ISSUE 03 - SUMMER 2015 MARLING SCHOOL
ISSUE 03 - SUMMER 2015 MARLING SCHOOL
THE BALLAD OF GUSTAV - NIKOLAI KUKLENKO
HUMANITARIAN AID ARTICLE - RICHARD SIEBENALLER
LAIKA - SEAN KEMSLEY
9 - 10
NO RETURN - JAMES STEVENS
11 - 12
KINGFISHER - BLYTH PACKARD
13 - 14
WAR POETRY - ISAAC AYLWARD - TOBY COLLINGRIDGE - ALEX WALKER
15 - 17
ADAM & EVE - RICHARD SAYELL
18 19 - 20
21 - 23
REVIEWS - RICHARD SIEBENALLER - HENRY RICHMOND - RICHARD SAYELL - IWAN HILL
THE GUARDIANS - STEPHEN MILTON-McCONNELL SPORT - JACK VINES
INK - THE STORY Returning to the drawing board after the success of last summer’s edition of INK, the realisation soon dawned upon the members of the team that this Summer 2015 edition would be the first without the ‘Founding Fathers’ of INK. These former members of the design and editorial team had envisaged and then driven the project in its infancy, and, it was widely acknowledged, produced a magazine to be proud of. The challenge facing us this time was to source new members of both the editorial and design team and communicate the INK vision, while allowing new ideas and inspiration to take root. What makes working on the INK project so exciting is the fluidity of the content and hence the changing nature of the finished product. The magazine aims to showcase writing across the genres, from political journalism to poetry. While last year’s team was passionate about the former, this year we found that more creative pieces dominated. Indeed, as is the way with such projects, its final form did not become fully apparent until the point of production. Our thanks go out to the designers, editors, contributors, Marling PTA for their help with funding, as well as everybody who has invested time and resources into the INK project, especially Ms Harris, once again. It is with great pride and pleasure that we present to you the Summer 2015 edition of INK magazine. The INK Team Richard Siebenaller, Managing Editor
The Ballad of Gustav Nikolai Kuklenko, Year 13
It was mainly his sister’s clothes he was wearing, but she had small feet so he wore his mother’s shoes. Not the best fit, but they’d do. The world felt more to him when he wore a pretty dress. His thick makeup was his armour, his handbag, his shield. This was the only way he felt beautiful, and he felt beautiful. He wallowed in his car for a bit, perhaps twenty minutes, attempting to blame someone else for what he was about to do. He did hate his parents, especially for the name they had given him. ‘Gustav Robertson’ didn’t exactly roll off the tongue. Sometimes he called himself Rachel to dull the painful embarrassment of his real name - people didn’t talk to him when he was Rachel. He did once ask his mother why he was tarnished with such a ridiculous moniker; she spat something about it being the father’s idea. Gustav would have asked, but the father wasn’t around anymore - that’s another story. The last time he was this scared was when Rudy Becker chased him all the way back from scouts that one time, but he failed too often. He didn’t dress up this nice to drive home with his tail between his legs. He always had the trusty rounders bat in case they didn’t like him. He promised to give it back to his sister by Thursday. The newsagents he’d chosen was small. Gustav felt sweat in his bra as he marched onwards. He wondered why he’d bothered to go to the lengths he had, it all seemed a bit laughable. That’s when the doubt invaded. He thought of some words and some people, what they’d say and think. He assured himself none of these things would defer Gustav’s success, not even Rudy Becker. Carol, the keeper of the establishment, was compliant with the demands of Gustav. He told her to put all the money in a bag, like he had observed in the many films he had watched in preparation for his excursion. For the first time that he could remember, he felt powerful. Gustav concluded that this was what was missing from his rather morose, vapid existence; he decided that his past experiences were simply acts of oppression against Gustav, but now he knew who he was and he knew what he wanted. He waltzed out of the shop a changed man. Gustav dropped ten of the eighty-seven pounds that he had secured in his oddly cathartic
assault of the cash register, but it didn’t matter to Gustav. He counted the spoils in his car: seventy-seven pounds and a pack of gum, he stole that on the way out to assert his new-found dominance. Gustav had never been as happy as he now was. He had conquered Carol’s kingdom while looking as pretty as he did; he felt like a princess. Gustav proceeded to drive around Basildon for a time; he treated himself to some expensive lipstick and a cheap coffee - not in that order. He didn’t like that mothers hurried their children past him and people stared and whispered to each other when he was in the café. He surmised he was not looking as pretty as they wanted him to. Twenty-five pounds seemed a bit much for lipstick, but if it made the people think Gustav was ravishing once more, he simply had to have it. He felt a million dollars, and considering he’d spent a mere twenty-five pounds, the lipstick was a fiscally responsible investment. Basildon was Alexandria and Gustav was Cleopatra, he was stunning and he knew it. He caught a glimpse of himself in the window of a squalid charity-shop. A diamond in the rough, he walked in amongst the hoodlums and vagrants of this insalubrious midden, a veritable beacon of perfection. This is when Gustav realised he had to escape; he was better than Basildon. He could make it elsewhere and maybe even be loved, finally. Imagine that - he thought - Gustav, loved. His car hissed as he drove away; he was going to a better place. When the officer told her, Miss Robertson wasn't sure whether she should have been laughing or crying over the fact that her only son was found dead dressed in her daughter's clothing. She ended up crying though; the closed casket was what got to her. The back pages of the Basildon Recorder described the crash as brutal; Gustav’s name was spelled wrong in the Echo’s coverage. They never got the rounders bat back.
