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EXETERA

November, 2011

THE FRESH EDITION


E X E T E R A A Lighter Alternative for Exeter University Editor-in-Chief Max Benwell

Illustration Paula Rodriguez

Copy Tom Murray

Features Gabrielle Allfrey

Design Nick Rowland

Culture Adriana Spence

Marketing Alex Chadwick

Lifestyle Rachael Morris

Contributors: Jake Burkin, Louee Dessent-Jackson, Marta Jelec, Harry Kilpatrick, Toby Nielson, Tom Oberst, David Quinn, Dave Wood.

This issue is sponsored by the College of Humanities

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RULES AND SUGGESTIONS FOR THE ENJOYMENT OF THIS MAGAZINE 1) Ignore the fact that it isn’t Freshers’ Week any longer. This is more of

a retrospective. And it took longer than we thought it would. But more so, it’s a retrospective; keep that in mind.

2) We’ve spent an unhealthy amount of time trying to make this edition good.

So, instead of throwing it away after a quick scan, why not stick bits to your wall (the centrefold and last two pages would look particularly good), show your friends/family, or keep it in your room as a sort of prop? If anyone comes round and spots it you can nonchalantly say ‘Oh, this? You haven’t heard about it? It’s a new magazine on campus called Exetera, you should really check it out’. This will obviously make you look quite cool and ‘in-the-know’. And people love that.

3) Some things in this edition aren’t true. But when they aren’t, it should be pretty obvious. We’re not

trying to trick you. Just turn over this page once you’re done reading this and you’ll see what I mean.

4) Not everything in this edition is meant to be ha-ha funny. But this should also be pretty obvious. I hope. 5) Don’t get hung up on the idea that this is just a bunch of English students trying hard to validate their otherwise quite impractical degrees. This sort of attitude will definitely not help you enjoy the magazine. And also, it’s simply not true – there are only three English students on the editorial board who are trying to do this. But, with their degrees weighing in at over nine-thousand pounds and with little practical use, shouldn’t they at least be able to try? If anything, it’s cathartic.

6)Once you’re done, tell us what you think.

Our email address is email.exetera@gmail.com. Undoubtedly there’ll be some typos that you want to tell us about (were so sorry!), but let us know about more general things as well, especially if you have any ideas that you would like to share with us.

7) That typo in 6 was intentional. And so are all the others in this edition (if there are any).

Max Benwell

ity nivers U r e t e Ex t Card Repor A mia Acade r Bante n io Locat w e N s y it Divers

Freshers’ Tales p.6 3 Exetera // The Fresh Edition

Campus Safari p.12

A A B F?

Exeter & Diversity p.10

Day of the Dead p.14

A Poem p.23 Thank you Dave Eggers


FRESHERS IN NUMBERS Alcohol

69

Oh yeah

Freshers

Now we’re talking

10

Percentage of freshers who still giggle at the number sixty-nine

Percentage of freshers who now experience a stinging sensation when they urinate

3

15

Number of freshers who woke up in bed with Cilla Black

Number of shoes that were drunk from

492

58

Number of handshakes that went wrong

33

Percentage of freshers who don’t trust a man in spectacles

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Banter

14

Sexual encounters that ended with poorly executed high-fives

1,685

Hours spent discussing gap years

2

Gallons of vomit cleaned out of the Lemmy

Freshers still can’t find where the campus is

7

40,392

Number of transcendental experiences

Uses of the word ‘banter’


FAMOUS FRESHERS What the Rich and Famous Have Said About Their First Years At University “Freshers in one sentence? A veritable sex buffet! Gary Rhodes didn’t sleep for three weeks!”

“If you can remember Freshers, then you definitely weren’t there!”

Ainsley Harriott

Michelle Obama

“I spent all my money in a day!”

“Freshers’ Week? I got divorced!”

Margaret Thatcher

Henry VIII

“I had a ball!”

“It was ace!”

Alex Ferguson

Sue Barker

“Freshers? Every song I ever wrote was about Freshers.”

“You talkin’ to me about money launderin’ in Freshers’ Week? Shiiiiiit.”

Bob Dylan

Clay Davis


ONCE UPON A THEME Reflections on Freshers’ Week

Banter...


Features The weather was hot, but humid... Exactly the sort of weather you don’t want when you have 16 boxes of your belongings to heave up three flights of stairs. My room, costing me £187 per week, seemingly resembled most of the other rooms on campus, except that it was considerably more stifling due to being located next to the water boiler for the block. This meant that every time I stepped through the door I immediately had to shed almost all of my clothing to prevent me from melting. Paying a premium of £67 per week to be forced into near nudity may seem like a dream come true to some, although I believe one should not have to pay for the privilege. Generally speaking, Freshers’ Week was exactly what you’d expect it to be, however some of the noticeable phenomena were as follows:

1

Frequently spotting Exeter stereotypes in the flesh.

