and if you’re brave and fancy travelling alone check who you’ll be staying with. Will the other volunteers be the same age as you? Is someone meeting you at the airport? But all considerations aside, if you go travelling you’ll be sure to have an unforgettable experience, meet people you would never normally meet and have something unique to put on your CV too! So why not give it a go?
Exeposé week TWENTY TWO
In a special feature, two writers speak about the effects of living with hidden health issues Henry White, Editor, dicusses the everyday pitfalls of living with a sufferer of Coeliac Disease BEFORE coming to University, I’d never met a sufferer of coeliac disease (colloquially known as a coeliac). I’d never even heard of the condition: an auto-immune disorder in which your body reacts to gluten and attacks the small intestine, resulting in vomiting, recurrent stomach pain, infertility and malnutrition. Records show the disease being recognised as early as the second century but it is often confused with intolerance, an allergy, or simple fussiness. Coeliac disease now affects roughly 1 in 100 people in the UK, with many going undiagnosed, and the only known treatment is to avoid gluten. For life. Having spent the last three years living with someone with the condition, I know how difficult this genetic illness can be and how significantly it changes your lifestyle. Gluten permeates our food chain in an unimaginably wide range of products. It is found in wheat, barley and rye, with some coeliacs also sensitive to oats, and these form the ba-
sis of almost every product fit for human consumption. Obvious foods include bread, cereals and pasta, but gluten is also found in beer, certain brands of cola, many crisps, an array of sauces and most types of flour. In fact, once I began shopping for gluten free produce, I was shocked at just how often it occurs in the listed ingredients. Misreading a label also has dire consequences, as I once found out after using some cheap cola in a drink, which effectively acted like a poison.
“As a challenge I tried to live gluten free for a week. I failed. On day two”
The problem only intensifies when you go out. First, restaurants are an issue, with gluten free menus/listed items required; one memorable incident at an Indian restaurant in Exeter went as follows: “Do you have anything that’s glu-
ten free?” “Gluten free? No. Nothing in India is free.” Ignorance is a big issue. Despite it being common to provide vegetarian options, catering for coeliacs is far more niche, and many chefs and staff simply don’t know the condition. One waiter, when asked if a dish contained gluten, replied with: “It has flour in it, is that OK?” As a challenge, I tried to live glutenfree for a week. I failed. On day two. The choice of gluten free food is so minimal, often not as nice in flavour and expensive, it’s almost impossible to live this way. The 14th - 20th May is Coeliac Awareness Week this year, and they are running another gluten free challenge. I failed when I tried, but coeliacs have to do this everyday, for their whole life. It’s something many of us simply don’t even consider. So next time you swig that beer, bite your burger, or even heat yesterday’s shepherds’ pie, think about the ingredients, it’s probably not gluten free.
Oh Exeter… is wonderful
Cyan Turan, Lifestyle Editor, celebrates a city that’s on the up
WHENEVER I tell people that Exeter is Devon’s county town (which is not often, but bear with me for anecdote’s sake), they guffaw with the kind of puffed-up, sniggering superiority most often seen in residents of London, Manchester, or maybe even Bristol. “That’s some accolade,” they say, “must be a really happening city!” After recovering from many minutes of side-splitting laughter, I usually respond along the lines of “Ha Ha, yes, Devon is fairly sleepy, but Exeter actually has quite a lot going for it.” Their faces look dubious. Does yours? Then read on. John Lewis is opening on the muchbeleaguered Sidwell Street in December. Exeter’s City Centre Manager (no, I didn’t believe there was such a job before I met him either) is on Twitter. Hell, you can now choose to give your hairdressing custom to either Toni and Guy or Saks. In short, this is a city on the up; make no mistake, Exeter has its finger firmly on the pulse. Gone are the days when lunch in Exeter’s city centre meant a ham and egg roll or the highway. These days, the Real Food Store on Paris Street is supplying residents with fresh, local and organic
produce and even the occasional olive. Boston Tea Party might be something of a student loan-buster but it’s still doing a roaring trade in homemade burgers and the best coffee this side of France. And it’s not just foodies and haircare fanatics who are benefitting from Exeter’s booming retail scene. The city is bucking the national trend for doomand-gloom statistics on the fashion front too. Urban Outfitters, arbiters of all things cool and edgy, opened their latest store in Exeter in November. On its opening night, the store gave its customers bottles of Red Stripe to drink as they were browsing the clothes, much to the open-mouthed horror of Exeter’s many traditionalists. The Christmas lights were switched on and every shop on the High Street was open until 9pm. Exeter had never looked so alive. Those rascals at Urban Outfitters even commissioned a mural by VHILS, one of the world’s coolest street artists, much to the dismay of Exeter’s luddite population. The mural (known to many as the big face that stares at you as you walk down the High Street) replaced a large mural which featured Sir
Thomas Bodley, Nicholas Hilliard and Princess Henrietta Anne. Thankfully, the civilians that lament the loss of the previous adornment don’t seem to have discovered that it has been sawn up and refashioned into Urban Outfitter’s changing room doors. Edgy indeed. Lorna Ruby is a lesser-known independent boutique next door to the Real Food Store on Paris Street. Stocking relatively unknown Danish and Scandinavian brands with impeccable fashion credentials, their vote of confidence in Exeter is a real boost for the city. It just goes to show that it’s not just big brands who are putting their faith into Exeter’s shoppers and students. All this optimism is in no small part down to us students spending our hard earned cash (see: low-interest loan) in the city’s shops, making the high street a magnet for brands that are young and current (and perhaps just a tiny bit middle class). We’ll know we’ve truly made it when Prêt a Manger moves into Princesshay and House of Fraser gets a MAC concession. In the meantime, let’s hear it for the bright lights of Devon’s county town.
An Anonymous Student speaks about dealing with Anxiety Disorder IT’S a little bit like the pink polka dot jumper at the back of my wardrobe; only a select few people know about it. And the people who do know about it don’t understand how bad it really is.
“It’ll hit me like a wave and I’ll panic and want to go home” I know now that I have suffered from anxiety since I was in primary school, but had no idea what it was then, and was still oblivious until two summers ago when one day I simply couldn’t stop bursting into tears and shaking. I couldn’t bear to be sat in a room on my own, so Mum shipped me off to the good old GP who told me it was clear to him what the problem was and it was actually quite common. Anxiety disorder affects 1 in 6 young people in the UK at some point in their lives, so it’s more than likely that you interact with someone that has it but have no idea. Every person has a different experience of it, but basically it’s a feeling of unease, of worry. I get it when I least expect it, all of a sudden there will be about a thousand butterflies in my stomach and I will usually end up crying, for what seems like no reason.
Some people know what causes it and some people, like me, don’t. It’ll hit me like a wave, and suddenly I’ll panic and need to be on my own. The best thing to do is the opposite, to immerse myself in loud conversations, to get my mind off it. I’ll want to go home, somewhere safe and with someone that I know can look after me, to escape from the situation where the anxiety attack began. If you do know someone with anxiety, the most important thing is to be aware of it and know how to help them. Don’t let them be alone; it’ll only take longer for the anxiety to go away.
“Anxiety disorder affects 1 in 6 young people in the UK at some point in their lives” If you read this and think, that sounds a bit like me, then do something. Go to the GP, they’ll run you through all the options, whether it’s medication, counselling or just pointers on how to help yourself get through an attack. Now I know what I have, it makes it so much easier to deal with. And it’s not at all strange. I still like to think that I’m pretty normal.
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19 March 2012 Exeposé
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Upcoming 19/03 - Move On Up: EUJO and Soul Choir, Exeter Phoenix
Born to be Wild Beasts
Andy Smith, Music Editor, grills Wild Beasts on Mercury, progress and sex
20/03 - Los Campesinos, Exeter Phoenix 22/03 - Yashin, Cavern Featured Event: Dot to Dot Festival Friday 02/06 Bristol Tickets: £20 BOOK TICKETS NOW!
Dot to Dot is a unique festival experience; a one day event spanning across Bristol in a range of venues. It showcases a diverse range of acts and artists, from lesser known but soon to be huge, to the more established musical talents. The first wave of announced acts has already been released. Headliners include The Drums, Pulled Apart By Horses, Willy Mason, Dog is Dead, Summer Camp and Lucy Rose. Many more acts are still to be announced. Dot to Dot offers great value for money and an opportunity to see some of the most exciting acts on the music scene at the moment. Not an event to miss!
WILD BEASTS: a name you may not be familiar with. But you can be sure that their music is penetrating the popular scene, as they become more prolific and known across the UK. Their most recent musical offering Smother has been met with mixed reviews after 2009’s Two Dancers was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize, but the band feel that the nomination did have some effect on their fame: “It’s not like we were nobodies, but we were struggling to get ourselves heard. The Mercury kind of puts you on a pedestal, it puts you in with people who are immediately regarded as your contemporaries… and when you have Paul Weller and Foals, people that size regarded as your contemporaries, that is when you’ve progressed as a band.” While it is obvious the band feel that the Mercury nomination had an effect on their presence and reputation as part of the UK scene, they appear to be certain that their music and how they work hasn’t been affected: “As great a thing as it’s been, it’s nothing more than a vindication of what you do and a sign that people enjoy what you’re doing,” they go on to say, “we’re all pretty
strong-willed people and I don’t think anything exterior, other than something we want to be influenced by, would influence us.” The band, with regards to their creative process, appear unfazed by the nomination, saying that they “don’t think the Mercury Music Prize would do that to any band.”
“We’ve learnt from our last album, but we want to turn the screw a little bit more next time”
The indie rock quartet are playing at the Exeter Phoenix Centre, a return to the venue after two years, in the second leg of a comprehensive UK tour which followed the release of Smother. They played the first half of the tour in late 2011 and set off on the road again in February 2012. They wanted to take a break as “touring gets pretty hard on the body and the soul, and having a break puts you in a different kind of place.” This brief hiatus would allow them time to recuperate and really perform to their fullest on the second leg of the tour.
This return to Exeter is welcomed by fans, the band recognizing that the small city “doesn’t get to see that many touring bands” and the idea of the 2012 tour dates was to address this, and bring their music to everyone who wanted to hear it, no matter where they live. The most recent album has been questioned by some critics over it’s often overtly sexual lyrics, with song titles such as ‘End Come Too Soon,’ and words penned which are obvious references to past, or perhaps desired, sexual conquests. Wild Beasts see this as a liberating aspect of their music, saying “people are not terribly open about sexuality; we’re afraid of admitting things.” Sex is an obvious subject to make music about, the Beasts frankly saying “you don’t need to go to anyone else to find out about it, you can explore it yourself and just talk about it.” It is true that while modern chart pop music is dominated by sexual allusions, few musicians will actually make such crude references to it as Wild Beasts, and it is somewhat refreshing to have a frank and straightforward lust underscoring the band’s music. Having been recording for six years,
releasing three albums during that time, you would think that the band would have evolved their sound and musical outlook with time. However, the passage of time since 2006 has had little effect on Wild Beasts’s style, and their desire to stay true to their roots really shines through: “When you create something, it feels like you’re changing lots, but in retrospect, I don’t think it’s changed. We added synths, but we didn’t aim to actually change tact in what we were playing.” However, there is a hint of progression, with the comment “We’ve learnt from our last album, it’s kept us secure, but we want to turn the screw a little bit more next time.” This foreshadowing of change for Wild Beasts may lead to the creation of an even more exciting musical creature, as with greater experimentation Wild Beasts could create something unique, exciting and even more involving than their current offerings. I would say that while still unknown to many, with one Mercury nomination behind them, and a hunger for new and extended boundaries ahead, Wild Beasts are one band on an upward spiral. And if you still haven’t heard of them, you soon will.
Exeposé week twenty two
Ellen and her Escapades in folk
Izzy Capel-Timms chats to front woman Ellen, from the folk pop quintet Ellen and the Escapades
WITHIN one year of forming and norecord deal to secure them, Ellen and the Escapades hit the 2010 festival scene strongly and came out to do it all again in 2011, this time playing at Reading and Leeds, Glastonbury (where they won Best Emerging Talent) and many other festivals. So, due to this and the fact that I had somehow missed them twice over the summer, I was pretty keen to go along to last Monday’s performance at The Phoenix and speak with them over a drink after what seemed like a particularly tedious soundcheck.
“Ellen’s dusky resonance is more akin to Norah Jones than Laura Marling”
I was, however, a bit sceptical, having put the whole alt-folk thing somewhat behind me thanks to my disillusionment with Frank Turner’s last album. Various reviews have pigeon-holed Ellen and the Escapades into the same bracket as the likes of Mumford and Sons, and Ellen herself even described their sound
as “a cross between folk pop and rock”. Though from listening to them live, their all round style draws much more from country music than pseudo-folk, and Ellen’s dusky resonance is more akin to Norah Jones than Laura Marling. The chilled-out performance itself warranted hay bales in the background and a good old barn dance. The fact that one of her greatest influences is Ryan Adams really shows through, and their cover of “The Band” at the end of the gig demonstrated a respect for country and folk roots. Support sets from Ella Janes, Gary Stewart and The Laura Dugmore Band further echoed the absence of pretension in the style and lyrics, acting to provide a perfect complement and to enthuse the audience for the arrival of Ellen and the Escapades. Playing to a packed-out tent at Green Man (which they told me was quite daunting so early on) and many other large festivals around the country guaranteed them a pretty dedicated crowd of followers online. More than a month before the release of their debut album and on the first day of their tour, the band got a ‘bon voyage’ they could never have
expected. Exceeding their target on the fan-fundraising PledgeMusic.com in only eight days allowed them to send off hundreds of copies of ‘All The Crooked Scenes’ to their Pledgers, undoubtedly a catalyst for what they feel has been their best tour yet. Produced in their hometown of Leeds between festivals, Ellen told me they’d “never been truly happy about anything we’ve recorded in the past, but it sounds so much better than anything we’ve ever done before”.
“We’ve never been truly happy about anything we’ve recorded before”
With a snowballing success, the still unsigned quintet will be performing their bittersweet and melodious songs at a few of this year’s festivals, including Cropredy and Secret Garden Party, with hopes to be asked along to Green Man for a second time. ‘All the Crooked Scenes’ is released 16 April
LIVE REview SBTRKT Maida Vale Studios London 12 March LAST week I had the incredibly surreal experience of winning tickets to be part of a live audience for BBC Radio 6 Music’s live sessions held in Maida Vale to celebrate their 10th birthday on air. The host, Radio DJ Lauren Laverne, throughout last week, presented a series of live sessions with other artists including Paul Weller, Del La Soul, Spiritualized and Orbital, all of which can now be watched on iPlayer (go watch them). I’m fairly sure the last thing I won was a very unmemorable box of Ferrero Rocher in
a raffle, so as a huge SBTRKT fan, and the eponomously titled debut album being for me the stand out record of 2011, I was more than prepared to crawl onto a coach at 4.35am for this event. Feeling like an intrepid electro nerd travelling to the historic Maida Vale studios, it was set to be a completely new and unique live experience. As expected, it was far more intimate than your average gig, with their equipment set up mere feet away from where we were standing.
“He proves himself to be a true master of the digital sound”
SBTRKT succeeds in creating a richly diverse sound, primarily electro
but powerfully infused with a constant hip hop flow, dubstep beats and oozing soulful funk. This is greatly aided by his main collaborator and vocalist Sampha, who embodies electronic soul with his stunning and spine tingling voice that lifts the electric pulsations of SBTRKT’S intricately designed sound system to a whole new dimension. The live set-up involves SBTRKT and Sampha moving deftly around a labyrinth of wires and digital equipment, which even includes an iPad. It’s extraordinary to watch the speed at which SBTRKT moves, demonstrating with great art what must be a very well coordinated procedure. From the main hub of his maze, he is controlling an intricately detailed sequence of drums, synths, and rhythms, all of which
is coded and looped live. Building and rebuilding beautifully layered tracks in the moment, he proves himself to be a true master of the digital sound. SBTRKT’S originality and skill comes from his ability to merge electronically produced sounds with more raw elements such as live percussion and a string quartet brought in especially for the occasion, which sets him apart from most other ‘laptop DJs.’ This was clear in their exceptional performance of ‘Hold On’, whilst setting up a bass line, looping a pattern of synths and triggering samples using a mixing desk he simultaneously manages to play the acoustic drums whilst Sampha thrashes out on a cow bell, plays the keyboards and triggers vocal loops whilst sing-
ing. They work effortlessly together as a tribal, mask-wearing dream team. The effect produced is an incredible, goosebump-inducing richness, demonstrating the exciting progression of bass culture. The tracks ‘Trials of the Past’ and ‘Never Never’ featured the sublime sounds of the string quartet which elevated his production to a gorgeous combination of echoing, hazy synths and the majestic quality of the classical strings. SBTRKT demonstrated what would happen if scifi composed classical music. It was uplifting, beautiful and outer worldly; definitely an unforgettable experience. AMY WELLER MUSIC EDITOR
19 MARCH 2012
Live reviews Maverick Sabre & Ms Dynamite Anson Rooms Bristol 8 March
SFX came on half way to give a beat box backing to ‘Boo!’, the garage anthem that catapulted Ms Dynamite to underground fame over a decade ago, but again it lacked the explosive oomph that was needed to get the crowd moving.
