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Senior minister talks Parliament and student protest
Sam Stern, renowned student chef offers Exeposé a masterclass
The University of Exeter’s Independent Student Newspaper
Tuesday 27 November 2012 • Issue 601 • www.exepose.ex.ac.uk • Twitter: @Exepose • www.facebook.com/Exepose
The University’s biggest donor, Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad AlQasimi, is Ruler of Sharjah, where it is claimed “the most basic human rights to its citizens” are routinely denied. Today, a plaque in the Forum praises his “generosity and vision”. This issue Exeposé asks:
Is the University of the Year ethically sourced?
EXCLUSIVE Tom Payne, Editor Phil Thomas, News Editor THE University of Exeter celebrates cultural diversity and academic freedom, but its leading donor rules over an Arab emirate which according to a report “routinely denies the most basic human rights to its citizens”. Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi, the ruler of Sharjah, one of the most conservative Emirates in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has donated more than £8 million to the University over two decades and is thanked on a plaque in the centre of the Forum. Sheikh Sultan, described as “the University’s single most important supporter” in a 2007 report, also donated £2.4 million to the founding and subsequent extensions of the Arab and Islamic Studies building between 1998 and 2006. The University also received an unspecified amount from Sheik Sultan to pay for a graduate centre in 1990. FULL REPORT PAGES 4 & 5
Comment: Controversy over this year’s SSB theme - PAGE 12
Music: Interview with Mercury prize-winners Alt+J (∆) - PAGE 22
Sport: Screen meet silent film musician Stephen Horne - PAGE 25
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Salonee Kakodkar THE University of Exeter’s Children in Need party helped to raise over £5,000 for the charity.
The Forum hosted an array of student performance groups who entertained visitors and students for four hours. Performances were varied, in-
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Children in Need: “a fantastic night”
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27 NOVEMBER 2012 |
cluding dance demonstrations from Dancesport and Asian Society and a glimpse of upcoming student productions. Footlights Copacabana cast also performed “Dancing Fool” and the
lead singer Jess Phillips sang ‘Man Wanted’. An XpressionFM show ran for 24 hours, raising £854 for Children in need alone. Radio presenters George Graham and Gareth Jones, hosted ‘The Big Broadcast’ where they were joined by a different guest presenter each hour. Ronald Liong, XpressionFM Co-Head of Production, said: “I am amazed at how George and Gareth managed to stay up and actually remain coherent, sacrificing sleep and brain cells for this event. “Of course, we couldn’t have done this broadcast and raised that much for Children in Need were it not for the generosity of the listeners, those who offered their time to help and the producers.” David Allen, Registrar, said: “This certainly ranks as one of the best events ever held in the Forum, and it proved to be a fantastic night for the region and for the University. “Thank you to everyone who gave up their time to entertain the crowds and make it a true party atmosphere. More importantly, we were delighted to welcome so many fundraisers for this important charity to the event.” The South West region raised £722,586.
XpressionFM scoop national awards Thomas Ffiske XPRESSIONFM, the University of Exeter’s student-run radio station, won two medals at this year’s National Student Radio Awards.
“I think we couldn’t have produced the same awardwinning output if it weren’t for each and every Xpression member” Ronald Liong, Co-Head of Production They won gold in the ‘Best Student Radio Chart Show’ for the second year running and silver for their ‘Best Live Event or Outside Broadcast’ category, owing largely to their impressive Fo-
rum opening coverage in May. Ronald Liong, the Co-Head of Production 2012-13, thanked his ‘“amazing team” for attaining these two awards. He said: “Both teams managed to get their act together in true student radio fashion, and I’m proud to have been a part of both teams. We had almost 20 people work on the Forum Opening Coverage and 11 on the Chart Show. I think we couldn’t have produced the same award-winning output if it weren’t for each and every Xpression member who got involved. “Looking ahead, we have a new logo, a fresh new sound, and most importantly, an amazing team. I’m confident that we will win even more awards in the years to come!” Their broadcast channel is 87.7 FM or http://www.xpressionfm.info.
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SSB headline act finally revealed
Photo: Henry White
• Rudimental is announced as headliner • RAG launches SSB campaigns week • Theme accused of ‘racism’ by some James Crouch Features Editor RUDIMENTAL has been confirmed as the headline act for the Safer Sex Ball (SSB) by RAG after the decision was made to have a tribal theme for this year’s event. Three other “massive” headline acts were also revealed, including Radio 1 DJ Danny Howard, Clement Marfo & The Frontline and Freejak. All of them will play the main stage. There will also be four other stages, including an acoustic stage and a local DJ stage, with performances from DJs such as 5imba and southpaw. With more acts and features than before, this year’s SSB has been described as better than ever by the organisers, who said: “It is set to be the most exciting event of the year”.
“It is set to be most exciting event of the year” SSB Organiser For the first time RAG will be running a campaign this week to raise awareness about what the Safer Sex Ball stands for. It will be split threeways between Safer Sex and Sexual Health, Positive Body Image and No Means No. During the week there will be information stalls on campus from different societies and charities, including the Eddystone Trust. Amongst other features, there will be an STI tent with professional Chlamydia screening. Ami Gibson, SSB Coordinator, said: “This year, I really wanted to ed-
ucate the students about what the SSB is truly about. “The SSB has been, and always will be, an extremely exciting and original event but we, as a committee, wanted to ensure that the students were fully aware of what our messages are.” This year’s plans have not come without controversy, as students have launched a campaign to change the tribal theme. Exeter Students for Social Justice have labelled the theme as ‘racist’, ‘colonialist’ and ‘oppressive’, and also want the SSB committee to publically apologize and attend mandatory Privilege Awareness Training. The society stated: “After last year’s rape “joke”, we thought they could go no further. Students across campus are appalled by the choice of theme. “This latest development of the ‘Tribal’ theme at a predominately white institution raises the question safer sex for whom.” A counter-campaign has started on Facebook, arguing that the claims are ‘ridiculous’. Will Kelleher, a second year geography student, said: “There is clearly no racist connotations with this years’ SSB theme and anyone who thinks so hasn’t thought it through properly.” However, Daniel Elbrit, a law student, said: “I beg you [Exeter students], don’t galvanize the majority into attacking a vulnerable minority like this. Don’t turn Exeter into a last bastion of racism in a world that has long agreed that these things are not ok.” So far the SSB Committee have made no decision to change the theme and decline to comment on the issue.
£48 million Forum flooded Photo: Josh Irwandi
Tom Payne Editor THE University was left red-faced last week after torrential rain caused flooding in the Library and Alumni Auditorium. An area towards the far end of the Law Library on Level -1 was cordoned off after rain started to seep through the ceiling. Campus Services used tarpaulins to protect books from damage, as pools of water deepened. An Accounting lecture in the Alumni Auditorium was also abandoned as rain began to pour through the roof. Ian Jarman, an Accounting student, recalled the incident: “It was very funny, one second it’s fine, next second all
you can hear is pouring water. “Great way to get out of Accounting.” Campus Services told Exeposé: “The sheer amount of water seeping in through the ceilings is because of the torrential rain.
“It was very funny, one second it’s fine, next second all you can hear is pouring water” Ian Jarman, Accounting student “Normal service to these buildings will resume.” Heavy rain has hampered travel services across Devon, and many train services to and from Exeter have been cancelled.
Forum flooding @Natalie_kent_24 “Exeter University has descended into chaos” @quirkyyy “How much did you spend on The Forum again @uniofexeter?” @stevenperring “So now the University of Exeter is flooding. Apparently water just started pouring through the roof.” @ExeterUniLib “Happy to report that leak in far end of Law Library is fixed. All books safe from harm.” @hamandoeaches “Poor Exeter. £45m and the roof still leaks.” @kiahshabka “Best news all day ‘@ Exepose: Students can rest easy’”
27 november 2012 |
Uni of the Year accepts millions from conservative Arab ruler The University has accepted over millions of pounds in donations from Sheik Sultan of Sharjah - a highly conservative area of the UAE with a strict Code of Conduct, decency laws and harsh punishments. Tom Payne, Editor, and Phil Thomas, News Editor, report FULL REPORT PAGES 4 & 5 A review by Exeposé has revealed the extent of social repression in Sharjah, an Emirate allegedly ruled over “with virtually unlimited power” and “no democratic accountability” by Sheikh Sultan. A 2009 report entitled ‘Degrees of Influence’ from the Centre for Social Cohesion, a British non-partisan think-tank, claims that the UAE “routinely denies the most basic human rights to its citizens and inhabitants.” The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website states that homosexuality, cross-dressing, sex outside marriage, and the importation of narcotics, pork products and pornography are all illegal in the UAE. It claims that Sharjah is the only emirate where any consumption of alcohol is illegal. Sharjah also has some of the strictest decency laws in the UAE. In 2001, conservative Islamic behaviour was imposed on all those in the emirate, including tourists, foreign workers and citizens. This included restrictions on alcohol consumption and the introduction of a strict dress code for men and women – the FCO website claims that women should “dress modestly” when in public areas, while swimming attire is banned in all public areas apart from beaches or swimming pools. According to Gulf News, the largest newspaper in the UAE, police would be “implementing [the] law on decency and public conduct in accordance with the directions of His Highness Dr Sheik Sultan bin Mohammed al-Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah”. The FCO currently warns visitors to the UAE that there may be “serious penalties” for violating local laws and customs. A report conducted by the US State Department in 2006 found that in the UAE distribution of non-Muslim lit-
erature is illegal, whilst engaging in homosexual activity can result in imprisonment. Sharjah’s strict Code of Conduct also prohibits the expression of non-Islamic religious practice. In April 2008, the computer game God of War was banned in Sharjah because it featured Greek Gods. Gulf News, reported that video games containing language and scenes that offend the religion of the country are routinely confiscated. It is also alleged in a UAE newspaper, The National, that in 2010, Sheikh Sultan passed an act ordering the police to systematically knock on homes without notice throughout the country to check if couples were married. IFEX, the Global Network for Free Expression claims that Sharjah has also detained protestors without warning. On 24 March this year, a man named Mohammed Abdul Razzaq Al-Siddiq is said to have been arrested without a warrant after criticizing against Sheik Sultan’s discrimination against Sharjah’s large expatriate population on his Twitter page. The man apparently had his UAE nationality revoked. Reports of the arrest were met with opposition from the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), who were keen to suggest the man receive a fair trial. Despite Sharjah’s apparently poor human rights record, the University has frequently awarded and honoured Sheikh Sultan, awarding him an honorary doctorate in 1993. Since then, Sheikh Sultan has continually provided the University with funds, including £5 million towards the construction of the Forum Project. The University’s dealings with the Sheikh Sultan have been met with opposition from students. A spokesperson for Amnesty International Society told Exeposé: “I cannot take pride in our
Forum with these allegations in mind.” “We believe the University is undermining its excellent student campaigns groups, who work tirelessly to promote the protection of human rights worldwide. How can Exeter University continue to advance its reputation for excellence worldwide when that excellence is funded by those who apparently fail to uphold basic human rights?” The University, which claims it has a “strict ethics procedure which is used to vet grants and donations”, responded to Exeposé’s findings by saying: “The customs and laws of the UAE are clearly very different to our own, but the reality is that very few countries in the world have unimpeachable records on human rights. The UK at the present time is facing international criticism for denying prisoners the right to vote and for allowing the Church of England to be exempt from equality legislation. Human rights issues are often raised with many other countries the UK does business with, such as the USA and China.” “The Ruler of Sharjah has a long and distinguished association with the University of Exeter. We are proud to have him as an honorary graduate and a member of the College of Benefactors. “His interest in the University is as an alumnus and to support scholarship. In the more than 25 years we have known him, he has never once sought to exert influence on any aspect of the University.” The University also honoured Sheikh Sultan by making him a founding member of the University’s College of Benefactors in May 2007. Sir Steve Smith, the Vice Chancellor, said: “Admittance to the College of Benefactors demonstrates our appreciation of all that His Highness has done for the University over more than two decades.”
Sources: ‘A Degree of Influence’, a 2009 report from the Centre for Social Cohesion, a 2007 Annual Report from the University of Exeter, Gulf News articles ‘Sharjah’s decency law takes effect today’, 26 Sept 2001, ‘Sharjah crackdown against banned God of War game’, 17 April 2008, The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), The National, ‘Unmarried Sharjah couple arrested for living together’, Apr 21, 2010, and IFEX, the global network for free expression
Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammed Al-Qasimi (b. 6 July 1939 in Sharjah) is a member of the Supreme Council of the United Arab Emirates and has ruled the Sharjah emirate since 1972. ‘A Degree of Influence’, a report by the Centre for Social Cohesion stated that he has enjoyed “virtually unlimited power within his emirate to appoint ministers and implement policy with almost no form of democratic accountability”. A distinguished academic who was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy with distinc-
tion in history by Exeter in 1985, Sheik Sultan has been showered with honorary degrees and prizes throughout his life; most notably a medal for Human Rights from UNESCO. His dedication to maintaining and enhancing culture is similarly impressive. He was educated at Cairo University, the University of Exeter and the University of Durham, and has since made large financial donations to each of these. While al-Qaisimi has been considered a political moderate, Sharjah is the most conservative member of the UAE.
Donations controvers OUR engagements overseas aim to increase the impact of our research and teaching, encouraging research excellence, good governance and the observance of the rule of law. More specifically, our fundraising policy is to avoid approaching individuals or organisations proved to have either: 1 Irresponsible employment practices 2.Unsustainable environmental practices 3. Poor corporate governance
4. Undermined the rule of law 5. Acted in another way that may harm the University’s reputation or contravenes the University’s Ethics Policy. Another limitation we place on all philanthropic gifts is that they must come without strings attached – we will not accept philanthropic gifts that place restrictions on our academic freedom. We review the risks related to donating individuals or organisations, rather than their country of origin. For an individual this includes reviewing
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www.exepose.ex.ac.uk Photo: Joshua Irwandi
Students have a right to demand greater transparency on donations to Universities
Tom Payne Editor
Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (UAE) Sharjah is a constitutional monarchy that is one of the seven quasi-autonomous emirates that form the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The third biggest emirate in the UAE, Sharjah covers 2,600km2, has a population of over 800,000 and comprises the city of Sharjah and other towns and enclaves. Its vast amounts of natural resources have made it a centre for trade and commerce in the Arab world. Sharjah’s tourist board describes its culture as ‘firmly rooted in the Islamic traditions of Arabia’ and it is only
the emirate in which the consumption of alcohol is banned. In 1998, UNESCO named Sharjah ‘The Cultural Capital of the Arab World’, as the city of Sharjah alone has over 20 museums. Sharjah also hosts three major annual cultural events: the Expo Centre, the Sharjah Biennial and the Sharjah Light Festival. It is famous in the sporting world for hosting one-day cricket internationals and test matches.
Have your say E-mail us your thoughts on the donations scandal story firstname.lastname@example.org Tweet: @Exepose
THE national University donations scandals raise some interesting questions. For some time now, revelations similar to those documented in this edition of Exeposé have been a persistent, complex moral and ethical grey area in University funding. Only recently, however, have such stories started to make the headlines. Across the country, University lecturers have been calling for greater transparency and scrutiny of donations made to Universities. This month, the BBC reported that members of the University and College Union (UCU) claimed they were being pressured not to speak out against donations from individuals and organisations with dubious human rights records. Last year, the head of the London School of Economics (LSE), Sir Howard Davies, resigned from his post over the acceptance of donations from the government of the then Libyan leader Colonel Gadaffi. Similarly, a report made by BBC Radio 4’s Today programme earlier in the month claimed that several other universities had been faced with questions over overseas donations. Although Exeter University leaders have reportedly denied these allegations, the stories nonetheless ask pertinent questions about Exeter University’s methods for weighing up the ethical implications of donations. When Exeposé asked the University for details of the methods used to weigh up the ethical implications of donations from individuals and organisations (see response below), the response we received was confusing. The University stated that they have no records of “the ethical processes followed in 1990”, the year when they accepted their first donations from Sheikh Sultan. With no records, there is little evidence of what, if any, ethical procedures were
followed. Similarly, although the University states that it has implemented a number of new processes and policies within the last 18 months, in light of new legal requirements, and as a result of a donations scandal at LSE, none of these new policies would have covered donations from Sheikh Sultan, since the last donation - £1m for the Forum - was received four years ago. Although the University claims it “reviews the risks related to donating individuals or organisations, rather than their country of origin”, it’s hard to see how the two are mutually exclusive – reports strongly suggest that Sheikh Sultan rules over the Sharjah and has the power to implement policy at his will. It seems contradictory that the University should so prominently and publically praise Sheikh Sultan’s “generosity and kindness” – this is, after all, the ruler of a deeply conservative Arab emirate, a state whose subjects are reportedly denied even the most basic of human rights. This University is a place which celebrates freedom of speech, cultural diversity and difference as its cornerstone – but its “single most important supporter” rules over a conservative emirate accused of violating the human rights of its citizens. Some students may be shocked by the contradictory elements of Sheikh Sultan’s personality. For an individual whose dedication to education and culture is praiseworthy, it may be alarming to some students that his apparent devotion to conservative Islamic principles has resulted in a country that denies freedom of speech, criminalises homosexuality and practices forced deportations and physical punishment for those who do not abide by its strict Code of Conduct. There is an important question the University must ask itself; should we be affiliated with an individual who reportedly denies freedom of speech in his own country when this principle is a cornerstone of our University? The University have spoken, now the students must now have their say on the matter.
sy: the University responds to Exeposé... their known business interests and/ or their occupation or role in Government. If funding is offered by the Government of a country we consider the nature of the funding being offered and whether engagement with that Government on that specific area of work is congruent with our role as an academic institution. We can also seek guidance from external experts, such as the Foreign Office or consulates if needed. The most recent pledge to the University by His Highness, made in 2008 towards the Forum, built on a
long-standing philanthropic relationship with Exeter that stretched back for more than 18 years. Although records of the ethical processes followed in 1990 no longer exist, by 2008, as a matter of course the University would have been monitoring press coverage relating to His Highness, as an alumni and key supporter, to ensure any subsequent reputational issues were flagged. Over the last 18 months the University has updated and consolidated its processes and policies around philanthropic donations, to reflect new le-
gal requirements in the areas of bribery, money laundering, fraud and equality, as well as implement learnings from the Woolf Report (examining activities at the London School of Economics). Excerpt from 22 November 2012 response The customs and laws in the UAE are clearly very different from our own, but the reality is that very few countries in the world have unimpeachable records on human rights. The UK at the present time is facing international crit-
icism for denying prisoners the right to vote and for allowing the Church of England to be exempt from equality legislation. Human rights issues are often raised with many other countries the UK does business with, such as the USA and China. The Ruler of Sharjah has a long and distinguished association with the University of Exeter. We are proud to have him as an honorary graduate and a member of the College of Benefactors. His interest in the University is as an alumnus and to support scholarship. In
the more than 25 years we have known him, he has never once sought to exert influence on any aspect of the University. The University has a strict ethics procedure which is used to vet grants and donations from individuals or organisations. These procedures consider the ethical and reputational issues which may be connected with a particular grant or donation. All offers of gifts over £250k are referred to the University’s Ethics Committee, which includes student representation.
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National Student News
Manchester Uni accused of bribery Gareth Brown MANCHESTER University is facing scrutiny after it materialised that students were offered bribes to participate in the National Union of Students’ Demo 2012 protest. Society leaders at the University of Manchester received an email last weekend from the University of Manchester Students’ Union Activities and Development Officer which stated: “In order to be sure of Silver or Gold Award, societies will need to send ten members to buy tickets” thus showing “support for the national student movement.”
“Societies will need to send ten members to buy tickets” University of Manchester Student’s Union Activities and Development officer Silver and Gold funding for societies at the university are worth £600 and £1,000 respectively. A petition was started in response to the email by current student Andrew Williams, who said: “It opposes the idea that endorsement of any political view – via participation in a protest or otherwise – should affect the funding of societies by the University of Manchester Students’ union.”
Exeter High Street set to close Photo: http://demolition-exeter.blogspot.co.uk
Raj Kular Senior Reporter EXETER City High Street is to close for six weeks as the road running through it is sinking. The full road closure shall start in mid February and no work will be carried out on Saturdays. The section of the road affected is from Tesco Metro to the area outside Stead and Simpson. Pedestrian access will be available whilst the work is being done, but the section of the road will be closed to buses.
“I’m grateful they have decided not to start the work until February” Second year business student One of the causes behind this decision was the inadequate repair work
John Lewis release strong sales figures Simon Dewhurst
undertaken in the area after bomb damage was inflicted on the city during the Second World War. Action is taking place amid fears that if the work is not carried out soon then the road may collapse. John Harvey, city centre manager, said: “This work, to put right a problem with its roots back in the city’s postwar construction, is critical.” Councillor Stuart Hughes said:
“We will be doing everything we can to minimise disruption but I should apologise in advance for any inconvenience caused.” A second-year business student said: “At first I was quite worried that this would severely hinder access around town, especially to major retailers during the Christmas period, so I’m grateful they have decided not to start work until February.”
Torrential rain hits Exeter Photo: Kitty Amnezia
Phil Thomas News Editor EXETER has been battered by torrential rain resulting in floods across the city. In the city centre tiles flew off the city’s job centre as strong gales hammered Exeter. Flooding at the Quay forced the Cellar Door nightclub to temporarily close for business. Flats had to be evacuated as a large section of a wall on Hele Road was knocked down due to the weather. Four fire engines, police and a rescue team with a dog were to sent to Hele Road to clear the rubble and to make sure that no one was injured.
Student living costs outpace funding Becky Mullen A REPORT published by the National Union of Students has revealed the growing gap between student living costs and government funding. Latest figures released by the NUS claim that the additional cost of student living has risen to £8,566 per year for students living outside London and to £8,112 for those living in the capital.
“This is the worst flooding I have seen since I’ve been at Exeter University” Chris Staunton, third year Biology student Train routes were disrupted causing distress to those wishing to travel The turning on of the Christmas lights in the city centre also had to be postponed. Chris Staunton, third year biology student, said: “This is the worst flooding I have seen since I’ve been at Exeter University. “It is good to see at such times that the police and emergency services are working hard to help us out.” The Environment Agency issued 35 flood warnings and 56 flood alerts across the South West and warned that heavy rain could lead to further flooding if it continues. Paul Gunderson, Met Office Deputy Chief Forecaster, said: “We urge everyone to keep up to date with forecasts and warnings and be prepared for what the weather will bring.”
“Fee waivers are a joke to anyone who has a pile of bills to pay and months until their next loan payment” Paul Mercer, NUS VicePresident Currently, a student without family or university assistance on minimum wage would be forced to work full time every week in order to support themselves. The NUS has urged the government to offer larger cash bursaries that will cover the real costs of studying. Paul Mercer, NUS Vice-President, said: “Fee waivers are a joke to anyone who has a pile of bills to pay and months until their next loan payment – what they need is cash bursaries that help them meet the costs of studying.”
