Interviews with Brian Kirwan from The Apprentice and James Oâ€™ Neill from Bitches With Wolves
The lastest in Movie and Music reviews
Tickets to go see Dappy Live!
Issue 47 December 2011 Sub Editors
Jack Jonasson Paul McCormack
Entertainments Editors Ulrike Schuster Pia Stromme
Photography Editor Muhammad Sami
Anastasyia Bondarenko Angelique-Sylvia Riccot Bernard Moran Brew Mbirika Christina Erasmus James Keating Kristin Karlsson Lance Kerrigan Laura Lyne Mary Mc Fadden Michelle Vernier Patser Grey Rob McKenna Stephen Donnery Vivane Stroede Advertising Enquiries: 01 4150 463 Printed by: Speciality Printing and Design Ph: 087 992 0530 Griffiti Magazine Griffith College Dublin Students’ Union South Circular Road Dublin 8 Ph: 01 415 0463 Email: Griffiti@gcd.ie Griffiti Magazine is the Students’ Union publication at Griffith College. It was established in 2004. All contents copyright of Griffiti, reproduction of any part of the magazine with permission is strictly prohibited. The views express in Griffiti magazine do not nessessarily reflect that of the college or the SU
Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to present Griffiti’s very first 36 page issue. It’s Christmas so we thought we would go the extra mile to give you something special and is this a Christmas issue or is it what! We have everything from ideas for gifts (check out our review on the new iPhone 4S) to an article on the real meaning of Christmas which is well worth a read. As if that wasn’t enough the page numbers are in little Santa hats, check it out! The Griffiti elves have been working extra hard this month to bring you this extra long issue. I continue to be amazed, astonished, intrigued and delighted by the articles and photography that pop up in my emails every day. Thanks to you guys and girls this issue is jam packed with everything a student could ever want when they get a chance to relax and flick through their college magazine. This was particularly impressive as most of this content was produced while students were neck deep in assignments and preparing for their exams in January. I would like to congratulate Christina Erasmus on winning the photography competition with her photograph entitled ‘Snow Queen.’ It has been a great semester, I can’t believe that the year is half over, it’s a little scary how quickly it’s going by but time flies, as they say. Best of luck in your exams and I will see you all next semester. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Ian Donegan, Editor
Contents 4 State of the Union What have we been up to this past month?
10 Santa VS Krampus Find out the real meaning of Christmas 14 Party People Can you see yourself? 16 We interview Brian Kirwan From The Apprentice 19 We speak to James Neill from Bitches With Wolves 20 Third Level Education Fees and their effect on the disadvantaged
24 Read up on the New iPhone 4S 26 Griffiti at the Movies 28 Music 29 Creative Writing 32 The Genuine Article 34 Competition
State of the Union
Email: Rain.firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 01 415 0418 Mobile: 087 972 9 335
SU President, Rain Aly Hi Guys, I hope you are all keeping well, it’s time to have a little break for Chrismas and New Year’s, time to do a little more studying before the exams, so do as well as you can in the exams and best of luck. We are having a good year in the Students’ Union so far. We have enjoyed all our events with the students and I hope you have all had a great semester. I will try to update you as much as I can since the last issue of Griffiti. We have had three events since, the School Disco which was held in Arthur’s Bar, many were dressed up as school kids, teachers, secretaries and the SU guys were the jocks. The night was amazing and great fun for everyone. We started with karaoke and ended up as a normal night with chart music. The second one was Skiing and Snowboarding, a huge number of the students showed up for this trip. Many students who had never tried it before were glad that they went and we are all looking forward to the next skiing and snowboarding trip very soon. And the last one was the 90s Night which was held in The Button Factory in Temple Bar. The weather was horrible and students were still finishing off assignments but we had a great night anyway. Thank you for making the effort to get dressed up for 90’s night, you made it a fun and colourful experience. Our next event is Winter Wonderland which is taking place in Kilmainham in the Royal Hospital. We decided to do something different, bigger and better than any Christmas Ball the SU has ever done. It is going to be one of the greatest events we have done this year. It’s only €12 with your SU membership card or €16 without it for this amazing night in Winter Wonderland. We will all meet at the SU at 5:00pm. Once we are there you will have 2 hours to enjoy the attractions of Winter Wonderland. This means you can buy tickets for the ice rink, rides and will have free entry to Winter Wonderland market, Spiegel Saloon, Christmas Circus and two free drinks (Non Alcoholic option included). There will also be a free Le Cirque performance which is a stylish theatrical performance exclusively for Griffith College students. And later, at midnight, we will be heading to Lafayette Night Club on O’Connell Bridge. It will be great fun all night long with the whole college involved, so come along with your friends and celebrate your Christmas party 2011 in Winter Wonderland with your college mates. Before long, you will all be enjoying your Christmas holidays so before that time comes I would like to say Merry Christmas, and wish you a Very Happy New Year, and I will see you after the exams in the year 2012 expecting to hear you received good results and welcoming you with a smile for the RAG Week and SHAG Week events. In the last student council meeting students were concerned about the high prices in the Arthur’s Bar for the food and drink they charge students, the Students’ Union brought it to the attention of Chris (Manager of Arthur’s Bar) and Chris was invited in the Student Council meeting to take a broader view of the high prices of the Arthur’s Bar. We are looking further into the matter as we speak and will let you know when we have more information. Our survey on what time the library should close at has come to an end now, we have received good responses. It shows that there are many students who are willing to study in late shift hours, we have got some good reviews and some bad reviews. Thank you for taking the library hour survey it helped a lot, soon we will let you know the results of the survey. Now we have some more amazing deals for our students. We are delighted to offer such good and cheep deals to our students e.g. Mr iPhone 10% percent discount for our students on anything you need regarding phones, smart phones and iPhone Accessories it is so easy to avail of this deal. All you need to do is show them your Students‘ Union membership card and straight away you will avail of up to 20% off MR. iPhone products. The second good deal comes from right across the road in Noshingtons Café. €5 for a Hotpot for Students during the day. I’m confidant you’ll like it, it is Golden! If you’re on a student budget this meal is worth it, try one today. Well, I think that is quite enough from me, Toodledo for now!
Email: email@example.com Tel: 01 415 0460 Mobile: 085 119 1317
State of the Union Clubs and Societies, Shane Ronan-Duggan
Hi All, Another month over and done with and another new facial hair style for me. It was a good month with us trying to cram as much into it as possible. We had our Ski Trip which was a great success. Also, this month we had our Back to School Disco with a bit of karaoke thrown in for good measure. It was a great night with the SU throwing in our own rendition of Backstreet boys and wearing our best jock outfits, legend! Rugby The rugby team played two matches this month. The first a friendly against DCU Force rugby team going down 44-0 but that didn’t hold back the lads spirit and they delivered when it was needed in the league. An epic encounter was played out against DBS out in Monkstown rugby club. Local rivalry was evident in a very tight game but we took it in the final two minutes of the game. Soccer It was another busy month of soccer. The team managed to pick up all three points against Inchicore. Martin Agbaso with the winning goal there. The Christmas break is now taking place but if you wish to train with the side you are more than welcome to. Stop into the SU for more information. Table Tennis The table tennis league has now kicked off and is ongoing everyday downstairs in the SU. We will be entering a team into a competition out in DCU in the next few weeks so stay tuned to see how we get on there. Salsa Salsa classes are starting to heat up even more, taking place in the auditorium every Wednesday night from 6pm.You might notice some of our class members around the city shaking things up on the dance floor. Basketball We will be playing our first match very soon against Trinity College. Training has been taking place regularly now also with our coach Dave Baker so stop into the SU for more information on this. Yoga Don’t forget yoga takes place every Tuesday upstairs in the Auditorium from 7pm. It is a great way to unwind and distress from all your college work. Fencing We were taking mid-term sports and societies sign ups in Arthur’s Bar on Monday November 28th. The one thing that stood out more than anything was fencing. We got more than fifty people signed up in Arthur’s alone and people have been signing up consistently, since so we think that the Fencing Society is going to be a major success. If you fancy some fencing lessons call into the SU and we’ll sign you up. We will be having another poker tournament this month so some people will have the chance to claim the final title of Champion for 2011. Also, don’t forget we have the Christmas Ball taking place on December 14th. This is going to be an awesome event, spending the evening out at Winter Wonderland in Kilmanham doing things like ice skating and watching a private Le Cirque performance and then heading into town for our own private party in Lafayette nightclub. All of this for only €12, including transport; it is an absolute bargain. We will be having our first cricket match against RCSI as well. Oh, and of course before I forget, Christmas exams! There are always the best part about this time of year. So look out for all of these events and more coming your way soon. Stop into the Students’ Union for more information on any of these or drop me an email. Have a super-dooper Christmas and I’ll see you all on the other side.
State of the Union Carole Wardlaw, Student Counsellor
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Mobile: 087 9729 335
Hi all, Christmas is a word that conjures up different images for each of us. For some it is a picture of expectation, fun and happiness. The expectation of meeting up with friends and family, the exchanging of gifts, the parties and the laughter. However, for some Christmas is a word tinged with dread and an anticipation of loneliness and anxiety. It may be that you are going home to a family where there is an alcoholic parent. Perhaps Christmas means more arguments in the home, or even violence. It can be a miserable time observing other people being happy when your life seems far removed from this.Christmas is a time when we remember those who are no longer with us. Some of you will have lost grandparents or even friends this past year, and so there will be a sadness for you in the midst of the festive season. One of the largely unspoken issues in our fast moving and ever changing society is loneliness. It is hard to imagine anyone feeling alone or lonely when we are all surrounded so much by activity and noise. It is often the case that someone who seems to be popular and surrounded by people is in fact feeling isolated and disconnected. For each one of us, Christmas and the festive season creates a unique picture. We have all had both good and bad in our lives this year. There is much to be grateful for. As for the bad things, don’t hide them but reach out and open up to at least one person who cares for you. As has been said, no man is an island. We all need each other to share our joys and our sorrows. If you would like to talk to me about any difficulty you are having please email me at email@example.com. I am reluctant to mention the word EXAMS at a time in the year when we all just want to relax and have a good Christmas. However, as your parents and school teachers no doubt told you time and time again, it is only for your own good! We are all different when it comes to our approach to study and exams. Some of you will have discovered by now that your good intentions have not materialised, and you now have to think how you are going to make it all happen for your exams in January. Forget about the plans you had and why they didn’t work. Today is a new day. Make a new study plan. If you need help with setting goals or motivating yourself, email me and I will be glad to help you make a plan that will work for you. The first step is to know what time of the day works the best for you? Are you an early bird or a night owl? Try to organise your study time to fit in with your best time of the day. Secondly, plan your day and your week. Make a timetable which adequately covers what you need to achieve - and stick to it! Thirdly, learn to stop yourself procrastinating, getting distracted and sabotaging your plan. Turn off your phone, curtail your time online and use of Facebook. Don’t make excuses for yourself. Motivate yourself by putting up pictures or notes around your study space to remind yourself of why you are studying in the first place. Where are you going in your life? Fourthly, do the task that you least like first. This will prevent you from neglecting it, and will allow you to enjoy your favourite subjects even more. It is impotrant to remember to keep your body hydrated. Water is the best form of hydration - note that I am not mentioning coffee, Red Bull or any other liquid here! Diet and excercise and also very important when studying. It is important to eat regularly, and as healthily as possible because food has an impact on our moods. It is good to take the time to excercise because it gives us a sense of wellbeing and keeps our mind sharp and focused. If you need any support from your faculty to help you in sitting your exams, let them know as soon as you can and they will be glad to help. If you are struggling or getting anxious about your exams, send me an email, and I will be happy to talk to you.
Bon chance, everyone.
