november 2011 - issue no. 3 ucc official magazine
W h a t the othe r half ge t u p t o T h e s e c ret habits of stu d ents r e ve al e d
Tal k i n g w i t h Te d
Sp e aki ng w i t h Te d â€™s b a nd f r om Sc r ubs
College L i fe
A note from the editor Welcome to the third edition of Motley of this semester. This edition is focusing on the “extra-curricular” activities of students. Although college life is meant to focus on academics, for a lot of students expanding horizons and pushing boundaries are a major part of their years in college. In this issue we are looking at sex, drinking, the use of drugs and the effects that these have on students' lives. We took a survey looking at the drug and alcohol use of students, as well as their sexual habits. We asked some direct questions and came up with some interesting results. It is important for us, as students, to take these things seriously at some point. As has happened in several cases in UCC over the last few years, one small mistake while drunk can cause you serious injury or your death. With regard to sex, an er ror in judgement can result in a child being born into a situation that is not optimal for any of the parties involved. Throughout this issue we take a look at the different aspects of the aforementioned topics, some in a serious way and others in a more humorous fashion. We have a run-down of some interesting sex toys and in the fashion section we take a look at the different stages of a person’s night from the night out to the most dressed up morning after I have ever seen. Have a look and enjoy!
The Team Kevin Curran
Current Affairs currentaffairs @ motley.ie
Deputy Current Affairs
Entertainment entertainments @motley.ie
Features cthlbrennan@gmail. com
Contents On the Cover The secret habits of students revealed... Interview with The Blanks or “Ted’s band from Scrubs”
Current Affairs This section looks at the “Occupy" movements and what they're all about
Entertainments Daniel Foley looks at the TV Characters you love to hate
Features We look at the highs and lows of drugs Noel Dillion Daly takes aim at political societies (reader discretion is advised if you are, what Noel calls, "a political knob”)
Fashion The art of Movember is investigated Catherine Dennehy speaks to designer Peter O’Brien about his life and the fashion industry
The Lives of Others Kevin Curran and Jerry Larkin get intimate with the ins and outs of student down-time We surveyed 350 people and, out of those, 75% were between the ages of 19 and 21. We asked various questions in relation to their drinking, sexual and drug habits. We also spoke to welfare officer Dave Carey and UCC Doctor Michael Byrne. Of the people who responded, 14% of those did not drink alcohol, while around 35% drank twice or more a week. The most popular answer was once a week. When asked how much they drank on a night out, the most popular answer (37%) was 6 to 10 units with 25% drinking between 11 and 20 units on a night out. We found that men drink more than woman on a night out. The World Health Organization has defined binge drinking as drinking six or more standard drinks (about 3 pints of beer) during one drinking occasion but there is disagreement over what this actually means. Only 1 in 5 of our respondents thought it was less than 10 units with around 15% thinking it was 20 plus. Drinka-
ware.ie discusses how what we would describe as a “binge” has great effects on the brain and damages brain cells. 34% of the students surveyed have worried about their level of drinking. This is a large number and it is worrying that a lot of students feel anxiety over how much they drink. 77% felt that their college performance had been affected at some point by drinking while 1 in 3 felt that if they didn’t drink then their college performance would be improved. Dave Carey (UCC SU Welfare Officer) believes that alcohol abuse is a major cause of academic failure among students, particularly those who wouldn’t have had such freedom before entering college life. He stated that “The emphasis of the SU’s policy towards drinking is in limiting alcohol abuse – this involves being realistic that it is always going to exist, but also acting responsibly by providing alcohol-free events during the day-time”.
The average monthly spend on alcohol is around €70 which isn’t excessive, however with the availablilty of cheap drink this can still be a lot of €4 naggins of vodka. Most of those surveyed (8/10) wouldn’t go without anything to afford drink but around 15% would take money from their food budgets to afford drink. Dr. Micheal Byrne considers the high rate of alcohol abuse among students to be a national issue – it can’t be tackled just by UCC, but needs a concerted effort from the Government. The chronic dangers of alcohol abuse in the long run are well known – liver disease, heart failure, etc. but less well publicised are the short- term dangers for young people such as increased risk-taking, which may manifest itself in violence, accidents, driving etc. Dr. Byrne blames this increased risk-taking on the way we consume alcohol in Ireland – namely by binge-drinking. He believes that this attitude to drinking is a generational one, and definitely not one confined to students. More than 1 in 3 of those surveyed have been thrown out or refused entry to a club, withmost people citing "being too drunk" as the reason in the majority of the cases. 5% had been hospitalized due to a night out drink- ing. Just under 75% felt regret the next day for something they had done whilst out drinking.The fact that people would do things while drunk that they wouldn't do when sober alludes to the mood altering aspect of alcohol consumption. We found that men were more likely to be refused entry/thrown out of a night club.
Sexy Time We found that 7 out of 10 people are currently sexually active. Half of the people surveyed have had a one night stand, with 90% of those agreeing that alcohol was a
factor in the decision to have it. Most have had between 1 and 4 one night stands. Advisory boards such as Drinkaware and Frank state that there is a link between drinking and decisions to engage in sexual activity. These results confirm this. Dr Byrne believes the fact that excessive drinking is the main cause of unprotected sex means that if a woman receives the morning-after pill in the pharmacy instead of the doctor, she is missing out on the advice a trained doctor can give about sexual risks and the dangers of alcohol in relation to unprotected sex – aspects which pharmacists might ignore due to a lack of training. He states that the Student Health service in UCC has gone at lengths to minimise the potential embarrassment some might feel by going to the college doctor for emergency contraception or STI screening, but this feeling will always happen to a certain extent. The average number of partners people have had while in college was 3. The most popular form of contraception was condoms but what is frightening is that 15% of respondents are sexually active but don’t use any contraception. There seems to be no need for this as Dave Carey states condoms are cheap and readily available in UCC - “the SU run a condom shop in the SU office, where condoms can be bought dirt cheap (significantly cheaper than pharmacies) with plans to set up a portable condom shop in the near-future”. These people, who are having unprotected sex, are running the risk of STI’s and pregnancy by not using any protection at all. Dr. Michael Byrne believes the reasons behind the increase in STIs are complex and difficult to pin down. He said “the high number of STIs appears to fly in the face of the increased availability of condoms”, and Dr Byrne believes this is partly down to condoms not being used properly - or at all - due to incapacitation, mainly caused by drunkenness. “The evidence shows that the rate of unprotected sex and STI worries increases exponentially when alcohol is brought into the mix.” This is bared out in the questionnaire where half of the respondents have had unprotected sex, clearly answering Dr Byrne’s open question in relation to STIs. When we split the findings into male and female, there was little change in the results of the one night stand or use of contraception on either side. This disproves the popular perception that males are more promiscuous than females and less worried about contraception than them.
the use of the emergency contraceptive pill, with all the complications that can arise from the use of the drug. Dr. Byrne believes that the previous law which stated that women had to get a prescription in order to get the morning-after pill was based solely on the medical needs of women, and not on any ethical or social ideals. The change in the position was caused by the reality that a great number of women in need of the morning-after pill were not in a position to access it when they needed to, and Dr. Byrne welcomes anything that increases access to emergency contraception. A potential downside of the recent change however, is that the number of women seeking the morning-after pill from qualified doctors has decreased – Dr. Byrne has seen this occur even in UCC, where a consultation costs nothing. Just under half of those questioned have taken some form of illegal drug with cannabis being the most popular drug of choice. 10% of those who replied take illegal drugs more than twice a week. A similar number of respondents have been hospitalised due to drug use as that of alcohol use. These numbers highlight the fact that drug use, in particular cannabis use, is a common place activity among students. It is interesting that 80% drink alcohol and 50% admitted to taking drugs, showing the disassociation people have in relation to alcohol being a drug. Dr. Byrne believes the problems associated with alcohol abuse should be of a higher priority than drug abuse, although that is not to diminish the dangers of drug abuse. The fear factor amongst people is a lot higher in relation to drugs due to their illegality and the rapid deterioration that hard drug abuse can cause. Another factor is the percentage of students who consume alcohol or drugs – with hard drugs; it is in the single digit figures, while the percentage of people who do not drink alcohol is only in single digits.
1 in 3 students stated that either they or a sexual partner has had to take the morning after pill with this answer being equally popular among the genders and the age groups with 30% of the 17 year olds that responded having used the emergency contraceptive pill. The HSE has warned on many occasions about the worrying rise in
Results at a glance 73% of students regretted something they did the next day after a drinking session. Just under half of students have been refused entry or kicked out of a club for being too drunk. 1 in 10 of sexually active students do not use contraception Half of students have had a one night stand; alcohol was listed as a factor by 80% of these people 1 in 3 female respondents have got the morning after pill Half of students have tried illegal drugs of some sort
ETA renounces violence–
Current Affairs Jerry Larkin discusses the reasons behind the conflict and what the future may hold for the Basque people
for pragmatic politics
The last armed conflict in mainland Europe appears to have been brought to an end with the announcement from ETA on October 20th of the “definitive cessation of its armed activity”. The announcement has been universally welcomed, although it comes too late for the approximately 350 civilians killed by ETA in its 40-year armed campaign to gain independence for the Basque country. For some, ETA’s fight represented a just struggle against an over-bearing and oppressive Spanish state which could not comprehend the singular nature of Basque culture. However, for most Spaniards ETA was a faceless and violent militia that seeked to overthrow the very democracy which Spain had fought so hard to create.
In order to understand the reasoning behind ETA’s prolonged and bloody fight for sovereignty it is important to recognise the uniqueness of Basque culture, as well as the inflexible nature of the Spanish - and particularly French – states. Basque culture dates back to the period of the Roman Empire, when all that existed in France and Spain was disparate tribes scattered across the region. Therefore, Basque culture predates contemporary Spanish and French culture by quite some margin. Unlike French or Spanish, the Basque language – Euskera – is not part of the IndoEuropean language family and is unrelated to any other language in the world. The fact that Basque people have managed to retain their culture over 2 millennia is extraordinary – all the more so given the prosecution they suffered under the dictatorship of Franco. Franco’s drive for a single nation state resulted in his government banning the speaking of the Basque language, abolishing the already-limited self-autonomy in the Basque country, as well as imprisoning well-known Basque nationalists and intellectuals. There were numerous responses by ETA to these actions, including the assassination of Luis Carrero Blanco, the likely successor to General Franco, in 1973. Rather then eradicating Basque culture, Franco’s actions appeared to strengthen the nationalistic feeling in the Basque country. Upon the death of Franco in 1975, a process of devolution occurred in the newly-formed democracy which allowed a high degree of autonomy for the Basque country. The second article of the Spanish constitution recognizes the rights of "nationalities and regions" to self-government but declares the "indissoluble unity of the Spanish nation". These measures were aimed at appeasing the many different cultures in Spain, as well as breaking from the highly centralised nature of the Franco dictatorship. This was largely successful and today the Basque country has the highest degree of autonomy in Spain, with its own parliament in control of the police force,
education and fiscal policy. However, these actions strengthened the feeling amongst a significant portion of Basque people that they should be given full independence from Spain (and France). The situation with the part of the Basque country located in France is even more
of ETA, mainly amongst disillusioned young Basque men. However, the lines between good and evil are always blurred and this is particularly true when it comes to this conflict and the involvement of the GAL - Grupos Antiterroristas de Liberación – another military group with the aim of defeating ETA. GAL are suspected of killing 28 people between 1983 and 1987. This might have been considered a natural, but misjudged, urge to fight fire with fire but this attitude ignores the role of the Spanish government in the operation of GAL. Two former Spanish government ministers were convicted in 1997 of taking part in illegal operations by GAL, and their roles have been called “state terrorism” by independent observers like the BBC. There has also been claims of torture by arrested ETA militants at the hands of Spanish police, although these have never been verified and ETA manuals have been found which instruct captured members to claim they have been tortured. The political wing of ETA – Batasuna – was banned in 2003 by the Spanish Supreme Court, with the decision later being approved by the European Court of Human Rights. At the time of the banning, some believed this decision would set back the peace process, while others argued that it was essential given the close links and same aims of ETA and Batasuna.
complicated, given the French state’s resolute policy of indivisibility – a major cornerstone of the French Republic. This manifests itself in a weak local government, important decisions being made in a highly centralised manner, and not recognising any minorities. The reasons for this policy are obvious – it seeks to foster a sense of unity among all French people and (theoretically at least) ensures there are no divisions in society along religious or cultural lines. However, this policy has alienated many within the Basque country who are proud to be French, but also seek autonomy for their local affairs. Despite the increased autonomy gained by the Basque country after the demise of the Franco dictatorship, ETA conducted ever more bloody attacks against the Spanish state, killing around 250 people between 19781980. This extraordinary number of killings by a private militia suggests that there was at least partial support at that time for the aims
It is not difficult to dispute the motives behind the recent decision by ETA to end armed combat permanently - some see it as a victory of peace and dialogue over violence, while more pragmatic commentators believe that a recent Spanish government crackdown had severely limited the group’s military capacity. Many others are sceptical of ETA’s intentions, given the fact that no weapons have been decommissioned yet. The involvement of Bertie Ahern, Gerry Adams and Tony Blair in the recent peace summit to resolve the conflict underline the close similarities between the conflict in Northern Ireland with the Basque situation. Indeed, ETA had an alliance with the Provisional – and later Real – IRA which involved the exchanging of weapons and military advice. The experience of the peace process in Northern Ireland appears to have laid the basis for the recent permanent ceasefire. However, the risk of a breakaway group - similar to the Real IRA – is a very real threat and must be taken into account by the Basque and Spanish leaders. The experience of Northern Ireland has shown that it takes many false starts before true peace can be achieved. Image credit: Bertie Ahern, Kofi Annan and Gerry Adams at the International Conference in San Sebastian, October 17th - Alvaro Barrientos, Associated Press.
Irish Aid: a life-saver or a hindrance? After her time spent in Ethiopia, Siobhán Hughes questions the real impact of Irish development aid in the world›s forgotten continent The West is constantly on standby to submerge “developing countries” in humanitarian aid and assistance once a disaster has been confirmed by the media. By now, you are all probably sighing a blend of concern and boredom at the mention of the drought in the Horn of Africa. The fact there was such a huge humanitarian crisis recently only became news to me, despite the fact that I am just home from a six month International Development work placement - in Ethiopia. The drought affected Kenya, Somalia, Sudan and Ethiopia, yet as the crisis was announced and gripped television screens and newspapers worldwide there was not a drop of media coverage throughout my six months in one of the countries most affected, Ethiopia. It was a taboo subject that even the locals refrained from speaking about and hesitated at the mention of any words relating to poverty “Poverty?! You see no poverty here!!!” Are these countries relying and expecting the developed world to reproduce media sensations such as Michael Buerk’s award- winning report for BBC News on the 1984 famine in Ethiopia? The report stirred the world and brought about the global interest in the issue of famine in Africa, and subsequently moved governments to increase the flow of aid in the areas hardest hit by famine and drought. Celebrities were also touched by the media coverage and ‘Live Aid’ was organised and songs such as ‘We are the World’ by Michael Jackson were released – the single raising $50 million not only for Ethiopian famine victims, but for victims of drought all across Africa. The lessons of that time have not been learned – either by the governments of these African countries or the governments in the West. Are they now waiting for a repeat, and for the developed countries to flood them with aid and assistance once more?