THE new John Lewis store in Exeter has announced fantastic sales figures from its first six weeks of trading. The company’s staff have been overwhelmed by the early success of the shop which has been bucking national trends with strong sales figures. Other retailers across the city are also reporting an increased number of shoppers. The most popular departments in the new store have been ladies’ and men’s fashion with John Lewis own labels selling particularly well. It is expected to get even busier in the run up to Christmas with temporary staff and mobile tills being utilised.
“This has been a really good start and has delivered the benefits we wanted it to” John Harvey, Exeter’s City Centre Manager Much of the store’s success has been put down to the innovative features inside. It is the first John Lewis outlet which aims to match in-store sales with those online. Initial figures are promising with ‘click and collect’ turnover improving week-by-week. The shop also features the company’s first ever Samsung touch screen table which allows shoppers to view multiple products at one time. John Harvey, Exeter’s city centre manager, said: “This has been a really good start and has delivered the benefits that we wanted it to. We hope people will continue to discover the rest the city centre has to offer.” “There are fantastic cafés and restaurants across the whole of the city centre and it has an amazingly rich independent sector which we want to do well.” Jade Hill, second year history student, said: “It’s good to finally have a John Lewis in Exeter, but the queues in the first few weeks have been too long and stock levels have been poor.”
University’s income rises Phil Thomas News Editor THE UNIVERSITY of Exeter has reported an increase of 44 per cent in yearly income. Sean Fielding, director of research and knowledge transfer at Exeter University, attributed this to the heavy investment in interdisciplinary themes and projects. This includes the Forum Project and the £200 million expenditure on infrastructure and staff over the past three years. In 2010/11 the University’s income was £10.4 million and in 2011/12 it rose to £15 million.
NUS protest eye-witness report Christopher Mastris ON Wednesday 21 November 2012, thousands of students across the UK gathered together in London for one of the first major education-based demonstrations since the tuition fee protests of 2010. In contrast, Demo 2012 was more broadly based on the Government’s entire attitude and approach to education and joblessness: Educate, Employ, Empower. Students from universities all over Britain attended, including Portsmouth, Edinburgh and Exeter. Those participating in the demonstration firstly assembled at Embankment, before marching in unison to Kennington Park via the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Bridge. Before setting off a number of speakers addressed the crowds, from dedicated members of NUS to passionate students. After this motivation, at around midday, the rally moved towards the Houses of Parliament wielding a huge variety of signs, banners, and in some cases costumes. These addressed the issues of the cost of education, equal opportunities for all students, unemployment, cuts to funding, and more personal criticisms of the country’s political leaders. Once outside Parliament, many stopped before continuing onwards, to emphasise their true reason for being there, and remind onlookers of those who have the power to make a difference to “the system”. Some remained outside for hours to come, while others later continued towards Kennington Park. Upon reaching the park further speakers addressed students, including the NUS President Liam Burns. In contrast to some of the more infamous demonstrations, and the London 2010 riots, Demo 2012 was largely, if not almost entirely peaceful. While many may not have had warm feelings towards police, and the tape used to contain students, the vast majority respected the non-violent intentions of the demonstration. Instead of firing physical projectiles, demonstrators instead expressed their discontent with chants ranging from concern about cuts, to other less serious ones regarding the Prime Minister’s appearance. Unfortunately, the weather was not on the students’ side, as demonstrators were variably drizzled on by light showers and drenched by torrential downpours throughout the march. Despite this, the spirits of those involved were not too dampened, and the march continued with determination as before. Some even improvised to make light of the poor weather, with chants such as, “We’re soaked, we’re wet, we don’t like student debt”. It is certainly true that students have brought the issues of education and employment back into the thoughts of the public and politicians alike. It now remains for the Government to address these concerns, and decide how, and when, it wants to act.
27 november 2012 |
“We’re soaked, we’re wet,
Exeter joins 10,000 fellow students, taking to the streets of London demand Photos by Joshua Irwandi, bottom right Nik Rahmel
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we don’t like student debt”
ing students are educated, employed and most importantly, empowered
Demo 2012: a social protest @JMorganTHE “’Bring back EMA’ and ‘education is our right’ the chants at #demo2012 as police copters circle” @adamsouthall “Solidarity to everyone marching today #demo2012 I would be there, but am snowed under with Marx” @nicholas davies @ILSanders : ‘how about we sack off the #demo2012 and go to the savoy instead?’ #thatssoexeter @broadleft “Welfare not Warfare - Buy Books Not Bombs” <- getting our chants ready for #demo2012 - fund education not war! #stopthewar” @anarchowoody “No jobs for us to earn and we can’t afford to learn. March in London on 21st. #Demo2012” @ExeterGuild students talking about what the #demo2012 means for them en route to London #ProudToBeActive @NUS_liam “Amazing day, 10k out, students’ unions buzzing... And my egg dodging is pretty fierce. #demo2012” @mercerPete “Absolutely blown away by @toni_pearce at the #demo2012 rally in Kennington Park. “We won’t be a lost generation” brilliant speech” @marchingstars ““Apps for the masses, not just the ruling claases.” Could catch on that. #demo2012” @BONVANCHOVEE “hats off to all the folks at #demo2012. A govt of venal millionaires slamming the door in the face of a generation needs shouting about” @alex_trembath “Amazing effort in the wind and rain today by all at #demo2012” @josh_row “On the bus home from a very wet #demo2012 gotta say tho overall was a good day! Massive shout out to officers and stewards from @nusuk aswell!”
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“The SSB ‘who’s going?’ debacle has been resolved once and for all”
Last week also saw the confirmation of the musical talent to be getting the party started, from the likes of Rudimental to Radio One’s Danny Howard. With a varied mix of musical performance, Exeposé hopes that students will not be disappointed. ‘Feel the Love’ by Rudimental is sure to be a floor filler, and with a recent appearance on Jools Holland, the
quartet have a quality performance (almost) guaranteed. The tribal theme has sparked much debate across campus, with campaigns against the theme, and campaigns against the campaign against the team splitting student opinion (see Comment page 12 for students battling it out). RAG are keen to raise sexual awareness as well as money for charity with this years Ball. This is the first time the SSB is holding a campaigns week (26- 1 December). RAG is running a series of events from an STI tent, a Chlamydia screening area, life drawing sessions and treasure hunts. Full information can be found on the RAG facebook event page. Only time will tell how individual people choose to interpret the theme, from a fashion perspective or instead making a faux-pas. What is clear is that in the cold wet November Exeter students are facing, the SSB is at least keeping us in a heated debate!
Raindrops keep Forum on my head LAST week, the Forum faced its first all-weather test as stormy conditions blighted Exeter. Other more established University buildings fared the storm, however the 7 month old Forum struggled to keep it’s head above the water. Rivers rose and walls toppled, but the biggest story occurred when the Forum Library, and later the Alumni Auditorium, began to flood on Thursday evening. Quick reactions from the unsung heroes of the Campus Services team ensure only minor flooding occurred, leaving most of the library unscathed - although future barristers may be sad to hear of a few soggy Law journals, which did not survive the deluge. Whilst the response team were quick to resolve the situation, it might be worth bringing a cagoule and an inflatable dinghy next time you are plan-
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Safer Sex Ball saga continues SAFER SEX BALL (SSB) ticket allocation is over. With over a third of tickets being scooped up by the savvy students opting into a night out at Exeter Castle, and the rest spread through the lottery system, the SSB ‘who’s going?’ debacle has been resolved once and for all.
ning a trip to the Alumni Auditorium. As we have found in Exeter, when it rains, it pours.
“The 7 month old Forum struggled to keep it’s head above the water” If there’s one thing we’ve learnt as Editors of Exepose, it’s that students love a Forum cock-up story. £48 million seems like a lot to spend on a building where the doors don’t work for months on end and the roofs aren’t watertight. With an entire chorus of children singing “Bridge over Troubled Water” in aid of Children in Need last week, we can take solace in the fact that they, at least, were not singing in the rain.
Thanks to those who helped proof this issue: Megan Furborough, Elli Christie, Will O’Rourke,Niklas Ramel, Cameron Ho, Cherrie Kwok, Dom Ford, Dom Madar, Kate Gray, George Keleny, Emma Holifield, Gareth Browne, Ciara Long, Harrison Jones, Thomas Clarke, Vanessa Tracey, Lauren Swift, Amy Young, Conner Leopard and Rhys Mills and members of the Exeposé editorial team
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Student apathy towards Devon and Cornwall PCC elections Oliver Hunter ON Thursday, the people of Devon and Cornwall had the opportunity to choose their first police and crime commissioner. The election enabled local residents to take an active role in determining how their police service is run yet a lacklustre turnout of just 15.1% has threatened to undermine the legitimacy of the incoming commissioner. In a region of over 50,000 students it comes as a surprise that the PCC candidates have often neglected so many potential voters from their campaigns. Looking through the manifesto of each candidate highlights the focus on the inclusion of the ‘local community’ but a distinct lack of any mention of the mobile community of students. Whilst speaking with Conservative election winner Tony Hogg in the run up to election day he emphasised the limitation that electoral registration placed on his pursuit of student votes. On the contrary independent candidate Ivan Jordan told me that he’d been surprised by the number of students he had met in Exeter who were eligible and registered to vote. The closing date to register to vote in the PCC election was the 31st October at which point all of the candidates’ election campaigns were well underway yet little effort was made to get the student body registered to vote due supposedly to time limitations on the election campaign. In the coming weeks the electoral commission is planning to investigate the dismal turnout. This is not to say there was no attempt at engaging with a young student body from any of the prospective com-
missioners. Mr Hogg and independent candidates Ivan Jordan and William Morris all drew upon their experience at a BBC Radio Cornwall debate held in Truro as successful. The debate was aimed at encouraging students from Truro College and Tremough campus to get involved in the election. Even so the inclusion of a small group of students has done little to boost the publicity of the election. Several students I spoke to around Falmouth weren’t even aware of the impending election taking place. Third year politics and history studet Rhys said he didn’t vote because he ‘wasn’t invited in to the process and wasn’t consulted as to whether this constitutional change was worthwhile’. The candidates also claimed to have used the media to connect with the younger student body. I found that only Ivan Jordan seemed to have really harnessed the potential of social media in interacting with younger people and the public in general. Mr. Jordan has set up an accessible Facebook page on which people can voice concerns ask questions and share information on the police commissioner elections. This is something that Mr. Jordan told me he’d continue to use, if elected, as a means by which to get students involved and connected to the decision making process and something that I hope will be adopted by Tony Hogg to enhance his spell as PCC. Students are affected in many ways by crime. Students are more likely to be victims of burglary and violent crime. In Exeter and Plymouth a recent study showed that 1.7 students per thousand residents were victims of reported burglary, robbery and
violent crime last year. One example of successful police and student cooperation is in Birmingham where a student crime busting committee worked closely with Police to tackle burglary and incidents went down by 70%. These are the sort of initiatives that a democratically elected police commissioner could enable in conjunction with an active and engaged student body to promote accountability and general student safety throughout the South West. Essentially it doesn’t matter how many channels of communication there are for students the real challenge will be making students want to be involved in this process that will inevitably affect them. In the run up to the election all the candidates I spoke to had felt a resistance from the younger population to get involved in the election. William Morris had even been asked not to attend a previously arranged talk at a sixth form in Saltash as the staff felt it was not appropriate. As Ivan Jordan said to me ‘the most vocal are those well established in communities’ and as a consequence students don’t feel ‘entitled to make these decisions’. No matter what the result or turnout of the PCC election it is clear that the student population across the South West must be included in the PCC decision making process. The true challenge for the police commissioner now is to make sure students want to take part in community decision making and in three years time with links well established the student vote could and should be of paramount importance to the second police and crime commissioner for Cornwall and Devon.
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Knickers in a twist over SSB theme Nandini Basu HONESTLY, I think the only thing occupying the minds of the people who decided RAG’s SSB tribal theme was girls in itty-bitty animal print lingerie. And hence I don’t see the hype associated with people accusing the theme of being racist and inappropriate. Well, to think of it, the idea of people parading in itty-bitty pieces of loincloth is pretty inappropriate to begin with. But at the end of the day it’s for a good cause, both social and personal. It helps promote sexual awareness and raises money for various charities while at the same time giving the attendees a chance to show off the great results from that diet they’ve been on since last week. All in all, the Safer Sex Ball is a fun event with confident, free individuals who’re there solely for the purpose of having a good time. And this stands true despite what the theme for the event is. I’m not trying to belittle the theme, but to be honest it doesn’t really hold that much relevance when compared
to the concept of SSB as a whole. And as far as the tribal theme being racist is concerned, it genuinely didn’t cross my mind. What I got from the whole theme was an idea of letting loose, having a night with no social norms or restraints, and frankly I think that is exactly what SSB is supposed to be about. If you want to find something wrong or inappropriate with any event or theme, you’re in luck because no event, let alone the Safer Sex Ball, is perfect. But you just have to take things with a grain of salt and look at the bigger picture. I really think the theme was not put out to offend anyone. At most it was an honest mistake, one that should frankly be overlooked as it’s clearly not aiming to insult any individual or community in particular. That being said, it’s not entirely a horrible theme. I’m sure if you get to it, you can come up with quite a creative bunch of costume ideas. I for one love the idea of animal prints, feathers and face paint. And I’m sure halfway through the night all those essentials aren’t even going to matter.
James Crouch IT is another year of SSB and it is another unfortunate year of angry backlashes to what is first and foremost one of the biggest charity fundraisers outside of the capital. This year it is the ‘tribal’ dress theme which has caused concern because it is apparently racist, colonialist and oppressive. I’d hope we can all agree that it is ludicrous to suggest that RAG and the Student Guild are a bunch of white supremacists who are out to suppress some supposedly inferior race. So the heart of the matter must be: merely is using the word tribal racist or is dressing up as another culture racist, even if you don’t have a racist bone in your body? According to this campaign, the word tribe apparently has its origins in white colonialist oppression. Whether it does or not, I would like to know if anyone actually knew that before this blew up? What I strongly suspect is this campaign, smelling something to be outraged about, found somewhere
on Google the archaic use of the word in the Victorian period. The online dictionary I use does not even have a note about apparent bad connotations, so I’m afraid I’d have been caught ignorant. But alas, I’d trust Bruce Parry - having spent invariably more time with people remotely ‘tribal’ than anyone in this campaign has - who sees absolutely no issue with using it as the name for his BBC2 TV show. And as an avid watcher, I’d deem the chances of hearing anyone on there care about the SSB theme quite slim. But is dressing up as another culture racist? Apparently, according to this campaign, it is because any attempt will be a “racist parody”. But this lies on the assumption that you are trying, when your aim at a party is not to make political statements with your costume but to have fun. My estimation is that they’re relying on the gut reaction against those that ‘black up’, which is at best in disgustingly bad taste. But would this apply to dressing up like a Swiss Guard (for the Vatican citizenry) or a French revolutionary? Would this
campaign care if that was the theme? I guess not, because it’s a vague intuition blown out into an unsupportable argument. A retrospective use of tags such as ‘racism’ to prove a point that no-one needs to prove.
“It is ludicrous to suggest that RAG and the Student Guild are a bunch of white supremacists who are out to suppress some supposedly inferior race” Especially when there are real injustices going on in the world, this campaign just cheapens it. A theme does nothing to trivialise an issue like those that think the real problems for persecuted minorities is a dress code. And while they’re debating archaic definitions, we’re going to get on with actually making the world a better place and raising money for charities that need it.
“Tribal theme has the potential to reduce non-Western culture to something primitive” Olivia Luder
THE Safer Sex Ball is the one event in Exeter that can be guaranteed to generate controversy. Whether it’s outcry over the outfits or cynicism over its cause, criticism always rises up. Some of it self-righteous, some of it misguided and some of it, well, really quite sensible. The issue that this article takes to task is this year’s theme: ‘tribal’. The SSB is a fun event and not one to take seriously, but it is worth having a closer look at the theme to see any potential issues. So, let’s begin by figuring out what ‘tribal’ actually means. A quick Google gives you a decent definition: “Of or characteristic of a tribe or tribes”. So,
any outfit at the SSB this year will be purporting to be representative in someway of a tribe. The definition of a ‘tribe’ itself is more convoluted but essentially boils down to being a group. However, an analysis of the term in an African social action paper, Pambazuka News, says this: “In the modern West, tribe often implies primitive savagery... stereotypes of primitiveness and conservative backwardness are also linked to images of irrationality and superstition.” I am not saying ‘tribal’ has to mean something racial or even cultural. Plenty of people have talked about wearing a caveman-type costume to the SSB and some are even going to use their own cultures as costume inspiration, whether being from Wales or from a ‘tribe’ of
music-lovers. And that is fine. But when I turn once again to Google, the image results for ‘tribal costume’ are almost exclusively of non-Western culture. The problems with this idea of costume as representing a ‘tribe’ are two-fold. Firstly, taking bits and pieces from various cultures (a “Native American” headdress here, a ‘Zulu Warrior’ grass-skirt there) is disrespectful and reductive to that culture. It’s just not cool to ignore the genuine cultural meaning of those items and wear them simply as decoration. It’s not the same as taking various aspects of British culture because, unlike what the BNP might have you believe, Britain has not been massively subjugated nor repressed. A quick look at history will tell you who has been and a review of the British
Empire would be a good place to start. This brings me to the second half of the issue. If taking bits and pieces of people’s culture is reductive, then lumping them all in together as simply being ‘tribal’ is even worse. It is one thing to simply take inspiration from something, it is another to class a range of varying cultures, societies and people as ‘tribal’ simply because they are not Western and white. Taking all this into consideration, it is clear that the ‘tribal’ theme has the potential to patronise and reduce non-Western culture to something ‘different’, as well as primitive and backward. We can all see what’s wrong with ‘blackface’, so hopefully we can all see what could be wrong with a largely white, middle-class, privileged
Letters to the Editors [RE: Issue 600, Is Save Our Streetlights missing the point, by Sarah Ali] Dear Editors, IS Sarah Ali missing the point? Her article on the recent Save our Streetlights campaign shows that she is clearly one very confused individual. It begins coherently enough, agreeing that “The Student Guild Save our Streetlights campaign is laudable in its goal of protecting Exeter students” but it then descends into a misguided crusade on behalf of those Ms Ali regards most vulnerable. She proceeds to pluck minority groups out of thin air, claiming that “women, people of colour, transgendered and the elderly” would be most at risk on unlit streets. I don’t know about yours but the last time my grandparents were on the streets at 2am it was the Blitz and streetlights were only counter-productive. Furthermore, as far as I’m aware criminals don’t pause to ask if you’ve had a sex change before attacking. The only common link between the victims of the recent
attacks in Exeter is that they were alone late at night; their gender, race or age had nothing to do with it. Perhaps by including every minority she can think of except young white men, Ms Ali is simply trying to piss off as many people as possible. Judging from my friends’ reaction to her article, she has succeeded. Things start to get truly bizarre when Ms Ali claims these vulnerable groups are not just ignored but actively “threatened by this [SoS] policy”. Maybe I’m missing some fundamental point about how light works but I’m pretty sure that keeping our streets lit benefits every law-abiding citizen of Exeter, including all the groups Ms Ali is defending. Everyone looks the same under streetlights and everyone deserves the same level of protection when they’re out in Exeter. Now, bear with me a moment, because you’re right, Ms Ali’s argument is illogical and confusing, but if you read her next paragraph she
claims that, “the people that the SoS campaign is aimed at supporting are the very people that are made invisible by it”. Suddenly she has changed her mind and decided that SoS is “aimed at supporting” the groups she previously said were threatened by it. What’s more, “nobody is talking about them!” Maybe there’s a reason for that Ms Ali. Maybe the student population feels we’re all at risk, not just a few chosen sections of society. The pinnacle of Ms Ali’s idiocy comes in her final paragraph when she claims there are “issues of rape culture, racism and homophobia inherent in the SoS campaign”. I assume she means the campaign fails to address these issues rather than being inherently racist itself but if she’s going to word her article provocatively to provoke a response, a response is what she’ll get. The SoS campaign has been a beautiful example of the often indifferent and apathetic student population coming together to support an initiative
group of people parading around in socalled ‘tribal’ costume. This article is not about opposing the Safer Sex Ball. It’s a great event that many students work hard to organise and that many consider a highlight of their university experience. I’m not a member of a group that could be offended myself; I simply want to look at the potential issues, rather than patronise or be unnecessarily outraged. I’m sure it will be a great night and that all will go smoothly. It’s okay if you don’t agree with me; all I’m asking is that everyone be sensible and have a think about what they’re dressing up as and why. And that in the future, we will not have such a problematic theme.