Cool Runnings Michelle Vernier on the Students’ Union’s Skiing and Snowboarding Trip
t 7pm on Thursday the 25th of November, a group of 60 students met up at the Students’ Union, gathering for the bus to go to The Ski Club of Dublin. A skiing and snowboarding resort with four slopes in different
SU Health Message Do not neglect your lips. The Irish Winter can be cruel! Mary Mc Fadden tells us more.
t’s not just your pearly whites you have to worry about at this time of year! There’s nothing worse than having your make up done perfectly and your eyebrows plucked or waxed to perfection and then noticing that your lips have become chapped and flaky. It runs your confidence down and you end up smiling behind your hands. Your smile is arguably the most noticeable thing on your face, besides your eyes. Studies show that cold air can actually dehydrate
heights and lifts to help you up to the top of the slope. From a distance it just looks like normal slopes but when you get closer you realise that you are about to visit one of Europe’s finest dry ski resorts. It is run by a non-profit organisation with volunteering members that offer skiing and snowboarding lessons and inspiration. The bus trip took about 40 minutes, but everyone’s good mood made the time go faster. As we filed out of the bus people were starting to get a bit skeptical, looking at the rain pouring down, but thankfully the SU had prepared gloves for everyone which saved our hands from frostbite. You could feel the excitement in the air. For many, this was their first time skiing. The Students’ Union had luckily arranged ski lessons, with devoted teachers that helped beginners down the slopes without falling. We were split into two groups beginners and those with a bit more experience. After getting our equipment and having them personally adapted, we were ready to go. As for myself, I have skied before but I must admit the first couple of goes did feel a tad unstable but skiing is like riding a bike, you will always remember it. Soon enough you saw people whooshing down the slopes, one faster than the other. The best part was that because
your lips more than hot air. The only moisture your lips receive naturally is from saliva, but because the lips have a very thin layer of skin and different glands from the rest of the skin on your body, they dry out very easily and over-licking them causes more harm than good as saliva evaporates quickly. It’s even more important for smokers to keep their lips moist as they tend to have very dry, wrinkled lips that only get worse in extreme low or high temperatures. This, combined with ‘smokers lines’ which are deep set wrinkles around the mouth, make a once pretty mouth quite unattractive. Lip balms such as Carmex, Blistex clear advance, labello and Burt’s Bees are the most popular ones so give them a go. There is also an excess of dead skin on your lips at this time of year so to exfoliate your lips on the cheap (we are on student budgets af-
it was so late we didn’t have to stand in a queue for the lifts so despite the rain you still kept yourself warm. The snowboarders had one slope of their own, and skiers had one for beginners and one for experienced. Standing at the top of the last slope you got an amazing view of the surroundings and in the distance you could see the lights of Dublin colouring the sky. The slopes were covered with “Dendix” or “Snowflex”, which makes the slopes slightly more slippery than the ones with snow but other than that it was hard to tell the difference while sliding down at high speed. The ski teachers split the group, so that all students were taught at their own level. After a couple of active hours on the slopes the cold became a lot more noticeable. After returning our equipment the greatest surprise of them all was free hot chocolate and coffee for everybody. We all gathered up in the kitchen and enjoyed the hot drinks. When we were finished the bus brought us back to the college but what is a ski trip without an after ski? So the evening ended at The Headline Bar where we all could laugh about the great day we had.
ter all) apply some Vaseline to your lips, then coat your finger in it and dip into a bowl of sugar, then rub gently over the lip to scrub off any stubborn pieces of skin clinging to your pretty pout. For extremely chapped lips caused by certain cosmetics or over-licking your lips, honey has antibacterial properties that can help heal and soothe lips. Also, one way of stopping the temptation would be to put something horrible tasting on them so you aren’t tempted to lick them!
Minor setback for Rugby Team Bernard Moran reports on GCD’s match against DCU
Although there was a resounding margin of victory, experience was the deciding factor in Griffith College’s rugby match against Dublin City University. While seven of DCU’s first team started what was essentially a casual kick-about for them in terms of significance, roughly half of the Griffith players starting 15 were playing their first match. Whatever the result, it was a great opportunity for coach, Niall McGrath, to see how well his team (led by captain Victor De Neyrieu at No.8) could implement what they’d practiced in training. Griffith spent the first ten minutes camped in their opponents 22. However, a lack of awareness of space and attacking structure prevented them from taking advantage of what were some glaring opportunities early on. It wasn’t long before DCU were punishing our side – Another ten minutes into the game and they’d racked up three tries. A familiar pattern emerged as their number eight broke a couple of high tackles and offloaded in the third to find his open side picking a line to run unopposed under the Griffith posts for the first of his four tries. Griffith made changes at halfback and Dave De Loughry, who came on at No.9, made a positive impact for Griffith in the 2nd half. His step and acceleration seeing him make a couple of breaks and offloads to create a string of very impressive plays. However, that aside, GCD were far too often found lacking in imagination in attack, and both structure and technique in defense. The referee, taking charge of the match for the first time, allowed the breakdown to become sloppy and failed to punish DCU with more than a penalty when twice in the space of five minutes they committed blatant trips - one, a Roy Keane-esque slide tackle. However, officiating had little bearing on the outcome of the match. Coach, Niall McGrath was positive afterwards saying “It was good for lads to get experience, an we know now what we need to work on. The second half shined a bright light on what we have to build on for next week against DBS, so even though the result sounds awful, it was very useful.” The DCU captain commented saying “Rugby’s a social game, it’s a bit of craic for lads to come out here and go for a drink after. It’s great to see a lot of the Griffith lads taking up the game for the first time too. That’s what you want.” On paper a great win for DCU and an embarrassing defeat for Griffith . However, looking forward to the season ahead, it may be the losers, who having worked very hard on the pitch to overcome factors such as inexperiance and lack of preperation time, gained more from the match on this day.
Soccer team secures second Victory Stephen Donnery reports on Griffith College Soccer Team’s recent success 8
GCD’s soccer team have just seen a mixed week, a very differentoutfit from last week stepped up to the plate and defeated Inchicore 1-0. Martin Agbaso’s goal on the stroke off half time was the differences GCD earned a critical three away points. A game which was very open and end to end from the start saw the boys in blue hold out for a well fought and deserved victory. A completely changed back four (which saw Paul McCormack join the team in a moment of altruism to make up for missing players) including team captain, John Ojo, kept strong and dealt with everything that was thrown at them. Horror struck in the 37th minute as Goal-Keeper Mark Morgan pulled off a tremendoussave only to be forced to exit the field in anambulance as he suffered a dislocated finger.
Kase Bukhatwa who was pulling the strings in midfield up to now was the player who took over Mark’s position in goals. A fine performance from Bukhatwa saw him hold out for a clean sheet to ensure his side’s victory. As the game progressed, changes fell for both sides when it looked like GCD’s chances could come back to haunt them. Oladele and Anderson saw chance after chance strike the post or even trickle agonisingly wide. Sam Thomas in mid-field played a mighty game as he stopped most of Inchicore’s attacks from his mid-field defense role. The last chance of the game fell to captain John Ojo whose powering header went flying over the Inchicore crossbar. Overall it was a good victory for the South Circular Road side, as they prepare for their upcoming fixture.
In Ireland...At Christmas Time
Michelle Vernier Sweden Oh Christmas time. Snow all around us and stars glowing in every window. The sun sets at four o’clock in the evening and at 7pm every single kid in Sweden gathers around the TV to watch the “Advent calendar.” A new story every year is presented with 15 minute long episodes each day with the grand finale on December 24th. After each episode every kid opens a box for each specific date in their paper calendar which is sold by the Swedish public television. In Sweden, Christmas starts four Sundays before Christmas Eve and every household is prepared with an advent
Angelique-Sylvia Riccot Tanzania
eri ya Krismasi” or “nakutakia Krismasi njema is how we say Merry Christmas inSwahili – in which you can see popular useof the word “Krismasi” is derived from the word “Christmas”, so it would appear thatthe English influence has had the greatest impact. I came to find that the Irish take Christmas extremely seriously; whether through consumerism or just the spirit of it all. I enjoy the holidays, who doesn’t, but in Ireland you are bombarded by Christmas. I started hearing Christmas songs in October, madness.
candlestick with four candles. Every Sunday you light one candle that symbolises the wait for Christmas. You start with the candle to the left, and on Christmas Eve the lit candles form a stair as they have burned at different times. From December 1st, Swedish children practice carols and songs for Saint Lucia. St. Lucia is the only saint celebrated in Sweden and the legend says that she was a young Sicilian girl. The man she loved was in love with her eyes and therefore St. Lucia cuts them out as she wants him to love her instead of the eyes but he leaves her. Nobody knows why we celebrate this tale but children dress up as Lucia herself, with a white dress, red belt around their waist and green leafs in their hair. You can also dress up as an elf if you like. Parents then come to hear their own St. Lucia sing songs of Christmas. Even as a grown up you can dress up as Lucia and the pageant of becoming Lucia of Sweden is as big as X Factor is in Ireland. The perfect Lucia is kind, beautiful, a good singer and almost always blonde. Instead of waiting until Christmas Day, we celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve. As in many other countries, Christmas is celebrated with a lot of food and drinks. We eat Swedish meatballs, Christmas ham and many more traditional dishes. We drink Schnapps and “glögg”
which is warm wine with almonds and raisins in it. At four o’clock on Christmas Eve it is time for the TV to play a central part in our celebration again, this time for “Donald Duck’s Christmas” which shows clips from various Disney movies. The evening ends with a visit from Santa Claus that asks “Are there any good kids here?” and all the good kids get presents. Before the tradition of Santa Claus came to Sweden we had the folklore of the “Christmas goat buck”. He was a mean buck that showed up on your doorstep on Christmas Eve and left stones. Today the buck is not a big part of the Christmas but almost every home gets a small buck made of straw, standing as a decoration beside the Christmas tree. The most famous buck in Sweden is 13 meters high and can be found in the city of Gävle. It is displayed in the middle of the center and unfortunately, each year, people are betting on how many days the buck will last. This year it lasted only 5 day before it was burned down the 2nd of December. Christmas day is a calm day yet most young people meet up in the evening at the local club to hang out with friends they have not met since they moved away for University in August. With this I wish you all a merry Christmas, or as the Swedish way; God jul!
In Tanzania, we do it a little differently. It’s a one week affair and I’m not even sure if we have any sort of tradition now that I actually think about it. The first thing to bear in mind - I have never woken up to a white Christmas – the sun is always blazing. This magical holiday falls in December, for Europeans it means cold and snow but for us it means the hottest month of year and well, summer. Christmas, when I was younger this was one of the most magical things! I celebrated in the village with my grandparents– got new clothes, went to Sunday school, had delicious food and got presents. For the people of Tanzania a traditional Christmas is one where the Christmas tree is barely surviving the humidity. I am yet to see one with the stamina to survive a whole day. The entire family would get together for supper and the kids would sit on the floor in the kitchen while the adults sat in the living room talking and eating. One vivid memory I have was that there wasan ‘old man’ constantly being advertised everywhere drinking Coca-Cola; I wasn’t quite sure what that meant. In Ireland I learned that this man is Santa. Eight years ago, things changed a little bit. It evolved into attending mass for a whole night. Singing Christmas songs and listeningto the sermon. I know the Irish tend to be fond of
their summers, but picture the scene: waking up to 23’c, the sun beating through the window, only to step into the living room which is 30’c with the fan spinning at maximum speed, which doesn’t help – it’s going to be over 36’c by lunch anyway. This is the part where you do summer things because summer is the long, dreamy part of the year; but take your summer, multiply the heat by two, the humidity by 20’c and jam Christmas in there too for goodmeasure. That’s your Tanzanian Christmas. However, the traditions basically remain the same despite the Equator messing things up. Christmas morning starts off with presents under a plastic tree (we finally learnt), the AC goes on and we eat chocolates while we sit, exchange gifts and have breakfast. I have only experienced this as my dad is English, so my Christmas is pretty much English. Lunch is at a hotel by the beach – since I was 13 - filled with cocktails and later on going out with the family for a swim then it’s off to visit the relatives. For some, Christmas is spent in an oven and others in a freezer - buts it’s all turkey anyway! Nawatakia Krismasi njema!
