The University of Exeter’s Independent Student Newspaper Monday 29 October 2012 • Issue 599 • www.exepose.ex.ac.uk • Twitter: @Exepose • www.facebook.com/Exepose
Since 1987 Free Photo: Joshua Irwandi
Student safety threatened • 21 September - female sexually assaulted metres from High Street • 10 October - gang of muggers attack lone male on Queen Street • 10-20 October - five students mugged in St James area • EXEPOSÉ launches campaign as police urge students to be vigilant
#exetersos Features: The race for the White House - PAGES 11-13
Screen: Bond’s back: Skyfall review - PAGE 24
Arts: Exploring scandals in the world of arts - PAGE 32
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29 October 2012 |
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Increase in bike thefts across campus Beccy Smyth News Editor THERE has been a recent wave of bike thefts occurring on campus since the start of the current term. Police have been made aware of six cases of bike theft since the end of September, and explained that ordinarily, they receive an average of six reports of stolen bikes across the entire year. The thefts have clustered mostly around halls of residence and Stocker Road. Police said that in general, targeted bikes were either left unlocked, or were secured with insufficient and weak locks that made it easy for thieves to cut through. Sarah Bloor, University PCSO, commented: “Bike thefts have increased across the country. The harder you make it for a thief to steal your bike, the less likely it is for them to attempt to take it.” Bloor added: “Always make a note of the bike frame number and take photos of your bike, this will make it easier for the police to trace and return your bike”. Estate Patrol has also offered students a number of pieces of advice: “Use the very best quality bike lock you can afford - D locks are recommended. You should use secured bike sheds where possible, but if one is not
available, secure your bike at dedicated bike racks. “Lock your bike in full view, try and secure the frame and both wheels, and remove the saddle if you can.” Some students, who have been victims of bike theft, have reported they have been dissatisfied with how the University has dealt with the relatively common problem over the last two years. Kate Gray, a past victim, believes
that the University may not be active enough in dealing with bike thefts. She stated: “My bike was stolen at the end of first year, from a locked bike shed on St Luke’s. Despite the fact that the University had provided the bike shed, they offered little to no help on the matter and were uninterested in the theft of not just my bike, but several others as well.” A third year student, who has also been a victim of a bike-related theft, stated: “Having had my bike light sto-
len, I contacted Estate Patrol who explained to me there were no cameras facing the bike rack. Considering that bikes and bike lights are by no means cheap, the University needs to make a concerted effort to halt bike thefts.” Estate Patrol has stated that students should contact them, as well as the Police, if they are a victim of theft on campus. To report an off-campus theft, the police should be contacted directly.
Photo: Joshua Irwandi
First ‘Opportunities Week’ gets underway Simon Dewhurst Senior Reporter THE first ever Opportunities Week at the University of Exeter begins today (Monday). The event aims to help students broaden their horizons and stand out from the crowd when applying for graduate jobs. The week is primarily targeted at undergraduates, many of whom will have a break from their usual teaching schedule. Organisers are encouraging students to take advantage of an exciting and varied programme of activities
prepared by the University, individual colleges and the Students’ Guild.
“Opportunities Week is a really fantastic innovation that will give our students a real chance to gain a competitive edge” Corony Edwards, Head of Educational Quality Events will be taking place across both the Exeter and Cornwall campuses with opportunities to learn new skills, improve your CV and engage in thought-provoking debates. Many of the sessions will be linked
to the Grand Challenges programme being run for all first year students. The scheme is being launched by naturalist and television presenter Nick Baker with the week, also featuring talks from other leading experts and academics. The project hopes to build students’ transferable skills whilst educating them about the research carried out by the University and how it affects the world today. Imogen Sanders, VP Academic Affairs hopes the new initiative will emphasise the importance of employability. She stated: “The Guild are working alongside the University this year to make sure that students are getting the
most out of their spare time while at Exeter, and are prepared for the challenges they will face after graduating. “Research we have undertaken has shown that the second most important reason students participate in Guild activities is because they want to increase their employability and Opportunities Week is there to facilitate this drive.” Corony Edwards, the University’s Head of Educational Quality and Enhancement said: “Opportunities Week is a really fantastic innovation that will give our undergraduate students a real chance to gain a competitive edge in terms of their academic achievements and employability.”
| Week six
Are students safe? Spate of attacks intensifies concerns over safety After a rise in the number of attacks on students, Exeposé investigates concerns over student safety in Exeter and launches a campaign to prevent County Council plans to switch-off street lights Tom Payne Editor CONCERNS for student safety have been raised after a series of muggings and assaults on students in Exeter. Between 10 October and 20 October, a total of six students were mugged and physically assaulted in residential areas close to the city centre. One robber was wielding a knife, although it was not used to attack the student, while one lone male was attacked by a gang of robbers on busy Queen Street. Three incidents were reported on York Road, an area close to the City Centre and a major thoroughfare for students. Another attack was recorded nearby in the Well Street area on St James Road, while a fifth attack occurred metres from the Co-Operative shop on Pennsylvania Road in the early hours of the morning – a well-lit area usually known for its heavy foot-traffic during both day and night. Another incident occurred on the 10 October on Queen Street at 12:45, where a gang of males robbed a lone male who was waiting for a lift. All of the attacks happened between the times of 22:30 – 05:30. In all cases, thieves barged into their victims from behind, stealing handbags, mobiles, purses and other valuables, leaving some with physical injuries. All incidents involved lone males and females walking through residential
areas in the early hours of the morning. The news follows just one month after a female was sexually assaulted on King William Street in the early hours of the morning, metres from the busy High Street. The spate of attacks has prompted concerns from the Students’ Guild and the local police force. Grace Hopper, VP Welfare and Community, said: “It is horrible that students have been victims of such crimes. My advice would be to never walk home alone at night, stick to
Save our street lights main roads and always make sure your valuables are never on show to opportunists.” Sarah Bloor, the University PCSO, told Exeposé: “Robbery is more likely to take place in quiet or dark areas, and I would like to advise against anyone walking home alone in the hours of darkness. Whenever possible, stick to well-lit, busy areas where you can be clearly seen and where you can clearly see other people. Think about carrying a personal alarm with you, which can be used to disorientate and shock an attacker. Carrying a mobile phone is a
“Student safety is not an issue that is up for debate” anything to do with welfare issues. Also, Estate Patrol will temporarily pay taxi fares if you don’t have enough money to pay for a taxi home. Just call a taxi and ask them to take you to the Estate Patrol office at Northcote House. Exeposé talks to Grace Hopper, VP Welfare and Community, on how to stay safe in Exeter What resources are there in place to help students who have suffered an attack or burglary? We launched SenseExeter.com this year which provides a lot of key safety information for students . The one thing I’d say is that a lot of people are worried about contacting 999, when they really shouldn’t be. You must always call 999 if you have been mugged, or even if you feel you are being followed or intimidated in any way - you must always call police in the first instance. There’s also lots of great services like Voice (01392 724700), who you can call for
Why do you think students become targets for attacks and burglaries? Mostly because there can be a perception of students as easy targets. One of the main problems is opportunists who steal valuables on display in houses. What do you think is the best way to prevent these kinds of attacks? I always say to students: plan your journey ahead, book a registered taxi, and always go out with a charged phone. Tell a friend about your planned journey, and if that changes, always inform them. For more information on student safety, visit Sense Exeter: www.senseexeter.com or contact Grace: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo: Joshua Irwandi
good idea in case of emergencies, but keep it concealed, and only use it when you have to. If you have a shoulder bag, wear it across your shoulders to lower the risk of it being snatched.” A University spokesperson also told Exeposé: “Traditionally Exeter has had an extremely low crime rate. The Estate Patrol provide support and assistance 24 hours a day and would encourage students to contact them if they feel intimidated. If anyone feels they are in immediate danger please call the police in the first instance. We would always advise students to use well-lit areas when walking at night and try to avoid walking alone. “ But students have expressed concern at the increase of attacks in areas normally considered ‘safe’, busy and well lit. A third year female student has spoken of her shock when she was mugged near her house on Mount Pleasant in October last year: “I never thought many incidents would take place in a city like Exeter, but I’ve become much more aware. I now make sure I never walk alone late at night, and make sure my friends don’t either.” The attacks have also prompted increased opposition to Devon County Council’s cost-cutting plans to switchoff many of Exeter’s street lights at night. The Students’ Guild has called the plans “reckless”, and has suggested that such measures will seriously affect perceptions of student safety in Exeter.
Exeposé launches a campaign against Devon County Council’s plan to pull the plug on street lights in Exeter THIS issue, Exeposé launches its campaign to ‘Save Our Streetlights’ (SOS) in response to a spate of attacks on students since the start of term. Exeposé will be working with the Students’ Guild to monitor Devon County Council’s plans to switch off or dim Exeter’s streetlights at night, and will take action to prevent any measures that are likely to seriously infringe on student safety. The scheme is intended to save the authority around £280,000 and 1,600 tonnes of carbon emissions annually. Although no plans have been officially announced, it is expected that most of the streetlights set to be turned off will be in residential areas, while main routes and the city centre will remain lit. Exeposé’s main concern is that residential areas set to be affected by the switch-off are becoming hot-spots for muggings and physical abuse on
students. In the past nineteen days alone, an alarming number of lone individuals have been targeted in residential student areas – on one occasion by a gang of attackers at 12:45am on busy Queen Street, and once by a knife-wielding male. Although, luckily, the students involved suffered no major physical
“Exeposé’s main concern is that residential areas set to be affected by the switch-off are becoming hot-spots for muggings and physical abuse of students” injuries, these are serious incidents on roads which normally have a high amount of night-time activity, and the City Council must not take them lightly. The Council, in response to
complaints over the planned switch-off from the Students’ Guild, is proposing a network of walking-home routes to accommodate students’ needs. But it is Exeposé’s opinion that the Council is failing to recognize that students are placed spatially across a vast area of the city – while one area may become ‘safer’ as streetlights remain switched on, criminals will inevitably target students elsewhere. Perhaps more of the Council’s resources should be invested in improving policing and monitoring of key student areas, as even with adequate street-lighting, students are still being targeted by criminals in major student roads. Student safety is not an issue that is up for debate. Fill out the coupon at the top of the front page and leave them in our black SOS boxes around campus.
Date for University Challenge applicants released EXETER UNIVERSITY students can apply to appear on next year’s University Challenge by attending auditions on Thursday 8th November in Newman Lecture Theatre E from 6 until 8pm. This year’s team have already bowed out of the competition, losing to University College London by 175 points in the first round. The team have notoriously been poor in University Challenge. Three years ago, the team accumulated the second lowest score of all time with 15 points.
SSB ticket sales THIS year’s Safer Sex Ball will be held on Monday 10 December. Details concerning what acts will play at the Ball will be released on 26 November. Tickets will go on sale on in mid November.
Floods expected this winter William Binks EXETER has been warned to expect floods this winter. After the driest March on record, England experienced the wettest AprilJuly period since 1766, despite the enforcement of drought restrictions. This has left the ground waterlogged throughout Britain. The South West is already bracing itself with a flood warning system in place and 67,000 properties with flood defences installed.
Writing competition now open Meg Lawrence THE London library student prize, a competition open to all final year undergraduates in higher education, is now open for entries for 2013. The London Library is giving one winner the chance to have their article published in The Times newspaper and The London Library magazine. The winner will receive £5,000, a mini-internship at The Times, and a one year subscription to the newspaper. The three runners up will also be awarded £1,000 and the same internship and subscription as the winner. James Dean, Online Opinion Editor at The Times, said: “It’s not usually their argument, but the way they put it” that will win the competition. Each participant must submit a fulllength entry of no more than 800 words on the topic ‘Gap Years: A New Form of Colonialism?’ by midnight on 11 January 2013.
29 October 2012 |
Sonic Boom shakes South West Alexander Payne POLICE services across Devon and Cornwall have received a deluge of calls from residents following an astrological phenomenon. At around 4pm on Thursday 18 October, people across the region reported hearing loud bangs and seeing shaking buildings. Doors were blown open and windows rattled at Newton Abbot Police Station, and earthtremors were recorded as far a-field as South East Cornwall. One elderly resident of Dartmoor, who had been alive during the German bombing of Devon in World War
Two, likened the sound to that of a falling bomb. Contrary to initial claims of seismic activity, the disturbances have since been identified as the result of a sonic boom caused by a meteorite which changed air pressure as it passed through the earth’s atmosphere. Alan Penman, chairman of Plymouth Astronomical Society, said: “My most likely candidate would be a bolide, which is a large chunk of rock and possibly iron which would burn and explode on entering the Earths atmosphere, scattering small pieces of debris over a large area depending on its trajectory.”
£20 million Bioengineering centre to be built on Campus Phil Thomas News Editor THE UNIVERSITY of Exeter has announced plans to build a research centre to develop strategies for diagnosing and treating diseases. It is hoped that the centre’s research will reveal how diseases oper-
ate in the body by applying engineering principles to living cells. Work on the £20 million project will begin in late 2012 and will be funded through the £230 million investment in science, medicine and engineering. This will be the first dedicated science building to be developed on
Streatham campus since 1968. It will have working spaces that include a large open-plan laboratory and dedicated engineering space for largescale experimental research. Having already invested £450 million in the last decade, the University recently announced plans to spend £1 billion over the next decade.
Guild vote to support Demo2012 Photo: Henry White
Zoe Bulaitis Editor THE Students’ Guild has voted to support the national demonstration, ‘Educate, Employ, Empower’ organized by the National Union of Students (NUS). Over 75% voted in favour of the motion, with 316 being in favour of supporting the demonstration, and 106 opposing. Nick Davies, Guild President, said: “One of the most important parts of the university experience is being able to participate in the democratic process, and the recent vote on the #Demo2012 motion has proved that this is a process that is still very much alive at Exeter.” The national demonstration will take place in London on Wednesday 21 November. The demonstration aims to educate the public about the concerns of the NUS and to demonstrate to policy makers that students are united in their concerns. On 21 November demonstrators will assemble in London at a key rally point where there will be a range of high profile political speakers. On the Demo2012 website Liam Burns, NUS President says: “the time for doubt is over, and the time to act is now”. He argues that Nick Clegg ‘still doesn’t get’ the importance of education and that “sorry isn’t good enough”. The vote was opened to all students through the Students’ Guild websites.
SHOULD THE GUILD SUPPORT THE NUS DEMO? Comment, page 9
Fundraising events for CIN announced Declan Henesy A PROGRAM of fundraising events for staff and students have been organised for the week preceding BBC Children in Need, as the University of Exeter prepares to host the South West Party on 16 November. The week leading up to the night will see numerous fundraising events occurring both on and off campus. There will be a Children’s Tea Party in the Great Hall, equipped with a bouncy castle, a series of classic party games, food and drink, and a variety of children’s films. Following on from last year’s success, a version of the television show Take Me Out will once again take place in the Lemon Grove, and University staff will be sponsored for wearing pyjamas to work. The Children in Need South West Party will be broadcast nationwide from the Forum. The University will welcome students, staff and the local community, who can expect to see a range of entertainment, from music, visual art shows, circus acts, interactive gaming, and a professional BMX freestyle event. Exeter is the only university in the country to be hosting Children in Need on the night. Jon Bagnall, VP Participation and Campuses, expressed his excitement for the event, commenting: “This is a great opportunity to showcase the lengths that students, not just of this University but of those across the country, go to raise awareness and money for such noble causes.” Sarah Rainford and Sarah Tattersall, who are members of the RAG committee, said: “We’re really excited to be the only university to host the event.” They added: “We can’t wait to raise loads of money and hang out with Pudsey.”
| week six
Brain damage increases chance of criminal activity Crissy Ryan A REPORT led by a researcher from the University of Exeter has determined a link between brain injuries during childhood and an increased likelihood of criminal activity. The findings of Psychology Professor Huw Williams, and a team of students from the Universities of Oxford, Cardiff and University College London, reveal that out of 200 males in custody, as many as 60 per cent say they are victims of head injuries. The research suggests that a head injury during youth may result in the brain ‘misfiring’ as it develops, which could result in impaired judgement and reduce control over impulses. The research could influence the prosecution of criminals who have suffered a head injury. Professor Williams, who authored the report titled ‘Repairing Shattered Lives’, explained that currently during the prosecution process, it is rare than brain injury “is considered by criminal justice professionals when assessing the rehabilitative needs of an offender.”
The report claims that if pre-emptory measures were to be taken, crime could be reduced.
Forum flash mob in run-up to Diwali festival
Photo: Trevor Sharp
“The report could keep these kids out of prison”
ALICE WATTS, a former Exeter student, is set to have her music track feature on Universal’s commemorative Olympics album, after she performed at this year’s summer Games. The track, titled ‘Do Not Awaken Love’, will feature on the album Emerging Icons in the Park: As heard in London 2012, and will be available for digital release in the near future. The track recently charted number one in the student radio charts.
Campaign for new theatre in Exeter
Professor Williams, Researcher
Clara Plackett Arts Editor
Professor Williams also commented: “The findings could ensure these kids are not marginalised and forgotten about. The report could keep them out of prison and reduce future crime and social cohesion. “If we intervene early, we can offset those risks. The research can be used to influence practice and policy and reduce crime in the future.” The discoveries are among a group of recent reports that identify the impact of brain injuries beyond the social effects, including a report by the Office of the Children’s Commission. With the support of the Criminal Justice and Acquired Brain Injury Interest Group, the team hope that their advice will be “taken up strategically”.
AS the council waits to hear whether they will receive the £20 million they have requested from the Government to renovate the bus station site, debates are under way regarding what should actually be built there. Steve Bloomfield, an arts lover, started his campaign to make the site a centre for the Arts this year. Bloomfield explained: “We don’t have an internationally recognised cultural and artistic centre capable of attracting top-flight acts from around the world. This site offers a unique opportunity to put Exeter right at the centre of action as far as arts, music and drama is concerned.” He added: “There is every reason to believe that Exeter and the rest of Devon, Somerset and Cornwall can generate enough patronage to make such a venture economically viable.” Council leader Pete Edwards is not in favour of the installation of a big theatre, and commented: “Exeter is much smaller than cities like Cardiff and is too small to have a theatre of this size. We have a big theatre in Plymouth and if we had one similar in Exeter I think it would destroy both.” The Council have instead agreed to a development brief that pushes for a new 25 metre eight-lane competition pool, a 20 metre four-lane training pool and a spa, although the brief does not rule out the possibility of opting for a theatre or concert hall. A redevelopment plan is expected to take shape soon.
Exeter graduate’s music featured on Olympic album Azad Nalbandian
Watts commented: “I’ve managed to play some interesting venues this year, but the highlight was playing at the Olympics and Paralympics this summer on the Emerging Icons stage. It was a real honour to be there and be involved in such a momentous occasion.” Watts, who ran the music department of the campus radio station Xpression FM while a student, pursued a career in the music industry as an independent singer-songwriter after graduation and later released the album ‘Your World’, to critical acclaim.
>> Staff and students took part in a flashmob in the Forum Street for Navraatri, 21 days before Diwali. The University has organised Diwali celebrations for the 17 November.
Student entrepreneurs blame Uni for lack of support Photo: Jojo Rouse
>> Rob Chapman (left) and Robert Wilcox (right)
TWO students behind the new business Auto Adverts claim that the University has failed to provide them with the requested legal support for their venture, citing a lack of University investment in entrepreneurship. Robert Wilcox and Robert Chapman, two second year economics students, founded the business in October 2012. Auto Adverts promotes local businesses by placing their adverts onto students’ cars in Exeter. To raise awareness of the business, the pair placed over 1,000 leaflets on cars in densely populated student areas, To date, the business has secured negotiations with Pizza Express and PrintWorks. However, when the students ap-
proached the University for assistance regarding legal issues, registering a partnership and paying VAT they were disappointed with the response they were given. They spoke with the Career Zone, who was unable to provide the information that they required and were then directed to the Entrepreneur-in-residence, Matthew Rusk. Rusk has attempted to help the students obtain legal advice from the law school. However, to date, this has been unsuccessful. This has meant that the students have had to tackle legal issues, amongst other areas of the business, single-handedly. Robert Wilcox said: “The University seem to focus their efforts on getting students jobs with banks or management consultants but not being entrepreneurial as this doesn’t help the all-important
graduate employment figures!” In response, Rusk, who is himself a graduate of the University, and has worked on entrepreneurial schemes whilst studying, claimed that there has been a vast increase in the support given to entrepreneurs by the University and the Student’s Guild. To provide support, roles such as his own and the innovation centre have been created over the past two years. To further promote the work of entrepreneurs, as part of Global Entrepreneur Week, the University, Guild and Innovation Centre are hosting a week of events designed to encourage entrepreneurs on campus. The event will have alumni guest speakers, who have gone on to start entrepreneurial businesses. The finale is SPARK on 16 November. The Guild will announce its new entrepreneur support unit shortly.
Expand your horizons • ExpEriEncE nEw culturEs • EnhancE your Employability • Funding opportunitiEs availablE
where will a
degree at Exeter take
Exeter degree programmes include a study abroad option Opportunities Week: come and meet us in the Forum, Tuesday 30 October, 10:00-14:00 Visit our website for further information
| WEEK SIX
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holes. But we shouldn’t let these ideas cloud our judgments on student safety in Exeter. No matter how safe Exeter may be, it’s never worth taking the risk. Paying that small fare for a taxi home is always a price worth paying (and remember, if you don’t have any cash on you, Estate Patrol can temporarily pay your fare). Likewise, never travel home alone, but always in groups. All of the incidents reported in this issue involved lone students in the early hours of the morning. We hope that by working with the Guild, we can successfully mobilise students to take action against the City Council’s reckless plans to pull the plug on street lights in Exeter. Remember, Exeter remains a relatively safe city – to ensure it stays that way, support our campaign by cutting out the top banner (with your name, signature and e-mail on) and placing it in any of Exeposé’s SOS black boxes near our distribution bins on campus.
Opportunities THIS week marks a gap in the taught curricula for first year students, and a welcome reading week for lucky second and third years. Whilst many students will take time to catch up on missed work there is a many more opportunities in this week to develop outside the seminar room. The Grand Challenges launch week is the headline event for the week’s extra-curricular activities, with Nick Baker, naturalist and TV presenter will be opening the proceedings on 29 Monday with a lecture in the Alumni Auditorium at 2pm. This week offers students the chance to take time to follow career ideas, and explore activities and volunteering beyond academia. Using the week to it’s full potential would in-
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Exeter’s bubble bursts THIS issue, Exeposé launches its new campaign – Save Our Streetlights (SOS) – in response to a sharp increase in the frequency of attacks on students on Exeter’s streets. You can read full details of our campaign against the Devon County Council, which we are coordinating in conjunction with the Students’ Guild, on page 3, but we want to use our editorial to make a few comments on student safety in Exeter. While it would be scaremongering of us to suggest that it is no longer safe to go out in the evenings, episodes of crime and violence such as these inevitably raise questions about our awareness and perception of personal safety. For many prospective students, Exeter’s reputation as a relatively ‘safe’ city is major selling point. Yes, Exeter’s High Street and major roads are well lit at all times of night, and homes and halls are often no more than a twentyminute walk from the city’s watering
volve trying something new, and maybe surprising yourself with how much you enjoy it. The Student’s Guild are running many events throughout the
“This week offers students the chance to take time to follow career ideas, and explore activities and volunteering beyond academia” week including “Weaving the Guild into CV - showing leadership through Fundraising” on Friday 2 November. This offers all students a chance to be involved and with Children in Need fast approaching the more fundraisers the University can muster the better!