Send your letters to firstname.lastname@example.org that will make every single one of us safer. Personally, I would be offended if the campaign had tried to suggest in any way that these groups were more deserving of attention than anyone else. I know I don’t feel completely safe in Exeter and I’m glad that something is being done to protect what security we have. More pertinently I fail to understand what could have been done to give these groups special treatment. Ms Ali is clearly passionate about defending the safety of groups she sees as vulnerable, a stance I can only respect. In this case however all she has succeeded in doing is making a fool of herself and becoming the girl who cried wolf. Yours sincerely, Tom Bond Books Editor
Dear Editors, ON first reading of Sarah Ali’s article on the Save Our Streetlights campaign, I struggled for a little while to try and work out where the satire and humour lay, with a rising suspicion that there was none. I struggled to work out exactly how “racism” and “homophobia” are inherent in the campaign. Correct me if I’m wrong, but is the campaign not simply to protect everyone, regardless of who they are? Certainly, women are more of a target for sexual attack than men, and attacks may be racially motivated, but that doesn’t seem to be her point. As far as I can gather, Ms. Ali appears to be attacking the campaign for not mentioning certain groups prone to attack. I have to ask: why would they? What relevance does the motivation for attacks hold? The campaign is to protect everyone. I can’t help but think Ms. Ali is the one who has “missed its point”. Yours faithfully, Anonymous
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Gaza protest in city centre
Exeter students take to the streets in response to the recent violence on the Gaza strip Hannah King ON Saturday 17 November protests were held by Exeter University Students in the High Street against Israeli actions with the aim of raising awareness for the protection and support of Gaza. With these students openly planning a week full of activities to show this support for Gaza, the question is raised over whether this is an acceptable and respectable support for a country in which the people are repressed by their own government or an uneducated over reaction to events in the middle east due to their prejudiced anti-Zionism. Some examples of photos posted on the Exeter University’s Friends of Palestine’s Facebook page show how some of the signs’ branded messages such as “boycott Israel”, “stop Israeli aggression” or “boycott Israeli goods” all of which show no support for Gaza but instead attack Israel which is far from what can be seen as a peaceful protest with the aim of protecting human life and promoting peace in the area. The clear stupidity of the idea that boycotting Jaffa Cakes will make life in the Middle East peaceful just goes to show that people on such demonstrations are uneducated about the matter of the causes and reasoning behind the recent defence attacks by the Israeli armed forces. With President Obama’s comments earlier this week as well as Israel’s actions being supported by the UN and EU it is clear to any rationally thinking person that maybe there is more to the
story that the average Brit with their minds limited to the likes of Sky News the BBC or - the best yet - The Daily Mail would ever be able to comprehend. With a number of rockets being launched from Gaza into Israel on a daily basis there are only so many days of the year for which the other cheek can possibly be turned before it is nec-
“People on such demonstrations are uneducated about the matter of the causes and reasoning behind the recent defence attacks by the Israeli armed forces” essary to remove this regular threat to Israeli citizens living normal lives. The main issue Israel faces is that their military operations merely seek to destroy the missile launchers, which the highly considerate, caring Hamas have attached to schools, hospitals or similar premises. Therefore every time that Israel takes out one of the missile launching pads it is made out by the media that Israel has targeted a school – however, what is never mentioned is that at the time there were no children in the school. It is not in the interests of the British media to actually investigate a full story as it would be neither financially nor politically beneficial to them. No one is saying that there should not be support for Gaza but it should
not be grounds for those with a vendetta for Israel to publically attack a nation merely trying to defend itself from constant bombardments by a terrorist organisation -Hamas- whom have been receiving a large number of weapons from the likes of Iran and Libya. The situation needs to be assessed especially when students from a university take time out to make suggestions as ridiculous as boycotting a country’s products to solve world problems. Then again all one needs to do is look around the university to not be surprised at the level of activism on this front. After much investigation of the library it is possible to find a section about Zionism but in comparison to the vast array of books in Arabic the only books referring to Hebrew are biblical sources. Likewise for a University which boasts a great amount of societies there is an Arabic Society, a Muslim society and a Friends of Palestine society whereas there is just one society related to Zionism which is the Jewish society which is not relevant for those without religious views. As a student at a University which is pushing to be the first Conflict Free University to show its support for ongoing in the Congo it is perhaps about time that it set an example on all fronts and ensure equality for all and not follow the biased line of British media. People cannot call for Peace in the Middle East unless they are themselves an example of that which they wish to achieve – peace can never come from prejudice.
Exeter Friends of Palestine
LAST Saturday, Exeter Friends of Palestine, in conjunction with other groups in the University and in town, held a demonstration on the High Street to protest against Israel’s actions in Gaza. The aim of the demonstration was to raise awareness amongst the students and residents of Exeter regarding this matter. During the past week, Israel launched airstrikes on Gaza, killing around 162 Palestinians – mostly civilians (many of whom were women and children) – and seriously injuring many others. The situation is made graver by the fact that Islamic Relief, one of the aid organizations operating in Gaza, had previously reported that the medical supplies in Gaza’s 24 medical centres, which serve a population of 1.7 million (meaning that each medical centre serves a population of around 71,000), would only be enough to last one month. This is worsened by the fact that water and power in Gaza are scarce due to Israel’s blockade on the territory. Up until the very moment at which the ceasefire negotiated at the time of writing this article came into effect, conditions inside Gaza could be likened to a siege imposed upon them by Israel. In retaliation to Israel’s attacks, a number of rockets have been fired from Gaza into Israel, killing five people, including an Israeli Defence Force Corporal. While Friends of
Palestine does not condone such indiscriminate killing, the demonstration that we held sought to protest against the on-going blockade of Gaza. The blockade, which began in 2006 following the electoral success of Hamas, is the largest contributor to Gaza’s economic woes and sharp decline in its living conditions during the last six years. The blockade directly violates international law and many attempts to alleviate the suffering of Gaza’s residents by the international community, such as the Flotilla that ended in the loss of around 20 lives in 2010, have been met with Israeli violence. This has made Gaza the de facto largest open air prison in the world.
“It is important that such issues are raised on campus, as well as in town, because as students, we have an obligation to gain and spread knowledge” It is important that such issues are raised on campus, as well as in town, because as students, we have an obligation to gain and spread knowledge. Nowhere is this more important than when trying to empower the powerless and speak for the voiceless, which the residents of Gaza are. For more information on how to get involved in doing so, please join ‘Exeter Friends of Palestine’ on Facebook.
27 NOVEMBER 2012 |
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The last Straw
Craig Browne, Exeposé Site Manager, interviews Jack Straw, one of the most senior politicians in the past 20 years, in Exeter IT is with some trepidation that you wait, and you will be made to wait, for one of the most senior figures in British politics over the past 15 years. You sit, fidgeting with your sheets of questions, wondering how you will steal that memorable quote from under his nose. Will he let his guard down? 33 years as part of the Westminster furniture would suggest not. Questionable tie and stilted small talk at hand, he arrived but it was not long before my cynicism was disarmed. We quickly found our common ground, my Arabic degree and his Middle East experience as Foreign Secretary, and could move away from the awkward chatting-over-canapés scene. I was quickly able to see just how fondly Jack Straw recalls his radical days as the socialist president of Leeds’ Student Union and later of the National Union of Students. He recollects with glee “keeping the grants system going and beating back Margaret Thatcher when she was Education Secretary.”
While acknowledging the importance of student politics to his own career, he appreciates this is not for all and sundry. Cue another fascinating snippet: “Tony Blair and I used to sit and talk about this. He was out of student politics doing Rock ‘n’ Roll but for me it [student politics] was very important.” What with his ‘Nay’ vote in the House of Commons in 2010, when the raising of tuition fees up to £9,000
was debated, it is hardly surprising that he labels the rise as an “ill thought through policy.” His frustration with the current government extends to the “unnecessary and vulgar” visa controls on overseas students and with these complaints came tacit approval of the student demonstration that took place in London on the 21 November, “provided it speaks for all students.” Even in such a relaxed setting it was at times difficult to see through Straw’s heavily guarded answers, “One thing less likely to produce a result than a public demo is no demo” being one such fence-sitting answer. His support for the ‘Save Our Streetlights’ campaign was, however, unequivocal as, “if this [turning off streetlights] leads to a greater level of crime it will be a false economy. Certainly I’d be worried about that.” Straw, who studied and practiced law before becoming an MP, was in Exeter to give a lecture on ‘The Human Rights Act and Europe’ as part of the Hamlyn Lecture Series, whose speakers have included such luminaries as former Lord Chief Justice Bingham. The lecture conveyed Straw’s dismay at the “extravagant extension” of authority from the European Court for Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg past its “agreed narrow remit about basic human rights” and into areas such as “night flights at Heathrow.” In spite of his annoyance at this overreaching from Europe, Straw was keen to clarify the difference between the Council of Europe, from which the ECHR is derived, and the European Union, the legal jurisdiction for which “everyone signed up for.” When it came to the extremely relevant topics of Abu Hamza and Abu Qatada, the MP was tight-lipped and back into his well-rehearsed political mode, simply suggesting that “we’ve got to create speedier processes for
upon Labour’s landslide election victory he became Home Secretary, one of the Great Offices of State. During his time there he became well known as being tough on crime and seen often as a quasi-Tory in the role. After the 2001 election, Jack Straw was moved to the Foreign Office, where as Foreign Secretary he had to deal with various crises such as the fall-out from the 9/11 attacks which happened only months after he took office. He received criticism for not resigning along with Robin Cook in opposition to the Iraq War, a decision which he since has said “haunts” him. Since he has left office, he has been
criticised for possible compliciity with extraordinary extradition. In 2006 he was demoted to Leader of the House of Commons, amidst rumours that differing views between him and Blair were causing rifts. in 2007 Gordon Brown moved him to the post of Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary. During this period he became involved in various press flareups over claims he made about veils inhibiting inter-community relations while also being connected to a possible plot to overthrow Brown and install himself as Prime Minister. Shortly after Labour lost power in 2010, Jack Straw has returned to
“Tony Blair and I used to sit and talk about this. He was out of student politics doing Rock ‘n’ Roll but for me it was very important”
Biography of Rt Hon Jack Straw MP JACK STRAW is one of the most prominent politicians in recent history. Born to humble beginnings in Loughton, Essex, in 1946, he got into a grammar school and went to Leeds University. There he became involved in the world of left-wing student politics, becoming President of the Labour Society before withdrawing it’s support from the national Labour Party. During these days he was branded “troublemaking with malice aforethought” by the Foreign Office (which he would later go on to lead). In 1969 he eventually became
President of the NUS, before going on to qualify as a lawyer. It was in the early 1970s that he eventually went into politics, first standing in a general election in February 1974. Straw landed his first big job in politics as a political adviser to prominent Labour politicians of the time such as Peter Shore and Barbara Castle - who’s parlimentary constituency of Blackburn he stood in upon her retirement in 1977. Throughout most the first half of his parliamentary career he was in opposition. His real rise to prominence came in 1997, when
deportation.” He was similarly welldrilled in his Iraq-themed answer: “If we had known then what we later discovered, would there have been a case for military action? Well the answer is no because the threat that we assessed was not there.” He is, however, keen to add that there was no way the government could have known that the intelligence they were given was incorrect, a comment that many people may find hard to believe.
“If we had known then what we later discovered, would there have been a case for military action? Well the answer is no because the threat we assessed was not there” If we skip forward a decade, and to the crumbling regime of Bashar Al-Assad in Syria, Straw appeared less than keen on intervention as “unfortunately, just because there is a problem, there is not necessarily a solution.” Perhaps this answer would seem less than satisfactory to some but there is no doubt that it reflects the uncertainty shown by governments the world over. We concluded on the much lighter topic of his beloved Blackburn Rovers, and the smile returned while he spoke of the importance of football clubs to local community spirit. There’s no doubt that Jack Straw cares deeply about his constituents, or to use his word, his “employers”, and, while his policies may be highly debatable, his desire to do what he thinks is right is anything but that. If there were more politicians like him, while the country may not be in better shape, there would be no question about the morality of those who run the nation. the backbenches. He has since been involved in further controversy when commenting that there was a specific problem with Pakistani men targeting young white girls. He has since been involved in other busineses while staying on as Blackburn’s MP, such as the role of visiting professor at University College London. He has become known as being a more independent minded member of Labour who has spoken his mind on various topics which no longer accord with the Labour Party’s line. Earlier this year, he also published his autobiography Last Man Standing: Memoirs of a Political Survivor.
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Grammar schools: dividing the nation?
Phil Thomas, News Editor, argues that grammar schools do more bad than good
Emily Tanner, Arts Editor, puts forward the case for selective education in England IN 1944 the Conservative government under Winston Churchill implemented the tripartite system. This system created three types of state school; the secondary modern – effectively the equivalent of a modern day comprehensive – the technical school and the grammar school, for which students had to pass an exam, known as the ‘11-plus’, to gain a place. Throughout the 1960s, Harold Wilson’s government began to move away from this system in favour of comprehensive schools so that today only 164 state grammars are left in existence. Whilst there were many problems with the tripartite system and changes needed to be made, the decline of the grammar school was not necessarily a good thing, and arguably this type of school still has an important place in today’s system. Many will argue against grammar schools as divisive. They set the future of a child at the age of 11 and are sometimes seen as dominated by the middle classes who have money and time to spend on tutoring their children for the entrance exam. For me, this is not the case. Whilst, yes, the schools are indeed selective, this is not necessarily a negative. Grammar schools select upon grounds of intelligence and the ability to learn and whilst 11 may seem to some people too young to decide upon the future of a child’s education, many schools, including the one I attended for Sixth Form, give pupils who missed out at 11 the chance to take another exam in Year Eight or Nine in order to gain entrance to the school. In addition to this most state comprehensive’s set children in terms of academic ability from term one, taking initial marks in class and the results of CAT tests into account to divide up their pupils, and grammar schools are simply doing this on a slightly larger scale. Children will always be divided in terms of their academic ability from a young age, it is an unavoidable aspect of education,
and in this respect grammar schools are doing nothing different from any other school.
“What makes grammar schools unique is the fostering of an environment in which education and intelligence are perceived as positive by their students” Others suggest that the presence of the grammar school brings down the comprehensives in the area, starving them of resources and teachers. Grammar schools receive no funding through fees and so can afford only what their fellow state schools can and as for teachers many of the staff at the comprehensive I attended from age eleven were just as qualified, if not on occasion more so, than those who taught me at sixth form. What makes grammar schools unique and such a hub of learning is far less the supposed better teaching, challenging curriculum and resources but the fostering of an environment in which education and intelligence are perceived as positive by surrounding their students with others who are willing and keen to learn. Education is ultimately a personal experience. Not everyone wants to sit and learn Latin in a stuffy classroom and not everyone wants to have to do GCSEs in technology simply because the school wants to give a more rounded education. Different students will benefit from different kinds of learning and grammar schools facilitate this. Their system may not be perfect but the education system as a whole is far from this and what they provide – a highly academic education for students from any background who just have a passion to learn – is still very much relevant today.
Looking at their new anti-fur campaign, Megan Furborough explores PETA’s methods for getting across their argument Go vegetarian” which was eventually removed after nationwide criticism and accusations of ‘fat-shaming’. Yet PETA have, once again, undermined such an important issue by using the shaming of women’s bodies as a vehicle for communicating their message. PETA’s new campaign against the wearing of fur stars Joanna Krupa, a model and ‘star’ of the Real Housewives of Miami who has stripped down to her underwear to protest against “ruin[ing] your look with a fur trim”. The fur trim in question is fake fur – clearly designed to satirise pubic hair – extending outside the sides of her underwear, and the tagline reads “Fur trim: Unattractive”. Body shaming is not the answer to stopping people wearing fur. The idea that body hair, whether it be pubic or not, is somehow unattractive is adhering to a cultural idea of beauty that is highly negative and is asking women
which reinforce class boundaries and do not truly reach out to the children who would benefit most from their teaching. It is for this reason that I think at the very least private tuition for the 11-plus should be prohibited. The nature of testing pupils at the age of 11 is also flawed. Children, through no fault of their own, naturally mature mentally at different ages to others. Although there is a 12-plus which accounts for later developers, in reality children who have settled into their new schools are far less likely to switch to grammar schools after settling into a new school. The tripartite system also has considerable mental effects on the children attending the schools. For those who go to an upper school, they have been bracketed as less intelligent than others at a young age, which on average causes students at these institutions to be more unruly. At the same time, children who attend grammar schools can become arrogant for the opposite reason. In fact, I remember having assemblies at my school where I was told that we were going to be the leaders of the next generations and so it was our duty to perform well. There is a thin line between confidence and arrogance, but the atmosphere at my grammar school tipped significantly towards the latter.
Better from PETA?
MOST people would agree that killing animals for their fur is needless and cruel. In the last two decades awareness over the type of methods that are used to remove the skin or fur of an animal, as well as the type of conditions that these animals are kept in before their untimely death, has led to an emerging conscience within the fashion industry not to use any real fur or skin in their products. Considering this, I would agree that organisations such as PETA are incredibly important in raising public awareness over this issue in their campaigns, encouraging people to stand up against designers whose clothes and accessories require the killing of an animal. However, PETA and their campaigns are not without controversy. A 2009 advert in Florida featured a cartoon of an obese woman with the tagline “Save the whales – Lose the blubber:
THE topic of grammar school education has and always will be a controversial issue. The tripartite system of education has existed since the Middle Ages and today approximately four per cent of all secondary school pupils are educated at grammar schools. Having myself been educated at a grammar school in Buckinghamshire, one of the last remaining counties to practise the system, I grew up aware of the benefits and drawbacks this had on students in both sets of schools. Although I am extremely grateful to have received an excellent education, I do not believe that this unfair and divisive system should continue to exist in England. In order to gain entry into a grammar school, children in Year 6 sit the 11-plus examination which tests verbal reasoning, mathematics and science. If a student scores 121 or over they go to a grammar school, if they score between 117 and 121 they can appeal to go to a grammar school and if they score below 117 they go to an upper school. On the face of it this system seems perfectly fair. Children who are academically gifted pass the test and enter an environment where they will be intellectually challenged and the rest attend a school where they do not feel unintelligent compared to the top of the class flyers. In reality, however, this practice is highly discriminatory towards poorer families. Parents who can afford to do so send their children to private tutors, who provide the child with an excellent chance of passing the test, whereas for those who cannot afford to tutor their children, the test relies primarily upon the academic ability of the child. This creates an environment in which many students who are not intelligent enough to be in grammar schools are and vice versa for children who are too bright for their schools be. Grammar schools thus turn into middle-class institutions
to view the natural processes of their body as something unnatural. There have been many suggested reasons about why hair removal has become the norm, from porn to the popularity of thongs and bikinis, to supposed hygiene reasons.
“Body shaming is not the answer to stopping people wearing fur” Although the advert obviously takes the idea of pubic hair to an extreme that borders on absurdity, it doesn’t detract from the problem that PETA are not only suggesting that pubic hair on a woman is unattractive and should be removed, but are also lumping together the idea of female body hair with the incredibly contentious issue of wearing
fur. The killing of an animal for fashion is very different to choosing to let your “fur trim” grow as it naturally would. Many people have spoken out against this campaign, including Amanda Palmer, the American musician who is partially known for her eclectic style which includes not removing her underarm hair. In an open letter to PETA posted on her Tumblr blog, Palmer stated that “[T]he beauty standard is presenting a more and more difficult struggle for young women. [A]ds like this are part of the problem” and urged the organization that “if you care about animals[...] take your human animals into account alongside the rest of them.” Whilst I think that the ridiculous fad for removing all of your hair has been going on for far too long, I don’t have a problem with Joanna Krupa wanting to remove all of her body hair. She is entitled to her opinion that body hair doesn’t “fit in with her fashion-forward style”. My
“In reality this practise is highly descriminatory towards poorer families” It is for these reasons that I believe that the tripartite system of education should be abolished across England. While the education I received positively influenced my life, an equivalent negative effect would have affected a child at an upper school. issue lies with PETA and numerous other sources telling me that, as a woman, I should treat my body a certain way. If I choose to shave it should be because I am making a personal decision, not because the media has embarrassed me into running for the razor.
27 NOVEMBER 2012 |
Israel and Gaza: A neverending conflict?
Gareth Browne looks at the recent conflict in Gaza and asks if there can ever really be a long-term solution to the violence
WITH Israel’s assassination of Hamas leader Ahmed Al-Jabari last week, any notion that one of the world’s most notoriously complicated conflicts had settled over the past few months was blown to pieces (in perhaps more than just the figurative way). Hamas quickly responded with their trademark rocket attacks, actions of a supposedly democratic and legitimate Gazan government. How a government can claim legitimacy whilst having employed the use of suicide bombers as recently as 2008 and aiming rockets at non-military Israeli targets is beyond me but as I have discovered recently criticising Hamas is not something that many non-Israeli sympathisers are eager to do.
“Hamas’ disastrous and provocative actions can’t be excused but the Palestinian people shouldn’t have to bear the brutal consequences of such emetic attacks ” Despite all of Hamas’ failings there is a humanitarian disaster going on in Gaza. According to Gazan health officials the death toll on the Palestinian side now stands at 79, and with Prime minister Netanyahu’s approval of a call up of 75,000 Israeli reservist troops you could be forgiven for thinking that Israel was about to fight off another Arab coalition. This highlights exactly the issue causing the massacre we are seeing in Gaza. The Israeli response is never proportionate. The use of F-16s against outdated soviet rockets, the destruction of social infrastructure in the Gaza strip. Why the Israelis are not criticised for their use of civilian tar-
gets is another thing which eludes me. As even the Israeli foreign press association was asking – why are such a significant proportion of the casualties civilians and journalists if as the IDF say targets are only selected after being “positively identified by precise intelligence over the course of months.”? Hamas’ disastrous and provocative actions can’t be excused but the Palestinian people shouldn’t have to bear the brutal consequences of such emetic attacks. When will Western human rights which we so obsessively propagate from our high ground of morality apply to the Palestinian people? President Obama was right when he said “there’s no country on Earth that would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders”, now putting aside Pakistan’s tolerance of the US drone program, is this not exactly what the People of Gaza are being forced to live with right now? Twitter is full of harrowing personal testimonies. people who know some poor Gazan sleeping in their basement, or whose home is no longer standing – people who have nothing to do with the rockets fired by Hamas, the Iranian nuclear program or any of Israel’s other grievances. I might find have found this statement somewhat ironic considering Palestine’s recent failure to gain the right to statehood at the UN and the right to not have to tolerate these “missiles raining down on its residents if the situation wasn’t so harrowing. I was invited to attend the recent “Solidarity with Gaza” demonstration in Exeter city centre, despite feeling so passionately about their cause I didn’t go. I feel just as much solidarity with those Israeli citizens living under the same fear and distress as Gazans, the people who already have one holocaust in living memory and have to
live under these attacks, the school children of Tel Aviv who have to run to their bomb shelters every time that dreaded air raid siren sounds. Where was the solidarity with Israel demonstration? The conflict is already full of lies, half-truths and propaganda that I just couldn’t help but feel that the nescience of Israeli suffering by many supporters of the Palestinian cause only further exacerbates the situation.
“President Obama was right when he said ‘there’s no country on Earth that would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens’” Whilst I would be in favour of a two state it’s obvious that this won’t happen until the views of the people are represented at the negotiating table instead of the self-interests of corrupt leaders, at the same time I’m also convinced that the idea that Hamas’s destruction would make Israel, or indeed the region a safer place is tragically flawed.
Thea Osborne takes a look at the poor press coverage of the Israeli-Gaza conflict over the past few weeks While most press outlets have heavily reported on the recent conflict between Israel and Gaza, this coverage has raised many supplemental issues.
These issues do not simply pertain to the intrinsic horrors of the asymmetric conflict, but rather to the very way that the media reacts to such atrocities. The BBC, as any respected news organisation should, has given regular updates about the facts and figures regarding the casualties, rockets and the development of Israel’s plans for ground advancement. Yet they have also, in many ways, hidden behind these statistics and avoided any level of opinion – particularly any opinion that could be construed as sympathetic towards the vic-
tims who are killed or injured; unable to escape from Gaza’s heavily guarded sea and land borders while having to live under fire from Obama what describes as ‘Israel’s right to self-defence’. There are appeals being made now by Save the Children and Amnesty to raise money for the innocent victims of Israel’s attacks and yet there has been no attempts made at all to highlight the differences in situation beyond the clear numbers of casualties (Israel - 3, Palestine - 110) by most media reports.