Rob McKenna explores the origins of the Christmas traditions that we celebrate today
e often hear the phrase “the real meaning of Christmas” as if there were only one, and that one uncontested. It generally seems to imply that some innocent, possibly spiritual event has been corrupted by greed or commercialism or non-stop partying. We don’t really know the origin of Christmas. We don’t know the origin of Santa. We do know that their origin isn’t Christian, but that earlier traditions became Christianised. It was common for Christianity to take pagan gods and rename them as saints. We in Ireland are all familiar with St. Brigid, for example. There’s nothing in the gospels to associate the birth of Jesus with this time of year. Both gospels that mention the birth of Jesus give wildly contradictory accounts and means of getting Jesus of Nazareth born in (for Jewish scripture) Bethlehem which was in Judea rather than in Galilee. This was awkward as everybody seems to have agreed that Jesus was an Aramaic speaking Galilean rather than a Hebrew speaking Judean. The whole set of images associated with Christmas have nothing to do with Judea two thousand years ago: snow, mistletoe, a red Siberian psyche-
The Real Mea
delic mushroom shaman… Hang on, the last one didn’t take you by surprise, did it? One of the stories given for the traditional red and white image of Santa is that it is a shamanistic costume based on the fly agaric mushroom. The truth is we really don’t know for sure the origin of the traditional Santa image. It doesn’t come from Coca Cola advertisements though, however much they might have used Santa in their promotion. The notion that he was originally green has some merit in that some early American depictions of Santa did have him in green. And as with Halloween our version of Santa Claus is our old traditions sold back to us after being transformed in the United States. Sinterklaas, the Dutch St. Nicholas was merged with the English Father Christmas to make Santa Claus – the first recorded mention of those words is from the 18th Century in the US. That this melding of German, Dutch, and English traditions happened in the US is entirely appropriate. It’s why Dutch will frequently tell us that we give presents on the wrong day. We in the English speaking world have so obviously appropriated their tradition that our version of it strikes them as being very
“We don’t really know the origin of Christmas”
wrong. They, of course, also adopted earlier traditions and older gods to the new times. One of the most prominent older gods that was folded into the Christmas traditions was Odin associated with the festival of Yule. He left presents in boots much as later St. Nicholas was claimed to have. It seems to me an awful pity that we neglected to take on Santa Claus’s reverse, the great Krampus, when we appropriated other European traditions. Krampus is a goat headed demon from Austrian and Southern German Christmastime. While the name Krampus is associated with the wild hunt and therefore in the same kind of traditions as Odin and Yule he is usually nowadays a companion to St. Nicholas –a Christian bishop, a saint from Turkey and a goat headed demon from Germany is one of those wonderful conjunctions that history throws together but which makes no sense at all. In these traditions it isn’t so much Santa who knows if you’ve been naughty or nice but rather the much more frightening Krampus. He will leave the naughty children a piece of coal, beat them with a switch, and one supposes for the most incorrigibly naughty only, throw them in the basket on his back and cart them off to hell. These days the demon survives mostly in the form of young men (and now women) drinking schnapps and dressing up and “frightening” the kids with their costumes and by rattling chains. It is celebrated in neighbouring villages on different days so that they get to go out to several parties, get hammered on schnapps and shuffle round the
aning of Christmas town waking everybody up. In other words yet another excuse to party around Christmas because that is one of the real meanings of Christmas. By getting rid of Krampus and his role in the punishment of children we have made Santa Claus into a potentially evil creature or at least one sending out mixed messages to children. If he knows what you’ve been up to, if he has global reach in his transport network and information gathering is it any wonder children frequently react to their first encounter with Santa with as much horror as they do with clowns? He is used as a threat to make children behave, to defer the pleasure they are currently having in the hope of getting better presents in the future. “He knows if you’ve been good or bad” like some kind of creepy transnational stalker: Mark Zuckerberg in a fat suit perhaps? Except he also gives presents rather than selling your personal information on to strangers. And he doesn’t get you fired from your job for time wasting. So basically not that much like Mark Zuckerberg after all. However, why does there need to be a bad side to Father Christmas, an evil twin to his merry present giving? Christmas is at its heart a celebration of the fact that we have managed to work with our environment to provide for ourselves and we have a surplus which we can use to have a feast in the darkest days of the winter to remind us that the bounty will be back again. It’s a pat on the back to ourselves for getting part way through the long hard winter of the
Northern world. Every feast is haunted by the spectre of famine, the fear that we will have consumed too much. Every party, every unbridled celebration, carries with it the fear of going too far in unbuttoning and letting go. This is a major part of what Christianity tapped into in our psyche. It seems to me to be the major religion most devoted to deferred pleasure. Don’t enjoy yourself now and you can have an eternal party after you are dead. While recognising pleasure as your goal Christianity haunts it with the fear of eternal pain as your reward for experiencing it. The only pleasure that is worthwhile is that which is incapable of being experienced: pleasure after death. This bifurcation finds an expression in the dual nature of Santa Claus and Krampus (or just Santa Claus in his dual role as an agent of punishment and fear as well as giver of gifts). Krampus as a member of the wild hunt of the winter is an expression of a legitimate pagan fear: winter brings death and starvation and deprivation. It’s cold up North and if you haven’t prepared well, or the elements just get too bad, you will die. As a spectre haunting the gift giving of Christmas which has been folded in to Santa Claus he merely brings a good measure of Christian guilt to what should be the unbridled joy of the carnival of Christmas. The complaints of the devaluation of the true meaning of Christmas are, I think, based on a false premise; that Christmas is not a fleshy, pagan, messy, guilt free carnival. It is and it should be. Let Krampus be separated from Santa again and remove guilt from Santa’s
remit. There are many different Christmases and they now include a Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus but none of them is more legitimate. When you are a child you get to experience the wonder of gifts and the notion that there is mysterious infinite love offered to you, because there is. As you get older the joy in feasting and of partying comes more to the fore and stays with you as you get to experience the joy of being Santa, of being indulgent in your generosity as well as in your consumption of treats. It is particularly illogical in these recessionary times to be made to feel guilty for consumption: the embrace of austerity as if self-denial were a moral response to the economic problems of the world that could purge the indulgences of the past is killing our economies and any possibility of growth and recovery. St. Nicholas himself would probably approve of excessive spending, he was after all the patron saint of pawnbrokers. The real meanings of Christmas include, but are not limited to: present giving, a carnival, a chance to party, a time for families to get together and fight at the table, a mid-winter stimulus for shops, a chance to get extra shifts to save some money up for a ski holiday after the exams. What it isn’t and shouldn’t be is an excuse for zipped up morality and looking down ones nose at others for having a good time. Separate your guilt from your pleasure, your Krampus from your Santa. And then take your Krampus out for a party.
James Keating attended a Photography Exhibition highlighting the decline of The Fishing Industry in Ireland
The Alliance- Française, Dublin, opened a photography exhibition on depicting the lives of Irish fishermen. The Exhibition showcases what the photographer, Gilles Perrin, sees as an industry at its end. The exhibition People of the Sea is a snapshot of the decline of Ireland’s fishing communities. The photos, taken over a period of months between 2007 and 2008, feature a number of fishermen, some of whom no longer work at sea. Mr. Perrin took the photographs in Cork’s coastal towns, including Baltimore, Castletownbere, Schull and Cobh. He chose his subjects because they represent an element of traditional culture which may disappear. “It is the end of the industry, the end of the profession” according to Mr. Perrin. The continued introduction of quotas on overfished stocks of cod and other species of fish in the North Atlantic and Irish Sea make it difficult to disagree. Ireland’s fishing industry has been negatively impacted by quotas imposed by the EU. Small boats are most affected as larger boats are allocated larger quotas and can discard unsuitable fish. Despite EU investment, fishing communities on Ireland’s coastlines are shrinking. The small boats which were once
common in coastal towns have been steadily disappearing. Dingle has seen a drop of two-thirds in numbers of trawlers in the last decade, for example. The European Commission recommended in late September that all cod fishing be stopped in the Irish Sea. While environmental groups welcomed this proposal to save endangered cod, it is another blow to Irish fishermen. The Irish Fish Producers Organisation criticised the decision, as it came alongside cuts to quotas on other species. They said that the cuts to quotas were based on a lack of information on certain species, rather than verifiable fact. Dr. Paul Connolly, a scientific advisor to the European Commission, refuted this, suggesting that hiding information is a political ploy to get higher quotas. Whatever the truth, Irish fishermen, a “long
enjoy the “Fishermen liberty of their lifestyle, but their freedom is no longer worth a dangerous lifestyle and diminishing reward
standing vital tradition in Irish heritage” continue to suffer the effects of falling quotas and rising fuel costs. Running a small boat is simply no longer economically viable. Mr. Perrin said that fishermen enjoy the liberty of their lifestyle, but their freedom is no longer worth a dangerous lifestyle and diminishing reward. A final decision on quotas in due in December, with 53 of 62 to be reduced if current proposals go ahead. The Irish fishing industry will fight for higher quotas, but have been involved in a losing battle since the introduction of the quota system. Even if quotas were to be increased, the system remains in favour of larger vessels. Mr. Perrin, in his exhibition, has captured a part of Irish culture which may soon be obsolete. Despite the grim outlook for his subjects, the exhibition had an extremely successful launch, with the unusual gallery setting of the Café Française packed to capacity. Mr. Perrin was present alongside the French Ambassador to Ireland, Emmanuelle D’Achon. It features 10 pieces from a collection of 30 photographs in what he describes as a 1950’s style large format, which “documents the exchange between photographer and subject”. The photographs were taken while Mr. Perrin was artist in residence at the Sirius Arts Centre and West Cork Arts Centre, both in Co. Cork. His next project will take him to Michigan, where he plans to photograph the ‘American Worker’.
James Keating speaks to Sinead McDonald about her upcoming Photography Exhibition on the stigma of mental health
’ve been depressed. And I waited far too long to talk about it. This is what photographer Sinead McDonald is hoping to see, openness about mental health. It would be remiss of me not to be candid about it, considering she’s taken my picture as part of an upcoming exhibition. Her work will be displayed during the First Fortnight Festival, a two week long event of music and art with the aim of getting rid of the stigma surrounding mental health problems in Ireland. First Fortnight Founder, JP Swaine, hopes that the event will create conversation about mental health amongst those attending. “If we bring people to an arts event that’s about mental health
stigma reduction we can start to replicate the social process that we’d like to see happening in other areas.” Sinead’s contribution to this process is simple, yet powerful. A series of portraits taken in almost identical circumstances: minimal lighting, a coloured background and a DSLR are the tools, but Sinead says that “it’s not about the pictures, it’s about
produces an altogether different photograph to what one would expect from a portrait, drawing inspiration from the typological style of Thomas Ruff. To add to the narrative the photos create there will also be a textual element alongside the photographic. Each person captured is asked to write a short note, based on the #whatstigma twitter hashtag. The note de-
I’ve been depressed. And I waited far too long to talk about it.