LET’S face it, Bristol University’s SU isn’t going to be the darkest or the grimiest of venues that Ms Dynamite has played at. Nor is Maverick Sabre, who she was supporting, renowned for producing the underground dance shakers that form the backdrop to her distinctive MC style. Their incompatible aesthetics led to not only the slightly surreal experience of being surrounded by bewildered looking motherly types whilst listening to the hard hitting ‘Fire’ (produced by the dubstep trio Magnetic Man), but also watching, in her own words, the “original bad girl pon the radar” in what felt like an old school gym - with equally nullified acoustics to boot. Ms Dynamite seemed to understand this schism, disappointingly feeling the need to pepper her set with trashy “brostep” and David Guetta-esque house in order to get the crowd going, which seemed unnecessary considering their roar of approval as she walked on triumphantly to ‘Dy-naMi-Tee’. As energetic and confident as Dynamite was, her songs felt flat. Faith
“Sabre’s croons were almost breathtakingly sublime, rife with immaculate signifiers and effortless in their articulate turns and trills”
Band of Skulls Phoenix Centre Exeter 4 March
‘Sweet Sour’ and ‘Lies’ was arguably a result of unfamiliarity with the material rather than a dislike of it. Five songs in though and the trio had captured every heart in the room – and it was a new song that won them over.
WHEN Band of Skulls’ long-awaited second album finally saw light of day last month, critics unanimously dismissed Sweet Sour as a solid record but one lacking in originality. But a ticket to the band’s sold-out show at Exeter’s Phoenix may have forced many of them to eat their words. Granted, it was the songs from Band of Skulls’ debut that won the greatest reaction in the early part of the set with the new songs leaving little more than a polite expectation among the crowd. But given that the new album is barely a month old, the somewhat reserved reception that greeted such otherwise triumphant numbers as
himself more conspicuous by absence than were any of Sabre’s seemingly rushed almost-hits. If the Bristol student crowd were unfazed by the spoon-fed chart-pandering vibes of Ms Dynamite’s opening set, they nevertheless seemed to become comfortably aware of the insufficiency of the meagre scattering of singles whose presumable Absolute
radio play had drawn them there. True, Sabre’s croons were almost breathtakingly sublime, rife with the immaculate gesticulative signifiers of the genre and effortless in their articulate turns and trills. As was Sabre’s downto-earth charming presence (face like a plump Wayne Rooney squeezed between your thumb and forefinger), but it wasn’t enough. Though the fre-
netic hooks of ‘Let Me Go’ were met with grateful enthusiasm, it came too late after a near hour of indistinct vanilla-soul, the following encore only reinforcing the banality of a talent stretched too thin.
only when standing five feet in front of a fully cranked amplifier do you get a sense of what the band can actually do. A wry grin from frontman Russell Marsden suggests that he knows as well as I that Band of Skulls have just become everyone’s new favourite band. Nowhere are Marsden and Emma Richardson’s trademark soaring harmonies and penchant for bombastic, overblown grandiosity more established than in ‘Cold Fame’, which sees a now enraptured audience join wholeheartedly in an emotionally charged sing-along at the song’s climax. A lack of pretentious stage-antics and flashy showmanship allows these songs to truly speak for themselves, but the band’s choice of venue is nonetheless surprising because despite a somewhat refrained stage-presence, a performance like this wouldn’t seem out of place at Wembley. ‘Death by Diamonds and Pearls’ though is the song that the people had really come for; neighbours may well have thought that a small bomb had gone off inside the building. After the impromptu mosh-pits die down enough to give the scattering of frightened middle-agers time to recover, a welldeserved encore of ‘Devil Takes Care of His Own’ and ‘Impossible’ brings the set to a glorious close. The Southampton blues-rockers take a graceful bow and depart victorious, safe in the knowledge that their moment in the spotlight is only just beginning.
Ben Howard O2 Academy Bristol 29 February
band, with his bassist impressively doubling up and playing drums at the same time on many of the tracks. This was seen throughout the set, with many members of the band switching between instruments, often during songs. This gave the performance a real feeling of being thrown together, organic and exciting, giving the whole evening a real feeling of enjoyment, from the audience and the performers in equal measure. Singles ‘Old Pine’ and ‘Keep Your Head Up’ were as great as expected, and really got the crowd excited, singing along to the anthemic choruses and singing in falsetto unison to the intro of ‘Old Pine’ creating a truly magical atmosphere. However, the true diamonds in this performance were the lesser-known songs, and the more acoustic tracks, which really gave Howard the opportunity to demonstrate his haunting and moving vocals, reducing the audience to silence at times. While this was a considerably large venue for a mainly acoustic act, this did not serve to hamper the performance too much, the sound managing to fill the venue and touch every person in it. Continually thanking the audience, to rapturous applause, Ben Howard appeared humbled in praise, and finished the set with a blinding encore of ‘The Fear’, which saw him and his band really let loose and perform with their hearts, not just their instruments. Ben Howard is an outstanding live performer, and this was one gig which I will remember for a long, long time.
CALLUM MCLEAN & ANTHONY PRODROMOU
If frigid feet were the result of Ms Dynamite’s opening set, Maverick Sabre’s eventual emergence proved to be a thin blanket. Brassless, but by no means classless, Sabre’s cohort straddled the stage and the hall’s acoustics comfortably, flawless in their emulation of that all-too familiar post-Ronson sound. However, the sassy backing singer and funky drummer were not exactly comparable to the late Amy Winehouse’s jazz-stepping DapKings, neither did Sabre himself proffer an energetic enough brand of popsoul-rap to match such peers as his old flatmate, Plan B. In fact it was that grimy wordsmith turned old-school soul singer who managed to make
“An enraptured audience join wholeheartedly in an emotionally charged sing-along” It’s only in a setting like this that a song as spectacular as ‘Bruises’ really comes to life; it suddenly becomes very obvious that Band of Skulls is a band you need to see live to fully appreciate. On the album, attractive melodies and an easy, confident swagger made ‘Bruises’ an immediate stand-out but
AS we entered a packed out O2 Academy, there was the buzz of excitement in the air with a hoard of folk-seeking punters, a healthy mixture of young and old, here to see the most exciting acoustic artist on the scene today: Ben Howard. With support offered from the wonderfully chilled-out Daughter, the evening started out with their subtle melodies and swooning harmonies entrancing the audience, but at no point losing the excitement for the main act. Daughter were perhaps the perfect opener for Ben Howard, at all times appearing humbled by performing at such a large, and full, venue.
“Haunting and moving vocals reduced the audience to silence”
After a long wait, Ben Howard and his band graced the stage, and began their set with a charming mixture of awe and thankfulness for the audience, this being one of the largest venues they have played. Starting with non-album track ‘Depth Over Distance’, Ben and his band immediately captured the audience with their lo-fi and enchanting sound. The set carried on with great momentum, many of Ben’s songs truly coming alive with the backing of a full
ANDY SMITH MUSIC EDITOR
Exeposé week TWENTY TWO
album REVIEWS Shallow Bed Dry The River
HAVING followed Dry The Riverʼs musical assent since seeing them play as Johnny Flynnʼs support act at a Thekla gig two years ago, it is easy to see these young indie-folk mogulsʼ arch of success, which at its current point sees the release of their debut album Shallow Bed. The bandʼs sound is one which takes the, once again, popular modern folk sound, a la Mumford and Sons etc, and then brings it to a much darker
Wrecking Ball Bruce Springsteen
THE boss returns with Wrecking Ball, a folk-rock masterpiece where every foot-stomp and kick-drum reveals Springsteen’s fingers firmly on the pulse of contemporary American society. His most diverse album to date, Wrecking Ball is an amalgamation of Springsteen’s forays into various musical fields, from the bluesy-folk of 2006’s The Seeger Sessions, his experiments with electronic drum-loops in the 1990s, to his appearance with a gospel choir at Obama’s inauguration. Particularly evident is the influence of Springsteen’s guest appearance on the
Old Ideas Leonard Cohen
Panic Caravan Palace
place. The harsh electric tones of Matt Taylorʼs guitar work in stark contrast against the often careful and fragile acoustic pickings of Pete Liddle and Will Harveyʼs violin melodies. This means after beginning gently, rich with tune and harmonies, many of the songs are taken to a higher level of emotion, with an internal conﬂict of feeling which results in an addictive musical arrangement, and a real emphasis on what the music is trying to make the listener feel. Liddle, fronting the band with his falsetto vocals, sings in a soft register, delivering to the listener lyrics ripe with religious imagery and metaphors, which serve to compliment the music perfectly. While the lyrics are often cryptic, this doesn’t feel at all isolating, as the listener is carried away with the overall sound of the album, the tracks ﬂowing easily from one to another, and always bringing an interesting sound. Stand out tracks include ʻNew Ceremonyʼ and ʻNo Restʼ - the lead single from the record. These tracks manage to carefully balance insightful
lyrics and catchy hooks which donʼt get boring, and are the perfect showcase of this bandʼs sound. While encompassing a fantastic sound overall, there are points on the album, such as at the end of ʻLionʼs Den,ʼ where the music becomes overpowering, the band repeating a single riff, building upon it constantly. While this could have provided more of a platform for experimenting with dynamics, instead we have everything cranked up to full, and it feels like a slight aural assault. However, this moment does not detract too heavily from the record, and I instead ﬁnd myself being constantly surprised and moved by Shallow Bed. For such a new, young band to come up with something like this is promising, and if their extensive touring schedule is anything to go by, they wonʼt stop until theyʼve got what they came for.
Dropkick Murphys’ ‘Peg o’ My Heart’, as ‘Shackled and Drawn’ and ‘Death to My Hometown’ mix the classic E Street Band sound with the Murphys’ brand of Celtic-rock. While deceptively simple, the lyrics never become lost in the musical landscape. Springsteen has crafted the songs in the tradition of Woody Guthrie, allowing their message to take precedence while encouraging the listener to sing along and sing loud.
ful-yet-defiant ‘Jack of All Trades’ the speaker threatens to “find the bastards and shoot them on sight.” However, in the classic mould of ‘Born in the USA’ Springsteen places these statements within largely uplifting, defiant tunes; especially in the case of ‘Land of Hope and Dreams’. The song (first performed in 1999) will be familiar to fans from its previous live release, but is reinvigorated by the new arrangement. It is also poignant, featuring the final saxophone solo by the dearly departed Clarence Clemons, Springsteen’s long-time band-mate and friend who passed away last year. However, the album’s unsung hero is producer Ron Aniello. Adding various samples, effects and collaborators (‘This Depression’ features a guitar solo by Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello), Aniello has provided the tools with which Springsteen has created his most textured and detailed panorama of American society since 2002’s The Rising. A mesmerizing achievement that belies Springsteen’s age and demands repeated hearings.
“Deceptively simple, the lyrics never become lost in the musical landscape”
Although most of the tracks were penned prior to the Occupy movement, the album is startlingly relevant, reflecting on working class life in a way only Springsteen can. He has stated that this is his ‘angriest’ album to date (no small feat considering the fury of Darkness on the Edge of Town), with those on Wall Street the primary target. In ‘Death to My Hometown’ he refers to the “greedy thieves who came around / and ate the flesh of everything they found / whose crimes have gone unpunished now,” while in the mournAFTER his massive tour of 213 sets (prompted by his now ex-manager running off with his retirement fund), the now 77-year-old Leonard Cohen found himself so inspired by his recent endeavours that the songs flowed out of him once more. Heading straight back to the studio he recorded Old Ideas within a record breaking (for Cohen) 12 months, with already more songs for another album. The opening track ‘Going Home’ was stunning, starting up with hymnal perfection it reminds one that there are people who truly write beautiful songs. In his heyday, Leonard Cohen was in a se-
ANDY SMITH MUSIC EDITOR
CHRIS DAVIES lect group of musicians (including Dylan and Lennon) who gave songs which were poetry delivered with music. This was no doubt helped by Cohen being an award winning novelist and poet before he ever entered a recording studio. Having listened to his latest, I can tell you that he has not only kept, but enriched his talents. The lyrics throughout the album are strong, and some of them (such as “We find ourselves on different sides of a line nobody drew, though it only be one in the higher eye, down here where we live it is two” in ‘Different Sides’ and “tell me again when the filth of the butcher is washed in the blood of
CARAVAN PALACE are a big name in the world of electro-swing but have slipped under the radar of more mainstream music, and what a travesty this is. The French band formed in 2005 and released their debut, self-titled album in 2008. However, they are back, bigger and better, with a new album, entitled Panic. If you haven’t come across the band before, Caravan Palace are a crazy and eclectic fusion of swing, jazz and funk with a good helping of electro. They play with the past and present, mixing nostalgia with modern sounds and the new
Evolve Or Be Extinct Wiley
THERE’S something almost pathological about Wiley’s current rate of production. Evolve or Be Extinct is the third album he has released in the space of eight months; spread over two discs, it contains in total twenty two tracks. As well as the importance of a prolific output, which Wiley reaffirms throughout, the album’s other principal concern is his own longevity as an artist. This, in one sense, is the continued existence to which the title refers. He puts it thus in the title track, which is also the standout: “My life’s running out, we can’t live forever; however, my music can live forever.” the lamb” in ‘Amen’) are simply sublime. It’s almost impossible to accurately convey poetry through a few select lines (you try and make someone who hasn’t come across Keats want to read ‘To Autumn,’ armed with only a couplet). But I had to try. His voice has changed over the years, gaining a gravellier timbre, but this compliments his style better than before. It is true that this can grow tiresome, and at some points it does grate slightly like in ‘Anyhow.’ However, this seems to have been pre-empted and Cohen has recruited some angelic backing vocalists of high prestige who contrast his grizzled tone
album is no different. Be prepared for a fast-paced whirlwind of tracks that you can’t help but get your Charleston on to. Within the first few seconds of ‘Queens’, the deliciously decadent twenties scene is set. Big band – check. Sultry vocals – check. The Caravan Palace electro twist – check. It is easy to group together all the tracks but do not dismiss the uniqueness of each one. Whilst ‘12 Juin 3049’ is smooth and sexy, ‘Dramaphone’ dares you to keep up with the fast-moving pace, underscored by an electronic beat. ‘The Dirty Side of the Street’ is a personal favourite from the album which starts out with thumping electronic beat, tricking you into thinking this is a generic modern day electronica track, and then is transformed by a jazzy, upbeat piano part which sneaks in and adds a futuristic swing edge. The popularity of electroswing nights in Exeter is more than enough to show that Caravan Palace have the potential for widespread appeal and are a truly underrated band. Panic is perfect to shake off the turbulent times of essays and revision. Rather than keep calm and carry on, why not Panic, freak out and listen to Caravan Palace. DAISY MEAGER His preoccupation with rushing through as many albums as possible, however, seems not at all conducive to achieving musical immortality. One album that withstands countless listens is infinitely preferable to countless albums that scarcely withstand one; and if Wiley’s music doesn’t last for centuries, as at one point he claims it will, then a lack of care and attention will be ultimately to blame To give it its due, parts of Evolve or Be Extinct comfortably withstand repeated listening; indeed certain songs – the aforementioned title track along with ‘Welcome to Zion’ and ‘Ya Win Some, Ya Lose Some’ – demand it. But even these do not improve over time in the way one hopes; where there are depths to be explored the bottom is reached prematurely, as it were, and always with a sense of disappointment. The rest of the album, meanwhile, is mostly unremarkable. Hip-Hop – and perhaps Grime in particular – has traditionally depended somewhat on a sense of unrefined spontaneity, and often it has made excellent use of it. Even so, there still has to be room for the idea that the first words which come to mind will rarely be the best ones. BILLY WILSON beautifully, bringing light and youth to his battle-weary experience. The healthy variety to this album of lighter tracks like ‘Banjo’, soothing rhythmic tunes of ‘Lullaby’ and energetic bluesy structures of ‘Darkness’ break up the main groove, lifting the listener with the music and vocalists. These additions provide a balanced view of Cohen’s abilities and catapult the record to my favourite of the year and, tentatively, to a five star label. Honestly, make the time to rediscover one of the greats. JOE PLATONOFF
19 MARCH 2012 Exeposé
Tori Brazier & Luke Graham - firstname.lastname@example.org
HELLO, and welcome to our final issue as Screen Editors! On this page, we’ve both written a short Spotlight on an individual, or individuals, behind the camera who really influenced our love of films at a young age: they were ‘our way in’ to cinema , if you like. In film news, Kiefer Sutherland is angry! Production on the hotly-anticipated 24 movie has been halted after rumours of a budget disagreemant between 20th Century Fox, and Sutherland and producer Brian Grazer. Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese, however, are happy, having confirmed plans to work together for a fifth time on The Wolf of Wall Street. Perhaps this already-fruitful relationship will prove as iconic as Scorsese and Robert De Niro’s, spanning 8 films and twenty-two years. An exciting development in the world of Exeter student film now: on Friday, XTV’s first feature-length film, in collaboration with JD productions, Words Not Money, had its premiere at Picturehouse. The heist film will be up online (youtube.com/XtvOnline) soon to watch, so keep a look-out! Finally, we’d both like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has contributed to (and read) the Screen section over the past year: we are hugely appreciative of your support, which has been a big factor in our really enjoyable tenure as Editors. So long...