Thanks to those who helped proof this issue: Megan Furbourough, Elli Christie, Will O’Rourke, Will Binks, Kate Gray, Azad Nalbandian, Vanessa Tracey, Lauren Swift, Becky Mullen, Megan Train, Emma Holifield, Tim Halliday, Anna Stringer, Daniel Bwalbach, Ciara Long, Rhys Mills and members of the Exeposé editorial team
Zoe Bulaitis & Tom Payne Ben Murphie & Ellie Steafel
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Gemma Joyce reflects on the University’s support of the recent decision to shut down the Student Confessions Facebook page
Gemma Joyce ANYONE with even the slightest predisposition to poo-poo humour has likely sought out or been linked to the ever popular online “Student Confessions” pages that are updated regularly with tales of drunkenness and debauchery for universities nationwide. From the elaborately narrated (and likely fictitious) accounts of drunken nights spent cross-dressing, hitchhiking, trespassing, estate patrol hassling or being attacked by badgers, to disasters in the bedroom with your lecturer’s offspring, the majority of “Student Confessions”, most of which ending with excrement on the walls, floor or other people, are not for those made queasy easily. However, when the essays are stacking up and you chance a glance at your Facebook timeline the appeal of these pages is, of course, huge. I have no shame in admitting sometimes I’d prefer to have a little giggle at how some anonymous fool soiled their unfortunate flat mate’s bath mat than trawl through
Marx’s Communist Manifesto. Students have, though, been advised to abstain from sharing stories of their tomfoolery online. It’s not hard to see how these pages contradict the picture painted of students in the university prospectus. But, is there really any harm in a bit of light hearted story telling? I say no. Anyone put off applying to Exeter because of the “Student Confessions” pages will likely be put off going to any university in the country with access to the internet. Do I think it’s a good idea to send in stories that might harm the reputation of the university? No. But I am also not in the business of denying freedom of speech, creativity and a bit of joking around when I need a break from coursework.
“The nature of some of the confessions are distasteful. Careless sex, violence and vandalism, around which some of the tales are centred, are causes for concern in student life” The natures of some of the confessions are distasteful, (see anything with ‘LAD’ in the comment section).
Careless sex, violence and vandalism, around which some of the tales are centred, are causes for concern in student life. Do these pages glorify misdemeanour? Here lies the issue. Anyone able or willing to brag (even anonymously) about their involvement in the above idiocies is, of course, a moron. Stories of this kind, in my opinion, ruin the humour of these pages (unless they are blatantly untrue - in which case I like to laugh at the idiots who send them in). The University is right to discourage involvement in these kinds of behaviour, but whether they are right to condemn anyone involved in the pages as a whole is debatable. They are, as the administrators often stress, just meant as a bit of fun after all. Perhaps if stories that did ‘glorify’ the disrespecting of others for entertainment didn’t make it through to publication there would be no problem, but it is wrong to say that “Student Confessions” can’t play a part in enriching student life - if we can’t laugh at ourselves and each other (even if the story was induced from only two jager-bombs, not seven, and they weren’t really wearing a silly hat when they called Jamie Laing a prick in Arena), then what can we laugh at?
29 OCTOBER 2012 |
Land of little faith?
Freddie Doust examines the state of religious faith in the United Kingdom and wonders whether we are becoming far too apathetic...
Freddie Doust THE past 30 years has seen an unprecedented sociocultural shift in the UK. Religion, and in particular, Christianity, had for centuries been the centre of British life. After a fraction of this time - around a quarter of a century this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Clearly, for an atheist such as myself, on first inspection this can only be a good thing. When the actual situation is analysed, however, I’m not so sure. Today, just 44 per cent now describe themselves as Christian. I’d be willing to bet that the majority of that 44 per cent are not actually ‘Christian’ at all. They, for the purposes of a survey, will have felt pressured to put it down for various reasons - tradition, perhaps, but more importantly because they wouldn’t describe themseves
“Today, just 44 per cent now describe themselves as Christian. I’d be willing to bet that the majority of that 44 per cent are not actually ‘Christian’ at all” as theologically ‘atheist’. They are, instead, apathetic. To progress further into the world of scientific objectivism (and, implicit in that, away from antediluvian ritual and belief in dubious
metaphysical entities, for which there is no proof) will require further, and better education. Are we on this path? I don’t think we are. Ed Miliband has, since snatching the leadership of the Labour party from his (probably more deserving) brother, made plain his religious views. He is not, he claims, overtly atheist; neither is he (rather vaguely) a man of religion. He is however a man of “faith” (by this he means belief in an - abstractly - “better” United Kingdom). The important thing to take from this is not the prevaricating nature of the sentiment. The fact is, one of our most public men - the leader of the Opposition - is not Christian. And not religious either. David Cameron doesn’t wear religion on his sleeve. Surely then, it’s a thing of the past. An archaism. Thatcher was dogmatic about her faith. She even recited the words of St Francis of Assisi to justify her political moves. But then again, Thatcher was an ideological, principled prime minister. Our politicians today - not least Miliband and Cameron, by virtue of today’s society - must be pragmatists. The natural implication that arises from this is that, as modern pragmatic politicians, they must reflect the national mood. The fact that they make no reference to religion (and in particular, Christianity) whilst
Thatcher, as recently as 1990, was nostalgically aiming for a society based on “Victorian values”, underpinned by Christian faith, must be showing a mirror up to society itself: a society disinterested in Christian dogma.
“Thatcher was an ideological, principled Prime Minister. Our politicians today - not least Miliband and Cameron, by virtue of today’s society must be pragmatists.” What are the implications of this? Are we now living in a totally objectivist, scientifically-rationalist society thanks to better education? I would say no. Has mass immigration, resulting in an increasingly (conservatives would say) fractured society resulted in this move away from traditional faith? Possibly. Is it simply a natural progression in what is a progressive, Western society? If it’s natural, does it even matter? Evidently such a statement throws open a whole world of questions and implications. Clearly this move away from traditional Christianity is multifactorial. But we can surely hem down some factors. Certainly education, albeit not the main one, is one. More
people than ever are now going onto tertiary education in the UK. University: a place where, shamelessly, students can gather and quasi-academically (and certainly pretentiously) discuss the big metaphysical questions, religion, the nature of things, without having to worry about getting up for work in the morning. But that’s a small elite. It doesn’t explain the all-encompassing move away from religion that we’ve witnessed over the last 30 years. There must be more important factors. How about our celebrity academics - Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins? How much of an impact have they had on the cultural shift? Certainly, the dates they have been in operation, arguing against religious practice, is loosely the same timespan in which this shift has occurred. But
“Has mass immigration, resulting in an increasingly (conservatives would say) fractured society resulted in this move away from traditional faith? Possibly” saying that this is the reason, like saying that better education is the reason, presupposes something that - I’d argue - is not the case; that is, that the
shift is actually an ideological one - a shift away from one doctrine to another (Christianity to atheism). This is not the case. It is, instead, a shift away from religion towards something loose and undefinable. Nothing in particular. Unbelief as opposed to belief in anything. Even Hitchens and Dawkins believe in something - a scientific, rationalist approach to metaphysical thought.
“Instead it seems that the general makeup of society is apathetic. We are apathetic in what we believe religiously, and politically” Instead it seems that the general makeup of society is apathetic. We are apathetic in what we believe religiously, and politically (as illustrated by plummeting voter turnout). So perhaps this shift is best described as a shift towards apathy, a shift to laziness. This may be quite a nihilistic, dystopian standpoint. It would be lovely to say that the shift is thanks to a kind of Neo-Enlightenment, but it is simply not true. Our politicians - Miliband, Cameron - reflect this. At least Thatcher had conviction in her views and was not frightened to share them.
“21 century partying” in Exeter st
Following last issue’s controversy, Naomi Pacific discusses student drinking, whilst Ellie Taylor-Roberts argues Original Sin’s case
Naomi Pacific LET’S face it, alcohol is fun. The night starts out very young. You’re at the breakfast table, “we are getting smashed tonight!” your friend says, and it sounds like a superb idea. It probably is a really good idea at that. Ring of Fire, ‘Never Have I Ever’, Paranoia; there are plenty of games to choose from if you want to go with that version of getting hammered. And I guess the most appealing thing about drinking, at least for me, is that you’re more confident, you can walk into a party and talk to anyone!
You’re the superman of social life… you don’t even have to think about saying things you would never say in real life. But there’s a catch to it. Alcohol is fun, but I think the biggest misconception is that we find ourselves thinking that the only way to have fun is to drink alcohol. Being a heavy weight, I’ve been obliged to experience club nights out while I was completely sober, and it’s different, but I would never go to say that it can’t be fun. Some nights can be amazing without alcohol, and that’s something to remember, I think. You can still let loose, go wild, and make fun of all the drunken people while being sober. I have this friend who went to a music festival this summer; no alcohol allowed. The videos he showed me were insane; people dancing away like party beasts, someone randomly deciding to
saw up a tree and attempt bringing it to the dance floor… we’ve become so convinced that alcohol is the only way to go, we’ve forgotten it’s not. I’m going to repeat this, I don’t have anything against alcohol, since coming to university I’ve by far had more nights with it than not. As an experience, it’s fun, it’s something everyone can enjoy, but perhaps it should be just like playing basketball, painting, or cooking, an occasional hobby you do rather than a remedy. So if you don’t feel like drinking, don’t feel the urge to, and go out anyways. If you’re grabbing that bottle of wine because you’ve had a cranky day and want a mood booster, put it down. Drink alcohol because you want to be foolishly funny tonight and like the idea of silliness. Drink alcohol because it’s nice, not because you have no other option.
Ellie Taylor-Roberts ORIGINAL SIN is portraying the fun and ‘free-spirited’ atmosphere which clubbing creates. It’s using avant-garde yet entertaining images to promote the nights out they organise. Some may argue that these photographs are “sexist because it always shows the boy in the power role and the woman being objectified”, portraying the theme of female degradation, however Original Sin is simply representing the extremes of today’s clubbing. They shouldn’t be penalised for demonstrating the way so-
ciety acts in present day. If anything, we should be questioning why this shocking behaviour is ‘the norm’ for the youth of today. The majority of people accept these images and regard them as being “light-hearted”, however, years ago the advertising of these images would have elevated the shock factor to extreme levels. There’s no use putting the blame on Original Sin, who in their own right are publicising the entertaining events they work so hard to create. Instead, one should focus their attention on the question: How have these scandalous images become popular as opposed to unendurable? One should reassess today’s youth’s approach to the clubbing world as opposed to inculpating Original Sin who simply conform to the 21st century partying style.
| Week SIX
Educate, employ, empower... should the Guild endorse?
James Crouch and Meg Drewett, Features Editors, slug it out over whether or not the Students’ Guild should offer their support for the NUS demonstration Photos: Henry White
NUS, it’s to remind it that it should be doing the best job for students. And that means thinking of the best route to get policy change. We are in this government’s third year, someone tell me where the NUS’s current methods have got us? Nowhere.
James Crouch Features Editor
THE NUS demonstration, to be held on 21 November has a clear reasoning: to “educate the public” in the demands of the student body and really hammer home to “policy makers” student demands. What any who may support this demonstration fail to realise is it’s highly unlikely anyone in government has forgotten student opinions on this. It wasn’t that long ago that a bunch of belligerent students smashed in the windows of HM Treasury. Quite frankly, any confusion on this ended months ago.
Meg Drewett Features Editor
“We should not be supporting the NUS in their children’s crusade. We should be saying ‘change tact, try something different’”
LET’S be clear: the National Union of Students’ ‘Demo 2012: Education, Employ, Empower’ march is about grabbing both the government’s and the public’s attention and reminding them that students aren’t just willing to sit around whilst their education is messed with. It’s fairly obvious that there isn’t going to be a massive change in policy following the demo and in real terms, it might not have that much impact. But should the Guild support the march? Of course and here’s why.
Rather than an- gering the public by organising marches which drain police resources and damage property (as happened last time), they could become an ‘insider’ group. Say that they are prepared to feed into government plans, just suggest improvements to them. This would result in more getting done, than just explaining no common ground and demanding marches until they embarrass (if that’s the plan?) the government into retreat. We should not be supporting the NUS in their children’s crusade. We should be saying ‘change tack, try something different’. Public gatherings don’t grab the agenda and we have clear evidence they’ve failed. And the only possible success you’ll get is a new party in government which will equally ignore student needs unless you engage with it, not fight it.
“We are in this government’s third year, someone tell me where the NUS’s current methods have got us? Nowhere” And anyone who is delusional enough to believe another march - even a more peaceful one - is going to make the government U-turn on policy which has already been enacted should not be making the decisions. What’s more is that the Student Guild’s job is not to just support the
students standing up for what they believe in. If a selection of students want to go and demonstrate, then the Guild should support them in doing so. These students shouldn’t have their voices quashed because another group of politically opposed students disagree with them.
“We should stand by [the Guild] and our fellow students at other unis” And in addition to that, you don’t elect delegates, send them to conference, vote for a march and then several months later turn around and change your mind. It’s utterly ridiculous to suggest that you can take part in a democratic process and then get to label the NUS a partisan organisation and claim that taking part in the march isn’t representative of all student views. The Guild is part of the NUS and if we’ve helped steer them towards a march, then we should stand by them and our fellow students at other unis in seeing that through. You can argue all day and night about the nitty-gritty of the NUS and its political inclinations, and if anyone’s got better suggestions of how to get the public to hear what all students have to say about issues that matter to them, put them forward. But until then, the Guild is signed up to the NUS and owes it to our students to help them express themselves on a national stage.
“It doesn’t matter if the march is ineffective in getting politicians to U-turn. What matters is that the roll of the Guild is to represent and facilitate students standing up for what they believe in” It doesn’t matter if the march is ineffective in getting politicians to U-turn. What matters is that the roll of the Guild is to represent and facilitate
Letters to the Editors
Send your letters to firstname.lastname@example.org
[RE: Issue 598, Shining a light on student safety, Alexandra D’sa] Dear Editors, After reading Alexandra D’sa’s piece in Comment last issue regarding the subject of sexual assault in Exeter, we felt compelled to write to you to express our concerns. Crime for the most part in Exeter is generally low and the statistics for Exeter are significantly lower than other major cities in the South West. Whilst obviously serious and awful crimes, it is inappropriate to exaggerate the frequency of sexual assaults in our city and to do so does a disservice to the victims of such attacks. The
issue of street lighting around the city is clearly an important one and whilst we completely agree that the council’s plans to scale back something that is crucial to keeping us safe on the streets are appalling, we believe it is a great shame that Miss D’sa strays so far from this important topic in her article. Our greatest concern is with Miss D’sa’s fondness for generalising about the feelings of the women of this city. The vast majority of the time, most of us feel safe in Exeter and the issue of street lighting is a far cry from the issue of being groped in Timepiece. The
implication in Miss D’sa’s article that female students are passive participants in this type of behaviour is nothing short of offensive. Not only do many women have nights out in Exeter and experience none of the sort of violations that Miss D’sa describes, but there are also loads who speak up for themselves should such disgusting behaviour occur around them. We don’t all stand by and let men take pictures up our skirts and in addition to that, most men we know wouldn’t even dream of acting like that towards women. In making such a generalisation, Miss D’sa
is acting negligently towards our readers. The issue of street lighting in our city is a serious one and its removal will affect all residents of Exeter, regardless of gender or age. To tie such an important issue with ill-conceived statements about students behaviour in night clubs is irresponsible and exaggerates the problem of crime in our city. We shouldn’t be made to feel like the chances of being attacked are high in Exeter, and though Miss D’sa, as a woman, as a student, may not feel completely safe, she certainly has no right to speak for the rest of us
who most of the time do. Yours sincerely, Meg Drewett and Megan Furbourough P.S. We would both like to express our utter disgust at the lack of a ‘Spoilers Alert!’ with Miss D’sa’s article. Neither of us have read The Casual Vacancy yet and our future reading experienced we feel has now being tainted by the frivolous manner in which Miss D’sa has divulged plot details.
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STARTS OCTOBER 29
| week SIX
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Romney and Obama go head-to-head Photo: justjared.com
Alex Carden stands up in defence of Mitt Romney IT has become pretty clear that the British public aren’t big fans of Mitt Romney, but why do we dislike him so? It may be down to a general British centre-left stance, that is distasteful of the unashamed American right-wing tradition. Of course, the Democrats in the US are also far more right-wing than our politics is used to, but coupled with frequent bashing of the Republicans in political drama exported from the US and our own secular allergy to the religious aspect of neo-conservatives, it is easy to paint a demonic picture of Republicans in general, which tars Mr Romney too. Plus the guy is a Mormon, which is quite freaky to a nation that still views Roman Catholics as suspiciously exotic. But Mitt Romney is not necessarily the Republican Party. Frequently presidential candidates are at odds with their party leadership thanks to the constitutional insulation of one from the other. And it may be only now that we have seen the debates that we are beginning to separate the man from the party and examine him, and finding that there are some genuine reasons why Romney should be considered for 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
“The appearance of a highly pro-business administration may calm markets and convince people to begin investing again” Economics is the key battleground for the election and this is where Mr Romney is strongest. Much as we dislike him, his economic policies are not absurd, far from it. The US deficit will struggle to accommodate a further quantitive easing stimulus that could push the US out of its recession and the Democrat tax-and-spend approach may very well be the worst possible approach; increased taxes on the rich are unlikely to provide the boost that the economy needs or go anywhere even near clearing the deficit, and may possibly dry up much needed private-sector investment. Bear in mind that even the French, traditionally far more left-wing in taxation policy, are terrified of the effects of President Hollande’s new ‘combat budget’ with its massive top-tier taxes. Even if Romney’s policies do not directly stimulate the economy, then just
the appearance of a highly pro-business administration in the White House may calm markets and convince people to begin investing again. In social terms, I do disagree fundamentally with many GOP policies. And with a recession-based fearful swing to the right (almost always the electoral pattern in times of uncertainty) likely to allow Republicans to retain control of Congress, it is almost definite that a Republican Congress and a Republican President will end up passing legislation or enforcing repeals that will incense the left, and with good reason. But with the future of the world’s largest economy still far from steady, it may be necessary for the US to endure some social pain, if not backtracking, in return for strong government that can act quickly and avoid the gridlock that has halted much of President Obama’s agenda. While such a move would be unpalatable if not repulsive to many, we must bear in mind that Americans and the world would have far more damage to worry about following further collapse of the US economy than the Republican party could ever do.
In support of Barack Obama, Robert J Harris’ vote is going to the incumbent THE race for President has well and truly heated up between the candidates over the past month, and in between the verbal mud-slinging it can sometimes be difficult to find hard facts amongst all the rhetoric. Yes, there has not been as much change as some had hoped for, and yes the original hysteria from the 2008 election is essentially dead, but in all reason Obama remains the only rational choice for the Presidency in 2012. Obama’s public image may be more tarnished than it once was, but in comparison, the Romney campaign suffers from the problem of acting like a oneman gaff-machine rather than a welloiled political engine. The first blow came when Ron Paul, the ‘runner up’ of the Republican nominations, failed to give his backing to Romney after he ended his active campaigning back on the
14 May. When such a key and experienced Republican refuses to endorse the national representative of his own Party, it certainly does not do any favours for a man who hopes to win the presidency come November. On top of this, many Americans will certainly remember how Romney’s world tour resulted
“The President has continuously maintained a strong message on all fronts, with a clear plan of action for the American economy” in a string of controversial statements ranging from questioning the readiness of London for the Olympic Games to outright insulting Palestinians during his trip to Israel, definitely more Sacha Baron Cohen than Presidential contender. Meanwhile, Obama has the chance to build upon the efforts made during his first term, be it the regular dialogue maintained between his administration and the rising economic power houses of India and China, or indeed his more moderate approach to on-going conflicts
in the Middle-East. With the American withdrawal from Iraq completed in December of last year, the President has also outlined his intentions for US withdrawal from Afghanistan by the end of 2014, an issue Governor Romney has yet to set any concrete plans for. Perhaps the most unnerving thing about Romney and his running-mate Paul Ryan is how, if successful, there could be a large setback in the rights of women across the United States. By choosing Ryan as his partner, Romney has subscribed to Ryan’s archaic and fierce opposition to abortion. Over the years, Ryan has co-sponsored 38 antiabortion bills, including those where no exceptions are made for victims of rape and women in need of an emergency abortion to save their lives. It is not out of the question that a win for Romney could mean that justices who are staunch opponents of the pro-choice movement could be selected to the Supreme Court and lead to strict guidelines being put in place. With such a large percentage of women listing abortion as one of their chief concerns, it would be surprising if Romney has not already alienated a substantial number of female voters. On the other hand, during his first term, Obama has demonstrated his respect for the choice of women when going through unwanted pregnancy. This and his stance as the first President to openly support gay marriage clearly shows that, for the social conditions in America to improve further, a vote for the Democrats is the only clear option. Flip-flopping is a problem which has continuously dogged Romney throughout his campaign. While many politicians have flip-flopped at one time or another, Romney seems to be on some sort of mission to challenge his original position on subjects such as healthcare, taxes and public spending. This is so regular that several hilarious YouTube videos have been produced showing Romney debating himself using clips from presidential and republican debates. This is where Obama’s plans become all the more important. The President has continuously maintained a strong message on all fronts, with a clear plan of action for the American economy. The Clinton years have shown us that strengthening the economy from the middle through improving infrastructure and long-term growth, is a prosperous formula, whereas the Bush government has demonstrated the follies of a trickle-down system. When Americans go out to vote on 6 November, there is surely only one candidate deserving of the Presidency.
US election: Determining the state of the nation
Alexander Hunter notes the importance of the Latino vote in swing states in the US this election season HAS a new silent political force entered the frame? A force powerful enough to change the outcome of the US election? Over the last thirty years, the Latino population in the United States has almost tripled to over 23 million. By 2050, Latinos are expected to make up one third of the population. This changing demographic can therefore surely be considered a decisive factor in the upcoming US election. It is believed that some 40 per cent of the Hispanic population are eligible to vote. This small figure is largely due to the numbers who have crossed into the US illegally. Despite this, numerous Democrat supporting Latinos, many of whom are not eligible to vote, have travelled around the states to push for a Democrat victory. Some Republican policies on immigration, such as the idea of “self-deportation”, are unsurprisingly not embraced by the immigrant population. Romney is, however, mindful of the
influence of the Hispanic vote, suggesting that one way undocumented immigrants could gain citizenship would be if they joined the military. Nonetheless despite this, Hispanic voters are more inclined to vote Democrat. Obama’s commitment to remove the threat of deportation of young undocumented immigrants is far more appealing.
“The upcoming election will depend on how many of the ever expanding Hispanic electorate will exercise their right to vote” Several US states, with high numbers of Hispanic voters, are considered to be critical to the Republican vote. A swing in the states of Florida, Colorado and Nevada could potentially grant Romney a majority. In 2008 Obama narrowly beat Mc-
Cain by just over 200,000 in the state of Florida. There are currently 2.1 million eligible Hispanic voters in the state of Florida, which equates to one in six of the Florida electorate. This number is enough to make a huge difference. This figure is one in eight in Colorado, whilst the number of Latino voters in Nevada far exceeds the number by which Obama won in the previous election. But can the rising Hispanic population shape the US election? In light of the US’ political fragility and challenges it faces economically, Mitt Romney has a huge opportunity to entice those who are discontent with Obama’s handling of the economic crisis. Perhaps the turning point in the upcoming election will depend on how many of the ever expanding Hispanic electorate will exercise their right to vote. It is without question, a silent force, with the potential to change the direction of US politics.