the person”. It’s clear when looking at the portraits she’s taken thus far that this is the case. Some captured are smiling, some stoic. The background colour is chosen by the sitter. The resulting photographs turn out to be wonderfully distinct, capturing simply the individual with no pose, and always at a frontal view. They aren’t typical of her usual style of portrait - the setup is basic, the shooting quick. It
scribes the person’s experience of mental health issues, their feelings on the social stigma attached or both. Through this combination of visuals and text Sinead hopes to build a typology of mental health which shows that we all have a story to tell about it. According to See Change, the organisation First Fortnight is supporting, one in four people in Ireland will experience a mental health problem during their life. The
exhibition will show how disp rate individuals are all affected by allowing their differences to take centre stage. Sinead explained, “People are already talking about it. Someone from Australia and someone from the Netherlands have told me stories about their own problems. The exhibition is doing what it’s supposed to.” The use of the #whatstigma hashtag should help. It offers visitors to the exhibition encouragement to follow the example of those in the photographs and tweet about their experiences with mental health and stigma. “Sitters didn’t immediately jump at the opportunity to have their image on display.“At first people were reluctant to take part, but now, after seeing the photos they want to do it.” It seems Sinead has hit upon the right formula, the photos are of people, not their problems. “They see they’re not just pictures of ‘crazy’ people”. Her use of the word “crazy” may be in jest, but for many this type of dismissive language is a reality of living with a mental health problem. First Fortnight as a whole has plenty to offer those not directly affected. At the festival launch JP Swaine revealed a line-up of music, art, theatre and film which has broad appeal. “We’ve set our bar high in producing a festival that people will see as artistically credible, that will create energy and excitement.” The acts are certainly impressive, Cashier no.9, Le Galaxie and Mark Geary are amongst the musical highlights. There will also be a screening of ‘The Devil and Daniel Johnston’, and the musician has supported First Fortnight with an exclusive drawing which will feature on festival t-shirts. JP thinks the festival line-up will attract people interested in the various events on offer, not just people who want to support the cause. “I think the audience will turn up because they like the band or the artist or the play, and then maybe learn a little bit about mental health stigma.” The festival will run from the 4th to the 14th of January in a number of venues in Temple Bar. For the full line-up check out firstfortnight.com
y t r a e l P op e P
A Griffith Student Done good Brew Mbirika speaks to former Griffith student and Apprentice contestant Brian Kirwan Griffiti: Why did you apply for The Apprentice Show? Brian: I set a plan; I’m about goal-setting, more than just having something in your mind. Over three and a half years ago I was made unemployed so I talked to my boss who still was a mentor of mine and I told him in three years I would get onto The Apprentice. I wanted to get onto The Apprentice or be at the level sufficient enough to be an apprentice candidate and then get onto the show and see if I’d be able to rub shoulders with the other guys and would I be up for the challenge and what not. Then the goal from there was to win it. I knew very well that I would need some shape or form of an education in business itself, so I was given a scholarship form to apply to FAS to enter a degree course. They then recommended I go to Griffith Colleges there was a course there that entailed exactly what I wanted. Griffiti: How did Griffith College prepare you for the business world? Brian: Most of the lecturers would be very practical so it was all stuff I could implement straightaway and with minimal study and preparation I was able to do quite well and I got my 1.1 in the degree and things like that because I was actually using the knowlegde I was learning on a day to day basis. Griffiti: Did you have an alternative career in mind before choosing business? Brian: I was a computer programmer to start. Griffiti:That’s what I’m doing now. Oh my God; it’s all maths. I hate it. Brian: (He laughs) Maths was my strong point. Even though I didn’t love it too much I just think in numbers all the time. So I enjoyed
that and the problem solving part of the computer programming, but the other bits I didn’t like too much. Griffiti: How much of what’s on The Apprentice do we get to see, I mean, how much of the show is actually edited? Brian: Well if you look at it this way there’s actually four cameras which are taping 2-3 days of footage and they have edit down to an hour and 20 minutes or an hour long in the show without the breaks. They have to put in the things that is most going to get people to enjoy it and the emphasis is, especially in Ireland, that people love to see a bit of pain. Griffiti: But you learn from the mistakes obviously and it’s important we get to see where everybody kinda falls down. Now for the dreaded question – the dreaded coaster comment…Watching the telly your heart just sank and there was a muttering of “oh no”. I was like “he’s not going to kick him off the show. “ Does Bill not see all the stuff that we see – the additional footage? Does he not watch what you guys are actually doing? I mean you have Jackie and Brian, but does Bill actually see the outside footage? Brian: Bill doesn’t get to see the outside footage. He bases it a lot on what Jackie and Brian would say and what the loggers, the people that are going with us the whole time, would say back. He only has a certain amount of time in the boardroom and he needs to pick up on the biggest problems that happened and focus on a couple of people each boardroom so he doesn’t get to see everything no and you know as well this year it’s a bit different. It’s not just who is the best candidate but who has the best business plan. And none of that is sour grapes; we knew that going into it. Even though my business plan looked very good and I did that through college, the industry average for my business only had a slight percent profit margin so that was never going to be juicy enough for Bill and he had seen that, so by me performing well it was a bit of a hindrance to it, because I wasn’t letting the ball drop too often and so it had to eventually get to the stage where I was brought into the boardroom at the latter stages that people were going to be like “why is he fired?” and “you’re out now?” Griffiti: What does it take to be a winner on the show, is it hard work or just being ruthless in the boardroom? Brian: I think it’s a bit of both. Em, you know I wasn’t shown very much in the first few weeks
Interviews because there is so much work to get done just to make sure a task gets finished, never mind winning it. And when you have the larger amount of people in there that there’s so many different ideas shopped around that you have to have the people that are just getting everything done so that in between everybody arguing to get their voices heard that the work is actually done at the end of the day. The likes of myself and Peter would’ve been very much like that. We had a broad range of business knowledge so we were able to do most of the different tasks and amongst the candidates I had stood out early on because of sales. Griffiti: Well, you broke Apprentice records with the Caramello task, €53,700, wasn’t it? Surely, that should’ve meant something to Bill or was it a case you’re only as good as your last task? Brian: I think so, yeah. The thing with the Caramello was huge for me. I had a huge part to play in that. Sandra was PM, because I had PM’d the week before, so I couldn’t PM on that one, but I was organising the failed strategy, the pricing, the cold-calling for the other guys and I did the individual pitches, so that was very much my task. Bill knew that but we couldn’t portray that too much because some other people would get compliments very easy, but again none of this is sour grapes. That’s the way the programme had to go. Griffiti: What is Bill really like in person? Brian: In person he is like he is in the boardroom, he’s very straight to the point. You know if you lose you lose and if you win you win. If you say black, he’ll say white and if you say white, he’ll say black. So you’re constantly chasing so that’s the way. They have to put that amount of pressure on ya, so they get the best performances out of you and I knew that’s the psychological game we were playing so that’s what he is like. I met him then since the show and he invited me up to a seminar he was giving. He knew I idolised him and he was giving a talk and constantly looking at me in the crowd and he mentioned me three times
during it to say how well I had done and you know you don’t have to be bad in business and nice people like myself can succeed and do really well. Griffiti: The boardroom is a dog eat dog world. It must be hard to go in there with people you consider friends and just turn on each other. Brian: That has to be the case for some of us. I mean when it’s
you just completely realise what you bring to the business table that somebody doesn’t – your own personality, your own way about going about things. That’s what makes it. Find out as much as you can about yourself. Why you make decisions? Why you learn certain things and do the things you do. Griffiti: What are your future plans?
You don’t have to have a college education to do well in business, but by Jesus did it help me!
getting down further and you realise that when you’re PM that you might have to bring in people that you get on very well with. Then you have to be professional and say look that if they didn’t do their job as well as others then they are going into the boardroom, and once you’re in the boardroom you do need to be able to say that this is the way it was. I mean Chris Harold was chastised and we didn’t trust him for a very long time in the house because we thought he was throwing people under the bus, but he was just being very honest and he didn’t have any airs and graces about saying that somebody made this mistake or that mistake. Griffiti: What words of wisdom could you give to current business students and would you advise them to try out for The Apprentice? Brian: I absolutely would. When you apply for The Apprentice you suddenly change from the fear of failure to the fear of success. You think if I get on here can I actually do the work if I win it? Or also what way are they gonna portray you? Are they gonna portray you to be good or gonna portray you to be bad? If
Brian: My future plans, well I already got an offer of investment from somebody that I’m weighing up but I also got two very substantial offers from two of the very best companies in the world to work for, which I’m also weighing up. Griffiti: And all this because of the show? Brian: All because of the show yeah. Well the show allowed them to see what I was doing then they looked into my background in terms of sales and things like that. I come from a certain direction in terms of sales and my own strict beliefs of how to do sales. I got two amazing offers of places that will allow me to go where I want to go in the next three years to my next three year plan and learn as much as I want from huge companies or I could go down the self-employed route. At the moment I think I’m going to move into one of the companies. Griffiti: Are these companies here in Ireland by any chance? Brian: They are American companies based in Ireland. The Apprentice showed me what I was good at but also showed me where I need to improve.
The only times I really started improving as a business man was when I was able to hold up my hands and say I’m not good enough at this area and I need to improve on that. When you stop thinking you’re brilliant or a protégé then you start improving at the areas you’re bad at. Griffiti: What are your three most cherished memories of Griffith College? Brian: Well, my first cherished memory would easily be the graduation, the event there where Seamus mentioned me during the graduation speech. It was fantastic. He said he doesn’t normally single out people but he wished me well. My second most cherished would be the relationship I built up with my lecturers – the likes of Eilish, Geraldine McGing, Jacqui Tracey and Seamus Fitzpatrick. Being able to call on those whenever I needed and ask for their advice was amazing – a serious amount of support and they had a lot of faith in me as well and that gave me a lot of confidence. And the third would easily be my relationships with the other students, even for part-time you get such a bond. There were very very few people that dropped out of our year down through the three years, which is unusual. There was times when loads of us wanted to go but we all kept together on it. Griffiti: So, who wins anyway? Brian: Oh, I can’t tell you that. Who wins every year? Bill wins! Griffiti: Any last impressions you want to leave for our readers? Brian: For people to have dreams. If you write them down and go for them. I don’t want to sound cheesy but it’s the only way you’re going to bloody get them. Or else you’re gonna be somebody regretting you didn’t make the effort…you don’t have to have a college education to do well in business, but by Jesus did it help me! So people have a lot of good assets by going to Griffith so don’t think you’re gonna be lesser off as business people. All they have to do now is actually believe it and do it.
The smell of Want
Ulrike Schuster speaks to Emma Fitzgerald and Áine Stapleton about their new dance performance “The Smell of Want” which questions us on our relationship with our bodies and on time and space “Are you a winner, a plebeian or a steerage? Depending on how much one has paid, you got a different kind of seat. “The Steerage seats are kind of earthy or kind of like meditation seats. They illustrate a cross between a church bench and a log. The middle category are kind of average. It’s a cross between a ghost train, being in school, regular theatre chairs and office chairs. The Winner seats are glitter-covered regular theatre seats and some lovers swing sets ringed by sheaves of bluegrass,” explains Emma. The ticketing is related to the idea of rethinking our capitalistic system: “People are divided up into classes depending on how much money they paid for a ticket. Making the seating
part of the set, people hopefully think about class differentiation in society due to our dominant system,” clarifies Àine. The L-shaping stage leads to the concept of time travelling and space as well as using performance as a time machine with their bodies. It represents a territory with a large amount of different portals where one is able to flick into different areas with the possibility of going back into the past. Short speeches and stories indicate what brought the actors to which point. “It’s about trying to refresh our way of seeing the world that’s around us all the time. Even if we wanted to perceive our past lives. Going to the deepest depths and the highest future points as we can,” says Àine. “The Smell of Want” is the second dance theatre performance Emma Fitzgerald (27) and Áine Stapleton (28) have choreographed in New York, commissioned by the Abrons Arts Center New York. They presented the Irish premiere of ‘The Smell of Want’ from the 7th till 12th November in the Project Arts Centre Cube in Dublin. As we got seated on a tree stump in the Steerage level the Company’s seven naked players engaged in ruminative motion. They clutched at the air as if to tear off a chunk, swung their spines into self-burrowing curves, lunged forward while unfurling
their chests to the ceiling, lay on the floor like sea lions on the sand, and lay whimpering, panting, snorting like an engine but rarely in unison or identically. The stage appeared as a fascinating disarray of motion and stillness and effort. What counted the most at this higgledy-piggledy playground of movement, dance performance, language, sounds, notes and songs, were not the precise actions rather the loose spirit. The ebb and flow of mundane yet inscrutable activities suspended one in a state of low-level anticipation for the whole hour. The range of sense impressions was pretty wide so that everyone could choose their own scene to make up his individual association, so that everyone was brought to another state of consciousness, got sucked into a varied meditative state. Those effects are especially owed to two features the performance is defined about: the exposition of the body’s natural beauty and the celebration for slow movement. “By choosing to perform naked, we’re saying, ‘This is how we look, this is the truth of our existence. Accept your body the way it is, because it’s full of mystery, energy and intelligence, a divine gift.’ And that we think it’s okay to be here in it and dancing in this way. To not have anything between the subtlety and physicality of what’s going on and the audience being
able to see it,” says Emma. The naked body which was to be seen in all conceivable positions; moving, lying, stretching, crawling, jumping, and with all imaginable details in this intimate and close atmosphere, was thoroughly aesthetic and erotic as art objects with powerful impact for everybody’s ways of seeing and thinking. They told the story about freeing oneself from conventions and boundaries, from other people’s opinions, expectations and judgements. Rather they sent the message: ‘Your body is brilliant the way it is, use its potential and its power to live a self-determined life in a purely natural body.’ “The female body is ruled by the beauty, by the diet and by the music industry. They dictate how a woman’s body should appear aesthetically. The visual tools that you’re given from the industry are ‘Be available to men or be pleasing to men.’ Whereas it should be ‘What’s this energy that I have inside me? What do I do with my desire? What do I do when I’m attracted? How do I move? How do these two things interact? Can I change how I feel? Can I balance the energy, how to use it?’” describes Àine to make their body-based performance more understandable. The play’s second feature was the desire for long duration, the reduction of movement and for the handling with tranquillity and loneliness. According to many breaks, where nothing happened and slow motions parts, the play brings up the question “What does it mean to be an individual in today’s ‘no-time-society’? What do our increasing desires, demands and materialism mean for society, the environment and the future?” In the end everybody has to find the right answer for himself. Emma and Àines response appears and sounds as “We have to get control over our own lives back in this other-directed spirit of time. It’s us as individuals who have to decide what we really, necessarily need and what not, what if the new technology brings us real advantages and what if it makes us into its slaves. We should pay attention not to zap through life. It makes life shorter. That’s why our art becomes slower.”