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Spotlight: Arthur Freed
Spotlight: Joel and Ethan Coen
DURING the long summer of 2004, my mother presented me with something for which I will be forever grateful: a copy of 1952’s classic musical Singin’ in the Rain. Extra features included the documentary “Musicals, Great Musicals” all about Arthur Freed’s legendary production unit at MGM, and I was immediately hooked. Arthur Freed was born Arthur Grossman in Charleston, South Carolina in 1894. Starting off his career playing the piano in Chicago, Freed began writing songs and material for the Marx Brothers (yes, those ones), as well as singing in their vaudeville act. He was then hired by MGM as a lyricist, penning lyrics for many hit songs, including the hugely famous ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ and ‘Good Morning.’ After working as an uncredited associate producer on The Wizard of Oz, Freed was promoted to head of his own unit, with his first solo credit as producer on Babes in Arms, just a few months later in 1939. From then onwards, there was no looking back as Freed continued to produce hit after hit (Meet Me in St. Lou-
WHEN I was about 12, my father, perhaps irresponsibly, let me watch the new 18 rated movie he had discovered about an ageing, washed-out hippy and his Vietnam veteran bowling buddy going on a neo-noir adventure. As The Big Lebowski ended, I was smitten. Not just with the hilarious, yet mature and fascinating film, which is still one of my favourite films of all time, but with the people who created it: the directing/producing/writing brothers, Joel and Ethan Coen. Born in Minnesota, the brothers began making films at a young age and their first feature film was released in 1984. Blood Simple, whilst simple compared to their later films, was still a good movie and contained the themes they have gone back to time and time again: greed, wealth, violence, good against evil, genre deconstruction and heroism in the unlikeliest of places. Since then, the brothers have made 15 films. They have garnered 33 Academy Award nominations and 1996’s Fargo and 2007’s No Country for Old Men won six Oscars combined. So what is the
Tori Brazier, Screen Editor, recalls a musical mastermind
is, Annie Get Your Gun, An American in Paris) and attract talent to his unit such as Vincente Minnelli and Roger Edens (both instrumental in helping shape Judy Garland’s career), as well as nurturing onscreen stars like Gene Kelly, Ann Miller and Frank Sinatra (yes! Check out On the Town). He was also responsible for coaxing another icon of the stage and screen, Fred Astaire, out of retirement in order to save the day and star in Easter Parade after Gene Kelly broke his ankle. With Singin’ in the Rain, the Freed unit reached its creative peak and an outstanding merging of talent on and off screen. Due to its ‘20s setting, Freed also had the chance to feature his own songs from his days as a lyricist. It may not have won any Academy Awards, but Singin’ in the Rain is rightly judged the best movie musical on a regular basis.
Luke Graham, Screen Editor, discusses his favourite filmmakers
Director: Peter Lord and Jeff Newitt Cast: Hugh Grant, Selma Hayek, Jeremy Piven (U) 88mins
The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists is the new wonderful project from the zany geniuses behind Wallace & Gromit and Chicken Run. The story is what it says on the tin: a band of misfit pirates embark on a quest to ensure their Pirate Captain (Grant) wins the famed, coveted Pirate of the Year Award. There are pirates. There is an adventure. And you know what? There are some damn dastardly scientists
thrown in for good measure too. A guilty treat that will appeal to all demographics, it leaves all piratical competitors (I’m looking at you, Depp) at the bottom of Davey Jones’s locker. Exquisitely animated, wonderfully scripted (with its rapid-fire jokes, I imagine it will be a lot of audiences’ Funniest Film of 2012) and a stellar cast ensures this will be another Aardman success. Like the production team’s previous hits, it has its ‘silly’ appeal, whilst retaining that quirky, eccentric Britishness that we all know and love. Whilst Pirates never quite surpasses Wallace & Gromit or Chicken Run, it is more than worthy to stand beside them - and that’s no bad thing, is it?
Films to see before you graduate: Sherlock Jr. (1924)
LAST week, after the revered nostalgia of The Artist had faded from my mind, I decided to look back and see how it compared with the original silent classics. I was immediately drawn to the deadpan physical comedy of Buster Keaton, officially the second most interesting face in cinema, after Ron Perlman [Keaton’s face is glorious - Ed]. His 1924 short film Sherlock Jr. begins on a spiral of misfortune as bad luck denies Keaton’s character, a projectionist, first some money
“The Coens constantly push themselves, always overturning our expectations”
But I think it is something deeper. The Coens constantly push themselves, never staying in one genre, and always overturning our expectations. In addition, their films are set in different parts of America during different eras: exploring American culture and history adds a voice and vitality to their films. They’ve slipped up once or twice: The Ladykillers was unpopular and Burn After Reading proved divisive, but I adore every single film they create.
Preview: The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists
TO win a pair of free tickets to any film at Picturehouse, for our last competition as editors, we want you to send us an email with the subject: Goodbye Luke and Tori! Please email us by Friday 23rd March, and we will pick a winner by lot. Much Screen-y love!
Director: Buster Keaton Cast: Buster Keaton, Ward Crane, Kathryn McGuire (U) 45mins
key to their success? Well, there are the obvious reasons. Their writing is fantastic, they are able to create original, compelling narratives, filled with humour and drama, and inhabited by characters which are, on the one hand exaggerated, yet also incredibly real and human. They are able to bring out the best in their actors, emphasising their strengths (the fact that they collaborate with the same performers in several films is testament to their good relationship with their actors) and their films look and sound amazing, with perfectly chosen locations and songs.
and then the affections of his sweetheart. His villainous rival (Crane) also plays a big part, framing Keaton for the theft of a watch that he committed. The naivety and innocence written across every line of Keaton’s face is truly heart-breaking, but it is after this that the film really takes off.
“Say Mr. Detective, before you clean up any mysteries, clean up this theater!”
Following a simple but hilarious scene where Keaton trails Crane in the clumsy manner of an aspiring detective,
the film launches into a bold fantasy world. Showing that cinema was always fond of meta-narrative, even in its earliest days, Keaton enters the world of the film he is projecting at the cinema. Perhaps best known for the quality of his physical comedy, it is Keaton’s technological innovation that really stands out here. This sequence begins with a series of stunning special effects that seem impossible without modern filming equipment like the green screen. First, a ghostly Keaton leaves his sleeping physical body and then proceeds to jump seamlessly into the action of the film being screened. The plot then ricochets between a series of breath-taking set-pieces that display Kea-
ton’s bravery, ingenuity and wit. Through a mix of athletic precision and special effects he manages to vanish into an open suitcase, dive through a window and disguise himself as a woman in the same movement, and ride for several minutes on the handlebars of an unmanned motorbike. Made over 80 years ago, the most impressive thing about Sherlock Jr. is that the effects are still unnoticeable, unfathomable and inspiring even today. What’s more, it’s much better than The Artist. Forget the pale imitation and watch the glorious original; this is how silent film should be.
I loathe 3D in all its horrible, misjudged, and money grabbing forms but its use in Pirates annoyed me the least: it didn’t give me a headache and was used sparingly and to good effect. Whilst I didn’t see the point, all of the kids in the audience enjoyed its addition. Brian Blessed (who voices the Pirate King with gusto!) spoke at the press screening I attended. I believe his critique of the film is as good as any to really encapsulate what Lord and his team were trying to do: “It’s a feel good film for this bloody dark age we find ourselves in.” In other words, go and see it.
Exeposé week twenty two
“I’ll have what she’s having!” Cyan Turan, Lifestyle Editor, dishes up a portion of MasterChef
THOSE not familiar with the MasterChef phenomenon seem to think that the programme is just another Ready Steady Cook. How wrong they are. There is nothing so simple as a meagre green pepper or red tomato here. There are, however, Heirloom tomatoes and Anaheim chillis- the kind of capsicums that sit well outside the pitifully amateur box. MasterChef’s audience follow the programme with an avid, impassioned pride. They love it with the same pride which scorns Big Brother and The X-Factor, in fact, the only other reality television programme people who watch MasterChef make time for is The Apprentice. This is middle-class televisual snobbery at the highest level.
“There’s a beauty in seeing bouncers and bankers tossing peashoots and pomegranate seeds onto white china”
ing contestants that they’ll have to cook two puddings to be judged by three chefs, Gregg shouts into the camera: “This is a day for heroes,” leaving everyone in the room showered with spit but ready for action. Nuggets of linguistic genius from previous series include: “This is the bland leading the bland”; “You know someone’s serious when they get an icing bag out”; “It’s summery, it’s fruity, I’d stick my face in it”; and “I wouldn’t marry your rhubarb, strawberry and ginger crumble - but I’d take it away for a dirty weekend.” Indeed. That said, my second factor, the range and combinations of ingredients, leaves me wondering whether Gregg is justified. This
But what is it that makes MasterChef such compelling viewing? I would argue that there are three (possibly four) factors. Firstly, the toothy grin and outlandish sayings of presenter Gregg Wallace can’t fail to raise a smile, particularly when accompanied by a growl from his bumptious, po-faced partner John Torode. Gregg’s vicarious habit of describing food not as food, but as an out-of-body experience is arguably one of MasterChef’s most enjoyable features. Tell-
Director: Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod Cast: Robert Pattinson, Christina Ricci, Uma Thurman (15) 102mins BASED on prolific writer Guy de Maupassant’s novel of 1885, Bel Ami charts the rise (in more ways than one) of Georges Duroy (Pattinson), a penniless young soldier, who basically shags his way up into the highest echelons of Parisian society. After a chance encounter with his old commanding officer Forestier (yay, it’s Philip Glenister!) in a sordid club, Georges is invited to a dinner party of movers-and-shakers, where he is engaged by brusque editor Rousset (a lemon-faced Colm Meany) as a columnist for his revolutionary paper. Luckily, Madeline Forestier (Thurman) is on hand to help Georges with his first few articles, as well as with useful introductions to a few, erm, ‘interested’ ladies. Copious amounts of sex ensues. Bel Ami could have been a pretty
respectable film: Pattinson certainly has the acting chops to pull off a leading role, and the cast overall have quite a bit of star power between them. Georges, however, is a bit of a bounder really, ‘ploughing the fields of France’ for nought but his own gain - we never really get a sense of his motivation
isn’t home cooking, and the contestants producing gastro-pub fodder are sent packing early on. This show is for those with Michelin-starred aspirations. There’s a beauty in seeing bouncers and bankers tossing peashoots and pomegranate seeds onto a square piece of pristine white china with all the elegance of a sugarplum fairy. Stick me in Waitrose for a month with an unlimited budget and I still wouldn’t dream up dishes like Andrew’s chocolate, orange and coriander tart with chocolate-hazelnut mousse, pear and fennel ice cream and candied fennel. Factors three and four are the humility of the contestants and the occasional appearance of Michel Roux Jr., pastry impresario and God to whom all men should aspire. These four factors, though there are probably many more, cannot help but keep feasting eyes glued to the screen. I for one will be holding out for next series, waiting for more hilarious puns, charismatic contestants and crazy-butit-works dishes.
(wealth? Political power? Shits ‘n’ gigs?), making the film, and character, two-dimensional and just a bit, well, boring.
“Nothing can save Bel Ami from its own blandness”
Despite Bel Ami revolving around exactly how much action the main character has, the sex in the film isn’t particularly tawdry or graphic - in fact, there is a distinct lack of seediness overall, which, to be honest, is what drags in those period drama fans, myself included. The film does have the usual high standard of historical drama ingredients though, including sumptuous costumes and a decent orchestral theme. Other high points in Bel Ami include Uma Thurman’s breasts (quite literally), good attempts, for once, at British accents from the American cast members, and the inclusion of the wonderful and fearless Kristin Scott Thomas. Sadly, none of these factors does enough to save Bel Ami from its own blandness.
TORI BRAZIER SCREEN EDITOR
Screen The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore Director: William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg Writer: William Joyce
THIS year’s Oscar winner for best animated short film is nothing less than a 15-minute spectacle of brilliance and wonder. It tells the story of Mr. Morris Lessmore, who by fate becomes the curator of a library of extraordinary flying books! Technically, the film is breath-taking. A whole array of animation styles have been spliced together to create the piece. Some fantastic uses of colour and movement captivate the viewer; the score uplifts while also capturing the prevailing mood well. It is, as the title may give away, an unashamed extolling of the virtues of books and literature. However, more importantly, the movie captures a human relationship with books, which is mutually beneficial. On one hand, the anthropomorphic books show a need to be looked after, cared for, even a need for medical
attention. On the other, a human world without books, literature, words and stories, is one seen as dull, drab, colourless and deprived - all of course depicted in the colour of the animation that brings the story alive in all its allegorical glory. In a short time, the film touches on some deep truths. For example, death and renewal are examined, but death after one has written their own story and lived a full life, and so it is gladly received. More broad themes are also touched upon: a great instance is a line Morris writes down: “If life is enjoyed does it have to make sense?”, which in its simplicity just says it all. This little gem of a film will take you to another world where the joys of this one are the focus, and the things we often forget the importance of are left clear in our memory. The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is available now to watch online on YouTube
What I’ve been watching: Les Visiteurs
ALTHOUGH relatively obscure to English audiences, the comedy Les Visiteurs broke the number one French box office record in 1993, and is as such a French cult classic in the same way that Shaun of the Dead was for Brits in 2004. British and American audiences would be more familiar with the remake, Just Visiting, also directed by Jean-Marie Porie and starring Christian Clavier and Jean Reno. The awarding of acclaimed cult status to Les Visiteurs is well-deserved. For those unfamiliar, Les Visiteurs is the story of the 13th century French Count de Montmirail (Reno) and his hapless servant Jacquouille (Clavier), who accidently get transported forward in time to the 20th century whilst attempting to go backwards in time to stop the killing of Montmirail’s fianceé’s father. Whilst doing so, they enlist the aid of their befuddled descendants. The notion of time travelling is familiar to film-goers in such wonders as Back to the Future, Groundhog Day, and The Terminator films. However, Les Visiteurs is uniquely brilliant because of the ridiculously exaggerated, yet somehow also charming and likeable performances of both Reno and
Clavier, and their characters extreme reactions to things that are very mundane to us. This is best expressed in a particularly striking scene, one of many hilarious culture-shock incidents that occur in the film, where they first arrive in the future and find themselves near a road and see a car coming towards them. They proceed to violently attack the car, proclaiming it a “devil’s chariot” and then promptly get arrested by the Gendarmerie.
“The acclaimed cult status of Les Visiteurs is well-deserved”
This type of unabashed and very explicit humour works so well in Les Visiteurs because from the outset, the atmosphere of the film isn’t at all serious, which means it doesn’t suffer from the curse of being a serious film that is unintentionally funny. Watching Les Visiteurs and its sequel Corridors of Time is an enjoyable experience that no one should miss out on, simply for its refreshingly silly ethos and the memorable cast performances.
Screen This Means War Director: McG Cast: Chris Pine, Reese Witherspoon, Tom Hardy (12A) 97mins
THIS MEANS WAR is a classic love story… well, a man-love story between two male best friends. They are as close as brothers: Tuck (Hardy) is a sensible Englishman and Franklin (Pine) is a proper (but very charming) all-American boy. Each have different approaches to dating women, yet both are single.
“A cross between chick flick and spy thriller, this should appeal to everyone”
19 MARCH 2012
men’s honour, they decide to both go after her and let the best man win, but remaining determined that it will not affect their friendship. To further complicate matters, they are FBI agents and use their secret agent abilities to spy on Lauren and wreck the other’s chances. There were some flaws to the movie: the ending was clichéd and parts of the plot seemed a little jumpy. Also, there are troubling matters left untouched: Lauren was never questioned over the morals of dating two guys at same time; the blame was never hers. There is also the slightly creepy undertone to Tuck and Franklin spying on a young woman
and manipulating her life. Despite this, I loved this film and would definitely recommend it. As a cross between chick flick and spy thriller, it should appeal to everyone. It’s incredibly funny (I laughed out loud for a lot of the film) and was a good twist on the traditional love story. The two main characters were played believably and brilliantly, working well together; their back-stories were subtle yet effective, leading you to constantly change your mind on which guy you would choose.
Which actor or director do you feel is underrated?
Dan Orton: Campbell Scott, who will be in the new Spider-man film, is a joy to watch, and was in the equally underrated Roger Dodger.
Jess Leung: Maggie Gyllenhaal is overshadowed by her brother Jake, but her performance in Secretary was stunning.
Zoe Bulaitis: I think that Uma Thurman is underestimated in terms of Hollywood fame and idolisation. She literally is a goddess. Calum Baker: Julianne Moore. Despite the multiple Oscar nominations and the seeming ubiquity, I fear her hair colour has gotten in the way of her deserved star status. Tom Payne: Whoever directed Ri¢hie Ri¢h’s Christmas Wish.