An appalling Christmas gift for Uganda Meg Lawrence explains why the passing of Uganda’s ‘Kill the Gays’ bill would be a disgrace to the world THERE are times when the need to raise objections to abhorrent legislation overseas outweighs the likelihood of effecting change. The Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill is one such example. Ugandan Speaker, Rebecca Kadaga recently announced that the bill, more commonly known as the ‘kill the gays’ Bill, is expected to be passed as a “Christmas gift” to the Ugandan people who are “demanding it”, following three years of international resistance. The Bill, which was first proposed by Ugandan Parliamentarian David Bahati in 2009, will make homosexuality an offence under two categories: ‘aggravated homosexuality’ and the ‘offence of homosexuality.’ Currently, homosexuality is considered an offence in Uganda, and carries a possible sentence of fourteen years’ imprisonment. The Anti-Ho-
mosexuality Bill increases this punishment to a possible death sentence. Any person of authority found guilty of having a same-sex relationship can be charged with ‘aggravated homosexuality,’ and sentenced to death. This means that, for example, any parent, teacher or political figure will be executed if found to be having a homosexual relationship. Ugandans who partake in a same-sex marriage, or have sex outside of Uganda, can be given a sentence of life imprisonment under the ‘offence of homosexuality.’ Shortly after the Bill was first proposed, President Obama slated its purpose, saying it would “criminalize homosexuality and move against the tide of history.” Closer to home, the Labour party’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender group (LGBT) have also expressed their abhorrence
to the new legislation, stating, “We are extremely disturbed to hear that this odious proposal, known as the ‘Kill The Gays Bill’, has been revived, after an international outcry saw it being shelved last year. It is simply unconscionable that such an idea would even
“It is vital that those with a voice in society express their disgust at the treatment of the people of Uganda” be considered in the 21st century.” Whilst it is vital that these political and social figureheads express their complete objection to the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, is there anything more that can be done to counter
this horrendous law? Uganda’s history tells the tale of little acceptance of equal human rights. On 4 August 1972, the then President Idi Amin expelled all Asians from Uganda, giving them ninety days to leave the country. Throughout this time they were subjected to physical and sexual violence by Ugandan forces. Ugandan women and girls with disabilities are just one example of victimized groups in the country. Of 64 women with disabilities interviewed in Northern Uganda, more than one-third reported having experienced sexual or gender-based violence. It is vital that those with a voice in society express their disgust at the treatment of the people of Uganda. International outcry expressed towards the anti-homosexuality Bill so far has postponed its instigation by three years, and for a time the death penalty
was withdrawn, although it has since been reinstated. Last year, Prime Minister David Cameron said that he wanted to “see countries that receive our aid adhering to proper human rights.” Every objection to this disgusting legislation puts more pressure on the Ugandan government, and every person who shares the story with another sparks greater outcry. Alone, we can do little to change Uganda’s human rights record, but it is vitally important that we express our concerns, even if it is to no effect. As a country, we must offer every support and refuge to the people of Uganda who are victimized in every aspect of life. Ultimately, our silence is equal to our consent. The idea of consenting to the ‘Kill the Gays’ Bill is something too awful to imagine.
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Swapping Commons for camp fires
Declan Cooney asks if Nadine Dorries’ constituents were right to be worried now that she has dropped into the jungle
Not only does Israel have superior military strength, but also economic, structural and welfare systems light years beyond that of the Palestinians. It is also regularly mentioned that there have been at least 800 rockets fired from Gaza; however, the number of these rockets that have any capability to cause damage let alone get through the Israelis dome defence system is minimal. Yet many report upon the Palestinians as though they are in a fair fight against the power of the Israeli-US
funded military when, in reality, they are stuck and unable to move. It is undeniable that Hamas would gain more international support if they were to pursue more peaceful tactics but Israel should be held in equal account for their military actions internationally as Hamas are. It should be the media’s responsibility to illuminate the different factors of this conflict and not kowtow to political pressures which favour a particular side.
IF the 2012 American presidential election taught us anything, it’s the gargantuan role publicity’s come to play in politics. When I say ‘publicity’, though, I don’t mean all the stuffy campaigning we in this country have steadily come to dread as much as Boxing Day. We’re not talking somber speeches and fancy fundraisers, but instead the sort of celeb-led plugging that would make cosmetics companies drool. What really won Barack his second term: Obamacare, or having Jay-Z on side? And what really lost Mitt support: being a slimy simpleton or Clint Eastwood’s bizarre tendency to talk to chairs? Indeed, the blending of government and gossip column seems to have set rather a trend. A few weeks ago, sitting Conservative MP Nadine Dorries caused a furor when she cropped up in the Australian outback as part of the lineup of this year’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here. Nadine’s no novice when it comes to controversy. Since claiming victory of her mid-Bedfordshire constituency seven years ago, she’s railed against top-dog David Cameron and practically spat venom at House of Commons Speaker John Bercow, but her sitting around a camp fire with the likes of darts champ Eric Bristow and Helen become-a-wagor-die-trying Flanagan has provoked Heather Mills-esque resentment. Nadine’s listless opponents have blasted her for demeaning the role of MP and abandoning her constituency to pocket a tidy ITV appearance fee, and the Tories were rapid in initiating her suspension. No doubt anticipating the scandal, Nadine sought to defend herself by the way of blogging on the Conservative Home website prior to donning the khakis. ‘I believe that we politicians need to spend less time talking to each other and
A new dawn in China
Dom Madar gives a run down of China’s new leadership HAVE you ever considered - regardless of what corner of South East England you’re from - university life at times to be just a bit too chaotic, grimey and uncertain compared to the one at home? Turn the insanity, intensity and crazy up ten notches and you have something approaching modern day China. The common perception over here is one of an authoritarian one-party government injecting sharp doses of propaganda into the blood of its people, subjugating them quietly into simple lives of law and order under its power wielding iron grip. Tragically for any aspiring dictator that’s just no longer the case. The problem came back in 1979, when somebody unforgivably added an illegal dose of an exotic substance from the West. With obsessive internet regulation (the Great Firewall of China), punishment of political dissent and a media censored monopoly the Party is still to its credit giving the
whole totalitarian government thing a jolly good go. The genie, however, is well and truly out the bottle.
“[If China’s] too strict, they risk outright rebellion; too slack and there’s no knowing what might happen” Capitalism surged through the veins of China, bringing with it boundless leases of energy and innovation in a new age of enlightenment. Three decades later and the worst abusers are so hooked it’s frightening. Binges of German sports cars, vintage French wine and Swiss watches are classic tell-tale signs; the swanky skyscrapers of Shanghai are worlds apart (let alone countries) from the humble and deprived villages across the West of China. Globalisation and technology have brought
a daunting explosion of untamed information into these once pure lands. The people - now more fired up, rebellious and utterly dependent than ever, would begin to show the most horrific of withdrawal symptoms if the government pulled out now. China’s latest president (Xi Jinping) faces a crucial choice about how best to contain the monster they unwittingly unleashed. With affluence and prosperity comes a certain desire or even expectation of political voice and human rights. Maybe the guys at the top thought everyone would be too wasted to care about all that nonsense but it turns out they do. The new leaders must confront an increasingly demanding, free thinking and dissatisfied population coupled with an economy growing at mere 7 per cent per year (compared to the usual 10-12 per cent). Staggeringly high levels of growth
more time talking to people,’ she wrote, before adding that she ‘would have been mad to have refused’ the chance to connect with 16 million viewers. She’s got her fair share of naysayers, but in light of Obama’s recent campaign (which featured more famous faces than a Band Aid Christmas single) who are we to argue? When she was pressed by fellow campmates Nadine pointed to the inaccessibility of Westminster and the need for politics to adapt to combat voter apathy. She makes a good point, especially given the pathetically low turnouts for the Police and Crime Commissioner elections last week. In fact, I’d go as far to say that the response to Nadine’s taking part in the show has been nothing short of farcical. With the expenses scandal still swimming to the surface each and every time fresh news is thin on the ground, have we not learnt that our socalled leaders can do much worse than put themselves up for a democratically-decided, family entertainment show? Whilst I completely get the point of Nadine’s going Down Under, though, have so far kept most people happy enough until now. The gaping wealth divide, however, sits uncomfortably on the conscience of a party named after a system of perfect utopian equality; a country so extreme that it can simultaneously make Alan Sugar look small-time and our underclass privileged. Corruption and hypocrisy clutter the nation’s businesses and government and the strains are beginning to tell.
I have to say that occasionally I lost it again when I sat and watched her on screen. 50 per cent of the time, Nadine was found with her arms thrown around whoever was feeling most sorry for themselves at that moment, whispering in the sort of tone your mother might have used the first time you tried to ride without stabilizers. Call me cynical, but one can’t help but think Nadine saw the blubbers as opportunities to ‘talk’ to those 16 million viewers she so readily knew the stats about. For the remainder of her screen-time, Nadine opted to jabber on, constantly ramming home her difference from the toffs she shares a bench with in Westminster. During one episode, the campmates got the keys to the Bushman’s Refuge; their very own hut raised a few feet off the earth by stilts. Telly chef Rosemary Shreger cried out a joyous ‘Oh my giddy aunt!’ The Pussycat Dolls’ Ashley Roberts bounced around in a fit of glee. Cue Mad Nad. ‘It’s like two tiers. And I don’t like that,’ she affirmed. We get it. The other flaw in Nadine’s ploy to connect to millions of people is the lineup of fame-heads behind her trying to do much the same thing (albeit to land lingerie deals and presenting contracts rather than voters). The aforementioned Ms. Flanagan, particularly proved quite the snag, trumping Nadine in the public vote to take on Bushtucker trials whenever they’ve gone head to head and out-crying her whenever they’ve done them together. With a bikini-clad Helen scampering off to the shower and giving herself a soapy rubdown every five minutes and the quite sickeningly impressive abs of David Haye threatening to burst open his vest each time he inhales, it’s getting harder and harder to give two hoots what Nadine has to add to proceedings. Despite this, what we see today is infinitely better than the terror and starvation witnessed under Mao and co in the mid 20th century. I think it’s all part of growing up. Childhood has come and gone and the Communist Party is left standing over one very large and unruly teenager. Single parenthood is never easy and these are critical times: be too strict and risk outright rebellion, too slack and there’s no knowing what might happen. Democracy might get there one day - I doubt it will any time soon though. For now China’s government should focus mainly on the host of short term problems shrouding the nation, with maybe just a glance every so often as to where the fascinating future of this unique superpower to-be may lie.
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The world on his plate
Of his recipes, Sam characteristically loves the ones that get the house bonding in the kitchen the most, being something he enjoys with his own flatmates: “we have a lot of roast dinners so when we have a lot of work on and it’s cold outside, we can be reminded of home. We sometimes have nights where we all cook a different dish for each other, which is always fun to do.” These shared dinners are a great way of keeping the entire flat happy and fed. And no, a mass drunken outing to Mega Kebab doesn’t count. However, these recipes are by no
“I made the mistake of trying to eat the food myself. It was beef breakfast, lunch and dinner”
Thomas Ling, Lifestyle Editor, grills student celebrity chef Sam Stern about getting students to cook and his mushrooming career IT’S not often that chefs can be singled out at such a young age, but Edinburgh undergraduate Sam Stern is proving a brilliant exception to the rule. While other children spent their youth debating whether Charizard was cooler than Pikachu, Sam spent his days in the kitchen with his mother perfecting hearty Sunday roasts for his four older siblings.
“Sam is passionate to talk about food with young people, especially students alien to cooking”
While still undertaking his GCSEs, Sam published his first book Cooking Up a Storm, which became an international bestseller to critical acclaim. He explains his decision to write that “I saw other kids my age that couldn’t cook or hadn’t been taught, so I thought why not? Now at just the age of 22, Sam is being hailed as the new Jamie Oliver with his six cookbooks selling 700,000
copies worldwide and translated into 14 languages. Like Jamie, Sam is passionate to talk about food with young people, especially students alien to cooking. “It’s quite hard to sum up the courage to cook if you haven’t done it before or you don’t know how. It’s a foreign language almost” he says, “you can get away with making cheap delicious dishes very easily and very quickly with just a bit of knowledge and confidence. Just take it step by step. It doesn’t matter if it goes wrong, you can always try it again.” Although he counts Jamie as a
key influence, Sam by no means want to conscript students into a hardcore healthy kitchen and he believes that enthusiasm for food is key: “cooking should be more about having fun. Teaching kids at school is a great idea, but I don’t think you can tell students to cook”. This down to earth attitude to cooking that “it’s important to maintain a voice which is universal” is put across in his latest book Virgin to Veteran (a book so slickly presentable it’s like Ryan Gosling in paper form), with clear recipes available for chefs of every lev-
means easy to put to paper and the lengthy experimentation process is seemingly full of hazards. “For a few months it’s pretty much cooking from eight in the morning to seven at night where I cook four to five variations on one dish,” Sam explains. “I made the mistake with the beef chapter of trying to eat the food myself. It was beef breakfast, lunch and dinner. I ended up being sick for ages!” It seems Sam has learnt the hard way that getting into the food business is a tall order and he is the first to acknowledge that “being a full-time chef is a hardcore job and I’ve got such admiration for those that do it”, but it’s a lifestyle he’s not overly fond of. However, what is clear from speaking to Sam is that a positive attitude and a real passion for food will send you a long way through those swinging doors. He advises anyone willing to be a professional to “build up your own skills at home and try to cook the classics. Learn how to handle food, build up your pallet and then try and get some work experience in a kitchen.” So, what’s next for Sam? “I’m open to a lot of ideas: More books and potentially a restaurant or maybe a cookery school at some point.” For the moment he’ll have to juggle a dissertation on transatlantic relations with any cooking ventures, but the future looks very promising for him. With his hard working ethos and culinary talents, it looks like the world’s his oyster.
Tweets of the week Follow @exeposelstyle to see your tweets in Lifestyle! SCOTT JENKINS @MeltingMeteor Somehow ended up in Exepose for writing a ‘Tweet of the Week’, and all that’s come of it is a loss of four followers. #mindfuck KATRINA CHEUNG @KatrinaNYCheung walking down the road with a 5kg bag of rice in my arms #neverfeltsoasian KELLY LOUISE HODGES @KellyHodges Pantless guy in chip-shop #onlyinexeter NICOLA EVANS @nicola_evans4 One of my flatmates spent £174 on a Sainsbury’s delivery to last “a week if he’s lucky” #onlyinexeter LAURA PEPPER @LauraJanePepper The Uni shop has sold out of skittles #disaster JON JENNER @JonJenner Oh Internet you wonderful invention you #TwitterontheShitter JAMES CROUCH@TheBig_JC I actively avoid men who wear red trousers. DAVID RIZBAF-NAUBARI @DavidRizbafNaub The alumni auditorium really reminds me of the senate in star wars. #ImanexeterJedi ISOBEL GARRETT @Isobel_Garrett Got my safer sex ball ticket, should now probably stop eating my own body weight on a daily basis TOM BOND @tom_bond It’s 3.30 in the library. A cleaner is hoovering. When will you learn Tom, when will you learn... BETHAN ROBERTS @bethanaroberts lols teenagers on the young apprentice with their own businesses etc... and here I am... on twitter... eating my weight in ben n jerrys. FRANKIE CROWLEY @Frankie_ Crowley So we’ve established that a swedish prison is nicer than old lafrowda NICHOLAS KIMBER @nicholas_ kimber All I’ve learnt this year at Exeter is that £48M can’t buy a decent set of revolving doors #forum
| WEEK TEN
SSB: creating the look for miss-chief
Rebecca Longhurst shares her best finds from the high street and beyond of the most original and pursefriendly solutions to your SSB costume worries WHEN I first heard that the theme for this year’s SSB was ‘tribal’, I was like ‘huh?’ imagining how I was going to pull off zigzag patterned knickers. However, after a wander around town I realised that the high street has embraced the tribal look recently, and it’s easy to customise if you’re a bit strapped for cash.
mimics footwear from the Burberry 2012 Resort collection. All you need is a few beads and some black string. Thread the beads so that you have four strings, about 15 cm in length each. Tie two of each colour together, to make ‘necklaces’ of beads and secure with a bow at the back of each shoe. Voila! A fantastic pair of tribal heels for next to nothing! Accessories are vital to the tribal “You could accentuate theme. River Island sells a pack of five stacked bangles for £13.00, in leopard your look by creating print, black and gold patterns. In Acdark smokey eyes, cessorize, I saw this awesome ‘Space Long Pendant’ for £12.00. You feathery false lashes and Age could also plait strands of your hair uswhite tribal markings” ing ribbon, and attach beads or shells with a knot at the end. Topshop are For tribeswomen, handcrafteduk. also selling a ‘Native Feather Clip’ recom sell six peacock feathers for duced from £10.00 to £3.50 - grab it £5.99, which would look fabulous while you can! sewn across the neckline of a plain bra. You could accentuate your look Topshop have some beautiful beaded by creating dark smoky eyes, lined sequin bras, from £40 each, which are with feathery false lashes, muted lips perfect for a subtle nod to the tribal and white tribal markings. Alternatheme. H&M also sell a gorgeous leoptively you could emphasise your ard print corset for only £14.95, peepers with coloured eye and matching high-waistshadow and neon false Read more ed shaping knickers lashes. Illamasqua at articles about for £12.99, which will Debenhams has a streamline your figure range of exquisite student fashion too if you’re worried at www.exepose. false lashes from about those wobbly bits! £10 to £15. If you ex.ac.uk! By the time you get want to extend the to the shoes, you’ll have tribal look from top to probably run out of money, but toe, Urban Oufitters sell a luckily I’ve found a brilliant idea kooky tribal nail wrap set for from the ‘a pair & a spare’ blog which just £7.00.
For all you male warriors, painting tribal tattoos on your body is a great way to use up all that old Halloween facepaint. River Island has a range of ethnic-style jewellery, such as a ‘stars and shapes rosary’ for £7.00, to accessorise with. Asos.com also sells a pack of Aztec-inspired underwear for just £15, which can be worn by itself or with a tribal patterned shirt. If you’re feeling particularly brave, you can even make a loincloth from a few metres of suede fabric, although make sure its long enough to, ahem, protect your modesty.
“Painting tribal tattoos on your body is a great way to use up all that old halloween face paint” To become the alpha-male of the pack, you can also create a formidable headdress. An article on DIYNation. com explains how to plait several long laces of suede or leather material into a strap to fit your head. You can personalise it by weaving some beads and feathers (bought or found!) into the headband. You can also release your inner animal by donning a fur trapper hat. For those jammy few that managed to win the elusive tickets, make me proud and rock the tribal theme to the max!
Does the devil wear Prada? Emily-Rose Rolfe exposes the unethical side of fashion PRIMARK. A students go-to bargain store for cheap “don’t mind if I ruin it” fancy dress, onesies, and the occasional statement item. Prada. The statement brand for fashion editors, models, and the glamorous red carpet. With prices that would drain any trust fund, and quirky pieces that would be hard to pair with anything apart from, well, Prada or Dolce. The question is: which would the devil wear? Primark is now fashionable. It no longer resembles a garishly lit, moth-infested second-hand clothing shop. It sells sequined pieces that don’t look like they’ve jumped out of a tacky 70s movie, and woollen garments that don’t give you a rash. So why are we still slightly defensive about shopping at Primark?
“It appears that Primark undoubtedly prioritizes quantity over quality” Partly, it’s because of what the shop recommends: anyone who shops there supports the idea of a throw away culture where “it only cost a quid” is a positive shopping mentality. Shopping at Primark, whether you brazenly defend it’s name or mock it whilst dabbling in
the occasional bargain, reveals that you agree with ‘fast fashion’ – cheap and unsustainable clothing that replenishes it’s ranges on a weekly basis in order to keep consumers interested. Thus it appears that this high street brand undoubtedly prioritizes quantity over quality (has Primark heard of cashmere?) and has only very recently developed a conscience. Primark was forced to adopt a moral code after the shocking press revelations it still hasn’t shaken off. In 2008, BBC’s Panorama started investigating why Primark was so cheap, revealing that Primark sold clothes made by Indian slave children. Now, if you go on the Primark website, ethical trading is an eye catching and unavoidable part of their homepage. Pictures of smiling Indian women alongside recyclable shopping bags ram it down our throats that Primark’s profits help the world. I am still not convinced, however it does appear that a devil is trying to think about where the world’s outfits come from. Prada is at the cutting-edge of fashion. It employs an elite collection of the most creative people in the world, creating shock waves through the medium of clothing and accessories. Innovative minds follow a general theme (Baroque? Tribal? Equestrian? The possibilities are endless) and proceed to go wild with their imagination, and people
Images clockwise from top right: etsy.com, scraphacker.com, Ferawaty Ranti, theloveofit.co.uk, thetribalway. blogspot.comnewmalefashion.blogspot.com.
wear their art on the street. The most recent technology creates each piece with meticulous precision that no high street brand could afford to imitate. So why do people criticize Prada? Primarily, money. Each pair of shoes costs an 18 year-old male’s car insurance to buy (and men probably won’t know the difference between a pair from New Look and Prada anyway). Also, Prada is a brand led by fashion. You’re paying money for something so carefully made it will last you years, yet it follows the “that is so last season” mentality. It’s not fast fashion, but it doesn’t aim to produce classic pieces that will save many an “I love that dress but what do I wear with it?” or “I want an easy to wear pair of trousers that aren’t sweatpants” outfit trauma. Consequently, it’s not sustainable either. Were Prada made in bulk it would drain the economy and fill the landfill as much as Primark does currently. Nightmare. Neither is sustainable and neither promotes a society that looks at saving the world or the future. Both are led by fashion, one creating and one imitating. So what would angels wear? I’d imagine brands like People Tree and Monkey Genes - they are distinctly closer to Primark in price, have skilled designers at Head Office, and care about Fairtrade and the environment. Perfect...aren’t they?