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to get working with some already started working on of it. the people I’ve lined up.” “I am aiming to make an even Thedance musicorientated industry might more record. be tough unpredictable. I’m movingand over to London in But oneand thing is certain, January can’t wait to James get O’Neill has the of attitude, the working withgot some the people talent, and lastHe but not least, the I’ve lined up”. says. clothes. The music industry might be tough and unpredictable. But one thing is certain, James O’Neill has got the attitude, the talent, and last but not least, the clothes.
Third Level Fees Nobody likes the idea of having to pay for education. Wtih protests all over the country during the month of November against the introduction of fees, we ask the question; Is everybody being represented? Laura Lyne investigates.
n November 30th 2011, an estimated 15 students occupied the constituency office of Deputy Brian Walsh. Their reasoning? As a statement against the possible, and highly likely, measures that will be made by the current government to adjust the cost for the average citizen attending a
Would the introduction of thrid level fees help or hinder the people of Ireland, particularly the lower classes? The answer is not as straight forward as we may think.
third level course. Marches have taken place across the country over the past several years in an effort to convince the government not to raise the costs of being a student on a year to year basis. As black and white as we would like the process to be, the topic of third level fees may not be as straight forward as we would like to think. While we would all like to receive free education, in the current economic climate, it may not be feasible. Everything in the current economy is changing, money has to be found to pay off our countries debts, and third level fees will not become the exception to the rule. Third level fees (excluding the government imposed “registration fee”) have been out of existence for 15 years. Many consider it to be a great step for the country, and believe that it should not be overturned. However, there is not as much research as we think into the social and economic effects it has on Ireland. If the average person were to sit down and think for a
moment about how it has helped the country, the first answer they would probably give would be that it helps the lower classes gain opportunity.Young adults who previously would have been unable to study past secondary level would have the chance to earn a diploma or degree, and possibly even climb the social class ladder to better their lifestyle. Of course, while these claims are being made, there are very few people who can actually cite the facts to back their point up. Taking the lack of fact on a general basis into account, one has to consider all of the options and ask the questions that the majority are too afraid to consider, let alone answer. What if the re-introduction of third level fees would be a completely positive step that would create nothing but a good outcome for the Irish economy? What if the original eradication of third level fees was in fact not a step that improved opportunities for the lower classes, but just became a nice expenditure decrease for
the middle class? Kevin Denny, a senior lecturer in the School of Economics in UCD, presented a paper in 2010 that completely questioned the original step of abolishing third level fees; and in the process, argued a very valid and fair case. The first point that must be remembered when talking about fees is simple and generally forgotten. The growing percentage of school leaving young men and women moving on to third level education was already rising significantly before the “free fees” initiative was announced back in 1995. The myth that it was the main reason behind the sudden burst of third level students is not true. By 1992, the figure had already risen a significant 16% compared to the figure available for 1980. By 2003, that figure had risen by 18%, but there is no proof that this percentage would not have been ascertained had the abolishment of third level fees not taken place. The general income for a household was rising, the country was preparing itself for an economic boom,
and the number of young men and women who could attend third level education was going to rise regardless of whether third level fees were in place or not. The facts and figures from several years before proved it, and the cynical argument that the elimination of third level fees was a ploy by the government to ensure re-election suddenly becomes not only less cynical, but believable. In his paper, Denny is very clear about how lower income families were affected by the removal in third level fees. The Higher Education Grant, which benefits those from lower income homes, from paying 50% of their entry fee costs, up to 100% of their entry fees and accommodation, was the driving force behind sending lower income students to third level education before fees were abolished. While the removal of fees cut down the costs of attending third level education, it really did not make a significant impact to those in lower income homes. The percentages remain
practically the same for whether the student will even manage to attain the grades to attend third level education in the first place, generally based on whether their parents attended third level education, their yearly income and a myriad of other factors that come into place based on social class. Those who managed to accomplish the goals necessary to make it into third level education would receive the Higher Education Grant, and it pushes you to wonder, if there are many other factors, excluding the costs, stopping lower income school leavers from attending third level education, did the removal of third level fees really make that much of a difference? On the completely opposite end of the spectrum, we have the Union of Students in Ireland (USI). For the past several years, the USI has been instrumental in the fight against the re-introduction of third level fees. Through protests, the most recent of which took place on November 16th this year, they have united thousands of third level students across the country, and told the current government, and the previous government, that the introduction of third level fees would only lead to more problems in the future. They argue that without third level education for as many people as possible, the country will see a huge backbench of future support disappear through the skills that are attained, and the taxes that will be paid through future generations. Graduates pay an average of 70% more tax over their working lifetime thanks to their qualifications and the rate at which they gain promotion and better positions in the companies that they work for. This reporter contacted USI for a statement on the matter but they made no comment. The Higher Education Grant, according to the USI figures, has never equated to covering 100% of students costs in the majority of cases, and with the threshold for qualification having changed, the percentage of fees paid by the government has dropped significantly. More students in third level education equates to less people on unemployment benefits. Having a diploma or degree leads to more job prospects and a greater chance of living a comfortable and stress free life. While students could benefit from part
time jobs during the economic boom, there are those with years of experience who are finding it impossible to find a job. A
considered a separate portion of the economy, and must be considered a part of the entire spectrum. “Minister Quinn has
the removal of “feesWhile cut down the costs of
attending third level education, it did nothing to significantly help those in lower income homes
student that lacks the experience and who cannot simply work full time hours is going to find it all that more impossible. It costs, on average, €5,200 per year to pay one citizen on Jobseekers benefits. Meanwhile, it costs €3,629 on average per year, to send a student to third level education. Ireland’s educational investment is lower than the average investment found in other European countries. Our government has a higher graduate percentage than the European average, while at the same time produces the second highest third level fees (the “registration fee”) in Europe. Without a third level education, our options are very limited. The jobs that would be available to those without the education are already taken, and there are still thousands of highly educated people around the country who cannot find full time employment. So, while the government might find it easy to put the registration fee up, or to completely reintroduce third level fees altogether, the answer is not to make the chance of attending higher level education harder for those who are struggling to begin with. This reporter recently contacted a spokesperson for the Minster of Education Ruairi Quinn, and the government’s stance on third level fees was neither for nor against the reintroduction. “The day when an Irish Government can again make decisions to improve education funding can come about only if we take the difficult and painful decisions needed over the next few years.” The main point, from what I could gather when comparing it to my research, is that education cannot be
just received a report from the Higher Education Authority on the sustainability of the existing funding framework for higher education. The purpose of the study is to examine the interrelationships between funding levels, the scale of growth and the maintenance of quality in the system so that realistic and sustainable levels of growth in numbers can be supported and that better informed choices can be made on policy options for future funding. The Minister will now consider its findings and discuss them with his Government colleagues as part of the budgetary deliberations.” In the upcoming budget, we could see nothing change. Third level fees could remain the same as they are now, or we could see an increase. The definite answers are not publically available at the time of writing, but from my own personal perspective – neither side, whether for or against, has all the answers. Third level fees have become a far more complicated subject than they have ever been in the past. Something needs to change and Ireland as a country cannot sustain the current system and survive. We have debts to pay off, powerful people to answer to, and a serious mess made by previous governments to clean up. In the next issue of Griffiti, we will discuss with USI whether or not they have any form of initiative to ensure that the disadvantage are being represented and not marginalized.
When was Jesus really born? Pia Stromme investigates
hristmas is one big birthday party celebrated in many countries all over the world. And there is no doubt the birthday boy lived an exceptional life, since billions of people celebrate his birthday 2000 years after his death. So Jesus might be the reason for the season, but when was he really born? Truth is, no one knows. It might have been April, it might have been June. He might not even have been born in year zero, but six years later. Studies show that we might have been
a little wrong when it comes to the date we are celebrating the birthday boy. The traditional view has been that Jesus was born December 25th, but some might see it as a paradox that they still teach us this in school, when so many scientists disagree. “We don’t dwell on the date” says primary school teacher, Rhya Ui Dochartaigh. “The important thing that we focus on in is the impact of his birth and why God chose to send his Son to earth.” “I guess you could discuss the the stories around Jesus’ birth to older children, but you wouldn’t really mention it to the younger ones” Rhya adds. “Dates of birth vary between 7-2 B.C. Books on the historical Jesus will discuss the year Jesus was born.” says Benjamin Wold, Lecturer in The New Testament and Christian Origins. “I know of no serious scholar who denies that Jesus lived, the questions relate more to who he was and what he did whilst alive.” Benjamin continues. Clearly the date
of birth was, and still is, uncertain. However, it was not until the fourth century that 25th of December, and January 6th in the East, was chosen as the date of Jesus birth. So about 300 years after he was born, people figured it was time to set the date. But how did they decide on these dates? Many believe that the church moved this date to coincide with either the date of Roman winter solstice (the longest night of the year) or because it was exactly nine months after Jesus’ traditional conception date. Some say early Christians decided to change the date because December was the time of a major pagan festival, the birth of the invincible sun god, hoping Christmas would overshadow these celebrations. Now the church could claim a new celebration for Christianity. This theory also suggests that the church deliberately chose this date to spread Christianity and Christmas through the Roman beliefs. If the Christmas celebration looked like a pagan holiday, they hoped more pagans would be more open to the God whose birth they celebrated and the Christmas holiday.
Theology student, Camilla Osnes, says that “the answer to when Jesus was born, will vary between what scientists or historians you ask.” There is little about the date of his birth in The Bible and therefore no way to know.” The only writing from the Bible that hints that his birthday was closer to spring is how it tells of the shepherds who guarded their sheep out at night. In other words, it was most likely not a cold winter night. We might never get an answer to when Jesus was born but maybe the more important question to ask is, does it really matter? Whether Jesus was a Taurus or a Capricorn, it is still going to be Christmas. It’s the time a year where the streets are filled with lights and busy people. The time of year we spend more money than we can afford, when we’re allowed to stuff our self with unhealthy food and when it’s ok to gain a few pounds. Yes, it is finally Christmas! So let’s embrace the Christmas madness and wish everyone a Happy Birthday! I mean... a Merry Christmas!
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by certain religious groups. They think that it is a kind of a perverted masochism? All those people, who suffer from society hatred, just woke up some day with thoughts like: “OK. My life is boring. Maybe I need a change? Maybe I should try to be gay?” There is a belief that you either are homosexual, or you are not. In the first case, it is pretty clear that even if you try to avoid the temptation – it will come out. In the second case, even if you will try to experience something like that, you will soon understand that it is not your cup of tea and give up the idea. More likely you will not even try.
Don’t say Gay! A bill to have the use of the word ‘gay’ illegalised in Russia was recently denied. Anastasiya Bondarenko tells us more about the attitude towards the homosexual community in Russia
he title of this article is more or less the official stand of the Russian government regarding the use of the word ‘gay’.You will hardly find anything positive about LGBT in on TV or in print media in Russia, you might do on the Internet, but with a great amount of “troll” comments underneath. And that’s the problem – a lack of information, and misunderstanding as a result. To describe the situation in two words – human nature, when you don’t like or understand something, you try to make yourself think that it does not exist at all, and in the end you convince yourself of that. Until 1993, being gay was a crime according to the Criminal Code in Russia, but not much has changed since that law was lifted. People still think that it is either a sin or something evil.