In online student forums (a popular haunt amongst many keen pre-freshers) there is frequent talk of the Jack Wills/Hollister/Lacrosse stereotype. This style of dress clearly isn’t a problem, and the exaggerated manner in which this stereotype is talked of gives these figures almost mythological status. “Surely people like that don’t exist”, I and my fellow Exeter offer holders mused when discussing our future. How wrong we were. Call me a cynic (because I am), but I would prefer to spend £70 on a ridiculous amount of Primark tracksuit bottoms than on 1 pair of Jack Wills tracksuit bottoms. At least that way you have the option to throw a pair away when you inevitably spill a murky alcoholic cocktail on them during Freshers’ Week.

2

The difference in cleanliness between male and female rooms.

Either girls secretly clean their rooms on a daily basis, or there’s some sort of magic in the air. My bin has been emptied a grand total of four times, but there is still filth strewn everywhere, and the scent of my lack of experience at living alone hangs heavily in the air. Girl’s rooms (on the whole) seem to radiate organisation and order; an intriguing aura which mingles strangely with the lingering stench of 4am cheese toasties.

3

The familiar sight of people drinking themselves confident.

4

Awkward hallway confrontations...

5

The extreme price fluctuations of desirable goods.

It provides a guaranteed talking point; at least we can at least discuss how drunk we are to sidestep the small-talk, despite the fact that this normally ends in vomiting or further embarrassment.

When two people approach each other and do that dance which only occurs when they both need to get to the two opposing ends of the corridor. Neither party has the wherewithal to subordinate for a moment and stand still so that the other person has a chance to select the direction in which they wish to pass you. You know what I mean.

Drinks are excessively cheap, so much so that you can ensure complete anaesthesia for the price of membership to the debating society. Before you know it however, you don’t have enough money to join the debating society anyway, and your fate is sealed in the bottom of a Jägerbomb.

These things aside, Freshers’ Week was a fantastic blur of debauchery, hangovers and regret. Given the opportunity, I wouldn’t change a second of it. Isn’t this sort of smutty behaviour exactly what is to be expected from cushioned young adults with no grasp of how the outside world functions? I certainly hope so.

Jake Burkin, First Year 7 Exetera // The Fresh Edition


There was once a time, before I came to university, when I believed that sex during Freshers’ Week was as common as a Zubat in a darkened cave... I was under the impression that once you arrived you wouldn’t be able to stop coming across the stuff – so much so that you might even have to resort to using super repel (which in this case would probably mean crying whenever a member of the opposite sex even looked at you, or incongruously dropping frequent Pokémon references into conversation). But then I came to university, and several myths were quickly dispelled. ‘Gash’ (an undeniably vulgar and misogynistic term), unlike a cold pint of beer, isn’t on tap and readily available for a few quid. Girls are much more complicated than that, apparently, and have such silly qualities as feelings, a sense of decency, and ‘taste’ in men. It doesn’t take a genius to realise that the ‘gash’ of university lore is a crass male construct that is perpetually invoked by those who think less with their brains and more with their cocks. Unfortunately for me however, I naïvely went along and gleefully subscribed to it. And this, amongst other things, as it turned out, proved to be my undoing. A point that was proven with regards to the issue of ‘going out’. As we all know going out at university is something akin to breathing – to refuse to do so is social suicide. However, it turns out that going-out is a lot harder than it seems. There are those among us for whom a pint is but a shot, a small quantity of liquid that can be downed in seconds.

I’m not one of those people – a pint is an inordinate amount of liquid, and something that poses a real problem for me. Can you imagine how difficult that makes socialising? To counter the problem I’ve had to resort to subterfuge. Here is a snippet of the sort of conversation that I would often partake in during Freshers’ Week: Someone normal: What are you drinking? It’s my round. Me: Oh, really? That’s so kind of you, but don’t worry about it. (Stretching elaborately) I’ve still got a massive hangover from last night...I went out last night see. As in, I went to a club and got really drunk. As in, phwoar, yeah... As my week progressed it became painfully apparent I wasn’t cut out for the near ‘professional’ drinking habits of my new peers. I just don’t have the stamina. Far from nights of debauchery, the memory I have of Freshers’ Week is of the hunger that no amount of Pot Noodles can seem to quell. Self-catered probably wasn’t the best choice. So yes, I’ve enjoyed myself, but also realised that that the bridge between dreams and reality is hard one to cross. Unless you’re blond, six-two and can hold more than half a pint, that is.