Caitlin Edwards explains the importance of the US women’s vote and the candidates’ approach to “women’s issues” THE US election is increasingly being divided along gender lines with socalled “women’s issues” being the most hotly contested area of debate. There have been more campaign adverts on abortion and contraception than on any other issue. However, the fact that these issues - contraception, abortion, equal pay, healthcare and childcare - are being defined as “women’s issues” in the first place is indicative of politicians’ attitudes towards women’s rights. Whilst Obama has made it clear that he does not define these issues as ones only of concern to women, making the important point that contraception and access to abortion impacts dramatically upon men too, Romney approaches the topic from an entirely different viewpoint.
“There have been more campaign adverts on abortion and contraception than on any other issue” Indeed even ignoring Romney’s “binders of women” blunder in the second Presidential debate, his track record on women’s rights is murky. Although he’s claimed that he’s actively sought out women to employ at senior level positions whilst he was Governor of Massachusetts, the facts reveal a different picture. Whilst 42 per cent of appointments to senior level positions were to women at the start of Romney’s term, by the end of it only 25 per cent were, suggesting he’s not as equal an
29 october 2012 |
employer as he’d like to make out. As the election has drawn closer his views on abortion and contraception have softened, from describing himself as totally “pro-life” to his current viewpoint being pro-life, except in the cases of rape, incest or if the mother’s life and health is at risk. This is nothing compared to his running mate Paul Ryan who was a co-sponsor of a bill called “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act”, a radical bill which stated that only “victims of forcible rape would qualify for federally funded abortions”. This softening approach is also applied to Romney’s stance on contraception with him arguing in the debate that it is not up to government to decide if a woman should use contraception or not. This seemingly contradicts his plans to remove all state funding for ‘Planned Parenthood’, which provides contraception services throughout the
United States and currently receives 40 per cent of its funding from the government.
“Whatever the outcome of this election, it has been a landmark one with women’s rights to their own bodies being debated in a way they haven’t for years” However, the amount of time spent discussing “women’s issues” in this election shows just how much both camps want their votes. Romney’s efforts to disguise his true attitudes towards women indicates the same thing. The money and time spent campaigning over these issues highlights their importance to the American population and the influence they have over a person’s vote. This is an election largely being fought over issues which should, arguably, be private. It is an election where campaigning and advertising has taken place over decisions which should only ever really be made by an individual or two people. Whatever the outcome of this election, in terms of “women’s issues” it has been a landmark one, with women’s rights to their own bodies being debated in a way they haven’t for years. It also, perhaps, marks the dawn of a new era in American politics, where the personal has become the political in a way many thought it never would again.
Electoral Votes: 9 Colorado has historically leaned Republican. However, in recent years the southwest has moved critically towards the Democrats, partially due to an increased number of Hispanic voters. And as Obama picked up nearby New Mexico and Nevada last time, could Colorado been the next one to go?
Dom Madar looks at the impact of the three Presidential debates STAYING awake until the unsociable hours of 3.30 in the morning on a weekday isn’t unheard of for many Exeter students. Doing it for the sole purpose to watch the American Presidential debates live just might be. Critics question the actual influence of these events in swaying a mainly partisan electorate. Swing voters are often portrayed as highly intellectual political followers patiently weighing up the intricacies of policy before casting a decisive ballot. In reality they generally fit the description of ordinary people too busy working and living their lives to give a damn. Obama hasn’t exactly lived up to wild expectations – he hasn’t saved the world (or America) and those drunken scenes of jubilation four years
ago have been replaced by something rather more sobering. Still, when your alternative choice is a multi-millionaire Mormon representing the same party as George Bush it’s not surprising to see everyone isn’t all that optimistic. Romney fought through a slew of insane, inadequate and ludicrous candidates to emerge as the President’s challenger in the political soap opera that was the Republican Primaries: Herman Cain’s sex scandal; Newt Gingrich’s US moon colony and Michelle Bachman’s ‘pray away the gay clinic’ spring to mind. Anti-abortion proposals and the rejection of both climate change and evolution tend to sit less comfortably on this more liberal side of the pond. And while not all the candidates agreed on these issues the sheer number who did is something I find both highly amusing and slightly disturbing. Bruised and battered from such ordeals and facing a skilful and experien-
| week SIX
The Polls: NATIONAL:
Expected Democrat States
The Electoral College
THE Electoral College system is unique to the United States. There is a reason for this: it’s bonkers. Herein lies a brief Republicans Expected Republican States % 47 explanation to help if you are feeling a 48 little lost: Swing States The USA is divided into states Democrats which are split again into districts. In an American general election, the votes matter at state level, rather than district or nationwide. Each state elects a parPREDICTED ticular number of electors on a winnerWOMEN’S Others takes-all basis – apart from Maine and VOTE: 4 Nebraska which elect proportionally NEW – who then (normally) vote for whichHAMPSHIRE ever candidate the voters chose. Out Republicans Electoral Votes: 4 % 50 of the 538 electoral votes that this 46 A Democratic state system creates, an absolute majority at its core, New Hampshire of 270 are needed to win. The number has voted for every winning of electors per state is based on the post-war Republican Democrats president. The polls have number of Congressmen they have, been neck and neck here for which is calculated by adding the two weeks, with everything so Senators that each state has to their PREDICTED close this could make all the proportional number of RepresentaOthers HISPANIC differerence. tives in the House. So New Hampshire VOTE: 8 has two Senators and two Representatives, giving them four electoral votes while California has 55 because of its Republicans % 53 Representatives and two Senators. 38 55 Sometimes the precise numbers adjust slightly because of population shifts, but certain states are often viewed as Democrats Electoral Votes: 18 more important than others when they Being the largest state have more votes to offer. that no one is prepared Swing states join the equation here. to call, Ohio is the state that For example, Oklahoma is a state ReMOST IMPORTANT will determine this election. publicans can rely on, and many states ISSUES: Electoral Votes: 29 The Buckeye State suffered in Seen as the typical swing are solid like this for either party. These Economy the recession, as the motor state, Florida has been seen as the key to are the ones that are often ignored. industry took a huge hit and 26 32 electoral victory for years. The Sunshine Conversely, the states which see most damaged Obama’s standing State handed Bush victory by the attention (money for state parties, canhere. But it is still far from clear Others % narrowest of margins in 2000. This time whether this is enough to hand didate visits, etc) are those which are however, Romney has taken a significant a victory to Romney, who has not automatically safe, which swing as 17 10 lead in the polls here, indicating Florida taken a lead on the economy there are multitudes of voters who are Medicare Jobs 15 may hand its electoral votes to the loser. and jobs. independent or only weakly affiliated to a party. Think Florida, Ohio, PennsylDeficit vania. The votes of these states are important to candidates. less horses and bayonets”. The system has its flaws. It encourment of humour within the 90 minutes. the economy and taxation; it certainly ced debater in President Obama, most In something of a turnaround from ages an often-vicious two-party race, expected Romney to come off badly in wasn’t as entertaining as the Repub- Most polls narrowly handed Obama the opening battle. Polling suggested lican Primaries but it was a whole lot the victory, although nowhere near as the opening night it was Romney tak- which is why we rarely hear of anyone a narrow but decisive lead for Obama more relevant. Even the most fanatic of conclusively as Romney had won the ing up the more submissive position. other than the Republicans and DemoIn broad terms they agreed on many crats, and it is possible for a candidate and the election looked almost sown Obama fans couldn’t claim a win here issues, leaving little manoeuvre room to win the popular vote but not the and with round one gone Romney had up. to distinguish the candidates. Obama’s Presidency (see Al Gore and George W. revived his campaign with a crucial “Obama’s best was his record on foreign policy, however, is Bush in 2000). and decisive victory over the President. rebuttal to Romney’s “Romney came out swinging So there are problems, that much one regarded very differently to his doThe race tightened as Obama faced criticism of the US having against a lethargic and is clear. Votes and outcomes are usually mestic one. serious pressure to deliver something fewer battleships now than passive President - attacking While most in the US see him as vastly distorted, it promotes costly more substantial. Round two was a in 1916: ‘well, Governor, his track record on job something of a serious let down on the campaigns, many voters feel like their bloodier and more evenly contested we also have less horses and vote is wasted and one state can have creation and the soaring economy, they are far more approving affair. Both frequently resorted to bayonets” the deciding power over all of the of his diplomacy around the globe and levels of public debt” petty attacks, ambiguous accusations others (like Florida in 2000, or even handling of terrorism. and denials for the purpose of cheap Nevada in the final season of The West Again the majority of polls and Wing). However, it is also enshrined But Romney came out swinging point scoring. While discussing gender first stand-off. The final debate shifted the agen- news sources handed the victory to in the revered US Constitution and against a lethargic and passive Presi- equality in the work force Romney said dent – constantly attacking his record he went to women’s groups to try and da from domestic to foreign policy. President Obama. Romney however unlikely to change any time soon. on job creation and the soaring levels resolve the problem of a lack of female Encouraged by his more aggressive has by and large held his own against However, it cannot be denied that the of public debt. He shrugged off his applicants and they gave him “binders stance in round two, Obama shot out his opponent and scored an impressive Electoral College system can help to the traps with continuous attacks lev- first round victory. The voters defi- make for an exciting, down-to-the-wire, reputation as cold hearted and robotic full of women”. I’m not sure he wants to associ- elled at his opponent. His best was his nitely trust him more on the economy, often photo finish of an election night. with a pitch full of patriotism and compassion for America and its people. He ate himself too closely with the kind rebuttal to Romney’s criticism of the although he still has yet to fully con- And, from the looks of things, we may be in for another of those this time comfortably held his own in a lengthy of people who keep such things (serial US having fewer battleships now than vince them on other important issues. around… IMOGEN WATSON and detailed joust over the direction of killers?), but it provided a rare mo- in 1916: “well Governor we also have The race is on.
29 october 2012 |
Madeleine Joint argues
Justice demanded in the Savile scandal
Even after Savile’s death, Edward Scott explains why the investigation must go ahead
THE knighthood alone should indicate the levels of respect and national recognition Sir Jimmy Savile gained in his career; amidst the cultural revolution of the sixties, he was a central component of the BBC’s attempt to keep up with tumultuous, revolutionary times. When one reflects on the early years of the corporation – the evening national anthem, the refined accents and formal clothing – it’s no surprise that a Northern, eccentric dance music aficionado became something of an icon for countercultural youth. It’s also no surprise, then, that the innovative, unfamiliar nature of the situation led to mishaps – mishaps of personal accountability to Savile, and of his management, that are only properly emerging almost a year after Savile’s death. It may seem at first glance that the criminal investigation of potentially sixty cases of sexual abuse – spanning six decades of Savile’s career – is a futile exercise, for, as far as I’m aware, Scotland Yard does not yet have the means to imprison the dead. Iain Martin has noted that “we might as well launch an investigation into the entire 1970s”, given the number of exploitations of
fame that almost certainly went on behind closed doors. But even though these points are undeniably true, that doesn’t make them right. Quite clearly, Savile will never receive a formal punishment for these crimes (though anyone who has seen Louis Theroux’s ‘Weird Weekends’ documentary might argue he paid on a psychological level), but to posit that his death alone closes the unimaginable emotional wounds left on his victims is nonsensical. To live your life knowing, as in one case, that you were raped at fourteen by a man later made a knight of the realm, a man who was never shamed for his actions – a man who sexually assaulted children in the very hospitals he raised funding for – is not a life the British justice system should be imposing, via neglect, on anyone. There is a peculiarity in the public consciousness – a loophole, if you will, in the Zeitgeist that seems to make exceptions for criminals who are also coincidentally famous. John Terry, Roman Polanski, Julian Assange – all have been and are being defended by honest, moral people who would never imagine defending a ‘typical’ sex criminal (such
a person, incidentally, does not exist). This is something we as a society should make taboo. Yes, Polanski has made masterpieces; yes, the WikiLeaks scandal helped fight government secrecy; heck, I’ll even throw journalistic caution to the wind and say John Terry might be good at football. But these aspects of a person’s life do not exempt them from the necessity of a fair trial.
“Quite clearly, Savile’s death alone does not close the unimaginable emotional wounds left on his victims” As we know, Savile won’t serve any time – but the titles ‘Sir’, ‘OBE’ and the Catholic honour ‘KCSG’ should not hang in history alongside the name of a “predatory sex offender”. In removing these titles – which the Catholic Church, in an unusually rational style, is strongly considering – and in questioning those involved and the corporations which allowed this to happen, knowingly or not, this cultural blindness to the severity of sex crime may take a small, progressive step to-
Alerting the world to Congo
Fearing that we’ve forgotten about the Congolese civil war, Tom Jeffrey reminds us that there is a way to change the future
THE world is a violent place. A sad fact, but a true one. Look at the legacy of the 20th Century: the bloodshed of two world wars, genocides in Bosnia, Rwanda, Cambodia and Uganda to name but a few. Wars in Vietnam, Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, oppression and violent subjugation across the world. All these wars, these conflicts, these moments where human compassion and coexistence have been replaced by rage and bloodshed, resonate with people the world over. We learn about them at school, we study them at university, we see them on the news and in the papers. Yet there’s one conflict, one
of the worse in recent history, which has largely passed us by. Where a conflict like the Rwandan genocide holds a prominent place in our text books (and rightly so) and where Syria and the Middle East are all over the news, The Democratic Republic of Congo is left in the pile of African countries people know about, but don’t really know about. A few statistics: 5.4 million people have died in this conflict since 1996; 2 million people have been displaced; over 400,000 women and children are ritually raped as a form of intimidation, humiliation and control every single
year. This is the situation in the Congo where, although the war officially ended in 2003, men, women and children still live in fear, terrorised and brutal-
“Yet something that has become such a normal part of our day to day lives is directly fuelling these atrocities in the Congo” ised by various armed groups vying for control over the country’s abundant minerals. And therein lays the cause of what is undoubtedly the deadliest conflict
wards the light. As if society needed any more persuasion, Savile’s family have removed his headstone from its graveyard out of respect, where it sat enormous on a hill, overlooking hundreds of others. As for Iain Martin’s argument, I can’t be the only one astonished by the wish that a series of crimes go unrecognised simply because they didn’t occur in isolation, can I? One might as well say there were too many Nazis to bother investigating any war-crimes. Martin also makes the surreal point that he was ‘there at the time’, in the 70s, unlike some of those involved in investigations. To dismiss politicians’ concerns on the basis they weren’t born when Sir Jimmy’s career started is, to say the least, bitter. Surely such a remark is demonstrating some ignorance of the notion of justice, and I am sure the rape and sexual assault victims affected would be delighted with Martin’s suggestion that the sex crimes of the 70s – and it is only the 70s he speaks of, despite investigations leading up to 2006 – need “a good historian prepared to write a decent book” about their suffering. since the Second World War: minerals. Specifically what have been dubbed ‘conflict minerals’; Gold and the 3 T’s: tin, tantalum and tungsten. If these don’t ring any bells that’s understandable but chances are you have all three on your person right now. They are in every mobile phone, every iPod and iPad, every computer, every radio, every TV and every toaster. They are used by billions across the world every single day and without them society as we know it would almost literally grind to a halt. Yet something that has become such a normal part of our day to day lives is directly fuelling these atrocities in the Congo. The aforementioned armed gangs terrorise the civilian population into mining these minerals for them, which are then smuggled out of the Congo through neighbouring countries, shipped to smelters across the world to
NOW, I myself have never had an abortion. However, I will defend to the end the right for anyone to make that choice. Every woman and every man should have a say in whether they commit to the love and care of a multiplying collection of cells, whether they are making the choice to use contraception or the choice to have an abortion. Primarily this is because I believe every child deserves to be loved, wanted and protected. No one should have a baby because they have no other choice: it is vitally important that you ‘engage brain’ and use every precaution possible to prevent pregnancy, but at the same time this doesn’t always work - that’s just a fact – and some potential parents are not ready to have a child, might never be ready to have a child, and therefore, should not have a child. Simple. Logical. Honest. Quite sensibly, the abortion limit has been set at 24 weeks since 1990 on the basis that a foetus could survive outside the womb at this age and could therefore be classified as a ‘baby’. Regardless,
be refined and then make their way to the electronic manufacturers that we know and love. Through our everyday lives we are inexorably linked to this conflict and, albeit innocently and unintentionally, we are fuelling it, day in and day out.
“This isn’t hyst some idealistic yet ultimately far flung and unachievable goal” Yet it is that fact that gives us, as ordinary people and as ordinary consumers, a unique opportunity. We are the people that buy these electronics; we are who Apple, Dell, Nokia and HP rely on to keep their business healthy and their shareholders satisfied. In short, we hold the cards. The obvious response would simply be not to buy
| week SIX
ion on changing the abortion limit Thinking the worst for retaining the 24 week limit against the calls for a reduction Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt recently commented he would like to see the limit reduced to 12 weeks. This came after Woman’s Minister Maria Miller called for a cut to 20 weeks on the back of Conservative MP Mark Pritchard, vice chairman of a parliamentary pro-life group, stating that “existing laws on abortion lag well behind recent breakthroughs in science”. Numerous experts have spoken out to refute the notion that an extremely premature foetus can now survive from a younger age, and PM David Cameron quickly clarified that abortion was “an issue of conscience” and there are currently no plans to make changes. Yet, the idea that the right to an abortion at whichever point is still under debate is still fantastically upsetting. This criminalised attitude to abortions, this sense of wrong and moral judgement hangs about these debates, and this is why people like Jeremy Hunt accidentally demonise the men and woman his policies are supposed to protect. According to the Department of
Health 91% of abortions were conducted under 13 weeks, so this would have been relatively few of the nearly 190,000 abortions which took place last year in England and Wales. It is clear to most people that it is your responsibility to sort what needs to be sorted absolutely as soon as possible; having once been the person gently but firmly helping a friend get round to doing what they needed to do, I know this isn’t easy for a lot of people, even when they’ve absolutely decided on a course of action. But it does seem clear that ‘pro-life’ or pro-reduction campaigners are showing what British Pregnancy Advisory Service’s Clare Murphy termed “a lack of understanding of why women need later services”. In the US the D.C. House District recently passed a ban on abortion after 20 weeks – an act which will be potentially devastating to women like Christy Zink, who spoke out in a Washington Post article about her own termination at 22 weeks after discovering her un-
products built by conflict minerals but there is no way that’s possible. We can’t just stop using technology and we can’t be expected to. What we can do is demand an alternative. It might be hard for companies to track the supply chain of the minerals they use in their electronics but it’s not impossible. If they wanted to make conflict free phones and laptops they could. If they wanted to take the power and the money away from these armed militias and stop this senseless circle of violence then they could. We have the power to make sure they do. This isn’t just some idealistic yet ultimately far flung and unachievable goal. This is a genuine, achievable, measurable way that we can stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of the Congo and say enough is enough. Universities across America
have signed declarations calling for companies to source conflict free electronics, promising that if they do they will have customers ready, waiting and willing to spend billions of dollars on them. In an economy based on supply and demand people are doing the latter and their voices are being heard. In the UK, St Andrews has already signed a conflict free declaration and now it’s Exeter’s chance to add our voice and help spread the demand for conflict free electronics across the UK.
“We can’t change that legacy, we can’t change the past, but for the people of Congo we can really help to change the future” On 1 November you’re invited to
born child was missing the “central connecting structure … and essentially one side of his brain.” If he survived birth he would suffer “continuous seizures and near-constant pain. He might never have left the hospital.” This was not a callous, reckless or selfish woman; this was a decision made from love. In the same way, a potential parent who knows they cannot and will not raise a child in happiness and fulfilment faces a choice more similar than many anti-abortion groups are willing to consider.
“Your choice is not only your right, but what is best: no politician, parent or preacher should ever make you feel otherwise” I am not one to discuss these issues lightly - and of course an abortion should never be seen a simple act of contraception - but as a voice in the wilderness I want to give the extreme view of nonmedically necessary abortions. This is not a child, but a collection of unwanted cells. A huge reason you should avoid an abortion is because in whichever form – operation or pill – it is a highly invasive, uncomfortable procedure and recovery (particularly from the pill induced miscarriage) is often drawn out and painful. But keep in mind my primary argument: if you decide to follow the pregnancy through or crumble under pressure from others with a view not your own, you had better give absolutely everything you have to your child. If you aren’t prepared to do that then what you have isn’t a child, it’s something not right and not for you. The delusion that being ‘pro-life’ or ‘pro-reduction’ makes you morally superior is more lazy and insulting than ever. Whatever the stage of development, your choice is not only your right, but what is best: no politician, parent or preacher should ever make you feel otherwise. Congo night in the Alumni Auditorium to start the campaign for a conflict free campus. Speaking at the event is Bandi Mbubi, a campaigner from the Congo and founder of the UK organisation Congo Calling. The evening will be about why we so urgently need to take action but more than that, about how we can. The world is a violent place. A sad fact, but a true one. Just look at the legacy of the 20th century. We can’t change that legacy, we can’t change the past, but for the people of the Congo we can, we really can, help to change the future. Be The Change have a petition running alongside their Congo Night. Visit it at the Students Guild website if you wish to offer your support.
In the wake of pleb-gate, Harry Parkhouse asks if we are too quick to assume our politicians are in the wrong? THERE are many things that I dislike in this world, but one that I have taken qualm with from an early age is the common over-simplification of issues and the intentional vilification of individuals. This issue has been inculcated into me from my childhood through the false ‘good’ ‘bad’ dichotomy presented in Hollywood action films, where the latter camp is more often than not, Russian or clearly anti-American and therefore, obviously evil. Simplistic, vilifying and unwarranted portrayals of individuals or groups may just about be acceptable in American cinema, but when there is a recurring habit of western media to portray our own politicians as somehow inherently evil and morally corrupt, something has surely gone wrong? I would argue that most of our politicians are not power-hungry, corrupt control freaks, but instead determined and hard-working idealists. The opportunistic caricatures that consistently try to advocate the contrary can be misguided and potentially dangerous. Scrutiny on the part of civil society is an obvious keystone for liberal democracies. Those in power today are not presented with forced adulation like the fanatical idolisation we see in totalitarian North Korea, but instead face a constant barrage of power checking through investigative journalism, independent opinion and, irony. However, if the public ammunition fired in this barrage is sourced from over-simplification and the all-to-easy-traducing of those in question, it can lead to not only a degradation of the scrutiny itself but also the genesis of misguided and sweeping public sentiment.