In 2002, a faction of State Duma called “People’s deputy” suggested to restore the criminal penalty for homosexual relations. It is interesting that at first this project was aimed only towards men, but in few months they amended it, women were included. However, it has never been approved. The fight continued and a few weeks ago they also tried to ban “propaganda of homosexuality” in Saint-Petersburg. The main argument was that this “propaganda” might influence teenager’s mental health. It caused a great protest and was rejected. Even though none of those
some people are, a lot of people believe in old-fashioned explanations. It is almost the same as saying that all left-handed people have mental problems and need to be thought to write like other people. It is not true. More than that, the studies has shown that relearning to write, as well as being forced to change your sexual orientation can cause psychological disorder. However, in many schools they still believe that children should write with right hand.
laws were not accepted, it doesn’t change much in the thinking of the average man. We can find several ridiculous myths, that people actually take seriously.
cause we can hardly find it in on TV or in fashionable magazines in Russia does not mean it is not normal. Statistics show that 10% of people are homosexual. Is that ‘normal’ enough for you? Also, it is proved that among animals there are a lot of gay-couples and nobody cares.
It is not normal This often comes after the previous one.Yes, it is. Just be-
“Stop caring what happens in other people’s beds and open your minds ” This is a mental disease, and homosexuals need medical treatment This one is the most common delusions. Even though scientists has proved that homosexuality is not an illness, but just the way
Being gay – is something in your own head This argument always makes me smile, it is mostly promoted
If we accept gays, after that we will accept pedophilia! The final and worst argument of the ignorant. Where is the connection between an act of sexual violence to a child and the feelings and relationships of grown-up people? No ideas? Me neither. Wouldn’t their time be better spent considering the effect that the internet is having on their children, or the effect of heterosexual adult scenes in movies. No ideas? Me neither. And this is where that proposal to forbid propaganda of homosexuality appears. That it can harm children’s minds! On the other hand why don’t they think about homosexual teenagers, who understand their own sexual orientation as “not normal?” What should they do? It might be very difficult to identify yourself as “unique” when the whole of society is against you from the very beginning because of the way you are. It’s sad that all those mothers, who shout that they want to protect their children from homosexuals just don’t think that their children can become gay even without knowing that there are other people like that, and it can make the situation even worse, that is how mental illnesses are formed. Of course, they want to make it better but it does not get better. And it will not, until people open their minds and try to accept people around them. So stop caring what happens in other people’s beds and open your mind.
The last act of a Genius
Lance Kerrigan gives us a short biography of Steve Jobs and reviews the new iPhone 4S
n Thursday October 6th the world learned about the untimely death of a great innovator and a driving force of modern day technology. Steve Jobs passed away after a long battle with cancer. Jobs, who is the co-founder of Apple, stepped down as CEO of the company in August 2011 due to medical reasons. He did however remain on as chairman of the board of Apple, and Tim Cook assumed the role of CEO. Jobs’ departure was an unsurprising move as he was taking a number of medical absences from the company in past few years. Jobs stated “I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.” The world of technology mourned his dead with messages of sympathy and good will on the Apple website
and with shrines outside Apple stores across the world. “Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being” (Tim Cook). Aged 56, Jobs leaves behind a legacy of iPhones, iPad’s, Mac computers, iPod’s and an excellent reputation for devices that “just work.” He is credited for turning a nearly bankrupt company into what it now is, a multi billion dollar international organisation. He revolutionised the world of technology with hardware like the Ipad, software including the Mac operating systems and Mobile operating system IOS. He also is recognised for opening over 350 Apple retail stores worldwide. It is interesting to consider that the world was informed about his passing far quicker than they would have had it not been for his technology. Moments after his death, people all over the world were reading about it on their iPhones and iPads through their Twitter and Facebook apps. The recent release of his biography “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson, describes the life story of Jobs from small town computer whiz kid to the genius businessman, which he will be remembered as. It all began in 1977 when Steve jobs and Steve Wazniak developed the first Apple computer. They also introduced the Apple II. However, in 1985 Jobs was ousted from the company due to disagreements with the board. Jobs went on to found ‘Next”, a company which produced a desktop computer. He later purchased the ‘computer graphics division’ of “Lucasfilm” leading to the development of Pixar which developed Disney’s ‘Toy story’ in 1995. In 1996, Apple purchased Next Computing, and this saw the return of Steve Jobs to Apple. He was soon reappointed as CEO of the company and helped pull Apple out of the threat of bankruptcy. Since then, he has developed Apple into one of the biggest technology company in the world, introducing to the world the iPod, iPhone, iPad, iTunes the iMac, Macbook and so much more. Apple became the world’s most valuable company briefly in the summer of 2011. Apple reported that Mr Jobs “died peacefully surrounded by his family.” Our sympathy is with his Wife and family.
The iPhone 4s Steve Jobs did, however, live long enough to see the release of his latest creation, the iPhone 4S. The new phone hit stores around the world two days before Jobs’ death. The iPhone 4S comes with some great new features, making this phone an attractive purchase. Although the phone is still the same design as before, it’s the inside that counts. Apple have
certainly made some changes here. The iPhone 4S comes with a new and more powerful dual core A5 chip, giving users up to two times the power compared to the iPhone 4, as well as up to seven times faster graphics and more power efficiency. The camera now has 8 megapixels with an f/2.4 aperture for sharper images and amazing HD
New iOS Software Features
•Skype integration - You’re logged on to your device
and can instantly tweet photos, maps, web and Youtube. •Newsstand - Your subscription newspapers and magazines are all in one place, newsstand will automatically download any new publications as soon as they are available. •Reminders - An organiser for all your ‘to do’ lists, which sync across all your IOS devices as well as outlook and iCloud •Notifications - By swiping down on the screen, you get to the notification centre, which keeps all your notifications including texts, email, calendar reminders and app messages in one convenient place. The new feature also means that pop up notifications will no longer interrupt you while your using you phone, they now appear as a small message on the top of your screen. •PC free - No longer do you have to connect to a computer using a cable, to update your IOS device. •I message - A new Messaging service between IOS devices. An unlimited and secure text messaging between IOS devices.
video recording. The iPhone 4S is now a world phone, with both GSM and CDMA, so your phone can operate in 200 countries. It also has a dual antenna so it can intelligently switch between two antennas to transmit and receive. This gives better quality of phone calls and faster downloads and loading of data. The phone includes the new IOS 5 software and integration with Apple’s iCloud. iCloud is a free service to Apple customers where all their music, apps, photos and documents are stored on iCloud and wireless pushed to all their other devices automatically. iCloud gives users access to all previously purchased music from iTunes and apps from the app store. With photo stream, any photo you take on your IOS device, gets pushed (or sync) to all your other devices including your computer (if using iPhoto 11) up to 1,000 photos will be saved on iCloud for 30 days, giving you enough time to save them into albums. If you use Pages, Keynotes or Numbers on you IOS devices, iCloud will allow you to keep all your documents up to date on all devices. iCloud also comes with 5GB of free storage for documents and Emails. What’s more is that your photostream, iTunes, Apps and iBooks don’t use any of that 5GB of storage space, they are completely separate. The phone comes in both black and white and with three versions, the 16GB 32GB and 64GB.
One major issue which arose with the iPhone 4S is poor battery life. Apple are investigating this. The issue is with IOS 5. It effects the iPhone 4S the worst, but other iPhones are also having troubles. Within hours of IOS 5’s release, the internet came alive with people reporting their Battery life diminishing rapidly. Battery life struggled to get through a full day. Apple stated that they would release an update to the IOS to fix this issue. IOS 5.0.1 was soon released. This helped many users, however some are still having issues. If you are still having trouble, here are some tips. 1. Turn off all location services that you don’t need. A location
service is a feature which allows apps to find your location. Apps that use this are contributing to battery usage. Many of these apps, don’t need to keep track of your location all the time, and is a waste of battery life. A good place to save power until the issue is resolved fully is to turn off such services. To do this Go to settings > Location services > click off to apps which you dont use or dont need to be tracking your location. 2. Turning off ‘setting time zone’. This feature automatically changes your time zone when you change location I.E, traveling across Europe or America. Most people won’t need this too often. However, this feature will continue to consume power. Turn it off until you need it.You will find this in settings > location services > System Services> click off. (If you have no use for location based ads in apps, then turn off iAds also.) 3. Another tip, although not as useful as above is to quit any unused apps which may be still running. To do this, Double click on the home button > hold down on the app icons, and click the red line on the top left of each icon. 4. Finally, turn off bluetooth and wifi when not in use. These are just some of the big tips, but there are many new tips being published by users on the Apple forums. If you’ve tried the above and are still having battery life issues, I highly recommend checking out Apple’s Support Forums. The question remains however, is iPhone 4s worth the upgrade? If you are due to upgrade your smartphone, then perhaps this is something you should consider especially for Christmas. It’s the most up to date iPhone with great new features and powerful processing. However, if you have recently bought the iPhone 4, and/or can hold out 12 months, perhaps you should wait for Iphone 5. Apple usually makes upgrades to their iPhone on a yearly basis so we can expect a new iPhone this time next year. Why Wait? Although iPhone 4S comes with some great features, the phone hasn’t been given a full remodeling, it’s the same design as the iPhone 4 and for general users, the difference isn’t major.
As there are two very different opinions of the Twilight Franchise we thought we would include both sides of the story in this month’s Griffiti Title: Breaking Dawn, Part 1 Cert: 12 A Running time: 117 minutes Release Date: Out now
I love Twilight! Breaking Dawn part one is the perfect adaptation of the first half of the Stephanie Meyer’s fourth novel about the glittering vampires, residing in Forks, Washington. Melissa Rosenburg, who had the job of turning Meyer’s hugely popular book into a movie script, did not stray far from the novel. We get thrown into the wedding plans, and get to see a future Mrs. Cullen (Kristen Stewart) wobble around in a pair of stiletto heels, a picture of how she is clearly not ready to be the bride Edward, I should be the bride of Edward. She is too young to marry at 18. Breaking Dawn is not mainly a vampire movie. The supernatural has been gently pushed to the side, leaving room for the human part of the story. The wedding could be just about any wedding, a blushing bride with the love of her life, Edward (Robert Pattinson). Maybe “the love of her existence” would be a better term in this case. They head off on their honeymoon, and finally we get to see the scene we’ve all been waiting for: when they finally get around to having sex. Where the book is frustratingly vague on details, the movie actually lets you see at least some of it. However, as far as a sex
scene goes, it is a little on the tame side, had the movie just been Robert Pattinson naked for two hours I would have been happy, but alas. Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner) has never been hotter, with just the right amount of stubble and tightly fitted t-shirts. Naturally, everything can’t be bliss and happiness, and when disaster hits this time, it’s in the shape of an unexpected pregnancy (Ha! Take that, bitch!). This is when the movie gets a little boring, you just want to know whether Bella is ever going to be a vampire or not. It is not aimed at people unfamiliar with the novel that is, the people who don’t really understand Edward like I do. Reading reviews you will quickly understand that there are two, vastly different opinions on the film. On one side, you have the haters, thinking the morals of this film belong somewhere in a distant past and that the whole production is just too cliché. On the other side we have the people who are in love with the impossible love story, the fairytale that is Twilight. I will side with the latter. I am just that much of a little girl.
Wow, this movie was crap. It starts with preparations for Bella and Edward’s wedding. The loving couple seems to share one adorable scene after another without adding any content to the movies story. The director is only focusing on what the fans might want to see and forgets about the fact that a good movie actually needs a story. After the wedding you get to follow the couple to their honeymoon on a romantic island outside Rio. And just like a happy honeymoon is supposed to end, Bella (Kristen Stewart) gets knocked up. However, being a human and pregnant with a vampire’s baby is not as easy as you might imagine. Bella becomes very sick as the fetus grows abnormally quick in her stomach. The fetus begins to eat her from the inside but she cannot allow an abortion as the good mother she is presented to be. Now the movie almost feels like propaganda against abortion, showing how a “real mother” should do anything for her child. During the movie Bella becomes more and more skinny and in the end she looks completely anorectic. This movie will be watch by many young women and seeing their idol that thin seems more misleading than anything else. The final is when Edward
(Robert Pattinson) literally eats his baby out of Bellas stomach, saving both his love and baby from a certain death. In the books this scene is presented as dramatic but still full of love meanwhile in the movie it is only grotesque. In the cinema you could hear a gasp of discuss during the whole scene. The fans of Twilight is today divided between the ”Edwardside” and the ”Jacob-side” and this seems to be respected in this movie. Jacob has still a big part in the story when he protects the demon child inside Bella’s stomach from his own pack of werewolves yet it feels like his role is manly to show up shirtless in scene after scene to please the fans. In the books he has a much bigger part but the director chooses to present him only as a sex object. If he were a women I am sure that many more would have reacted with distain. I have always considered the movies and books to be amusing and worth spending time on. However, this movie is just counting on loyal viewers to buy tickets because there is no other reason to watch it and when the last movie arrives, I doubt I will even watch it.