David Quinn, First Year

If you’ve just started at Exeter.... then you’ve probably spent the last few weeks of summer feeling that strange mixture of nerves and excitement that comes with the build up to any big moments in life, not least about Freshers’ Week itself. So much hype is built up around the first week of the university experience, that you’d be forgiven for thinking your entire year depends on the success of your first seven days. I had similar expectations when I arrived at my halls on that first Sunday two years ago, thinking that everything that I now love about uni would fall into place within the first few hours of getting there. Having dumped my suitcases in my room, I excitedly knocked on the door of my new neighbour, confident that whoever opened it would turn out to be a great laugh and a good mate for the next three years. Skip forward half an hour and I had established that of the three other students sharing my corridor, two were quiet international students

8 Exetera // The Fresh Edition

with a poor grasp of English, and the third had an enthusiasm for dressing up in historical battle re-enactments. All three seemed like nice, genuine people, but within those first thrity minutes they had already made it clear that they wouldn’t be joining me on any bar crawls. Heading upstairs, I noticed two boys wearing tweed jackets and tentatively approached them. The moment they caught wind of my common accent and noticed that the jogging bottoms I wore weren’t overpriced, they made their excuses and raced off, probably to feverishly discuss their first close encounter with a state school student. Feeling slightly dejected I contemplated my options: not all first year students enjoy the experience of university, many drop out each year (indeed, one of the boys on my corridor had done so within the first few days). Was I one of these students?


Features Pulling myself together, I decided to head out to the Lemmy on my own, something which anyone familiar with Exeter’s on-campus venue will consider highly tragic. Yet it proved to be a decision that completely changed the outlook of my Freshers’ week and my whole first term. Within five minutes, I had met a group of fellow freshers and the people

that would quickly become my best friends. As it turned out, the fate of my first week had been entirely in my own hands – just a little bravery had made the difference between a week of misery and a week that became one of the most hectic and memorable of the whole year.

Louee Dessent-Jackson Third Year

The world of the fresher was once a bit of a legend... heard about in elaborate stories by those who had never had the honour of the experience themselves, and forgotten through the haze of intoxication by those who had. But thanks to Channel 4’s new passion for university-based comedies, we can all remember what that first year of university was like: awkward first meetings, being in a near-constant state of either intoxication or recovery, and learning that as big and diverse as you thought Britain was, everyone is essentially from Surrey. One of the most important and pretty much only things I have learnt in first year, as I’m sure you all have too, is that Mummy’s food is a precious commodity. Whether you’re being fed disguised dog food in catered halls or attempting to cook fish fingers in the toaster because you can’t work out how to use the oven, fending for yourself is something you never quite appreciate until you have to do it. Having said that, I don’t think you can ever anticipate the variety of eating habits you will encounter during your time at university. Due to minimal funding and the horrible hills that Exeter forces you to climb with heavy bags of shopping, fridges are usually sparse, which tends to lead to the consumption of a whole range of unusual meals. Everybody goes through the stomach churning horror of an empty fridge bar an apple and baked beans, but a particular favourite part of my time last year was learning the eating habits of my dear flatmate Patrick. Patrick’s philosophy was that there could never be enough food to satisfy; the cheaper and the bigger the packet the better. A staple dinner for Patrick would be 10 sausages (never containing more than

10% meat), a portion of pasta big enough to feed two families with baked beans and brown sauce), and with each helping of this sausage pasta concoction sandwiched between Tesco Value’s finest bread. At eight o’clock one morning I walked into the kitchen to be confronted by the stench of fish, and the sight of Patrick eating an entire mackerel from a bowl before washing it down with a measuring jug full of water. And if on another occasion he was cooking a baked potato, Patrick would forget that he’d have to wait until it was ready, so he’d make himself five burgers and an omelette as a starter to occupy the time it took for the potato to cook, which he’d then readily stuff with anything he had to hand. To his credit Patrick would occasionally attempt a healthy diet. The first time he tried this he laid out a stick of celery, a lettuce, an apple and an orange on the table. Having realised this would not satisfy his hunger, he proceeded to boil six eggs, wrap each of them in a lettuce leaf, and put them in his mouth whole. Possibly my favourite moment of the year that I spent living with Patrick was our flat outing to town for lunch. Walking out of campus, we realised that he was lagging behind a bit so we stopped to see what was keeping him. Turning round, we watched, perplexed, as he took out a boiled egg from his trouser pocket and began to peel it. We asked him what he was doing. He replied that he thought he’d better take a snack on the way to lunch, just in case he got hungry. So enjoy your first year of miserable meals, and next time you think you might get peckish on that long hilly walk into town, try taking some boiled eggs in your pockets. Just in case.

Marta Jelec, Second Year

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A MATTER OF CLASS y t i s r e v ni U r e t d r Exe a C t Repor ia m e d a Ac r Bante n io Locat News y it s r e v i D

A A A B F?