“Whether Anndrew Mitchell actually used the word ‘pleb’ is now almost irrelevant to most of us” For example, the phrase ‘Tory toffs’ is an accusation that is heard again and again in UK political discourse, and whilst it serves as an obvious and oftenrewarding scrutinising function for those employ it, it also creates an inaccurate caricature of this particular party, and by extension, a ‘class’ of peoples, as somehow morally corrupt and ignorant. Whilst I am far from being a supporter of the Conservatives myself, I do take qualm with the portrayal that all those who fall in the Tory camp are out-oftouch, elitist and ‘posh-boy’ arrogant; it
is simply not a true representation of the party. The recent ‘plebgate’ scandal almost epitomises this misapprehension. The truth of whether Andrew Mitchell actually used the word ‘pleb’ is now almost irrelevant to most of us. When an un-verified but supposed claim about the actions of certain politicians surface, it is just as good as the truth for the media hounds to use in order to satisfy the political mobs’ blood baying. Even though I am in no way condoning Mitchell’s actions, it is just a fact that we will now always remember him as ‘that hated vicious class snob’, and not as the former-UN peacekeeper who founded Project Umubano. Examples from the USA are arguably much worse; a May 2011 Gallup poll states that 13 per cent of Americans are still concerned that Obama may not in fact be an American citizen, but instead a Kenyan Muslim (quelle horreur!). This unwarranted scepticism was born out of a vacuous rumour started by Republican Internet trolls, but the depressing fact is it will still probably affect some up-coming voting decisions. There are just a couple of examples that pepper and then subsequently infect our political workings, but the truth is more extensive; those in politics and the media are especially fond of this type of degradation. This is because for some, it constitutes a form of scrutiny, but for the majority, a chance for political point scoring and party-bashing. This is an obvious card to play in politics, and whilst I understand the necessities of party-political realism to compete for the hearts and minds of voters, it seriously detracts from what actually matters in democratic societies: consensual policy. Over-simplified caricatures, sculpted by political opportunists, give birth to shallow valence voting habits; where votes cast are contingent simply on the perceived personalities or ‘traits’ of those seeking office. The danger is that our democratic process degenerates into nothing more than an episode of the X-Factor, where any whiff that political contenders are not perfectly infallible in trait or deed results in immediate hounding by the media and subsequent public disdain. Whilst this is arguably an unavoidable symptom of modern politics, individuals, when assessing their democratic choices, should try and constantly reiterate the relative unimportance to actual governance of these portrayals.
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| WEEK SIX
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The Bare Witch Project Exeposé Lifestyle debates: have our Halloween costumes become too explicit?
LUCY PORTER IF I ruled the world, October 31 would no longer be a circus of fishnets and push-up bras, but a childlike regression to the innocent times, in which we embraced the spirit of Halloween with a binbag cape and a broom made out of sticks from the back garden. But since growing up, Halloween has, like Christmas, slowly lost its enchanting magic. Once upon a time, it was an exciting night steeped in mystery as other children knocked on our door and ghost stories were told whilst we stayed in the warm with hot chocolate - my parents didn’t approve of trick-ortreating. Sadly, by the time I was older and mature enough to reject the parental reins by storming out of the house with an adolescent “I can do what I want!” I was also large enough to induce utter terror in the little old ladies whose firmlyshut doors I preyed upon with my fellow sugar-hungry teens. Worse still came the realisation that any neighbours you did manage to terrorise into feeding you only stocked ‘fun size’ chocolate bars - and we all know that there is nothing “fun” about half a Mars bar. But what has jaded this festive occasion most for me is the fact that on the night, I simply cannot leave the house without being confronted with a pair of boobs nor can I wear a coat without feeling overdressed (it is OCTOBER for the love of God!) And if I feel extravagant in my trusty duffel, Lord only knows how I’d feel if I donned the prosthetic mask and oozing plastic wounds I long to adorn myself with on this most gruesome of nights. But let’s address the boobs issue. I’m not sure when it is that girls decide that household rubbish is no
longer an acceptable costume but it has certainly passed me by. Instead, a general costume idea is chosen with the prefix “sexy” slapped on and Halloween becomes one of those awkward occasions on which the “legs or boobs” rule is casually thrown out of the window with the nonchalant air of one going to Arena for the night. Forgetting that we’re expected to flaunt it all on a regular night out anyway, Halloween is treated as one big party where everyone gets a little bit closer to being naked. And I would, in advance, like to offer congratulations to the female students of Exeter and beyond; yes, you have grown breasts. Well done you. But I really don’t want to see them. Again. Think instead of the fun to be had with big goofy vampire fangs and frumpy over-sized witches’ dresses this is the one chance we get to be truly silly each year! Alternatively I could look at this from a feminist perspective. And I do believe that this is an issue, for how many boys do you see strutting about in heels and stockings? If girls are expected to dress seductively, then I fully expect men to be reciprocal about this and embrace a Rocky Horror theme this autumn. Perhaps, in my prudish way, I’m just trying to reclaim this childhood tradition. After all, my most eventful Halloween was a rather colourful affair for all the wrong reasons in which I projectile-vomited at a pub in front of a large audience behind a story-teller’s chair (I was twelve and had spent the day stuffing my face). So please, fellow students, grab a token child (so as not to scare the old ladies) and your pumpkin buckets. It’s time to go trick-or-treating. Decently.
HARRY McCARTHY FOR many University students, frequent raids of the fancy dress drawer are a rite of passage. Any student worth their salt knows to be prepared for any last-minute theme, be it togas or Top Gun; it’s simply an integral part of student life, hard as that may be for bewildered locals to understand on a Friday night. It is unsurprising, therefore, that October 31, with its alluring promise of dressed-up debauchery, is so popular among the student population.
“It would be foolish, in this day and age, to attempt to differentiate between a sexualised male and a sexualised female” In days of yore, Halloween was a seemingly innocent affair which didn’t extend too far beyond trickor-treating in a full-length costume. Witches, vampires, and skeletons were the norm, with barely a hint of flesh in sight. More recently, however, the trend has shifted, and Halloween appears to have become less about what you’re wearing, and more about what you aren’t. Few could forget the famous scene from the 2004 classic Mean Girls, in which Cady arrived at her first American High School Halloween party to discover that “In Girl World, Halloween is the one night a year when a girl can dress like a total
slut and no other girls can say anything believe me. It would be foolish, in this about it.” I don’t think many of us could day and age, to attempt to differentiate between a sexualised male and a sexulegitimately question that. A midnight trip down Sidwell alised female – there’s no difference Street on All Hallows’ Eve this year whatsoever. Ultimately, Halloween costumes, will doubtlessly see scores of just like any other outfit, are ripped fishnets, bouffant about choice. Girls who hairstyles, smudged lipCheck out dress as naughty schoolstick and unbuttoned Lifestyle’s top girls or boys who wear… tops, with hardly any five halloween well, nothing, are not suggestion of the costumes on forced to do so by anyoccult whatsoever. one else – they are merely Some would argue Exeposé online! making use of the freedom that this is not the ‘true of choice that our society message’ of Halloween allows them. It would be naïve (assuming, of course, that to assume that anyone who dresses as Halloween has a message at all) but to me, such outrageous provoca- such does so without considering the tiveness sums up the entire occasion sexual implications of their actions – has anyone stopped and thought that perfectly. The very concept of fancy dress, af- maybe they want to appear sexually ter all, is the adoption of a persona quite attractive to the opposite (or indeed different from your own – how, then, is same) sex? Those who wish to go down dressing in as little as possible any dif- the more risqué route should feel free ferent from donning a pair of fangs and to do so without worrying about being labelled as a ‘slut’ – there is, after all, a cape? Of course, it would be almost im- a vast difference between dressing as possible to conduct a debate surround- one and actively being one (and nothing ing going-out attire without dragging up wrong with either whatsoever). the ‘female objectification’ argument, and it would be unfair to dismiss it entirely. After all, wearing nothing but a “Girls who dress as bra and a pair of hotpants with ripped naughty schoolgirls or fishnets is hardly going to detract sexual attention, and could indeed reduce boys who wear nothing the unfortunate wearer to nothing more are not forced to do so than a sexual object, particularly when vodka is involved. However, before we by anyone” begin quoting Germaine Greer, it would So when you’re out and about this be worth remembering that just as many (if not more) guys are prone to ‘daring Halloween, bear that distinction in to bare’ – just count the number of ba- mind. And if you see a blood-spattered bies in nappies or topless Spartans you redhead in nothing but a pair of sesee out and about this week if you don’t quinned briefs, come and say hello.
29 OCTOBER 2012 |
More than just a dress
Sorrel Cookson tells the inspirational story of how the dress worn by the Duchess of Cambridge has helped sex trafficking victims in India James Crouch, Features Editor, narrowly Photo: graziadaily.co.uk Lavinia “felt moved to raise awareness avoids serious injury in paradise of this important issue”. For the next few months they dedicated themselves to teaching English and needlework to the victims. As time progressed and they discovered more harsh truths about the traffickers work, the two women became more and more determined to make a change. It was during their time there that they decided to launch an ethical fashion label that would provide a sustainable livelihood for the victims and help them to recover from life in the sex trafficking trade.
“The dress was made by the hands of sex trafficking victims”
ONLY the day after the infamous topless photographs surfaced of the Duchess of Cambridge, she was under the scrutiny of the camera lens once more on a visit to the Assyakirin Mosque in Kuala Lumpur; only this time modelling what appears to be a simple chiffon dress. However, what proceeds is not the story of any old dress but rather an inspiring and deeply moving tale, enfolded within the silky material of her seemingly ‘simple’ ensemble. Kate is pictured wearing a creation from less than widely known brand, Beulah London, though the designers are now surely on their way to becom ing one of the super brands we know and love since the dress’ debut in Sep-
tember. What was unknown before the photographs emerged was that the dress was not only made by Beulah’s creator, Lady Natasha Rufus Isaacs, but also by the hands of a myriad of sex trafficking victims in India. Back in 2009, after five years of working for Sotheby’s, Natasha decided her true vocation lay in volunteer and charity work; consequently she and her friend of many years, Lavinia Brennan, were given the life-changing opportunity to work in Atulya, an aftercare home in the Delhi slums. This is where the story of Beulah London really begins. Witnessing first hand the profoundly distressing ramifications of human trafficking and the sex trade, Natasha and
Each Beulah garment purchased comes with a canvas bag which has been hand produced by the victims in India through the ‘Freeset’ project based in Kolkata. Along with this, the ‘Open Hand’ project in Delhi provides pieces for Beulah’s main collection, hand-made by women who have escaped trafficking and the sex trade. The Beulah butterfly logo marks these pieces and also items that have been produced to raise awareness and funds for the cause. The butterfly logo stems from the ‘butterfly effect’ that Beulah creates along its journey. Natasha and Lavinia believe that for each beautiful garment they make, “there is an equally beautiful change happening somewhere else in the world”. Beulah London are at the beginning of what promises to be a successful and monumental cause. With the help of it’s prominent clients, such as the Duchess and Hollywood stars, Beulah hope to continue to bring these women “out of darkness and despair” and into “a new life of hope and restoration”.
MY first memory of Sri Lanka has to young child, as I was then, it seemed be the heat. With the sun always high nothing short of weird. Obviously I must have seen his act as all a bit blasé, in the bright blue sky one wonsince I took infinitely more ders how I could look back Want to interest in his pet monkey and question my mother’s share your tales perched unchained on a choice of holiday destination. On the face of of travel adventures small stool. Little did I know this foul flee-ridden it, a Sri Lanka Holiday with us? Send your demon would swing for resort is actually perfect submission to me, an experience compapostcard material. Except lifestyle@exepose. rable only to being mauled where we stayed, instead com by a mangy alley cat on heat. of a gorgeous beach, I found Luckily my mother came my path to the sea blocked by a an endless line of hideous boulders that to the rescue, screaming all sorts of exwere being used to stop the coastline pletives at this angry critter who had eroding away. From the off, my dream of latched itself onto my back, and did what a beach holiday had turned into a land- all respectable mothers would do in this situation: punch it square in the face. locked nightmare. So I didn’t get my beach, but at least I got my ‘seaside’ pool for lounging around for weeks on end. Yet, I found “It’s an experience only my Benidorm-like swims and poolside comparable to being naps plagued by what can only be described as a colony of hermit crabs. At mauled by a mangy ally one point a huge crustacean the size of a small table decided to check in to the cat on heat” hotel pool, which was naturally followed So having had all my fun-in-the-sun by bloodshed! With retrospect my mother agrees interrupted or bluntly denied, followed with me, and Sri Lanka has been added by what in this country would result in a to the “it’s a dump” pile and “never go lawsuit from the RSPCA, I wish I could back to again” list of destinations. It’s not find something to recommend this place. hard to see why when the only entertain- What it does have is an airport offering ment to materialise in over a fortnight one-way flights out of Sri Lanka - which was a snake charmer. To a relatively I would wholeheartedly recommend.
>> The kind of beach James wish he’d seen
Scarily Tasty Halloween Recipes Pumpkin Soup THOMAS LING
A soup that’s easy to make and perfect for those pumpkin leftovers. Serves 4-6 Takes 30 mins
Olive oil 1 onion 1-2 cloves of garlic 300g pumpkin flesh 500ml vegetable stock Salt and pepper to taste 1 tsp dried chilli flakes Splash of milk Crème fraiche to serve
1. Dice the pumpkin into small pieces, peel and chop the onion and garlic 2. Heat a splash of olive oil in a saucepan and gently fry onions until soft 3. Add garlic and pumpkin pieces and continue to cook until the pumpkin starts to break down 4. Season with salt, pepper and chilli flakes 5. Add the vegetable stock. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer until the pumpkin is soft enough to blend 6. Blend mixture until smooth then add a splash of milk. Add more milk or stock until it reaches your desired consistency.
Pumpkin Crème Brulée ROHAN VENKATRAMAN
Rich, indulgent, and definitely for the food-savvy student. Time consuming but worth it Serves: 2 Takes: 45 mins prep, 2 hrs 45 cook and chill
1 1/2 cups doule cream 1/2 cup whole milk 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon 2 pinches nutmeg 1 pinch ginger 1 pinch ground cloves 4 egg yolks 1/2 cup granulated sugar 1/4 cup canned pumpkin purée 1/3 cup granulated sugar or raw sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F 2. In a medium saucepan, heat the cream, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it comes to a boil 3. Stop and set aside to infuse for at least 15 mins 4. Whisk the egg yolks and granulated sugar, whilst pouring in the hot cream mixture. Whisk in the pumpkin puree 5. Pour into 4 ramekins and arrange in a hot water bath 6. Bake in the center of the oven until almost set but still a bit soft in the center (30-40 mins) 7. Remove from the water bath and cool for 15 mins 8. Tightly cover each ramekin
with plastic wrap, without the plastic touching the custard 9. Refrigerate for at least 2 hrs, and up to 24 hours 10. When ready to serve, preheat a grill to very hot, or fire up your kitchen torch. Uncover the chilled custards. Pour as much coarse sugar onto the top of 1 of the custards as will fit. Pour off the remaining sugar onto the next custard and repeat until all custards are coated 11. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and grill until the sugar is melted and well browned (1-2 mins). Let cool for 1 min before serving Illustrations: Emily Lunn
| WEEK SIX
How to survive... visiting home Kate Gray offers a guide of how to cope with being homeward bound PLANNING on going home any time soon? Best of luck to you, you brave soul. There’s two ways it can go: either your parents will cling to you like leggings on a comfort-eating snorlax, or they’ll have turned your room into a gym-slash-sex den. Either way, you’ll find yourself longing for the weary indifference of your nearest and dearest at university, who throw you zombie-eyed hungover stares as you ask them why they’re drooling into their cereal. One of the most dramatic changes will be that of nutrition. We’ve all had those evenings where you’ve managed to convince yourself that Cup-a-Soup is a proper meal if consumed from a bowl, or where your cupboard is barer than your own arse at the SSB, and suddenly that furry thing in the back of the fridge is looking quite appetising. In my first year, I found myself standing in the CoOp near my halls, face-to-face with a packet of ham that told me to “treat myself to fine quality food”. I don’t know anyone who would consider ham a delicacy for a start, but more importantly, if I have bought any ham that is a self-proclaimed ‘treat’, I have bought the wrong ham. On a student budget, it needs to be something with a slogan more along the lines of “Well, at least it’s edible! (Now with 50% less eyeballs!)”. However, once you walk through the magical por-
tal that is the front door of your house, you’ll find yourself surrounded by exotica such as branded cereal, chicken that doesn’t come in a can, and meat without a ‘may contain facial features’ warning. You’ll feel like a sultan as your parents force-feed you multivitamins and lard in an effort to make you look vaguely human, but just remember you’ll have to return to the slums of student poverty eventually.
“And that’s how I ended up watching the entire Barbie films. Not proud.” Now for a harsh truth, children: you will not do any work while at home. Do not bother taking eight bags packed tighter than a squirrel’s nostril with books that you won’t even look at, because realistically, when you have a choice between reading an incredibly dull text about how some guy said something mildly important several centuries ago and Sky Movies, I think we all know who’s going to win. And that’s how I ended up watching the entire back catalogue of Barbie films. Not proud. Coming to university has in fact been an eye-opener for me, because it
led to the realisation that the sentence “he’s quite attractive, he’s only missing three teeth” is not a good thing. Returning to a village where the most exciting thing that’s happened recently is Maureen’s hip operation is a dramatic change from Exeter, where it’s not really been an eventful week unless at least two of your housemates have done it on the kitchen table after getting thrown out of Arena for being so drunk that they made Charlie Sheen look like a teetotal Amish man on antibiotics. It can be a bit of a culture shock, so make sure that you’ve begun to acclimatise to returning home from the butthole of Britain by spending the week beforehand turning every conversation into how excited you are about tractors and incest. Again, not proud. I guess my point is that you can’t really win. I’m sure your parents love you very much, but they also love not doing your laundry. Likewise, I’m sure you’re loving the independence of uni – you can say naughty words and stay up past 11! – but sometimes it’s nice to go home and sleep in a bed that’s not made of concrete. Enjoy it while you can, because soon you’ll be a proper adult, having to engage in terrifying things like budgeting, cooking Christmas dinner and responsibility in general. God help us all.
Exeter’s independent eateries
Roseanna Stone gives the low-down of how to avoid chain eating WHEN Exeter students flock back to university we bring with us not only our brains but also our wallets. Spending on shopping, drinking, eating and entertaining ourselves, there is no doubt that we’re quite a big influence on the local economy. Despite this, some Exeter restaurant owners have expressed their dismay that relatively little money sees its way to the local independent businesses, who find themselves struggling in the recession. While chains like Nandos and even Boston Tea Party continue to ride out the economic storm, smaller enterprises are struggling to get by as people tighten their belts. (Yes, sorry to burst the Boston bubble, if you didn’t know, it’s a chain and not just an Exeter thing. There are a whole string of them in the west country. Visit Bath, Worcester or Salisbury and you’ll find one. And Bristol’s got four.) There are of course a couple of independent eateries that do see plenty of student clientele; Harry’s is popular for special occasions and there is, obviously, the legendary Firehouse. I wouldn’t want to criticise Firehouse (all hail the holy Firehouse), it is undoubtedly fantastic for both the belly and the wallet. But its popularity can be its downfall, and getting a table can be an almost impossible task on some nights. There are plenty of other great local places to grab a bite that aren’t so well known about ...
HERBIES BEST FOR VEGGIES
This vegetarian restaurant on 15 North Street offers much more than just vegetables. Tony and Sue have been feeding Exeter with homemade soups, sandwiches and delicious salads for over 20 years. Other dishes, from tagines to nachos, go nicely with a glass of organic wine. An ideal spot for a light lunch.
EL BOCADO BEST FOR TASTEBUDS
To be found on 36-7 South Street, El Bocado has a relaxed and sensuous atmosphere, with the Latin passion really heating up on their live guitar and flamenco nights, which being free are definitely worth a visit. Share a scrumptious paella and a bottle of rioja, or ask the owner, Don, for recommendations on some of the many delectable tapas they have to offer.
THE EXPLODING BAKERY BEST FOR INDULGING
The Exploding Bakery works mostly as a café-catering business, but if you pop along to their HQ by the station, at 1B Central Station Buildings, Queen Street, you’ll be able to try some of their daily delicacies. Whipping up a range of incredible cakes, it’s perfect for a quick
treat or a special occassion. You’ll find classic treats alongside some zanier creations including passion fruit and lemon polenta cakes.
WAIKIKI BEST FOR YOUR WAISTLINE
Advertising themselves as the ‘Healthy Food Choice’ in Exeter Waikiki has proved that good-for-you food doesn’t have to be boring. Offering inventive wraps, salads and smoothies as well as local Dartmoor venison burgers, there’s plenty to choose from. You can even buy frozen yoghurt with 0 percent fat - what more could you want! Tucked away on 39 Sidwell Street, Waikiki is a great place to stop off on the way to or from town.
DINOSAUR CAFE BEST FOR WALLETS
Don’t let the exterior of this place put you off, it might not look like the Ritz but venture inside and the food is sure to impress. Serving Turkish mezze, salads and grills, Dinosaur Café is great for student budgets without compromising on flavour. You can find this local gem on 5 New North Road. Photos: Waikiki Facebook, disocverexeter. net, El Bocado Facebook, guardian.co.uk, nigenella.wordpress.com
Tweets of the week KATIE HALL @katieaprilouise can’t cook cos the cleaners in the kitchen... #cry REBECCA HOWIE @RRHowie If I ever bump into the person in control of the fire alarm test for lafrowda, so help me... HARRY McCARTHY @harrymccarthy Sure my upcoming article about how we should all get over the ‘objectification’ of promiscuous fancy dress will go down well... BETHAN ROBERTS @bethanaroberts Aldi £2.99 wine. Such a treat IMOGEN ROSSI @imogeneugenia Harrison is a smelly building #somanynerds UNIVERSITY OF EXETER @UniofExeter At least we beat our score from last time! Well done Team Exeter #universitychallenge WILL BATEMAN @thewillbateman Saturday nights at Arena often bear a striking resemblance to the cantina scene in Star Wars, some absolute wronguns out in force tonight
RACHEL BANKS @rachelhbanks I love exeter. Low crime rates, it rains all day and night and lafrowda only just stopped smelling of shit. #unilife #exeteruniversity ANNE-MARIE CLIFFORD @ammersc Eating a sandwich I bought from Poundland #hopeilive #studentliving BEN SEWARD @BenSeward2 Loving exeters mention in fresh meat #rahrahrah CHARLOTTE WINTER @CharlotteWinte1 Might just have to have a granny nap at 4pm #StudentLife GRACE BIRCHALL @missgracebirch finished my essay and it’s not even 8 o clock :) #gangnamstyle AGGIE HOLLAND @THEaggieholland COME ON EXETER #UniversityChallenge although technically as it’s Monday you should all be at Arena IONA SWANNELL @ionaswannel Lenny Lemmy Lemmy #lemmy Follow @exeposelstyle to see your tweets in Lifestyle!
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| WEEK SIX
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A Pit of unbridled Passion
Meg Lawrence talks to Passion Pit, delving into the surprisingly dark backdrop to Gossamer
Sat 3rd Nov Indie Club + Brasstronaut (Live) Cavern Mon 5th Nov Ben Howard Colston Hall (Bristol) Wed 7th Nov Beats and Bass Cavern Fri 9th Nov Ugly Duckling Cavern Fri 9th Nov Mr. Scruff Lemmy Sat 10th Nov LA Shark Thekla (Bristol) Wed 14th Nov Jessire Ware Thekla Mon 19th Nov Knife Party o2 Academy Bristol Sat19th Nov DJ Fresh Lemmy Fri 23rd Nov Jack Beats Phoenix Fr 23rd Nov Purity Ring Thekla
Wolf + Lamb vs. PillowTalk Real Love http://tinyurl.com/realpillowtalk The Brooklyn legends come up with this glittery, trippy gem of a track.