Humanitarian Aid: Feeding the needy or fuelling the furnace? Richard Siebenaller, Year 13
Humanitarian relief is defined by the Good Humanitarian Donorship as â€˜the action designed to save lives, alleviate suffering and maintain and protect human dignity during and in the aftermath of man-made crises and natural disasters, as well as to prevent and strengthen preparedness for the occurrence of such situationsâ€™ based on the principles of impartiality, neutrality and independence. The execution of this aid predominantly stems from either Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), with well known examples being the British Red Cross and Oxfam, which both come under the Umbrella Organisation DEC (Disaster Emergency Committee), or through aid donations from Governments themselves. Aid can come in the form of immediate emergency supplies and resources such as food, shelter, medicine and water, monetary support such as loan-repayment breaks for the government of the recipient country, to allow the recipient some breathing room to recover, and also possibly in the form of manpower which, depending on the situation, can include the use of specialists such as doctors, scientists and amed forces personnel from the donor state (the body, organisation or country providing the aid) to help with rescue and recovery operations or the distribution of aid. There has been much debate about the extent to which Humanitarian aid benefits the recipient party, and although those in favour of the use of aid may not like to believe it, there is a strong argument to suggest that the continued use of humanitarian aid can prove more detrimental to the recipient country (the party receiving the help) than no aid at all.
“Aid dependence can prove deadly to a country’s economy and way of life” At the time of writing this article (Christmas 2014) television viewers may be noticing a steady influx in the number of appeals for donations for numerous crises around the globe. This is no coincidence, as charities and other numerous NGOs seek to obtain more money around the festive period: a time for ‘giving’, when people may be more easily coerced into parting with their money. This is an example of the power that television has to create awareness and ‘channel public compassion’ to fuel humanitarian aid.(1) However, critics of humanitarian aid derived from NGOs argue that the continual exposure to appeals for aid by charities through the use of media and technology is dulling the impact of the humanitarian crises on the viewers. What once was an immeasurably strong tool to help spread awareness and raise funds has, in a media-saturated world, lost a great deal of its initial effectiveness. The question also exists of whether or not the aid appeals are actually beneficial to the recipient - the intended objective of the aid - or whether they are in fact only benefitting the wallets of the executives of the charitable companies. For example, Sir Nick Young, the chief executive of the British Red Cross, has seen his pay increase by 12 per cent to £184,000 since 2010, despite a one per cent fall in the charity’s donations and a three per cent fall in revenues.(2) With the over-exposure of appeals for countless disaster relief funds causing the modern phenomena of disaster fatigue, and recent questions about the proportion of donations that actually reach the intended target, it is no wonder that there is growing criticism of humanitarian aid appeals. Another significant criticism of humanitarian aid, especially longer-term aid, is that the recipient country can become dependent on the incoming support, with the government and its people reliant on the generosity of other countries to survive. Aid dependence can prove deadly to a country’s economy and way of life in the long run, as the government and individuals can develop a sense of complacency that negates any need to develop the economy to provide food, education services and health care. This then means that they will be dependent on the donations even if the donor country decides to stop paying, leaving the country in an extremely unsustainable position. A notable example is Rwanda, which, according to the Financial Times, has 47% of its budget provided by international donations from Governments and NGOs. In light of allegations of a Rwandan army breakaway group capturing territory in the east of the country and displacing as many as 500,000 people(3), Rwanda’s foreign aid is now at risk.