Throughout my experience in Ethiopia everyone’s eyes would light up with excitement when discovering my nationality. “IRISH AID!!” they would enthusiastically chirp. The relationship between our country and aid terrified me. Shouldn’t we be known by these countries for our culture and not our aid programmes? “Ireland is the backbone of Ethiopia!” was another personally tormenting response. I’m pointing my finger at the media, both national and international. When we think of countries such as Ethiopia, we create images in our minds of poverty, starvation, arid landscapes and misery. This is how the media seeks to portray developing countries to us – singularly miserable places beset by poverty and disease. They don’t mention the lush green hills rolling through the countryside, which mutate into mind– blowing mountains stretching to scrape the clear blue skies. They don’t showcase the elite Hummers dominating Addis Ababa or the majority of the population sliding their fingers across their slick new iPhones. “What is this brick you are using?!” was a phrase I became too familiar with after I would whip out my rather classy, old (I like to think of it as slightly retro) Sony Ericsson. To us (well, to the Americans at least...) the Irish are a developed, drink-loving, leprechaun
populated, potato- eating population, but the only thing developing countries can see is Euro signs. Not only is our reputation being stereotyped into a rich and giving country involved in a viscious war with the North (“How is the war? Are you safe?”), but Ethiopia is continuously in the spotlight for its development issues and not for its culture or achievements. Ethiopia is the most culturally rich destination I have ever visited - with over 82 million people, 48 indigenous languages and over 80 tribes it is a colourful country and deserves to be recognised for what it has to offer, besides from death and misery. From the spectacular Simien Mountains in the north, to the crocodile market further south in Arba Minch- a lake displaying some of Africa’s oldest and largest crocodiles Ethiopia is a haven of adventure and excitement. After living there for six months I feel it is important to share the positives and not the negatives, as all we ever learn of is the desolation and despair of the population. Meanwhile, Ethiopian media showcases the developed world as almost a bank. How will developing countries grow and alleviate poverty if they are consistently seeking help? If the national media ensured the coverage of their own country’s issues, maybe the plight of the poor wouldn’t be so obtuse? Also, if international media took the time to realise that there is a lot more to Ethiopia (and other developing countries – I’ve also experienced Haiti and India) than war and famine, then maybe Ethiopia would gain more acknowledgement. This more positive attitude could possibly boost tourism which in turn encourages economic growth and promotes their culture - which I have sincerely grown to love.
Current Affairs - Opinion
the tents then?
Active in the Occupy Cork movement since it’s inception, Eoghan McMahon outlines the reasons why they don’t intend on moving anytime soon
Occupy Wall Street started on the 17 of September in Zucotti Park on Wall Street to protest against the dominance of American politics by financial institutions. Originally floated as a possible march by the anticonsumerist magazine, ‘Adbusters’, the ideas of these protesters have spread like wildfire. Six weeks later, there are now protest camps in over 1,500 cities and towns all across the globe, and one on the South Mall of Cork city. I must stress here that in the Occupy movement we do not have leaders who decide on policy, we do not have spokespersons who decide what ‘line’ we’re going to go with on an issue. I am writing from a personal perspective on the movement. Why are we here? We came together as a group, unaffiliated to any party-political organisation, trade union or business group to protest against the current economic policy of the Irish government IMF/ECB. Occupy Cork is more than that however; we provide an open, democratic and non-hierarchical public space where ideas can be discussed, solidarity can be forged, and people can find that the frustrations and anxieties they may have due to the current economic and political system’s malfunctions are shared by others –and that there is always another way.
capitalist economy (inequality, evironmental destruction, poverty etc). Money is filtering out of the real economy, into the hands of unaccountable/untaxable financial institutions, and it is being pocketed by extremely wealthy individuals rather than being reinvested into companies for increases in production, which is the financial sector’s responsibility and raison d’être. Today, in 2011, there are more billionaires in the world than there were before the financial crisis of 2008. How this has come to pass in a world where basic public services like education, health and infrastructure are being dismantled due to lack of funds is not just morally unjust, it is going to cripple our economies in future years unless we put an end to it now. As regards politics, we are arguing that people must have economic and political control over their own lives. The political elite in Ireland, and internationally, have become too detached from the public. That being said, you’d be hard pushed to find a in the history of representative democracy where the majority of representatives were responsive to the wishes of the electorate. But the crisis the majority of citizens are
With regard to economic policy, we are arguing that the current economic policy in Ireland is unsustainable, and does nothing to protect the majority from unnecessary human suffering. This doesn’t just go for the socialisation of private losses which we are currently seeing in NAMA and the bank recapitalisation schemes, but for the removal of all regulations and democratic controls over financial capital. This movement in finance over the past 20 years has led to mass unemployment, a huge rise in income inequality, the majority of employment becoming precarious at best and an inability on the part of the state to deal adequately with the inevitable externalities of a
being forced to suffer through now is an example of why this system must be tackled. We need citizens to be empowered in local government, we need a decentralisation of political power if we are to stop history from repeating itself. The executive dominance of the Dáil needs to be diminished, if indeed we wish to continue with this system. There are a couple of questions that we usually get: "Why camp here?", "How do you make decisions?", "You are all just a bunch of hippies", "Do you really think this is going to change anything?" The most important of these questions, I believe, is the last and my answer to that is yes, we already have. In Cork, we have already, in our short lifetime, politicised thousands of people. We have got some people to think about the world without fatalism, without cynicism, and to think about how things could possibly be different if we organise and act collectively to change it. That in itself is something that in my opinion is of immense importance, and something which has been almost systematically denied to the vast majority of citizens for far too long. As for changing government policy, you’ll just have to wait and see. #plansupoursleeves...
Occ Wa Stre Avery Johnson argues that the Occupy Wall Street movement is unreasonable, leaderless and, ultimately, pointless. A couple of weeks ago, the city of Cork saw first hand the debacle that is the “Occupy” movement. With origins in New York, the movement quickly spread across America, with rallies now taking place around the world. Large protests gather in front of banks and significant government buildings, marching with signs recycled from the sides of cardboard boxes and camping for days at a time. It is clear to see that the mob is angry, as they demand eve-rything under the sun from reforming the political and economical structures to abolishing capitalisation to anarchy, throwing in a battle cry or two of “Save the whales!” While the movement does attempt to paint a picture of improving the world for the “99%”, once one sees past the logical fallacies of their unsound arguments, they may see how the gatherings themselves remain deeply flawed and problematic. While free speech and the right to peaceably assemble are at the disposal of the citizens, the Occupy protests fail to utilise these rights to evoke change. Instead of producing tangible results, these protests merely act as vehicles for those who are happy to complain about anything and everything that is wrong in this world. In the analysing and criticising of the
Occupy Wall Street movement, it is difficult to target any one specific claim simply because there is no unified purpose, argument, method, or goal of the group at large. In fact, this seems to be the largest downfall of the movement altogether. All around the world, satellite groups to the main protest in New York are popping up to achieve… what?
“This lack of one cohesive argument or goal diminishes the credibility of the group and their ability to create whatever Utopian world they so dream of”
People are marching day after day and camping night after night, proclaiming their laundry list of problems yet offering no reasonable solutions. Claims extend from the corruption of the political systems and financial institutions to ending wars and stopping global warming, each of which, standing alone, act as a reasonable demand for reform, yet lumped together in a peace-and-love-fueled protest, they go head to head and threaten any successful outcomes. This lack of one cohesive argument
or goal diminishes the credibility of the group and their ability to create whatever Utopian world they so dream of. It will be difficult for these protesters to achieve anything, simply because nobody knows what it is exactly they want to achieve, including those participating in the movement. Without a coherent purpose and at least a few solutions, how can one expect to get what he or she wants? When questioned about their purpose, some protesters attempt to offer up nonsensical reasons while other occupiers pass you a flier to do the speaking for them. One sees that the group is blindly on a road to nowhere, simply stating complaints while offering no reasonable or possible solutions to end their problems. The occupiers’ heads remains above the clouds, failing to be grounded in any sort of reality here on this planet. It is easy to complain about everything that is wrong with the world, but true courage and change comes about when one begins to make rational demands and propose clear, practical solutions. The paradox lies in the fact that the occupy protesters, in refusing to make specific demands, must then rely upon the politicians and the bankers - the very people they are protesting against - to come up with the solutions.
cupy all eet Orla Hubbard believes the campaign is inspiring, inclusive and, unlike the Tea Party, a true grass-roots campaign It began on Wall Street on the 17th of September and has since snowballed into a global movement, spreading to over 900 cities. Occupy Wall Street has received unprecedented support both worldwide and within America. For once, the USA - which holds a worldwide reputation for its grossly unequal society, and division along party lines, state lines, race lines and class lines has unified in its outrage at corporate greed, social and economic inequality, and the huge influence held by the richest 1% of corporate America over the rest of the nation. A poll taken by Quinnipiac University found that 67% of New York voters were in favour of the movement. That is an overwhelming result, given the diversity of New York’s population. So what is it that makes the Occupy Wall Street phenomenon different from all the other left-wing protests of recent years? It is different because it is not a movement with a particular political agenda. It is not about tearing down democracy and toppling governments, but putting pressure on a Government that has been bullied and bribed into becoming the puppet of the real rulers- the corporations. They want a spotlight on corruption and the influ- ence of financial institutions over the Government. They want reform. The main criticism from the 23% who don’t support the movement
is that the protesters lack cohesion and many don’t even know why they are there, while others have lists with dozens of far-fetched demands. It is noteworthy then that these very claims about the protesters having no cohesive list of demands is what continues to drive support for them on an international stage.
“It is not about tearing down democracy and toppling governments, but putting pressure on a Government that has been bullied and bribed into becoming the puppet of the real rulersthe corporations.” It is what makes them different. There is no list of demands because that’s not what the protests are about. They are not motivated by a particular cultural or religious agenda. They do not represent a particular subculture or demographic. They come from all ages, all classes, and all races. Only 15% are unemployed. The messy, leaderless and
inclusive nature of the movement has led it to spark a national conversation. These protesters are truly representative of the whole spectrum of society, not just a disgruntled and idle minority. The movement was inspired by the Arab Spring which took place earlier this year. As Western countries saw Middle Eastern people fight for their freedom and for the right to shape their own societies, we began to question our own complacency in the aftermath of the 2008 financial collapse. It was recognised that bankers, corporations and politicians were directly responsible for the current financial crisis, due to their reckless, and in some cases criminal, misappropriation of public funds and irresponsible lending practices. This movement is the first real sign that a sleepy public is beginning to awaken and not accept the destruction of their livelihoods and their economy lying down. This is a legitimate movement that has translated around the world and allows just a glimmer of hope to shine through and remind us that we are not the powerless victims of the excesses of the “1%”. With popular support, the people can surely force the hand of governments in legislating properly and effectively against corruption and corporate influence. That’s certainly something worth shouting about in my book.
The “United” Kingdom is far from it
By Alan Conway
I recently attended a debate held by Philisoph on the topic of a United Ireland. What interested me most about the discussion was not the negativity towards the idea of a United Ireland, but the amount of sentiment expressed as to whether it was even a topic worthy of debate at all. I, as a republican, obviously disagreed with this, and not just for the usual reasons. It is an issue which needs to be discussed as the Union between Northern Ireland, England, Scotland & Wales is entering a state of rapid decay. The Union of these States centres around the supreme role of the Parliament of Westminster over all other law making bodies within the Union, and of the British Monarchs position as Head of State of whom all British Passport holders are subjects. This in of itself raises an interesting question - referred to as the West Lothian Question, named for the constituency from which the MP who raised the topic represented. The question asks if Northern Ireland, Scotland & Wales have their own Assemblies, devolved from Westminster, to legislate on local issues, why is there no such body in England? As such, these issues must be dealt with through Westminster for the Nation of England, where MPs from the regions previously stated have voting rights on issues that do not affect them in any way, and are indeed, of little concern to them. The Question is being looked at at the moment and has taken urgent form. A Backbench Tory MP, Harriet Baldwin has recently pushed a private members bill through Parliament which, if passed, would require all further bills to state whether they are related to England only. This is an attempt to force MPs from other parts of the Union to abstain from such votes and simply put, makes sense. MPs from NI, Scotland and Wales should not have a right to pass laws for English citizens.
hotly debated; many came out against it in the strongest of fashions. They had never been used in Britain before on protestors. However, their widespread use in Northern Ireland in the past never raised such objections. In the coming months reports on the boundary commission of the UK will issue recommendations for the next general election. Wales will see up to 25% of it’s representation cut while Scotland could see upwards of 15%. Traditionally, Wales has always been the most placated member of the Union. The Nationalist Party, Plaid Cymru, recently suffered a setback in the 2010 general election. One would wonder what the consequences of reducing Welsh representation in Westminster would have on the choice of who the Welsh people vote for at the next election. Surely, a surge in the nationalist vote would be the outcome. In relation to Scotland, they could lose upwards of 17% of their MPs with these electoral changes. While no date has been set, it would be safe to assume that within the last year, a Scottish referendum on Independence will have been held. The holding of this referendum before a Westminster election could also result in huge gains for the Scottish National Party, further destabilising the Union. With regards Northern Ireland, devolution is coming faster and in stronger terms than ever before. Policing was recently devolved and more power is sure to follow as the Peace Process further evolves. The voice of the 18 MPS (five of whom do not take their seats) will likely be reduced to 16, hardly a strong voice in a parliament of 650. One must also consider the reaction of the Unionist identity should Scotland choose independence.
The recent riots in the United Kingdom have shocked and, rightly, caused outrage to all law-abiding citizens. An interesting point which seemed to get lost amongst the media fallout of the riots was that they only occurred in English cities. Why then are the recent riots referred to as UK riots, when the yearly riots in Northern Ireland are referred to as Northern Irish riots?