GOSSAMER, the latest album from Massachusetts electro-popsters Passion Pit, is the perfect juxtaposition of upbeat pop and intensity. It’s immediately an album for dancing and a must for the iPod, but scratch the surface and it’s also an album that will tear your heart out. Talking to the band’s guitarist and keyboardist Ian Hultiquist, it becomes clear that Gossamer is not just the product of endless grafting and hours of studio work: for frontman, lyricist and founder, Michael Angelakos, it has been a lifeline. It is clear that the past few years haven’t been easy for Michael, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age of 18, and has had spells in hospital ever since. Ian tells me: “The whole record is about the struggles and experiences that he (Michael) has gone through for the past three years.” The last track on the album, ‘Where We Belong’, delineates Michael’s attempted suicide. He sings: “It’s gotten cold in here, but asylum warmth draws near.” While some may consider the prospect of working with such a troubled soul an unattractive proposition, Ian believes
it’s Michael’s experiences that make the chael’s voice matched to theirs. Ian finds album so powerful. “I know that he has the misunderstanding of Michael’s sex altogether amusing. “I’ve always a very poetic sense to him and the found the whole androgyny lyrics are so beautiful on their Check kinda interesting. A lot own but I also like that he’s Exeposé Online thing of people in the world still not really hiding anything for more think that he’s a girl singer. any more,” he explains. interviews, “With Manners the songs audio, video It’s one of those goofy litare pretty dark but you and exclusive tle things that might attract people to the band.” wouldn’t really see it at content Whilst Gossamer has been first whereas with the songs a difficult album for Passion Pit to on Gossamer you hear the lyrics and immediately know what’s happen- produce, don’t underestimate the posiing.’ It’s true, Passion Pit’s first album tives it has brought. The album debuted Manners (2009) is far more lyrically re- at number four on the Billboard 200, and served than Gossamer. This time around, sold 37,000 copies in the week following Michael really is baring his soul in his its release in July. Since then the band music, and that makes the album all the played at Reading and Leeds festivals and are due to kick off their first UK tour more entrancing. in two years this November. Ian says: “He’s not really hiding “I’m really excited to see how the crowd react to the new songs.” anything anymore” Passion Pit thrive off audience reBut the progression between albums actions at gigs. I ask Ian what it’s like isn’t simply a lyrical one. The band de- to witness the positive reaction of the cided to involve Swedish girl group Er- crowd. “It’s great. It’s kind of a strange ato on Gossamer, as they were keen on thing because you don’t always realise enhancing the androgynous sound of Mi- that you’re responsible for the smile on
that person’s face but you have to take a step back from that and realise that it’s a pretty special feeling that not everyone gets to experience.” And with British crowds? “They’re usually a bit tough at first”, he admits, “but [they] usually soften up by the end of the show. Every night’s like a different challenge to win them over. If you are able to win them over you feel like you must’ve done something great.”
“A lot of people still think Michael’s a girl singer” There’s no doubt that Passion Pit continue to do something great - and Gossamer is the proof. Future ambitions, according to Ian, are to continue to do more of the same. “All I can really ask for is that we keep having fun together.” He says of Michael, “he had a really tough year putting this together and it was rough but I do think that, I know that, he really felt he had achieved something once he had finished the album and I think he did too.” The feeling’s mutual.
East India raving company
Henry Coulshed experiences Bollywood Brass Band in all their quasi-Indian splendour and ends up stumbling into their deep groove to find that everyone smells of hemp
Album Reviews KOAN Sound The Adventures of Mr Fox
to a whole new level with its bassy sounds and glitch-heavy melodies, and they have a hip hop art duo’s fondness for emulating the works of their peers, from Teknian, Aphex Twin, Myselor, to even Skrillex. This doesn’t mean they’re afraid of tackling the more mainstream style dubstep and EDM fans so love, such as Kasabian or Ed Sheeran. Their always on-point sound is sure to get any dance floor moving, and live they constistently provide earth shattering selections guaranteed to shake you to your core. Young and disentangled from the genre-specific shackles that can pigeon hole some of the more developed
Ben Murphie, Deputy Editor, reviews the minimalist R’n’B of How to Dress Well’s sophomore and finds his emptiness lacking
You’ve got it KOAN on
Dressed to impress
Acéphale / Weird World
drums and horns, I surveyed the scene: the audience of hippies, some cleaned up over the years into respectable Guardian readers, some maintaining a crusty charm. The ten-piece band themselves, jiving away in front of Bollywood projections, mostly fitted the aging flower-child demographic. My ears warmed up as we wormed forward. This wasn’t the Bollywood music I’m used to hearing - a bit slick, processed even. This had a heavy, heavy groove. As I submitted and started cutting loose, I recognised the source: the sousaphone, that giant shoulder horn giving out deep bass. Supplemented by four percussionists – one on electronics, one standard kit, one tabla, one dhol (a harsh sounding festival drum) – the rhythm section was tight and powerful. As the horns took the lead, I was struck by the dynamic similarity to good ska, only with predictable offbeat replaced by polyrhythms and bounding funk. At the end of the first set they employed a favourite ska tactic by medleying into a cover of Gnarls Barkley’s ‘Crazy’. When guest singer Rafaqat Ali Khan joined the band things took a jazzier turn. His improvisational skill spurred the
music to frantic heights as he challenged players to mimic his melodies, each time building it up until the band swept everything into the groove. Traditional Indian singing often involves virtuosic wailing, but of a piercing, genuinely emotive style a world away from the warblings of histrionic X-factorites. Rafaqat soared one minute, then jabbed, jibbered, yelled, all the while gesturing in time with his voice. At one point he did a diving forward roll.
“At one point during the show, the singer did a diving forward roll” By the time the band’s second set was in full swing, everyone was dancing hard. As the wise group Funkadelic once said, “free your mind and your ass will follow”, something self-conscious young crowds could learn from these old hippies. It gave me a special kick to respond to the surprising changes in the songs, like when a slab of brass would throw everyone off and we’d have to slink back into the rhythm. It was a joyous time, and I proceeded to get lost in it.
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ONE of the problems that plagues contemporary music is the brevity of its genre classifications, and how those same genre fans love to fight toothand-nail over which square peg falls into which triangular slot. If someone asked me to put a name to the eclectic, scratchy electronic beats these two upand-coming youngsters from Bristol churn out at such a prolific pace, I’d be honestly stuck between a literal rock and a hard place. Are they glitch-hoppers or neuro-hoppers? EDM or hip hop? Certainly their music sounds vibrant and unusual. Their ‘The Adventures of Mr Fox’ EP takes modern electronic music
How to Dress Well Total Loss
RUSHING into the Phoenix auditorium, I immediately felt that The Bollywood Brass Band were going to put on a good show. As my ears adjusted to the storm of
Azad Nalbandian sorts the EDM wheat from the brostep chaff and comes out with Bristol-based KOAN
29 october 2012 |
THEY say you can tell a lot about a man from his appearance. Following 2010’s well-received Love Remains, one man R’n’B orchestra Tom Krell ups production quality and chooses to wrap himself in tight beats, flowing ambient synths and fragile falsetto vocals for the second How to Dress Well album, Total Loss. Musically, Krell purveys the kind of forward thinking R’n’B that has seen the explosion of artists such as The Weeknd and Frank Ocean, yet rather than employ the anxious melodrama that these acts successfully market, Total Loss relies much more on understated ambient sonics to make its point. Many of the songs here operate around a formula of a layered and reverb-heavy vocal line mixed with a simple keyboard riff and looped continuously over digital beats. The results of this work best in songs such as ‘Running Back’, a sweet and relaxed groove,
smothered in breathy R’n’B whispers with an echoing minimalism that recalls The xx. However, this approach can become tiresome with tracks such as ‘How Many?’ with Krell sounding like he is doing his best Bon Iver impression from the bottom of a very deep well. Yet there is more to Krell’s sonic abilities than initially meets the eye. The sample that opens “Say my name or say whatever” is taken from the opening lines of Streetwise, a hard-hitting 1984 documentary that chronicles the lives of homeless teenagers on the streets of Seattle. A boy who finds cheap enjoyment jumping into rivers here comments how “the only bad part about flying is having to come back down.” This may be intended as a reference to Krell’s own struggle with depression and the loss of certain friends and family members. This is most keenly felt on ‘Set It Right’, with its gargantuan synths and list of loved
names within dance, their appeal lies within the seeming spontaneity of their sound.
“I couldn’t put a name to the eclectic, scratchy electronic beats these two produce at such a prolific pace’ However the polarised fanbase chooses to describe the music of this prodigious pairing, it’s impossible to deny that their work takes dubstep to a whole new level, particularly in their newer mixes and EPs: ‘The Adventures of Mr Fox’, from ‘80s Fitness’ to ‘Introvert’, will satisfy even the most jaded listeners with its fresh take on glitch and acoustic, and ‘Eastern Thug’, perhaps the most divergent and ones that Krell sombrely chants over the music. Other surprises appear in ‘World I Need You, Won’t Be Without You (Proem)’ an instrumental that employs a beautifully affecting string section reminiscent of serial Wes Anderson collaborator Mark Mothersbaugh, indeed, it sounds like the soundtrack to a particularly poignant moment in an Anderson film. We also find some upbeat and clever funk in ‘& It Was U’, a catchy Prince-esque track built around looped finger clicks and a surprisingly passionate vocal take. Yet despite moments of promising brilliance, the quiet reserve in the vocals and production of Total Loss can occasionally come across as unattractive. It feels like Krell has sacrificed a certain degree of bombast and swagger that makes his competitors so attractive. Where angst flows so freely from someone
singularly cool piece in the entire album, packs§ a hard-hitting wallop great for the dancer in all of us, mixed with an overarching atmosphere of peace and tranquility, which can be hard to find in a genre saturated with heavy drops and the ‘sickest’ of beats. Their most recent release, the ‘Independent Mix’ available on their website, comes loaded with a tantalisingly sparse interview that hints at greater things to come; using small samples from their huge body of work, it manages to epitomise their unique and tasteful brand of individual 100bpm sound. If you’re finding yourself a bit put-off by electroswing, brostep, basic bass or the world’s recent fascination with K-pop, be sure to check these two promising nationals out. They’ve got nowhere to go but up. such as The Weeknd frontman Abel Tesfaye, Krell’s voice often feels as if it is blushing in the corner of the R’n’B party, nervously looking at Michael Jackson’s best efforts but never daring to equal or surpass them. Whilst Total Loss marks a promising continuation of How to Dress Well’s work, it has yet to reach the heights that Tom Krell could be capable of.
| WEEK SIX
This town needs putting on the map Tom Oberst & Will Platt invite veteran Oxford math rockers This Town Needs Guns to play a live show to a global online audience and 40 people in a hot sweaty Exeter living room...
WITH the success of the Boiler Room, live streaming has become a much more mainstream way to watch music. Last Friday, we tried our hand at it, broadcasting This Town Needs Guns to around 200 people across the world, in our living room... Hidden away in a corner of Exeter, 40 people squash into the room to hear Tim Collis’ intricately woven melodies and nostalgic musings, playing songs from their new album coming out in January. It’s packed wall to wall, and boiling hot on account of the windows shut to appease the neigbours, but this obviously doesn’t seem to prove a problem for the hundreds of fans watching online. In total garnering over 1000 hits, the show proved to be a huge success.
“40 people squash into the room to hear their intricately woven melodies and nostalgic musings” When most of the physical attendees have filed out, I catch the band for some comment, only to find them determinedly ironic and surrealistically deadpan. Settling into my housemate’s du-
vet, the band (Henry, Chris and Tim) from one Mr J. Bieber - probably. As far as playing live is concerned, introduce themselves as Gerald, Marvin and, err, Tim, respectively, before the Exeter show is only the second on proceeding to stutter through tongue- a 24-date UK tour, which will be folin-cheek lies about their new album, lowed by travels to both Russia and past band members and our mutual Germany early next year: “We’re going friend, Fun Chris (Baker - their touring to the Motherland in February, which is pretty cool!” chirps Tim. “And the guitarist). Allegedly made out of silk Fatherland as well.” and called The Weaving, their Enjoy Having a similar new album is due to come our musical style to Kinsellaout on the “pretty legit” esque math rock Sargent House record musings? Check out bands like CapN’ label sometime next our show on Xpression Jazz and Joan of January, says Henry, FM next Monday 6-7. Join Arc, they have or “whenever the developed a huge world is ready”, rethe discussion and listen fan base stateformulates Gerald. again on facebook.com/ side (shown by It’s taken much longer XmediaMusicShow the huge number of for this sophomore reAmericans tuned in to lease to be fully written the live stream). “It’s a big and ready, especially considering they were set to release an album compliment,” weeps Chris, “but it’s two years ago, before the departure of crazily frustrating whenever you post their lead singer. But when I ask, all anything online and just get a hundred I can muster from them is a drawled people saying ‘come to America!’ and play on words. “Animals [the name of one lone guy saying ‘come to Chile!” It their 2008 debut] tend to reproduce seems that this band really is a labour themselves, but this one we had to do of love. Tim’s beautifully complex yet ourselves”, muses Henry from below melodic guitar riffs have earned them a cult status around the world, yet they the covers. That being said, they promise at still all work day jobs to pay the bills. least 100 per cent more Cher - obvi- Fingers crossed their new album frees ously Animals has been paying the bills them from the shackles of the nine to - and an extra-special guest appearance five.
THE FIRING RANGE *
Back in 2002, Madonna set the Bond intros bar at a quasi-apocalyptic level when she insulted the ears and IQs of Bond film enthusiasts with the expectedly piss-poor pop trash ‘Die Another Day’. Cornell, Keys and White have since wreaked havoc in the slaughterhouse; now it is the turn of everyone’s favourite singer who we’re legally obliged to think is fantastic and beautiful: Adele. Unfortunately I can’t review her song ‘Skyfall’ because I couldn’t make it to the end without drifting off into an emotionally devoid abyss, driven to despair by the tedium of the latest 007 pre-amble bore-fest. Sorry.
Adele Skyfall Adele’s effort feels like a Bond theme, but also feels like a Eurovision entry. Lyrically atrocious, the song relies on Adele’s languorous voice to heave it towards a dull whimpering climax. As expected, the stirring bass and ascending chords are there, yet the dramatic explosion fails to ignite. Instead, the pondering melody fizzles out: nothing really happens. Skyfall is predictably formulaic: Adele’s mature performance creates a lingering atmosphere to get you in the mood for 007 but, crucially, lacks Bond’s seductive style and dangerous substance. Overwhelmingly banal, the record does the job; it is stirred, not shaken.
Local Natives Breakers
Since Local Natives’ debut Gorilla Manor in 2009, which catapulted the California-based group into comparisons with the likes of Vampire Weekend and Fleet Foxes, hipsters have waited with baited breath for any upcoming projects from the psychfolk masters. Finally the wait is over. The first single for their new album ‘Hummingbird’ (out in January on French Kiss), Breakers, certainly doesn’t disappoint. A soaring chorus shimmers in anthemic style, perhaps in homage to tour-mates Arcade Fire, reflecting the tangible sense that this is a band whose sound has matured in its absence. The trademark Local Natives production and drums are still heavily prevalent, providing the perfect backdrop to Kelcey Ayer’s vocals.
Back in 2007 Mika captured the freedom and joy of a pre-credit crunch world with theatrical falsetto-pitched songs about a certain American actress and fat birds. After years of obscurity the scaling tenor is back, but this time in a subdued form – it’s as if Mika had a lobotomy to dull him down to the dreary reality of debt, cuts and short-term payday lenders. Celebrate is the sedated result. Devoid of characteristic flamboyant madness, the record fails to convince listeners that everything “will be OK”. The synth-heavy bass lines sound like Daft Punk on sleeping pills, while Pharrell just sounds daft. Reeking of forced fun, there’s not much to celebrate here.
ANTHONY PRODROMOU, MUSIC EDITOR
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Newsreel Boyle wins racism libel suit Comedian Frankie Boyle has won over £54,000 in damages in a lawsuit against the Daily Mirror. Never one to shy away from controversy, the Scottish funnyman sued the tabloid for calling him a racist. Boyle donated the damages money to charity.
Pfister in Avengers storm Wally Pfister, the cinematographer responsible in part for The Dark Knight Rises, has lashed out at the “illogical form of storytelling” of rival action film Avengers Assemble. Pfister, who is currently working on his own directorial debut, called Joss Whedon’s box office smash “an appalling film”.
Colbert set for Hobbit cameo Sources close to the host of The Colbert Report have confirmed that the famous chat show host is set to make a cameo appearance in one of the films in Peter Jackson’s upcoming Hobbit trilogy. The first of the films is set to land at the end of the year.
Hugh Grant to make another rom-com In a definitely non-financially motivated career move, Love Actually star Hugh Grant has reportedly agreed to make an as of yet unnamed rom-com with director Marc Lawrence. Grant is set to play a failing screenwriter who takes a teaching job in an East Coast college.
Louis Doré, Screen Editor, reviews the latest installment in the franchise with a license to thrill
WHEN making a Bond film, there’s always pressure to fulfill the criteria associated with the hit franchise: spectacular action, a sinister villain, and an intriguingly seductive girl to name but a few. Sam Mendes must have felt this pressure, especially when you consider that Skyfall coincides with the 50th anniversary of Dr. No. Thankfully, instead of painting a dull homage to the franchise, Mendes has had the audacity to draw outside the lines. Don’t worry, it’s not a big change to the blunt instrument of MI6 you know and love, but Mendes has introduced dashes of artistry, wit and heart that were absent in Quantum of Solace. The first ten minutes are electric. Daniel Craig tentatively edges his way into a dark corridor, the only glimmer of light falling upon his bloodshot eyes and furrowed brow, instantly introducing you to the weary Bond you will accompany for the rest of the film. From the opening scene, we see that he’s a Bond who’s losing touch, not just with his skills, but with his enthusiasm and his love for the job. M (played by Judi Dench, who unashamedly steals the film) is distinctly machiavellian as
she risks Bond’s and his fellow agents’ lives more and more to tie up loose ends. She comes under increasing political
“The first ten minutes are electric” pressure as the film goes on (due to the loss of a list of agent names), to the extent that she even comes under public inquiry – think MI6 meets Leveson. This opens a rift between her and Bond, as she becomes responsible for his brush with death in the opening scene, a dynamic which evolves to an emotional level unrivalled in any previous Bond film. The action is frankly astounding as Craig leaps from mechanical digger to a mutilated train, having already chased the enemy on motorbike over the rooftops of Istanbul – yes, rooftops. Mendes’s precise eye for a shot combined with Craig’s amazing technical stunt skills (at one point he easily dispatches five enemies at close quarters without a weapon within a second, more than convincingly) suits the grittier nature of this film – you feel it all. The sheer physicality of the stunts combined with the earthiness of the explosions make you feel each punch and burst of fire in your navel, so much so that when Bond is subjected to a seductive straight razor shave later on, you fear for his life as blade scrapes across cheek. In fact, the whole film’s attention to detail is incredible, not just in the exquisite soundtrack that unashamedly
manipulates your emotions, but in the little moments on screen that help you live the film. Whether it’s noticing M’s slightly askew teardrop necklace as she panics at each new revelation, or the condescending nature of scotch being handed to her in talks of her resignation, Mendes delicately shows rather than pushes details in your face, a welcome change from the obvious nature of QoS (yawn). The eye for environment is also exquisite; the bleak grey streets of London match M’s countenance, and the murky fog of Scotland depicts a last hideout for a broken MI6, all captured in remarkable detail and care, creating a genuine visual treat. Speaking of visual ecstasy, the opening credits are delicious - if I could hang them on loop in a frame, I would. All this artistry, however, is useless without a convincing villain and plot, which are both conveniently supplied by Javier Bardem’s chillingly touching depiction of an ex-agent back for revenge. His opening scene instils him as perhaps one of the most subversive and terrifying Bond villains ever. On the surface he is assured, flirtatious, friendly, even. His true nature as a sinister villain taking glee in superiority is quickly and brutally unveiled, however, and you soon forget the humorous back and forth between himself and Bond that had previously reassured you so much. Indeed, the dialogue is one of this film’s strengths, not so much in the pre-scripted one-liners (which are still more hit than miss), but more in the emotional exchanges between Dench
and Craig. The witty exchanges are also insightful, Craig noticeably commenting that it is a “brave new world” having been introduced to the ingenious new Q (ingenious in this case referring to both character and actor Ben Whishaw), as the new MI6 struggles with new staff and an evolving new threat - cyberterrorism. While this film continues the evolution of the Bond series from continued iterations of a formula based around cheesy one-liners and boyish gadgets to a significantly more poignant series based around Bond’s ever changing characterisation and discussions of what resource drives the world, one can’t help but notice a few pitfalls it fails to swerve. The character of Severine is a good if limited character sketch, simply due to a lack of screen time. Similarly, while Raoul Silva (Bardem) is an incredibly adept villain, capable of launching tube trains at Bond, he remains vengeful on a solely psychopathic level, rather than causing disaster on such a great scale as previous instalments; Bond isn’t saving the world, he’s saving M and the administration of MI6. Skyfall is a fantastic Bond film, but not for the reasons that previously validated the franchise. Craig is an emotional, tortured soul of a Bond; the nonchalant days of Brosnan are long gone. Skyfall, with its nuance, drama, and stars of the franchise’s future, definitely takes the Bond franchise in a different direction; I for one like where we’re headed.
Suits, sex, and shooting baddies: the men who have played Bond Owen Keating, Screen Editor, takes you through the six men who have been 007 SEAN CONNERY - This silk-throated Scotsman is, for many, the iconic James Bond. Maybe it was the athleticism, maybe it was the accent, maybe it was the handsomeness, but men wanted to be him and women wanted to be with him. Tens of thousands of fan letters a week don’t lie; Connery is arguably the greatest Bond ever.
GEORGE LAZENBY - In stark contract to his predecessor, Lazenby’s forgettable tenure as 007 was marred by controversy. After being spotted in a hairdressers, and winning the role in part by accidentally punching a stuntman, Lazenby’s performance in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service was less than spectacular.
ROGER MOORE - The longest serving Bond, Moore made a total of seven films for the franchise. Moore is inextricably linked to Bond’s 70s reboot to a suave, enigmatic playboy, in order to fit with what it was deemed the audience wanted. It certainly worked, with 62 percent of people voting him to be the best Bond in a 2004 Academy Awards poll.
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Pierce, pistols and Pussy Galore Payne, Tom Payne, Editor, talks all things Bond liantly atmospheric Goldeneye. And the less said about Dr. Christmas Jones (“I thought Christmas only comes once a year”) from that one with the John Cleese as Q, the better. If there’s one thing you can say about every James Bond film since 1962, it’s that they each take an aspect of grounding Bond formula and experiment with it. From glitzy, camp gadgetry and lavish set pieces, to iconic villains, ridiculously-named Bond girls and memorable one-liners – all 23 Bond films have played with these elements, to varying degrees of success. The trouble is they often end up either far too shaken or much too stirred. Recently, Daniel Craig’s turn in the hot seat as 007 has been characterised by a return to the grittier, more character-driven roots of Ian Fleming’s original character – and not an invisible car in sight. As winning and refreshing as it is, it’s easy to forget that this interpretation is quite far from the winning formula that made the early films so popular. When it comes to Bond films with all the elements and none of the excess, Goldfinger triumphs. Elements of the film haven’t aged particularly well
IF there’s ever been a series of films so various and changeful in quality, it’s James Bond. How, for instance, can we forget A View to a Kill – that sad one from the 80s, in which a 60-year-old Roger Moore spends about two hours chasing a vapid and seemingly needless Grace Jones down ski-slopes and gold mines to the tune of ‘California Girls’.