Trying To Make Sense of Exeter’s Failure To Meet Its Outreach Targets

T

his month, Exetera has a revelation that could potentially shake Devon to its very core. We have come across a groundbreaking find, and one that will most likely come as a shock to you. Here it is: our university – yes, our beloved Exeter – is not very diverse. Our apologies, we realise that might have been too much. “Wow, what a mercilessly effective critique of our educational institution!” you might be thinking. Once again, sorry if we caused you to choke on your falafel. In all seriousness, diversity is a real issue for Exeter University and a difficult topic to broach, but is one that cannot be discounted. Firstly, a meaningful debate on whether Exeter is too upper class is too often betrayed by a culture of painfully reductive binaries on campus. You’re either a ‘rah’ or not, from Holland Hall or Lafrowda, shop at either Jack Wills or Primark, or adorn your feet with a pair of

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Uggs or normal shoes. This flattening of the field severely limits the potential scope of any worthwhile discussion, which in turn leads to the endlessly repetitive back-and-forth of class-orientated slander. There is only so many times you can complain of there being too many ‘rahs’ in Exeter, just like there are so many times you can complain about all the people with left-leaning chips on their shoulders. Which is why you’ve probably already felt a slight twinge of discomfort at the simple mention of Exeter and diversity – the debate has been done to death, and all terms associated with it rendered meaningless by their exhaustion in discussions across campus. We are bored with it, and so are you. So we will attempt to shed all these lazy class politics, as there are many ways to look at this issue in fresh and illuminating ways (and with an emphasis on ‘fresh’ of course, we’re trying to tenuously maintain a theme here). The reason why diversity in Exeter is on the menu


Features “A meaningful debate on whether Exeter is too upper class is too often betrayed by a culture of painfully reductive binaries on campus” today is that Exeter was recently named by the government watchdog Offa (Office for Fair Access) as one of 44 higher education institutions in England that failed to meet targets to integrate more students from lower income backgrounds, despite receiving funds from the government to do so. In short, Exeter was given large sums of money to spend on a certain number of students whose household incomes were less than 25,000, and they didn’t do enough. What’s more, Exeter set the targets themselves. But to be fair, we’ve all been there – we’ve all planned to drink a couple of bottles of red wine and spend the rest of the night at Timepiece, only to end up fast asleep on the sofa after the first glass. It’s okay Exeter: we understand. But that doesn’t detract from what is a serious issue that needs to be addressed. One reason that has been given for this shortcoming is that Exeter has some of the highest entry requirements in the country; supposedly, students with the higher grades come from the best schools. However, it was not just the University of Bolton that succeeded where Exeter failed. Other top-class universities that have similarly high standards as Exeter, ranging from Oxford to Manchester, didn’t miss their targets. But is this even a cause for concern? Realistically, social mobility takes time, and Devon is famously not very diverse itself, so why bother even making a point out of these findings? Well, if the failure of Exeter to admit more financially disadvantaged students is but, let’s say, a third of a problem now, what about next year, when fees triple? In response, the university has pledged to spend £10.3 million by 2015 on financial support for students. However, studies have shown that many students don’t always take loans or bursaries into account when choosing their university, which begs the question of where and how the university plans to spend all of this money. If Exeter is to be one of the new ‘Ivy League’ British universities and of a global standing, it is essential that the class-driven stereotypes that hang so heavily around its neck are

transformed. The university is currently undergoing a re-branding to address all the burgeoning stereotypes surrounding itself, and the president of the Guild, Nick Davis, has pledged to address this issue by discussing with students what the best way to spend this money would be, whether it is through housing allowances or subsidised campus facilities. This will all hopefully be productive steps forward, but is it enough? Whether you agree with them or not, some educational experts have argued that the culture of higher education in this country is becoming too elitist, and if this is the case then these measures will have to tackle this. However, not all of the blame can be placed on the university in its failure to meet its targets. It is not only the responsibility of institutions such as Exeter to reach out to students, but the job of the government to ensure that state education is providing young people with the skills and the grades they need to get in to the most competitive universities. Private schools excel in their ability to streamline their attention onto the individual needs of students in the classroom and bolster the strength of their applications. However, this sort of one-on-one assistance requires large amounts of money and often involves a wide-reaching network of contacts – two things that most comprehensives lack almost entirely. It would be hard to find many people who expect universities to lower their entrance standards to allow for greater equality; however, making it clear that our institution is open to everyone, regardless of their background, is an important step that we must take to integrate the more disadvantaged (yet just as talented) into the realm of Exeter. Failing to meet targets simply isn’t good enough for a university of such high standing. So Exeter, surprise us. We’ll help by shrugging off the self-destructive need to make jokes about all your stereotypes, just like a Holland Hall girl shrugging off her gilet after a long day of Geography and lacrosse. Okay, okay – that was the last one, we promise.