Of course one of the strongest arguments against the break up of the Union is the economic one. Can Scotland, Wales and NI afford Independence? By all accounts – yes. The foremost issue here is - can England afford the Union? It is apparant that it can not. Recent reports in the Guardian have shown that the manner in which Scotland has dealt with the recession has been, on a whole, largely more successful than that of Whitehall. The Scottish government has chosen a route of less austerity, correctly predicting that that course of action would result in stunted growth prospects. Furthermore, in Northern Ireland, the assembly has chosen to freeze third level fees. It is in this manner, with progressive policy, that the constituent members of the Union can improve their own economies in a vastly more informed way than anyone in Westminster can. Northern Ireland is the biggest net consumer in the entire UK, the question of independence here must surely be linked with that of reunification with the southern state and raises questions of its own, can the Irish Republic afford to take on the largely state-employed six counties? The answer, simply put again, is yes. The economy would require drastic reworking. However, the efficiencies of a single economy on this island and the stability that would bring would far outweigh any negatives. To return to my original point as to why we should discuss a United Ireland - if the Scots choose independence and the Union breaks down even further, one thing that this state cannot afford is a border with an unstable neighbour. That Backbench MP, Harriet Baldwin, recently told the Commons, ‘How can it be right for it to be possible for potentially decisive pieces of legislation to be voted on in this place by, and carried by a majority of, members of parliament who are not legislating on behalf of their own constituents? This is not a question that we can carry on parking at the door forever.’, It’s rare I find myself agreeing with a Tory, but here Ms. Baldwin has gotten things spot on. The ending of the Union is not only an inevitability, but a moral necessity. The State of the Union? Decrepit, dilapidated and decaying - soon to be dead.
Furthermore, during the recent riots, the use of the Water Cannon and Plastic Bullet Rounds (PBRs) was debated and sanctioned by Whitehall. It was
Perpetual anticipation is a
‘It can lead to going quite mad… it’s very good, though, to learn to wait.’
Suspense is a double-edged sword: whatever it is we’re eagerly awaiting, it can either be well worth the wait or simply disappointing. Time and time again, our expectations are tantalised to the point of overwhelming impatience and excitement.
I can, however, offer some solace. If you’re reading this, the unbearable suspense is over; enduring the droning voice of that lecturer you had to listen to for the next few weeks won’t be as unbearable now that the next edition of Motley is finally out.
Your intense eagerness to read the Ents section is flattering, so, please,
read on. But first, one last note to once again renew your perpetual anticipation: the December issue of Motley might be even more special than the November issue you’re reading right now…
Guess The Movie
Here at Motley’s Ents Section, we like to test your knowledge of all things Entertainments. Simjust begun. ply guess the name of the movie (brownie points for the characters’ WOMAN: You know, when you go on like names!) by reading the extract. this, what you sound like? And, no, we’re not giving any hints! MAN: Forget it, it’s too risky. I’m through doin’ that shit. WOMAN: You always say that, the same thing every time: ‘I’m through,’ ‘never again,’ ‘too dangerous.’
MAN: I sound like a sensible fucking man, that’s what I sound like. WOMAN: You sound like a duck: quack, quack, quack, quack, quack, quack, quack.
MAN: Well, take heart because you’re MAN: I know that’s what I always say. I’m never gonna have to hear it again, always right, too. because, since I’m never going to do it again, you’re never gonna have to hear WOMAN: But you forget about it in a day me quack about how I’m never going to or two. do it again. MAN: Yeah, well, the days of me forgetting are over. The days of me remembering have
WOMAN: After tonight. MAN: Correct – I got all tonight to quack.
The kindness of strangers Kellie Morrissey takes a deeper look at the 1951 adaptation of A Streetcar Named Desire self, begins to come apart at the seams.
I rented out A Streetcar Named Desire as an afterthought one recent evening; I hadn’t seen it, and it had always kind of nagged at me that way that any familiar pop culture reference nags at one who is paradoxically unfamiliar with its source material. I’d seen men fall to their knees, rip at their shirts and cry “Stella” to an imaginary first floor window in many parodies, both on celluloid and in real life, (I’d probably done it myself, once or twice). So when confronted with the possibility to rent it for €2, I did so without much thought. I was in the mood for an oldie. Which brings me to this; I’ve got a confession, and one which is a little embarrassing for one who styles herself as a classic movie buff: too often for me, “old” acts a category. In the mood for a horror? I’ll choose Dario Argento’s 1977 Suspiria. A weepie? Hit me with Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia (1999). War? Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket (1987) is always a good one. An oldie? Take your pick of anything pre-1960. I love old movies, but I tend to tar them, by and large, with the same brush. That’s why Streetcar knocked me sideways (har, har). The bones of the story are familiar to most, and even if they’re not, it’s Tennessee Williams - the very mention of that name should evoke the spectral figures of Blanche DuBois, Stanley Kowalski, and hot, hot New Orleans in the mid20th century. Blanche (Vivien Leigh in a frenetic, furious performance) comes to stay with her sister, Stella (Kim Hunter), and her new brother-in-law, Stanley (Marlon Brando). Blanche is unstable, neurotic, vain – she’s prone to delusions and while she was once a great beauty (one cannot fail to think of Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara, twelve years previous – is this how that other great southern belle would have grown up?) she’s fading, and can feel it. She cannot go back to her hometown for reasons which shift through the course of the movie, and soon her presence in the newlyweds’ tiny house starts to disturb Stella and anger Stanley, who begins to unravel Blanche’s past as Blanche, her-
Blanche’s narrative, however, is not what drives the story – it’s the palpable tension between her and her brother-in-law. It’s so thick, so sexual in their first meeting that you, the viewer, removed from the situation by a screen and over sixty years, feel almost compelled to leave the room and let them at it. I didn’t think that films this old could be this goddamn sexy, and it’s driven to unassailable heights by Brando, who here is twenty-five and quite possibly the most beautiful man I’ve ever seen. He burns up the screen, and while all of these characters, in their own way, are reprehensible, I could feel myself, like Blanche, eyeing him up in the first half of the film and then flinching from his blows – verbal, physical – in the second half. He’s a revelation, the best thing about this (pretty darn awesome) movie - see Streetcar if just to dispel your notions of Brando as a bloated, lazy has-been in the 80s and 90s. Vivien Leigh, as Blanche, is similarly revelatory – plagued by depression in her own
life, every nuance of her performance here feels lived, real, and inescapably tragic no matter how unsympathetic the flighty Blanche may be. The film grows claustrophobic as it draws on (Elia Kazan, in a genius move, manipulated the set to also draw in on itself as the film progresses), and so further retreats Blanche into her own mind. This is a portrait of a woman slowly growing insane, and it’s realistic enough to be disturbing, right up until the penultimate scene where the whole story draws to its (inevitable?) climax, rears up on its hind legs and knocks the viewer for a loop.
This is a cruel story, a cruel film in many ways – there have been some cuts from Williams’ original source material, but it’s still heady enough that I was shocked that it got past what it did in 1951. And it’s old, yes, but if you’re expecting tinny orchestral scores, brash technicolor, and stilted acting, then forget it. The supporting cast are excellent, the cinematography and sound perfect for what the film needs to portray, and most of all it’s a modern story, alight with tension from beginning to end. See it for Brando and Leigh; to connect all of those stray references and pin them on a narrative thread, from Brando, drunken, torn-shirted and drenched, crying “Stella”, to Blanche’s languid, detached “I want to kiss you, just once, softly and sweetly on your mouth” – see it because, sixty years on, it will knock the breath from your chest and stay with you longer than a piece of film has a right to. Image credits: Warner Bros.
Why hast thou endured,
Mr Bond? Chris Redmond examines why film franchises achieve their longevity exposition of the struggle that spies like George Smiley engage in on a day to day basis. This is not a world where bungee jumping into a Russian arms base or sleeping with a Columbian drug lord’s girlfriend become par for the course. This is the real world of espionage, we are told. And yet, it is Bond and not Smiley that most captures the male attention.
In a recent article I argued that one of the biggest threats to the excitement of going to the cinema was the hype factor. I used the example of the Batman franchise to support this idea, worrying as I did that the hype machine was in danger of spoiling our anticipation of such a long-awaited blockbuster. But another question to ask would be this: why do franchises like Batman achieve such longevity? The Bond franchise is another example, and it will be the focus of this piece. There must be an overriding reason why these movies survive, and even thrive, despite rarely altering their original premise. As so often, I think the answer can be found in the fantasising heads of the male moviegoer.
When judging the merits of a movie, the average filmgoer will tend to pull out the realism card. If a movie is realistic it has done its job; conversely, if it dares to toy with reality, it is leaving itself open to criticism of a most vitriolic kind. So why does Bond seem to buck this trend? It is a world that is grounded in reality, yet how likely is it that a 60-year-old English gent would find himself in a shower with a woman half his age? Bond, as an ideal, is the quintessential phallic hero. He possesses qualities that men dare to dream of. It is
There is no doubt that Bond carries a particular masculine appeal, and this, I think, goes a long way to explaining the success the franchise has had for fifty years. Right now we have the brilliant Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy widely tipped to sweep the boards at November’s Oscars. TTSS comes originally from the pen of John Le Carré, a former MI6 agent now recognised as the leading proponent of the realistic approach to the spy genre. Le Carré’s stories strip the spy thriller of its romantic elements in favour of a gritty
one thing to be able to blow up a heroin farm while wearing a tuxedo underneath a wetsuit, but it is quite another to cap off such a fun night by ending an electrocution with the words “shocking, positively shocking.” Therein lies the enduring appeal of the world’s best-loved secret agent. Bond possesses an impossible composure and durability that symbolises and even far exceeds traditional demands placed upon the male. George Smiley might just be a little too close to the bone for us normal Joe Soaps. The Bond franchise has lasted because, in the words of Pierce Brosnan at his UCC honorary conferring ceremony, “it is all good mythology.” Image credits: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, StudioCanal UK.
Through the darkness of future past, the magician longs to see
Daniel Kiniry takes a look at the cult classic "Twin Peaks" and its prequel/sequel, "Fire Walk With Me"
Twin Peaks is a show that redefined what it meant to be a cult show. While success- ful in its first season, it hit a dip in qual- ity by the middle of season two and was ultimately cancelled. The show was created by David Lynch, the visionary nutball behind such films as Dune, Mulholland Drive and those… weird bunny shorts (which, incidentally, featured in his recent movie Inland Empire). This movie came a year after the show ended, entitled Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me. This movie gave Lynch a chance to be creative, take elements from the show and try to mesh them into
the more shortened yet more liberating field of film, see if they can both work as a worthy accompanying piece to the film, and appease it’s rather hardcore fans by answering some questions and producing top quality, Peaksian entertainment. Does it work? Well... kind of. First of all, I guess I should say what I liked about the show. Twin Peaks is based in a small town of the same name and it follows the investigation of the murder of teenager Laura Palmer. The focus for a season and a half is on Laura Palmer’s murder and each episode builds up after the last. It’s intense, exciting and takes a lot of risks. The characters are rich, varied, interesting and develop in their own right, in particular the show’s protagonist Dale Cooper. It doesn’t just function as a mystery show,
however, as it has great moments of humour. The show is almost a parody of a soap opera, with several affairs and double dealings running prominently throughout the series’ run (there’s even a rather humour- ous soap that runs in the show – a parody of a soap in a parody of a soap!). There’s an otherworldly aspect that runs into the series as it progresses and it feels very natural and believable within the show’s lore. It’s atmospheric, too; Lynch’s episodes in particular make you feel like you’ve been transported into this world. While the show is a little dated and may stupid, it’s still incredibly entertaincomeoroff as corny ing and extremely thought provoking. So what did the film get wrong? I think its main problem is that it is not self-contained. If you never watched the show, you would be completely lost and spoiled for the entire series. Due to the conclusion of the second season ending on a cliffhanger, fans were left begging to know what happened due to this conclusion. This, in part, is a fault of Lynch as FWWM is a prequel, based on the last days of Laura Palmer’s life. Therefore, none of the questions left by season two’s conclusion are answered and instead we have to go through the story of something fans of the show would already know. What’s worse is that Kyle McLachlain, the actor who portrayed the show’s popular protagonist Dale Cooper, is hardly in the film due to fears of being typecast, so his role is limited to about ten minutes. Well, it doesn’t hold up, but it’s still worthwhile a watch for Twin Peaks fans. Due to the behind-the-scenes stuff, a lot of the actors didn’t return, resulting in a lot of script rewrites and cast changes. Therefore, the movie feels very uneven and the parts that have been changed, very alien and too different from the show. The focus on Laura Palmer, however, is very well done and takes up the majority of the movie. Sheryl Lee, who plays Palmer, really brings the character to life while she was previously played as a catalyst for the plot on the show. She is made into a sympathetic, tragic and complex character which makes her inevitable and depressing end all the more potent. Ray Wise, the actor who played Laura’s father Leland, gets an expanded role in the movie and Wise plays
The creepy and surreal atmosphere that was famous in the show is back in full force and Lynch uses the expanded budget and possibilities that the movie world can bring to full force, making the colours richer and the effects more intense. There are some answers to the show’s various unsolved mysteries and they create new light for the show and make it more dynamic. In particular, the motivation of the killer and Laura’s behaviour is completely fleshed out and makes the incident feel more complete. When the movie is good, it’s truly powerful and a worthy movie for the show. Unfortunately, it’s filled with rather strange scenes that go nowhere, hokey
dialogue and acting and a very incoherent feel that is completely unintentional. Like the show itself, the movie is a definite mixed bag. Unlike the show, however, these aren’t as excusable, as it was intended to be Lynch’s launch pad into a Peaks series of movies. It’s a shame, as well, as a lot of the elements of the movie work really well, it’s just weighed down by its lack of real structure and untapped potential. The show, despite its flaws, is a true masterpiece and I recommend anyone who’s reading this to go find it on DVD. The movie, while amazing at some points, is only really worth the watch if you are a diehard fan of the show and want a complete picture of something that was cancelled before its time and, sadly, it is a story that may never be continued as it so rightly should be. Enjoy the show and hopefully the movie. And remember, the owls are not what they seem... Image credits: CBS Television Distribution, New Line Cinema
‘Let’s have a toast for the Scumbags’
Daniel Foley considers the TV characters we love to hate
It hasn’t been a great spell for the Americans. Unemployment is up, they’re constantly losing faith in their government and they still haven’t brought home the troops. However, two weeks ago they finally got some good news. Cynics believed it would never happen, but die-hard fans never lost faith. I speak of course about the decision to resurrect Arrested Development from the sitcom graveyard. Was it an initiative of the Obama administration? Perhaps. Anyway, they’re bringing it back for a final miniseries and then a film to wrap it all up. Apparently it’s long delayed return was caused by Michael Cera who didn’t want to get stuck playing the same character (cough cough). But what made this programme so fantastic beyond the overwhelmingly clever plot lines (which, despite getting massively convoluted halfway through, somehow managed to tie together in a neat little package by the end of the episode) was very much a character-driven affair and every single character was awful. When I say ‘awful’, I don’t mean they were bad characters. I mean they were terrible meanspirited cold people and perhaps that’s why it ultimately failed. Maybe people found it hard to watch a family of assholes screw each other over at every turn. However, it’s this writer’s opinion that all the best characters are, for all intents and purposes creeps, bastards, grumps and curmudgeons in their own right.
queue” or scream “BUS WANKERS” at a crowd of innocent commuters? Jay embodied that one mate who you can’t quite figure out why he is always invited out, and he’s probably not as exaggerated as we’d like to admit.