“If there’s one thing you can say about every James Bond film since 1962, it’s that they each take an aspect of grounding Bond formula and experiment with it.” Or even the bloated Die Another Day (Look! Bond in a new Millennium!), among the most unbearably selfparodying and frankly boring entries in the series’ illustrious history – and Brosnan’s fourth stint as Bond, which began seven years earlier with the bril-
(dodgy rear-projection is one thing, but let’s not forget the scene in which Bond seems to rape Pussy Galore). But Goldfinger achieves what almost every succeeding Bond film didn’t. It has a winning balance of dark, clever humour, even during Bond’s greatest moments of peril, along with memorable deaths, gadgets, a great car, Bond girls, and perhaps one of the most iconic images in twentiethcentury cinema. And that’s what Bond is all about. The Bond series has come a long way – but in these days of Nolan and Bourne, and while we’re all still recovering from Die Another Day, those behind the current generation of Bond films would do well to remember the one that seemed to get it all the James Bond elements right, and remains today a seminal entry in the series’ 50 year history. Goldfinger also carries one of the best one-liners in the history of cinema, in my opinion. As Bond electrocutes a gun-wielding assailant in a bath filled with water, he quips: “Shocking. Positively shocking.” It’s okay to have fun with a Bond film every once in a while.
Dale James’ most deadly villains 3. Auric Goldfinger (Goldfinger) Auric Goldfinger owns what is perhaps the biggest ego in the entire 007 universe, this is a man so intent on being the centre of attention that he plans to break into Fort Knox and blow up all of the gold bullion in there. Why? Because it would mean that his own gold would shoot up in price and bring people clamouring to him, yeesh… On top of making deathby-laser-table fashionable he can also be thanked for the immortal retort of, “You expect me to talk?” “ *Laughing* No Mister Bond, I expect you to die!” 2. Le Chiffre (Casino Royale) How does one go about making a high-stakes poker game more enthralling and tension-filled than a fierce gun fight with copious explosions and stunts? Le Chiffre did it, and he did it well! The duel between Daniel Craig’s 007 and Mads Mikkelsens’ villain, played out on the poker table, is a definite highlight of the
series thus far. While not packing an overwhelming physical presence he still knows how to hit 007 where it hurts… any selfrespecting man knows what I am talking about here… the horror… 1. Ernst Stavro Blofeld (From Russia With Love / Thunderball / You Only Live Twice / On Her Majesty’s Secret Service / Diamonds Are Forever / For Your Eyes Only)… WOW! The mortal enemy of 007 and the definitive ‘super villain’, Blofeld helms the nefarious SPECTRE organization that pulled the strings of other villains during so many 007 missions. He is best known for making another villainous trope fashionable: Lurking in the shadows on a moveable chair whilst stroking an equally evil-looking cat. The man that tormented 007 for over two decades, the man who constantly slipped through 007’s grasp, and the man who murdered 007’s wife just to make a statement – Ernst Stavro Blofeld: number one.
From Robert J. Harris with Love Our writer, Mr Harris, armed with a license to thrill, delves into the service history of 007 nation’s greatest spy on our screens. Just trying to visualise a world where cinema’s ultimate male lead and kingpin of British culture does not exist only results in a strong desire for a dry martini and a nap in a dark room. It is strange to think that a series so beloved and influential was once written off as “too British” by Hollywood film studios. Discounting American actor Barry Nelson as ‘Jimmy Bond’ in a television adaptation of Casino Royale, Scottish Actor Sean
WHAT is there to say about James Bond? It has been 50 years since he made his first great leap into film, but it’s difficult to imagine a time where we did not have the
TIMOTHY DALTONDalton synonymous with a broodier type of Bond film; the Colwyn Bay born actor often derided the “fantasy” of the films of his successors. The newfound grittiness he brought to the role was relatively successful, as his first Bond film, The Living Daylights, is the fourth most commercially successful Bond movie of all time.
Connery was the first to step up to the role in 1962. When presented with Connery, Ian Fleming soon had his doubts. However, when Dr. No hit cinemas in 1962, it was obvious not just to Fleming, but to everyone, that Connery had all the charisma, style and physical grace to transform Bond into a film legend. From Russia with Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965) and You Only Live Twice (1967) not only stand today as some of the best Bond films ever produced, but among the greatest films of all time. With S e a n Connery providing such a memorable performance that he is still heavily regarded as the ultimate Bond, it was certainly going to be a difficult task to find a suitable replacement. And indeed it was. Connery’s replacement, Australian actor George Lazen-
PIERCE BROSNAN - The Bond of my own childhood, Brosnan bought a tangible sultriness to the role. Always beautifully shod and immaculately groomed, Brosnan has been credited with bringing more psychological depth to a character that some critics had previously considered to be wooden. Obviously, except Die Another Day, which was AWFUL.
by, appeared in just one film, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969), before abandoning his seven-film contract. Reception was mixed; despite looking closer to Fleming’s original Bond, he simply could not match the acting of his predecessor. This resulted in Connery returning to the role in the classic Diamonds are Forever (1971). With no time spared, Roger Moore donned the suit and Rolex-watch in his first film Live and Let Die (1973). Moore would go on to become the most seasoned Bond, producing seven films over twelve years before retiring from the series after A View to a Kill (1985) at the age of 58. While producing a charming performance throughout his career as Bond, the films failed to win any real critical acclaim. Timothy Dalton was originally planned by Fleming to take the reins from Connery when he eventually quit the role, but being just 22 at the time, Dalton rejected the offer. Now that Moore had retired, he now had his chance. Only two films, The Living Daylights (1987) and License to Kill (1989), were ever made with Dalton as
Bond. Each received a lukewarm reaction, and whilst Dalton was solid in his acting, critics and fans were in agreement that he lacked a certain something which prevented him reaching the heights of Connery and Moore. After a six year hiatus, Bond returned in Goldeneye (1995) with Pierce Brosnan as the lead. In spite of calls for series to remain a “relic of the past”, the film was a critical and box office success and rejuvenated interest in the franchise. Brosnan provided a cocky appeal which won him many fans, but by the time his last film Die Another Day (2002), some found Bond had become slightly too cheesy and interest dropped. When Daniel Craig entered as 007 in Casino Royale (2006), it was instantly declared a classic, and for some, the best Bond film ever made. Craig provided a darker, tougher Bond and successfully brought much needed emotional depth to the character. Quantum of Solace (2008) may have disappointed many, but it thankfully looks like Skyfall is on track to be another winner.
DANIEL CRAIG - The current possessor of the role, Craig has brought steely resolve and an absurdly chiselled jaw to the role, while still managing to portray a Bond that has not only been hurt, but seems to increasingly have qualms about hurting others. If Craig continues his current form, a legacy awaits.
Red Carpet Review
XTV’s Chris Davies talks films, festivals, and being a Simon Mayo fanboy From the opening night gala of Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie to the closing night screening of Mike Newell’s Great Expectations, the 56th
On The Road Director: Walter Salles Cast: Kristen Stewart, Viggo Mortensen, Amy Adams (15) 124 mins WALTER SALLES’ long awaited adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s brilliant novel On The Road is a promising film, but unfortunately one that you can’t help but think is missing something. Sam Riley plays Sal Paradise, the frustrated writer whose life changes irrevocably upon the arrival of Dean Moriarty, in an absolutely phenomenal performance from Garrett Hedlund. Armed with a mismatched group of wandering free spirits, Sal goes on the road with Dean, constantly scribbling notes for a yet unthought of work, taking off when and where they want to. The film has lots of big names; Kirsten Dunst puts in a great performance as the long-suffering wife of Dean, and Viggo Mortensen has a cameo
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annual BFI London Film Festival has seen one of the most diverse and exciting line-ups in recent history. This year I was fortunate enough to cover the final five days of the festival with XTV’s film programme, Cameo. In those few days we attended ten film screenings, three red carpets, a press conference, and interviewed a number of filmmakers. Personal highlights include standing a foot away from Ben Affleck and Bryan Cranston at the gala screening of Argo, watching the Rolling Stones walk the red carpet for Crossfire Hurricane, and interviewing the director of In Bruges, Martin McDonagh, at the premiere of his new film, Seven
Psychopaths. This may sound like any film fan’s dream come true – and it was – but it wasn’t without some work. With most press screenings starting at 9am in Leicester Square, and some evening screenings ending around 11pm, it was a tiring few days. The red carpets involved a lot of waiting around to get those golden moments of footage or an interview; not much fun when it’s raining! In between events, we would write our reviews and find locations in which to film them, battling the autumnal weather, the noise and bustle of London to get the shots we needed before heading to another event. Nonetheless, sitting alongside journalists (including a personal hero, Simon Mayo) while proudly wearing our press passes, seeing A-list stars on the red-carpet, and enjoying a wide variety of new films was a thrill like no other. Reporting on the festival has been one of the greatest experiences of my life, and I’m so grateful for the Cameo team for making it an unforgettable few days.
as the eccentric Old Bull Lee. Yet the other characters fail to shine. Kristen Stewart is disappointing as MaryLou, failing to display much of her wild energy, and Tom Sturridge as Carlo Marx just falls a bit flat. The problem with the film isn’t that it’s bad – it’s visually stunning, and the film doesn’t shy away from the drug taking, homoerotic undertones and sex. There’s real chemistry between Riley and Hedlund, and this relationship was the only one that I could believe
in; their final exchange is almost heartbreaking. The main episodes in the book are all included and the actual journey taking transcribes well on screen as the audience gaze out of the car window at the country speeding by. But the film lacks the wild energy and spark of the novel - Kerouac’s work was so powerful precisely because it was written in such an urgent, impassioned way. Salles had an almost impossible task in turning this book into a film, and it’s a very good attempt. But somewhere the story was left stuck on the road, still searching for the beat.
Take 3: Chris Davies’ top LFF picks Argo
Director: Ben Affleck 120 mins (15) Set in 1980, Argo tells the incredible true story of a CIA agent’s attempt to rescue six American citizens hiding in Tehran after the US embassy is overrun by persuading them to pose as a Canadian film crew. Superbly directed by Affleck, who balances tension and humour to perfection, this is a sensational thriller complete with terrific performances.
Director: Brett Morgen 111 mins (15) Charting the history of the Rolling Stones, Crossfire Hurricane is a brilliantly edited documentary mixing rare archive footage with narration
Nigellissima Presenter: Nigella Lawson Mondays at 20:30 and available on iPlayer BBC Two MOST of you have no doubt heard of Nigella Lawson, seen one of her cookery shows, or at the very least witnessed a parody on some sketch show. I fall in to the latter category, having never watched one of her shows before, until last week. Nigellisima is the name the BBC has chosen for Nigella’s current foray into culinary delights with a focus on Italian foods. Before I continue I want to say outright that this show is absolutely fantastic, in fact it’s positively hilarious. The only way I can really get across to you the sheer brilliance of the show is to give you a quote from the first 30 seconds of the fourth episode. “I have an exuberant passion for a particular food stuff that some people find utterly revolting, but that’s how it is, what gives some people pain can give the rest of us exquisite pleasure and I have everything to feed my late-night need in this black box.” If that’s not the best introduction to a television show I don’t know what is. If not for the word “food stuff” the
from the band themselves. The film contextualises the ‘Stones music against the period in which it was created, forming an enjoyable and endlessly fascinating insight into one of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll bands ever.
Director: Martin McDonagh 110 mins (15) Martin McDonagh’s follow up to In Bruges unites an incredible cast in a violent and hilarious film about a Hollywood script-writer and his psychopathic friends. Although great fun, at times it is overly self-referential, some characters are underdeveloped, and its use of flashbacks and fantasy sequences gives the film an uneven feel. show could easily have taken a very different direction. As it is the word still struggles to anchor the raw gesticulating sexuality of her speech in the pleasant world of home cooking. I can see how pleasure can be got from food, but pain? I don’t know many who would consider a McDonalds sadomasochistic. I won’t even delve into what Nigella’s black box could contain that satisfies her “late-night need”. Oh and of course Nigella is wearing nothing but a black silk dressing gown, just to really drive the point across. This woman would have given the most of cast of the Carry On series heart attacks. Strangely, it’s not just the suggestive sentences, or the sultry delivery of the show that add to its irrepressible sexual undertones, it’s the editing. A simple and innocent action in the kitchen becomes incredibly uncomfortable in the world of Nigellisima. The viewers are treated to lingering shots of cream whipping, meringue crushing and chocolate drizzling that all last just a little too long and have just a little too much emphasis on vigorous movement and cringe worthy sound to be unintentional. This is quite literally food porn and it’s also THE funniest and most quotable cooking show I have ever seen. Give it a watch for me. JONATHAN JONES
As Hot As... the hots and nots of this week’s film news DONALD TRUMP - Hairstyle pioneer and businessman Donald Trump lost his challenge to block the BBC’s screening of a feature length film about his alleged bullying of the residents of Menie, the site of his golf resort.
Tom Bond, Books
THE BBC - Once the most revered television institution in the world, the Beeb has come under intense media scrutiny for its handling of the Jimmy Saville controversy. A wide reaching enquiry is now underway.
CEEFAX - It’s the end of an era. Ceefax, the world’s first teletext information service, has been retired by the BBC after 38 years of pixelly service.
HOMELAND – Exeposé Screen’s favourite TV show has been commissioned for a third series. Clare Danes and her worryingly varied facial expressions will be back in late 2013.
LENA DUNHAM – Long-established queen of cool Dunham has brought her hit TV series Girls to the UK. Telling the story of four twentysomethings from New York, the show is unflinchingly realistic and brutally funny at every turn.
James Bond, 007
IN ASSOCIATION WITH
WHAT IS FRUNI ? Beginning this year, Exeter is joining a group of universities who are going “free-range” by signing up to Fruni, a social enterprise initiative aimed at sharing the most inspirational research and teaching on offer at universities. There are lectures going on across our campus that would easily interest people outside the discipline they are designed for, and research that needn’t be contained in only one academic subject or college, so why not share these? We’ve gathered the support of 100 people across the uni who believe in this venture, and now we can start nominating academics who we want to hear speaking about their special area in an open lecture. Once someone is nominated, everyone can see their portfolio and vote for them if they are interested in discovering more about their topic. The top 5 will then be part of a series of talks in term two, with the Guild hosting students across the university, as well as staff and alumni, for an evening lecture in the Alumni Auditorium with a chance to chat with the speaker and other guests straight afterwards about what you’ve learnt. To find out more and discover what’s happening in Exeter go to: www.fruni.org.uk/universities/university-exeter
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We pick our top 5 spy novels 1. The Thirty-Nine Steps - John Buchan Set in a world on the brink of war, it begins in May 1914 with Richard Hannay returning from South Africa to London. He immediately finds himself entangled in a struggle for the safety of British intelligence. An everyman hero, Hannay is beset on all sides by spies, the police and above all, the threat of war. 2. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy John le Carré Le Carré’s novels are the closest you can get to the real world of high-stakes spying. Like Fleming he worked in intelligence before beginning his writing career, lending his work a fascinating authenticity. Unlike Fleming, there are few bombastic set-pieces or caricature villains. Instead the reader is shown just how real and terrifying the world of intelligencegathering can be. 3. Casino Royale - Ian Fleming Casino Royale deserves its place on this list for being the first book in Ian Fleming’s now legendary James Bond series. His suave and sophisticated creation may have found greater fame on the screen, but he is an iconic character in his own right. Fleming’s words flow like liquid gold, conjuring an opulent and captivating world. 4. The Secret Agent - Joseph Conrad Conrad’s tale is a world away from that of the glamorous, Bond-esque spies. His anti-hero, Verloc, is a rather incompetent double-agent with dubious morals. Exploring themes of anarchism and terrorism it still has an emotional resonance today. 5. Restless - William Boyd This thriller follows the life of a British spy, the Russian emigree Eva, and her daughter Ruth, who leads a more domestic life. A fast-paced and powerful adventure story, it is written in a detached way that removes any trace of emotion from the cutthroat world of espionage.
Higson puts the Bond back into books Bond, Tom Bond and Emily Lunn, Books Editors, interview Charlie Higson on the Bond legacy IT’S been a long and memorable 50 years for the James Bond film franchise, but in the new millennium its reputation was flagging. As part of its reinvention, Charlie Higson published the first of his celebrated Young Bond series, Silverfin, in 2005, reintroducing a new generation to the man with the license to kill.
“Fleming didn’t ever intend James Bond to be a hero. He’s not meant to be someone we aspire to” Higson himself is a man with many identities, making his name as a writer and actor in the brilliant 90s sketch show The Fast Show. Before that he was in a series of punk bands, writing several adult novels and producing and directing Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased). James Bond is one of the most iconic literary spies of all time, casting a long and indefinably cool shadow over every spy novel that followed. With fans that attacked Craig simply for being a blonde Bond, surely it was a risky move to takeover such a well-loved series? For Higson, there was no debate: “the chance to write a James
Bond book was too good an offer to turn down.” Ian Fleming Publications approached him because “they were looking for someone who knew the Fleming books well.” The aim of the series was to reclaim Bond’s literary legacy and “remind people that Bond started in books.” Higson also had three young boys when he was approached so he “wanted to write for them.” Since then he has found it “fulfilling when you get the feedback that kids who don’t usually read have enjoyed one of my books and gone on to read more.” Higson thinks that “the reason Bond has remained at the top is that they’ve had to keep reinventing him for a new generation.” In this light, his Young Bond series makes perfect sense and has more than justified its existence by being beautifully written, inventively plotted and populated by a host of memorable heroes and villains. Higson’s aim was to give his young readers a “sense of adventure - we tend to be quite overprotective of them so it was fun to write about an age where children would have more freedom.” Like most people, Higson’s introduction to the character came from the films: “growing up in the 60s it was very hard not to be a James Bond fan.” When he discovered the books he was “amazed at how readable they still are – Fleming was a fantastic, descriptive writer.” Fleming has more imitators than most thanks to the continuation of the adult Bond series with writers like Sebastian Faulks writing new entries. Higson thinks they’ve “made a good stab of it but it’s made me very appreciative of just how good Fleming was and what a hard act he is to follow. He had quite a lot of personal and emotional conflicts that channelled into the books and gives them a sort of twisted heart.” This “twisted heart” often manifests itself in a misogynistic view of women
which Higson describes as “extremely bizarre and occasionally appalling.” In Fleming’s eyes, this attitude was “quite modern and against the respectful view of putting women on a pedestal, but what he felt was modern now feels outdated. He’d lost a woman he was very close to in the war and he just felt impatient” Importantly, Higson points out that Fleming “didn’t ever intend James Bond to be a hero. He’s not meant to be someone we aspire to.”
“Bond has remained at the top because they’ve kept reinventing him for new generations” The creative process of writing makes it enjoyable for Higson, as “when the book is published it comes alive when people read it, it’s an extraordinary and fulfilling process.” There is also a sense of originality that keeps it exciting: “at the end of it you’ve created something that wasn’t there before.” Higson has said that his books are about children’s fear of adults but he’s still waiting to become an adult himself, saying, “I think as long as your parents are alive you still feel like a child.” His second Young Adult series, The Enemy, is an allegory of adolescence where “the adults are the most monstrous cannibals and the kids are trying to work out a world for themselves. The great thing about horror writing is that you can deal with quite weighty matters but on a fantasy level.” Despite the huge appeal of his
work to the younger audience, he knew from the start that a film adaptation would be unlikely. The rights are complicated, and Daniel Craig’s new take on Bond means that currently the franchise is very focused on the adult books. Fans may not expect a film but they can look forward to the completion of The Enemy series, though Higson is reluctant to look further beyond that. Finally, of course, we asked the all-important question: who is his favourite Bond? “Sean Connery, because he was the famous Bond when I was growing up, and he did an amazing job cementing in our minds what Bond is like, but I think Daniel Craig is a very close second.”
29 october 2012 |
Still watching the Watchmen
Hugh Dignan looks back at the legacy of pioneering graphic novel Watchmen
How Soon Is Now Richard King AT just over 600 pages How Soon Is Now may not be everyone’s idea of a light read. It is a factual and informative tale of how indie labels have grown and developed from the early days of punk right up to date with noughties labels like Domino. It’s definitely not a book for everyone but for anyone with an interest in the history of popular music it makes an excellent read. The book begins with King’s ‘List of Characters,’ detailing a number of individuals who have made independent labels what they are today. This first page gives the impression that through the next 600 pages we will read a story as good as any fiction a novelist could have written, and at times How Soon Is Now really does seem like a well plotted adventure. As King tells the stories be-
Dracula Bram Stoker
TWENTY-FIVE years ago a shift occurred within literature, a shift brought about not by words, but by images; suddenly an entirely new medium had emerged as a serious form, one of true artistry, true inspiration. The man behind this shift was Alan Moore. The artistry, the inspiration, was Watchmen.
“This was writing to reflect serious contemporary issues, and how superheroes would fit into all this” This tale of a supposed ‘mask killer’ in the face of imminent nuclear doom is still revered as the pinnacle of the very form it legitimised. Watchmen is simultaneously the apex of the superhero genre and its antithesis, a reaction to everything it symbolised, a revolution. These were heroes that were very much in inverted commas; it was only grudgingly that one could concede there was anything super about them; most of them weren’t even good. Characters such as Rorschach, The Comedian, Ozymandias and Dr. Manhattan helped redefine what it
I Have No Mouth, And I Must Scream Harlan Ellison “IF the word hate was engraved on each nanoangstrom of those hundreds of millions of miles it would not equal one one-billionth of the hate I feel for humans at this micro-instant for you. Hate. Hate.” These are the chilling words of AM, a twisted sentient machine who keeps five humans immortal, with the aim of torturing them for eternity. It is a faceless menace, with no weaknesses. Like the cold breath of the grave, the author’s words seemed to cut into the reader’s soul, haunting them with a deep and
meant to be a comic book hero, challenging every preconception about the notion of heroism. This was comic book writing like never before; gritty, angsty, assuming its readers would be smart enough to pick up on the cultural references sprinkled throughout, keeneyed enough to spot the subtle symbolism tucked away in Dave Gibbons’ superlative artwork. Even the society it presented was a challenge, a reaction, Nixon in power after a decade, electric power ubiquitous, Vietnam a superhero inspired whitewash. Moore always had something to say about his society, V for Vendetta and the anarchist following it attracted are case and point. This was no throwaway superhero schtick, this was writing to reflect serious contemporary issues, global concerns, and how superheroes would fit into all this. Or how they wouldn’t. By crafting characters who were as deeply flawed as many of these were, Moore was able to both challenge convention and challenge the reader; weaved around a plot that jumped through time and space by way of every nook and cranny of the characters psyche and history, with room for a powerful allegorical tale within a tale too. These were narrative devices that brought a previcrippling fear. It is, without question, one of the greatest works of horror I have ever read. The story is narrated by a man named Ted, one of the ‘sane’ ones in the group. 109 years previously, all of humanity was murdered except for Ted and his companions, being kept alive by the psychotic machine. They are always kept at near starvation, yet they cannot be permitted to die nor kill themselves. Then one day, they hear that canned food can be found deep underground, so in desperation they set off on their journey. Harlon Ellison’s creation of the character AM is a stroke of genius, creating a decrepit villain of hate manifested. While people may say Frankenstein’s monster is horrifying, or Hyde,
ously unheard of layer of complexity to the medium, complicated enough that it took almost a quarter century for it to make the translation to the screen, and even then in half-baked form. The Zach Synder adaptation pales in comparison to its source, dealing in archetypes and spectacle where its forefathers tore those very foundations up.