What was once seen as an act of mercy by one government towards another nation or state, perhaps in times of crisis in order to protect lives and stability, has now become tainted by questionable motives and often succeeds in exacerbating already volatile situations. In Somalia in the 1990s for instance, UN-donated foodstuffs intended to alleviate famine were held by warlords to encourage recruitment into their local militias and to retain power. Aid has undoubtedly lost its innocence, with it now being used more and more by Governments and nations as a lever in order to exact control over the recipient country. An example of this is the use of the threat by the EU to cut off its aid to Nicaragua unless the country’s government reversed its law on abortion in 2007. In addition, humanitarian aid in the modern world is often only given if the donor country sees some benefit to doing so. The benefit could come in the form of a better global standing, the gaining of assets, territory or trade, or, as the Ebola crisis demonstrated, to protect populations. The world-wide influx of aid workers, doctors and money to Central Africa in late 2014 was a response to the threat of the spread of the disease into other regions of Africa and into other continents. A Neo-Realist View argues that, had the threat to the wider world not been so great, the response would not have been quite so vast. In particular, there has been much criticism of ‘Tied-aid’: monetary aid which requires that the recipient country spends it on goods and services from the donor country. A UN study on this type of aid suggests that tied aid cuts the value of aid to the recipient country by 25-40 percent, as they are forced to purchase goods and services that are not subjected to market competition. 70 percent of Canada’s foreign aid is tied.(4) Ethiopian farmers accepting Canadian aid are obliged to purchase Canadian tractors, which they are unable to maintain once they break and so can no longer use. As a result the aid is wasted upon the recipient party and it is only the donor party that reaps the benefits. The alternative to tied-aid is known, rather logically, as untied aid. This is simply aid which places no obligation on the recipient. As is recommended by the Paris Declaration, a move towards untied aid would reduce transaction costs for partner countries and improve development. It is rare to find a country which gives out more untied aid than it does tied, but Denmark is that rare example, giving out over 90 per cent of aid in untied arrangements.
“there must be a shift from tied aid which is all too common” The criticisms of humanitarian aid are numerous. Yet it continues to be necessary. Organisations such as the DEC are able to “fill the gap” in situations where humanitarian aid intervention is needed yet governments fail to act. The DEC played a vital role in the wake of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, in which 800,000 civilians were killed because of their ethnicity, yet many nations’ governments failed to recognise that genocide was taking place and decided not to act at all. To win over many of the critics of humanitarian aid there must be a shift from tied aid, which is all too common currently, towards untied aid. Without this shift, the long term use of humanitarian aid will always be seen as a fundamentally flawed concept.
Laika Sean Kemsley, Year 13
Laika never considered the event that changed her life to be kidnap. She had spent endless nights sleeping on the streets of Moscow, with her only companions being the merciless Russian winter and a hunger so powerful that I’m incapable of thinking of an adequate simile to describe it. Her life as a stray had given her a comprehensive education in the meaning of hardship. In that world philosophical concepts like consent and free-will don’t mean a whole lot. A way out is salvation even if it comes in the form of an ambush and a cage. After the initial trauma of her capture the little terrier quickly became accustomed to her new life. Vladimir and Oleg, her trainers, treated her with kindness and affection, nicknaming her “Little Bug”. Furthermore she found the dogs of the Moscow institute of technology kennels to be far better company than the ruthless strays she had known on the streets. Vladimir was hopelessly fond of the dogs and as a consequence they adored him. It was as though Laika had stumbled upon an oasis in a desert of indifference. The law of the rescued outcast reads like this: Loyalty is all. Laika never really thought about politics while she lived on the street. Shelter and food were far more pressing concerns than capitalist hegemony. She didn’t give a damn about the Bolsheviks and for what it’s worth they didn’t give a damn about her. Of course, the organs of power rarely pay attention to the unsophisticated opinions of stray dogs. Yet all of that changed once she had become a part of the space program. In her eyes the Soviet state became God, omnipotent and omnibenevolent. No matter how many times she was made to vomit in the centrifuge or forced to undergo the discomfort of zero gravity simulations she always came back as patient and as eager as before. The socialists gave her wings and she would soar across the night sky for the motherland.
In the end the spacecraft was something of a rush job. The complexities and potential obstacles of space travel were apparently lost on the Soviet Premier who demanded a “space spectacular” before the year was out. Vladimir chose Laika of course. She had always been his favourite. He even took her home with him one day, to meet his family, as a celebration. It was the first time she had left the institute since her arrival. That afternoon was like a propaganda photo come to life, as the terrier chased Vladimir’s two rosy faced children against a backdrop of light snow that marked the end of autumn. If a propagandist had been present then they might have made something of the “family hound turned cosmonaut” angle. Meanwhile Vladimir just stood and watched with a subdued expression on his face and a hint of sadness in his eyes, that Laika didn’t quite understand. Launch day. The technicians kissed her nose and whispered “good luck” and “bon voyage!” As they prepared to cut her tiny boat adrift it struck them how blissfully unaware she was of the lurking danger that lay like a sea mine, hidden beneath the waves of patriotism. Despite the many practices in the centrifuge, her heart quickened as she was buffeted by the pressure of the rapid acceleration.Yet as she stared out of the capsule’s little window she saw the motherland receding into the distance. The launch station became a dot, then just the Kazakhstan desert and then Laika could see all of Russia and then all the world. Like so many others before her, who had endured great suffering and loneliness, she had stared out at the stars and dreamed of what lay beyond this world. In the institute she had lain awake at night and thought of a world without outsiders, a world where dogs did not walk the streets hungry and alone. She thought she had glimpsed that world in the political rhetoric of the scientists. Khrushchev’s quest for progress had set her heart ablaze, yet the temperature control system, which had been so hurriedly constructed in its name, had been knocked loose by the jolt of leaving the earth’s atmosphere. Laika spent but a few hours among the stars, before she was overcome by the heat, alone in a sea of darkness.