Gabrielle Allfrey & Tom Murray

11 Exetera // The Fresh Edition


?

Words & Illustrations: Dave Wood

Campus Safari By

! Jove

With Barnaby Conrad-Chuzzlewit

Drama Students (Loudus Dramaticus) Ah, our first spotting is also a dramatic one! Drama students, whilst merging with the general crowd by day, come alive by night. But be warned! While they might look like the most eligible females in Arena, as soon as Chris (who is totes legit btw) pulls Vicky (who is like, a complete slut), they end up folded in the corner, covered in semi-digested blue WKD and tears.

Cavern Snobs (Skinnius Jeanus) A rare sight on campus, given that they're constantly at the latest musical rave party, or staying up taking the latest legal research chemical and discussing the latest minimal techno movement out of Croatia. However, if you do get cornered by one, be prepared to have your entire music taste deconstructed, critiqued, and scoffed at!

12 Exetera // The Fresh Edition


! Zou

Features

nds

!

‘Down it Freshers’ (Chino Vomitus) What have we here? Ah, yes! Recognised by their primeval chants, the ‘Down it Freshers’ are becoming an increasingly prominent member of the student population. Although they're not completely stupid, it would be difficult to argue that they find much time for study outside of rugby training and chundering outside Timepiece. On a night out they can be spotted without trousers and shouting aggressively at anybody who dares question their apparent authority over others.

Philosophy Students (Pretentious Completus) A fleeting subset of the student species, the philosophy student can be characterised by their state of constant existential flux, depending on who they are reading that week. First year philosophy undergraduates can be frequently spotted sitting in the Ram telling anybody who cares to listen (usually other philosophy undergraduates) about how nothing really exists (wake up, guys!) and how absolutely excited by nihilism they are.

13 Exetera // The Fresh Edition


DIA DE MUERTOS The Day Of The Dead May Have Just Passed Us By, But What Was It All About?

Fiesta, in Spanish, means party. It also means a holiday, and as the Day of the Dead’s growing popularity suggests, it doesn’t fall short of a wild affair. Its mesmerising atmosphere is the fruit of centuries of indigenous and interracial mingling, colonialisation and conquest. Pre-Columbus, Aztecs and Mayans were already paying homage to the dead, and the idea has lived on to unite Mexico in a flurry of colours and music. While the 2nd of November is typically known for embodying the day of the ‘faithful dead’ in Christian liturgy, Mexicans celebrate the souls of the departed ‘chiquitos’ (children) on the 1st. The 2nd is allocated for the bygone adults of yesteryear.

Mexicans do not so much mourn for the dead as they do play with them, making the day infinitely less macabre than you would imagine. Tradition takes form in forging skulls out of sugar as well as producing little skeleton toys that look and dress like everyday characters, that are then made to move, shake and drop. Famously, the Mexican caricature artist Posada created a sombrero-sporting skeleton called Catrina, and her eerie ways are etched throughout the world as the symbol of the Day of the Dead celebrations (and are something that I have drawn upon heavily in my own illustrations!). Another activity is the reading of ‘Calaveritas’. These are poems that are addressed in a mocking tone and that criticise those about whom the verses are written – usually politicians or civil servants, but sometimes even friends.

14 Exetera // The Fresh Edition


Words & Illustrations: Paula Rodriguez Translated from Spanish by: Adriana Spence

Features The party starts with the midnight tolling of the local church bell, a sign for the dead to abandon their tombs to share drinks and assorted snacks placed on shrines with the much loved ones they’ve left behind. A photo of the most recently deceased takes pride of place on the shrine, and is adorned with the Cempas Úchil flower, which for those of you not so familiar with your Nahuatl flora terms, are Marigolds. Then, Tequila and tamales are served up, along with some sweet Mariachi sounds from visiting troupes.

Each community has its own unique way to eulogize mortality but luckily for us, its global diffusion gives us an opportunity to embrace death and the afterlife with colour, celebration, and a tint of laughter .

15 Exetera // The Fresh Edition


TOP 5 FRESHER TUNES With Nick ‘Badger’ Davis

Words: Tom Oberst 16 Exetera // The Fresh Edition

Illustration: Paula Rodriguez


Music This month we talk to the fresh new president of the Guild about the music that reminds him of his first years of university, and at no point mention anything about culling – apparently it’s a sore topic. Exetera: So you are this year’s Guild president, would you like to introduce yourself and say a little bit about what you do? Nick Davis: Hullo, my name is Nick Davis, also known to friends and acquaintances as Badger. My job this year is President of the Exeter Student’s Guild. The Student’s Guild represents the fantastic students of Exeter University and makes sure that everyone has a really fun time. My work this year is going to be focused around improving student welfare in terms of housing and accommodation, and looking to increase employability.