“This was no throwaway superhero schtick” Watchmen is as dark and serious as any novel, as laced with symbolism as any painting and as suspenseful and masterly woven as any Hitchcock flick. The blood-stained smiley face, the doomsday clock, the shifting surface of Rorschach’s mask, these are images as striking now as they were twenty-five years ago. This is a tale as re-readable as it was twenty-five years ago, no matter how many times you’ve read it already. This is quite simply the greatest graphic novel of all time and one of the finest literary achievements of the century, of all time, a singular achievement that stands as the magnum opus of the very form it pioneered. Just read it already. AM conveys a chill deeper than any other character I have read. Only Iago stops him from being one of the greatest villains in literature. I will not ruin the finale. The most famous aspect of this book is the ending, and I wouldn’t dare spoil it here. I will say this though; it is not cheerful. In fact, it will probably give you nightmares for weeks to come. You will stare at the final line in disbelief, not believing how unbelievably cruel one individual can be. I cannot recommend this book enough simply for that moment of shock. Best of all, you can read it for free. You can find the open source version at http://bit.ly/PdappZ. Be warned, do not read it late at night. Thomas ffiske
IN a time where the likes of Twilight and Vampire Diaries continues to deface and grotesquely romanticise the vampire, you can be excused for black listing this genre. However, this is a great mistake as in doing so you will deny yourself one of the greatest works in the history of literature, Dracula. This novel is where the vampire was planted into fiction and I am not discussing the wet, manicured hair, passive and ‘I don’t want to hurt you’ sort of vampire. The character of Dracula is truly horrifying and I doubt there is much chance of him finding love with Kristen Stewart. This is the vampire that defines what a vampire should be; soulless, promiscuous, dangerous and not ever to be nicknamed ‘R-Patz.’ From the tense and claustrophobic beginning to the action filled ending Bram Stoker never falters in transfixing and terrifying the reader. The best aspect of the novel is by far its narrative style, a compilation of diary entries, telegrams and news articles. This style gives a strong sense of realism to the charac-
hind the labels which produced seminal artists such as Joy Division, The Smiths and Arctic Monkeys - in colourful detail and an informative but colloquial manner - you can easily feel as though you’ve been transported back to Manchester in the seventies or to when The Strokes were still the ‘next big thing’. It may look like some dense and tedious textbook but thankfully reading How Soon Is Now instead feels like you’re sat chatting to someone who really knows their stuff and wants to share their stories of experience. King’s knowledge and interest in his subject matter make the book both informative and exciting to read. What How Soon Is Now proves is that stories don’t have to be fictional to make a gripping tale; sometimes reality will do just as well. emily tanner Arts Editor ters and plot, heightening the fear and suspense that encompasses the novel. The novel does however have some highly ‘eyebrow raising’ moments with regards to Stoker’s characterisation of the two leading ladies. Both women capitalise on the role of the ‘damsel in distress’ and in doing so cause the modern reader some significant discomfort. From reading this novel it becomes clear why the helpless girl enticed by a monster is still so prevalent today in the Horror and Vampire genres. Bram Stoker was one of the creators of this questionable formula that sadly seems to still sell well today. Putting the novel’s dated treatment of gender roles aside, Dracula is a beloved classic for a reason. I defy anyone not to enjoy this suspense and gory filled fight between good and evil, a must for the Halloween season!
Any Last Words? This issue we asked for your scariest literary characters Mrs Danvers from Du Maurier’s Rebecca. Skeletal and seriously obsessive, she has the habit of skulking around the corridors of a gothic mansion encouraging people to jump out of windows. EMMA HOLIFIELD Big Brother, from Nineteen EightyFour. I think of BB and I think “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.” JAMES CROUCH Heathcliff because he is a charismatic villain who you should abhor, but at times he’s almost (thankfully not quite!) likeable,
which is what scares me the most! EMILY TANNER Mr. Hyde, because of his juxtaposition with the friendly, noble Dr. Jekyll, and his propensity to murder people with his walking cane. BEN MURPHIE Kevin Khatchadourian, the highschool massacrer from Shriver’s We Need to Talk About Kevin. Even as a small child, Kevin’s capacity for motiveless destruction is haunting, his execution of the school shooting and lack of remorse is terrifying. SOPHIE HAY
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Arts Diary Our regular Arts Diary column shows you all the important events going on in Exeter...
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Exeposé Arts turns to Damien Hirst’s Verity and the Rothko scandal to discuss the state of modern art
Devon Open Studios @ Northcott until 31 October
Comedy Chris Ramsey @ Phoenix: 1 November Piff The Magic Dragon @ Northcott 17 November
Drama Shakespeare School’s Festival @ Phoenix 16-20 October Normal @ M & D Rooms 9 & 10 November
Dance Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty @ Plymouth Royal Theatre: 5-10 November Banxy Dance Workshop @ Northcott: 31 October
WITH Halloween approaching we thought we’d go for some quintessential fearful fun from Tim Burton! We’re looking at Untitled (Creature Series) from 1992. Does his playful horror epitomise what Halloween is about? And do you think this work generates any sense of creepy fear or is it just a bit weird? Any and all thoughts are always appreciated!
Pushing Art Over the Edge
29 OCTOBER 2012 |
EMILY LUNN: I think it’s kind of disturbing because it doesn’t have a mouth, but I really love the vivid colours! KRISSI HILL: The liquid nature of the colourful background in contrast to the deep matte blackness of the figure seems to me to imply a central black hole, as the swirls draw you in to the deep unknown and emotionless black. The solid black staring eyes and absence of any other features also make the figure quite scary,
ILFRACOMBE’S shorefront has recently been graced by a new attraction, the latest artwork from bespectacled Damien Hirst, Verity. The piece looks at truth and justice through the traditional symbols of the scale, unbalanced and concealing behind her, with the sword lifted up high, no longer representing justice but sheer power! But what’s got others hot under the collar is not this allegory, it’s the statue itself. The bearer of the symbols is a reworking of Hirst’s, Virgin Mother, a naked vivisected pregnant women. Although perhaps not as gory as it sounds, one does wonder what aesthetical appeal at least could come from a woman, as one local described it, “with her foetus hanging out”. Standing at 20m, half the height of Exeter Cathedral, it’s not easy to miss either. The reactions of some may not deal with the meaning but are concerned primarily by the fact that they have to live with it being there for the next 20
years. One resident protested “pregnant women wear clothes most of the time”, while one exasperated onlooker cried “what did Ilfracombe do to deserve this?” The horror is understandable, it does not exactly look ‘pretty’, and thinking of some people’s opinions on public decency, why exactly did she have to be stripped and diced? Hirst’s own reflections on Virgin Mother, effectively the same statue without the allegorical symbols of justice, is that “it is kind of naughty” because the statue looks too young to be pregnant. Behind it all, I think there’s an element of controversy for its own sake which underlies his work and that of other modern artists. Indeed, the inspiration for both statues, Edgar Degas’ Little Dancer, was also controversial in its day when in the 1880s dancers would often become prostitutes and the statue itself seemed to exhibit outward qualities that were at the time associated with criminal tendencies. It’s that
element of controversy with society which titillates so many modern artists. So in that case, perhaps the council is right when it says Verity will bring visitors to the seaside town. Controversy always attracts a crowd. But so do car crashes, and one always has to remember that while the council may be helping out local traders, those that simply live there have to look at this thing day in and day out. And if they find it unpleasant, distasteful and even an affront to public decency, then is that to be considered less important than some allegorical statue that isn’t even there for its artistic value? Art is art in the end, and it’s all subjective, but something like this shouldn’t be on the shores of a tiny town but somewhere more metropolitan, where those that want to see it can choose to see it.
THE attack on Rothko’s Black on Maroon painting has left the art world in shock. Vladimir Umanets, scribed the words “12 a potential piece of yellowism” along with his name on the infamous painting donated by the artist himself. Umanets claims this act of vandalism will increase the value of the painting, but if nothing else it has brought the issues of security into the spotlight. The problem is with the lack of respect for not only the artist but the work itself, the Tate Modern and art lovers alike. It strikes at the very heart of common decency. We cannot compare him to the likes of the legendary street artist Banksy. Umanets is not an artist, although some would argue he has made Black on Maroon more interesting. The tag appears a lot like a caption or description, and the suggestive connotation
of the “12” is unnerving. Is this piece one of many set to be destroyed in a numerical pattern? Or is it simply another part of the gimmick the criminal foolishly thought would increase its value? The question burning on many tongues is why did he do it, and what does it mean? Well, it was all in the name of ‘Yellowism’. According to the very confusing “Manifesto of Yellowism” “examples of yellowism can look like works of art but are not works of art”, whatever that means. Essentially all he has achieved is to draw our attention to this ridiculous concept - his actions would not have had any significance on a medium that was not potentially worth millions. The Tate Modern has an unspoken mutual respect with its visitors and security measures are relatively relaxed to allow the public to freely enjoy the art,
which is the way it should be. But this case raises the issue as to whether the dignity and protection of the art should be given more importance. It has long been assumed that acts of vandalism like this would be prevented simply by the presence of others, but unfortunately this act happened too quickly to be stopped before the dreadful damage was done. Nevertheless, art behind glass offends the art lover, it assumes they are the criminal – contemporary art simply would not have the same effect in an oppressive atmosphere. A balance needs to be found between the need for protection and the right to enjoyment, as this cannot be allowed to reoccur. There is, however, some solace in the fact that the canvas will be easier to fix than the comically botched Spanish fresco ‘restoration’. NATALIE CLARK
I find his pointy chin threatening as well. The redness of the background in contrast to the black implies an idea of blood and evil in my mind, but I’m easily scared and generally am a bit creeped out by Burton’s work!
LOUIS DORÉ: It looks like Slenderman - not surprising coming from Tim Burton. It is channeling Juan Miro a little bit.
FURBOROUGH: The creature looks friendly but almost shy, with hands tucked behind his back, and the tilt of his head makes it seem like he’s looking up at someone. I love the bright colours in contrast to the black and white of the creature - it really sums up Burton’s whole aesthetic as none of his film creatures are straightforwardly, good bad, friendly or scary!
JAMES CROUCH FEATURES EDITOR
| WEEK SIX
Mansfield Park Northcott Theatre 16-20 October 2012 CONTRARY to my housemate’s opinion, Mansfield Park is a novel. But writer Tim Luscombe has made it into a rather amusing play. As soon as the first characters appear, Mrs Norris (Karen Ascoe) and Sir Thomas Bertram (Richard Heap), the furious rate of the play is established. This swiftness can result in some slightly garbled speeches and to be quite honest with you some faintly alarming barking. However, overall the cast manage to speak clearly to enable the audience to understand what is happening. The comic timing of some of the cast was superb. Mr Rushworth (Geoff Arnold) in particular was always a welcome sight. Although Mansfield Park may not be Jane Austen’s most famous novel, her acerbic wit is definitely at work and has been well adapted by Luscombe. However, even though the almost continuous laughter made for an enjoyable evening it meant that whenever there was meant to be a serious scene, for instance when Fanny tells her uncle
Chris Ramsey Exeter Phoenix 1 November 2012 AFTER a sell-out run at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe with his latest show Lucky, Chris Ramsey is taking himself on tour and will be playing the Exeter Phoenix this week. Known for his charming wit and youthful banter Chris is a rising star in the world of comedy. You’ll have probably seen his face before on TV panel shows such as Mock the Week and Never Mind the Buzzcocks or in the new BBC 2 sitcom Hebburn. Now in Lucky Chris takes a look at the age old questions of existence and fate. As a comedian Chris Ramsey is friendly and fun. His shows often involve some light hearted chat
Footlights Preview: Welcome to the “Copacabana” WITH a massive production on campus in January, Exeposé will be catching up with the musical theatre society Footlights at regular intervals in the run up to the show. This week Vice President Kath Darke takes a look at how the production is going since the committee began working on the show
of her refusal of Mr Crawford, there would almost certainly be an hysterical giggle escaping from somewhere in the audience. This was again linked to the the speed of the performance, which came at the cost of some of the more nuanced parts of the play (or novel really). Edmund’s rather abrupt disavowal of Mary Crawford, after having spent most of the play declaring his love for her, does not inspire the audience with confidence that it really is love that he feels for Fanny.
“Putting aside my lack of observational skills, I enjoyed this genuinely funny play immensley”
rather passionate kiss in the middle of the drawing room was somewhat unexpected- there was something incredibly comforting about having the world of Jane Austen performed in the cynical, modern world. The happy endings and just desserts were all in place and if you want an evening where you laugh hard and enjoy the warmth of a love story that ends well for a change then this is the play for you. Cressy travis
However, these are slight qualms. The changes of character by the cast were all well done, at one point my friend and I didn’t even realise Mr Rushworth and Tom Bertram were played by the same person. Putting aside my lack of observational skills, I enjoyed this genuinely funny play immensely. Despite my twinge of (healthy may I just say) doubt at Edmund’s true feelings for Fanny - although the with the audience and he is able to keep the atmosphere upbeat throughout. The aura of likeability which surrounds him and the feeling that he’s just a normal lad who you’d chat with down the pub has helped Chris become as popular as he is and gained him support slots for big names in comedy such as Al Murray and Russell Kane. After the success of last year’s show Offermation, which was nominated for the Fosters Edinburgh Comedy Award in 2011, and his 2010 sell out run at the Fringe, Lucky is set to be a fantastic show from a real comedic talent.
Normal M & D Rooms 9 -10 November 2012 EARLIER this year it was concluded that Anders Breivik was not criminally insane, so was he just plain evil? This is the question running through Normal a fantastically bloody play written by the popular Scottish playwright Anthony Nielson. Theatre With Teeth will now expose Exeter University audiences to the horror that is Peter Kurten (Played by Ben Gilbert). The story follows the trial of Kurten ‘The Vampire of Dusseldorf’ who is being accused of committing sex crimes, assaults and murder against adults and children. Justus Wehner, his lawyer, (played by Mike Howe) wants to prove that he is criminally insane to prevent Kurten’s execution. As the play progresses the line between insanity, illness and evil begins to blur, especially when Kurten’s wife Marie (played by Sarah Pearson) arrives on the scene. Will Wehner’s robust morals keep him grounded whilst working with such a cold blooded killer? Or will he give in to his own evil temptations and desires?
Artist Profile: Oleg Dou
Oleg manages to reflect a range of personalities and emotions in his works.
29 YEAR-OLD Oleg Dou is a Russian artist that works with a digital camera and Photoshop to create his works. He works mainly with portraits, which he then edits by making the skin very light, with no eyelashes or brows. The result is shocking to the audience, but it creates an interesting effect: a mix between beautiful and repulsive. The faces seem to lack individuality, even their eye colour, and sometimes hair, is the same across all portraits. Nevertheless,
“It creates an interesting effect: a mix between beautiful and repulsive” Interestingly, his inspiration is drawn from fashion. The faces do not reflect reality, just like the edited photographs of models in fashion magazines. Similarly, Oleg presents a globalized face that works all over the world, but adds a little something that
Kyle Pryke, the Director of Normal, wishes to explore the inner workings of the play, the descriptions of brutality which are almost too shocking to speak (or write) of. The choreography will give the audience a lens through which to understand the mind of the murderous Kurten and his motivations for wanting to kill again.
“Theatre With Teeth will expose to Exeter audiences the horror that is Peter Kurten.” Come along to Normal on the 9th and 10th November 7pm in the M+D room for your booster of fake blood, complicated emotions and strangely hilarious situations which will keep you on the edge of your seats throughout! KYLE PRYKE
makes each portrait unique. His work is currently exhibited at the ‘I am who I am’ group exhibition, at Kunst in Tunnel, in Dusseldorf. Growing up in a family of artists – his mother was a painter, and his father a designer – Oleg used to spend most of his childhood in museums and art galleries. When he was 13, he received his first editing software, so he has been editing since then.
“Oleg presents a globalized face that works all over the world” The types of works that he displays in different exhibitions around the world have been developed from an accident. Being fond of photography and editing, he decided to make a present for one of his friends. Oleg photographed a portrait of his friend, and tried to edit her face by airbrushing her skin. Not being very experienced with this type of editing, he airbrushed her skin too much. However, Oleg found the result interesting, and has been doing this since. IOANA MINULESCU
EMILY TANNER ARTS EDITOR in May. Footlights is back and bigger than ever and we are once again preparing to tread the boards of the Northcott stage. For those of you that don’t know, once a year, Footlights, Exeter’s most established musical theatre society on campus, puts on a huge scale production at the Exeter Northcott Theatre. This show is considered and treated as a professional production, and each year aims to make a smash not only for the University Students but for the Exeter community as well.
This year promises to be no exception with a show that is guaranteed to have even the sullenest of students mincing around campus, Barry Manilow’s glamorous musical Copacabana. The show is a whirlwind tale of gangsters, showgirls and music set in 1940s New York, and follows the young and naïve Lola in her dream of becoming a star. Creating this world and putting on a production of this scale as you can imagine is a massive task, and falls on the creativity and commitment of the com-
mittee, who act as the production team for the show. In the run up to the show, Footlights’ pieces in Exeposé will act as your insight to everything Copa! From casting the show, to fine tuning the songs, to fitting those costumes and all the drama that comes with it, consider this series of articles as your backstage pass to the production, as you join us on our journey until the show in January. What’s the story so far? The com-
mittee have been working since May to get the show together. The production was chosen last summer, and since then we have all been rocketed in to a world of musical scores, production rights, meetings, set designs, interviews, marketing, budgets…and that was all before we cast the show! So look out for our Footlights updates exclusive to Exeposé and join us on our journey of “music and passion” until we arrive at the Copa! KATH DARKE
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29 october 2012 |
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Revenge: A dish best served superpowered
Adam Browner skulks through Dunwall in this brand new stealth-action success Dishonored Arkane Studios Xbox 360, PS3, PC Out Now CAST adrift in a sea of sequels it’s refreshing to pick up and play a game with only one word in the title and no numbers. Dishonored comes at a time when it’s needed most. It’s refreshing not only because it’s a completely new game on the market but also because it’s fantastic as well. The player takes control of a royal bodyguard as he travels around a fictional city ravaged by plague and oppressed by the government, trying to rid the world of corruption and return the rightful empress to the throne. Along the way the bodyguard picks up numerous abilities and powers that make this job
considerably easier. The gameplay itself is simple yet immensely satisfying. In your right hand you wield a sword and in your left hand you can choose from a wide variety of powers and gadgets. You can teleport, possess people and animals, stop time, throw grenades, plant traps and generally perform ridiculous feats that no normal human could achieve. This allows for some brilliantly creative gameplay that is different from anything you will have played before and gives the player a lot of freedom and control. However, sometimes I’d forget how powerful I was. There were moments when I had died countless times, about to give up when I remembered that I could just stop time and walk past my enemies. Whilst this was a simple solution to the problem it was more satisfying than frustrating and this is the real beauty behind
Love Me Slender
Gemma Joyce takes a look at Slender... from behind the sofa “F***, that was scary!” My unsuspecting flat mate has just endured what he describes as one of the most terrifying experiences of his teenage life, and it came in the form of indie-thriller Slender. The Slender Man is a figure of ambiguous origin; the mysterious stalking creature in acclaimed online horror series Marble Hornets. The series documents the troubled lives of a group of teens who have attracted the wrong kind of attention from a faceless, suit-wearing being with tentacles - and no, it’s not Octodad. The mystery surrounding the Slender Man is definitely a theme that drives the narrative of the story as a whole - a search of Google reveals only contradictory reports on ‘his’ origin, and inquisition into ‘his’ nature is something the game toys with. Be under no illusion, however, that the terror of the game is dependent on prior knowledge of the shadowy figure’s lore.
Slender, made originally for a competition, has swept Internet communities worldwide and has been praised for its incredibly simple, yet spine-tingling single player horror story played out in a dark wood with a dying flashlight. Your main goal is to escape. In order to achieve this, however, you must find eight creepily scrawled ‘notes’ that offer some explanation as to what is threatening you. Look out for chilling messages such as “Always watches...No eyes”. Sounds simple? The killer factor of the game is the intensive psychological manipulation of players. YouTube will provide you with plenty of in-gamebreakdowns - several of which I’ve experienced first hand. You are being followed constantly - can you resist the temptation to check if he’s behind you? Direct sight of the Slender Man causes insanity after a few seconds (and failure), but it’s extremely hard not to check if
Dishonored’s gameplay. The reasoning behind why you were able to perform these actions and most other people couldn’t seems arbitrary; you literally get given all your powers by a bloke in a dream who says he finds you interesting. Whilst there is some attempt to flesh this out later in the game it doesn’t really explain much and the strange dream man remains a bit weird and annoying.
“You’re given the ability to kill everyone in sight with style and panache” Yet, when I’m given the ability to kill everyone in sight with unbelievable style and panache, I don’t appreciate being told not to kill everyone in sight with style and panache. I am a little stunned by the decision to give the player some of the best abilities I’ve ever seen but at the same time encourage them not to use them for violence. At one point in the game I had the ability to stop time as an enemy fired at me, possess the same enemy, walk him in front of his own bullet and unfreeze time. It was incredible. But also frowned upon. Dishonored would rather I went around knocking everyone out and running away again into the shadows. Unlike other video game morality systems where the only consequences to your actions are a bit of a ticking off by the game characters, Dishonored uses a you’re safe. The music is what does it for me; on finding the first note, the drums kick in, the more notes you find the more intense it gets, and if he finds you get ready to throw your earphones away! By the later stages you are likely to be tense and uttering variations on profanities you never knew you could invent... if you’re not cowering under the desk having given in.
“The killer factor of the game is the intensive psychological manipulation of the players” The game is pixellated and simplistic. But this takes nothing from the experience - you’re not meant to see much, which is what triggers the imagination (far scarier than any image a screen can project). When the Slender Man is close white static fills the screen, causing even more confusion. Brace yourselves. Modifications to the original have
system where your actions have a direct consequence on later missions. If, like me, you decided to play the game with wild, evil abandon you will be punished by the game pouring hundreds of enemies into the later missions making it pretty bloody difficult. If anything that just encouraged me to get more violent. And on top of all of this you still get a ticking off by the main characters. The industrial city of Dunwall where Dishonored is set is second only to Bioshock’s Rapture in terms of atmosphere and sheer beauty. Everything in Dishonored has a unique art style that stands out when compared to other games’ attempts to create realistic environments. The levels are big and sprawling which not only allows for plenty of rewarding exploration but it also makes the world feel more alive. You’ll bump into people trying to escape the plague, gangsters trying to
take advantage of the city’s unfortunate situation and corrupt religious heretics using their power for evil. People are going to make inevitable comparisons between Dishonored and games like Bioshock and Half-Life 2. But, at the end of the day, it’s becoming increasingly hard for developers to come up with an original game that doesn’t borrow somewhat from other games that have proved to be successful. Not to mention how risky it has become for developers to even consider an original game when it seems like all people want to play are the various sequels of Call of Duty and FIFA. So yes, Dishonored does take lots of things from lots of games. But those things that it does take are awesome and the final product that is created from these elements feels fresh and engaging.
allowed for a number of new maps to become popularised - we now have ‘Mansion,’ ‘Sanatorium’ and even ‘Kindergarten’, not to mention various other extras such the as hilarious “$20” edition, but make sure you’ve played the original first.