James Stevens, Year 8
I open my eyes wearily and then sharply close them. The sunlight is blinding. Where am I? I am suddenly aware of the gentle lapping of the sea against my legs. It feels comforting. The warm sunlight feels good on my weak and tired body. I guess I might as well lie here, there doesnâ€™t seem to be any alternative at the moment. As I close my eyes, all the memories of last night come flooding back to me. I was terrified. Desperate for breath. So cold. All I could see was the inky blackness of the sea. The plane was just next to me, on fire. I could hear the screams of the other passengers that had been launched into the ocean like me. But their screams were cut off as I was plunged into the water again. When I finally came to the surface, I saw my only chance of survival right in front of me. I clambered into it with all the strength I had. The raft was bobbing up and down dangerously and I was worried it would capsize. Well I made it here safely after all. I doubt anyone else did. All the chaos of the night before was so different from this peaceful situation. Iâ€™m not hungry, panicked, cold, scared. Maybe that will come later. Suddenly my stomach lurches. I lean down and throw up all over the sand. I probably had too many martinis back on the plane in celebration. I was planning on starting a new life as a painter in Paris. What a happy time it was. Now I have nothing. Nothing but these torn up clothes.
I am woken up by rain beating down on me. I run to the nearest palm tree for shelter; itâ€™s bitterly cold. Watching the rain hammer down makes me aware of my thirst; the last time I drank was on the plane. There has to be a coconut somewhere on the branches. I grip my hands around the bark and shake the whole tree. To my relief, one falls down and crashes onto the sand. I smash it as hard as my fatigued muscles will allow me against the tree, and it splits open neatly. Raising it to my dry lips, I drink it all down. It only whets my appetite but itâ€™ll do for now. Then the panic seizes me. What if this is my life now? What if I have to eat, drink, sleep and die on this island? I take a deep breath. I sit down, my back against the tree, and try to work out what my best option is. As I sit there, my eyes are drawn to a smooth rock beside me. Scratched into the sun-bleached surface are the words THERE IS NO RETURN.
Poetry: Kingfisher Blyth Packard, Year 7
Speeding and skimming with his agile body, A sequined spear slipping through the water like a bullet, Piercing the scaly friends of the deep, Then gliding past willows as he slows, Deftly dipping one last time alone, He burrows into his hidden castle where nobody goes.
War Poetry Un-Beating Hearts Toby Collingridge, Year 7 Watch blood drip, the un-beating hearts of a thousand men, Ended by more. When bang! Bang! Comes the sound Of sorrow, but weep in the mud. Whilst tears coarse down the faces of A thousand lost lives. If one could live then one would live. Now comes the void, great void. In the form of a bullet, it whistles Through air, tears through your Life, tears through a thousand lives. But drop your gun, make ends meet Once at last, jump the winding Trenches, veins on the face of death Shake the hand of a thousand lives, Ended by more. Shake the hand of justice.
58,223 Isaac Aylward, Year 9 The apparatus of humanity, through rows of silent faces, Each figure waiting its turn, Through splutters, chokes, cries, Final exhales of the individuals, Forgotten through estimations of expendable masses. Tens, hundreds, thousands fall silent, cold, breathless, The tallies of the chart deceased. The marionettes remade, renewed, Replaced in equal proportion, Through the manoeuvres of political puppeteers. Facts, suspicions, accusations, just masks for the cause, As people become heroes, cowards, monsters. But the statistics gain villages, towns, cities, Countries promoting their statements, Losses to the nearest hundred.
In the Water Alex Walker, Year 9 In the dirty water I see a reflection of a face. A face of a man who is fighting a long and bloody war. A bloody war that will never end. Although their bullets miss, they always strike our hearts. Although their five nines miss, they always strike our minds. But the gas, the gas never misses. We are merely toy soldiers. When one breaks you can just replace it. It looks like the ground has swallowed us up and spat us out again. At night you can only hear the screams and cries of dying soldiers. Only the daybreak silences the screams. Every day we send men over the top, to never be seen again. The only memory of them is their mangled bodies in the mud. It seems like I swim in a sea of blood. This never ending war will consume us all.