The only thing that could affect this ‘bromance’ would be a woman. The new lady is Lauren (Witherspoon), an attractive, work-orientated girl, who stalked her ex to LA, and has a married, eccentric best friend attempting to get her a man through online dating. Trouble ensues when both men mention the new girl they have met, only to realise it is the same one. Agreeing on gentle-
Director: Andrew Stanton Cast: Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, Mark Strong (12A) 132mins
TV Overview: The Bleak Old Shop of Stuff I WAS initially concerned that The Bleak Old Shop of Stuff would not compare, either with its wonderful radio forerunner Bleak Expectations, or with its own Stephen-Fry-laden Christmas Special, but I needn’t have worried. It proved every bit as enjoyable as its earlier incarnations: delightfully surreal and ingeniously scripted. Its verbal humour is nothing short of perfect, not just the obvious digs at Dickens’ transparent naming habits (“Conceptiva Secret-Past has a secret past!”) but little asides like the “evil drinks” “shorry and brindy”. The casting, too, is spot-on. Tim McInnerny has aged into a gloriously weasley creature, and it is pleasing to watch him playing something beyond Rowan Atkinson’s straight man. Similarly, it is good to see cameos from David Mitchell and The Inbetweeners’ Blake Harrison (playing “Smalcolm,” a cross between Frank Spencer and the Elephant Man.) Even though I think it’s probably the best thing I have
watched in months, Bleak Old Shop has proven tremendously divisive. I’m yet to meet someone who didn’t think it was either a work of genius or unmitigated cringe-fest. In many ways, people’s objections are understandable; Bleak Old Shop takes some adjusting to because it simply isn’t in the usual sitcom format. In
YOU may begin to think you’ve tuned into the wrong show when the opening titles of The Teletubbies appear on screen, but you would be mistaken as this is indeed the way XTV’s newest comedy program Bang + Whimper begins. The show’s format is quite reminiscent of 1980s comedy series Not the Nine O’Clock News, which presented a sequence of sketches satirising current news and political stories. Bang + Whimper deals with big issues such as political correctness gone mad, the matter of metaphorical war poetry and even parodies Louis Theroux’s documentaries. They demonstrate an innovative range of media which push the bounda-
ries of student television and encompass silent movies and news programmes. One brilliant scene uses silent movies in a particularly clever way considering The Artist’s recent acclaim, successfully subverting all expectations when its writer Luke Graham steps out of scene and into sound and a humorous rant. A similar method comes into play during a perhaps controversial parody of shows such as Question Time with nursery rhymes as the debate topics. These particular sketches highlight the way many people within the media are taken out of context, reflective of the recent scandal involving Jeremy Clarkson on The One Show. The episode concludes
fact, its comedy seems almost nostalgic; I would call it Monty Python-esque if that weren’t iconoclastic, but it does strike that Python balance between silliness and intellectualism, and perhaps it is this later point that is causing some ill-will.
“It strikes a balance between silliness and intellectualism”
Admittedly it’s a shameless way out of a critical debate to claim that everyone else is just too thick to get it, but Bleak Old Shop is deeply verbal, and it probably does take a specific, slightly elitist mind to really appreciate a PreRaphilite joke. However, if that is the sort of concerning mind that you possess, then you should definitely check it out. You will not regret it.
XTV Review: Bang + Whimper
with another provocative turn when they suggest that a war poet, bearing a striking resemblance to Wilfred Owen, wrote about a ghastly trip to Grimsby instead of the trenches of WWI. The first episode displays promise and showcases lots of rising talent. Despite a few sound issues that will hopefully be ironed out, Bang + Whimper looks set to get people talking. The show has also been nominated for the National Student Television Awards, so keep a look out for future episodes.
Watch Bang + Whimper on youtube.com/XtvOnline
JOHN CARTER is the most expensive B-movie you’ve already seen. I’m not kidding. The images and story hooks reminded me of Star Wars, Avatar and Stargate, and the movie feels like an oldschool pulp action flick such as Sinbad or Conan. There is an obvious reason for this: the original story collection, Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter of Mars, written 100 years ago, had a massive impact on Sci-Fi and Fantasy, and its influence can be observed through decades of books and films. The problem is that this familiarity leads you to ask what is new or original about the film version of John Carter? Sadly, very little. Set in the late 1800s, John Carter (Kitsch), a veteran of the American Civil War, stumbles into a cave and is transported to the middle of another civil war on Mars, this time between the technologically advanced Redskins, with the tribal Tharks (green, four-armed ten foot tall aliens) stuck in the middle. The change in gravity gives Carter superstrength and agility, and he becomes a valuable war asset. The plot’s not as interesting as it sounds. Oh, it’s exciting to watch: the action is top notch and the film builds to a satisfying climactic battle. I also love the design of the movie: the set, costume and monster de-
Luke Graham: Ben Stiller is a highly underrated director, with Tropic Thunder, Zoolander and The Cable Guy being some of my favourite films of all time. Tori Brazier: Donald O’Connor, the one in Singin’ in the Rain that wasn’t Gene Kelly or female. This man could dance up a wall! I think he was the best dancer to ever appear on screen (and yes, that’s including Kelly and Astaire!) Andy Smith: Shane Meadows. His gritty English realism strikes a chord which many other filmmakers miss.
signs are exquisite (the animation for the Tharks far exceeds the quality set by the Na’vi) and Andrew Stanton (director of Pixar classics Finding Nemo and Wall-E) builds a vibrant, fascinating alien world. Some of the acting is great too: Dominic West and Mark Strong ham it up as the villains, James Purefoy and Bryan Cranston have fun with their cameos, and Willem Defoe puts in a brilliant voice performance as leader of the Tharks. Collins is a revelation as the Princess of Mars. Not only is she the most bad-ass Disney Princess of all time, but she actually has a character: she is driven, has motivations and flaws, and goes through an actual story arc! Plus... she is smoking hot. Sadly, I can’t say the same for Kitsch. He brings no pathos or energy to the role, and Carter is written as a stubborn, selfish idiot, who only starts to care about the conflict when he realizes that Collins is the prettiest girl on Mars. He is inherently unlikeable. If the film had featured more of Collins or the fascinating Tharks, and less of the irritating Carter, I would have loved it. Instead, it is only satisfactory.
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Exeposé week TWENTY TWO
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Let’s talk (and read and write) about sex Sex writing: a risqué topic? Cyan Turan, Lifestyle Editor, undresses the problem WHEN I pitched this article, I referred to the notion of sex writing as being “risqué”. I even, dare I say it, spoke of the genre as “student-friendly”. But after giving it a little more thought, I found that, without realising it, I’d tapped into exactly why sex writing has become so popular. The idea that the genre is risqué, or only appeals to a particularly promiscuous slice of the social pie, is so démodé. The reason why sex writing is everywhere is, frankly, because everybody’s at it. Doing it and reading about it and talking about it. And, what’s more, we are increasingly willing to divulge the “sordid” details.
“Sex is not risqué, everybody’s at it: doing it, reading about it and talking about it”
Dismantling those age-old clichés, the very same ones I’d used in my pitch, is exactly what sex writing is about. Sex is not risqué. Neither is it only gripping reading for “permacoital” students. An act of sexual intercourse precedes every human being, and after eating, drinking, sleeping and
breathing, it’s one of the most primal drives of the body. People have written about sex for centuries, but what makes the recent explosion in sex writing different is that the Internet has allowed “normal” women (and men) to self-publish their personal experiences. The rise and rise of sex blogs, sex memoirs and erotica is partly down to the anonymity that is offered by the web and partly attributable to people’s desire for a form of expression which doesn’t compromise their professional lives. The blogging began with the infamous Belle de Jour (www. belledejour-uk.blogspot.com) in 2005, a cult blog read by women in their thousands. When the writer was revealed to be Dr Brooke Magnanti, a UK-based science researcher, she scored an agent, a publisher and a spinoff TV series, and also spawned hundreds of blogs emulating her style. Catering especially for the student market is the anonymous author of Sex at Oxbridge (www.sexatoxbridge.com), demonstrating that the boom in sex writing filters through every strata of society.
But that’s not to say this surge in popularity is limited to bloggers confessing their most intimate sexual secrets. Downloads of Mills & Boon e-
The diary of a gamer turned reader
Jess Leung, Video Games Editor, re-kindles a passion for reading I USED to be a fan of reading – nothing beat delving into a book before bedtime and then picking up where I left off in the morning. I used to beg my parents to take me to the library and I loved that I could discover a new book every week. “Jessica loves to read,” my parents would tell everyone – I was the girl who always had her head in a book. However, probably since doing my A-Levels and starting my humanitiesbased degree, libraries have become associated with looming deadlines, allnighters and vending machines. Books have become a chore and I find that, after a long day of academic reading, the last thing on my mind is to pick up a good novel before bed (especially when the lure of Arena is so great these days). The only time you would ever find me with my head in a book would be if I fell asleep on one of these aforementioned all-nighters. In fact, I think my reading hobby probably stopped when the last Harry Potter book came out – I just did not find the time to read for pleasure in between frantically cramming Hamlet before my A-Levels. I always tried to get back into the habit of reading – my shelf is full of unread books that I
bought (in the beloved Waterstones 3 for 2 deals – God rest their souls) in an attempt to reignite this hobby. I even bought a Kindle in desperation, though this has been sitting in my room gathering dust for over a year. This was until a miracle happened. I found myself stuck in a train station for three hours armed with only two things: a copy of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and One Day (which I bought at the station on my outward journey.) I decided that reading for my degree whilst
stuck in a somewhat dodgy train station could only lead to my death, so I picked up One Day and started reading. Hours later, I was in floods of tears and on my return journey home. I remembered the joys of finishing a novel and vowed to read more from that moment on. I can only thank the British Public Transport for this! I decided to turn over a new page (yes, I used the pun) and rekindle my passion for reading. I discovered the Modern Library’s Top 100 Novels list and it has now become my goal to work my way through this. I’ve said I would do this for a while now but have not found the motivation to do so. As a result, I decided to start a blog about my literary journey. The fact that my aim is now available for the world to see will hopefully encourage me to complete the list - the alternative is too embarrassing to face! I’m starting with Catch-22, though I would really like people to guide me to the right book after this one! Follow Jess’s blog at jessleung.wordpress.com
books doubled in 2010 and, as reported last week in the Guardian, mainstream publishers such as Random House, Penguin and Simon & Schuster have all inaugurated erotica imprints. Such information points towards a huge penchant for over-sharing that has been welcomed by audiences of every demographic. Far from being limited to bloggers, sex writing is being written and read in every digital format. Devices like laptops, Kindles and iPads, I would argue, are directly linked to the boom in people reading about sex. Digital mediums give individuals the privacy to read what they want, when they want. And when this proflica-
Patti Smith 1969-1976 Judy Linn
Knesebeck Von Dem Gmbh ISBN: 3868733337
Judy Linn’s collection of photos detailing Patti Smith’s life between 1969-1976 is not only a must-read for any fan of the punk legend, but for anyone interested in viewing a snapshot of bohemian New York. Black and white, tender yet gritty, the photos taken at the height of the Chelsea Hotel days encompass what makes Smith an iconic woman today. Taken in the time before Smith and her then-boyfriend and fellow artist Robert Mapplethorpe were famous, Linn’s candid photos capture the behind-the-scenes: Smith, bleary eyed and greasy haired with a morning cigarette, pulling the sheets off her bed in the room she shared with Mapplethorpe, whispering into Sam Shepard’s ear – as the subject herself writes in the accompanying essay ‘From A Film Not Shot’: “[Linn] photographed in series. She shot the spaces in between. In the end, what we got was ourselves.” The posed photos featured are just as interesting. At a time when Smith was still writing for music magazines,
cy coincides with the trend for online publishing, readers are liberated and free to roam amid whichever pasture they please. It’s not surprising, therefore, that sex writing has attracted such a broad readership. Testament to both the writers’ desire to express themselves and readers’ appetite for sex writing is the UK’s first ever sex writing conference, Eroticon 2012, which was held in Bristol on 3 March.
“Digital mediums give readers the freedom to roam amid whichever pleasure they please” Attended by those who pen to those who publish to those who do both, the conference proved a success. And why wouldn’t it be? With a seemingly inexhaustible audience and an equally exponential number of writers, the sex writing industry is one in which supply and demand are equally on the rise. After all, when an industry has its own conference, it can hardly be termed risqué.
collaborating on plays, drawing and becoming involved in the work of many major New York figures of the time, Linn’s photos show her before she was the main star; modelling with Mapplethorpe’s boyfriend David Croland to promote his jewellery. Linn describes the period in her essay, also included in the book: “In the beginning, it wasn’t so much about who we were, but who we wanted to be...an imaginary future.” Like Smith’s beautiful memoir Just Kids, the photos included in this collection, uninterrupted by titles or captions, tell the story of a collection of young artists trying to find their place in ‘70s New York at a time of exciting change and style. Just Kids is the perfect accompaniment, Photographs is a picture-book love letter to the woman and the era. MEGAN FURBOROUGH
19 MARCH 2012
Devon born and bred: late AT the heart of our campus, there’s a literary revolution stirring. The word on every local bookseller’s lips at the moment: Riptide. From humble origins as a project started by Ginny Baily and Sally Flint (the former, interviewed by Exeposé last year), this bi-annual anthology of short stories has now evolved into something perhaps much greater than any of its editors expected. The latest volume, Riptide’s seventh, launched earlier this month amid a flurry of critical acclaim and interest. It’s focus: Devon, here seen as a culturally-productive place. With prominent authors, and one undergraduate, contributing, the edition provides a stunning array of established and new voices. Here, in our last spread as Books Editors, we speak to and hear from those students who have contributed to Riptide’s success.
Rebecca Lodder reports from the launch of the latest volume of Riptide ON Friday 2 March, Riptide Journal celebrated the launch of its latest edition. This is their seventh volume and is entirely Devon themed, featuring stories that range across time and the Devon countryside. The event took place in the newly refurbished Royal Albert Memorial Museum, fittingly surrounded by Devon’s history. The venue seemed even more apt as this volume also contained memoirs, including one by Roland H. Tuson who has lived in Exeter for nearly 80 years. The idea for memoirs came after Riptide founders Ginny Baily and Sally Flint met with Wordsquest Devon, who partly funded the new volume. Sally Flint says that they decided on a Devon theme because they “had an insight into how many writers and readers are inspired by Devon people and the contrasts in its urban, coastal and rural topography.” The launch evening began with a reception where writers and readers could intermingle, meet the editors, and purchase the newest edition, alongside a few of the older editions (which are all available on Riptide’s website). The evening then moved to the ‘courtyard’ area where Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw, who wrote the foreword for this edition, opened the readings. He views Riptide as important for supporting creativity and mentioned that it was a privilege to be involved in this Devon themed volume. Mr Bradshaw concluded that Riptide’s “reputation as a literary journal was going from strength to strength.” Several writers read excerpts including Sue Belfrage, Helen Chaloner, Judy Darley, Anthony Howcroft, Ben Smith and Martin Sorrell. A record number of contributors attended the launch and unfortunately there just was not enough time for all of them to read. Over 150 people from in and around Exeter came to the launch and were also treated to live
music whilst surveying the museum’s many antique artefacts. The atmosphere was an intimate and enjoyable one, with the history of Devon lining every wall. The production of each Riptide volume is a long process and involves months of advertising for submissions and consulting with an editorial board to select the best stories for each volume. The submissions go through an editing process in collaboration with each author, and a series of proofing sessions before they are sent off to the printers. The front cover image is also an important decision, and for this edition, a photo taken by Henry White was chosen (pictured). Sally Flint said it “seemed to reflect the undercurrent in our logo [and tagline] brilliantly!” The editors also credit their small team of undergraduate interns, who volunteer on a weekly basis and were heavily involved in the publicising and marketing of this volume. We were all noticeable at the launch in our black Riptide t-shirts, manning the bar and book stalls. The launch was a huge success. The venue made sure to reflect the history of Devon and Exeter encapsulated within the pages of Riptide 7. The anthology contains stories of individuals affected by their environment and will serve to teach us that we are making our own history each and every day.
Greg Hoare speaks about his experience as the only published undergraduate Riptide writer THE main reason behind my choice to study English at Exeter was the University’s fantastic reputation in the field of creative writing. On top of the illustrious list of alumni writers, I had heard great things about the creative writing modules on offer, as well as the range of societies accepting and providing workshops on both poetry and prose writing. It was during a seminar for one such creative writing module that I was first made aware of Riptide. Sally Flint, one of the co-editors, led the seminar and she referred us to the Journal as a collection of quality short fiction.
“The landscapes are based on my experiences of life in Devon, one of the most aesthetically pleasing counties in England” The thing that struck me about Riptide was the balance between established and amateur writers. Volume 2, the first edition I purchased, includes a story by
Michael Morpurgo alongside equally good stories by writers I was entirely unfamiliar with. At the time my preferred style of writing was shifting from poetry to prose, and the Riptide collections provided the perfect inspiration for me to begin short story writing in earnest. The theme for Volume 7 was ‘Devon’, and having studied at Exeter, and enjoyed holidays in Appledore, I saw the opportunity to produce my first serious short story, for submission to a publication. Riptide were inviting submissions from undergraduates, having never published one before, so during the beginning of the
summer holiday I began writing. I based the plot of my story on a memory of when I was at college, however, the characters were entirely fictional. The landscapes I based on my experiences of country and town life in Devon, one of the most aesthetically pleasing counties in England. Riptide’s catchphrase is ‘short stories with an undercurrent’, and it is this tension between surface and depth that unites the stories in their collections, and ensures that, in spite of their length, they linger in the reader’s imagination. When composing my own stories, and giving feedback on the work of others, it is a
mantra that I always try to adhere to, and it is probably the single greatest piece of writing advice I have learned from my experiences with Riptide. Learning that I was to be published by Riptide gave me a fantastic feeling – one that was outdone only by actually seeing my story in print. The breadth of the themes, literary nous of the co-editors, and the close ties between Riptide and the University of Exeter, make the Journal the perfect target for undergraduates looking to have their work published, and I cannot recommend reading and writing for Riptide highly enough.