4. Dr. Gregory House, House: A narcissistic and casually racist doctor with zero empathy, but being an indisputable medical genius makes House the doctor that everyone who has an un-diagnosable disease asks for. But after ten minutes of his patronising snarky attitude, you would rather the disease.
So consider this a celebration of the best of the worst, the characters you love to hate – the top five television characters that need a serious kicking. 5. Jay Cartwright, The Inbetweeners: Who among us didn’t laugh uncontrollably when sex pest Jay Cartwright talked about “waiting for the gash to form an orderly
3. Pete Campbell, Mad Men: A shameless stuck-up, disloyal, all-round pest with unparalleled delusions of power. Pete Campbell was like someone who was trying way too hard to be Don Draper and failing on all counts. He never made it hard to dislike him intensely, and that’s what earns him a place on this list. He wins a
few points for being able to bust a move because, to be fair, it was hard not to be impressed when he pulled out the fox-trot with Alison Brie. 2. Gob Bluth, Arrested Development: I could have comprised this list entirely out of Arrested Development characters, but I had to pick one. Rarely has there been a character quite as selfish as Gob Bluth. Played to absolute perfection by Will Arnett, Gob was a shameless womanizer, a bad brother and, worst of all, a terrible magician.
1. Ari Gold, Entourage: It was no contest for the number one on my list, and is definitely a contender for my favourite character of all time. Ari said some things that I dare not repeat in this article should my mother ever read it. Loud-mouthed, racist, sexist, homophobic (his gay Asian assistant really wasn’t in the best environment), rude, impatient, and offensive, Ari ticked all the boxes of a true asshole but, for some reason, it was impossible not to like. He’s the number one on this list for a number of reasons: with his joy in making others miserable (‘I used to love firing people. It was one of the perks of my jobs!’) and his sexism (“Fire a man you create a rival, fire a woman you create a house wife’), Ari Gold embodies every characteristic of the egotistic and, when it came to the final episode, his was by far the best ending. Image credits: E4, Fox, Lionsgate, HBO.
The Blanks are the all action a cappella band made famous as ‘Ted’s Band’ in Scrubs. Kevin Curran caught up with Sam Lloyd (Ted) and Phil McNiven from the band prior to their upcoming Irish tour
“How did it all begin, you ask? Well, God created light and he said that was good, and then he said let’s have guys singing without instruments and that was really good,” said Sam Lloyd when asked about the band's beginning before he was joined by his band mate Phil McNiven, “Then he said we will get four guys called The Blanks to sing without instruments and that was… only okay.” With every story the pair tell, you can see the where the large emphasis on comedy comes from in their shows. The band formed a couple of years before they got their ‘big break’ on the TV show Scrubs in Syracuse New York by Lloyd and college friends, George Miserlis and Paul Perry. When the trio went to Los Angeles and met Canadian Phil McNiven, the trio became a quartet. However, still without a name, they serendipitously came upon ‘The Blanks’. “We were together for a while and didn’t have a name and were travelling to Phil’s grandmother’s birthday party in Vegas in a tiny car, and were trying to come up with a name that was like Diana Ross and The Supremes or Gladys Knight and the Pips. So we were thinking Phil and the what, Phil and the… Phil and the… Phil ’n the Blanks! And then after the show we got rid of the ‘Phil and the’ because he wasn’t important enough!”
elevator with JD. In fact, in some countries I do believe barbershop is considered a form of torture, right below waterboarding!” chimed McNiven. The guys featured in eight seasons with an involvement in some of the more memorable moments of the show such as singing the ‘Underdog’ theme tune in their first appearance. They explained that they often were asked to learn particular songs, which added to their repertoire of numbers If it isn’t obvious from their time on Scrubs or from their general appearance, The Blanks are somewhat eccentric characters who jokingly describe themselves as ‘the bad boys of a cappella’. Sam explains, “Yes, we are the bad boys of a cappella; I mean we trash our hotel rooms, Phillip takes shampoo, I might take a towel with
In 2001, Sam Lloyd landed the recurring role of Ted, the bumbling in house attorney, in Scrubs which went on to be a massive success. At the show’s first season Christmas party, he offered up The Blanks as entertainment and they duly impressed creator Bill Lawrence enough to write them into the show. “Bill thought that there is no greater hell on earth than being stuck in an elevator with a barbershop quartet, so that’s what he did; he put us in an
me. We often get arrested, we are real bad boys. ” Since Scrubs ended, The Blanks have been touring their comedy/barbershop quartet show around the US and the rest of the world. Philip McNiven explains “We are the David Hasslehoff of barbershop: we’re huge in Europe but not loved at home.” “We think we are more than just an a cappella group. As we have heard and know, it is considered torture in some places so we try to make it go down a little easier with a bit of comedy”. When I asked if they would ever have a fifth member, I was promptly offered a job, but then Sam and Phillip decided “a dancing bear, in a bikini, with an Uzi” would be their preferred choice for an additional Blank. Since they have started touring their show, they have added more and more songs to their set with some amazingly funny rendi- tions of tunes by Katy Perry and Cee-lo Green, among others. They have added to their repertoire to become more than just “Ted's Band from Scrubs”. Having sold out two gigs in Dublin in the last year, they bring their show to Cork in the middle of November. Sam explains what to expect from the show: “If you’re a fan of Scrubs you’ll get a kick out of the show because we do all of the songs we did on Scrubs, but, if you haven’t seen Scrubs you will like it because we present the songs in a non-Scrubs specific way. Our comedy is very influenced by the Marx Brothers, Monty Python, Three Stooges and the music is all kinds of music. A splendid time is guaranteed for all; we like to say you will see ‘a little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants’." The Blanks come to Cork in the Opera House on Wednesday, the 16th of November.
Guitars, drums and voices Orla Hodnett speaks with John Duignan of We Cut Corners before the release of their upcoming debut album This is John of We Cut Corners summing-up the band in three words, and they describe the Dublin two-piece pretty comprehensively. Made up of guitarist John Duignan and drummer Conall O’ Breachain, We Cut Corners formed while John and Conall were at teacher training college. John explains that “it was a marriage of convenience. We were the only two in our circle of friends who played, so we played together.” The fact there’s only the two of them doesn’t hold the band back sonically. In the vein of bands like The Black Keys and Blood Red Shoes, they make more than enough noise for two. When asked if he ever found being a two piece limiting, John replied “sometimes. For instance, if my guitar cut out mid-gig. If we had a bass player we could cover up using that. But, because we don’t, it can be pretty cataclysmic. You just get very exposed if anything goes wrong.” Though, for the most part, John admits “it’s great. It’s easy to organise things when there’s only the two of you.” We Cut Corners have a tougher time than most, making time to work on their music, with both being full time teachers. When I asked if their name was owing to their approach to time management, John states that “It’s just a name.” But he does note “if you were looking for meaning, it’s because it takes us a long time to do everything.” The tug-of-war between full-time work and their musical careers becomes clear when John reveals that their debut album has been recorded a year, but is only being released now. “The album took a while to get out because we’re slow, basically!” One of the real strengths of We Cut Corners lies in their sharp, witty lyrics. John cites Joanna Newsom as a big lyrical influence. “We try to mix it up lyrically. We try not to plough the same furrow constantly, and even if we’re trying to go for something witty, we inject it with a little pathos or have some conflict in the way that we write.” This kind of balanced, dialectical approach comes across in their approach to genre. Songs such as the very delicate Go Easy have their counterpoint in more angular tracks like The Leopard. “When we were making the album, we had quite a few songs for consideration. We could have gone for a whole quiet album or a whole loud album. But it didn’t really make sense to do that because we would have got a really static sound.” John defends this artistic decision: “It might be to our detriment; people might say it’s stylistically uneven, but we just felt it was a good representation of what we do.”
music scene is “incredibly rich at the moment. There’s so many bands doing interesting things across a couple of different genres, and it just seems to be in rude health that people are sort of being competitive.” The richness of the Irish music scene was palpable at the recent Hard Working Class Heroes event in Dublin, which We Cut Corners were involved in. The event bears similarity to the likes of Camden Crawl in London, with hundreds of bands, playing in dozens of venues, over a few nights. “The line-up of Hard Working Class Heroes was pretty incredible and we had a great time. We were thrilled to be on the bill that we were on.” Despite it being quite early in their career, We Cut Corners have played on the same stage as some big names like Two Door Cinema Club and Joan As Policewoman. Their placing on a bill with Two Door Cinema Club came about from their success in the JD Set Competition in 2009. Super-fandom brought about the latter. “The Joan As Policewoman thing came about as a result of us being fans of her stuff. We just literally dropped her a message on Myspace asking her could we open for her and she said yes. It was so incredible and we were even more flappable at that stage and new to the whole thing. It was very intimidating because she’s such an impressive performer. It was a great first experience.” The band’s debut album, Today I Realised I Could Go Home Backwards, comes out this month. The aforementioned Go Easy and The Leopard will appear on the LP as well as eight other tracks. The album will be made up of an amalgamation of songs written over the past two years. “The last song on the album was an afterthought that we did in the week of the recording and others had been knocking around for a long time. There were songs that we had been playing for quite a while that we thought would definitely fit on there but when we recorded them they didn’t fit the tone of the album so they had to be culled. ” The band made a number of definitive creative decisions while recording, in order to be consistent on stage and on record. “We took the decision not to have any bass guitar on it which, sonically, makes a big difference. We knew we were sacrificing an amount... but there was no point having a massive sounding album if we were going to venues and were unable to replicate it. We wanted it to be faithful to what we do on stage.” We Cut Corners’ debut album, Today I Realised I Could Go Backwards, will be released on the 11th of November. Expect a Cork gig date in the New Year. Images courtesy of Friction PR.
We Cut Corners are among the most promising bands in the Irish music scene at present. John observes that the Irish
Only A Northern Soul Eimear Hurley revisits the career of George Harrison The 29th of November this year will mark the ten-year anniversary of the death of George Harrison. It’s a pretty harrowing thought, to me at least, that only half of the Beatles are still around, but let’s not focus on the sad stuff. To coincide with the anniversary, George’s widow Olivia Harrison has published a book and co-produced a film (which was directed by Martin Scorsese), both entitled George Har rison: Living in the Material World. There’s suddenly a lot of hype about the “quiet” Beatle – so why is George Har- rison worth discovering now? I don’t want to come across as one of those people who claim that anything worthwhile came from Ireland, but actually Harrison had the most Irish blood in him of all the Fab Four. His maternal grandfather
emigrated to Liverpool in the late 1800s, and as recently as fifty years before George’s birth, his Irish relations were living in near poverty in Wexford. George was born to Harold Hargreaves Harrison and Louisa French in 1943. He was a bright kid and did well at school - that is, until he heard Elvis Presley and fell in love with guitars. He joined John Lennon’s skiffle band, the Quarrymen, at Paul McCartney’s suggestion. George was the youngest in the group and was treated as such probably for longer than was fair. When the Beatles were officially formed, he was already involved in the songwriting process, but the decision was taken at that early stage to have all the songs credited to Lennon/McCartney. Harrison himself said that he was “the one who kept quiet at the back and let the other egos be at the front.” George Martin insisted, though, that Harrison was the true cheeky member of the group. John may have been the clown, but George was the wry, ironic spirit of the Beatles.
watching John and Paul soak in the glory of Beatlemania. George found some solace with the release of Revolver in 1966 (the same year that the Beatles stopped touring), as his musical contribution to the group peaked.
It soon became apparent that Harrison was developing a style of composition that would rival his bandmates’, with songs like ‘Don’t Bother Me’ and ‘If I Needed Someone.’ George was responsible for the elements of R&B, rockabilly, and, later, Indian traditions that infused the music of the Beatles. Lennon/McCartney songs were given more time than Harrison’s, but, in fact, their exotic melodies, dissonances and philosophical lyrics proved that he really didn’t need to be a member of a group. It wasn’t until the latter days of the Beatles that Paul somewhat haughtily declared that “until , our songs have been better than George’s. Now this year his songs are at least as good as ours.” Two of the songs to which McCartney was referring were ‘Something’ and ‘Here Comes the Sun,’ which, to this writer, stand out among all other Beatles tracks for their real and subtle beauty. Four years before John Lennon sang that he “[didn’t] believe in Beatles,” George had become disillusioned with life in the limelight. Being in the Beatles meant playing songs at double speed just to end concerts quickly and
1970’s All Things Must Pass was considered his first real solo record, even though he had released two other solo records before that. The album is a triple-CD and still regarded as his best work. Martin Scorsese said that hearing the record was “like walking into a cathedral. George was making spiritually awake music—we all heard and felt it.” Aside from his huge contribution to music and his pivotal role in introducing Eastern sounds into popular music, George was a deeply spiritual man, famously involved in the Hare Krishna movement, but always respectful of all religions. He was instrumental in the organisation of The Concert for Bangladesh which raised US$243,418.50 for humanitarian aid in war-torn Bangladesh. George was a great friend of Eric Idle and the Pythons, and began his assocation with HandMade Films when he agreed to finance The Life of Brian in 1978. He went on to produce twenty three films, including the Bruce Robinson’s magnificent Withnail and I. George Harrison was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1997. In November 2001 he underwent radiotherapy for the cancer, which had by then spread to his brain. He died on the 29th of November 2001, and his last words were “love one another.” Image credits: their respective owners.
Van Morrison is still blowin’ our minds “The single most consistently awe-inspiring popular musician” – Tadhg O’ Laoghaire amplifies the mystical, transcendental aura which Astral Weeks maintains to this day, unscathed by cheap imitation.