Winter Warmers Meg’s Winter Warmer MEG DREWETT
A yummy dish that’s perfect for a cosy night in with the entire flat. Serves 4-5 Takes 1 hour INGREDIENTS 8 sausages 1 red onion 3 cloves of garlic 2 tps tomato puree 1 can chopped tomatoes 1 can butterbeans 1 tps brown sugar 3 carrots 200 ml chicken stock Mixed herbs, paprika Red wine (optional)
Illustration: Rebecca Longhurst
METHOD 1. Heat olive oil in casserole dish (or large pan) and gently fry sausages until nicely browned 2. Remove sausages from dish and leave to one side 3. Add a little water to the dish to deglaze it, add more olive oil and gently fry chopped onions until soft 4. Add garlic and diced carrots and gently cook for another 5 minutes 5. Add a sprinkle of paprika and cook for a few seconds longer 6. Add tomato puree, chopped tomatoes, brown sugar, mixed herbs and chicken stock and gently stir until combined 7. Pour over a dash of wine and bring dish to a simmer 8. Place sausages back into the dish and gently simmer for 10-20mins 9. Add can of butterbeans and cook for a further 10 mins until sauce thickens. 10. Season with salt and pepper and serve with pasta, rice or potato
Sex-on-the-Exe How to survive... An anonymous student tells of a not-so-exciting encounter with a flatmate
SO it was my first week at university; way, allowing his full six-foot frame to third day to be precise. Let me qualify heave on top of me. I resorted to going this: I had not had sex in nine months. “Ooh” and batting the wall for a bit in Perhaps this goes some way to explain- the hope this might convince him my ing why I was charmed by a man whose pleasure levels were pretty satisfactory, pulling technique included pretending thanks, but the sex went on (and on). that until recently he had been hospitalised for nine months and “just longed to hear the birds sing again.” Well, we “I resorted to batting gals do love a bit of sensitivity. the wall for a bit in I’ll emulate our courting process and cut to the chase: we lay on his bed, the hope this might while his roommate read a book a few convince him of my feet away. After a while, I started to panic that they had entered some kind pleasure levels” of agreement whereby if one of them scores, the other is allowed to watch This was a reverse porno version and offer useful tips. Thankfully, fol- of Speed, in which he had to continue lowingcopious frowning and subtle having sex, but couldn’t deliver more eye-winking, the roommate left. than two thrusts a minute for He leant over seductivefear of exploding. Forty ly and said: “My mouth is minutes later, I started Have a really dry.” I paused, unto wonder whether he better story? certain whether he was was even capable of Email your angling for a kiss, or exploding. When it warning me to stay away bedroom adventures eventually happened, because his mouth was I think I might have to far too dry for kissing. actually cheered. lifestyle@ (Note: kissing doesnot The deed done, I exepose.com left his room only to find cure dry mouths.) We undressed in the awkward fashion the room opposite occupied of people stripping for a sexual health by nearly the entire corridor and test (an uncanny prophecy; thank god with the door wide open. I gave a he wore a condom) and proceeded to weak smile and trudged the few feet to get down to business. my own door. What followed was possibly the Oh yeah, did I mention he was my dullest sex ever. To cap it off, he also neighbour? neglected to prop himself up in any
Blind Date What Louis thought of Celia What were you hoping for before your date? The future Mrs. Doré. Failing that, to meet someone new and have a few laughs.
First impressions? Celia seemed chatty, funny and cool. She made me feel comfortable and got rid of any anxieties I had about the night. What did you talk about? Mutual friends, years abroad, holidays and nights out in Exeter. We made each other laugh with a few horror stories of club nights we’d rather forget.
27 NOVEMBER 2012 |
Relationships at uni
In her final column, Kate Gray, shares the trials of looking for love at university and why finding ‘The One’ isn’t that important I COME from a tiny school in the middle of nowhere, populated mostly by people with webbed toes and a strange affinity for gravy. Coming to university made me realise that the sentence “he’s quite attractive really, his ear hair only comes down to his shoulders” isn’t that much of a good thing, and eating pie and chips from a crumpled newspaper in a park is not exactly an ideal first date. I’m not saying that Exeter is populated with more man candy than Ann Summers’ Chocolate Factory, but it’s a damn sight better than having the awkward social situation of finding out your one night stand is missing his front teeth. On arriving at university I had to convince everyone that the fact I had been to a girls’ school did not automatically make me want to wear sensible shoes, buy 18 cats and become a gym teacher. Trying to impress the locals in my home town wouldn’t require more than 12 brain cells and the ability to drink Lambrini without throwing up. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure the drunken debauchery in Timepiece late on a Friday night isn’t due to couples bonding over civilised conversations about the state of the economy or over a shared love for early 80s episodes of Doctor Who, but it’s still infinitely preferable to getting chatted up back
home by a man with hair on his eyeballs. Exeter was my chance to prove to the world that I could pull someone with a mental age closer to his physical age than his shoe size, who set their sights a little higher than “making it to 25 without going to prison. Again.”
“Trying to impress the locals in my home town wouldn’t require more than 12 brain cells” Of course, expecting anyone barely past puberty to have instantly turned into a fully fledged adult is asking a bit much. Bitches will be crazy, I’ll admit, and girls, you may find yourself reverting to your 13-year-old self as you pine over his Facebook statuses and analyse the meaning of two kisses versus three. However, boys may also revert to their 13-year-old selves, which means that any female attention will make them behave as if they were the God of Women, fistbumping friends at the slightest mention of boobs and playing a great deal of FIFA with all that free time they suddenly have. The issue with university is the sudden freedom to do whatever you want to, and unfortunately what most
of us seem to want to do boils down to eating ice cream, watching TV and getting jiggy. Just make sure you balance it all out, or else it’ll be like an IV drip full of chocolate - wonderfully hedonistic, but you’ll end up regretting it when your arteries are full of chocolate...and you’re dead. The most important thing to remember is to prioritise yourself. Whether you’re in a long-distance relationship, an on-off relationship, a brief fling, friends with benefits or whether you’re just a single sassy gal/ guy in the prime of life, this is your time to find out what you want in a relationship. University isn’t necessarily the time to find The One (although if you do find them, well done, and I’d love to play Where’s Wally with you some time) so relax, have fun and do that whole ‘finding yourself’ thing before deciding the person you’re with is the one you want to have babies and do the weekly budget with. You might get your heart broken or even have a wonderfully fulfilling relationship, but remember that university is for learning from your mistakes before venturing into the real world. To misquote some guy: dance in Arena like no one’s watching, sing in the shower like no one’s listening and love like a fat kid loves cake.
What happened when Louis Doré met Celia Roberts? Any awkward moments at all? Not especially, although walking into Monkey Suit to find no seats available was a bit rubbish. We propped ourselves up at the bar instead and I don’t think she minded (I hope!).
Did you feel there was any romantic tension? Honestly, not especially. We laughed a lot and chatted well, but it was more friendly and comfortable than romantically charged. What was the best thing about her? She was very witty and her warm smile put me at ease. What was the worst thing about her? I honestly can’t think of anything! At one point she ran into a friend and had a chat without engaging me, but that’s a minor thing. Where did you go and how was the atmosphere? We went to Monkey Suit, which was really busy. There was quite a bit of noise but otherwise the atmosphere was quite good for conversation.
Was there a hug, kiss or someWhat did you talk about? thing more? Family, friends, uni life, interJust a hug; we got on ests - the usual. If you really well, but it was definitely just friendwant to go on Any awkward moly. ments at all? a blind date then No, none at all. What mark would email you give the evening Did you feel there lifestyle@ out of ten? was any romantic exepose.com tension? I’d say a seven? I had a really fun evening, but I No not really. The wouldn’t say it was a maswhole atmosphere of sively romantic date! the date was very friendly. Would you meet up with her again? Definitely, I’d love to hear more stories about how to survive second year.
What Celia thought of Louis What were you hoping for before your date? I wasn’t really sure what I was hoping for when I signed up for this! Probably a nice evening and a chance to meet someone new. First impressions? He seemed very nice, a real gentleman as he held the door open for me.
What was the best thing about him? I liked that Louis was planning on running the London Marathon in April. His training commitment is really impressive and so is his plan to raise money for an autism charity. What was the worst thing about him? I wouldn’t say that it is anything bad, but I felt really old compared with him! Where did you go and how was the atmosphere? We went for a drink at The Monkey Suit. The drinks were great and the place was really busy which made
for a good environment but maybe a little too loud. By the end of the night was there a hug, kiss or something more? The night ended as it began, with a friendly hug. What mark would you give the evening out of ten? eight - great evening, nice guy.
Would you meet up with him again? Maybe just as friends.
GUILD AGM ALUMNI AUDITORIUM THE FORUM
DEC 5 / 1PM
The Annual General Meeting is where the Guild's company business is ratified and confirmed by students as members of the
Guild. Although more casual than most share-holder meetings this is a chance to engage in the kind of board-room processes that the
leaders of tomorrow will carry out. Attend in person, or by proxy - you can sign up for proxies online; by seeing any of the Sabbatical Officers
or Student Representatives; or at the Guild Info Point on Level 1 of the Forum, or at the A&V Hub in Devonshire House.
FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @ExeposeMusic
Listings Tues 27 Nov Rodrigo y Gabriela Colston Hall, Bristol Tues 27 Nov Jens Lekman Thekla, Bristol
27 NOVEMBER 2012 |
Callum McLean & Anthony Prodromou email@example.com JOIN THE FACEBOOK GROUP Exeposé Music
Put your triangles in the sky
After seven months that’s seen the meteoric rise of Alt-J (∆), Callum McLean, Music Editor, speaks once more to the winners of the 2012 Mercury Prize, fresh after their win, to see what the future holds...
Tues 27 Nov Thick as Thieves Cellar Door Fri 30 Nov The Wurzels Lemmy Mon 3 Dec James Blake Thekla, Bristol Tues 4 Dec Willy Mason Thekla, Bristol Tues 4 Dec Exit Presents: Ben Pearce Cellar Door Wed 5 Dec Beats and Bass Cavern Wed 5 Dec Rusko University of Plymouth SU Sat 8 Dec Fatboy Slim Motion, Bristol Sun 9 Dec Gentleman’s Dub Club Cavern Fri 14 Dec The xx Colston Hall, Bristol Sat 15 Dec Modestep Lemmy
“WHEN we won the Mercury, a couple of days after it with that huge fallout, we were a bit shell-shocked about what had happened over the last couple of days, and we just came to this conclusion that ‘this is it – we’re now musicians, we can’t go back, we’ve gone too far.’” Joe Newman, lead singer and guitarist of Alt-J, recalls their reaction to coming away with the supremely prestigious Barclaycard Mercury Prize less than two weeks after the ceremony. Over a last minute phone call to Amsterdam, where the band are about to play a live-streamed show at the Melkweg, it is clear this is still sinking in. “It’s great though – I mean, fucking hell…”
“We spent four years and prior to that I spent most of my youth trying to write songs”
Chromatics-RunningFromTheSun www.tinyurl.com/chromaticssun Johnny Jewel of the American electronic quartet Chromatics releases this lullaby album of spacey vocals and tripped-out ambience.
If Newman is still coming to terms with it, he’s not the only one. The Leedsbased four-piece seemed to come out of the woodwork earlier this year, but by the time of the award, and despite almost no major newspaper support (neither The Guardian nor The Times had even reviewed debut ‘An Awesome Wave’) they were bookies’ clear favourites to win. How would Newman explain this? “The quality of the songs”, he affirms, with a pompless sincerity. “We were a band that kind of spent a long time working on songwriting before
anything was happening. And before from being put off by this, he enthuses, we were keen for anything to happen, “that’s the dream for me, for as many we spent about four years - and prior to ears to hear our music as possible”. that, I spent most of my youth - trying “My dream is for as many to write songs. So, I think we just had a lot of time where we were incubated people to hear my music in this bubble, in this world at university as possible” where we were being subsidised by our parents and student loans and where we A constant since the band came had enough time to work on something to Exeter in March (then supporting and actually be really patient twice-disappointed Mercury about it and methodical, hopefuls Wild Beasts), this Listen to and that’s what we did.” has gone from a casual Though convinced the full interview openness to new audiof this explanation, ences to a reality, and on our radio he nevertheless with it Newman’s atsenses something show, Monday 6-7: titude seems to have unsatisfactory and shifted somewhat facebook.com/ adds some tentative since interviews with Xm comments about “mustudent papers were sical trends that are gostill novel. He remains ing on at the moment…I playfully dry: “listening guess it’s quite accessible but to Philip Glass, I’ll read a book. also quite left-field, and it’s a strong If high, I’ll sing with Gus, because it’s album which can actually survive on super fun to sing when you’re high” – gossip and not from media coverage”. not for the interview of course: “nine Clearly the coup prompts a second to five I’m sober to judge”. But some look at the band from outside and in, a responses come across as more weathsubject Newman is ambivalent about ered, like slightly wearied box ticking, pursuing. He admits it is a “turning others cautious or audibly reformulated point”, that it has “cemented [their] and self-addressed. He often uses the success”, but is cautious to draw firm generic pronoun ‘you’ with such vigour conclusions: “More people check you he seems to be advising himself: “don’t out and I think that a greater demo- second guess critics…because then you graphic of people will be coming to start playing music that you think oththe gig naturally. And I don’t know, er people want to hear as opposed to whether they keep coming after that one writing music that you’re excited by.” experience is another thing”. But, far However, much the tidal wave
of success this year has changed the band’s prospects, and themselves, they – crucially – seem focused on their passion, unfazed by critical pressure or the difficult second album. “I’m just looking forward to getting into a studio or a practice room with the rest of the guys and just playing some songs and seeing how they react to it. Because that’s the most exciting thing, I think – we’re four guys that have come from completely different musical backgrounds, and four parts of the country, we met at university and we actually really get on as friends and we all have the same wavelength musically speaking, and laws of chemistry. Only a couple of days ago I was playing this riff on my guitar and Gus’ response on the
“Listening to Philip Glass, I’ll read a book. If high, I’ll sing with Gus because it’s super fun to sing when you’re high” keyboard was this really kind of jazzy chordy thing, and I was just like, ‘that was really exciting, I didn’t expect you to do that.’ It really excited me; I think that when we start writing music together, expectations or fears or panics or worries or excitements, they go out the window, because we just zone into hearing stuff that we like to hear. And then that excites you, and then you start thinking, ‘Well, great, we’re onto a winner here’.”
| WEEK ten
Play as you go
Laurence Kerns charts the recent trend of ‘Vodafone Folk’ IF you were to have taken a wander onto the iTunes music store at some point this week, you may have noticed an odd fit in amongst the sexed-up X-Factor teenagers and the many (female vocalist) feat. (London-based rapper) acts. A relatively unpublicised band called The Lumineers were sitting comfortably in 5th spot of the albums chart. Now you may not pay much heed to the dated notion of ‘salesbased charts’, but one thing they can normally be commended for is their reliability: Adele, Sheeran and Sande have
“Ad campaigns promise to whisk us away towards a wood-fire lit age of mead-soaked bar tables” between them amassed 197 weeks in the top 20, and the other spaces are all too commonly taken up by whichever of Simon Cowell’s projects Radio 1 have decided to put their weight behind. It’s safe
to say that it generally takes a fair push to get people to blow a tenner on something that is undoubtedly free elsewhere on the net. From this basis, therefore, it was encouraging to see an unknown face making it so high in these increasingly pointless rankings. But on closer inspection of their music we can find further evidence of a rapidly emerging and intriguing genre of music: that of ‘Vodafone Folk’. While everyone’s been rolling their eyes at the sickly unoriginality behind John Lewis’ latest whining tart, these artists (invariably past/future Mumford & Sons support artists) have been using their wares to sneak into the backgrounds of various adverts, in an underhand attempt to rub inoffensive pop-folk in our faces (Radical Face, Edward Sharpe, we’re looking at you). Yes, ever since Steve Earle lost his way into a Magners orchard whilst bellowing ‘Galway Girl’, we have been
subjected to more and more ad campaigns promising us that if we buy their products we’ll be whisked away in a hessian sack towards a wood fire lit age of mead-soaked bar tables and dancing Irish dames. By conjuring up this image, they are telling us to shut our laptops and leave our Whatsapps behind, because these goods can only truly be enjoyed
when you shy away from modern means and muck in face-to-face with the banjo players and the pig farmers. And while it’s a possibly mixed message from the purveyors of wi-fi -enabled cameras and 4G networks, I’d say this is one cynical marketing ploy to be welcomed. A wholesome rural community ideal, although entirely insincere,
can surely only be better than Kerry Katona’s platters and Gilette’s chinrubbing footballers; I also defy you not to be soothed by The Lumineers while enjoying a hangover. Most importantly, for the single reason that they may one day push the third N -Dubz single out of the top ten, this new ‘genre’ should be heralded as a force for good.
Music from another world: exotic thrills in the record store Henry Coulshed peruses the backroom crates of our collective musical memory to solve the myth of ‘world music’ and finds nothing but good tunes
IMAGINE a crowded record shop. Difficult, maybe, in the age of iTunes, but perhaps you have gone to the big city, where enough customers can be snared by nostalgia and the urge to collect and curate. Wallet in hand and with quivering ears, you slowly wander the aisles. Depending on the sadism of the shop owner, you might have to flick through boxes, get on your knees to dig for treasure, or walk with your body bent at 90 degrees for best browsing potential. Let’s say you bypass rock & pop, spend some time in folk, pick a jazz/ classical wild card, and maybe even nip into funk & soul, urban or metal. You get a bit absorbed in the blurb on the wad of sound already gathered, and when you look up you find yourself in a part of the store you have never seen before. Peering at the racks, you see no names you recognise. Some are even in foreign languages. It dawns on you a second before you see the sign: you have found the World section. The term ‘world music’ was invented in the 60s by Robert E. Brown who was putting on some gigs of African and Asian music at University in
Connecticut. The name has since been used by the English-speaking world as a rug to brush any sound from the rest of the world under to avoid having to bother engaging with its context. This is pretty typical of our approach to other cultures, and seems like it might reduce our appreciation of these alien noises. Luckily, music has its own language, something that goes on in, around and between our vibrating ears and our brain which doesn’t really have to be understood to be enjoyed. The contextual disconnect which allows us to shove everything under the ‘world’ umbrella and largely ignore it is also what makes it so exciting to those who give it a try. Whether we listen to cutting edge Indo-dance fusion or traditional British folk (which is just as culturally removed from us as any other world music) we hear music coming from somewhere we really struggle, or don’t bother, to relate to – even more if the lyrics are beyond our understanding. At its best, our dumb response can be a great joy of discovery without the snobbery that comes from knowing a style of music well. The thrill of the ex-
THE FIRING RANGE * Soundgarden Been Away Too Long
otic in the instruments, arrangements, moods and vocal styles which have been practised and developed in separate traditions to those we know and love doesn’t go away, I guess until we become as familiar with them as we are with meat-and-potato rock music. By which time it has been replaced with the less exciting but still fulfilling type of music appreciation we are used to – culturally located and understood. Of course, it’s not often that we hear something that different to anything we’ve ever heard before. With cultural cross pollination and similarities in recording techniques (eg. world music from the 80s) you often get an even
stranger listening experience where you can hear something you recognise amongst the exotic stuff. These links might help you get into the more exotic elements of the music, or might deter you if they remind you of a type of music you’ve already made a judgement about and think you understand. Whatever, they also point to the fact that genres don’t really exist and all music is interconnected in a big tangled blob which we try and serve neatly but ends up spilled all over the table. The next no. 1 chart smash is linked to the first caveman banging a drum and howling. It’s all a matter of how you approach it, and I hereby urge you in a biblical fashion, reader, to go forth with open ears and unpreju-
diced minds and listen to all the world’s music, whatever it be labelled. Wallow in the sensation of not knowing what the hell you’re hearing. Smash down the partitions in the record store. The caveman is listening, laughing, and soiling his loincloth with glee.
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Announcing their comeback with all the titular subtlety of a sledgehammer, the grunge giants live to rise again. And after the disappointments of the initially promising Audioslave and Chris Cornell’s patchy solo career (that misguided Timbaland collaboration? That god-awful James Bond Theme?), this doesn’t half deliver: it’s a raucous, righteous, riotous homecoming that goes straight for the jugular and rips it out. Though when Cornell screeches ‘Can’t go home, no I swear you never can’, it must be accidental irony as this forges no new territory but paves a solid path back to the early 90s. Still: new Soundgarden that sounds like old Soundgarden is better than no Soundgarden.
Dirty Projectors About To Die
The Rolling Stones Doom And Gloom
The Weeknd Wicked Games
Atop sprightly drums, handclaps and plinky strings, Dave Longstreth of Dirty Projectors mourns his desperate lot, telling a tale of love and mortality other such things which musicians feel. Strange and fine lyrics abound. The good manners, clever, clever female harmonies and stringy middle-8 drain take the edge off these subjects, but by the time it clamours for climax you realise it has got quite under your skin. The lyrics topple into absurdity (“You’re already dead, but you’re about to die”) as Longstreth stretches his Marmite voice out and then it is over and you miss it. Lovely.
The Rolling Stones are past their prime. We know it, they know it, your grandmother knows it. And yet still they cling onto former glory like a pensioner buying a Ferrari. ‘Doom and Gloom’ has all the right ingredients of a classic rock song, but all it amounts to is a cringey soup of nostalgia. I say soup because it totally lacks substance. Jagger relishes as he shouts and elongates words well past their natural end, and his lyrics reek of a desperate clinging to youth. No, Mick, you’re 69-years-old: if you crash-landed in a swamp and faced a horde of zombies, you would not come out on top.
The Weeknd. Biggest talent since MJ to some, that depressing rap thing guy to others (so yes, basically Frank Ocean). ‘Wicked Games’ is off his critical darling of a debut mixtape (that’s really blatantly just an album, you’re not fooling anyone here) House of Balloons. I mean when you sample Cocteau Twins and then make it R’n’B, it’s like you’re begging Pitchfork to love you and your alternativeness. But yeah, it’s a good song anyway. Atmospheric as hell, and he has swell enough pipes to make ‘Let me see that ass’ sound tragic. He spelt ‘Weekend’ wrong though.
CHRISTMAS 2012 POSTING DATES 1st Class Letter, Large Letter & Packet 20th December 2nd Class Letter, Large Letter & Packet 18th December Recorded Delivery 19th December Special Next Day Delivery 22nd December Europe 12th December World Wide 5th December
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Newsreel Almodóvar to make sci-fi film Iconic Spanish film director Pedro Almodóvar is potentially about to depart from his stock subject matter of families and mystery dramas to make a sci-fi film. Almodóvar, 63, told a BAFTA audience that he was keen to investigate the genre, but also that due to his methods of working, that they shouldn’t expect anything soon.
Charlie Brooker wins an Emmy Renowned grumbler Charlie Brooker has won an international Emmy award for Black Mirror, his dystopian black comedy that involved Rory Kinnear having to do awful things to a pig. Brooker’s satirical three part series, aired earlier this year, won rave reviews for its incisive take on British life.
Toy Story writer to write Star Wars VII Michael Arndt, the Oscar-winning writer of iconic children’s trilogy Toy Story has signed up to write the as yet untitled latest addition to the Star Wars empire. It’s a rare moment of stability for the franchise, as the identity of the director remains shrouded in mystery, as everyone from Brad Bird to J.J Abrams rules themselves out of the running.