Adam & Eve Richard Sayell, Year 12 The days passed faster than I first expected, so fast that the hours of the day seemed to be falling out my pockets. By the time I actually got some sleep it was Wednesday night and I had arrived home after a long stroll to the tavern several miles downtown. There I met up with some old friends of mine, who I must admit were keen to get the details of Lord Fairford’s “accident”, as the town called it, having been informed that I was indeed an eyewitness. To make certain I could sleep, I turned down the drinks and stayed sober for the night, whilst trying to rehearse a story even I didn’t know the truth about. Nevertheless, the dreams didn’t stop playing; they continued pestering again and again, eating away at me inside like a harsh reminder of that terrible night. As soon as the weight of my eyelids fell heavy, and the handbags underneath my eyes sagged, I found myself stood in a wildflower field stretching far into the horizon. The ground was marshy underfoot and the petals tickled my kneecaps. Ahead of me, tucked underneath the stretching arms of a large apple tree, was a ranch house, two floors tall, made from old timber beams and loose tiles. All the windows were dark except for the one on the top floor, oddly angled on the gable roof, facing the crescent moon hidden behind a layer of cloud. I approached the house cautiously via the cobblestone walkway, peering up at the apple tree as I went. Something rustled about in the branches then climbed to higher ground. Perhaps it was a territorial animal – a bird maybe. Whatever it was, the thing was scared and obviously meant no harm, but I was dreaming so it couldn’t hurt me anyway. Unless I wasn’t dreaming, that was.
With my hand on the doorframe, a small voice called from the floor above. I hesitated momentarily – not catching what the person said – and stepped backwards in fright, expecting nobody to be there, convinced that, as it was a dream, the voice would only be a figment of my spiralling imagination. But, of course, there was someone. She was leaning from the upstairs window, amorously postured, red-lipped, and wearing nothing at all. Her nudity certified that everything was one big dream; not a woman in 19th century London would dare feel so carelessly about their dignity that they would expose themselves to a perfect stranger. However, when I looked more carefully at her face rather than her figure, I soon realised it was no stranger. It was Katherine of Cleeve. She smiled. That smile I knew all too well.
‘Gareth Sandt Junior,’ she began. ‘Son of the Archdeacon. How nice of you to join me.’ ‘He-Hello Katherine, may I ask why– ‘Why I’m wearing nothing? Oh, I do apologise dearly. So disrespectful and ill-mannered for a woman of my stature, I know.’ I shook my head. ‘No honestly, it’s no problem with me. As you said “women should be allowed to express themselves freely”. That wasn’t necessarily how I felt but it appeared to elicit a smile on Katherine’s face. ‘As you are such a gentleman, would you please do me a favour?’ ‘Of course, anything,’ I responded a little more submissively than I originally intended. Something told me she could sense that meekness. ‘Could you pick me an apple from the tree? I feel rather hungry.’ ‘No problem Madame.’ As I turned to the low-hanging tree branches, drooping with the heavy weight of apples, I let out a sigh of relief, thankful that Katherine of Cleeve hadn’t asked me for anything more dangerous… yes, it was only a dream, but either way I couldn’t run the overwhelming risk of pulling her husband’s strings – subconsciously or not. Assuming she had a husband, that was. I walked over to the far side of the tree where the lowest branches were suspended above the purple wildflowers, swaying in the faint breeze. I reached for the closest apple – perfectly green-skinned and rounded – when another voice spoke. This one, unlike Katherine’s, was dreamy and almost musing. It was a man. Lord Fairford limped beside me and rested his cane against the tree trunk, sending two crows fleeing out of their hollow. One had a fractured bone clasped in its beak. He was wearing rundown sandals worn in by the miles he had walked, kicking up puffs of dust as he approached. His cork leg, on the other hand, was unchanged since that night at the theatre. Then he had been a spectacle of a man. Now, though, he was nothing in comparison: his skin looked bruised under the light of the moon and his eyes were bloodshot as if they had witnessed evil so unpardonable that any man, regardless of what religion they taught, would question God’s supremacy.