Some might not know that Van Morrison was a global super star between 1968 and 1972. ‘Gloria’ is the quintessential garage rock song in which Morrison equates religious ecstasy with carnal gratification (a recurring theme throughout his work); ‘T.B Sheets,’ a hypnotically claustrophobic nine minute blues vamp, describes the singer’s partner dying; ‘You Don’t Pull No Punches’ synthesises Gestalt theory and William Blake, intertwines concrete and abstraction, and each switch is illustrated with the flute and string in 12/8 time. So why is he overlooked, neglected, derided? It’s not a help to bear an uncanny resemblance to the mole from Wind and the Willows, or to have the social skills of a starving panda. The fatal blow, however, is middleaged married couples who regularly ransack his post-1980 catalogue just to espouse his most substandard creations. That’s not Van. Van is 1968’s Astral Weeks. His youthful ambition and musical diversity culminated in it; his future works are spiritually descendent. To record it, Van hired jazz veterans to work as session musicians. He showed them the chords and a rough outline of his lyrics. The rest is improvised. It is mesmerising to hear it being moulded, note by note, hearing what works and what doesn’t; the overwrought basslines, flute slurs swinging out of control. The rhythms are loose, often having no rhythmic moorings, being swept along by idiosyncratic guitar, floating flute, roaming bass. This lack of rigidity
An impressionistic two-part song cycle, the album is devoted to a single cataclysmic moment wherein lies an eternity, an indescribable understanding of the human condition, and an acceptance of the concomitant which it entails. Van conjures up oblique poetic images before leaving them hanging in the air, gradually disintegrating into timelessness once again. This produces an inherently malleable narrative, the simplest mapping creating a story of young love. ‘Before’ indulges the ecstatic rush of infatuation, the naïve gushing of devotions, then in ‘Cypress Avenue’ the music stutters and rushes with the narrator’s racing pulse as he is conquered, frozen by the enormity of life itself. Perhaps an acknowledg- ement of art’s limitations, the album moves straight to ‘After,’ removing the narration’s epicentre. ‘Way Young Lovers Do’ lyrically provides the sexual and emotional fulfilment foretold by ‘Sweet Thing’, yet Richard Davis’ pulsating double bass is far too aggressive, violent, menacing, creating latent tension. The mournful ‘Madame George’ is seen by puerile observers to be about transvestism, ignoring the blatant need to interpret within an album so symbolically dense. It is a farewell to the unchecked joy of ‘Before.’ Van can no longer live a joyful façade, and we can feel the stale, unsatisfied taste which lingers. The journey from eternal bliss to earthly shackles is concluded with Slim Slow Slider,
which utilizes cliché to acknowledge that he and his love are no different from any others; they don’t live beyond time and space as in the Tir-na-nÓg influenced title track; they are susceptible to jealousy and betrayal, weakness and death. The album ends, just like our narrator, in shards. Simplifying Astral Weeks to a boy-girl story may seem insufficient, not encompassing lyrically the emotional totality conveyed by the music. However, this is the origin of everything known, and the realisation that there are some things which are unknowable. Astral Weeks travels from belief to denouncement, hope to despair, youth to old age, eternity to mortality. The history of art has been the attempts to fabricate what a boy and a girl can create in a well spent half hour, in mind, spirit and body. Astral Weeks is as close as art got in the twentieth century. Image credits: starmedia.com, soundsound. com.
film genres to succeed in, and The Awakening will be no different. Previews indicate a poor to average film, but the ‘sensibilities’ of one person won’t reflect on everyone (we all know people who can’t handle any horror film). There have been some recent horrors that possess some entertainment value, but that’s where their appeal seems to end. Perhaps we’ll never re-experience the days of “the great” classics of the genre which horror-buffs so desperately clutch to... The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1
Director: Tarsem Singh.
Release Date: 18th November.
Starring: Henry Cavill, Freida Pinto, Luke Evans, Mickey Rourke.
Release Date: 11th November.
The Awakening Director: Nick Murphy. Starring: Rebecca Hall, Dominic West, Imelda Staunton.
Release Date: 9th December. Puss in Boots. Jack and Jill. Humpty Dumpty. Kitty Softpaws. The stories surrounding the first names are undoubtedly familiar to almost everyone reading this, and each are characters in Chris Miller’s latest film. But perhaps not as we know them. Set before Puss met Shrek and Donkey (if you don’t know who they are, you’ve definitely been living under a rock for far too long), this film is primarily aimed at the younger generations. But that’s not going to stop the rest of us from seeing it in 3D, Right? The trailers are definitely worth a watch, and indicate a well-directed, all-round enjoyable film for all ages.
Director: Bennett Miller. Starring: Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman. Release Date: 25th November. The general manager of the Major League Baseball team Oakland Athletics, Billy Beane (Pitt), struggles with the constraints of the team’s financial situation in order to have a chance at winning the World Series. After meeting Peter Brand (Hill) and implementing his complex statistical data to assess each player’s value, Billy hires Peter as his assistant and begins to revolutionise the game of baseball. Speaking as a person with no sporting interests, the fact that its focus is on baseball shouldn’t be off-putting for anyone. Moneyball certainly has the hype factor – but, this time, with the reviews to back it up! Puss In Boots
Release Date: 11th November. The problem with horror films nowadays is that they’re over-familiar. We know all the gimmicks, the ‘scary music’ fails to incite an atmosphere for a horror, the plots are often too predictable, and sometimes the acting is one of the downfalls. Horrors and comedies are perhaps the two most difficult
Starring: Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Zach Galifianakis.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
The Titan Hyperion (Rourke) declares war on humanity. The catch? Abiding by their ancient laws, the gods are not allowed to interfere. The solution? Get a peasant to do all the work. Theseus (Cavill), accompanied by the priestess Phaedra (Pinto), endeavour to protect his homeland and mankind and to save the gods. The plot seems to be relatively linear (“we’ve seen it all before”), but director Singh has described it as an action film and in the style of Renaissance painting with a contemporary look. That’s enough to pique my curiosity and be cautious of a film with such boasts that, more often than not, don’t live up to expectations. There’s always wariness surrounding films which draw extensively on Graeco-Roman mythology (the 2010 remake of Clash of the Titans was possibly one of the worst films I’ve ever seen), but I’m hopeful that Immortals may pull through and be a pleasant surprise.
John Murphy offers a scrutinising outline of some November and December film releases
Director: Chris Miller.
Director: David Fincher. Starring: Rooney Mara, Daniel Craig, Stellan Skarsgard. Release Date: 26th December. An English-speaking remake of the original Swedish adaptation based on the book by Stieg Larsson, the question on the lips of most fans is “will it be as good as the Swedish film?” It’s a difficult thing to judge at this early stage, but let’s have a quick run-down of the facts: the success of the story has proved that the plot is as great as it sounds, Fincher has proven himself to be an excellent director (Seven, Fight Club, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Social Network), both Craig and Skarsgard are great actors (though not to everyone’s taste), and Rooney Mara has been finding her place as an actress in recent years. So, on reflection, the prospects look good for Fincher’s latest film. Image credits: Universal Pictures, StudioCanal UK, Columbia Pictures, Paramount Pictures.
Stack O’ Craic John Murphy and Mary Egan reveal the crème of Cork’s events.
Date: 6th to 15th November.
Venue: Savoy Theatre.
Info: Visit corkfilmfest.org for a full list of venues and screenings.
Info: The legendary band return to Cork after their recent reunion. This is the original line-up’s first tour since 2005. With unforgettable guitar riffs and lyrics, it’s set to be a night to remember.
The Glen Paintings
Date: Until 23rd January.
Venue: Triskel Christchurch.
Info: Paintings created in Cork’s north side suburb, ‘The Glen,’ by Patricia Burns.
Date: 11th November.
Venue: Cyprus Avenue.
Intimacies and Elephants
Info: The renowned Ryan Sheridan comes to Cork for one night only. A hit at Oxegen and the Rose of Tralee, he’s a rising star you don’t want to miss out on.
Date: 7th to 12th November.
D’Unbelievable’s. Date: 26th November.
Venue: Cork Opera House.
Date: 16th November.
Info: The legendary Pat Shortt and Jon Kenny are coming to Cork as part of their tour titled ‘One Hell Of A Do.’
Venue: Cork Opera House.
Info: ‘Ted’s Band’ from Scrubs are set to play an unforgettable performance in the Cork Opera House. Tickets: €23.50, but available for €21 at the SU box office.
Jimmy Carr - Laughter apy
Date: 4th December.
Delorentos (Special Accoustic Performance)
Venue: Cork Opera House.
Date: 24th November.
Info: ‘Laughter Therapy’ is Jimmy’s ninth solo show. Its set to be a night of stomach paining laughter.
Venue: Triskel Arts Center.
Recommended for ages 16 and older – frequent strong language. Tickets: €35.50.
Film Corona Cork Film Festival
Info: Delorentos play the Triskel Arts Centre for their first ever acoustic tour. Everyone who buys a ticket receives a free copy of their Little Sparks EP and Little Sparks Magazine. Tickets: €15.
Venue: Everyman Palace Theatre. Info: Struggling with the demands being made on him by his family, a father is transported back to his childhood. A story of love and commitment towards a poetic redemption. Tickets: Students €7 (Monday to Wednesday).
The Rehearsal, Playing the Dane Date: 25th to 26th November. Venue: Everyman Palace Theatre. Info: A breath-taking, innovative, contemporary reworking of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Tickets: Students €7 (Friday only).
Big Maggie Date: 1st to 3rd December. Venue: Everyman Palace Theatre. Info: Druid’s production of John B. Keane riveting play. Tickets: Students €7 (limited number).
The Darkness Date: 2nd December.
Friends With Benefits
Midnight In Paris
Brogan O’Callaghan reviews this modern take on a romantic comedy
Louise Creedon takes a look at Woody Allen’s latest film
This film stars Justin Timberlake as Dylan and Mila Kunis as Jamie. Jamie is an Executive Recruiter living in New York City, while Dylan is a graphic design artist and is approached by Jamie for a big role in GQ magazine. The start of the film shows Dylan and Jamie going through messy breakups. Dylan decides “I’m just gonna work and fuck. Like George Clooney,” and Jamie decides “I’m just gonna shut myself down emotionally. Like George Clooney.” Dylan doesn’t know anybody in New York and so becomes good friends with Jamie. Both of them have dysfunctional families, and the scenes with Dylan’s father (Richard Jenkins) are, at times, very poignant. Jamie’s mother (Patricia Clarkson) has no idea whose Jamie’s father is, yet provides Jamie with a lot of emotional support throughout the film. Over a few drinks one night, the pair come to a decision that relationships aren’t for them and that sex should be treated like “tennis”. So they start to have no strings sex, but predictably enough, it ends up getting complicated.
Woody Allen is back with this romantic comedy set in one of the world’s most breathtaking cities. Allen’s films have received very mixed reviews over the past decade, with numerous critics claiming that the Oscar-winning director has lost his touch. Many of us have anticipated Midnight in Paris, hoping that Allen would come bounding back on top form. Unfortunately, for me, he returns crawling at a snail’s pace with this long drawn out, anti-climactic production. The film opens with what seems to be Allen’s personal tribute to Paris. A montage of images leave the viewer in no doubt as to the setting – modern, tourist Pairs in all its glory. The protagonist Gill (Owen Wilson) and his fiancée Inez (Rachel McAdams), are a young couple who have come to Paris with Inez’s wealthy, but unenthusiastic, parents (Kurt Fuller and Mimi Kennedy). A successful screenwriter turned aspiring novelist, Gill is inspired by the city, which rekindles his desire to finish his book and turn it into a bestseller.
Justin is great in this – exactly what I expected from him. Some people have said he didn’t live up to his potential but I enjoyed it (being a girl, I am obviously biased). Dylan’s secret penchant for Harry Potter and his love for his nephew Sammy (Nolan Gould) is cute and makes him even more likeable. Mila is sassy yet fragile and relatable as a result. It almost makes us forgive her being so good looking and having sex scenes with Justin. Well… almost. My favourite character had to be Tommy (Woody Harrelson), Dylan’s gay co-worker. He provides some of the best quotes of the film, and can be seen as Dylan’s mentor, helping to point him in the right direction when things become stressful: “You wanna be happy? Find someone you like and never let him go. Or her if you’re into that kind of... creepy shit.” This film is a rom-com with a twist and plays with our classic expectations from a romantic film. Instead of boy meets girl, they fall in love, and must overcome some problem before living happily ever after, this is girl goes after boy, they decide to have no strings sex, a lot of complications and then a happy ending. Friends with Benefits appeals to a more modern audience then other romantic films. The many sex scenes stop it from being a family film but make it a good film to watch with the girls. Realistically, guys will not watch this film unless trying to impress a girl, or if they’re forced to watch it by their girlfriends, which happened to my boyfriend. I asked him what he thought he told me “it’s not a stereotypical girly film, thank God!” But he did want to see more of Emma Stone (who plays Dylan’s girlfriend at the start) whom he thinks is “dainty” (don’t ask). Overall, a great film for the girls, and lads, if ye are forced to watch it, Mila Kunis should keep you happy. Rating: 4/5. Image credits: Screen Gems.
One night, while attempting to find his way back to his hotel, Gill encounters a mysterious, antique coach at the stroke of midnight and its champagne-sipping, 1920sclad passengers urge him to join them. They bring him to a bar, where it suddenly dawns on Gill that he has in fact trav- elled through time to the 1920s. He befriends Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald (Tom Hiddleston and Alison Pill), chats to Ernest Hemmingway (Corey Stoll), shows his novel to Gertrude Stein (Kathy Bates) and falls in love with Picasso’s mistress, Adriana (Marion Cotillard), as you do. Inspired by the era, Gill continues to spend his nights in the past, convincing Inez that he is using the image of Paris at night as motivation for writing his novel. However, tensions soon rise between him and Inez, leaving Gill with the choice of staying in the 1920s or returning to the present. Gill seems to be the typical Woody Allen character – a young man, misunderstood by many, searching for meaning in his life. Nevertheless, Wilson plays it impressively well, striking the right balance between humour and seriousness. The 1920s ensemble is also cast appropriately; all are relaxed and confident in their roles, with Kathy Bates stealing the show as Gertrude Stein. Marion Cotillard is quirky, charming, and has a believable chemistry with Wilson. The biggest disappointment casting-wise was, surprisingly, Rachel McAdams as Inez. She is extremely wooden in her role, sounding like she is just reading her lines and not putting any effort into them – very unexpected from the Mean Girls superstar. The story itself is dragged out to infinity. Gill travels to the 1920s about seven times before reaching a not-so-dramatic realisation. For a comedy, this film is not very funny. There are a couple of humorous moments, but they are much more in the ‘momentary chuckle’ category than the ‘rolling in the aisles’ category. And we never actually learn how or why Gill manages to time travel; it seems to me that Allen decided to gloss over that tiny detail in the hope that we, the audience, would just accept the fact that people can randomly jump from era to era. The film is, however, shot beautifully. We are presented with the most magnificent views of Paris, but the actors just seem to get in the way. This makes me wonder why Allen didn’t just make a photo album for himself instead of subjecting moviegoers to this mundane motion picture. Rating: 1/5. Image credits: Sony Pictures.