Exeposé week twenty TWO
st Riptide makes waves Photo: Henry White
highlight of my time at Riptide was actually the success with the bookshops. Every time we made a sale or found a new shop willing to stock volume 7, I was overwhelmed with a huge feeling of joy. It is so satisfying to know that Riptide is getting out there and people can go into their local shop and buy it. Before this issue, there had only been a small select group of shops stocking Riptide, but now we are branching out and establishing ourselves as a literary journal. I’ve really enjoyed my time at Riptide and would recommend it to anyone interested in creative writing or look for experience in the publishing industry.
Helen Carrington, reviews some of the highlights from Riptide Volume 7 To the Punks of Dawlish
Jon Minter on the reality of life as a volunteer publishing intern I’VE had a fantastic time during my internship at Riptide. I joined up as part of an employability module back in November 2011, and I don’t regret it at all. Riptide has given me a wonderful opportunity to gain some high quality work experience in a convenient location. It’s really flexible too. We are given weekly
tasks to complete in our own time and report back the next week for more tasks. So far I’ve had a wide range of experiences including sending rejection letters, running a book stall, publicising the launch, proof reading and selling to book shops. Because Riptide is such a small, growing publishing firm at the moment, each intern gets to see the whole scope of a publishing company and dabble in all the areas. You aren’t restricted to one department (such as marketing), but can get your hands on all of the aspects of the industry. Of course, the best part is that I’ve never had to make tea for my
supervisors yet. Always a sign of a good internship. From an insider’s point of view, the recent launch at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum was a massive success. We sold a lot of copies and made it an enjoyable time for all. It was also fantastic to hear the authors read. I already knew the stories from my proof reading, but hearing them and seeing the emotion in the author’s face was an extraordinary experience. The building itself provided an amazing atmosphere as well. I can’t wait for the next one! I have to admit, however, that the
The epigraph of David Goodchild’s short story ‘To the Punks of Dawlish’ is a quote from Allen Ginsberg, a poet of the Beat Generation, a poetic movement of the 50s that explored sexuality, drug and alcohol use and urban decay. The quote was perfectly chosen, three simple lines that take your mind to a place of wild hedonism before you begin to read. The story follows a gang of rebellious teenagers in the late 70s as they wait at St Thomas station for a train home to Dawlish the morning after a night of partying, drug use and violence. The writing contains glimpses of familiarity: “I looked up at the flame coloured leaves of a tree under the streetlight in the shopping precinct, dancing in the wind,” but the style is raw and gritty, with punk references to The Clash, The Fall and Colonel Kurtz. The gang have an encounter with a poet on the train, who sees the beauty of their punk hedonism, and tells them: “Your rage is more elegant than the purse-lipped considerations of Cambridge.” The narrator laconically describes the funeral of Evo, one of the gang whose drug habit eventually claims him. His life is devoid of any form of meaning, and even his death is accompanied by the Clash lyrics ‘There ain’t no need for ya/ Go straight to hell boys’. The ending is poignant and regretful, and suitably heart-wrenching. This is definitely not the Exeter I know, but the writing is so hauntingly beautiful, I almost wish it was.
The Grass Oceans Beyond
ANTHONY HOWCROFT expertly plays the emotions of the reader in this sinister short story, unfolding in the enchanted hush of a secluded wood of “moss-covered walls” and “fire-dance of leaves.” The protagonist, a strangely emotionless girl has three encounters in a hidden cave. The three moments, the first of attraction, the second of fear and
the third of violence, are separated by unspecified years. The undercurrent of the story is fear, of the unknown and of the familiar. In the first encounter, the girl runs through the forest, a place so familiar to her that the movement has become a dance. She chases two strange boys, newcomers to the area who invade her cave, and find the fragile snake eggs which belong to her. “The price of this egg is one kiss,” he says. The next scene opens with a twisted game of hide-and seek with the three Rose brothers who are wild, violent and unpredictable. The girl runs, almost alive with a detached fear: “I’ve read enough fairy tales to know you should never look back.” In the final encounter, the snake hatches at last, and the girl responds with a savagery that surprised me. We are prepared from the beginning for her callous coldness; she tells us: “I don’t think I love anyone enough to hurt a tree, although often I wish I did.” The green tint of the story is not the green of natural beauty, but the colour of enchantment and sickness. The tone is delicate, beautiful but haunted, and creates interesting and memorable reading.
IN Sue Belfrage’s short story ‘Home’, the reader is torn between the emotions of the two characters, feeling the doubts and uncertainties of one at a time, as the narrative flits between the suave Ibrahim and the awkward Hannah, two strangers in a strange city. Their brief romance is fragile and strangely devoid of emotion or life. Unlike the other stories in the collection, the setting is unimportant, and is defined by what it is not rather than what it is. The city doesn’t feel real; in fact the reader can imagine that “if she pushes hard enough the scenery will topple and the tall facades give way.” It seems a million miles away from “the dripping leaves and furrowed earth” of “home.” The atmosphere of the story is confusing, a sinister build-up throughout concludes with a romantic Romeo-andJuliet palm touching moment. However, the delicacy and purity of Hannah is beautifully depicted and strongly contrasted with the vivid and solid description of Devon. The story is poignant, and paints a much more positive picture of Devon than many of the others in the collection. Devon is shown to be a refuge, a place where consistency is welcomed and a place of freedom and escape. Where others portray Devon as a prison to escape from, Belfrage’s story is the perfect end to the anthology.
Visit www.riptidejournal.co.uk Tom and Esme would like to thank all our regular readers and writers for their help and support over the past year.
19 march 2012 Exeposé
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Don’t call them American Idiots
Exeposé Arts takes a look across the pond to showcase the diversity the United States offers
ART ATTACK THIS week it’s The Crying Girl by Roy Lichtenstein. We want to know if pop art adds to the emotion of the picture, or does it detract? What do you think about the bold primary colours, is this a fantastical image of grief or an accurate depiction albeit in a cartoon form?
Kelly Robinson: To me the girl does look upset, and is perhaps trying to contain her composure with her slight frown giving her away. The cartoon form, with its boldness and simplicity, strips away everything else from the painting, leaving the emotion bare and strong.
Jess Leung: I love pop art but I think it definitely takes away from the sadness of the girl - in fact I think it mocks her crying self! I don’t see this and feel sad for her, I see this and think WOW bright colours!
Rebecca Lodder: I think pop art manages to convey emotion in the same way that cartoons do. The image subverts the idea of sadness through the use of stark colours and the contrast of the woman’s perfection, despite the fact it is less realistic. It reminds me of the likes of Marilyn Monroe; a sorrow always underlining those with fame and beauty.
Zoe Bulaitis: For me, it’s an idealisation of sorrow. No-one looks that glamorous when they are crying! Henry White: Whoever said she’s sad anyway? She looks pretty pleased to me, like tears of joy. Ella Williams: Pop art is intriguing- the use of primary colours here is stark, it is raw emotion blurred with the surreal cartoon graphics. Lichtenstein creates a playful image which conveys a melancholy tone; for me the use of pop art to express a sad subject makes the girl’s emotion increasingly intense.
Laura Stevens: I feel this art attack is an accurate representation of how Zoe and I feel, therefore it is definitely communicating emotion! Tom Bond: Visually, I love Lichtenstein’s work, but somehow it always feels a bit staged, which I guess is quite a nostalgic quality for a piece of modern art. Tori Brazier: She may be crying, but it’s okay everyone because she matched her lipstick and nails - phew!
“8” The Play @ YouTube 3 March JUST when you think the Internet can’t produce anything more awesome than University Memes and cats in cups, this happens. The marriage equality question in America is bringing people together in more ways than one, and the LA premier of the play “8” - directed by the acclaimed Rob Reiner – sees a fusion of different genres at its most effective. With an all-star cast, including Brad Pitt, George Clooney, and Kevin Bacon, “8” combines art and politics with the all-powerful tool of celebrity influence. After the first successes for marriage equality in Massachusetts in 2004, followed by a plethora of East Coast states following suit and most recently February’s legalisation in Maryland, the political stage in America is set for the debate that continues to gain momentum as the 2012 election draws near. “8” sees a recreation of the case filed by the American Federation for Equal Rights to overturn California’s Proposition 8 prohibiting same-sex marriage, and with the transcripts of the trial now readily available, Dustin Lance Black (Acad-
emy Award winning screenwriter of Milk) combines evidence and testimony from the trial itself, with interviews with the lawyers, plaintiffs and their families in creating work with a more personal slant to such a poignant period in history.
“‘8’ combines art and politics with the powerful tool of celebrity influence”
Yet the play’s key strength are its impressive cast performances: Matthew Morrison shines – proving he can do more than coach Glee clubs - delivering powerful monologues with realistic sincerity that is difficult to achieve without seeming overdone. Brad-Pitt-the-judge is just as fabulous as you’d expect him to be, and Clooney plays attorney Ted Olson with signature charm. There are moments of heartbreaking sadness from Chris Colfer’s testimony, contrasted with hilarious guest appearances from Jane Lynch and George Takei as anti-gay marriageactivist (yes, really) and Martin Sheen channels Bartlet from The West Wing to great effect with his stunning depiction of the plaintiff counsel David Boies. However the true stars of the show are Jamie Lee Curtis and Christine Lahti, whose depiction of their real-life coun-
terparts’ relationship with their sons truly drives home the issue being dealt with here; whether gender should bear any role in a couple’s right to be legally recognised, and ability to raise a family. This entire venture demonstrates just how powerful a tool the Internet (and media as a whole) can be. As Sheen says, “We put fear and prejudice itself on trial” – and that challenge continues today. The media is no stranger to LGBTQ issues, but this project sees a marriage between a powerful message of equality, real-life stories, and celebrity endorsement that is sure to have an effect. When these people speak – or act – people tend to pay attention. MADDIE SOPER
Rachel Bayne, Sports Editor, meets Louis Schaffer LOUIS SCHAFFER, a sharp-suited New York comic, has taken the London comedy scene by storm. Schaffer has been described by Time Out New York as having ‘‘a unique style”; someone who “can insult you and love you in the same sentence.” Alongside four other Jewish comedians, he came to Exeter to perform at the J-Soc Comedy Night. Exeposé took the opportunity to speak to him afterwards. Underneath every joke is a bitter edge, catching the audience on the brow. As his website describes: “Most comics try to push boundaries but Schaffer pulls the rug out from under you.” A physical comedian, he sparred off all questions with a joke and moved around. He used organic material within the room to fuel his jokes, and smiling, he responded to
his childhood: “Comedy gold, that’s what you’ve got right there.” Schaffer talked to us about the struggles of adapting to the ‘sink-or-swim’ British comedy environment, compared to the New York clubs. “The longer I live here, the more I like English comedy. Basically, English comedy – once you get it, you really like it. American comedy and American audiences are more universal, it involves actually making people laugh.”
“I don’t enjoy stand up but I like talking to you girls” There have been high times and low points for Schaffer in the UK: “The audiences are amazing in this country, you
think about the energy levels, the excitement, the laughter.” But, he jokingly told us, his worst gig ever has been at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival: “Worst gig was when I put the wrong time in the programme for one of my shows...and that’s quite a problem!” Asking Schaffer about his career he explained: “I’ve been doing stand-up for 19 years, so it’s very long.” So, you obviously enjoy it, we asked? “No,” he chuckles, “No, I don’t enjoy it. I’m enjoying talking to you girls, but I’m not enjoying it.” We ended the interview, refreshed, amused and startled by his sardonic wit and critical humour. Schaffer left us some pictures, saying: “Put it by your bed... Even if I’m not that funny.”
Exeposé week TWENTY Two
The Mad Hatters @ Café 55 26 March
Islamic Society Poetry Showcase @ M&D Room 4 March
FOR The Mad Hatters, six Drama students from the University of Exeter are collaborating with four visually impaired members of the public for a multi-sensory performance. Embarking on our final research project, we decided as a group we would be very interested in working with the visually impaired, and set about researching groups and organisations around Exeter. Café 55, run by Sense charity is the setting for our show, a colourful little place in the heart of Exeter, offering a place for the deaf and blind community to meet. It also offers work experience to the impaired, and opens to the public for cakes, paninis, drinks and snacks. It was here that we met our group, and since January we have been meeting weekly to chat, share stories and engage in drama workshops. We have decided to base our performance on a dinner party or a feast, and offer sec-
tions as the starter, main course and dessert! We all felt that this was a perfect display of our relationship with each other, as we enjoy meeting up around a table and sharing with each other.
“The performance delves into the life of the visually impaired, with the creation of sound-scapes of places in Exeter which mean the most to us”
Our performance delves into the life of the visually impaired, looking at the ideas of what it feels to be empowered or disempowered, whilst incorporating the different senses of smell, taste, touch, and sound. We have worked with the group in creating sound-scapes of places around Exeter, dramatic scenes, and shared personal stories with one another concerning the things that mean the most to us: all of which will feature in the performance. Overall as a group, we want to raise the profile of this fantastic café in the middle of Exeter, which before now none of us had heard of. As a charity, they are always looking for people to volunteer, and it would be great if we could look back at this project knowing that we had made a difference. HEIDI GOLDSMITH
Theatre REVIEW Photo: Josh Irwandi
A SUNNY Sunday afternoon saw a first taking place on campus, a showcase of Islamic poetry bringing together students’ work, local Exeter youths and also those from further afield with London based spoken word poets. The aim from the outset, according to host Mohamed Mo’Rhymes, was to portray Islam in a positive light, and the skill and diversity of the performances certainly testified to this. Whilst religion was very much at the forefront of this showcase, the poetry that generated the most emotive response was often that which dealt with politics and love, applicable to all religious outlooks.
intimate love poems to terrorism and racial identity. These highly charged genres created some beautiful lyrics which rhythms were emphasised through the nature of spoken poetry. This method of deliverance was ideal for capturing the strength and power of the content. What was particularly great about this showcase was the combination of languages that featured. Both Arabic and Turkish played a role, which didn’t lead to exclusion on the part of the audience but an appreciation of a different tongue’s meter. The balance was struck right with some translations offered by Mohamed. The closing act of Intisar Yusuf, a
student spoken word poet from London, was a fitting finale with her use of language portraying her troubles with her Somalian past: “I came from a place I’ve never met/ But I never forget” and an especially moving persona in Unanswered Questions from an Iraqi Child depicted her eloquent language use. Overall, the showcase offered a great chance to hear some young talent and learn more about the issues surrounding Muslim culture in Britain, and creating links between the local community and the student body. LAURA STEVENS ARTS EDITOR Photo: Josh Irwandi
“A showcase of skill and diversity hosted by the Islamic Society featuring the student body and locals”
Lead by a very friendly and interactive MC that interspersed the acts with his own work generated a relaxed atmosphere which was needed as a break to the hard-hitting content of the politically, socially and religiously driven poetry that ranged from
The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui @ Exeter Northcott 29 February - 3 March HAVING shamefully fallen asleep in two previous productions of The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, I wouldn’t quite say that it’s one of the best plays I’ve ever seen. So, when EUTCo announced that this was to be their annual Northcott show, I’m sure I can be forgiven for meeting the decision with some reservations. However, having taken my seat in the relatively full auditorium, I was about to be shown how EUTCo would once again raise the bar of standard for student productions.