‘Don’t pick the apple,’ he said dryly. ‘By God’s will, do not pick the apple.’ ‘Why not?’ ‘Because she’s not what she portrays herself to be. Haven’t you noticed she is seducing you? She wants to take you with me, just like all the others, take you to the burning coals and the chanting slaves who scream eternally until their voices swell. Believe me, I’ve seen it. And the dark one – the chief among them – enjoys the screams. He can’t resist the music, the sequence of notes which – ‘Is there a problem here gentlemen?’ Katherine asked, rounding the corner. A smile twitched at the corner of her mouth. ‘No,’ said Lord Fairford. ‘As a matter of fact we were just leaving; unfortunately we have important business to attend.’ She pouted childishly. ‘What a shame, could’ve stayed the night. Are you certain neither of you are hungry? There is no shortage of apples and they do taste rather wonderful.’ My stomach began to riot in hunger, moaning for food, although only moments ago I wasn’t hungry in the slightest. ‘Come on, they are so crisp all year round, Spring in particular. Please feel free to help yourself.’ At that moment those green apples looked so appetising – everything from their glassy shells to their evergreen core – making my stomach call and wail. It was as if a bodily hormone had been released into my bloodstream, drawing that fruit to my mouth. As if that wasn’t enough, the rich, juicy smell that arrived at my nostrils was too alluring to resist, like the tantalising smell of a cigarette. Without thinking, I reached for the green bulb hanging from the lowest branch and pulled it free of the flimsy twig it had clung to all its life. In truth, there was a conscious guilt hidden below the surface, but from that moment onwards, it was buried by temptation. ‘No. Don’t do it,’ Fairford murmured. ‘Satisfy your hunger,’ Katherine purred. I dug my teeth into the apple and chewed it. The bite slipped down my throat and tasted as good as it smelt. Sweet and juicy. Katherine grinned widely. And when I looked closer I let out a scream. Behind her gleaming teeth was a serpent’s tongue.
The Guardians Stephen Milton-McConnell, Year 7 “Regrets are in the past,” I have to keep telling myself. My life is full of ‘shouldn’t haves’. I wish I could change it all – but of course that’s impossible. The thought of my father still lingers with me; his last words: “They are here. Watching. Waiting.” This isn’t a game anymore – there’s nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. I have no power – I’m just a drop in the ocean. They came a couple of weeks ago - the guardians. I thought I could trust them - now I can’t trust anyone. I remember it like it had just happened – like it’s in HD. I wish I could forget that horrible moment, but it’s burned into my memory. It’s funny how you forget the things you want to remember, but you remember the things you want to forget. I’m getting tired of running – that’s all I’ve been doing. I may as well give up, but I can’t. They would win. My life changed when we got that letter. ‘They are coming, the guardians. Save yourselves – run. They are protectors no more.’ I remember the fear in my father’s eyes when he told me about the tale. “They are the most powerful people to have ever existed,” he had said. A sudden thud crashes me back to the present. “You cannot hide,” whispers a voice coming closer, closer. I can see movements in the shadows. They’re here; the guardians. I try thinking of something different, but I can’t stop thinking about her - Mum. I never knew her at all – she ran off when I was three months old. She and father hated each other after I was born and I never knew why. She doesn’t write to me anymore and father would never tell me. I wish it were old times when father and I used to play hide and seek in the woodland. Those memories are gone, washed away in a tidal wave of grief and sorrow. “Stop daydreaming,” I tell myself, “Focus on getting out of here.” I lunge for the nearest branch hoping that they won’t see me. Steadying myself, I cautiously climb into a part of the tree covered heavily with branches. I don’t dare to breathe. Looking through the pine needles, I can just make out four figures in the fading light. “Where’s the boy?” barks the figure directly below me. I recognise that voice, but from where? “Gone mistress,” say the other three. “He has to be here somewhere,” she says in a gruff voice. “We need to split up.” Suddenly I hear a crack in the branch below me… And then I’m falling. Down. Down. Down. I open my eyes to see a woman with a scarred face looking down at me – the leader of the guardians. “Wh-who are you?” I stutter – afraid to know the answer. A cruel smile creeps across her face. “Poor boy,” she whispers, “Doesn’t even recognise his own mother.” 18
Sport: World Cup
Jack Vines, Year 12
Editor’s Note: This article was produced in 2014 and does not reflect recent events On 2nd December 2010, shockwaves were sent around the world of football after Russia and Qatar were selected as the hosts of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup. With the joint bids of the Netherlands and Belgium, as well as Spain and Portugal, unlikely to be chosen after the problems with the 2002 World Cup, England was hot favourite to win the hosting rights. Despite such expectations, and the support of the Prince of Wales and footballing legend David Beckham, England was eliminated in the first round of voting. Rank outsider Russia won the vote. In a further shock it was later revealed that Australia, Japan, South Korea and USA had all lodged separate bids to host, with each of these countries having prior experience in holding international sporting competitions. The small Gulf state of Qatar was bidding for the first time, its only experience being hosting the 2011 Asian Cup. Australia, Japan and South Korea were eliminated in rounds one, two and three respectively, leaving the favourites USA against Qatar in the final round. When Sepp Blatter (President of FIFA) announced that Qatar was to host the 2022 World Cup a deafening silence fell. Allegations of corruption soon followed. A major media backlash ensued in the days after the process, especially in England. Roger Burden, who had been acting chairman of England's Football Association, withdrew his application for the permanent post days after the vote, saying he could not trust FIFA members because of their actions. England's bid executive Andy Anson said: "I think it has to change because otherwise why would Australia, the United States, Holland, Belgium, England ever bother bidding again?" The majority of British newspapers alleged that the World Cup had been "sold" to Russia. There was also a reaction in some of the other losing countries, with the Spanish El Mundo, Dutch Algemeen Dagblad, The Wall Street Journal, and the Japanese Nikkei making pointed comments about Russia and Qatar's commodity and energy reserves. While a critical watch is certainly being kept on Qatar’s progress, it still has over seven years to sort out many of the problems it is facing. However the spotlight is fully on both hosts. Qatar has been criticised by Human Rights groups for its poor treatment of migrant workers who are helping to build the stadia. Working in heat of up to 50°C, they are dying from exhaustion and dehydration. In addition, Russia’s involvement in the Ukrainian crisis, its illegal annexation of Crimea, and its crackdown on homosexuality and abuse of basic human rights makes it seem an increasingly unsuitable host for the World Cup.