Triskel a different experience
Mary Egan considers the distinctiveness of watching a film at Triskel My first experience with Triskel Art Centre was on Tuesday the 27th of October, to see Project Nim. While I was itching with excitement to see this documentary as a psychology student and lover of all things furry, I was itching more with anxiety about the setting I would see this documentary in. Happily, it appeared that my fears were unfounded. It was love at first sight as I entered this bright, warm, historic building. The most warm and friendly receptionist greeted us, took our email addresses to keep us updated with upcoming movies and there were plenty of brochures with similar details. We went to the café to wait for the documentary to start, which was a quaint, cosy room with colourful footstools, leather chairs and, best of all, plenty of marshmallows in the hot chocolate. There were people dressed in berets and scarves chatting over cups of tea, coffee and scones. There were people with laptops typing briskly. There were people sitting quietly with reading material. Despite their differences in activity, there was a collective sense of tranquillity and relaxation. When it was time for the movie to begin, the church bell rang, giving us five minutes to be seated. This was a nice touch, much more original than being pushed along by an usher in the cinema. More friendly too.
Watching a documentary in a church was an interesting experience. There was a medieval feel to it. The bench seats were more comfortable than one would expect. The atmosphere was one of intrigue, interest and mutual respect. There was no whisper- ing, no phones going off, no rustling of sweet papers, or popcorn chewing. The format of the movie was superb also. It was a documentary type film, swapping from video footage of the project to modern interviews with those involved. This gave a nice effect to the documentary, making it more real, reminding us it was not a fictional movie like from the cinema. The modern interviews gave a more dramatic effect, showed where the characters were now, how they been affected since the project and made it more humane as we heard their opinions and feelings on the matter, rather than just hearing the objective facts. The cinema is always something I look forward to. While I absolutely detest popcorn, I’m a sucker for the smell. One sniff and I’m hooked. I have to rush straight to the cinema. Any movie will suffice. I love the warmth of the cinema, the slushies, the hustle and bustle. At the risk of sounding super-weird, it gives you that warm fuzzy feeling inside. But there’s just no comparison to the Triskel
experience. It was nice to be fully entranced in what’s presented on screen without the temptations to text about the latest college scandals, or trying to block out the screams coming from screen two. No one came in late, no one left to go to the bathroom. The only thing on everyone’s mind was Nim, the lovable chimp. It was nice to see a non-fictional movie, one that strayed from the usual boy meets girl, two hours of fighting, a quick marriage and a couple of kids, or the token don’t-go-upstairs-that’s-where-the-murderer-is-hiding. There’s something much more compelling about an environment of absolute inter- est and awe at what is being presented on screen. An experience you must try! Image credits: triskelart.com
In Other Words
Kala Chung offers an insight to an exhibition at The Lewis Glucksman Gallery
From mounted word sculptures to neon lettering scattered across a vacant wall, this exhibition proves to be one of a kind. Words and their meanings are interpreted through the medium of art and the artists cleverly use all of the gallery space available to them to showcase their works, even windows and floors. The award for most ‘in your face’ pieces goes to Michael Stumpf and Tim Etchells. Stumpf goes for big, bold structures of words arranged together tastefully so that they overlap making their overall meaning a code. As the message isn’t clear immediately, viewers have to stop for a while to decipher it. He has three pieces worth checking out: ‘Fade to Black’, ‘When We Slow Down’ (cleverly named as views have to literally do so to read the message) and ‘Massive Angry Structure’.
Meanwhile, UK artist Etchells’ piece ‘Will Be’ features two pieces: a neon lettered sentence saying “the future will be confusing” and all of the same letters generously scattered on another wall, further strengthening his initial message. There were plenty more pieces on offer at the Glucksman – three in particular (besides those already mentioned) struck a chord with me. If you like physics or just seeing things spin madly out of control, go see Semâ Bekirovic’s video ‘How to Stop Falling’ where giant foam letters from the title are thrown off of a tall building and recorded. Each letter’s fall is different due to its shape and geometry and how that relates to gravity. It goes to show that your intentions can change completely because of nature. If you’re a pretty deep dudette like myself, you’ll be intrigued by the weird ‘So to Speak’ by Cerith Wyn Evans. It’s kind of hard to spot at first because it’s just two neon white quotation marks on a white background. Then it suddenly hits you how blank and empty it is and that the empty silent space is
subject to change (well, not really, because you’re in a gallery and you’re not allowed make noise… but hypothetically speaking).
Finally, if you’ve always wanted to be Dora the Explorer, you’ll like this mini- adventure (I mean mini as in three seconds). Two publishers, Horn and Cuts, decided instead of putting descriptions of narrow passageways down in books, why not build an alley and put the words on either side of the wall? That way our viewers can walk through and understand what we mean by ‘claustrophobic’. Genius. Rating: 3.5/5. Image credits: Glucksman Gallery.
The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak
Tamara Malone confronts the narrator of Zusak’s critically acclaimed novel “If you feel like it, come with me. I will tell you a story. I’ll show you something.” I normally wouldn’t be hugely into war literature, especially books dealing with the Holocaust, but this seemed different right from the beginning. Narrated by Death (well, it was never going to be a feel-good tale, was it?), The Book Thief tells the story of Liesel Meminger, a girl who arrives at Himmel Street, Molching, at the age of eight, after the death of her brother (her mother is later taken away, suspected of being a Commu- nist). The novel focuses on the inhabitants of Himmel Street and the relationships they have with one another. It deals with working- class Germans; though a Jewish person has a large role in the story, it does not examine greatly those who suffered most and were in the most danger at this time. They suffer greatly, and they also have to witness death and loss and pain – besides which, they endure a lack of food, the deathly cold, and illnesses through the war effort. The book shows that we are all human and we all suf- fer during times of conflict. Nowhere in the novel do we see scenes of war negotiations, Allied or Axis forces, or
politicians. Hitler appears only in the visions of a Jew in hiding, and, in this way, the work is centred on a small town of ordinary people alone and their concerns, fears, hopes, and desires. We learn about the protagonist, her family, her neighbours, and the deep bonds of love that tie them together, love that tran- scends “the power of words” propagated by the Nazis, words which separate and divide people, as well as bring them together. Hans and Rosa Hubermann take in a little girl whose mother was persecuted for being a Communist; this little girl forms a deep and true friendship with a Jewish man hiding in her basement, her father risks a whipping to give bread to a starving Jew on the street, on the long walk to Dachau. Truly, however, my favourite aspect of this book was the narrator; who would intervene at certain points with his own unique commentary. Death is cynical; he’s seen it all, and with very few exceptions (the “boy with lemon-coloured hair”) is not moved by the continuous human cycles of birth, life and death (besides which, he’s very funny). This definitely gives an added edge to the story, makes it less an emotional page-turner and more of a well-written book. His main
The Red Queen, by Philippa Gregory Laura Palmer delves into Gregory’s historical-fiction novel about Lady Margaret Beaufort Set during the English War of the Roses, The Red Queen gives a fascinating insight into the life of a blue-blooded woman in the fifteenth century, and weaves a tale of ambition and romance into historical events which leave you craving more. Philippa Gregory’s portrayal of the life of Margaret Beaufort (a courtier and relative of the King) is not the life of grandeur and pleasure one would assume royalty to have; the book conveys the pre-Tudor period as a dangerous time to be related to a king, especially if you are a woman. Margaret is one of the last remaining descendants to the Lancaster line. As the historical mother of King Henry VII and grandmother to the infamous Henry VIII, this fanciful reimagining of Margaret’s life is strangely captivating. From a young age her religious devotion is evident – she wants to be England’s answer to Joan of Arc, not continue anyone’s bloodline. Due to the efforts of an ambitious and horribly cold mother, at the age twelve she is married off to her cousin Edmund Tudor. By the time she gives birth to her first child at the tender age of thirteen, she is already a widow. As a political tool, Margaret is carted from noble family to noble family without her full consent, expected to bear children as often as she can, and be obedient to her husband in those months in between. With this mindset, she is married twice more to two very
different men, and, through it all, Margaret is still certain she is marked for greatness: if she is unable to be a nun, then she will be the mother of a King. Philippa Gregory is best known for her historical novels based in the Tudor era. With the character of Margaret Beaufort, it is clear that Gregory has not run out of historical royal women to write about. Gregory is perhaps best known for her book The Other Boleyn Girl, which was adapted into a film in 2008 and is another great read. The Red Queen is in fact the second book in a series called The Cousins’ War. This series retells the War of the Roses from the fascinating angle of the women who played major roles in secretly orchestrating the war. Gregory’s writing style in this series is so unique and admirable, and she manages the difficult task of creating a protagonist who seems to constantly annoy the reader. Margaret Beaufort is written in such a way that makes her extremely unlikeable as a character, yet, at the same time, the reader is left turning the pages in anticipation for her next course of action. Gregory effortlessly develops the character of Margaret from the opening chapters which show her as an innocent nine year old, to the concluding pages which portray her as a conniving courtier who will stop at nothing to see her son on the English throne. This strange love/
aggravations are how much he’s overworked during the Second World War, and he gets respite from this through looking at the colour of the sky; some of his descriptions related to this are the most beautiful and poetic found in the entire work. Overall, this book is highly recommended; not too heavy in terms of political and historical information overload, but containing true depth and creativity. Rating: 4/5. Image credit: Black Swan.
hate relationship readers feel for the main character only serves to make the book more fascinating to read. Philippa Gregory has succeeded in writing another entertaining and utterly engrossing historical fiction. Although The Red Queen is the second in a planned trilogy, it could also be read by itself, and is a must read if you have an interest in history or indeed if you are a fan of Philippa Gregory’s work. Rating: 4/5 Image credit: Simon & Schuster.
Teenage Kicks At the age of 15, my aunt bought me my first guitar. Truth be told, it was less of a guitar and more of a plank with nylon strings nailed onto it. Nonetheless, I thought it was best thing ever, and over the following weeks I mastered the transition between E minor and G major, learned “Seven Nation Army” by the White Stripes and proudly developed callouses on my fingertips. I was convinced that I was the reincarnated lovechild of Hendrix and Morrison; I imagined myself playing in some smoky late-night jazz club to a room full of A&R record company execs, getting signed to a record label and taking the world by storm. My hopes of stardom were dashed when, one evening, my brother came into my room and asked me to play “Wonderwall”. I didn’t know the chords. He mocked my musical ignorance: “How could you not know that, every dog on the street can play it.” He then requested “Hurt” by Johnny Cash and “Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynyrd Skynyrd, two songs that also weren’t included in my canon. The brother shrugged his shoulders, said I should probably learn them and left to pack his bag for hurling training. My confidence in my abilities undermined, I proceeded to learn all the usual filler songs that any guitarist can play; “Stairway to Heaven”, “Highway to Hell”, “Johnny B. Goode”: you name it, I learned it. The brother nodded his head in approval. However, my knowledge of pop-rock classics brought me no joy. Instead of throwing TVs out of hotel room windows, I was playing “Song 2” at my cousin’s eighth birthday party; instead of headlining the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury, I was roped into playing rhythm guitar for the local church choir. Even though my catalogue of songs had increased tenfold, I still wasn’t content with my musical prowess. I realised that I had to try and write my own songs, and to do that I needed to form a band. My first band was called The Medics. It consisted of me and a few other like-minded individuals who I went to school with. We met up in the drummer’s shed once a week to practise, talk shite and drink cups of tea. Before we had played a gig or written a song,
Features Editor Cathal Brennan writes about his old days as an amateur rockstar
we had already launched a line of Medics t-shirts as part of our transition year minicompany project. We sold 50 t-shirts at €12 each, with a net profit of €7.50 per t-shirt. Needless to say, our beer money for the next month was covered. When we finally turned our attention to song writing, it turned out to be a hit and miss affair. In part, I think that our creativity was stunted by Catholic guilt – it’s hard to open up and try to say something poetic and thoughtful while you’re aware that you could sound like a pretentious dickhead in front of your friends (incidentally, Athos, my deputy editor has never had this problem). We also didn’t have a clue what we were doing, which didn’t help. After transition year, the project came to its conclusion. We were getting on each other’s nerves and any element of enjoyment had
Image by Jack Gibson Lucey evaporated. However, the experience had failed to deflate my aspirations of musical grandeur. I dusted myself off, and turned my thoughts towards starting a new band. My second band was called the Calibre, which was the name of my cheap secondhand electric guitar. Competition was strong around the West Cork youth café circuit at the time, but we were enthusiastic and managed to rise above some of the more cringeworthy bands knocking about (Orangatwang come to mind. As in orangutan, the monkey, but with twang in it. In my worldly
experience, bands named on the basis of on musical monkey puns are never going to be great). We were somewhat better than my previous outfit; gone was the undisciplined, spontaneous-cups-of-tea mentality that dominated practise sessions, and in it’s place was a well-oiled unit that practised original material that sounded like a cross between The Libertines and Queens of the Stone Age regularly. We played youth cafés and GAA function halls throughout West Cork and Kerry, transporting cheap knock-off gear in the back of our parents’ cars. We went onstage, played our songs to audiences ranging between ten and one hundred in number, and went home again. Regardless of whether a gig was packed or more akin to a graveyard, we were satisfied if we played well. It was a great way of procrastinating during the Leaving Cert exams. We split up at the end of 6th year before we went entered university and went our separate ways. It would have been nice if we had become cocaine-addicted rock stars with platinum records and all that, but it didn’t really matter; meeting up to play our songs and hang out was good enough. In this month’s section we look at all things Sex, Drugs and Rock n’ Roll, and much more besides; Noel Dillon Daly talks about why you should join debating societies in UCC, concerned Kerryman Mike McCarthy makes his feelings known on the topic of perving, Mae McSweeney dissects the weirder sex toys available on the market, Sam Marks ponders on whether Sex, Drugs and Rock n’ Roll can be good for you and Deputy Features Editor Athos Tsiopani guides you on how to make your very own rock band. Read on and enjoy. Interested in submitting articles for the Motley Features Section? Send something on! What’s the worst that could happen? Besides, being a journalist with Motley makes you about 20% cooler – 30% if you also wear a leather jacket. Send all submissions and queries to email@example.com
How to Build Your Band
Ever thought about making your own band? Deputy Features Editor Athos Tsiopani gives us a rundown of the essentials needed to ignite your rise to stardom
Building your band is not easy, especially when there are so many wannabes out there who cannot possibly be suited to your plans of making it big. This step-by-step guide will tutor you on which guys are hardcore and will help you sky-rocket to the top.
Your singer must be able to sing falsetto. And also scream uncontrollably into the mic. If he cannot do either of these things then make sure he carries a pair of pliers in deep pockets. It is a cure for both.