“The stage was like a depression-era speakeasy” Charting the rise-to-power of Hitler and his Nazi Party, the streets of Berlin are replaced with the crime-ridden dockyards of 1930s Chicago. With Ui representing the German dictator, the parallels between the on-stage characters and their real life counterparts provided the audience with a 150-minute long ‘history lesson’, covering some of the key milestones that led to the eventual appointment of Hitler as dictator
of Nazi Germany. The vision of Zac Price should first be commended. On his directorial debut, he succeeded in bringing Brecht’s work to life. Prone to being dull and boring to watch, Brecht’s works often need a touch of magic to make them the fully engaging spectacles they were intended to be. Price achieved this per-
“The vision of Zac Price on his directorial debut should be highly commended”
fectly. From the acquiring of a live jazz band, through to the smoke-filled stage and harsh, cold lighting effects, the stage became an image so relatable to the depression-era speakeasy. The production was a showcasing of the pièce de résistance of acting talent currently at the University. Despite the occasional slipping-accent, exceptional performances stemmed from this magnificent ensemble. Luke Theobald, James Bailey and Joe McDonnell all deserve commendation for their respective performances. Tom Chapman as Roma (Ernst Röhm) proves once again how he is one of the most gifted performers currently at the University. However, it is Nicholas Limm’s haunting portrayal of Ui that deserves the most praise. Limm’s final podium
speech goes down as one of the most captivating theatrical moments I have ever witnessed. The talent he possesses makes it no surprise that he is currently being accepted at some of the world’s most prestigious drama schools. Overall, Ui was exceptionally staged and magnificently executed, and with EUTCo’s new committee recently elected, they have a tough job ahead. Hopefully, they can build on this year’s success and continue to prove how EUTCo are at the forefront of producing student theatre of the highest professional standard. ROBERT STENSON
19 march 2012 Exeposé
OPERETTA review Patience @ Exeter Northcott 6 - 10 March
St Tropez by Pierre Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)
art review Into the Light @ RAMM 15 Dec - 11 March THE exhibition Into the Light explores the British interaction with French art either side of the 20th century, chiefly its response to Impressionism and associated movements. In the late 19th century, a new Impressionist style was maturing in Britain, influenced by French Impressionism and Realism. The schools’ innovations, such as the use of paint tubes and open-air technique, offered a unique opportunity for British artists to depict modernity, as well as freedom from the constraints of Victorian art. George Clausen’s Winter Work conveys the preparation of beets for sheep feed by real-life labourers, rather than paid models. Clausen painstakingly captures the elder worker’s earth-smudged, torn trousers, while three of the four figures are painted faceless, emphasising their marginalised position
in society, similar to the peasant women in Millet’s Gleaners, a quintessential naturalist piece. The show also looks at artist colonies, which painters would travel to and join, particularly in France. The colonies were associated with painting directly from experience rather than memory. Phillip Wilson Steer, who stood at the forefront of English Impressionism, utilized bright colors and produced glimmering affects of reflected light on water in Walberswick, Children Puddling. Steer was a Paris trained artist and like many of his contemporaries in the 1880s, he had come to Walberswick in the summer to paint the beautiful Suffolk fishing village in the open air. The offshoots of the Impressionist movement, such as Post-Impressionism, similarly inspired British art at the turn of the 20th century. Roderic O’Conor’s Yellow Landscape features a swirling landscape, synthetic colours, such as the turquoise of the sky, and impasto areas of paint. It is a convincingly emotional response to nature, highlighted by the windy and distressed trees. The cross-
channel artistic connection between Britain and France in this period is again revealed, particularly as O’Conor moved to Brittany in the 1890s and was associated with Gaugin’s inner circle. The exhibition concludes by examining how British artists assimilated the succeeding schools to Impressionism in the early 20th century. Robert Polhill Bevan’s Devonshire Valley No.1 displays the colour palette of the Fauves with its artificial pinks and purples, Cubist forms in the interlocking planes of the landscape, and a strong sense of shadows, expertly practiced by the Impressionists whose shifting of light over nature challenged stylistic norms. A whole mélange of French and European styles is evident in the work, and signals how British painters often followed contemporary French developments in art. However, the work and the show generally also demonstrates how British artists reflected the nation’s local sensibilities and culture, particularly that of the coast and countryside. OSCAR WARWICK-THOMPSON
THE sense of ridiculousness and escapism that accompanies Gilbert and Sullivan musicals was depicted delightfully from the outset with a group of swooning love maidens, dressed in their Grecian finest with robes and curls, all bewailing their unrequited desire. This operetta tells the tale of an innocent and naive milk maid called Patience, who attempts to find true love by loving unselfishly, therefore ensuing thwarted love triangles, illicit trysts and some very disgruntled dragoon soldiers. All of this alongside the lamenting group of maidens who are content to lounge and moon en masse over the perfectly aesthetic poet Bunthorne, who, somewhat distressingly for them, is a sham who has eyes only for Patience. This convoluted entanglement of hearts was an excellent backdrop to some beautiful singing, with special note to the lead role of Patience (Rebekah Brown)
who held her own in the solos and the duets, alongside her rather dubious farmer accent. The repartee between her and her potential suitors was also charmingly enacted with both Bunthorne (Jonathan Wood) and Grosvenor (Andrew Henley) shining as the best actors in the performance through their small gestures, wit and audience interaction.
“Patience attempts to find true love by only loving unselfishly” The whole show was played with great confidence and hilarity which translated into an enthusiasm that the audience couldn’t help but catch on to. The use of the ample sized Northcott stage was also technically accomplished especially when the whole cast was interacting at the same time on stage. This was undeniably aided by the presence of a live orchestra who truly brought the music to life, and helped showcase Exeter’s musical talent both on and off stage. LAURA STEVENS ARTS EDITOR
ARts Editorial WE wanted to write a small message to thank and acknowledge all our contributors and their high calibre articles they have submitted. Without the help we have received from the Exeposé team the section would not have been half as colourful as it has been. We hope you’ve enjoyed the section this year and liked the student based focus. We have loved your responses on the Art Attack feature from clever puns to serious art analysis. Our highlights include getting the
chance to meet and interview high profile names in the Arts including Tracey Emin, James Corden and our very own alumni star Felix Barrett. We are sad to be leaving but are confident in handing over the Arts section to the awesomely artistic Emily Tanner and Clara Plackett. We wish them all the best of luck and watch your inbox for their content email very soon! LAURA STEVENS AND ZOE BULAITIS ARTS EDITORS
poison by Juliet was replaced by eerie lighting playing upon the seated form of Juliet whilst the background of the stage was dominated by black and white film recordings of the Nurse and Mother’s reac-
tions to Juliet’s supposed death, an intense and successful modernisation. The production continued to astound with its talented portrayal of the often ignored female suppression which ran through the Capulet household. Indeed, although the set and soundtrack of the production were intensely modern, without mature actors such as Keith Bartlett and Caroline Faber, the tension and torment surrounding this famous play would have been drastically reduced. This performance of Romeo and Juliet memorably blazes the way to a fresh, yet acutely Shakespearean experience.
Romeo and Juliet @ Salisbury Playhouse, Headlong Theatre 28 Feb - 3 March
MODERN adaptations of Shakespeare’s renowned works have never failed to leave me cold, yet this production astonishingly marked a tantalising explosion of talent within the Headlong Theatre Company. The familiar Shakespearean balcony was replaced by a mimic of a TV screen, which reported live footage of the event and Romeo’s persona as the hopeless romantic was brought into the 21st century with an
untucked shirt and espadrilles. Moments of comedy were expertly extracted and made relevant to the audience, with a greasy haired, fag smoking, ice cream seller relaxing us into a sense of familiarity with obscene actions and Shakespearean banter. What about the star struck lovers themselves? From the awkward first kiss to the lustful undressing on the marriage bed the audience were caught between the charged moments of regret, excitement, embarrassment and intense desire. The strength of connection between these two young actors meant every tinge of tragedy was inflated, the digital clock above their
bed combined with replaying of slightly differing scenes artfully pinned the tragedy of these two lovers to seconds in time, to chance and what ifs. The usually awkward taking of the
Photo: Tristram Kenton
Video Games Alex Hawksworth-Brookes & Jessica Leung - email@example.com
19 MARCH 2012
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Don’t skip the tutorial level! Cameron Ward, seasoned gamer, gives a gaming masterclass to complete beginner Tori Brazier, Screen Editor Tori Brazier, Exeposé Screen Editor
TO give you an idea of my limited experience in gaming: the last video game that I played was Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets on the PC, and it was my mother that introduced new-fangled technology to our household this Christmas with a Wii. To give you an impression of my ability, on the occasions that I’ve played Mario Kart on various friends’ Wiis I always come a strong 12th in the races, with my all-time highest finishing position being 8th. After lots of umm-ing and arring, and a tentative suggestion of L.A. Noire, Cameron decided to show me smaller parts of a few games in order for me to get more of an idea of what was out there. Putting it in terms that I could understand, Cameron said that introducing me to gaming was like introducing someone to film: it made more sense to dabble in a few than just sit someone through The Godfather and pass it off as the epitome of cinema, full stop. Of the games we played, I’d say that Bastion was my favourite as it was quite kooky and different to the others, but I’d also want to play Shadow of the Colossus again because, once Cameron got me up there, clinging onto the grassy back of a large serpent/eagle
Q & A Session Was Tori any good? CW: We played Skyrim first and possibly the most interesting thing I noticed was where Tori pointed the camera. In the beginning she preferred strafing to actually looking where she was going, often keeping focus on the ground. This changed slowly, eventually coming to something more akin to what I would call a normal viewpoint as Alduin “mentored” her. I did think that Tori got pretty good with looking around once we started Portal, although it did take a while to explain the concept to her. Seeing the look of revelation as to what the portals can do though was a particular high-point. Honestly, Tori was a really fast learner. Not getting frustrated with watching someone play Portal for the first time is probably a testament to that. TB: Well, I was certainly good at ‘clipping’! As it was PC gaming for the most part I wasn’t too hideously out
of my depth with the controls because it reminded me of a Tarzan PC game I played when I was younger. I may have managed to get myself stuck in some sort of never-ending-death-loop on level one of Skyrim though, and Cameron might have had to take over for me on Shadow of the Colossus too so I could actually watch a Colossus being defeated - it took me several attempts to jump on its back and grab, and when I did, I promptly fell off. What were your thoughts before starting? CW: I really had no idea what to expect. I was more worried whether or not she would be bored by what she was going to be doing, even though she was enthusiastic when we spoke about it beforehand. One of the worst possibilities was if Tori was going to actually be able to get a handle of controls enough to be able to play most of the games. She was absolutely fine though. I’m just glad she came with an open mind. That’s the important thing.
and trying to stab it was rather exhilarating...And there are, like, a whole other (bigger) eleven colossi to conquer!
“It was my mother that introduced newfangled technology to our household this Christmas with a Wii”
The girly side of me would definitely enjoy going into all the details (nose type, war paint designs) of what you can do when creating characters on Skyrim: Toro Brozor is the most cursory of Wood Elves created for me by Cameron under our time constraints of a single afternoon’s gaming. More, please!
TB: I hoped that I wouldn’t be too embarrassingly bad, or indeed bored, and I can’t speak for the first one, but I was certainly absorbed - I got into the habit of hacking people to death a little too vigorously in Skyrim. Did you enjoy the lesson? CW: It really was fun - partly because I’ve banished myself from games until this upcoming essay is done, but it was mainly in part due to witnessing someone do and see things they haven’t been exposed to before and have them enjoy it. TB: I did! I appreciated the nod to actual ancient history with Romans (well, ‘Imperials’) and stuff in Skyrim, and Shadow of the Colossus had truly epic music. Bastion also provided a good bit of variety as it had the more old-school running-along-a-platformin-mid-air set-up and a brilliant Wild West growly narrative. What were your thoughts after the session? CW: I think it would have been
When I was first approached with the idea to teach Tori about the wonderful world of gaming I was pretty skeptical. We only had two hours for me to show her some of what’s there. This is a very short space of time to get a proper handle of things, sometimes even just for one game and even then most of the better games are now on their third sequels. There was quite a bit of pressure on my side to not only find something good, but something even a beginner could find interesting. As a kind of VG Ambassador I set out to find the greatest range of things I could, just so that one game didn’t have to take up the crippling responsibility of representing an entire medi-
better to have more time to show Tori some of the more intelligent games out there like L.A. Noire or the MGS series. I think I should have also maybe shown a bit more of the “madness and mayhem” of multiplayer games also, despite knowing we’d probably spend all our time respawning it would have been interesting to see what Tori could do. TB: It would have been great to have had a bit more time to get my head around the portal-shooting guns in Portal. I also learned that, despite the reputation for games to all appear very similar in their marketing and use of alternate realities where everything seems set in the Dark Ages, there is in fact a bigger difference between them and an infinite variety of premises. Did Tori pwn any n00bs? CW: Well, considering Tori is a beginner and she died fairly frequently; yes, I guess she did. TB: Sorry, what? Would you class Tori as a gamer now? CW: I wouldn’t call Tori a gamer
um. Knowing Tori beforehand was very useful. I would have probably strayed away from some of the more serious games had I not known who I was showing these lovely things to. It really was a shame I couldn’t show Tori L.A. Noire due to time, as I know she has a particular fondness for the 1940s. Overall, Tori showed a lot of enthusiasm for what we played. I definitely think she’s got a Portal playing career ahead of her, even though she may have only just realised she wasn’t firing ovalshaped mirrors (I didn’t think Chell was quite so narcissistic as that). I can only hope that the experience has shaken off some of the stigma that comes with gaming. I mean, how can gamers be conceived as these overweight shut-ins when everyone knows the cake is a lie?
just yet. I hope she’s interested enough to want to look into gaming a little more. I’ve told her that you can get Bastion on Google Chrome since she doesn’t have a console so she has that for now. TB: With my finals fast-approaching, it’s probably best that I don’t foster a sudden yen for video games. I did, however, very much enjoy my intro to gaming and would happily try again, if only so I would be able to play Bastion with the ‘safe-play’ mode off and work out how to use my portals without Cameron telling me how, as well as explaining why I kept seeing myself when there were no mirrors… Although I was keen, having learned how protective gamers are of their past-time, Cameron might be a little insulted if I classed myself as a gamer! Do you love Exeposé VG?! CW: Just as friends. TB: But of course (and it’s only part of the reason that I say that because we’ve been sharing the same deadline day for the past year).
Exeposé week TWENTY two
The escape key won’t work
Jessica Leung, Video Games Editor, needs to get out more! If only she could figure out how...
BEFORE the days of Facebook games such as Farmville, Cityville or ‘give-usall-your-money-ville,” browser based gaming was a lot simpler and less competitive. My pre-teen years were spent scouring the internet for room escape games with my friends. Games such as Crimson Room and Viridian Room featured greatly in my early gaming years – hours of my time were dedicated to escaping rooms or finding walkthroughs to aid my escape. Room escape games were very limited – although a quick Google search now tells me that they have escalated in popularity over the years. They all follow a very simple concept: you are stuck in a room and you have to get out. In order to escape you have to search for clues, manipulate hidden items and find a key to your freedom. The games are usually presented from a first person perspective and normally start with you – the nameless protagonist – waking up in this room, after a short cut scene detailing your objective. Quite often there is a sense of mystery behind the escape – why is there a skeleton in the room? Why is the key on top of the clock? Or, probably the most important question, why were you trapped in this room in the first place?
So why are these games so popular? The fact that they’re so accessible, available with just a few clicks on the Internet, is a major factor. The games are also very easy to pick up, for both gamers and non-gamers alike, as they are relatively simple and the controls simply consist of pointing and clicking. Perhaps their main selling point is that expensive equipment is not a pre-requisite: you literally just need a computer with Internet access. This is procrastination at its best. Although Crimson Room is probably one of the most famous escape games, and also one of the first to be created, there were many different variations. I
remember one where I was stuck in a car garage and had to escape before dying of carbon monoxide poisoning (morbid) or another where I was stuck in a haunted house and had to use a Ouija board to find clues for my escape (I didn’t sleep for days). The most terrifying kind was any that hinted at a murder – despite the simple presentation and lack of developed plot, such games were emotionally effective in their execution. Whether you are hardcore and want to scare yourself silly, or you’re a child who wants to be reunited with your kitten, there is definitely something for everyone. However, I am surprised that this
A screen shot from Viridian Room
GAME Over: Insert more credits Robert Harris on the decline, and possible demise, of GAME Group
THE future isn’t looking bright for GAME, as one of the UK’s largest video game retailers faces administration. The warning signs first appeared back in February when the company suddenly cancelled all existing preorders that its customers had placed for Bioware’s space-epic, Mass Effect 3. An official statement released by the company blamed their inability to fulfil these orders on a “supply issue”. However, according to a leaked memo notifying employees of this cancellation, GAME had in fact been unable to obtain favourable credit terms with publisher EA and consequently decided not to stock their March releases. The retailer later confirmed that they would also not be supplying other high-profile upcoming titles, such as FIFA Street, Tiger Woods 13 and Street Fighter X Tekken.
In the same memo GAME channel director Tom Devin wrote “we will not stock products if the terms are not right for our business – we will not sacrifice long-term credit requirements for short term sales opportunities.” Nevertheless, immediate short-term sales seem to be the focus of GAME’s latest strategy in their struggle to keep financially afloat. Speculations have arisen that the retailer is attempting to clear its stock in return for a much-needed cash injection, lowering their prices significantly under the pretence of a recently launched ‘Spring Clean’ marketing campaign. Clearly this is not a viable long-term solution and, according to a report from MCV (Market for Computer and Video Games), GAME has now hired financial firm Rothschild to sell the company outright. Many have pointed to major USPhoto: Hannah Walker
based electronics retailer GameStop as a possible buyer, though if one is not found soon it is likely that the company will be forced into administration. During the weekend MCV reported that “Senior staff were told at a meeting with CEO Ian Shepherd earlier this week that the chain has approximately two weeks to turn its fortunes around.”
“There is not much room left for a store full of boxes”
With over 1000 stores worldwide, GAME maintains a dominant retail presence in the UK and as such its closure would have serious repercussions, not least for its 10,000 plus employees. GAME’s dwindling prospects, shared with many others in an ever waning economy, serves only to highlight a growing problem inherent to the high street retail sector; one particularly pertinent for entertainment industries. The shift in emphasis from physical, discbased games to those delivered straight to your hard drive is neither new nor surprising and the rise of hugely popular services like Steam and the App Store has led to somewhat of a digital distribution revolution. An era in which your last save is stored in the digitally accessible ‘cloud’ and the latest releases are downloaded directly to your PC does not leave much room for a store full of boxes. Of course, there will always be people who will still want to turn a page, hold a box and own a disc. However, if the recent woes of GAME are at all indicative of prevailing market trends, we may well see the entire high street evaporate and retreat to the cloud.
concept has not been translated into more high-profile games. This is probably due to the fact that there is no money to be made from these games – they are simply something you could pick up for a few minutes when bored, and the novelty of escaping rooms soon wears off. There is also absolutely no replay value once you knew the escape route.
“I had to use a Ouija board to escape the haunted house”
But this doesn’t mean that room escape games haven’t influenced modern productions. A recent game that comes to mind and has built on the concept is Amnesia, which also includes puzzles and requires the cracking of clues in order to escape a haunted house. However, as successful as Amnesia was within the gaming community, it is still a smallscale project and did not receive widespread publicity. So is there a future for room escape games? Probably not – I don’t see the concept ever being taken on by industry giants, and I believe that the Internet will remain the place for people like me to rediscover these point-and-click gems many years later in a state of nostalgia.