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Screen meets: Stephen Horne
Megan Furborough sits down with one of the world’s most famous silent film musicians LAST week Exeter’s Northcott Theatre teamed up with Campus Cinema to host the iconic Nosferatu, a black and white silent film that set the precedent for all future vampire flicks. This type of film won’t appear in many students’ DVD collections, but the Hollywood blockbusters that we see today owe a great debt to the genre. The talent that goes into making a silent film a powerful cinematic experience doesn’t just lie with the director and actors; the accompanying soundtrack forms a crucial connection between the audience and the screen. I was lucky enough to chat to world renowned accompanist Stephen Horne before his stunning accompaniment to Nosferatu to talk films, music and Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Accompanying silent films was not what Horne was expecting to make a career out of when he finished a music degree at Nottingham University. “I’m a classically trained musician and was probably on my way into a conventional classical career,” but a chance invitation from an old teacher to accompany a screening of The Passion of Joan of Arc was the stepping stone to a 25 year career that has taken him from the BFI, where he is based, to America, Germany and beyond. Improvisation is a large part of his work, and Horne often plays two instruments at the same time, such as the piano and flute. In a silent film the visual is important in the way he can “respond to an internal rhythm. It’s a complex procedure, because it’s an interpretation. In a way you have an unusual degree of power. But live performance is unique”. He admits that the experience is manipulative, as the “audience’s
responses are being dictated by the music.” This is “all the greater” in a film with no sound. I point out that in
“You could stick house music on The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari as long as there’s a thought process going on” an episode of Buffy Joss Whedon made the decision not to include any music to avoid swaying the audience. “Yes, and there was an episode that was silent as well. Emotion is still just as important – manipulation [through music] is just one of the tools of cinema. It doesn’t bother me unless I feel like I’m being manipulated in an exploitative way.” The emotion of the audience during the screening is key to Horne’s improvisation. “You sense when the audience is ‘getting’ it. Nosferatu is a little awkward because it’s not scary, more funny. But funny peculiar”. The way we frighten people on screen is one of the things that dates most quickly he argues, and a live accompaniment is all about creating an atmosphere in which the audience can respond to the “creakiness” and “creepiness” of the actor’s performances. Horne views Max
Review: Nosferatu Rhys Mills talks 1922 German Expressionist horror. Obviously.
Nosferatu had been on my film radar for a while, having heard it described as a classic work of world and silent cinema, and intrigued by the disturbing images I had repeatedly encountered of antagonist vampire Count Orlok. With this in mind I was glad to see leaflets touting a screening of the film with “live musical accompaniment by internationally renowned pianist Stephen Horne” floating around campus and shortly afterwards found myself in the Northcott Theatre, amongst a buzz of excited anticipation. A brief introduction enlightened us to the fascinating tale of the film’s production; a 1922 German expressionist adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula; the film’s characters had different names from those in
novel as part of an unfruitful attempt to bypass copyright issues. Unfortunately, Stoker’s estate successfully sued the company behind the film, and the original negatives were burnt, though luckily for us the film lived on through prints that had been previously distributed. The room darkened and the audience sat in breathless silence as film spools clicked into an unseen projector and whirred mechanically into life. Before the main feature we were treated to an additional Russian short film One of Many satirising 1920s Hollywood, featuring the filmic dreams of a young woman delivered via surreal and captivating animation. 20 minutes later we came to Nosferatu. Some foreshadowing
and horror tropes all too familiar to modern audiences supplied moments of awkward laughter amongst the audience early on in the screening, but as the film progressed to its sinister climax the room sat in reverent silence. While not supplying the jumps and screams characteristic to the modern horror-junkie, the film delivered in its beautiful cinematography, tense atmosphere, and vividly haunting imagery of the Count. Musician Stephen Horne was a tour-de-force, adding a seamless and suitably evocative score to both films as well as (to my delight) displaying the impressive talent of playing the flute and piano at the same time. Campus Cinema has outdone itself on this one.
Schreck’s turn as Count Orlok as central to the film’s enduring appeal; “it’s very different from almost any other Dracula. Usually Dracula is very suave, very seductive, but Schreck is totally monstrous and alien. It’s haunting.” When asked about what The Artist has done for silent film today, Horne says that its “affectionate” take on the genre has been positive overall, and there is more public interest in the silent classics. Laughing, he points out that “you’d have to be very up yourself not to think so!” Despite this, he doesn’t believe this interest from Hollywood will last. “I don’t think there’s too much mileage in creating new silent films. But
there have been a lot more modern interpretations.” Horne is open to these new takes -“you could stick house music on The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari as long as there’s a thought process going on.” Whilst Stephen Horne may not be a name familiar to everyone and silent films not always the first to be pulled from the shelf, the experience of Nosferatu is one not to be missed. The passion for his work that Horne brings to the film and the pleasure of watching him live adds an exciting n e w dynamic to this unique cinematic experience.
Films to see before you graduate: The Room GENERALLY accepted to be the worst film ever made, The Room was written, directed, produced and starred in by Tommy Wisseau: a shockingly untalented individual who fails at each of these four roles. Somehow, it’s so bad that it’s good. The wooden acting, bizarre screenwriting (“leave your stupid comments in your pocket!”) and confused plotline(s) make for an entertaining, baffling watch. The main character, a supposedly brilliant, charming, successful Johnny (clearly just Wisseau living out his fantasy) is betrayed by his “future wife” (for some reason, the word fiancée is never actually used) who begins sleeping with Mark, Johnny’s best friend. We can be sure that the two are best friends, because it is stated seven times in the film. The film mainly consists of Lisa talking: bringing up her woes then just immediately cutting the conversation short with “I don’t want to talk about it” and Johnny playing ball with his friends, who are really
good at dramatically falling over for no reason. There are also references to serious health problems in drug abuse, debt, pregnancies and career struggles but oddly, none of these seem to affect the characters or plot in any way. There is so much wrong with this film that it’s impossible to describe it all or explain how these flaws make the film the accidental masterpiece it is. It has achieved a cult following and while it angers me that Wiseau has managed to make money out of this, I do think everyone should see it. I would definitely suggest watching it with a large group of friends, as attempting it alone will probably drive you crazy – I’ve even heard one person comment “it’s so bad it’s giving me a rash.” But if film mocking sounds like your idea of a good, sociable evening, you can’t do better than The Room.
The Master Director: Paul Thomas Anderson Cast: Philip Seymour-Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams. 144 mins (15) FORGET what you may have heard, The Master is an incredibly simple film. As far as plot goes, after World War II, seaman Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix) wanders west America drunk and lost until he stumbles across a cult run by Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman). The rest of the film follows his attempts to fit in to the cult and find purpose in his life. That’s it. The complexity comes not from the story but the way it is told, with Paul Thomas Anderson’s script quietly probing into the psychological depths of every character.
“The reliably magnificent Hoffman is powerful, charming and dangerous as cult leader Dodd” We begin on the churning wake of a boat, electric blue foam cascading outwards like a vivid echo of the Rorsach test that later contributes to the psychological side of the film. Quell is returning from fighting the Japanese in World War II and he instantly stands out amongst a background of uniform companions. Phoenix contorts and transforms himself into a tightly coiled wire of fury and obsession
27 november 2012 |
with a brilliant and surely award-winning performance. He spends much of the film hunched over and sneering, at once crippled by his reliance on sex and alcohol but still convinced of his own independence and authority. He crudely fucks a sand-made woman on the beach then masturbates angrily into the sea. He steals missile fuel for alcohol. He picks fights with the customers he is meant to be photographing in a department store. Quite simply, he is an infantile mess. Things begin to change when he stumbles upon Dodd’s boat and finds himself ushered down a new path, the path of The Cause. The reliably magnificent Hoffman is powerful, charming and dangerous as cult leader Dodd. One moment he is drifting around, entertaining his followers, the next he is drowning in a sea of bullshit as his beliefs are questioned by rational dissenters. From the second Quell and Dodd meet there is a connection that develops into a titanic battle of wills. In arguably the best scene, Dodd conducts informal processing on Quell, asking him a series of probing and personal questions with Quell forbidden to blink. Both Quell and the viewer are transfixed by the torturous power of the close-up. Quell’s face scrunches with fear and pain but even so, Dodd’s questioning feels like a charity, literally forcing him to process his past troubles and wild personality. At first, Dodd’s intentions seem good as he tries to heal Quell’s troubled shell of a man. However, the real nature of their relationship soon becomes that of master and slave. Dodd proclaims that Quell will be his “guinea-pig and protégé” and he is soon tested to within
an inch of his sanity by The Cause’s intense methods. As much as he believes he is helping, Dodd is just giving a broken man hope, only to smash him apart again through his misguided abuse of power and trust. Watching Dodd’s ‘teaching’ is like watching him make a bear dance, as his maniacal obsession descends into comedy.
“As much as he believes he is helping, Dodd is just giving a broken man hope, only to smash him apart again through his misguided abuse of power and trust”
finding a way to navigate life, with cult simply one available option. It offers hope to Quell but he grows to realise that Dodd is “making all this up as he goes along. Can’t you see that?” Dodd gets what he deserves in a lack of obedience from Quell. Irrational belief breeds irrational believers so it is no surprise when Quell escapes his meticu-
lous view of the world. Dodd concludes by saying, “if you figure out a way to live without serving a master then let us know will you? Because you’ll be the first person in the history of mankind to manage it.” Quell was a slave to sex, alcohol and Lancaster Dodd but by the film’s conclusion there is hope that just maybe he has become his own master.
Throughout the film there is also a strong hint of homoeroticism between Dodd and Quell. It’s not quite the Top Gun beach volleyball scene but there is certainly a link that is more than professional or platonic. One such moment comes when Dodd’s wife Peggy (Amy Adams) tells him he can get away with anything he wants as long as she doesn’t find out, all the while medicinally masturbating her husband into the sink. Tellingly, Dodd reacts with a groan reminiscent of when he drank Quell’s homemade alcohol. The final scenes cement this suggestion with Dodd crooning a heart-breaking song to Quell, before an intriguing final sex scene. In the end The Master is about
“Rockin’ around the Christmas screen...” James Crouch, Features Editor, talks Christmas trucks, tears and terrible adverts THE holidays are coming! It’s less than a month to Christmas and the seasonal joviality that comes only once a year is well and truly under way. I don’t blame the humbugs in late September who look at the half-hearted decorations in
Sainsbury’s or lament the early use of yuletide plastic bags from M&S. But I will not hear a word against the holiday adverts on TV. Christmas is said to start when the Coca Cola adverts hit our screens, and
I defy anyone not to wriggle with even just a little a bit of excitement. It’s a time old classic that is back by popular demand, since temporarily being removed from screens in 2001. But it does have the American touch; a slight manufactured element which leaves you not quite wanting to ring up your nearest and dearest and exclaim your love in early November.
“Christmas is said to start when the Coca Cola adverts hit our screens”
>> Jenny didn’t want to tell Pete that she’d only wanted a Mad Men boxset.
In Britain we have the standard explosion of Xmas gift adverts. The rather unhelpful Christmas catalogue adverts, which try and con you out of money all year round to pay towards a
heartbreakingly narrow array of gifts. Then the usual High Street shops, each with a splattering of snow, woolly hats and occasionally a B-list celebrity all there to further sell the feeling. Some do it better than others, and some just don’t quite get the idea that we don’t want the words ‘cheap’, ‘discount’ and ‘bargain’ in our vision of winter family time. We’ll make up our mind on that for ourselves, what we ask from these adverts is to make us warm and fuzzy until we come to the conclusion that we really do need the central heating on. And of course, no one understands our complicated needs better than John Lewis. Last year’s advert reduced me to tears and still does, I am not ashamed to admit it. There isn’t even a JL product shown on screen, it just encapsulates a vision of Christmas that we gut-wrenchingly yearn for. This
year, they confidently try again to rise to the bar they set. Admittedly, it took me one or two views to figure out what I thought of it, but couldn’t help once again falling hopelessly in love with the vision it paints: someone desperate to give a gift to the one they love.
“Last year’s John Lewis advert reduced me to tears and still does, I am not ashamed to admit it” That solely is what makes a good seasonal advert. No cut-price presents, but an on-screen flavour of what for hopefully all of us is just round the corner: a loving and happy family Christmas.
As Hot As... the hot or nots of this week’s film news X FACTOR - Well. Ella Henderson has controversially been sent home, despite possessing what many of this year’s contestants lack: the ability to sing. A nation weeps, tweets, and criticises Louis Walsh’s dress sense.
MORGAN SPURLOCK - One-time populist documentary maker Spurlock has swapped Big Macs for boybands, and is signed on to make a Simon Cowell-approved documentary about the boyband that seemingly EVERYONE fancies: One Direction.
LIAM NEESON - Despite being old enough to be your granddad, Liam Neeson would definitely beat you in a fight. He’s in negotiations to make The All Nighter, a film about an aging hitman taking on his former employers. Dreamy.
SAM MENDES – The man who made an actually decent Bond film has an idea for a sequel, according to some of the franchise’s long-term screenwriters. Whether or not he’ll direct is a different matter...
CHILDREN IN NEED – Despite two million fewer people actually watching the show, and a controversy-ridden year for the BBC, the iconic charity institution raised £27 million for neglected children around the country.
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Books Playlist We pick our 5 favourite books from the newlyannounced 2013 World Book Night list 1. The Reader - Bernard Schlink
When 15-year-old Michael Berg meets an older woman, the chance encounter leads to a passionate affair. Years later, he observes a trial in Germany where she is in the dock. The woman he loved is not what she seems and may be desperately concealing an even greater secret.
2. Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? Jeanette Winterson
Jeanette Winterson’s first novel, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, was the story of a traumatic past written over. Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal is the twin of that story, about the pursuit of a mother, the search for happiness and a journey into madness.
3. Girl With A Pearl Earring - Tracy Chevalier
Set in 17th Century Holland, Griet becomes a maid in the household of Johannes Vermeer. As she gets drawn into his world, their intimacy causes scandal and deception in the household and community. A historical novel on the corruption of innocence.
4. No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency - Alexander McCall Smith
Mma Ramotswe is the proud owner of the only - and the finest - ladies’ detective agency in Botswana. It is not The Principles of Private Detection that solve her cases but a warm understanding of the weaknesses of human nature.
5. The Secret Scripture Sebastian Barry
The mental hospital in which Roseanne McNulty has spent most of her adult life is preparing for closure. As her relationship with her psychiatrist Dr Grene intensifies, Roseanne’s story becomes an alternative history of Ireland as well as the story of a life traumatised by ignorance, yet marked still with the hope of love.
27 November 2012 |
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Does erotic fiction send a shiver down your spine?
Tom Bond, Books Editor, and Cameron Ho tackle the hot topic of erotic fiction
TB: I WONDER what it is about 2012 that has made people so unusually randy? Maybe it’s a desperate fear that the world might actually end, so we might as well go in a flurry of wellthumbed paperbacks. Whatever the reason, 50 Shades of Grey is now the best-selling book in Britain since official records began in 1998. 5.3 million copies have been sold in Britain. That’s just under 10 per cent of the population. Your mum probably owns a copy. Is there some kind of precious literary genius embedded within its sticky pages that I’m just not seeing?
CH: In defense of my mother, I highly doubt that she owns a copy, though if she does I am sure it is for scholarly analysis rather than wanton entertainment. The recent popularity in erotic literature owes its success to entertainment value, rather than literary genius. The history of erotic literature is long, spanning from Marlowe’s Hero and Leander to Ovid’s erotic poems. While 50 Shades of Grey may not have the literary distinction of Hero and Leander, all three works share the distinction of being enjoyable reads. I would say that the recent interest in erotic fiction reflects fundamental changes in society’s attitudes towards reading. There exists a new group of readers that desire to be both refined and entertained. What better way is there, then, for aspiring middle-aged women than to read erotic literature?
“One can have an erotically-charged train journey with little risk of embarrassment” In this day and age, audio-visual erotic material is generally the preserve of young and middle-aged men. Their more refined female counterparts turn to the book, which is not only more civilized, but also more portable; with 50 Shades of Grey, one can have an erotically-charged train journey with little risk of embarrassment. This is more difficult to do with a pornographic film or Playboy magazine. TB: It is interesting that the audience for erotic literature is largely female. Teenage boys have been targeted for their alleged dependence and fascination with internet porn yet now the most conservative counterparts possible, their mothers, are rivalling them. If the 50 Shades phenomenon has served any purpose it has been in remind-
ing us that sexuality doesn’t disappear the second you hit 40. If current trends are anything to go by it only intensifies. The changing social attitudes to erotic fiction are particularly puzzling. A lot of their sales come from cheap digital ebooks and the slow rise of the Kindle, giving increased anonymity to readers and protecting them from the kind of scorn they might expect if they were holding a copy of Nuts instead.
“Erotic fiction is a victimless vice, created through the power of imagination” I think we can agree that there is nothing fundamentally wrong with the erotic aspect of books like this. Without wanting to sound like a Sex Ed teacher, it’s the most natural instinct we have. Even so, porn is still porn, no matter how you present it. What we should be asking ourselves is, if it’s OK to read a piece of erotic literature on a crowded train, why is it frowned upon to watch a pornographic video? CH: Underneath this openly liberated sexuality is a sense of sexual pride and dignity. The sexualisation of society has created a culture where
people are embarrassed to be caught reading pornographic material in case others assume that they lack the ability to live such a carnal lifestyle. For some older women, openly reading erotic fiction may have unwanted implications on established relationships, and may send the wrong signals to boyfriends or husbands. That isn’t to say there aren’t women who do not hide their copy of 50 Shades of Grey behind a Kindle. It is clearly a matter of individual standards and definitions of sexuality. Watching pornographic videos is frowned upon because moving images and accompanying audio depicts the act in such literal, explicit terms. The video is a record of a real sexual act that took place under, as you mentioned, false pretenses. Once it has overwhelmed the senses with such quick, superficial pleasure, the realization sinks in that it is merely a sad, commercial fabrication. This is what disgusts the public. Erotic literature, on the other hand, is fictional. No matter how descriptive the text, there will always be room for interpretation. Reading erotic literature cannot be a truly shared experience, as what one person imagines will be different from that of another.
TB: I was hoping you’d mention the exploitative nature of visual porn. Erotic fiction is a victimless vice, created through the power of imagination and nothing more whereas the porn industry is just that, an industry. The question in this debate is whether erotic fiction is art or porn and the simple answer is that it is both. Something can be erotic whilst still having an artistic value because there is more to it than a simple physical reaction. Whether works of erotic fiction like 50 Shades of Grey are good art is a different question entirely. Reviews would suggest they’re not but at the same time you can’t argue with the response of the mass public.
| 27 NOVEMBER 2012
Is a new Bridget Jones book beyond the edge of reason? Emily Tanner, Arts Editor, questions the motives behind the new Bridget Jones book HEARING that Bridget Jones is to be brought back into the realm of popular culture by author Helen Fielding was undoubtedly a surprise. To me Bridget Jones is a little piece of nostalgia from the early noughties and the idea of hearing about the life of the then thirty something singleton sixteen years on seems slightly odd. I was content with how Bridget ended up and honestly never too interested in what was to come in her life; stories all have to end somehow and the life after the final page is often best left to speculation.
“Bridget Jones is a little piece of nostalgia from the early noughties” Somehow my cynicism will not allow me to fully believe that this is simply a creative outpouring and that there is a new, totally necessary part of Bridget’s story which needs to be told. It does feel as though Fielding is, to some extent at least, capitalising on her previous success. Countless unnecessary sequels have been written due to the success of the first novel even if there was no logical need in terms of plot. Spin offs from a series are also far too common - such as the Short Second Life of Bree
Tanner, which came from the Twilight saga just as it was gaining popularity through the production of the films – demonstrating what appears to be a writer capitalising on success. Fielding knows a third diary from Bridget will draw attention and is likely to be a success so surely some part of her is using her previous success for further acclaim.
“The chance of an ulterior motive in Fielding’s new venture is not unlikely” However, I can also understand why this next Bridget Jones book is being written. When she was writing the first two books Fielding was writing about an age which she was experiencing and felt there were things to say about a woman in her thirties. Now Bridget is in her mid to late forties Fielding may truly just have more to say about how her character’s life has turned out. Writers usually draw from experience and if Fielding feels the experience of a forty something woman requires documentation in her fiction now that she herself has experienced it then it’s not for me to say that she shouldn’t give
Bridget a new lease of life. The chance that there is some ulterior motive – money, fame – in Fielding’s new venture is not unlikely yet nor is it unlikely that she may simply wish to write a brand new book about a character of whom she and much of the country are rather fond. Whatever the reasons Bridget Jones is coming back and we shall just have to wait to see if there is anything more to be said on this famous tale or if it’s just pure capitalisation on the past fame and success of the author.
The gripes of Roth
Dorothea Pease evaluates Roth’s career after his retirement EARLIER this month, award-winning author Philip Roth quietly announced his retirement from writing in a move that went almost unnoticed by the media. In a short interview with French magazine Les Inrocks, the 79 year old writer was characteristically dismissive of his stellar success, saying simply “I did the best I could with what I had.” With a career that spans over 50 years and more than 25 novels, he has admitted that he has had little time in his life for anything other than writing, and has therefore decided to stop and enjoy retirement. Roth’s highly autobiographical works, which include novels such as Portnoy’s Complaint and Goodbye Columbus, are mostly based in New Jersey, where Roth grew up, and explore his Jewish and American identity using often sexually explicit and provocative imagery. He has been one of the most rewarded writers of his generation, winning several prestigious prizes including the Pulitzer Prize and the highly coveted Prince of Asturias Award for Literature, in which the judges compared him with eminent writers such as Hemingway
and Faulkner. Despite this extensive commercial and critical success, Roth remains pessimistic not only about the his own books but about the future of novels as a whole, maintaining that ‘The book can’t compete with the screen’ and saying that reading will soon turn into a ‘cultic’ activity.
“Roth remains pessimistic not only about the his own books but about the future of novels as a whole” For a man who has devoted almost his entire life to writing the very books he is so quick to condemn, this easy cynicism sounds a little strange. H o w e v e r, this was not the only time he has co n d emn ed writing as a profession, as earlier this
year he advised a young writer, Tepper, to “quit while you’re ahead”. He added “You write and write, and you have to throw almost all of it away because it’s not any good. I would say just stop now. You don’t want to do this to yourself. That’s my advice to you.” Given his obvious disenchantment with his career, perhaps it is no bad thing that Roth is taking his own advice and quitting. Speaking of retirement, he says he plans to read both his own and other novels, saying that he wants to see ‘whether I had wasted my time writing’. He is also currently embroiled in a public battle with Wikipedia after they refused to acknowledge him as a credible source for the inspiration behind his book The Human Stain. Ardent fans of Roth continue to live in hope that he follows in the footsteps of writers such as Wilde and Orwell and writes up until his death, although for now it seems abundantly clear that he intends to enjoy his retirement in peace.
The Sickness Alberto Barrera Tyszka THE success of this short but substantial novel is borne of the deep respect its Venezuelan author seems to have for its characters, who find themselves struggling in the existential quandary o c c a si oned by the mysterious relationship – so arbitrary and yet so intrinsic, and so utterly inescapable – between body and mind. Ernesto Durán is a divorced obsessive whose body is apparently ruled by his mind; Javier Miranda an aging widower whose mind is at the mercy of his body, which – though he doesn’t yet know it – is in turn at the mercy of a malignant and merciless tumour. The common denominator of the two, besides symptoms of illness, is Dr Andrés Miranda, doctor to the former and doctor-cum-son to the latter. Dr. Miranda has hitherto prided himself on his policy of honesty between doctor and patient, but now that now the patient is his father he is unsure how and when best to tell
him that he has cancer. Meanwhile he instructs his secretary Karina to ignore the persistent correspondence of Durán, who is convinced he is gravely ill in spite of Dr Miranda’s assurances to the contrary. Karina is strangely intrigued, however, and develops an emotional attachment to Durán; and so while Dr Miranda pretends that his father is not ill, she pretends to be Dr. Miranda, and emails Durán back.