Available for free download from a number of online sources, Slender is a game that can only be played alone in a darkened room with earphones and the volume on maximum - just be prepared to never feel comfortable in the woods again. Ever.
| WEEK SIX
It’s Astounding; Time is Fleeting Take a jump to the left and a step to the right to discover these nostalgic retro romps Alex Kidd in Miracle World Platform: SEGA Master System Release: November 1986 ALEX KIDD for the SEGA Master System provided some of the most thrilling rock-paper-scissors battles of my early childhood. This wasn’t the playground; you were playing to stay alive. Seriously, if you lost, little Alex would turn into a ghost and ascend into the sky. This of course was not the bulk of the game, but made up of the majority of the boss battles… usually against big burly men whose skulls would magically detach beTomba!
TOMBA! is a platformer where you take control of a pink-haired wild boy out for revenge against seven evil magic pigs. Yes. Pink-haired wild boy. Evil. Magic. Pigs. If that doesn’t spark your interest, you may want to take a long, hard look at yourself in the mirror. After a YouTube infused nostalgia trip prompted a download from the PSN store, I couldn’t help but feel some apprehension. It had been fourteen years since I first jumped into the Crash Team Racing
fore Alex pummelled it with his magical inflating fist. Yes – this game is Japanese. In between such exhilarating events, the game provided enjoyable platforming action through diverse environments with a variety of tools at your disposal. These ranged from a simple bike to an item which marches dozens of miniature Alex’s towards their doom. Oh, and avoid the Grim Reaper. He will look for you, he will find you – and he will kill you.
FOR years, good old Crash Bandicoot served as the poster boy for Sony’s first foray into the console market with the then brandspanking new PlayStation system. It is unfortunate that since then he has been unceremoniously thrown into a box of former gaming legends, where I can only assume he, Spyro, Mega Man and other forgotten mascots are locked in some sort of Gladiator-style fight for freedom (Rayman being the last contender to break free). In the franchise’s
Release: September 1999
hey-day, developers Naughty Dog decided to challenge Nintendo’s Mario Kart with their own casual racing game. When Crash Team Racing hit stores, it was obvious that it was a gaming experience that stood shoulder to shoulder with its rival. While at its core just a simple karting game, speed, skill and a distinctive Crash Bandicoot bravado gave it a style that set it deservedly apart from the crowd and it fittingly remains a cult-classic. EAMONN CUSTANCE
HAVE you ever been heartbroken to find your three-month project made obselete or destroyed in minutes? Then don’t play Dwarf Fortress, whose tagline is “Losing is fun”. A cross between Minecraft (which it helped inspire) and Sim City, you control a small pack of dwarfs on their quest to survive. The learning curve is not steep so much as vertical and you are bound to lose at some point. The game is sort of like managing an Oc-
cupy camp: dealing with homeless people (wild animals you can domesticate); defending against raids (the police); maintaining a balance between tech progression and resource management (bicycle generators and libraries). Despite being made in 2002 with ASCII graphics, it continues to be updated (still in alpha) by the tireless work of a tiny handful of people at Bay12Games. If you need a hardcore long-term project, check it out.
Deus Ex Platform: PC DEUS EX is one of the few games to combine story-telling, good gameplay and interesting, mature philosophical debate and still be mainstream and commercially successful. If you want to appear a sophisticated gamer, play this and feign disinterest in the depressingly old graphics, lack of facial expressions and laughable AI traits, glory in the twisting plot, references to political and philosophical theorists and cyberpunk culture (steampunk but
Release: August 2006
Release: June 2000
for cool kids, it gave us The Matrix). One of the few games to successfully pull off the choose-yourdestiny trope without sacrificing plot, Deus Ex also boasts an ass-kicking soundtrack and humour of a quality not seen until perhaps Portal. Deus Ex is a rare game which glides seamlessly from stealth and gunfights to morality and role-playing elements. Just pretend the sequels didn’t happen - same as The Matrix, incidentally. ROBERT J HARRIS
Sandbox Which game character would you least like to be and why? Laurie Pope: Luigi. His inferiority complex must be through the roof. Alex Phelps: Tails because he is basically Sonic’s bitch. Dom Ford: Navi from Legend of Zelda. All she does is try to help and succeeds only in being insanely annoying. Gemma Joyce: Slender Man! He just wants a friend...
Release: December 1997
manic world of Tomba! If it turned out I was simply running on childish memories, it would lead to nothing but disappointment. Thankfully, when the game started I decided that I must have been a youngster of impeccable gaming taste. The story, characters and atmosphere ooze a colourful and refreshingly uplifting charm, and with solid gameplay liberally sprinkled with RPG goodness, it remains a winning package that everyone can enjoy.
Frankie Ainsworth: Pyramid Head: “My sword’s heavy, my hat hurts and I keep getting awkwardly brought into games where I don’t belong.“ Kate Gray: Princess Peach, because she’s like, the ONLY girl in the Mushroom Kingdom, and I think we all know what that means.
Play This Planescape: Torment
What is it? One of the old-school roleplaying classics that laid the foundations for the story-driven gaming experiences that are so popular today, and the gem in Black Isle Studios’ gleaming crown. Deep, dark, and as intriguing as a John Grisham novel, this involving retro-masterpiece isn’t afraid to ask the tough questions, with its fun, if dated, isometric gameplay, beautiful soundtrack, and eerily fantastical “Dark Ages” art direction. Be warned: not for the faint of heart - but then, can’t a fantastic game change the nature of a man? Where do I get it? You can find this game and a whole host of other hidden gems from gaming’s ancient past on GOG.com (Good Old Games) for just £6.50. AZAD NALBANDIAN
Stand out from the crowd The Exeter Award is an achievement award for current undergraduate and taught postgraduate students. It is designed to enhance the employability of students by providing official recognition of extracurricular achievements and activities. With around 300,000 graduates entering the job market each year, a degree is no longer enough to get you started in your career. Employers are looking for candidates who have developed their skills, abilities and ambitions. Make sure you stand out from the crowd. Register for the Exeter Award now.
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The deeper you go into a language, the more you uncover.
Russian Intelligence Analysts ÂŁ25,056 | London A conversation turns from sport, to the economy, to politics. And youâ€™re there not just to translate it, not just to interpret it; youâ€™re there to add a depth of understanding that enables us to make the right choices to help safeguard national security. For more information and to apply, visit www.mi5.gov.uk/careers/russian Discretion is vital. You should not discuss your application, other than with your partner or a close family member.
| WEEK SIX
Pumas, Chiefs and The Rugby Championship
Fresh from his country’s debut in the newly established ‘The Rugby Championship’, Argentinian and Exeter Chiefs winger, Gonzalo Camacho took time out to chat to Exeposé Sport
ful teams. We are putting rugby where it deserves to be. The tournament will not just help the national team but also local rugby and young guys coming through the system. “We are learning a lot from these big matches. We didn’t win any of them this time but a few were very close and against Australia we were winning right until the last minute- it is all a good learning process.”
“I moved to the Chiefs for a new challenge. It is a step up in terms of my role in the team and I’m enjoying it”
HAVING grown up in a predominantly football dominated atmosphere in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Camacho started playing rugby at St John’s English School in the country’s capital at the age of 10 and quickly blossomed into a young talent. “I found rugby quite easy because my school was very sporty.” By 15 he decided rugby was the game for him and joined Buenos Aires Cricket and Rugby Club and by the age of 18 Camacho regularly represented the 1st XV. He continued to play for the amateur side and his province until 2009 when he signed for current Aviva Pre-
miership champions, Harlequins. Before his move to London Camacho was just breaking into the national set-up with appearance for the Argentinian sevens team in 2005 before his full 15-a-side debut versus Uruguay in May 2008.
“People have realised how important rugby is and how good we are. We had over 40,000 supporters at these games” “I wanted to keep playing for the
Pumas [the nickname for the Argentinian national side] so I wanted to improve my skills and my knowledge of rugby and the best way to do that was to play professional rugby. “The first season was very hard for me as after only playing five matches I got a leg injury in the Heineken Cup. Three months later I was running again. That was my first real down point since my move but all is good now.” Since that setback the winger has gone from strength to strength. Camacho left Quins on a high having scored a last minute winning try in the Amlin Challenge Cup Final against Stade
Français in 2011 and went on to represent Argentina in the Rugby World Cup in the same year. Argentina’s national rugby set up has dramatically improved during Camacho’s career and with the creation of ‘The Rugby Championship’ they will now annually pit their wits against New Zealand, South Africa and Australia, arguably the best three teams in world rugby. Camacho certainly thinks that the only way is up for his nation now: “The Pumas will play much better, dynamic rugby and will hopefully be able to compete with the more power-
EUMHC climb table after holding off Men’s Hockey Andrew Ross EUMHC Team Member
LAST Sunday 21 October saw EUMHC 1st XI face up to a high flying and confidence rich Guildford side in a battle for bragging rights at the top of the Western Conference table.
“The opening stages saw Exeter shrug off the long journey and fully assert themselves in what was set to be an intense encounter” The opening stages saw Exeter shrug off the long journey and fully assert themselves in what was set to be an intense encounter. Good hockey was displayed by both sides with Exeter
having the better of the possession, eventually paying off with a tantalising play cutting open the Guildford defence, providing Nick Cooper with an opportunity on the reverse which he duly hammered home giving Exeter a well deserved lead. Guildford reacted well, forming some commendable counter attack play. But Exeter showed tangible fortitude in defence to keep the score line 1-0 at half time. The break allowed Guildford to regroup. They came out with a great deal of determination, pressing the Exeter defence hard. Composure was displayed by all, with Oliver Clarke displaying his pedigree at the back. The boys in green worked the ball well and were rewarded with a short corner. Andrew Ross fired the ball into the pads of the goal keeper who failed to effectively clear. A delightful piece of
Rugby in Argentina has a fierce competitor in football, when it comes to public support but Camacho noted that his sport seems to be catching the imagination of his homeland. “With The Rugby Championship, bringing these massive teams to Argentina people have realised how important rugby is and how good we are. We had over 40,000 supporters at these games which we weren’t really expecting!” With internationals over for a few weeks Camacho is now concentrating on his club career. Due to commitments with Argentina he has not featured this season but is keen to get his Exeter campaign up and running. “I moved to the Chiefs for a new challenge. It is a step up in terms of my role in the team and I’m enjoying it.” “Every match is important to us and we go out to win. The playoffs would be the next step up for us but we’re always just thinking about the next game.” If Chiefs can make it to the Premiership semi-finals it would be a fantastic achievement having only been promoted in 2010. Sustaining solid performances in Europe and in the domestic league will be a tough ask but who’s not to say that they are up for the challenge.
Table: England Hockey
>> How it stands; Men’s Western Conference
skill from Ian Haley saw Nick Cooper faced with another opportunity on goal which he did not hesitate to bury. Exeter had the two goal margin which they were hunting.
A real dog fight ensued. Guildford threw absolutely everything they had at Exeter. To say EUMHC remained intrepid would not quite do it justice. A courageous and dogged 11-man
defence by EUMHC kept Guildford at bay for the remainder of the bout. The game ended with a final score of EUMHC 2 Guildford 0.
29 OCTOBER 2012 |
In the Clubhouse... In the Clubhouse this week James Gibson, President of the Clay Pigeon Shooting Club, spins a yarn with Mike Stanton and Will Kelleher, Sport Editors THE UNIVERSITY OF EXETER’S Clay Pigeon Shooting Club, or EUCSC as it’s better known was originally founded in 2008. It enjoyed initial popularity and success, however following some spectacular financial and organisational faux pas, it soon found itself in dire straights. In 2010, following the departure of the original committee, and the appointment of two new committee members, EUCSC slowly began rebuilding itself, but having been so crippled by debts, the club found it difficult to operate at the level that it had the potential to. However, with the appointment of two brilliant social secretaries and their connections, EUCSC managed to avoid disaffiliation from the Athletics Union, and with some informed financial decisions from the Treasurer, EUCSC found itself back on track, ultimately
being awarded the “Most Improved Club” Award at the end of last academic year, as well as the former President and Treasurer being awarded Club Awards by the Athletics Union.
“EUCSC is an open and friendly place where people from all backgrounds and shooting capabilities can come together and enjoy themselves” This academic year, EUCSC is unrecognisable as the floundering club it once was, boasting a committee of nine dedicated shooting enthusiasts, and over 50 members, guided by James Gibson, who is the new President of the Club. “EUCSC is an open and friendly place
60 seconds with... Nick Hely-Hutchinson
EUCSC Team Member
EUCSC Team Member
What is the best aspect of Clay Pigeon Shooting Club? The shooting days out and the socials are spectacular but it is all because of the calibre of the people in the club.
What is the best aspect of Clay Pigeon Shooting Club? The people involved in the club and our socials are amazing!
Best sporting moment? Peter Wilson’s gold medal winning performance in the London Olympic 2012 Trap Shooting.
Best sporting moment? Hitting my first clay in my first lesson - such a great feeling!
Sporting Hero? Federer. If I could be half as cool as that man then I wouldn’t be complaining.
Sporting Hero? Not from shooting but Mary King, the eventer.
What are your pre-match preparations? I usually clean my gun thoroughly before a round.
What are your pre-match preparations? I have a favourite pair of socks I like to think bring me luck.
What are your goals for the season? There are high hopes for the BUCS competition in early December. We are all training hard to ensure a strong finish this year.
What are your goals for the season? To carry on improving our shooting and for our BUCS team to place later in the year!
where people from all backgrounds and shooting capabilities can come together and enjoy themselves.” He believes that “although there is a certain stereotype of people who shoot nationwide, in our club there is no room for pre-conceived judgements or snobbery - we are a team and therefore we respect each other as such.” Last year, EUCSC competed in two competitions - the St Dial’s Christmas Cup, and the annual BUCS competition. “We could have done better,” concedes the President, “but given the talent and potential of our members, especially some who have never even held a shotgun before this year, we envisage 20122013 to be EUCSC’s year.” The Club will be making their first competitive appearance at St Andrews on the 17th November. The following weekend they are entering a competition hosted by Not-
tingham. EUCSC are once again competing at the St Dial’s Christmas Cup before taking a host of their members to Shropshire to settle some old scores at BUCS. EUCSC train every Wednesday at Ashcombe Adventure Centre, 13 miles away from Exeter. They meet at the Imperial Pub Car Park at 13.30. Sessions cost £25 which includes transport, gun hire, 50 clays and 50 cartridges and tuition and guidance from members of the Committee.
“Triggers aren’t the only things we pull” As EUCSC’s club polos reliably inform us, “Triggers aren’t the only things we pull” the club enjoys a lively social scene with themed socials at Timepiece
every other week. Previous themes have included “Wellies and Watering Cans” and “Red White & Blue - Best of British”. “These socials are a fantastic way of cementing friendships made whilst we are out shooting, and it helps us to get to know each other better,” says Gibson. EUCSC are currently organsing their first ever formal - a Christmas Formal at Exeter Castle on the 12th December. Impromptu socials are fairly common too members and perspective members can keep up to date with these events by adding “Exeter Clay Shooting” as a friend of Facebook, or following the club on Twitter - @eucsc. Should you be interested in finding out more, or if you would like to join EUCSC, email James and the Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit their website www.exetershooting.co.uk Photo: EUCSC
| WEEK SIX
EUAFC blow chance to go top Photo: Nicklas Rahmel
disappointed to have been just 1-0 up, but such was their dominance that they would have been confident to extend that lead. Coach Dave Evans’ assertion that this was the ‘strongest squad’ he had worked with in his 11 years in the first half looked at first to be aimed as a compliment to the current group, yet the horror show of a second half to come would suggest he thought little of previous squads.
Crossword No. 39 by Raucous
“Exeter made the breakthrough in the 20th minute, when Mike Dale passed to Marriott, who slotted it past the keeper’s near post” Men’s Football Will Binks Reporter
EXETER threw away a strong start and the opportunity to rise up the table as University College of Plymouth fought back from a first half battering to earn a well-deserved point. On the back of winning their opening encounter of this season’s BUCS Western League 1A against Bath, confidence was high as attention turned to the home tie against Plymouth. Despite a scrappy opening to the match, after ten minutes it was Exeter University that was firmly in control. With Tom Lees spearheading a fluid 4-4-1-1 formation, Magnus Assmundson and Matthaus Marriott continually beat their full backs and pinged in crosses, whilst set pieces always looked the most likely source of success. Plymouth on the other hand were unable to string together any succes-
sion of passes, relying on playing on the counter and shots from distance. The only combination that looked vaguely threatening was between captain and stand out player Flatley, who hit cross field balls from his left back position towards Jones out wide, who twice flashed shots across goal.
“Despite a scrappy opening to the match, it was Exeter who were firmly in control” Exeter made the break-through in the 20th minute, when Mike Dale passed across the pitch to Marriott, who cut inside the left flank and slotted it past the keeper’s near post. Further openings were missed, with Lees contriving to shoot wide within the six yard box from a low cross by Matt Langley, while two partisan decisions from the Plymouth substitute standing in as linesman denied breakaway opportunities for Exeter. By half-time, Exeter will have been
Passes stopped connecting and playing from the back became hoofing it clear. Jesse Wilson and Jim Micklem at the back could shout that they had got over their ‘shaky two minutes’ only so many times before it lost credibility. Tom Lees, who had missed a few chances and played selfishly in front of goal throughout, was subbed shortly before Plymouth found their richly deserved equaliser – Flatley again splitting the Exeter defence, allowing the striker to shoot across keeper Ash Wilson into the opposite corner. Plymouth did not stop pressing, and relief for Exeter was rare, mostly on the break, or when Wilson was clattered by an over-zealous Plymouth player, leaving the keeper in a heap. Exeter had aspired to finish the day on top of the table – instead they will have to settle with being unbeaten after two matches. Final score; EUAFC 1 - 1 University College of Plymouth.
Another clean sweep for EURFC Photo: Josh Creek
Men’s Rugby Union James Tapp Reporter
EXETER’S Rugby Union outfits managed to set down another marker this week as again all teams won their respective fixtures. EURFC 2nd XV faced newly relegated side University of the West of England (UWE) 1st XV on a day that confirmed winter was on its way. Both sides looked equally matched as they warmed up for a game that was clearly going to be affected by the muddy
conditions underfoot. Exeter drew first blood as loosehead prop Hugh McBride crashed over the line. Ali Chisholm p l a y i n g at fullback took the conversion but missed leaving the score at 5 - 0 in Exeter’s favour. UWE answered with a penalty of their own but weren’t able to take advantage as the attempt struck the post and bounced back into play. By opting for a kicking game, Exeter found themselves with little possession. UWE looked strong as they kept the ball in hand and ran at any opportunity. It was Exeter, however, who decided to flex their muscles next.
Inside-centre Adam Higgins, with support from team mates, was able to twist out of multiple tackles to place the ball just over the line. Chisholm found his rhythm off the tee as his conversion sailed through the posts. UWE then hit back with another penalty leaving the half time score 12 - 3. The second half saw both sides notch up unconverted scores and with a perfectly placed penalty kick from Exeter, the score line stood at 20 - 8. The momentum of the game then changed as the muddy ball and slippery conditions hampered set plays. Under great pressure to turn the game around UWE stepped it up a gear, dictating that the rest of the game would take place in Exeter’s half. Exeter Chiefs winger and EURFC coach Matt Jess commented that, “Our defence on the line was really good, we came up and met them hard” adding, “we let them into our 22 and that was the only disappointing thing about the game really. At least we know we can defend in those situations.” Indeed the men in green’s defence was exemplary. Impressively, under constant pressure, UWE used every trick in the book using both forwards and backs in relentless attacks yet EURFC’s defence prevailed leaving the score 20 - 8 at full time whistle.
1. 2012 US Presidential candidate (6) 4. Catch-22 author (6) 7. & 15. Across. Actor in Gladiator, I’m Still Here, and The Master (7,7) 8. British rock band (3,3) 9. Racecourse (5) 11. Cider (7) 15. See 7. Across. 16. Suspicion (5) 19. Obvious truth (6) 20. East-Asian style? (7) 21. Season (6) 22. 2012 US Presidential candidate (6)
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Sports Park nears completion Sports Park
Marketing and Communications Officer for the Sports Office 2012 has been a successful year for the University of Exeter. The Queen visited in May to mark the opening of the £48m Forum Project on Streatham Campus and the institution was recently named The Sunday Times University of the Year. It is therefore fitting, that in such an important year a number of new facilities are now open for general use at the University of Exeter Sports Park on Streatham Campus. The opening marks the completion of Stage One of an £8million Sports redevelopment plan designed to enrich the experience of students no matter what their previous experience or ability.
Stage One has seen the University’s Olympic standard water-based hockey pitch resurfaced and a new rubber crumb multi-use games area made available for general use. The biggest change, however, has seen the six outdoor tennis/netball courts covered. The addition of a large, tensile structure over the courts will provide optimum playing conditions all year round and makes Exeter Tennis Centre one of the largest in the country now boasting four indoor, six covered and two outdoor courts.
“A number of new facilities are now open for general use at the University of Exeter Sports Park on Streatham
These developments have arrived on the back of a wave of sporting achievements for the University this year. A number of University of Exeter alumni and current students took part in the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games this summer, with Sarah Thomas (Exercise and Sports Science, 2010) coming home with a bronze medal in Women’s Hockey, the first GB medal in that sport for twenty years. The University also finished a fantastic seventh in the British Universities and Colleges sport rankings for 2011 / 2012, which saw 161 institutions from around the UK compete against each other in over 50 different disciplines. Director of Sport, Phil Attwell, commented. “We are absolutely delighted with the work that has been carried out over the summer. Last year was a great year for Sport at the Uni-
versity of Exeter and we have every intention of continuing this success. We want all University of Exeter students to enjoy the benefits that Sport has to offer, whether they are an absolute beginner or one of our Sports Scholars. The University of Exeter boasts some of the best sports facilities in the UK and we must continue to develop in order to deliver excellence in sport, for everyone.”
“New additions are open to students of all abilities and can be booked causally, outside of club times” Stage Two of the development, which is set to be fully complete by September 2013, will bring a new 200 -station gym, changing space, exercise
studio and reception area to the Sports Park. The construction of a new eight team changing pavilion by the hockey pitch is also expected to be finished by December. This new facility will provide teams with a place to change without having to share with opponents, as well as toilet and shower facilities for all Sports Park users. As with all of the facilities at the Sports Park, these new additions are open to students of all abilities and can be booked casually, outside of club times. All facilities (excluding the gym) are open to non-members, though membership allows discounts on activities and bookings. Regular updates and pictures of the Sports Park development will be available on the Sports Office website visit www.exeter.ac.uk/sport or University of ExeterSport on Facebook. For bookings call 01392 724452.
Students are struck by a spate of attacks in Exeter, and we launch our Save Our Sreetlights campaign. Screen review the new Bond film, while...
Published on Oct 29, 2012
Students are struck by a spate of attacks in Exeter, and we launch our Save Our Sreetlights campaign. Screen review the new Bond film, while...