My housemate from last year, the wonderful Mr Joe Hill, locked himself away in his room for a couple of days listening to this track before coming out with us to Arena – one of the best clubs in town – and cleared the dance floor when this song came on only to show us that he had in fact been practicing all the moves in the music video, and had become quite adept at them. E: I did a little bit of research on the new Guild website, and I saw that you are very interested in charity work, and that you’d love to work for someone like Cancer Research. What inspired that?

ND: Fair enough, well I was born in London, near the wonderful Wimbledon, and I’ve lived there all my life. I was a comprehensive schooled child - like I know a lot of our students are; Exeter does sometimes get this reputation for having purely privately educated students. Although I did take a gap year before I came to uni... I can see a twinge in your smile.

ND: Well, yeah the dream job to go into after my year as a Sabbatical Officer would be at Cancer Research UK, they have a fantastic undergraduate program which I’d love to get onto. I got involved with RAG in my 1st year as a FREP (Fresher Rep) and I’ve never looked back from there. Some of my best friends I’ve met through the organisation, and as well as being part of a team that year on year raises between 80 and 90 thousand pounds for charity, it’s what has inspired me to go on and hopefully move into the charity sector after leaving Exeter.

E: I was just wondering if it was the standard SouthEast Asian route?

E: Okay, so sticking to the top-five Fresher songs, what is the song that reminds you most of your first year?

ND: It was, it was. Actually I did some work in London for about 9 months for a music promotions company and then went off to the East. I had a wonderful 3 or 4 months out there, [putting on a gap yah voice] and it really shaped me as a human being [laughs] before coming here to Exeter.

ND: The one that stands out the most would probably have to be...

E: Most people know you as this big Guild president figure, but could you tell us a bit about your background?

BLACK AND GOLD – SAM SPARROW

E: So, what is your first top five Freshers song?? ND: It’s been a big summer tune, and I believe it’s going to stay big in the clubs of Exeter for all Freshers, and it is...

PARTY ROCK – LMFAO 17 Exetera // The Fresh Edition

Every Thursday this would be blasting in Rococos... Happy memories. E: Now, one of the highly publicised things about the Guild is that it has a huge number of societies; do you have any favourites? ND: Ah, yes, very good question. We’re really lucky


here at Exeter. We have an incredibly engaged student body, and that is due in part to how we have over 150 active societies at the moment. I’d have to say that Pole Dancing Soc is definitely one of my favourites, I’m a big fan of that [laughs]. Other than that it’d have to be Hide & Seek, I have to say it’s one of the most innovative new societies. E: Let’s move onto your third track – can you tell me what it is, and give me a brief explanation... ND: Well, this song is a classic, which goes back in Exeter mythology, and will go on as well. It’s a song I heard every week at our fantastic Lemon Grove...

BUCK ROGERS – FEEDER ND: [DJ voice] BUCK ROGERS! [laughs]. But, yeah, the reason I chose that was its connection to Exeter, especially to the Lemon Grove. The line ‘drink cider from a lemon’ is in fact a reference to our student HQ!

E: Which moves us nicely to our next song, which I believe is a Summery song? ND: Yes indeed. It’s going to have to be...

SUNNY AFTERNOON – THE KINKS E: Going back to the whole advice for freshers thing, obviously people are going to be going out drinking, and presumably suffering from hangovers. Do you have a song for them to sooth their melancholy? ND: I heard this rumour that when people drink they get this thing called a hangover, but I’ve never experienced one. E: You’ve never drunk alcohol? ND: Well, I’ve had the odd shandy, but I wouldn’t know about this hangover phenomenon. Cranberry juice is a brilliant detox drink, and helps with these so called hangovers, and obviously a long stint in bed and a nice fry up can always help. But I find that on those mornings where I just can’t face the world, this song helps me through.

E: [Laughing]Of course it is ND: It is, honestly! E: It says ‘drink cider from eleven’. ND: From eleven? I thought it said from a lemon. Does this mean someone’s been lying to me for the last 3 years? [Having researched this after the interview, it turns out the lyrics are indeed ‘drink cider from a lemon’, Badger’s integrity remains intact.] E: The university obviously promotes non-alcoholic drinking and being responsible. What, if any, is your favourite non-alcoholic pastime? ND: I would have to say that my favourite thing to do outside of drinking activities is going down to the quay, I suppose, and sitting and enjoying the sunshine, and soaking in everything that it is to be in Exeter and indeed Devon.