“The Sickness is a work that seems almost to breathe, to pulsate; it has its own physiology” The Sickness is a work that seems almost to breathe, to pulsate; it has its own physiology. Experience is mediated – at times deliciously, at others excruciatingly – through the physical senses, and the narrator’s metaphors frequently rely on recourse to the human anatomy. The external present advances slowly and sporadically, interrupted by memories, references to works of medical philosophy, and accounts of dreams and reveries, which feature, amongst other things, a club comprised of Dr. Miranda’s dead patients and a brilliantly stubborn erection. Javier Miranda fluctuates throughout between medical object and emotional subject, a delicate process responsible for much of the novel’s pathos. Alberto Barrera Tyszka meanwhile resembles not so much a diagnostician as an inquisitive surgeon – scrubbed up, knife in hand, more than a little bloody – delving around inside the viscera in a mixture of wonder, horror and delight. The disarmingly gentle pace at which he works combines unexpectedly, and to excellent effect, with an authentic sense of suspense – a lingering uncertainty that tickles the heartstrings even as it tugs on them.
Any Last Words? We asked: what is the worst film adaptation of a book? The World According to Garp - Robin Williams took a dark contemplation and turned it into something shallow! I weep for John Irving’s character being butchered so. LOUIS DORÉ Pride and Prejudice, just because of that ridiculous “You can only call me Mrs. Darcy when you’re perfectly, exquisitely happy” scene. Seriously bleurgh. ELLIE CHRISTIE Moonraker. They didn’t adapt Ian Fleming’s novel, but instead piled on the camp and built up to a naff finale that was more crap Star Wars than futuristic Bond. LIAM TRIM
The Time Traveller’s Wife - the book characters are incredibly indepth. It’s dark and also heartwarming, but the film just makes it into a silly romcom that removes all the secondary characters and references to The Violent Femmes. MEGAN FURBOROUGH Golden Compass: Couldn’t even get the title right... sigh. TIMOTHY BRADBEER Twilight. Although I guess you can’t polish a turd. KATE GRAY One Day. A genuinely good book ruined by a genuinely appalling attempt at a yorkshire accent. OWEN KEATING
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Is this a Comedy of Errors?
Exeposé Arts raises the issues with introducing Shakespeare in schools and heckling in comedy
Collected Artists @ Northcott Theatre until 9 December
Drama Canterbury Tales @ Northcott Theatre 5-6 December Zanna, Don’t! @ Kay House 5-8 December Medea @ Northcott Theatre 28 November - 1 December Chicago @ Plymouth Royal Theatre 26 November - 1 December
Art Attack HERE is this week’s Art Attack. We’ve chosen Pollock’s Yellow Islands in celebration of the new painting and performance exhibition ‘A Bigger Splash’ at The Tate Modern. Do you see any links between performance and painting here? Do you think this painting is far too abstract to mean anything? And after Monet’s impressionism last week can you see any of that in Jackson’s ‘abstract impressionism?’
Raw Comedy @ Barnfield 1 December
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AS an English student, I feel I should hold Shakespeare close to my heart and reminisce about the times where the power of his words moved me or when his plays transported me to another world. However, I have to admit that this deep emotion for Shakespeare has slightly passed me by, but I was not surprised to learn recently that the government’s new cultural scheme was to give £140,000 to The Shakespeare Schools Festival and another £125,000
to the RSC in order to promote Shakespeare to a younger generation. The aim is to give as many students as possible a chance to stage a Shakespearean play by 2014. Whilst I think the initiative is a brilliant way to interact with so many students, I believe that it will alienate many from theatre. Theatre-going is no longer an everyday activity as it once was, and so increasingly those who experience live theatre on a regular basis
HECKLING. An essential part of live comedy or downright rude? It happens to the best (and the worst) comedians, and audiences have come to expect a heckler or two. Heckling has become an integral part of our stand-up experience that not only is it socially acceptable but some hecklers are lauded as an example of how a good audience member should behave. “Comedians expect heckling” or so the argument goes. During Freshers Week I took some foreign friends of mine to the ‘Stand-Up Comedy Night’ at The Lemmy. I say ‘Stand-Up’ – it was actually ‘Sit-Down’ comedy once the compere began treating us like primary school children and bade us sit on the floor. Being sponsored by a condom company the theme of the comedy was fairly predictable. Needless to say the evening took on a whole new level of hilarity as I attempted to explain to my friends the various innuendos and euphemisms em-
ployed by the comedians. After about 30 minutes or so a couple of young ladies near the back of the fairly small audience had become rather inebriated and decided it was time for a little heckling. By this time our lovely compere, who, incidentally, played Little Cook in ‘Big Cook Little Cook’, was back on stage introducing another comedian. Following the theme of the evening the girls decided a pun about his role as Little Cook and his genitalia was in order and went so far as to suggest that he “get it out” to prove them wrong. Throughout the next two acts their heckling crescendoed and the comedians warily deflected their comments. Once the compere returned to the stage again we were all rather irritated with the girls, as were the comedians. Abandoning his scripted introduction for the next act our compere proceeded to heckle the girls. As a result of our distaste for the girls’ actions, this was far more entertaining than any
ALICE CHIA: Pollock famously said “I am in my painting” which I think is interesting because most artists would say “That painting is completely mine”. No one - artist or viewer - feels in control here. And it’s not really beautiful... but it makes me feel something. Which is what I value.
KITTY HOWIE: I love it and could sit and stare at it for hours. I know that each different time I look at it that I’m going to see or notice something different which is incredible. For me, that instantly makes this piece way better and far more interesting than Monet’s bridge last week!
KATE GRAY: I like to think it’s like patterned wallpaper, and you can find your own pictures and meaning in it. Then again, patterned wallpaper used to terrify me when I was younger. So maybe that’s not such a good thing....
CLARA PLACKETT: Pollock also said “When I am painting I am not much aware of what is taking place” and to me there is no sense of direction at all here, it’s just utterly chaotic.
become the minority. If children’s few tastes of drama consist only of Shakespeare, who they are told is the pinnacle of the English stage, the end results become limited. All modern and fresh ideas are left to cinema and TV, despite many plots being based on Shakespearean or other dramatic plays. Shakespeare is often seen as the epitome of dusty academia, due to being heralded as the father of our language and having a dramatic company, theatre and charities dedicated to his works. Why must the money be given to a Shakespeare charity when there are so many other charities out there which need funding just as much and are much less known? Surely it would be better to create more drama school scholarships to prevent what has recently been commented on as ‘the reign of the posh’ in English theatres? Having people from all backgrounds would make theatre seem possible for many, rather than just giving them a taste. How would a student know to read Christopher Marlowe, Oscar Wilde or Alan Bennett, or even if they would enjoy them, if their only previous experience has been of the long, wordy plays of Shakespeare? Jenny Agutter, a
patron of The Shakespeare Schools Festival, argues that ‘the plays pose questions about humanity and morality’, but this suggests that no other play is able to do that. Does Waiting for Godot not question the futility of existence just as much as Hamlet’s soliloquies do? Does Mamma Mia not suggest light hearted romance in the same way that Much Ado About Nothing does? Endlessly remaking Shakespearean drama does not enhance it but instead waters down the impact through incessant repetition. However, I believe that I am unable to argue against any scheme which promotes the arts in the current economy where cuts are so rife and so many institutions have lost out entirely. Shakespeare is a figure who is so enmeshed in our culture that a student would lose out if they were unable to study him. The £125,000 to the RSC enables this to happen since it is to provide all state secondary schools with over 60 hours of teaching materials, which can be used again and again and the skills learnt from this can be adapted continuously. With this I definitely agree.
pre-prepared material could have been and led to the girls walking out shaking their heads in disgust as the entire audience had a good laugh at their expense. Clearly that night the heckling enhanced the comic experience but it’s rare to find a heckler who is actually funny in their own right. Seann Walsh recollected in an interview with the Independent an incident where a woman had brought along her baby and, when he queried this, a heckler responded “maybe she’s had trouble getting it to sleep so she brought it to see you.” Al Murray, typically, has a very clear view on hecklers. “The true funny heckler is a unicorn,” he
says, “I don’t think it happens.” Having responded obtusely to questions from comedians in the past I naturally draw a fine line between being funny and heckling. Sure, it’s great when members of the audience get to have a laugh with the comedian but when it’s disruptive and insulting or in poor taste (remember Little Cook’s genitals) I’d say it definitely detracts from the comedy and should be avoided at all costs.
31 ARTS Zanna, Don’t! - Preview Kay House
5-8 December 2012 A MUSICAL promising “gratuitous girl on girl action” is not necessarily outside the realms of what students would want to see on Campus, yet it seems like something you wouldn’t invite your mother to. However, Shotgun Theatre’s latest prospect, Zanna Don’t: A Musical Fairytale, is set to be an event that delivers a thoughtful look at stigmas in society through a lens of high-camp fun with enough songs, dancing and jazz hands to get even the sternest madre’s toes a’ tapping. Set in a world where homosexuality is the norm and heterosexuals are viewed with uncertainty and prejudice, Zanna Don’t transpires in Heartsville High,
British Glamour since 1950 V&A until 6 January 2013
BEAUTIFUL if at times bewildering, the V&A’s exhibition “Ballgowns: British Glamour since 1950” is proof that a ballgown can be much more than a pretty dress. The impressive collection of 60 dresses ranges from high-fashion fantasies (such as Julien
Macdonald’s viscose and lurex creation) to more traditional designs. I’ll be the first to admit that I find the world of fashion con-
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a place populated by wand-wielding matchmaker Zanna and his peppy fellow students. Things take a less than fabulous turn, however, when the pupils decide to produce a new musical entitled “Don’t ask, Don’t tell,” about “heterosexuals in the military.” It is here Zanna Don’t shows its strengths, dodging straight up satire (pun intended) of traditional society and exploring issues of gay/straight perception with large amounts of ironic wit and good humour.
“Homosexuality is the norm and heterosexuals are viewed with uncertiantity”
Director Sam Sayce and Assistant Director Marcus Beard are keen to stress that Shotgun has always been concerned with “shows that push the boundaries.” fusing. Gareth Pugh’s silvered leather dress is such an example: the eclectic design reminded me of medieval armour, with a huge collar that hides half the mannequin’s face. But even a fashion-simpleton like me could appreciate the elegance and grace of other pieces. Erdem’s “Rumina” gown from the autumn/winter 2008 collection is a simple shape, so as not to detract from the vividly contrasted colours. It fulfils the purpose of a good ballgown: it is elegant and celebrates the female figure. The downstairs half of the exhibition is grouped into complimentary colours, which draws attention to the range of tones. The mannequins pose in glamorous positions to show off the designs, but I felt that the backdrops detracted from the dresses – the enlarged cut out of a diamond clutch was a particularly tasteless addition. The
During a snatched word midway through rehearsals they emphasised how the production is about individuals “deserving love whatever the case.” Whilst an ambitious idea, Beard relates how “this show has lots of personality, some others lack passion.” What then, could be more passionate than a musical with an opening number entitled “Who’s Got Extra Love?” Whilst the concept may appear confusing at first glance, an evening spent with what Sayce and Beard describe as “a fantastic cast” and “an amazing production team” will surely prove to be a worthwhile night at the theatre. To quote the Heartsville High Chess-team Captain, “If musical theatre doesn’t address important political issues…what will?”
BEN MURPHIE DEPUTY EDITOR dresses were complimented by displays of shoes, purses and gorgeous full-length gloves. The bags showed the same diversity of style as the dresses (a certain sequined Walkers crisp bag springs to mind!) The upstairs section is more creatively displayed, with a huge mock pearl necklace encircling the platforms on which some of the mannequins rotate. Some mannequins are draped on huge chandeliers and the layout gives the dresses more presence than the traditional and at times overcrowded display downstairs. The exhibition reflects our obsession with royalty, celebrity culture and social class. The royal family are well represented, including the iconic pearl “Elvis” dress worn by Diana. None of Kate Middleton’s dresses were exhibited, though there are pieces from some of her favourite labels such as Alexander McQueen. As red carpet dresses are a large part of our obsession with celebrities it was no surprise to find gowns from successful red carpet moments, such as Dame Helen Mirren’s champagne taffeta gown (Azagury 2007). Fashion fans will appreciate the range of iconic designers, including Vivienne Westwood’s interpretation of a debutante dress – I could imagine a young Miss Havisham in this elegant if slightly eerie design. From feathers to latex, the British ballgowns dazzle in all their glory. Beautiful, elegant and sometimes bizarre, I emerged feeling slightly ignorant, though impressed by the versatility of the ballgown.
Zanna Don’t runs from the 5-8 December at Kay House. Reservations at
Cabin Pressure Radio 4
New series February 2013 CABIN PRESSURE is one of Radio 4’s best new comedies, written by John Finnemore. First broadcast in 2008, the show centres around the exploits of MJN Air, a charter airline with only one airplane, G-ERTI, held together with duct tape and hope. The crew are the standard sitcom misfits: Shrewd businesswoman Caroline (Stephanie Cole), her enthusiastically incompetent son and steward Arthur (Finnemore), smooth-operator and First Officer Douglas (Roger Allam), and hapless Captain Martin Crieff (Benedict Cumberbatch), who took seven tries to get his pilot’s license. Together
EMILY LUNN BOOKS EDITOR Footlights: An Update SO what have we been up to recently? Well, as the show’s producers, Anita Copley and I have been jumping from meeting to meeting to organise the logistics of the show, with our recent efforts being focused on fundraising. To execute a show of this quality, the budget is pretty extensive, so we have been working hard alongside our Fundraising Officer, Laura Donavan to raise both cash and awareness for the show. In the past three weeks we have hosted a launch ‘Copa Cocktail Night’ at 44 Below which sampled the new Copacabana cocktail which will run on their menu from now until the show in January. We also hosted our own takeover night at Mama Stones
Photo: Josh Irwandi
email@example.com.Entry £5 for members and £7 for non-members they ping-pong around the globe from Abu-Dhabi to Ottery St Mary, transporting bizarre passengers that include B-movie stars, dysfunctional orchestras, and the Scottish cricket team. Cue endless sitcom japery.
“Cabin Pressure is light-hearted BBC at its best” Finnemore’s scripts are hilarious and extremely clever. The conventional sitcom characters are overhauled, as Finnemore gives them the depth and reasoning that’s more at home in drama. Caroline is afraid of becoming old and doddery, so acts out on the passengers. Martin so badly wants to be a pilot that he works two jobs and lives in the attic of a student house. The actors all do a fantastic job and it’s great fun to hear the usually dignified Cumberbatch fumble his way through putdowns from his First Officer, who he is constantly trying to outdo. Finnemore has a talent for making their petty competitions escalate to ridiculous and hilarious situations. Cumberbatch’s French accent, when describing how he outwitted a polar bear armed only with a whisk and pogo stick, is really not to be missed. Cabin Pressure is light-hearted BBC at its best. The new series hits the airwaves in February, but in the meantime there are another three series to listen to. And if all else fails, at least you can put it on and pretend that you’re working.
BECKY MULLEN which featured performances from our talented cast members, and of course if you have been around the Forum you will have spotted us behind one of the cake stalls! This has raised a significant amount of money for the show but the hard work cannot stop here so look out for other Copa fundraising events to help us reach our target!
“Rehearsals are going well with the show nearly blocked and looking fabulous.” On the creative side of things, rehearsals are going well with all of the show nearly blocked and looking fabulous. For those of you that attended Children in Need at the Forum last Fri-
day, you will have witnessed a sneak peak preview of shopstopper “Dancin’ Fool” performed by our cast to a captivated audience, followed up by a performance from our fantastic leading lady, Jess Phillips. If you missed out then do not fear, as Footlights will act as the underscore to your Exeter Christmas shopping experience as we perform in Princesshay on weekends from now until Christmas. We are very excited to announce that tickets for Copacabana go on sale this week from the Exeter Northcott Box Office, so snap them up while you can. And on a final note, check out our Copa documentary on YouTube for video footage of the rehearsal process.
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The playful side of depression? Jas Gardosi talks to Doris Rusch about Elude, playing metaphorically through depression itself “DEPRESSION is the opposite of play,” says Stuart Brown. Funny, then, that Doris C. Rusch went on anyway to create Elude, the provocative online game about depression. Bored of first-person shooters, Rusch wanted to use the game medium to convey something a little deeper than flesh-eating zombies. So in 2009, she teamed up with child psychiatrist Atila Ceranoglu. Together they worked out how to turn depression into a metaphor for a gaming experience. The player’s job is to take their avatar through a representational landscape of mental states: from the treetops of happiness to the sinking pits of mental lows. By ‘resonating’ with birds that symbolise the joys in life, your avatar gains the strength to jump higher from branch to branch. You just have to watch out for the twists.
“Feeling lost and helpless is what it’s all about, much like reallife depression” The game was a hard one to crack. Even Rusch had initially struggled to get her head around the concept: “What would players DO?” she’d puzzled. “Sit and mope? Maybe shuffle their avatar very slowly from the left to the right corner of the screen?” But somehow, it worked. “There is no game in depression” she says. So Elude had to be a nongame. It does this by undercutting a vital principle of normal gameplay – the player’s control. So don’t worry if your screen darkens as giant feelers come up to drag you into the depths of the undergrowth – or should you? The game is littered with other ‘whatthe-hell’ moments, and there’s nothing much you can do about them. What’s the aim here? Can you develop a strategy? Feeling lost and helpless is what it’s all about, much like real-life depression in which sufferers struggle to find just that – a game-plan to life. Elude can’t help but smack of a cat toying with a mouse. Seasoned gamers are led to think they can use their skills to escape depression when – cruelly – they can’t. And just when you think you have no control in the matter, you arrive at the climax. Can you win at the game? Can you lose it? That’s your decision. As your character stands on the brink of a hellish, bottomless drop, don’t think it can only end one way. There are no cheats in this game, but there is a choice. For Rusch, the main purpose of Elude is to create empathy in the player: “One of the biggest problems of caretakers of people with depression
is that they get frustrated and angry because they just don’t understand why their son, daughter, friend etc. can’t get out of bed, hold a job, find joy in any activity. By making a game that helps them understand on an experiential level, we hoped to alleviate that frustration and anger a bit.” Since its release, the game has received overwhelmingly positive feedback from sufferers of depression. “None of them said the game didn’t do their experience justice,” says Rusch. “I got emails from people with depression, saying they had never felt so understood.” Not bad for a game that lasts ten minutes.
“I got emails from people saying they had never felt so understood” The prevalence of depression is growing. Scientists from the Depression Learning Path believe that it is set to be the second-most disabling condition in the world by 2020, after heart disease. Whilst it never purports to be a perfect representation, something like Elude – a short, accessible game that can be shared from person to person with the click of a mouse – has never been so called for. So what does the future hold for other games that raise awareness of serious issues? Rusch believes momentum is building. “It’s not on par with the first person shooter market yet and it might never be, but it’s definitely not going to go away again either. I believe that over time, games will differentiate more and more. Like
film did, too. Right now, most games are what porn was for film. But there are more and more games that tackle subtler themes and offer more profound and lastingly moving experiences.” It’s an exciting time. Developers like Rusch realise that games, and their ideas, can go viral the same way YouTube videos do. The existence of Elude suggests that methods like this work. Rusch hasn’t stopped at depression, either. Other games like Akrasia, her game about addiction, are also available to play online. The new kid on the
block is her Kinect game Zombie Yoga, where players must strike yoga poses to fight off the monsters of “inner fears” as they journey through the avatar’s mind-space. Try it – if you’re not interested in “releasing your inner child”, at least you’ll get your share of those flesh-eating darlings you so missed in Elude.
Play This Nitronic Rush
What is it? Intense, eclectic racing-platformer which takes place in a neon-coloured world resembling the TRON universe. With a healthy dose of synth-heavy dance tracks, you’ll drive, glide, jump and strafe through a number of luminous assault courses. You’ll fail repeatedly, but luckily failure results in a satisfying explosion of sparks. Where do I get it? nitronic-rush.com It’s free! Be sure to fund its spiritual successor Distance at survivethedistance.com
MARCUS BEARD GAMES EDITOR
Halo 4 343 Industries
Xbox 360 Out Now THE Forward Unto Dawn drifts through space, and inside the half destroyed ship it is deathly silent. The camera pans towards a lone container covered in frost. The container opens, smoke and ice spray out and the figure is revealed. The Master Chief is back. I then proceed to squeal several notes higher than I realised my voice can go and jump maniacally into the world of Halo 4, getting lost in a whole other universe away from my useless degree.
“343 throw you straight into a new world with new enemies and an altogether bigger threat” Yes, at last Halo 4 is finally here and my Lord is it back with a vengeance. There was always going to be some fan concern as Bungie handed over the franchise to 343 industries. Gamers cried out in worry and fear as their beloved flagship series was given to a relatively unknown company. Relax everyone - they’ve done a damn good job. For starters the campaign
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Treyarch
PS3/Xbox 360/PC Out Now A RECORD breaking $613 million taken in the first 24 hours of release? No, this is not the final part of the Twilight Saga that I am sure you were all anxiously waiting for. It is in fact the eigth installment in the insanely successful first-person-shooter franchise, Call of Duty, with Black Ops 2. With Hollywood A-listers Robert Downey Jr. in one of the pre-release trailers and Sam Worthington voice acting once again as Alex Mason, has the game lived up to the colossal hype? It would be hard to say no.