Guitar Guitarists are plentiful in Cork. You could throw a brick out of a window and probably hit one in the head. There are two types of guitarists: the juvenile little bastards who hang around Grand Parade with their skateboards, strange hair-cuts and sexual desires that would shock even the most ardent of rabbits, and REAL men. Your guitarist’s guitar must have sharp points. It must be black and it must be able to blow an amp at a mere moment’s notice. If your guitarist is asshole enough to break your 100 watt stack, then he’s in. Also, if your potential guitarist has a mop of hair, a deliriously wide smile and plays a guitar that nobody’s ever heard of (a Calibre? Really?) then stay away from him. Not only will he be awful at guitar, but he’ll probably slander you in his editorial too. The wanker.
Bass There has been an immense shortage of male bass players in the last few years, prob- ably because they’re just sick of not getting laid. Female bassists are the way forward anyway: just look at The Pixies, The Smash- ing Pumpkins and Agitate the Gravel. Make sure she’s smoking hot, ‘cause your guitarist is probably going to be ugly as sin.
Drums Your drummer must be loud, obnoxious and strangely unpunctual. He must be good for a laugh as well, so make sure he keeps on writing songs of his own. Your drummer may upon occasion ask to sing one of your
Band Name tunes. If this didn’t work for The Beatles then it certainly won’t work for you. Ask him to play in 25/16 for a little while to take his mind off of it. While he may be good for a chuckle and content to sit at the back, do not underestimate the dark-horse that is your drummer: he is the one prepared to sue if your stuff gets ripped off by a band far inferior to yours or if, Heaven forbid, it ends up on the internet and people are able to listen to it for free.
Piano Ha! This is 2011, who the fuck still plays the piano?
Piano Synth Your synth player must be capable of dancing on the spot, unable to move his hands, and to a large extent his legs, for 45 minutes. He must also have a certain knowledge of music theory; while your guitarist and bassist may be able to tune down a semi-tone, your synth player has to figure out how to play in Eb minor all by himself. He must also master th the key of D minor for your slow song (which, th it should be noted, makes up 3/20 of your EP and exactly 1/9 of your studio album). You may find that members of the opposite sex will unknowingly gravitate to- wards your synth player due to his stand-inthe-back-style and slightly-less-shite dancing. It is a phenomenon that remains inexplicable to this very day.
A decent band-name is essential to your status and image. Your guitarist may at first insist that you name the band after him. Ignore him. There are two main methods to your band name. The first is to take two words that are polar opposites, combine them in a contradictory fashion and stick the word ‘the’ at the front. For example, “The Proletarian Elitists”, Just one example or “The Subterranean of how easy it is to Frisbees”. “The Vegan make up a name Furs” might be a good for your band one. This shows both your education and wit. The second method is to take 1 – 5 words that have nothing to do with each other and string them together (“Manic Beach Head”, “Kicking Suzy”). This is to show that you are not only abstractly hardcore but also mysterious and hence interesting. If you want to be really clever about it then you could select a word that is both an adjective and a verb and combine it with a noun(ie. “Fucking Sheep”). But nobody gives that much thought to their band name anyway. Once you have your band and band name, rehearse a couple of times, learn a couple of covers (Metallica and Def Leppard are always good crowd pleasers), record your EP on Garageband and watch the money and fame rol in…
A Cannabis Chronology
“There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marijuana usage. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others.” -Harry Anslinger, Commissioner for US Federal Bureau of Narcotics
commissioned by Harry Anslinger in 1930. Anslinger began a huge media campaign to hypnotise the public into believing that can- nabis smokers were insane murderers.
Hemp production became the popular choice of crop for farmers in England for centuries after, and in the 1500s Queen Elizabeth I decreed that farmers had to grow cannabis or face a £5 fine. Yet the therapeutic use of cannabis didn’t come about in Europe until physician Sir William Brooke O’Shaughnessy from Co.Limerick returned home to the “Green” Emerald Isle from India in 1839. O’Shaughnessy conducted the first clinical trial of cannabis and presented case stud- ies of curing patients with rheumatism, hydrophobia, cholera, and tetanus, as well as curing a 40-day-old baby with convul- sions. O’Shaughnessy was widely credited by the Pharmaceutical Society of Britain for introducing the therapeutic uses of cannabis to Western medicine. Recreational use of cannabis didn’t begin in the US until the 1910s when America saw its first wave of Mexican emigrants. White Americans didn’t like the foreigners and rumours spread that the plant gave the Mexicans super human powers and turned them into murderers. The city of El Paso became the first to ban possession of the plant in 1914, paving the way for White America to control Mexicans. The US Federal Government gave the control of all drugs over to the Treasury department, who created the Federal Bureau of Narcotics
nabis. It’s important to note that this took place during the Cold War. The FBN started a conspiracy that Red Communist China was using cannabis to demoralise the American youth. The mass media was tactically used by conservatives to place cannabis as a schedule 1 drug along with heroin, where it remains today. Anslinger used America’s influence to create the UN Single Convention for Drugs in 1961 which has outlawed cannabis in over 100 countries, including Ireland and the UK, without any internal discussion.
Cannabis is the world’s third most popular recreational drug and arguably the least understood. It has a long history of recreational, medical and agricultural use but controversy surrounds the plant since it was banned during the 20th century. Yet with 300,000 users worldwide, how effective is the “War on Drugs”? I will attempt to explain the history of its use and how exactly it went from being one of the most commonly grown crops and widely used medicines to being bound in shackles and subjected to war (yes, a 'war' on a plant. More expensive to the US than their war in Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam combined, costing 1 trillion dollars between 1971 and 2011). The earliest trace of cannabis use dates back to China in 4000 BC. It was used as a grain crop in Ancient times and was counted as one of the “five grains” together with rice, barley, millet and soy beans. It was with hemp that the first fabric was made. Ts’ai Linen invented paper from hemp in 104 BC, and it has since been used to make many monastic and law documents (including the American constitution).
Graham de Barra examines the history of cannabis, from its early use to the legislation and controversy surrounding it today
Without any public debate, scientific inquiry or political objection the Marijuana Tax Act was signed into law in 1937, stating that no-one could grow cannabis without a special tax stamp issued by the Treasury department. A massive black market unfolded across America as a result. The mayor of New York, Fiorella La Guardia published a study which contradicted Anslingers propaganda campaign and the FBN replied by destroying evidence of the results and outlawing research of cannabis. Furthermore, Anslinger targeted the entertainment industry and banned any movie that mentioned can-
The hippie movement provided an outlet where Californian university students could vent their outrage over the myths created by the FBN. The National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse recommended the decriminalisation for personal use and possession. In their report, they found that cannabis didn’t cause crime, but that the laws surrounding it lead to selective prosecution of those with objectionable hair styles, skin colour and politics. It was the largest commissioned research ever done on cannabis, but was rejected by Richard Nixon, who instead published the farcical report that “men grow breasts from smoking cannabis”. The “War on Drugs” was launched in 1972 with the founding of the DEA, which had authorisation to request wire taps and search homes without warrants. Yet through the educational efforts made by Keith Stroup of the “National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws” (NORML), Oregon decriminalised cannabis in 1973, the first of 13 states to do so. Since Jimmy Carter’s attempts to decriminalise cannabis in 1977, no president has advocated its research. Despite Barack Obama admitting to have consumed cannabis in his youth, his administration has threatened civil lawsuits against all medical providers and has stripped many rights from medical card holders. Despite government efforts to impose unlawful and unreasonable drug laws, support for reform is growing. The Report of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, released this year, calls to challenge common misconceptions on drugs and for drug policy to be based on empirical evidence and public health principles. Among the commissioners were Kofi Annan and Richard Branson. It is only a matter of time before we see a complete reform of cannabis laws that promote reciprocal autonomy as far as possible, and which favour humane, evidence-based and scientific policy that is structured around principles respecting life, health, security, and freedom of the individual.
Good Times Bradley Biggle writes about an experience he had on Methylenedioxymethamphetamine... also known as MDMA Let me preface this article by saying everything you do on MDMA feels like you’re doing it for the first time, but better. This includes dancing, walking, relieving yourself, showering, waiting at a pedestrian crossing... everything! So allow me a moment to talk about one of my best experiences on the chemical sometimes known as ecstasy. It was right around the ‘end of exams’ buzz. I was hanging with a few friends at a party when I found myself confronted with some ‘rolling papers’ wrapped up with MDMA, I popped one back. It would take 40 minutes for the effect to set in so soon I hopped in a taxi to make my way to the club. Ahhh the come up!, It started in the queue with a warm buzz in my stomach which unravelled to a pure adrenaline high beaming throughout my body, making me feel like Freddie Mercury at a frisky San Francisco hotspot. When I finally got in, I realised that every song I heard on M was better than that
which preceded it; music in clubs was not just bearable – but awesome. The “love buzz” was well under way by now. I’d hazard a guess that the Beatles probably wrote ‘All You Need is Love’ on M, as you seem to only have a capacity to love people & have positive thoughts. I try to avoid people I’m not too fond of, as I could literally profess my undying love for them. This can be lead to tricky situations like when some ‘wreck head’ rings me a week later looking to crash on my couch! The next hour and a half involved jumping around the club with the enthusiasm of a greyhound at a rabbits convention, too happy to care about the quality of my dancing. If you were to ask (and no-one did), I’d imagine it was better than my sober or alcohol-induced efforts but that would be no achievement anyway. Taking a pit stop in the smoking room with a glass of water was a great shout, but cigarette intake can be a problem! Some friends of mine would smoke five ‘fags’ on MD in the space they’d usually smoke one.
Smoking like all else feels euphoric! I don’t bother drinking on MDMA, as it doesn’t really do much – except for making me feel like I was on a bender with Charlie Sheen the next morning! Après le club, I found myself pleasantly surprised by the feeling of the freshest cold air on my now extra-sensitive skin. I didn’t mind the walk home ... obviously. Since I was beginning to feel some negative feelings again I finely grinded some left over crystals with my student card and rolled up a fiver, I’d rather a fifty but it’s not a perfect world! I said I’d best take advantage of the full body tinglin’ sensation, and a friend was offering massages! She introduced me to the ‘hand sanitizer method’, feeling clean had yet to feel as good! As she sprayed a little sanitizer on my forearm, a blissful shudder went through my body. She rubbed it around the area & lightly blew on it. I was gasping - the closest thing I could compare the feeling to is an orgasm, just anywhere on the body you choose…of course I had multiple treatments! ☺ In the morning I didn’t feel too bad, unlike some of my friends who were experiencing come downs of varying degrees. Many users speak of an ‘afterglow’ feeling in your body the next day. I’ve experienced this; it feels as if you’re on a very mild version of the drug for up to 3 days afterwards. Some find this feeling invasive, but for me it’s like getting ‘20% extra free’. I know that there are dangers involved taking unregulated substances but I feel the chance to experience moments like those above are worth the risk, however I respect the peoples right to have their own opinion on the matter as I hope they’ll respect. Image Credit: www.marcofolio.net, www. drugabuse.gov
Bad Times Raoul Duke recalls a night that he’d rather forget... Two years ago, I was going to a Chemical Brothers gig in Dublin with my girlfriend at the time. Before we left Cork for the gig, we decided to go to a Hemp shop and try out some of the legal highs. I had done some of these kinds of things before and never had had a bad experience, so we got one each. After we had a few drinks with friends in our hotel room, we went to the venue. An hour into the gig, I took the pill. I started to feel a bit weird about an hour later, and not in a way synony-mous with the normal feeling that the drug should cause. I began to feel re-ally warm, before becoming extremely spaced out and less attached to my surroundings. The music began to feel like it was in another field rather than right in front me. After the gig I was getting worse; I began to feel extremely paranoid and freaked out. We got the bus back to our hotel, and by the time we got back to our room, I started to feel sick. I was completely scar-ing my friends because my appearance was so awful; my eyes were hanging out of my head and I was sweat-ing badly. I started to get sick about an hour later, and even if I drank water I would throw it up. My girlfriend was having a bad reaction too but nowhere near as bad as me.
punctuated only by dry retching. The next morning, when my friends and girlfriend woke up (I hadn’t slept) I still couldn’t speak; the words were in my head but my mouth wouldn’t work. The fear came into my head that I had suffered permanent brain damage, and that my life was forever changed. When we left the hotel, I was still feeling so sick and was unable to speak. My friends wanted to bring me to hospital, but one who was a student nurse said nothing could be done and that I just had to sleep it off. I checked into a tourist hostel where I stayed for 3 days to recover from my ordeal. It took me that much time to recover some sense of sanity, not to mention be able to speak or eat. I was somewhat back to normal after those three days but it took me a few weeks, perhaps a few months, to get back totally on an even mental keel. My nerves were completely shot and the sense of embarrassment I felt
While I was getting sick I had also lost the ability to speak and was extremely hot to the touch. I was put to bed, but was completely unable to sleep. The time I spent in bed was spent staring up to the sky,
around the group of friends who had seen me in my condition took about a year to leave me. I had taken a good few illegal drugs and legal highs before and had never had that reaction, so I was quite shocked by what had happened to me. I don’t know why I reacted so badly and if my reaction was an isolated one. The experience didn’t have any lasting effects on me but I will always remember the fear that I had, on that day that my life would be changed forever.
If you have trouble with any substance abuse, contact Narcotics Anonymous Ireland www.na-ireland.org or the SU welfare officer firstname.lastname@example.org Image Credit: sligo today
5 Most Upsetting Sex Toys Mae MacSweeney trawls the darkest corners of the Internet in search of the most frightening/inappropriate sex toys being produced today
1 – Frankenstein Dildo Mary Shelley’s 1818 “Frankenstein" or "The Modern Prometheus”: an indisputably influential forebear of the science-fiction genre, a Ro- mantic novel of startling complex- ity...and now for the first time, a “healthcare grade, platinum cured silicone” dildo in “extreme detail”! What worries me even more than the raised veins, scars and prominent bolts is that, according to the small print, this toy is intended for external use only....belated happy Halloween to both appreciators of Gothic literature and connoisseurs of ornamental necrophiliac penises!
2 – Cyber flesh Mouth and Breasts Remember that scene in Alien when the infant xenomorph bursts out of poor John Hurt’s chest with a high-pitched shriek, glaring sinisterly around the room? Yes. Exactly. Because nothing gets me in the mood for a little self-loving like a disembodied cyberflesh “mouth” with a listless lolling tongue and gratuitous fake boobs. Did I mention there’s an inbuilt vibrator?
rage. I was too terrified to even look for a pregnancy edition...
4 – Clone-A-Pussy Moulding Kit
media career to the sex tapes she initially tried to ban yet now receives massive loyalties from, Beyoncé is one of the few mainstream female role models I will readily swoon over, without a trace of cynicism. Also, “love” doll? I love Beyoncè. This is NOT how you love Beyoncè! For anyone out there who owns this; the next time you go about wooing your inflatable concubine chanteuse, I want you to imagine Jay Z looking over you - his scowling face, his eyes boring into your soul, the sound of his teeth grinding in silent
The premise behind this one actually seems rather innocent when you compare it to previous entries – create a detailed mould of your own (or a loved-one’s) vulva and then display it proudly above the fire-place when guests come over. Or, put it to use as one creative reviewer did – “This sexy plastic copy of a vagina will defenitely make u feel like it is real it will make you jerk off hard and great sensation” (sic (and also just sick)). Charming as always, johnie96.