BODY IN A BOX – CITY AND COLOUR E: So, like desert island discs, we’re going to give you the chance to pick a favourite song, but im not going to put you on an island or anything ND: Good, I don’t think I’d do very well on an island, I’m not a very practical human being, James Fox, who I lived with last year, just has to take care of me. I can take care of a student body, but not my own. If I had to take one, erm, well it’s very tempting to take the City And Colour one, but I may go into a slow spiral of depression, so purely for fun time and keeping the spirits up it’ll have to be ‘Party Rock’ – LMFAO E: Brilliant, thanks very much! ND: No worries!

Next Month: Floella Benjamin

18 Exetera // The Fresh Edition


THE CELLAR DOOR

Music

Opening Night,October 15 U

nless you’re a die-hard clubber of Spartan proportions, it’s hard to disagree with anyone who complains about Exeter’s choice of nightclubs. It’s not that they can’t be great fun, but that it often reaches a tipping point, located somewhere in term two, when going to any one of the city’s grand selection of six clubs for the nth time can become an almost Sisyphean ordeal. So when The Cellar Door announced that it was opening its fresh new depths to the general public on the 15th of October, it was with great excitement that Exetera headed down to the Quay with our otherwise barely used Moleskine notepads nestled in our pockets and our pencils in hand. Two questions played on our minds: would The Cellar Door be good enough to join the current pantheon of Exeter nightclubs? Or would it turn out to be something much better kept buried underground? As it turned out, The Cellar Door is, in a way, just what Exeter needs. Many have already drawn parallels between it and the Cavern due to its underground arches and alternative choices in music, but the laziness of this comparison quickly becomes clear once you consider how much larger it is, its novel location, and how

it simply looks a hundred times less dated than its supposed counterpart. Some may scoff at the fact that it presents itself more like the sort of club you would find in Shoreditch than in Exeter, but if you had to choose between that or another Arena...well, it’s up to you. The one thing about The Cellar Door though, is that it makes no effort to hide how it does not want to become just another student venue, which means that while it is just what Exeter needs, it may not be perfect for Exeter University. While the drinks are all reasonably priced, if you’re looking for sweet deals on WKDs, then it probably isn’t for you. Also, although largely excusable as it was only the opening night, it was difficult to gauge exactly what it was trying to achieve; the music played was eclectic to the point of sounding quite messily mixed together. Almost all of its black stone walls were also uninvitingly bare. However, as a sign by the entrance explained to any interested artists, the walls of the Cellar Door are still very much a ‘blank canvas’, which was conveniently telling. Whilst ‘blank’ would certainly be an exaggeration, on the opening night The Cellar Door resembled an unfinished painting, but to its credit, one that we certainly look forward to seeing completed once it comes properly into its own.

WHAT WE HAVE BEEN LISTENING TO NON-STOP SINCE AUGUST NAME: Death Grips ALBUM: Exmilitary SOUNDS: Badass

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BEST LYRIC: “I Am The Beast I Worship” (Beware) SUMMED UP IN A QUOTE: “Today’s Baudelaires are Hip-Hop Artists” (Jonathan Franzen)


Film

Tyrannosaur Dir. Paddy Considine Starring: Peter Mullan, Olivia Colman

T

yrannosaur’s plot explores the tragedies that occur in two people’s lives as they intersect with one another, both reaching boiling points in their tumultuous and tortured existences. Joseph is an alcoholic, a man with a vicious temper whose rage consumes him and eats away at everything around him. Joseph and Hannah cross paths when he is on the run from a fight in a pub and hides in a local charity shop where Hannah works. As the plot develops it becomes clear that Hannah is the victim of horrific domestic abuse and blankets her problems with alcohol and religion. Tyrannosaur is about the bond that forms between these two characters in their hours of need, helping and providing for one another in unexpected ways. Whilst this might all sound a bit clichéd the film manages to avoid such pitfalls through commanding performances, nuanced direction and a masterfully sustained tone of dissolution. Tyrannosaur sidesteps being another film about addiction or domestic abuse by focusing instead on the decay of the world it’s set in. Joseph’s house is more akin to a tomb, populated by the ghosts and memories of his wife and murdered dog.. The Britain of Tyrannosaur is populated by thugs, alcoholics and the scorned. Violence engulfs people’s lives, for instance a subplot of the film details the neighbour’s little boy being bullied by his mother’s boyfriend and his vicious dog. The child’s toy is mauled by the dog and left in pieces on the floor. The tethered material of the toy seems to operate as an astute metaphor for the characters of Joseph and Hannah, who need to be sewn up and pieced together in the same manner. Paddy Considine’s directorial debut provides us with a very familiar set up, adopting the social realist/ kitchen sink drama style to provide a visceral, gritty and melancholic representation of the underbelly of working class Britain. It is clear that Considine was heavily influenced by long time collaborator Shane Meadows as well as the work of Ken Loach and Mike Leigh in the construction of Tyrannosaur, but