But many would argue that the spirit of FIFA - a desire to spread the message and benefits of football worldwide - means that countries such as Russia and Qatar should be actively encouraged to be hosts. Russia needs to be better known and better understood. It is a vast and greatly important country on a global scale, it has a unique culture that it feels is often misrepresented abroad, and it has national interests that it feels, often with good cause, are not respected by the West. To further isolate Russia would not enhance mutual understanding in a period of considerable international instability. Though at first glance a mass of intermingling football fans might not seem like a diplomatic opportunity, given the direction we are heading in, it may be our best hope. Without the World Cup and the microscopic scrutiny it attracts, Qatar would have less pressure over the next decade to improve civil liberties and basic human rights. What happens in Qatar has a knock on effect elsewhere, as other countries in the region pay close attention to Qatar's domestic and diplomatic moves. The country is the wealthiest nation in the Arab Gulf and has invested more proactively in its education, healthcare, and publicly available research than any other Gulf state. It has now pledged to help people in Africa and southeast Asia as part of its World Cup projects. One such scheme would see seats from the stadia being subsequently used to build facilities in disadvantaged countries.
In any case, taking away the World Cup when preparations are already underway and finding a suitable replacement host would be no easy task. There were major issues with the Africa Cup of Nations after Morocco pulled out with less than two months to go because of the fear of Ebola. Equatorial Guinea stepped in only three weeks before the event, but all sorts of accommodation and transport problems followed. The benefits of sticking with the decision are there to see, but it is difficult to overlook human rights issues and an uncomfortable feeling that there has been a lack of transparency in the whole process. There is no easy answer. As always there are winners and losers. And thatâ€™s before the football has started.
Reviews Heart of Darkness - Movie Richard Siebenaller, Year 13 The 1993 television adaptation of Heart of Darkness, directed by Nicolas Roeg, is one of the lesser-known offspring of Conrad’s novel of the same name. In comparison to Francis Ford Coppola’s critically acclaimed Apocalypse Now, Roeg chooses to stick remarkably close to the original plotline, with some minute details picked up and reproduced in the film. However, there are a few striking and most unusual deviations from the original text. The most notable being the initial scene of the film where, instead of the protagonist Marlow telling a ‘yarn’ to pass the time with a group of sailors whilst waiting for the tide to turn, the film opens in a dockland setting, where Marlow is being threatened with legal action if he does not reveal what he has learnt from his journey to the Congo. It is not clear why this change has been made, possibly to create drama. If so, it fails to do so. The movie is one that will confuse, bore (or both) anyone who has not read Conrad’s novel. Not only that, the film falls into the trap of many film renditions of literature, in which the vision of one director cannot live up to the imagination of thousands of readers. This is painfully obvious whilst watching the movie, which fails to convey the complicated concepts, hidden meaning and description present throughout the novel. It must be noted, however, that what the movie does succeed in doing is fleshing out Conrad’s intentions in areas that may not have necessarily been clear in the original text. Therefore, it is a good movie if you have read the book and would like some help to visualise the scenes, but not if you are looking for entertainment. So if you want a thought provoking experience pick up Conrad’s text or for entertainment you still can’t beat Apocalypse Now.