Title: Moneyball Rated: PG-13 Running Time: 133 mins Released: Out Now!
Title: My Week with Marilyn Cert: 15 Running Time: 98 mins Released: Out Now!
“There are rich teams and there are poor teams, then “It’s not true I had nothing on. I had the radio on.” there’s fifty-feet of crap, and then there’s us.” Moneyball gives you everything you can hope for in a sports movie based on a true story. The ace up his sleeve for this movie is a surprisingly strong cast, led by huge names such as Brad Pitt and Philip Seymour Hoffman. The story follows Billy Beane (Brad Pitt), General Manager of Oakland A’s baseball team. Billy is not only struggling to compete in a sport driven by money, but tries to maintain his relationship with his teenage daughter. There is no mistake to be made about who this movie is all about, Brad Pitt. Other big names are in this production as well, but at the end of the day it is very much a Brad Pitt film. Yet the runner-up in impressive performance is not Seymour Hoffman as expected but teencom goofball Jonah Hill, who sweeps in from nowhere in his first serious role, and does so with style. The big hook in the movie revolves around how Billy Beane with a very meagre budget set out to put together a team that will win the championship. But instead of putting together his team the old school way by judging players by nonessential factors, Beane recruits rookie analyser Peter Brand (Jonah Hill), picks his team using
mathematical patterns made by Brand. We see a slightly older Pitt in a role we all have seen him do since Ocean’s Eleven; suave, cocky, passionate. Every now and then, though, you see a new side of Pitt – fragile, desperate, uncertain, and scared. It is a heart warming tale of a struggling father who reinvents his passion to make up for an earlier failure. Oh sorry, seems I have just spoiled the plot of every sports movie Hollywood has and ever will produce. Pardon the cynicism, but every now and then when the story fails to drag me in enough to forget to analyse it, the cold truth dawns on me that this is indeed just another sports movie made of exactly every element required of a sports movie since ‘Remember The Titans’. Now, if you have acknowledged that fact and are ready to see if for entertainment value, I’m the first to tell you to go and see it, because I sure as hell enjoyed it, as the feel-good aura seemed to linger for quite a while. Who would I reccommend this movie to? Couples. Sports and Brad Pitt, everybody’s happy.
In 1976, the year that Marilyn Monroe would have turned 50, Larry McMurtry (US-American author) wrote that she “is right in there with our major ghosts: Hemingway, the Kennedy brothers - people who finished with American life before America had time to finish with them.” Almost a half-century after her death, the world, or at least its fantasists, still haven’t finished with Monroe. The latest attempt at resurrection occurs in “My Week With Marilyn,” with Michelle Williams as the Ghost. The movie is largely based on a slim 2000 book that a British documentary filmmaker, Colin Clark (Eddie Redmayne), claimed was a true account of an intimate interlude he spent with Monroe in 1956 while they were making “The Prince and the Showgirl.” At the time Monroe was newly married to Arthur Miller (Dougray Scott) and hoped that the film, based on a Terence Rattigan play, would help her move past sexpot roles. However, the shoot turned into a clash of egos and cultures that threw her, leading her co-star and director, Laurence Olivier, to damn her as “the stupidest, most self-indulgent little tart I’ve ever come across.” Olivier is played wonder-
fully by Kenneth Branagh. He mimics Olivier’s clipped actorly diction, plays up his limpness and vanity, while showing his strange mix of vulnerability and drive. The Olivier here may be self-absorbed and prickly, but he knows that Marilyn Monroe has qualities he doesn’t possess and wants some of her stardust. Ms. Williams is too thin for this role, with a more colourless completion than a creamy one, although she whispers and wobbles nicely. On the other hand it’s an impossible brief. Monroe is an impersonator’s dream and an actress’s nightmare: anyone with a blonde wig and a painted vermilion pout can “do” Marilyn, but almost no-one can slip into her soul. Nevertheless, the most serious problem isn’t Ms. Williams or the serviceable work of the director Simon Curtis, it’s a script by Adrian Hodges that faithfully answers the call of Clark’s clichés. The most interesting question remains, a probable compelling reason for Monroes over and over resurrection – who the Norma Mortensen behind the glamorous public icon of “Marilyn Monroe” was. The film doesn’t seriously try to answer this.
Ulrike Schuster 27
Rihanna - Talk That Talk This album is definitely louder than ‘Loud’: featuring amazing collaborations including Jay Z, Calvin Harris and also using ‘Intro’ by The XX in one of her songs. So far it looks like Rihanna’s making wise choices with her sound. There’s a definite cockiness and recklessness in her new album – in terms of sound, it can be summed up as a cross between her last two albums, ‘Rated R’ and ‘Loud’. If you like to party, the album definitely has some sounds that will be topping charts. TTT very much reflects Rihanna’s new style, and where she currently is as a person. If you thought the controversy around her running topless in a field in Northern Ireland or her first music video was the highlight of this album, there’s more in store as she leaves little to the imagination in what I can say is her most sexual album yet. The album starts off with a strong Caribbean slow jam You Da One written by Esther Dean (who has also written some of Rihanna’s hottest songs such as Rude Boy and S&M). Club anthems Where Have You Been and We Found Love swiftly follow before hitting title song Talk that Talk featuring mentor Jay Z - although it’s no Umbrella. VH1 called the album the “dirtiest pop record we have ever heard”. Rihanna has never been the one to play it safe when it comes to her style or music, after her legendary break from the good girl image after her first two albums.
Drake - Take Care Aside from all the sex and confrontational sexuality we see a more intimate side to Rihanna as she adds two confessional ballads to her album ‘We all want love’ and ‘Farewell’. As she pours her heart out and makes you take a step back and see that this girl is like any other, with her moments of confidence and sadness. Some tunes are a little repetitive and predictable in sound. It’s safe to say that this isn’t her strongest album in comparison to some of her previous efforts – but it’s a definite work in progress. Praise has to be given though as it was a pleasant surprise that not all of her songs were ‘house’ or ‘trance’ based, a road many artists seem to be going down on. There’s a good mix of a little bit of club, R&B and ballads – in her 11 song album, all embracing a nice reggae vibe. For those who want to know the album’s rank in terms of her previous work, it would probably rank at number two, just after Rated R. Even though we see a much stronger, sexier and confident Bajan boss coming out, there is something lacking. Although the album may be a hard pill to swallow for some, there’s a definite catchiness in this carefree and addictive album with its reggae vibe. It’s probably more for the ladies than the lads. There is something for male fans out there too. There’s also an extended version of the album (including 4 bonus tracks: Red Lipstick, Fool In Love, WFL feat. Calvin Harris - Extended Do Ya Thang Mix).
The first thing you notice about this album is all the collaborations. Musical heavyweights like Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Lil’ Wayne, The Weekend, Rick Ross and Andre 3000 are all over this second instalment from the Canadian-born rapper. Online critiques from fans mention Lil’ Wayne more so than Drake himself, yet they still declare their love for Drake by calling him “my boo”, whatever that means. I reckon it’s probably an analogy to Boo-Boo Bear from the Yogi Bear cartoons. Drake himself says his first album ‘Thank Me Later’ was sort of rushed, but he had a lot more time to work on album number two, hence its awesomeness. I don’t know about ‘awesomeness’ – perhaps ‘lengthy’ might be a better word with 17 tracks on it and two added bonus tracks. You would swear he has been listening to Coldplay with the haunting piano opening of Over My Dead Body, and you wonder is Lady Gaga making an appearance on background vocals for nearly two minutes before the rapping begins. And if you’re easily offended by certain words, then this opener is not for you. The only good thing musically about this track is actually the keyboard arrangement and the whole song is just clouded by the abundance of endless swearing. Are you making a point Drake or just shouting out rants with no actual substance? There’s a falseness to the whole rap or maybe that’s the point? I swiftly move ahead to Take care featuring Rihanna. This
could very well be an instant club classic. I actually like this track: pumping bass drums, nice interplay between Rihanna and Drake’s voices mixed in with yes, you guessed it, more keyboards. I’m telling you, Drake has discovered Coldplay during his extended hiatus in making his second album. Then it’s on to “Marvin’s Room/Buried Alive Interlude” and back to predictable swear words to cloud an otherwise powerful message. There’s enough rich imagery in the lyrics so I still question if he is trying too hard. Last I checked, Drake is from Toronto, which is a far cry from the gang-ridden streets of NYC, Detroit and South Central LA, but he redeems himself in my estimation with the haunting keyboard to play out the song. Can you say Coldplay?? And what’s this, Stevie Wonder is on here as well? There’s a pleasant surprise in Doing it Wrong where Stevie seemingly takes over the lead vocals. – well done Drake, you’re finally speaking something of substance, or at least Stevie is. I reckon Stevie’s presence in the studio probably dictated that. And the gorgeous harmonica playing is on here as well – Stevie obviously making himself known. When you jam with somebody like that, you had wanna be the business and step up your game. I wonder what Stevie thinks of this album? I hope for Drake’s sake little Astro from American X-Factor doesn’t turn out to have more substance to his rap than Drake. ‘Boo’ hoo!
Want to win four tickets to go see Dappy and The Original Rudeboys Christmas Party at The Academy on December 22nd? Just answer this question: What group is Dappy the lead singer of? Email your answer to Griffiti@gcd.ie before Sunday December 18th to be in with a chance to win!
The Playmate A Short Story by Ulrike Schuster So that’s him. The one everybody squeals for in the highest of pitches. The man every girl has an itching desire for, but knows that it’s only fantasy. A man named Lukas. “Hotter on the dancefloor than he is behind closed doors,’’ my friend used to say. Was he supposed to be more than a tender temptation? I remember my first impressions. I confess, I still return to them at times. He was the ‘tall, dark and handsome’ stereotype. You could tell that underneath his clothes lay a very well-trained body. His striking features and the worry lines on his forehead promised profundity and passion. His luscious red lips were made to kiss. His hands were the definition of security and warmth. He was the guiltiest pleasure I have had for a long time. How confidently he stood behind the podium, presenting himself to the entire lecture hall so boldly yet so gracefully. That was the place of our first encounter; a seminar for rhetoric. It was like seeing Cicero in person. I don’t remember what he talked about. But I do know exactly what impressed me the most: the elegance of his words, the cleverness of his arguments, the power of his aura. He made a memorable impression. He could have told me anything and I would have found it remarkable because I found him remarkable. I was clearly infatuated, as was every other soul in that room. All desperate for his attention. ‘‘Has he even noticed me?“ was the question persecuting me on my way home. Yes, fortunately he had. Our first date could be summarised under the heading ‘So you give every single woman the feeling of being pretty special and you leave a wonderful witty impression.’ “9 PM, Max Street, no high heels” was all the information he had given. A mountain of mystery lay ahead, which was promising for the evening. Much fun and suspense was to be expected. We hiked the narrow path upwards in the direction of the castle. It got dark. The night came. We took a break in the middle. I looked around. We were alone. Stars in the sky. The city at our feet. He had Parma ham and melon. I sat on his lap. He opened a bottle of wine. We kissed for the first time. His lips lived up to my expectations. Was this what is called romantic? The scene was so poetic and so elusive at the same time. Was this what was called love? I thought so. Simple and profound. Grounded and dreamy – my subconscious believed in him as the perfect man. It told me: All of you wants him. So take him and be happy. My heart desired him. I wanted more. More of him. More of us. What I got was bad sex, unfulfilled promises and unattained hopes. What made me stay? A wonderful beginning, which gave me butterflies in my stomach and sleepless nights. Even more, being the object of other’s admiration, being seen as John’s girlfriend. John! The straight A scholarship student. The “walking sex God“, the guy who spoke five languages, the one who seemed to have a well-based opinion on every possible topic, the one who had fascinated everyone with his performance and speech. All these coloured in the grayscale image of the perfect boyfriend. I didn’t question his intentions, or my own. He called me light, flighty, playful and dreamy. He called me stylish, sexy and coy. He admired my intellect, while accepting it didn‘t reach his level. In short: the perfect accessory. That was at least my supposed role, which I fulfilled up to the last detail. I came when he rang. I looked well, and smiled if the occasion demanded. I gazed up at him with admiring eyes every time he opened his mouth. I sat on the sideline when he played American football. I waited on him hand and foot. I worshipped his wishes and tried to fulfil his every demand. Why? Simply because a one way-way relationship with myself and an imaginary John could never be anything more. I knew that I had to change for us to have a chance ... but I never did give my own opinions and never complained, even if he didn’t ring me for days. What I did was wait endlessly. In How I Met Your Mother this phenomenon is described as “reacher“ and “settler“. The reacher aimes to puff himself up and the settler tries to make himself smaller, to the reacher’s level. The only one who tried to be somebody different, however, was me, he stayed as he was. Not a good combination. As more and more time went by the less I could stand the person staring at me from the mirror. How could it be that I gave up everything I believed in? Freedom, independence, self determination? Where did my pride and my dignity go? Anger was rising within me. Time to draw the final stroke. At this point, I could feel the clock ticking in his head impatiently – with me his loyal playmate! With more reason and less emotion, I wouldn’t have wasted that much time. A simple cost-benefit analysis or a pro and cons list would have opened my eyes much earlier. Perhaps more economic thinking and less romantic feelings in love stories wouldn’t do any harm. I could never have brought myself to do that thoug,h that would mean the end of all the blind infatuation and romantic dreams. Not the formula for love stories that tends to make the big screen.