Real Time Strategy (RTS) Console Games
Halo Wars (360) A fantastic game for all Halo fans, Halo Wars offers a challenging and compelling storyline that focuses on the strategic deployment of your troops. With post release expansion packs now available, the multiplayer experience is very impressive. Play as the UNSC or the Covenant with up to 5 other players on a variety of different maps. This excellent game can take an hour to learn, but a lifetime to master. The perfect way to test your strategic skill.
Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3 (360/PS3) This brilliantly corny RTS has a well balanced, fully co-operative campaign that really gets the gamer involved. The scope of play is much larger than many other games on the market, however this can lead to slightly outlandish concepts. Red Alert 3 doesn’t take itself seriously but that makes it even more fun to play. Designed for the casual gamer.
Battlestations: Pacific (360) Not strictly a RTS in the traditional sense, this WWII game focuses on combining action and strategy. The wide-ranging dual storyline allows the gamer to play as both sides, essentially doubling the total experience. However, what really sets this above the rest is the mass of multiplayer content, allowing in depth development of your units. For the WWII fanatic.
Exeposé Video Games asks ‘If you could only play one game for the rest of your life, what would it be?’
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Luke Graham: “Monster Hunter Tri because I’ve already sunk 200 hours into it, and would happily do so again.” William Madsen: “The Mass Effect trilogy because the story telling is awesome and each playthrough can be made different to the last.” Immi Blake: “Pokemon Black/White because it’s the best in the series and despite the game’s repetitiveness, Pokemon never gets old.” Dave Stone: “Team Fortress 2, because it never gets old and I’m an assassin, not a crazed gunman...” Jack D’Arcy: “I would develop some form of amnesia that would allow me to play Metroid Prime as if for the first time over and over again.” Cameron Ward: “Half-Life 3 because I want to live in the very distant future.” Jonathan Jenner: “Skyrim - I think that if I came up with a new way to play it every birthday then I could keep going until the end of time.”
Supreme Commander 2 (360) This entertaining sequel is a big improvement over the original. By bridging the gap between complexity and accessibility, it successfully places the gamer securely in control. Its expansive maps lead to huge competitive battles, but if you are expecting a challenge from the AI you will be left wanting. For the unpredictable. R.U.S.E (360/PS3) Promoting a unique and nifty strategic style, R.U.S.E is somewhat of a wild-card. You will either love it or hate it. The slick interface and original style of command allow easy organisation of your troops. In spite of a campaign slightly lacking in depth and poor voice acting, this game is saved by its online and skirmishing capabilities. Especially now it only costs £5. For the cashstrapped.
19 MARCH 2012 Exeposé
SSX: EA Canada; EA Sports; 360, PS3 2 March 2012 THE SSX series formed some of the most memorable games from my childhood, back when the PS2 was my favourite console. SSX is an overthe-top, physics-defying snowboarding game where players pull off insane tricks to gain boost and speed, and compete in trick and race events. This made for a massively fun game with controls that worked and graphics that pleased. Sadly, it has been away for about 7 years – but last month, EA did it. They released another SSX, and boy is it good! The main campaign mode involves encountering all the different characters, going through all the different mountain ranges of Earth and completing the “Deadly Descents” where the mountain basically wants
Mass Effect 3: Bioware; EA; 360, PS3, PC 9 March 2012 AS the final installment in a critically acclaimed series, Mass Effect 3 represents another step-up in both ambition and scope. Much of the gameplay remains the same as in ME2, with the best features refined and polished (it’s now easier to move from cover and the skill system has received an overhaul, providing more options for customisation in the process.) The less successful elements of ME2 have either been scrapped or vastly improved – planet scanning is no longer a boring time-sink, and actually feels worthwhile. This is because of the introduction of War Assets, one of the game’s central concepts. With the galaxy under attack by a race of sentient machines, you must unite the forces of the galaxy and end the galactic threat. In order to succeed, you need to collect as many War Assets as possible by completing missions, performing favours and generally being the galaxy’s errand boy. Your progress is viewable via a tactical map, and really helps to give a sense of importance to your actions. In terms of storytelling, ME3 far surpasses the achievements of the first two games, which is a stunning feat in itself.
preview you dead, be it through trees, ice, gravity, below freezing temperatures and so on. You can get stealthy gear such as wingsuits, oxygen tanks and armour to lower the chances of you dying. The “Explore” mode allows you to play through all the levels traditionally – here you can keep trying to beat your own scores and times as well as those set by other people. This system ultimately brings back the thrill
of constantly trying to beat high scores, and that is a thrill I haven’t seen in years. There is little to complain about with this game considering that it’s taken EA a long time to finally get around to making a new game. They added new controls and kept old ones
Everything seems to have been scaled up, not just in terms of scope and size, but also in terms of emotional weight. The most satisfying element of the game is seeing the consequences of your actions from earlier on in the series, often with serious and unexpected implications. These sequences combine to create a highly personal experience, crafted by your own decisions and actions. Of course, such events would have much less impact on anyone playing ME3 before first two instalments. Doing this is the equivalent of reading the 7th Harry Potter book first, and as such is kind of a moot point. The voice acting and soundtrack retain the expected levels of excellence. My only small gripe is that there’s less opportunity to actually talk to your squad members – one of my favourite aspects of the first two games. The graphics also remain high quality, with only a few minor bugs to speak of. The multiplayer, whilst being an unnecessary addition, is good enough, but fails to come close to the
in too (both work very well), included a bass-heavy soundtrack which interacts deeply with your snowboarding (even with your own music too!), and EA created mostly bright and colourful visuals. However, I will mention that the game lacks any sort of traditional multiplayer. The game itself is brilliant but it would be nice to have the option to play against rivals, either online or via split-screen. Having said that, the RiderNet service allows play-
ers to create and enter online challenges to beat high scores and fastest times, and can earn in-game credits to buy new gear. This game is very rewarding to play, and incredibly addictive. I can honestly say this game lived up to my expectations and it has a lot of replay value. Where else can you do eight backflips in one jump whilst not even touching the board?! Sorry Shaun White and Tony Hawk, but back to the drawing board you go for now!
9/10 ollie bond
greatness of the offline experience. For 360 users, Kinect integration is a fun and harmless option. ME3 is by no means a perfect game. However, it represents a fantastic end to an incredible series, and manages to deliver an experience that meets, and on occasion surpasses, immense expectations.
10/10 Alex hawksworthBrookes Video Games editor
Resident Evil 6: Capcom; 20 November 2012 THE post-Christmas lull rarely sees any major developments in the gaming industry, so it was at least a welcome change of pace when the new Resident Evil trailer appeared. After watching nearly every breakdown feature on the Internet I’ve been able to salvage a few details on what we can expect. Firstly, the most significant thing known about RE6 is that it is to feature a return of everyone’s favourite shambling corpses; zombies. Certainly, the sickle-wielding Ganados of RE4 were still scary despite not technically being undead; the sequence at the beginning of the game, where you boarded yourself up in a hut with only a hunting shotgun between you and a mob of angry villagers, remains one of the most engaging moments in gaming history. In RE5, however, the game felt more like Battlefield than survival horror, with a significant amount of enemies wielding firearms and bazookas by the end of the game. It’s nice to see that the next game will feature monsters that fit the genre, although I couldn’t help but notice that players will also have to encounter a few gun-wielding enemies this time round as well.
BIOWARE, the developers behind the critically acclaimed Mass Effect series, have come under fire in the past week over their concluding installment Mass Effect 3. The game, which follows the final mission of the space-marine Commander Shepard, had already caused controversy over the release of priced ‘Day One’ DLC, but further problems have also emerged. Eager fans who raced through the campaign since the games release are now criticising Bioware for an ‘unsatisfying’ and ‘alienating’ ending. They argue the element of player choice, so fundamental to the success and replayability of the previous games, has been removed in favour
Other new additions include playing as multiple characters throughout the campaign. There is also a new character, a member of the Wesker family. New enemies include what looks like a Tyrant on steroids with a giant mechanical arm and the ‘J’avo’; regenerating enemies able to transform their limbs into assorted claws and tentacles. Disappointingly, however, for every step RE6 takes forward, it takes two back, or in this case, three. For one thing the controls could best be described as ‘Gears of Resident Evil’, with players being able to roll and slide into cover, as well as move and shoot simultaneously. Whilst this might appeal to mainstream gamers, it looks like it will further erode the sense of tension that used to be the series’ staple. This is made worse by the fact that all characters have a sidekick with them. My real fear, however, is that the game supports multiplayer; I don’t much fancy my immersive single-player being ruined by poor AI during offline play, or else twelveyear-olds bugging me for ammo. Perhaps it is too early to be pessimistic; the series is at a crossroads right now, action or horror, both of which the trailer boasts much of. Personally, I keep my fingers crossed for the latter. james dyson of a ‘slapdash ending’ that flies in the face of the key themes the series has explored so far. Fans have flooded the official forums and Twitter feeds with complaints, as well as organising petitions and Facebook protest groups (the most popular, ‘Demand a better ending to Mass Effect 3’, has nearly 20,000 likes) The backlash has also caused a price drop of over $10 for the game in some U.S. retailers, with hundreds of disgruntled players leaving reviews all saying the same thing: ‘The final sequence ruined everything.’ This intense reaction speaks volumes about the popularity of the series and the emotional investment of the fans. But is it right for us to demand the creators rewrite such a fundamental part of the story, and is it ethical to cause fiscal damage for what was, otherwise, a fantastic game? The ending was undoubtedly flawed, but the argument that as paying customers we are entitled to be pandered to could casts doubt over the industry’s artistic integrity. Should we sacrifice Bioware’s own writer’s decisions simply to accommodate our own desires? It won’t be the first time this has happened in the entertainment industry, but it could have potentially damaging repercussions. For any disappointed fan, it’s a hard call to make. Regardless, Bioware will need to release some kind of statement soon, if they want to save what could have been their most successful trilogy to date. becky mullen
19 MARCH 2012
Cycling down the road to glory Rachel Bayne, Sports Editor, talks to Tom Staniford, 2011 National Champion, GB Para-cycling hopeful and 4th year Law student
WITH only five months left until the 2012 Paralympic Games, Tom Staniford, 2011 National Paracycling Champion, sits down for a chat about the challenges of paralympic sport. A bona fide student, he loves nothing better than a cup of strong espresso, red wine and pasta. Staniford, age 22, is a passionate cyclist; he bought his first road bike in 2005 and remarks on his website that he would “rather sell an organ than a bike.”
“A lot of road cycling comes down to luck” He won the National Para-Cycling Criterium Championship at Redbridge Cycling Centre on 25 June 2011. He was the youngest solo rider ever at this event and has been a part of the Great Britain Para-Cycling Talent team. He races for Cyclefit domestically and is currently up for selection for the Paralympics alongside three strong GB contenders. These include Danny Kenny OBE, who won four gold medals and two silver medals in Beijing, and elite athlete Mark Colbourne. “The issue we have is that there are four C3 cyclists on the British squad and we also happen to be the four best in the World.” Britain can only take one or two C3 cyclists, “so, regardless of what happens, two, possibly three of us are going to be unhappy.” The possible candidate would compete in all the events – road and track. At the moment, Staniford is gearing up to the BUCS 10km time trial championship on 21 April, which will be held
in Cambridge. Provisionally classified by the UCI as a C3 Paracyclist, Staniford has fused bones in his feet and hands, almost totally fused his ankles, has poor flexibility in all his limbs, low testosterone, Diabetes type 2, moderate hearing loss in both ears, and a rare genetic condition known as lipodystrophy which affects his metabolism and storage of body fat. Staniford has worked incredibly hard, showing perseverance and tenacity in his sport and everyday life to overcome these hardships. Today, he is counted as one of the best paracyclists worldwide and manages this pressure with a modest smile and professionalism. Staniford races on both the road and the track in several different disciplines. He races in the Kilo, a paralympic race which consists of one kilometre around the Velodrome. “My event, or my favourite event, is pursuit and that is just a longer time trial.” For paracyclists in the C1, C2 and C3 category, it is 3km. “The difference with this event is that there are two cyclists on the trackl; they start at opposing ends.” Completely enthused, Staniford muses: “People don’t realise, but on a track bike, there are no brakes, there’s no free-wheeling and you can’t stop pedalling on a track bike. If you stop pedalling, the wheel stops and it hurts. “Riding on the track is one of the greatest things you can do,” he remarks, even encouraging me to try out a day on the Velodrome. “The moment you get your speed up, you start feeling it and
everyone, within two minutes of riding on the track, secretly wishes that they were riding in the Tour de France. “The thing with track bikes is the efficiency. Because there’s no free wheel, you feel more connected to the bike than you have ever felt before. It’s not – ‘I’m riding a bike,’ but ‘the bike is an extension of me.’” Staniford chuckles: “It’s very relaxing. But at the same time, it hurts a great deal if you’re riding hard.” Staniford started off as a roadie, and is “still a roadie, at heart.” Incredibly, he told Exeposé: “I’ve actually only ridden on the track eight times. “I’ve never trained to be a sprinter, I’d much rather settle down” to a longer road race. He’s amazed at the difference between his track and road events, saying: “Kilo, it’s a KILO! I normally race 16 times that distance!” Staniford commented: “A lot of road cycling comes down to luck. “It doesn’t matter how good you are, if you puncture at the wrong time, that’s game over. Unless you have a ridiculously strong team, it’s just not going to happen. There’s an element of luck in road cycling.” Currently in his 4th year of studying LLB Law (European) with Maitrise en Droit at the University of Exeter, Staniford has received a Sports Scholarship and a Vice Chancellor’s Excellence Scholarship. He is currently studying in Rennes and talked to Exeposé of the challenges of living and studying abroad: “It’s very, very different to the UK. Not just in terms of culture and language, but the way the academic system
works is very different to how it is in the UK.”
“The moment you get your speed up you start feeling it, and everyone within two minutes of riding on the track secretly wishes that they were riding in the Tour de France”
In France, Staniford has between 28 and 32 hours of tuition each week and has found through his studies abroad that “French law is very much more regimented than English law.” The extra academic workload has meant that Staniford has had to put a hold on his cycling training whilst in France. Exasperated, he told Exeposé: “You have no idea how much I miss English universities.” He heavily criticises BUCS for not having factored the Paralympic athletes in their major events, such as the Time Trial Cycling Championships. He has been working hard for three years to create campaigns, urging BUCS to change their system. After university, he plans to go into Pro Cycling. He hopes to join the new training cohort of British Cyclists in 2014 in Manchester. He’s already been told that he’s a “dead cert for Rio 2016, because they will all have retired.”
Staniford has various opportunities post-university. He’s going to continue to keep working with Dame Tanni Grey Thompson and try and get internships with her through her work in politics. He freelances for cycling magazines, does marketing for Raffa and also works with Cyclefit. His plan, post-degree, is “to spend a year or two in London basically building up contacts, building up fitness and building up all the various different elements that I need to take my level up. If I do that, then I’m convinced I can take a massive step up.” Back to BUCS, Staniford tells Exeposé: “If they run the factors, I’ll win.” A team player, he is not concerned about personal achievements in BUCS because he knows he’s already at an elite level. Instead, he’s fighting the battle for paralympic athletes and wants to run the factors for Exeter to win them some BUCS points. He argues: “It’s about creating a legacy for future para-cyclists. If there’s nothing there, then they won’t show up. It’s not the purpose of a level playing field.” Staniford leaves Exeposé with a huge challenge in his hands to encourage BUCS to change their events, alongside his final year exams and cycling training. Staniford shows strong character and perseverance. He runs head-first into battles, and is a true testament to Exeter students. Courageous, Tom Staniford is always prepared to fight the good fight for disability sport and in his personal life.
Exeposé week TWENTY TWO
EULFC win promotion 5ths undefeated Ladies Football
Photo: Barnabás Mester
Will Kelleher Senior Reporter
Mike Stanton Senior Reporter
Despite succumbing to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of UWE on Wednesday, Exeter’s Ladies Football 1st XI have gained promotion from the Western 2A BUCS league for the first time in two years. With a cup final to look forward to, it has been a great year for the girls. In a tight and undoubtedly tense affair, with promotion on the line, Exeter battled hard and were unfortunate to not come out of the game with at least a draw. The main battle area was in midfield with neither team able to maintain long periods of possession. EULFC created the first couple of chances before their opening goal at 30 minutes, the ball breaking to striker Rosie Alda just outside the 18 yard box, who calmly supplied the finish low into the bottom right of the goal.
The University of Exeter Men’s 5th Rugby Union team have won their league after an undefeated league run. The team, made up solely of freshers, started the season on a high by beating the University of Plymouth’s 2nd team 64-0 in their first game together. From here on, the team went from strength to strength, building on consistently strong performances.