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manages to hold a distinct individuality through the film in the face of its derivations. The script is almost perfectly pitched; dialogue flows naturally and occasionally provides realistic moments of humour between characters that helps to create a genuine feeling of warmth amongst the backdrop of misery. The performances are however what truly steal the show in Tyrannosaur. Peter Mullan plays Joseph with such fierce intensity, managing to convey a character of both terrifying rage and deep, disconsolate dissatisfaction simultaneously. Peep Show’s Olivia Colman (of Peep Show fame) is also utterly compelling, perfectly embodying the conjunctive emotions of fear, desperation, anger and desolation at her appalling situation. If you’re anything like me then expect heavy lumps in your throat and a fair amount of tears – this is not an easy watch. Whilst the script, direction and performances are all top drawer the film’s soundtrack is unfortunately a tad suffocating, and at points acts as a disservice to the narrative content. The attempts to add emotive force through the excessive use of acoustic guitar numbers had the opposite effect of stifling sequences and images that spoke strongly enough for themselves, and almost dictated what was and wasn’t poignant. The closing sequence’s use of The Leisure Society’s ‘We Were Wasted’ in particular seemed to smother the text in a layer that wasn’t necessary, ruining what should have been a moment of devastatingly contemplative cinematic gloom. Tyrannosaur is not without its flaws, but remains a very strong piece of work, made all the more impressive by it being Considine’s first feature length. It should rightfully sit alongside other contemporary British kitchen sink masterpieces like Secrets & Lies, Sixteen and Fish Tank. Strong performances and direction hold this film together, providing a deeply emotive, scary and uncompromisingly jarring experience which is well worth a watch.

Toby Nielson


EXETERA

A Lighter Alternative If you would like to write or draw for us, then get in touch. Our email address is email.exetera@gmail.com


EXETER MONOLOGUES The Arena Carpet I know the score. I know what you’ve been saying. “Why does Arena have a carpet?” I’ve heard you ask. Now look here. You don’t know. You don’t know the first thing about carpets. But I’ll tell you why: I’m the best carpet in town. I’m the stuff your dreams stumble on. You want to drop a drink on me? I’ll soak it up. You want to cry on me? I’ll drink it down. Decided to piss yourself ? I’ll shrug it off. Rugby boys? Don’t make me laugh. You like a drink? I’ll drink you under the table, lads. And when your face hits the floor, I’ll be there, drinking you under the table some more. I’m always under the table, but don’t let that fool you. I’m everywhere in this club – I’m in the air, I’m on your shoes, I’m diffusing into your brain, I’m breathing down your neck – I’m omnipresent. You think I smell bad? I’m potent, that’s what that is. That’s the smell of a real carpet. Don’t inhale too strongly though ladies, you could get nasty surprise the next morning. Yeah, that’s right – pregnancy – with none other than my 60% polyester child. Other types of club flooring just don’t compare. While laminate is drinking martinis with Dale Winton and comparing botox with Gok Wan, I’m partying with the big boys. I’m chugging pints of piss with the lads. I’m wearing a girl’s blouse while Hercules Baron-Smithe pulls down his Hollister joggers and pops grapes into my mouth from under his foreskin. I’ve got the sort of banter that the floors at Mosaic can only dream of. My friends over at the floors of Rococo’s say I’ve got a hygiene problem. Yeah? So did Einstein. It’s all relative. Every night I’m on beer, cider, Sambuca and Tequila; I’m on pints, pitchers and shots; I’m on the sweat of blokes in vests, the tears of girls in skimpy clothes – and they’re all on me – you wouldn’t fucking believe it. But every so often the boss will slip industrial-strength disinfectant into the mix at a foam party, which means I’m probably cleaner than the average pair of balls swinging above me each night. What really gets me is when people say I’m sticky. Really now. Well, we’ll see who’s sticky when I roll up, rolled up, at your house with the boys in the back of a transit van. You see if you want to say that when, bam, I’m there, carpeting your hallway. But no bother mate. I know the score, I’m clued up. It’s cool. Just don’t tread on me so hard next time.


I shat myself the other day, And let it settle there a while, I done this with a sneering smile, Then said to my wife, “if I may Display some biting wit” “Yes darling...”, and then she sat down by my side Whilst I my buttons and belt untied, And said, “I am sitting in my own shit.” We settled for a quick divorce, And I was pleased by this, of course; For then I could do it all again, And not pretend to be some guy That shelters women from the rain And stops in the street to say hi. I could sit in my own shit Again, and call over my new wife, She would come over and see it, Then I would be out of her life; Then I would be pleased to have ruined Our existence, For I think it is pathetic, All of these marrying instincts. I would rather marry ants, At least they are going somewhere, And don’t cry over their hair, And I could shit in my pants.

Charlie Penny


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