“Lava flows through parts of the map and bizarre monkeylike zombies throw themselves on you” Probably the most different feature is the zombies mode. In the previous game you were supplied with a few fairly basic maps in which the objective was to survive the progressively more challenging horde of zombies. The only distractions were setting up traps and upgrading your weapons, without much real narrative. In Black Ops 2, however, Treyarch has developed a mini campaign within the zombie missions. They have created a strong feeling of mystery throughout the levels, which makes sense, as being dropped into a Nazi zombie infestation, seemingly at random, is going to raise more than just a few questions. One new game type, ‘Tranzit’, allows players to ride a robot zombie driven bus around the extensive map, stopping at different areas for you to explore. You can build makeshift items to help you, search for the ever-elusive random gun
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delivers all we would expect from the Halo franchise. After the epic trilogy, 343 throw you straight into an entirely new world, with entirely new enemies (and some old ones) and an altogether bigger threat than the previous games. The story is captivating, and most impressive of all, the character development is on a new level. You see a much deeper part of Cortana, the Chief’s AI companion, who remains as questiona-
bly attractive as ever. Relationships are tested and worlds collide. Graphically, Halo 4 can be described as a beautiful game. It pushes the 360 to its very limits and creates stunning visuals. When you first leave the Forward Unto Dawn and step onto Requiem your breath is taken away much like the first time you stepped onto the first Halo ring. After you have been taken on an incredible single player journey you
box, and listen to the hilarious wittering of the new characters. The game play is darker than ever, both literally and atmospherically, with lava flowing through parts of the map and bizarre monkey-like zombies that throw themselves on you if you stray too far into the fog. Playing this with jumpy female housemates is particularly rewarding. The campaign has had its fair share of tweaking as well. As expected, the graphics are better, with notable improvements in characters’ facial expressions and movements. However, I suspect we will have to wait until the next generation of consoles arrive before seeing any serious upgrades to the way games look (unless you use a highend PC, of course). Fans of games such as Deus Ex and Crysis will feel at home to the futuristic gadgets that can be used throughout the campaign, including cloaking devices, sights that let you see enemies behind cover and a rope swing that allows you to climb laterally across cliffs. Handy. Thankfully, you can now customise your load-out before each mission. I’m not entirely sure why this wasn’t implemented earlier in the franchise, but either way, it is satisfying to know you can now carry all of your favourite gear into each mission. The most notable addition to the campaign is the Strike Force missions, in which you take control of an entire squad of both men and robots. The tutorial is far from well made, but once you get the hang of the new controls, it becomes a strategic game mode allowing you to really understand how tricky operating a military operation must be. Although I thoroughly enjoy these missions, I can understand how someone buying the game for a purely first-person shooter experience might be irritated. As for the online play, there is not a huge amount that is new. The way you customise your character has been altered for the better, in that you now have the ability to equip a maximum of ten items or perks in whatever configu-
ration you like. ‘Cod points’ are now a thing of the past and unlock tokens take their place. To me this is an improvement as it means players have to actually earn new gear rather than just buy it. Despite the Call of Duty franchise being accused of reusing the same formula for each game, Black Ops 2 seems to have had a lot more work done on it to make it stand out from the crowd.
can now jump into multiplayer. 343 have done a magnificent job in recreating and enhancing previous Halo multiplayer. You have your traditional games of Slayer, Oddball, Swat and such but also the new addition of Spartan Ops. These are little story-based missions you can play alone or with friends as your own created Spartan. It adds an extra element to the world whilst giving you some fun unlockables. Customisation as always is vast and allows much room for creativity in creating your own Spartan killing machine. It has borrowed some of the best elements of the Call of Duty franchise by adding killcams and ordnance drops for bonus weapons but it is still distinctly Halo, only enhancing rather than copying. Overall my fears were completely unfounded. 343 have taken the fragile franchise and handled it with such love and care. It is incredible to see a games company appreciate and understand the trust the fans put into them and paying them back tenfold. Halo 4 is more than a great new addition to the franchise. 343 have created the best Halo game to date and looking towards the next generation of consoles I can’t help but squeal once more.
ALEX PHELPS ONLINE GAMES EDITOR
The enhanced campaign and the reworked zombie mode means this will be a great purchase for both those new to the franchise and those very much used to it. It just seems a shame that it has taken eight games to get this right.
Sandbox What is the greatest bromance in video game history? Rob Harris: The ghosts from PacMan. Four brothers united by the common goal of taking down that greedy yellow bastard. Alex Phelps: Solid Snake and the cardboard box. 60 years together through rain, snow and sun! What could be more perfect? Owen Keating: Martin Tyler and Alan Smith. FIFA commentators by day, men who almost certainly enjoy hearty dinners and man-chats by night. So bromantic it hurts. Dale James: Ezio Auditore and Leonardo Da Vinci in Assassin’s Creed - been close buddies for over twenty years. Tom Bond: I was going to say Ezio and Leonardo too. I hope the real Da Vinci was like that because he’s just such a legend.
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| WEEK ten
In the Clubhouse In the Clubhouse this week William Powell-Brett, President of University of Exeter Real Tennis Club shoots the breeze with Mike Stanton and Will Kelleher, Sport Editors TENNIS, as we know it, was conceived in the late nineteenth century. It developed from the oldest of all the racket sports, real tennis. Played indoors and with very similar rules and way of scoring as its successor, real tennis is in a period of renewed interest. There are now twenty-six courts in use in the UK - six of these were built in the last two decades. Yet the golden age of this game was in the sixteenth century. At this time Paris alone had at least 250 courts. Henry VIII famously played real tennis (stubbornly referred to as “tennis” by those who play - as opposed to “lawn tennis”). His enormous weight meant that he would have someone serve for him during matches. Not even David Nalbandian would do that! In 1498 Charles VIII of France died after hitting his head when enter-
ing a court. So it can be a treacherous game! Despite not having its own court, the University of Exeter Real Tennis Club (UERTC) has had plenty of success in its short lifespan. In its third year, the club is about to take six of its members to Cambridge to play for the Inter-University Cup.
“UERTC has had plenty of success in its short lifespan. In its third year the club is about to take six players to play in the University Cup” It also holds two internal competitions a year, the Raef Bjayou Invitational Doubles (named after Exeter’s most successful alumnus to
appear on The Apprentice so far) and the Pol Roger Cup (named after the club’s incredibly generous sponsors). Charlie Hallaran and James Firth recently won the doubles competition. They each received a magnum of Pol Roger’s finest champagne to help them celebrate. As well as being sponsored by this most superlative of champagne makers, UERTC is backed by the real tennis equivalent of FIFA, the Tennis and Rackets Association (T&RA). That said, it should be pointed out that there is no suggestion that the T&RA is in any way marred by allegations of corruption or financial mismanagement. Their funding allows the club to subsidize all courts by 50 per cent. This means that the cost per person of playing for two and a half hours is only £3.
The club plays in West Dorset at Hyde Tennis Club. Although taking the best part of three quarters of an hour by car, the absurdly low cost of playing and the extra incentive of a free lesson for every new member offers students an appealing alternative to the more familiar sports played on campus. The club visits and plays host to several other universities throughout the year. During the last year, there have been matches against Bristol, Oxford Brookes and The Royal Veterinary College. The club co-hosts its Christmas ball with the Polo, Racing and Countryside societies and it also holds regular socials. The main challenge now is for the club to try and get more first year students interested in playing. However, this has not been the easiest of efforts
due to a difficult sign up process during the first month of term. Real Tennis has been described as a combination of tennis, squash and chess. Though now played perhaps esoterically, it is still a game steeped in tradition and history, as well as being a lot of fun.
“The absurdly low cost of playing and the extra incentive of a free lesson for every new member offers students an appealing alternative to other sports” If you are interested in joining the University of Exeter Real Tennis Club, please sign up on the Guild website (now working perfectly) and join the Facebook group or tweet @UERTC Photo: UERTC
60 seconds with... Charles Hallaran
UERTC Social Secretary
UERTC Team Member
What is the best aspect of Real Tennis Club? With the handicap system in Real Tennis, people of any level can play each other fairly.
What is the best aspect of Real Tennis Club? We don’t take ourselves too seriously and have a great social side. It’s seriously fun playing too.
Best sporting moment? Winning the Raef Bjayou Invitational University Doubles competition last month.
Best sporting moment? Hitting an under the leg shot winner in a match against our social secretary, Charles Hallaran.
Sporting Hero? Ryan Giggs and Tiger Woods - what they’ve achieved on and off the field is something to aspire to.
Sporting Hero? Rafa Nadal, someone who I’d love to see playing real tennis…
What are your pre-match preparations? Before each match I always make sure I am wearing two pieces of stash!
What are your pre-match preparations? Usually a Powerade and a sandwich in the car does the job post Thursday night Mosaic. We hope to keep this ritual in the club for years to come.
What are your goals for the season? As a player - a strong showing from all members at the Inter-Uni tournament at Cambridge. As a social sec - a strong showing from all members at the Christmas Dinner at the Impy.
What are your goals for the season? Attempting to win a few matches at the inter-university tournament in Cambridge this weekend, and generally improving my game to a good level.
News in Brief
27 NOVEMBER 2012 |
4s beat 5s in Brain Awareness Charity fixture Photo: Miles Illsley
We take a look at the sports stories, Uni, and local, making the news this week 1. New BUCS National Championship Announced
British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) have announced that a new National student Championship will be held in February 2013. ‘BUCS Gatorade Nationals MMXIII’ will take place in Sheffield and will comprise many different Championship finals including; indoor athletics, long course swimming, boxing, climbing, badminton, karate, trampolining, judo, fencing, rifle, orienteering and ten pin bowling finals. Over 6,000 students will compete between 22 - 24 February across the sports facilities in Sheffield.
2. Four EURFC members represent Exeter Chiefs
EURFC’s top players continue to shine as four men represented Exeter Chiefs in the LV = Cup against London Welsh earlier this month. Justin Blanchet started at openside flanker with Rob Coote, Mike Pope and Jamie Gray earning a place on the bench. Blanchet and Coote were retained for the game against Ospreys the following week.
3. EUWRFC’s Amber Reed represents England
EUWRFC’s Amber Reed helped England secure a 23-13 victory against France in the first of the Women’s Autumn Internationals. The Scholar, who plays in the centres, kicked 8 points in the victory and played against New Zealand in the second game last Friday.
4. Exeter City
City secured a 3-2 win against league leaders Gillingham last Tuesday thanks to two goals from Jamie Cureton. Exeter lie just inside the playoff places in 7th place.
5. Rugby Varsity 2013
Watch this space for huge news regarding Exeposé Sport’s coverage of 2013’s Rugby Varsity against Bath in February. All will be revealed next issue.
Adam Lax EUMHC Publicity Secretary
A CROWD of over 250 was in full voice last Wednesday at the Sports Park in support of a fantastic cause, as the EUMHC 4th and 5th XIs drew swords in the BUCS Western Conference. The occasion lived up to the billing as the match did not disappoint. The 4th XI emerged victorious, but both teams and spectators young and old were all united before and after the game in support of JR 4 JR. In the words of JR 4 JR founder and 5th XI forward Joe Robinson, “Our boys were clearly gutted with the result, although nobody could fault our performance and work rate. However, the most important point to take away from the game is that one more life may well have been saved thanks to the awareness raised on the day, and by JR 4 JR who in the long run as a charity goes from strength to strength”. The relevance of brain injury Awareness has never been more important, since in the UK alone, 130,000–150,000 people are diagnosed
with brain injury every year, and just over 50 per cent of brain injuries suffered by young people aged 16 – 24 are due to road traffic accidents. The support of JR 4 JR and the awareness raised on the day by EUMHC ensures that a lasting legacy will follow. With brain injuries dubbed the “invisible disability”, prevention is often the most difficult rung on the ladder, yet that legacy can now be one that could save a life following on from the awareness day of Wednesday 21.
“The support of JR 4 JR and the awareness raised on the day by EUMHC ensures that a lasting legacy will follow” In the match itself, the 4th XI controlled swathes of possession in the first half, however, the resolute half back pairing of Hector De Courcy Wheeler and Nick Rusbridge ensured that the composed build up play the 4th XI produced did not lead to an early breakthrough. With their counter attacking potency stifled, the 4th XI resorted to a war of attrition,
and controlled the tempo of the game thanks to the ever maturing Tom Grimes at Centre Half. With the pace of Robinson and James Whitfield working off the shoulder of the last man, the 5th XI always threatened on the break, even if Adam Lax had a relatively untroubled evening in the 4th XI goal. The 4th XI were only able to force one penalty corner in the first half, dispatched by Matt Marshall and well saved by Ben Sully, the first save of many which marked an impressive performance on the day. Nevertheless, the 4th XI’s dominance of possession did achieve a breakthrough on the stroke of half time; some excellent link up play between Ben Palmer and Constantin Kossen down the left flank allowed Jack Ledger to scramble the ball over the line, and very much change the outlook of the match as both sides resumed the second half. As legs tired, and spurred on by the crowd, the 4th XI began to carve open the, as yet unflappable, duo of James Davey and Rich Golbourn at centre half. Some rash decisionmaking saw the 5th XI reduced to ten men on two separate occasions, with
both yellow cards awarded to Ben Freer for his questionable displays of gamesmanship. Sully was able to thwart Scott Woolley and Grimes in their attempts to drive home the advantage, although it was a drag flick from Marshall fired into the roof of the net that dealt the final decisive blow.
“The 4th XI began to carve open the as yet unflappable James Davey and Rich Golbourn at centre half ” The game finished with a 2-0 win to the 4th XI who now sit proudly atop the BUCS Western Conference, ahead of opposition including Bath 2nd XI, Bournemouth 1st XI and Plymouth 1st XI, as Exeter’s strength in BUCS competitions reaches previously unchartered waters. More importantly, Wednesday 21 November was a day that will live long in the memory of all who supported and all who took part; the funds raised will help JR 4 JR grow and raise awareness of brain injuries in Exeter and beyond.
Men’s Tennis 2s defeat Bournemouth in Cup Men’s Tennis
Dan Hunt EUTC Vice-Captain
LAST week saw Exeter Men’s 2nds, currently sitting top of BUCS Western 1A, embark upon their BUCS Trophy campaign, a tournament they reached the semi-finals of last year, with an identical match to the previous league fixture - away against Bournemouth 2nds. Back on the cold and wet artificial grass Exeter started the two doubles with somewhat more vigour than the previous week - Ashley Pauls and Andrew Higham winning 6-4, 6-4 at 1st pair and Daniel Hunt and Alex Knox, a partnership harking back to their Under 12 Woking LTC doubles
victory, cruised through 6-2, 6-4 at 2nd pair. As Higham then iced his weak shins the other four went straight on for their singles - Pauls still at number one but, due to a usual team member having to attend a campus security hearing,
“Daniel Hunt and Alex Knox cruised through 6-2, 6-4 at second pair ” Knox and Hunt both went up a position at two and three respectively while William Phillips shifted into number four. Pauls, Knox and Hunt all lined up against the same opponents as the preceding week, Pauls and Hunt confident of repeating their success
while Knox was out seeking revenge. Hunt was the first to finish, cruising to a 6-2, 6-2 victory closely followed by Phillips who recovered from a 0-3 deficit in the second set to come out 6-1, 6-4 winner against a flashy but erratic opponent who gave the Exeter left-hander little rhythm. Pauls was put through slightly more of a challenge than the previous week but eventually served his way to a 6-4, 7-6 win while the real battle was taking place on court three. Knox’s opponent, odd both in his playing technique and mannerisms, took the first set 6-3 yet the competitive streak of Exeter’s self-styled comedian shone through in the second and third sets, taking them both 6-4 to secure the 12-0 win for the men in white and green.
“The win takes the team to 5-0 for the season and a 93.3 per cent win percentage, in match rubbers ” The win takes the team to 5-0 for the season and 28-2, or a 93.3 per cent win percentage, in match rubbers while Pauls and Hunt stretch their unbeaten runs to nine matches each. It also takes them through to the last 16 of the BUCS Trophy where they will face the winners of the South Coast derby between Portsmouth 1sts and Southampton 1sts. Before this, though, the team travel to Coombe Dingle for a top of the table, season defining clash with Bristol 1sts in BUCS Western 1A.
| WEEK ten
Life’s a ball for EUVC
Crossword No. 41 by Raucous
Volleyball Lara Salzer-Levi EUVC Team Member
EXETER Volleyball Club has been quietly exceeding expectations in terms of participation and league rankings over the past couple of years. This year however has been the biggest surprise of all. It is therefore time to bring its achievements and its name to students’ attentions. With three local league teams, strong girls and guys BUCS teams and an enthusiastic beginners’ group progressively rising in skill, EUVC is ever expanding and rising in the league tables. With 107 official members this year, we have been able to raise the levels of training and competition to a whole new level. With our local league teams currently ranking 4th, 8th and 9th in the tables, the first of which has so far been undefeated, EUVC is one of the top names amongst the local
competitors. The girl’s BUCS team has won three out of six matches and is currently ranked second in the Western Women’s First Division. And for those of you who still consider volleyball to be a women’s sport you have never been more wrong.
“With 107 official members this year, we have been able to raise the levels of training and competition to a whole new level” The mens’ BUCS team has so far won 4/5 matches and currently ranks first in this year’s Western Men’s First Division, both of which are no easy feat. Overall therefore, a great achievement which could not have come about without our enthusiastic members who have maintained their
attendance in trainings, and who have put on such a great fight thus far. The beginner team also fails to go unnoticed. Within a month and a half, students who have never touched a volley ball before are now passing, digging and smashing, quickly learning the rules of the sport and becoming a prominent part of EUVC. It is these players who will eventually be joining the intermediates and competing in local competitions. So for all those out there who feel like giving volleyball a go and trying something new it is not too late. Beginner’s sessions run in St Luke’s every Tuesday from 6-8:30 so by all means come and join in and see whether this is the sport for you! With cracking socials, a great atmosphere both on and off court, and one of the most multi-cultural athletic groups on campus, it is time people become more aware of the group and give its members the credit they are due.
EUPC riding high after Varsity Lucy Gibson
EUPC Team Member
EXETER University Polo Club began their season in winning form this weekend with an impressive 11-9 victory over Cambridge, in the first novice varsity of the year. This is the third successive time Exeter have beaten Cambridge.
“It was a good match, it worked really well even though it was the first time we’d all played together” Due to handicap regulations the Cambridge side started 3 goals up,
meaning the novice team consisting of Will King, Sebastian Echeverri and Lindsay Geekie who shared with Aimee Van Vlanden had to play extra hard at the start to overcome the score deficit. With strong play from the back courtesy of first year Echeverri Exeter were on the attack right from the start with goals scored by Will King, Lindsay Geekie and Sebastian Echeverri. Cambridge started in front with 2 goals scored in the first chukka and 3 goals scored by Exeter to make it 5-3. Exeter edged ahead in the second chukka to take the lead, then the third was a high scoring affair with Exeter coming out on top. Second year Geography student Will King said after; “It was a good match, it worked really well even though it was the first time we’d all
played together and it was really good fun”.
“Varsities are being organised against Royal Holloway, Plymouth and Loughborough” Varsities are currently being organised between the likes of Royal Holloway, Plymouth and Loughborough across the ability spectrum featuring matches at Beginner, Novice and Open level. Next weekend sees open and alumni teams from Bristol and Exeter taking part in an inaugural varsity weekend at Druids Lodge Polo Club in Sailsbury.
1. James Bond actor (6,7) 6. Deprecate (9) 9. Native American symbol (5) 11. & 8. Down. Assassinated PM (7,8) 12. Weight measurement (abbr.) (2) 14. Unclassified (13) 15. Stated at the end of alcoholic consumption? (2) 17. Terrorist group whose name translates as “The Base” (2,5) 19. Epic poem (5) 21. Swollen (9) 23. James Bond actor (6,7)
Down 1. Appreciation (9) 2. Remove (4) 3. Bad mood (5) 4.Winning serve (3) 5. Fight (5) 7.To malign (9) 8. See 11. Across. 10. Adventure (8) 13. Bird ended (anag.) (9) 16. Spanish architect (5) 18.The same (5) 20. Golf club (4) 22. Honour (3)
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Tuesday 27 november 2012 |
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Tennis Centre wins LTA education award EUAFC’s Photos: (Above) LTA; (Below) The AU
McNally (right), director of Tennis at the University receives the education award from Peter Bretherton (left), President of the LTA
Marketing and Communications Manager for the Sports Park EXETER UNIVERSITY Tennis Centre has won the Education Award at the British Tennis Awards hosted by the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA). The Tennis Centre at the Sport’s Park was awarded the honour in light of it’s continued success in educating and training students and members of the wider community. Will McNally, Director of Tennis at the University, said: “It is a real honour to win such a prestigious award. Our goal has always been to help as many people as possible enjoy this fantastic
sport and the whole team at Exeter Tennis Centre have been working incredibly hard to achieve this. It’s fantastic that this work has been recognised by the LTA.” The Tennis Club is the largest sports club on campus with nearly 500 members. Of the current crop, over 172 have been trained as LTA volunteers with a hundred of these achieving either a level one or higher coaching award. The centre has a strong community presence, working closely with the LTA to create programmes to support all ages and abilities. The centre holds weekly development courses for juniors and adults to improve their game, and fitness sessions and social events to help the community enjoy all that tennis has to offer.
This award comes at an incredibly exciting time for tennis in Exeter. Exeter Tennis Centre has recently completed a facility development to cover six of their outdoor courts bringing their indoor total to ten – the largest number of indoor courts at any university in the UK.
“It is a real honour to win such a prestigious award. The whole team have been working incredibly hard to achieve this” This October, performance player Jack Findel-Hawkins also won his first British Tour event in Swansea
in a competition dominated by Exeter-trained players. The awards ceremony took place at London’s O2 arena during the Barclays World Tour Finals. During the event guests were invited to watch LTA player of the year, and world number three, Andy Murray during his successful opening round against the Czech Republic’s Tomas Berdych. “We had a wonderful time at the ceremony and enjoyed watching some great tennis. It’s been a fantastic year for British tennis and we hope that we will be able to continue to support the incredible talent that is coming through our development programmes and train a new generation of champions,” McNally added.
GB Trialist EUAFC’s tireless midfielder Pete Beadle attended Great Britain football trials last weekend. Pete has been ever-present in the heart of the green machine’s midfield this year and now has a once-in a-lifetime chance to represent GB- an honour not usually reserved for footballers. The midfielder, who was featured in our Football Varsity special ‘60 seconds with...’ piece, spoke to Exeposé about the application process and his feelings before the trials. Pete applied for the GB universities football trials, thinking that there was a fair chance of getting into the whole setup. “Having played for Portsmouth, Wycombe at Youth level and currently dual signed with Ebsfleet (Conference South) and Bognor Rocks (Ryman Premier) I was hopeful my football CV would be enough to give me a trial. “Also due to recent strong form from the first team in BUCS and South West Peninsula league, I knew that if any GB representatives were watching, then it was an ideal period to be scouted.” Pete subsequently received an email from Stew Fowlie, the GB manager, congratulating him on a place in the trials for last Sunday at Hartpury College. His team-mates were understandably happy for him. “I was overwhelmed by the support I received from teammates and friends but its worth noting that, without the talent in EUAFC this year, players and coaching staff alike, this opportunity would never have surfaced, so I’m very thankful for them.” The trials were at Hartpury College with an intense setup of several training sessions, meetings with the manager and backroom staff team throughout the day. “The trials were vigorous and fast paced with the hard task to perform in a limited period.” Before the weekend, Pete commented: “I’m looking forward to the trials with anticipation rather than nerves because it’s a great opportunity to showcase Exeter’s football ability and my own at a higher level. “There is no need to be nervous as long as I get on the ball, my ability and work ethic should shine through.” If Pete performs well he could gain a place in the GB squad for the upcoming International Friendlies and also the International tournament, “World Universities Games 2013”, in Kazan, Russia, next July. “The GB set-up would be a fantastic chance for me to play at a higher level and have the chance of being scouted by a professional team or a scholarship at the University.” We wish Pete well!
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