“A strong second half with plenty of attacking flair saw the “Throughout the season visitors through to a 47-13 win” the 5ths had many strong performances such as the 114-3 demolition of Bath Spa 1sts and 51-0 routing of Bournemouth 3rds”
“Exeter’s Ladies Football 1st XI have gained promotion from the Western 2A BUCS league”
Due to a lack of sustained pressure for either side, and some solid defending by Exeter, chances were few and far between, with Tanvie Hans almost pouncing on a mistake by the UWE goalkeeper. Exeter struggled, at times, to find the final pass and the girls went into the break one goal up. UWE came out fighting early in the second half, dominating possession. Pressure lead to an equaliser when the ball was lofted through UWE’s striker who just managed to scoop the ball over the keeper and into the net. EULFC took a while to settle into the second half, under constant pressure from their opponents. UWE might have made it 2-1 if not for an excellent last ditch tackle by captain Alice Poole, stealing the ball just as the forward was about to pull the trigger. Exeter stepped up their attempts to find a winner with Burrett going close from just inside the area. UWE came back with a golden opportunity, the forward taking it round Poole in goal, but a heavy touch took the ball out for a goal kick, certainly a let off for Exeter’s defence. The winner came at 80 minutes. UWE’s tall midfielder driving through a gap in the defence, keeping her balance after an attempted challenge inside the box, and finishing expertly to cap off a fine goal. It turned out to be a bitter blow to EULFC, who despite creating chances late on, ended up on the losing side. A bittersweet end to a fantastic season. Alice Poole, Captain, commented: “I couldn’t be more happy to have found this success with some of the best people I’ve ever played with, and hopefully we can go on to win the double next week to top off an epic end to a brilliant three years.”
As well as some tough and some not so tough wins the 5th’s also had three walkovers, including a cup game, as well as three from one University alone. Although these were put down to inability to field a team, it shows the respect the team had gained throughout the league, despite this it was still a matter of huge frustration for the Exeter players.
The winning streak consisted of 13 games and a further cup run getting them to the final of the Western Conference Cup, which will be played at Topsham on Wednesday 21 March. Throughout the season the 5ths had many strong performances; both huge wins, such as the 114-3 demolition of Bath Spa 1sts and 51-0 routing of Bournemouth 3rds, as well as closer encounters where the teams’ determination and camraderie were tested to the limit.
In the cup, the games were much tighter, with the 5ths facing teams from up to two leagues higher than them. Tough wins against Bath and another Exeter side saw them into the quarters against Swansea 4ths, where the team won a close fought match due to an outstanding defensive effort. This win resulted in an away trip against Bournemouth 1sts. A tough opposition and a stiff wind against them meant Exeter went into half time behind on the scoreboard. However, a strong second half with plenty of attacking flair saw the visitors through to a 47-13 win. This strong cup run means the team will appear in the final, to be played against either Cardiff 2nd XV or UWIC 4th XV, a feat that an Exeter team has apparently not achieved in a decade.
Darting to victory Darts
Scott Williams Reporter
EULFC 1st Team have won promotion from the Western 2A BUCS league
After finishing second in the southern regional of the university darts cup, the Exeter University Darts Society earned themselves a place at the university plate finals day, the ‘Europa League’ of student darts, which took place on Saturday 3 March. After seeing off the challenges of Durham and Leeds, Liverpool (the hosts) awaited Exeter in the final. Exeter took an early 3-1 lead after the doubles matches. Conor Boylan and David ‘Three Pint’ Collis continued their sensational run as a pairing, defeating Liverpool’s best pairing, while Will ‘the Predator’ Porter had a 100 per cent checkout ratio in his doubles match. Before they knew it, however, Exeter had fallen 6-3 behind in this race to seven, losing five singles matches. Scott Williams, Boylan and Porter all missed match darts in their singles games, Porter’s troubles at the Madhouse (Double 1) prevailing once again. But then came the Exeter comeback, which has been a common feature this season. David ‘Bad Man’
Badham and Collis put in classy performances to dispatch quality opposition. Skipper Oli Parry then showed true grit in winning a nail-biting encounter, overcoming unbelievable tension and his inability to count!
“David ‘Bad Man’ Badham and David ‘Three Pint’ Collis put in classy performances to dispatch quality opposition”
With the scores tied at 6-6, the uni plate final went to a deciding match, which soon became a deciding leg. With his opponent sat on a nice twodarter, Craig Lindley checked out 155 (T20, T19, D19) to send the Exeter players wild. The man who founded the darts society alongside Stu Johnson had taken out the highest checkout of his life, in the biggest game of his life, to win Exeter the first piece of silverware in its history. It does not get much better than that.
19 march 2012
In the news...
Varsity domination Trampolining
Helen Underwood Captain On Sunday 11 March, Exeter University Trampoline Club took part in the Devon Varsity against Plymouth University: successfully winning the Trampolining event. There were a number of medals won and Exeter excelled in all categories. Joe French secured Exeter’s first medal of the day, taking Gold in Men’s Intermediate, and his success was followed in the Women’s Intermediate category
Men’s Badminton through to
with two more Exeter medals; Jenny Back - Bronze and Vicki Jolly - Gold, her second of the year. Tim Peek and Kim Stirk both secured Silver in Men’s and Women’s Inter-Advanced respectively, while in Women’s Elite Kate Bolton won Bronze and Jenny Wing triumphed taking home the Gold. In the end it was a close competition between Exeter and Plymouth with Exeter securing the overall trophy. The team competed exceptionally well with everyone’s individual scores contributing to the overall Varsity result.
EUAFC staying up Football
Sophie Davies Reporter The champagne was flowing at Topsham Football ground, as EUAFC beat Cardiff University 4-2, securing their place in the BUCS Western 1A League for next season. The nail-biting match, which took place on Wednesday 7 March, saw both sides fighting to avoid relegation. Going into the match it was all to play for, with Exeter just two points clear of Cardiff and one point clear of the relegation zone. Things got off to a bad start for the home side, as they conceded a penalty in the 8th minute, giving Cardiff an early lead. The Green Army kept their cool though and, a mere three minutes later had the opportunity to take a penalty themselves. Striker, Matthaus Marriot, took the penalty well, slotting it straight past Cardiff’s goal keeper to bring the score level. Both sides remained equally strong throughout the first half, despite the windy conditions making play difficult. However, it was the home side’s efforts which paid off with captain, Nick Peare, heading
in goal number two for the Greens from a well-taken corner, bringing the score to 2-1 at half time. Cardiff started the second half strongly, forcing Exeter’s goal keeper, Ash Wilson, to make two terrific saves. But Exeter were just as determined and it paid off with top scorer, Ben Nash, scoring an absolute screamer in the 65th minute, giving the home side a comfortable two-goal lead. It seemed as though it was all over for Cardiff, but they were quick to respond and, just two minutes later, they had their second goal, bringing the score to 3-2. Minutes later, Nash had another golden opportunity, but his effort was sent flying over the top of Cardiff’s open goal. The determination of both sides to secure the 3 points and their place in the league was evident. However, striker, Josh Cooper, put the final nail in Cardiff’s League 1A coffin with goal number four. After a gruelling 90 minutes, Captain Nick Peare, said: “It was our spirit and enthusiasm which kept us going.” Peare continued: “I’m really pleased we’re staying up.” It’s been a tough season for EUAFC, but let’s hope they can use this well-deserved win as a catalyst for next season.
Local league champions Ladies Basketball
Esmeralda Castrillo EULBC Publicity Officer EXETER UNIVERSITY’S Ladies Basketball team have won the Exeter and District Basketball Association’s League for the second year in a row. After an intense match against ISCA Bolts, the University won 76-38. Almost from the very first minute, Elsa Crowther was fouled - a sign of what was to come. Throughout the match her strong presence as a post was felt strongly and ISCA were simply unable to resist the fouls. ISCA were fast and strong and put Exeter’s defense skills to the test. They managed to get one point ahead before the University team reacted and pulled back the lead, ending the second quarter 37-24. In the third quarter the University’s height advantage came into play and they
managed to get rebounds and keep ISCA back. In spite of ISCA’s impressive fitness and speed, the University’s team managed to pull together and put some plays into action which helped maintain the lead. The University gained momentum as the guards rotated with Abi Jones, Coco Chan and Vicky Li coming into play putting up a dynamic and effective ‘zone’ defense. This quarter ended 53- 33, once again Exeter is in favour.. Finally, during the fourth quarter ISCA began to feel the pressure and their game became scattier and faster, leading to confidence and turnovers for the University side. ISCA’s shots simply weren’t on target and we saw impressive defense from Maria Savchenko who managed a considerable amount of blocks and turnovers, resulting in fast breaks which Amy Lincoln swiftly converted to points. By the end, Exeter managed to secure a clear win, showing commitment and strong teamwork in the league.
Andy Muir EUBC Captain
On Wednesday 7 March, the University of Exeter Men’s 1st team arrived at Streatham Sports Park unbeaten this season, to play the semi-final of the Western Conference Cup against the University of Southampton Men’s 2nd team. The action kicked off with the singles matches: Milo Rapacioli, who remains unbeaten this season, played Southampton’s second Singles player,
winning comfortably in two sets. Milo has proven his place as the top singles player this season, only having dropped two sets and no games in the league and cup all season. Milo then went on to beat Southampton’s top singles player in a convincing two set win, at times he was in complete control on his side of the court. Mark Milton exorcised his recent demons by improving his form and winning both of his respective singles games, with the Southampton first singles opposition giving up no ground and hitting some spectacular recovery shots
to stay in the rallies. On to the doubles, and the formidably heighted Tom Fenner and Harry Hacking both provided a power house of rallies against Southampton’s first pairing but were unable to control the match enough, losing the last set 21-19. Alongside them, Andy Muir and Vince Ng were struggling against a tactically astute 2nd pair, losing the first set without any evidence of fighting back. They went on to win the second set after some tense rallies, as the Sports Hall fell unusually silent. In the third set, things turned.
against three other universities. A different set of horses is used for each competition, selected by the home teams. The teams have four members and one member from each university team rides each horse, and scores are relative to the other team members who rode the same horse.
says that “this is the best thing about the competitions because it means people are competing on a level playing field, with BUCS only the rider’s skill is relevant.” All teams compete in both dressage and jumping, with the scores combined to reach the end result. The BUCS 1st team finished 3rd overall in their league, despite one competition being delayed due to all of the outside schools being frozen. The BUCS 3rd team did superbly well and have qualified for regionals this year which take place on April 4. However, it was the BUCS 2nd team who definitely had the most
Riding to victory: EURC Riding
Rebecca Lodder Reporter Exeter University’s BUCS and friendly teams have had a fantastic season this year, competing to an amazingly high standard at every competition they have performed in. They have overcome very early starts, freezing temperatures and long days in order to finish in the top three of their leagues. The format of competitions is quite a complex one, as each team competes
“The BUCS 1st team finished 3rd overall. The BUCS 3rd team have qualified for regionals”
BUCS co-ordinator Oliver Springate
Exeposé week twenty two
BUCS Cup Final 2012
The Exeter pairing ran away to a 21-5 win, the only thing that could have stopped them was the sports hall heater fans interrupting play.
“The Exeter pairing ran away to a 21-5 win”
The two doubles pairs had been untroubled all season and this upturn brought out some much better play in the next sets as Tom and Harry went on to win their second match in two sets, as
the Southampton 2nd doubles struggled to adapt to their extremely aggressive power plays.
“With this convincing 6-2 semi-final win, the men’s 1st team look on to their Cup Final in Glamorgan”
The last game of the day fell to Muir and Ng, with Ng struggling with a shoulder injury, they were playing with control to tame the explosive Southampton
pairing to level the last match at 1-1. Compensating for injury the Exeter pair were unable to create any match winning opportunities and lost the final end 2118. The Southampton 1st pair could walk away heads held high winning the only two matches for their team. With this convincing 6-2 semi-final win, the Men’s 1st team look on to their Cup Final in Glamorgan and their almost guaranteed promotion in the league, hoping to capitalise on what could well be the perfect season, should they come back with BUCS Gold on the 21st March.
impress in BUCS eventful year. They came 2nd in their league and though this is not enough to qualify, the team would like to congratulate Imogen McMurray who qualified as an individual and so will compete in the regionals. She managed to finish in the top eight in three out of four of the competitions which is an amazing achievement. The team faced tough competition in Bristol whose team contains riders who compete at an international level, and Exeter’s 2nds were on their heels and finished well in the individual rankings. Team member and friendlies co-coordinator Victoria Fenny, says that “Bristol’s home competition was probably the most
eventful competition in BUCS history, with eight people falling off, and two horses going lame in the process.”
“The friendly B team also won their competition in Plymouth last week, taking 1st, 2nd and 3rd place individually”
The friendly teams also had a brilliant season that everyone should certainly be proud of. The A team, has won every single one of their competitions so far and
Photos: Josh Irwandi
also took the first four individual places at Exeter’s home competition which is an overwhelming achievement. Exeter even beat Plymouth’s BUCS 3rd teams at Plymouth’s home competition. Friendlies co-ordinator Phoebe Thomas says: “They are all a standard above the other teams.” The friendly B team also won their competition in Plymouth last week, and also took 1st, 2nd and 3rd place individually. The riding committee are extremely proud of the teams’ achievements this season and would like to congratulate each and every team member for their commitment and success.
No. 32 by Raucous
Across 1. & 2. Down. Fishy stand-up comedian? (7,7) 4. & 22. Across. Angling Chess Grand Master? (5,7) 7. First name linking French composer, French war PM and French early filmmaker (7) 9. Put on a pedestal (5) 10. 1978 UK winter, derived from Richard III (10) 11. To act indecipherably (13) 14. Academic unfaithfulness (10) 18. Largest artery (5) 19. Label for Oliver Reed, George Best and Withnail? (7) 21. Medieval weapon (5) 22. See 4. Across.
Down 1. Sport credited to William Webb Ellis? (5) 2. See 1. Across. 3. Regret a French street (3) 4. The Office boss (5) 5. A 19. Across. may avoid this, except for Withnail (7) 6. Yay! I’ll attend this Connecticut university (4) 8. Pepys practised this (9) 12. Home to Sir Toby Belch (7) 13. Used As poison (7) 15. Monty Python and Indiana Jones searched for it (5) 16. Position held by 12 Angry Men (5) 17. Consequence of being a heavy 19. Across? (4) 20. Non-unionised emerald isle acronym (3)
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MOnday 19 MARCH 2012 Exeposé
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EUMHC BUCS GOLD
Photo: UniSportOnline/Charles White
EUMHC Eagles soar to promotion Hockey
Tom Grimes EUMHC Eagles Captain A fine season for the Hockey Men’s 6th XI was capped off by a resounding 7-0 win over Chard meaning that they were promoted as champions of their Saturday League.
“Exeter has recorded an impressive eight wins, two draws and only one loss to end up soaring over six points above their closest rival”
Andrew Miller EUMHC Club Captain EUMHC 1sts successfully overcame a defiant Durham side 4-3 to claim the BUCS Hockey Championship and in the process earn a coveted BUCS gold medal. After a fantastic season, the 1st team have come away as Champions of BUCS. The team won the BUCS cup on Thursday 15 March in Sheffield and, this season, have also topped the BUCS PWC Premier South league with 10 games unbeaten and a goal difference of 41. These fantastic results go alongside the team’s stern test in the Men’s Premier Division of the England
Hockey League. The team recently beat Southgate 2-0 at home on Sunday 11 March. Although they face a tough challenge, Exeter 1sts have proved they can stand the test against the biggest names in English hockey. In Sheffield, Exeter 1sts started as the stronger side and took the lead through a close range finish from Nick Cooper. As the game wore on the Devon outfit developed a 3-1 lead but were unable to cement their position as Durham’s corner specialist, Dan Coultas netted twice to bring score level. Both sides pressed hard for the winning goal and as the clock was running down, with the score at 3-3, the crowd were seated in suspense. Then, up stepped Tom Carson to fire a rocket past the dumbstruck Durham keeper. He took the responsibility and pressure of
the Finals day, keeping cool and calm and displayed his trademark drag flick to claim victory for Exeter University 4-3. The 1sts excelled in the match and finished to emerge as BUCS Champions for 2011/12.
“Then, up stepped Tom Carson to fire a rocket past the dumbstruck Durham keeper” Earlier in the day, the 2nd XI had suffered a disappointing defeat to Newcastle 1st XI in the BUCS 2011/12 Trophy Match. The 4-2 loss left players lying on the turf in despair. Newcastle scored early on through a penalty
corner and then uncharacteristic errors allowed the Geordies to enter the halftime interval 4-1 up. The deficit was prove ninsurmountable and despite dominating proceedings and clawing back a goal, Newcastle defended for their lives and held on for the win. Exeter 2nds, despite losing in Sheffield, have had a fantastic season, winning the BUCS Western 1A league with 26 points and a goal difference of 31. Beth Hampson, AU President told Exeposé afterwards: “I am very proud of the boys and think it is a fantastic result. It just demonstrates that hard work really does pay off. They have really stamped Exeter as being one of the top institutions for Hockey.”
With only a point needed from the game Exeter started strongly and soon took the lead. From that point on there was no way back for the visitors as Exeter piled on the pressure by dominating possession and finishing with aplomb when the chances arose. Having only dropped four points in the Saturday league all season and being unbeaten, not to mention the fact that Exeter has scored more than 100 goals across the whole season shows Exeter’s dominance of the league. The team has also only conceded 31 goals, showing that there have been impressive performances all over the pitch which have led to the league success. The Squad has also been competing in BUCS and having been promoted out of their BUCS league last year, knew that this year was going to be tough. The Eagles however had belief and by increasing their intensity and training have had a fine season, seizing promotion with a game to go. Exeter has recorded an impressive eight wins, two draws and only one loss to end up soaring over six points above their closest rival to clinch BUCS promotion. The results and success are a perfect reward for the hard work that the full squad has put in all year and shows that there is serious talent across the whole Hockey club at Exeter.
Published on Mar 19, 2012
Published on Mar 19, 2012
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