Photo of the month
The Snow Queen -Christina Erasmus
The Genuine Article
A bag of 10 cent coins is missing from Arthur’s Bar €20,000 reward for its safe return
Solidarity movement A group of Irish students have begun to protest on campus initiating a campaign known as “La Nouvelle Vague”, The Voice of a New Generation. Led by one Francois Monwar (Formerly Patser Grey) “it’s a time for change. We the forgotten Irish have been left behind in this global map, and we microcosmically are trying to create a butterfly effect that will transcend into people’s minds all over the world. It’s a Global Endeavour”. Their Masterplan is to talk in many different International accents to gain attention and be heard, since the Irish accent has been lost along with its colonisation. “‘Adapt or Die’ is our motto” said Francois. “We’re also using ‘Be Heard or Be Scared. We’re just full of amazing adages, and the great thing is that as soon as we started testing out different accents, people just stared at us, speechless. We had really gained their full attention immediately. The EU just didn’t plan for this form of discourse.” As Francois put it “They may occupy our minds, but they will not occupy our voices”. Francois’ esoteric ambitions have seemed to have gained momentum, but the under-workings of this chaos theory have deviated into the unknown. “At first we just wanted to experi-
ment. Just dabble really. Firstly we just hung out in my friend’s apartment and tried some French and a little Italian. I was hooked straight away. The effects were strange. I started moving my hands about, signaling and gesticulating. I even starting pouting. I could handle it though, but then my friends wanted to experiment more. German, Austrian, Spanish; but then suddenly we lost track of what this was all about and it consumed us. We started experimenting with Mexican! I told them that it was way too much. If we went that deep, we might never be able to turn back. It started off being recreational yet with a purpose, but then it was all about the pleasure principle. It affected our behaviors’, our diet, and how we dressed and acted. We started saying ‘Hey Papi’, ‘Holmes’, ‘Chica’, and you would often hear bad Mexican accent “he go LOCO”. We pimped our motors, and now we all drive low riders with ‘Insane in the membrane’ pumping out of our popping motors. We also changed our names, ‘Chachi, Rodrigo, Rico, Axel, and called out gang The Juanbles. We looked for some action, but the other gangs had ‘the fear’. They wouldn’t come near us, until of course the Gaelicians arrived. The whole of the French on campus decided to revolt as well. Speaking only English in a very
strong Dublin accent, suddenly all you could hear was “Alrite bud, deadly, c‘mere you, wots the staaary?” Gone are Marlboro Lights, and now they all smoke John Player Blue, with Aslan blasting from their apartment windows, or they’d stand on corners talking about birds a lot for some reason. While IMF has declined to comment on this initiative, EMF has succinctly stated that “It’s Unbelievable”. As this campaign has now took on another form, “La Nouvelle Vague” has now evolved into something with a purpose that is hard to construe or understand who exactly is been represented. It was at this time that YOUSI’s very own Gerry Green stepped in and took the proverbial bull by the horns, pontificating “People that have money must be heard, whatever the accent. Be the majority, forget the minority”. Although who is been represented or not is quite vague, a plan of action has now been put in place, however there hasn’t been full disclosure about when and where this will happen just yet. “Bust a Move”, a dance off where any style of dance is acceptable and Gerry has informed us that his initiative is called “Be Seen, Be Seen”. For now, the outcome of this multi-unrepresented endeavour is yet to be seen.
A student’s Guide to Facebook. Just remember, it’s all about me me me Update your profile picture every day Put sexy pictures up of famous people that look like you. People (at least you hope) will connect you with that person, and finally give in to your allure. Use buzz words irritatingly often. Popular examples include ‘Epic’ ‘Legend’ ‘Hero’ ‘Golden’ and ‘Fo Shizzle’.
‘Check In’ when you go to cool trendy places. Obviously same persons won’t ‘check in’ when they visit McDonald’s or Penney’s (but we’ve seen you there) Put interesting comments up, but fail to mention that it’s a quote from someone else (films, books, lyrics, Twitter and so on) Have a friend chat with you openly on Facebook to make you look good and to attract attention (Please note: Friend is usually sitting next to you) Get your best mate to take really beautiful modeled photos of you, yet still try to look like it’s your natural look All your photos are basically just of you. Other people or items in the photos are either totally irrelevant, or merely there to show others how amazing you really are. Same person always has more than a 1000 Facebook friends, but only Comments or Likes anything on your page if it’s about them, relating to them, or they’re very popular and/ or famous. Frape yourself in hope that you’ll get loads of ‘Comments’ and ‘Likes’. Then respond later that you’ve been ‘‘‘‘‘fraped’’’’’, but don’t remove the comment because you’re cool like that. Boast, brag and show very expensive items you have, but then say either “No Biggie” or “Just saying”.
S W NE N I F E I BR • Our inaugural Retro week begins on the 13th December. Students are encouraged to hug every passerby, revive the whistling culture, randomly do tumbles and cart wheels, play with a Rubik’s Cube until you’re forced to pull the stickers off, and high five every single person you meet. • The word EPIC has been completely banned from been used on campus. • Golden has now replaced EPIC as the only word to be used to celebrate anything and everything. • A 100% increase in students wearing glasses on campus who don’t actually need to wear glasses. • A 500% increase of students wearing scarf’s indoors. SU Manager Paul McCormack denies once again owning www.myscarfshop.com/ and his subliminal promotions of the products. Tutt tutt tutt… • God spotted in Arthur’s Bar. Leader of the atheist society, Ian Donegan, gobsmacked. • Rain Aly finally gets joke about name.
News Bulletin Griffith College’s debating society has finally come together Instigated by Mike Rotch, we would like to welcome this new society here on campus. Having met with Mike, he informed us that there was demand and that he himself is happy to get fully involved: “I want to master debating, and then take on the free masons in the biggest debating challenge ever and the question on everyone’s lips is ‘should debating be done away with”. “I want to beat off every single skeptic out there and prove that debating is vital for society, and that we can’t rely our media but need to take matters in our own hands.” A passerby insisted that Mike was unable to debate in any way, shape or form. “Oh, yes I can.” “No, you can’t.” Yes, I can times infinity! Haha, beat that! I’m the greatest!” Well done Mike.
Under the Spotlight I See YOU The SU Ghost Occupation – Freaking out the SU staff late at night Hobbies – Knitting, crochet, and banging doors. Likes – Touching you on the shoulder and vanishing before you see him Dislikes – SU Staff Interesting Fact – Has spent the last ten years obsessively trying to understand is it “my bag” or “my bad”.
The contents of this section are satirical and may offend. The views expressed do not represent the views of the SU
Them By David Yip
Jane shot up from her bed, screaming so loud her neighbours could hear as she broke out in sweat. She had the same dream again and she always woke up at the same part of the dream. She wiped away sweat from her forehead as she tried to compose herself but froze when she heard quick, pounding footsteps outside her bedroom door. Her heart beat so hard she felt like she was about to have a stroke. She could barely breathe. The steps drew closer and closer, louder and louder. Then her bedroom door opened slowly. There was light in the corridor which helped her spot a hand as it reached for the light switch. “You had that dream again?” said her mother, huffing and puffing from scrambling up the stairs. Jane nodded, wiping away some tears, looking visibly upset. “Don’t cry honey,” said the mother, wrapping her daughter in her arms and kissing her forehead. “They haven’t been seen in this area.” “How can you be so sure of that?” asked Jane in between sobs, clutching her mother’s hands tightly. “I saw a news report this morning,” answered the mother, her voice cracking and breaking in between. She held Jane even closer. From her mother’s voice and racing heartbeat, Jane could tell that she was as concerned as she was. “Then how come I’ve been having the same dream the last few nights?” asked Jane. “The dream started off outside this very house.” “We’re safe, they’ve only been seen in the forests,” said the mother as she gently stroked Jane’s back to comfort her. “There’s no risk of them getting here.” Jane freed herself from the embrace of her mother and asked, “Do you think Harry is still out there?” The mother wiped away tear stains from Jane’s face and said, “I don’t know. I don’t want to lie to you but if he is, then he’s certainly not human anymore.” Tears streamed from Jane’s eyes again as she thought of her brother. The laughter and excitement playing hide-and-seek, thumb wars, football and other games growing up. The close ties they had with each other from giving advice and comforting when they were upset. The bond breaking fights, arguments and insults. They were now all but memories. “I miss him so much,” she said. The mother stroked her daughters face gently and faked a smile. “Me too, but there’s nothing we can do about him now. He shouldn’t have been so close to the danger zone,” she said as she sighed loudly, her fake cheery expression turning into a frown. They jumped from the sudden noise behind them as something had struck their window. “What was that?” asked the mother. Jane froze as her breathing grew heavy. She wanted to see what was going on, but was too scared to move. After a minute of staring at her mother, she found the courage to peer through the curtain. She could see nothing but darkness. Then a light shone at the window from outside their house. It was a weak light, likely from a torch, but after some squinting she could vaguely make out a face. It was her brother! “Mom! It’s Harry!” squealed Jane, pointing at the light source. Her mother rushed over to the window. Jane waved at him with a smile and a tear, but seconds later she saw them. She froze in terror, completely paralysed, as Harry waved his torch in front of him in a 180 degree motion, revealing a dozen of them about 100 metres away creeping up on him. He took a Beretta from his coat pocket and started shooting at any of them he could see. “Stay in your room!” instructed her mother as she stormed out of the room. Jane, still shocked, could only but stare blankly outside as her mother screamed at her father to help Harry. She watched as her front door flew open and her parents stepped outside, with a handgun each, in an attempt to save their son who was backed up against the waist high fence gate that surrounded his garden. As he shined his torch around him, he could see how gruesome they looked, flesh from parts of their body hung out causing him to shiver with disgust. He panicked and fell on the floor, dropping the torch. He had to resort to trusting his instincts to fire in the dark. The parents rushed over to help him up, shooting at as many of them as they could. They did not fall easily, taking them more than two bullets to kill them and they were not slow either. Jane broke out from her paralysis and disobeyed her mother’s direct orders to race down and help her family. She rummaged through the storage room to find a weapon. She managed to find a baseball bat. However, as she grabbed the bat she heard, through the deafening gunfire, muffled screams from the outside. She ran to the open door, only to find her mother lying on the floor, blood gushing through stomach. “Oh god, I’m so sorry, mom!” shouted Harry, deaf from the gunfire. “Mom!” Shouted out Jane as she dropped her baseball bat. “Leave while you still can. Climb the back garden wall!” yelled her father to her, turning his back against them. Harry didn’t see them approach just metres from as he was tending to his mother. “Harry, watch out!” screamed Jane, prompting her father to turn around.
To decide what happens next vote for either A or B on Griffiti’s Facebook Poll before January 15th. Our Facebook email is Griffiti@gcd.ie. Help Jane decide: A: Go and help her family? B: Save herself and climb the back garden wall? 34
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Giffiti Magazine - Issue 47