The Girl with all the Gifts - M. R. Carey Henry Richmond, Year 11 I was convinced that I hated books about zombies. Or at least, that was the thought I held before I’d read this book. It has to be said though that I was pleasantly surprised. Oddly enough, although the book is set in a dystopian world where the plot in its entirety revolves around such brain-dead beasts, this thriller, as much as possible, avoids the typical zombie stereotype. M.R Carey truly obliterates the cliché of slow, stumbling monsters around every corner, with a continuous drone of ‘BRAAAINS’ monotonously slurring on. Instead, he does something quite brilliant with the concept as we explore the post-apocalyptic world through the eyes of a ‘Hungry’ – a little girl called Melanie. Punchy, white-knuckled and yet unrushed, this story has to be applauded for its ingenuity and novelty; I was hooked from the very start. Though with a slow, measured build up, when the crescendo of tension peaked I couldn’t put the book down. Carey focuses on the relationship between Melanie and Mrs Justineau, exploring the capacity for human compassion and faith, while at the same time maintaining an exhilarating storyline with a twist at the very close. It offers a sense of perspective too - on the fragile nature of the world as we know it where one tiny trigger has the potential to become the catalyst for total world dystopia. Nonetheless, I would have to say that some sections of the novel are certainly not for the squeamish. Although I received this book with recommendations from my Grandmother, I was certainly shocked by the detail with which the dissection of a human brain is described! Though arguably, to have made me wince, it must have been written very well! Above all else though, The Girl with all the Gifts is excellently written and the storyline as captivating as you’d hope any thriller to be. Carey presents you with an overall message of hope but challenges you to think about the darker side of humanity - and the extent to which people will do to survive.
11.22.63 - Stephen King Richard Sayell, Year 12 11.22.63 follows the journey of a man named Jake Epping, a perfectly ordinary English teacher from Lisbon Falls, Maine. However his quest turns out to be anything but ordinary as he regresses back half a century in order to save John F. Kennedy, courtesy of the mysterious pantry at Al’s Diner. Over the years I have read a great deal of Stephen King novels, all of which have exceeded storytelling heights, but never anything like this. King, who was only a teenager during the sixties, transports the reader between two divergent time zones: the ever-developing 2012 and the root beer nirvana of 1958. Usually renowned for his chilling horror, 11.22.63 is a departure from Stephen King’s other works, proving that not only can he cause sleepless nights, but he can produce an emotionally beguiling story about a man who once marked English essays pursuing one of America’s most infamous men.
Who’s afraid of 138?! - Album Iwan Hill, Year 12 “Who’s Afraid of 138?!” is the second compilation from the record label of the same name. Presenting a selection of trance tracks, tied together by their 138 beat-per-minute speed (hence the title), this album aims to provide the ultimate party spirit – but does it succeed? Almost anyone with an interest in cult dance music should have heard of Simon Patterson. As one of the biggest names in trance, one might expect his mix to be the stronger of the two. However, this is not necessarily the case. While there might be some element of subjectivity in choosing a ‘better mix,’ Patterson’s case is a harder one to argue. The main criticism of this mix would be that it lacks identity; Patterson combines extremely deep and dark music with bright and uplifting music, flitting between genres on an almost track-by-track basis. Whilst this variety certainly is nice, it nonetheless gives an air of chaos, defying any attempt to label it. Having said all this, the track choices are perfectly fine; as is usual with large compilations, everyone won’t like everything, but that shouldn’t be seen as a fault with this mix in particular. The overall verdict of Simon Patterson’s mix is that it is exciting and entirely listenable to, but nothing truly revolutionary. The confusing variety of tracks may make this more difficult to recommend to the average ‘man in the street.’ The second mix on the album, Photographer, is arguably a lesser-known name than Simon Patterson, but make no mistake, he is a musical force to be reckoned with. Since bursting onto the trance scene back in 2012 with the enduringly popular track “Airport”, Photographer has been busy indeed. This mix is easily the stronger track on the compilation, simply by having everything that Patterson’s lacked, namely, an identity and unquestionable track choices. From the raging introductory track, his own remix of Abstract Vision’s “Rocket,” the mix never loses pace or drive. Even with every track belonging to the same genre, they never sound clichéd or boring. The only criticism would be that this leads to a lack of variety, but as Patterson’s mix showed, variety often leads to confusion. Overall, Photographer’s mix does what it needs to do – It provides a driving, energetic soundtrack suitable for any party or workout, while also being musically sound. I must recommend this mix to anyone with an interest in or love for ‘138’ trance, this mix is near-perfect. It may not be “chilled”, “smooth” or “easy listening” by any stretch of the imagination, but if you’re after energy, this is the track to select. Three Standout Tracks: 1) “One Special Particle” – John O’Callaghan 2) “Rocket (Photographer’s Intro Edit)” – Abstract Vision 3) “Cangaru (Original Mix)” – Gary Maguire & Anthony Quinn Overall Comments: Even if you only like one of the mixes, the album as a whole remains exceptional value for money (as long as it’s purchased from the right source). It is easy to recommend as a gateway to dance music, or for anyone with a long-term interest in anything electronic.
Richard Siebenaller (Editorial Lead)
Seb Howells (Design Lead)
Jack Vines Henry Richmond
Hugh Davidson (Cover)
Ms L Harris
Richard Siebenaller (Credits) Flickr Royalty-Free Images
Printing funded by Marling PTA www.marling.gloucs.sch.uk/pta
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ISSUE 03 - SUMMER 2015 MARLING SCHOOL