5 - Baby Jesus Butt Plug So it was a toss-up between this and the “Jackhammer Jesus” model (yours to order today from divine-interventons.com at only 65 sinful smackaroos!). When you have to sit down and ask yourself which is a less appropriate concept for a sexual aid – Christ on the cross or the infant son of Yahweh - you know you’ve discovered a Godsend of a site. Let us contemplate whom this might appeal to: Kinky Christians? Sexually vengeful Satanists? Honestly, it’s not so much the Jesus part that bothers me, but the baby part. Putting a miniature silicone baby up your bottom. Of course, the good people at divine-interventions.com suggest other uses for the little guy – “Slap him on the dashboard, use him as the ultimate pacifier or make Baby Jesus the centrepiece of your magnificent Dildo Crèche”. Amen.
3 – Beyoncè Love Doll This upset me more than any other celebrity-inspired dolls out there. Not just because of the gag-worthy puns provided in the product description: “She’s a blowup bee-atch who’s crazy in love with cock!”, “You don’t have to put a ring on this SLUTTY SIREN!”, etc., but also because Beyoncè should be sacred. While Kim Kardashian arguably owes her baffling
Image Credit: www.therundown.tv , www.cracked.com
On a Highway to Health
Sam Marks examines whether a life of rock n’ roll excess can actually be good for you
Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll get a lot of negative press nowadays. Never mind the fact that some bands such as The Beatles prob- ably wouldn’t have been anywhere near as famous without the use of a little “Lucy”. But one thing that escapes such lifestyles is mod- eration. Some, such as Keith Richards, were lucky (or maybe just smart) when it came to handling this trio. Some, for example Hendrix, weren’t. But is living life fast really all that bad? Some scientific research has shown that usage of alcohol and some drugs can be beneficial to the health of certain individuals. Of course, this doesn’t mean any of you teetotalers should take up. These are just the numbers talking. Some statistics have shown that people’s reaction times can be decreased after drinking only one unit of alcohol, while at the same time lowering incidences of aggression - but this is only one unit we’re talking about. For another example, a glass of wine a day keeps cholesterol down and reduces your risk of depression in later life. These studies have been particularly powerful when compared to older men. There has even been one large, yet controversial, study by the Journal of Epidemiology which said that one or two small glasses of wine a week might even be ben- eficial to a pregnant woman’s offspring, caus- ing 33% less behavioural problems in boys and later improving cognitive function. Since these are tough rules to follow for most and that newborn children of even light drinkers can suffer problems, it is still just safer for
pregnant women to avoid alcohol outright. Rock and Roll is also good for your health, according to a psychology experiment carried out at the University of Pittsburgh. Paradoxically, being angry at the world (or “Sticking it to the Man”, as Jack Black would put it) is much better for your health than being submissive to it, bottling it up to fester in your subconscious. For you chronic swearers out there, rejoice! It has been scientifically proven that you can withstand more pain than those who don’t. An occasional spell of lethargy while in a demanding profession has also shown to add to one’s lifespan, loud music above 90 decibels can stimulate brain activity without any negative impact to a person’s hearing if limited to 3 hours a day, and dirty beds may even help ward off asthma by making them a more hazardous environment for dust mites. There’s a long, exhaustive list to go through with such habits picked up by many rock n’ roll stars. It’s safe to say it will take a lot more convincing research to break the taboos of the rock industry. Liverpool University undertook a research project which found that those who held the profession of “Music Artist” were almost twice as likely to die before the age of 50, with those in the US dying at the average age of 42 and those in Europe at an even younger 35 years old. To put those figures into perspective, the average life expectancies of the general population were 78 and 67 respectively. Image Credit: www.mammothmusicwa.com
Letters from a Concerned Kerryman Permanently-aggrieved Kerryman Mike McCarthy ponders the role of Facebook in modern-day courting techniques Dear Sir, Things change every day. This is a cruel fact of life. Mr Editor, I am writing to you this month to point out the changes that have occurred in the past three or four years in the courting rituals of the readership of this most learned of publications. Long be the days when the thrill of the hunt was finding the right time to ask the person of interest out for a few drinks, in an effort to attain what I refer to as the fool’s gold, i.e. phone number. We now act far differently as patrons of the sexual arts. The internet, in particular Facebook, has become the Idiot’s Guide to winning a woman/man’s fancy. The information that is available to all users of his popular social network has become crucial to many interpersonal rendezvous. No longer do we sit in the dark and ask questions in order to see if we are truly compatible with our intended target. Facebook has solved all of these woes for us. A simple “creep”, which can be defined as a calculated search of possible sexual mates for the purpose of attaining information and/or approval from respected colleagues on possible partners, can offer us a look at the person in question physically but also give us an insight into interests and possible character traits. From a quick gawk through the photo albums of the creepee we can determine dress sense, area of study (Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister clothing usually suggests a study focus in the Faculty of Commerce) and attitude towards personal hygiene. There is so much information available to all of the creepers out there, from the ability to check mutual friends to get you a good reference to favourite movies, music, hobbies etc. Their personality can now be roughly gauged from a quick look through their wall, where posts from friends and themselves will show evidence of their humour, level of wit and level of procrastination. How can we fail at bagging the perfect partner with all of this information at hand? Finally, I implore all who roam the internet to look with caution on certain Facebook profiles. Doctored photos and false information can not only lead you astray, but can also result in an awful amount of undue embarrassment. Yours etc., Mike McCarthy A Concerned Kerryman
5 Reasons Why You Should Join Political Societies in UCC Full-time student and part-time philanthropist Noel Dillon Daly tells us the character traits that one should have to join a political society in UCC Hey! Do you want to stay a virgin while you’re in college? Then why not join one of the political societies in UCC? Being a member of a political society is kind of like being in a porno in which no one has sex. It’s pointless but at the same time it still manages to leave you feeling sad, lonely and con- fused. You feel sad because, frankly, there’s nothing more depressing than watching a group of people who look at Enda Kenny, Michéal Martin or Eamon Gilmore in the same way that most men look at Cheryl Cole. You feel lonely because you’re the only one prepared to admit you know nothing about politics. And you feel confused because you can’t understand how, in a room full of dicks, no one is capable of getting an erection. Actually, maybe that last part is a bit harsh. Perhaps the reason they can’t get an erection is because they were all breastfed by their fathers. That would also explain why they all look terribly malnourished and socially awkward.
But it’s very easy to sit here and criticise political societies simply because they’re of no value. So instead, I’ve thought of five reasons why you should join them in their quest for whatever.
You’re sick of gettingthe ride
If you’re sick and tired of having sex, a sure-fire way to change that is to join up to a political society. Believe me, the minute you sign up to one of the
political societies, you can bet that vaginas up and down the country will dry up at the mention of your name. Women have a sixth sense for Political Knobs. Even prostitutes will pay you to fuck off home and take your pretentious, uninformed opinions with you. Who knows, if you’re lucky, you might even die alone.
2. You’re already a prick Hey, maybe you’re already horrible and you want to meet like-minded people. Maybe you’re one of those people who uses the Irish translation of their name (Christ). Maybe you study Computer Science or work for Microsoft – y’know, a wanker. Maybe you have no creative spark in your entire body but still behave as if you’re better than every- one else. If so, take out that fountain pen that you bought with money and sign on the dotted line. You might end up being President some day. That’s a good job isn’t it?
3. You love children Maybe you love children. You know, love children. Maybe you love children. Maybe you’re just a child person. You love children. Then you should definitely join a political society and campaign for chidrens’ rights. If you love children so much then you must join. Children, children, children, children. Political societies in UCC love children. They love them. They have great time for children. That’s all I’m
4. You’re very particular Hey! It’s okay! Maybe you’re the type of person who can only get sexually aroused if someone takes a piss on you. If that’s the case then you’d definitely be at home in a political society. Or maybe you’re the type of person who often finds themselves in the back of a car with a man who you once thought was your uncle but actually turned out to be a homeless guy who had a keen interest in party politics. Either way, join a Society. You’ll fit right in. And if you get the Premium Membership they grant you access to their Golden Showers. Don’t forget to bring a shower cap. Mmm.
5. Christmas Parties And last but not least, the Christmas parties. Christmas parties for political societies are like com- pulsory orgies at an old folks’ home. Every- one looks like they’re about to die and just as the night is about to end, a man with a white beard shuffles out and jizzes onto the face of whoever decides to run for Student Union. It’s a tradition. Do you think that political societies are for you? Can you see yourself showering like a king and playing Secret Santa with the lads? Then run on down and sign yourself up. But make it quick. It’s nearly Christmas. And you won’t want to miss a moment. Many thanks to Salingers for their help with the "styling" of Noel
Life on an Ocean Wave Pt.3
In this final instalment, Gavin Lynch-Frahill rounds up his recollections of his time in the Navy John F. Kennedy once said, ‘We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to sea, whether it is to sail or to watch - we are going back from whence we came’. As a 2nd year Cadet in the Naval Service, I began to take meaning from those words. Even now, as a University College Cork student with no ties to the sea, I still find myself drawn back to it. My second year as a Cadet began in the newly-opened National Maritime College of Ireland (NMCI), where, as Naval Cadets, we were enrolled as freshers. Being a fresher and a cadet at the same time is the most extreme contradiction I have ever seen; on one hand you are supposed to be in your first year of university, exploring who you are and meeting new people; while on the other hand, you are a disciplined representative of the Irish Government who must present that office with respect and decorum at all times. The funny thing about the NMCI is that the civilian students of the merchant navy must wear a uniform as well as the naval cadets. For the first week their uniforms were as spick and span as ours, but after a few weeks of not making it to the wash they deteriorated into a rag tag band of ‘paramilitaries’ as one officer put it. There was a major clash of worlds between the merchant and naval cadets; many of the merchant cadets had applied for the navy and failed, and therefore had a chip on their shoulder against those of us that did succeed. An air of superiority that some members of the navy felt they had over the merchant did not make matters an easier. After 9 months in the NMCI, I passed my exams and was sent to sea again for 2 months on L.E. Eithne before I was given my presidential commission by the then Minister for Defence Willie O’Dea. The L.E. Eithne is the Flagship of the Irish Fleet and there were many civil functions that we had to carry out at home and abroad.
automatically gain respect and that it has to be earned. I left the Navy after three years as an officer; it took me one year as an officer to realise it was not for me. The pressures of being away at sea and being in such a cramped environment tested my meagre social skills and as a result I found more trouble through my lack of tact. One thing I found hard was that if your boss gives out to you in a normal job then you go home and get over it. In the Naval Service, if your boss gives out to you then have to have evening dinner with them and share the same social circle. A thing I learned about myself in the navy is that I like to have a little time to myself once a week and the navy did not offer me that. If anything, I was seen as a bit weird by my colleagues, preferring a night on the ship reading a book instead of going out on the beer. What JFK said about the sea is correct: we are tied to it, and once you experience it you will always go back. I am still in love with the sea and although I cannot visit it on a warship anymore, I am still drawn to it and one day I shall return. I hope my humble story has given a few of you an insight into a different life, one that is different to the normal path and one chosen by few and achieved by fewer. If you are curious about the Defence Forces as a career, don’t let my story make up your mind, everyone leaves with differing opinions and tastes for the life. I may have joined up for the wrong reasons but I learned more about myself than others learn in a lifetime. I left the service with a good reference, experience, qualifications under my belt and most importantly of all: knowing what I want in life.
Navy commissioning is like a Graduation, Debs, Parade and session rolled into one. Our parade was a big occasion for my parents and family. Having them there to watch me swear an oath to be loyal to the Constitution made me very proud of my accomplishment. I still have the sword that was presented to me on that day; when I get a place of my own, I plan to mount it on a wall to serve as a reminder of my previous life. Over this time I had fallen in love with a girl who was about to enter college. Her Debs Ball was on the day after my commissioning and I was looking forward to going with her. When the date was changed to a day later, a result of which was that I could not attend her debs, she ended our relationship. To say the least, this gave me a very sour taste to the start of my life as an officer. This event showed me that, no matter what was on, the Navy owned me and it controlled every aspect of my life. My first appointment as an officer was to be sent to the L.E. Orla, a Coastal Patrol Vessel. This was one of the most enjoyable times I had in the service. I familiarised myself with the Irish coast, as well as a couple of nice pubs along the way. Life on board as an officer is a different experience to that of a cadet. Your food is served to you as opposed to queuing, you have the privileges of a larger cabin, plusher accommodation and all the respect that comes with rank. One of the guys I was in school with was on board as a seaman, and he had to call me Sir and salute me every time I passed him. As a 19 year old, this went to my head. I thought I could walk on water with my new found position of respect. I was very quick to order people around and as a result got into a bit of trouble. I quickly learned that rank does not
AN INTERNATIONAL STUDENT’S SURVIVAL GUIDE TO UCC Erasmus Veteran Colette Scariff-Lalor offers advice to incoming international students on how to navigate Irish university life International Students? Say the word and undoubtedly you think of lost Erasmus students, wandering hopelessly around the UCC campus in packs, trying in vain to navigate themselves around the ORB (although let’s face it, who is not still trying to navigate themselves around the ORB?) If you are a visiting student reading this, then sit back and let me offer you some clean, straight-forward advice as to how to survive and make the most of your time in UCC and Cork: the next year will be among the best years of your life, I assure you. As a former Erasmus student myself (strolling around the charming streets of Paris last year all in the name of education!), I can understand exactly what so many of you might be feeling right now. In short, I think you might be experiencing one of two mindsets as you settle into UCC. First, there are the types that still wake up every morning wondering what the hell they are doing in this country, in which it never seems to stop raining and where most shops close at the absurdly early hour of 6pm. And what is this word “grand” you keep hearing? No doubt, you are questioning your sanity. What am I doing here? Why have I left my family, my friends, my country and everything that I knew and loved to come here? Perhaps some of the more extreme among you have considered packing up and going home but you don’t want to be considered a failure and so you stay, hoping for a miracle!
foreign students is undoubtedly to make Irish friends…we really don’t bite! Yes, it is sooooo much easier to stick with your own nationality but who says you can’t have both? Obviously, most of you are here to improve your English so what better way to do this than to speak with Irish people? Listening to the lecturers is great but if you want to learn the every-day spoken word and brush up on your slang (among other things!), then it is imperative to chat in informal scenarios. If you are finding it too difficult to strike up conversation with an Irish person in the classroom environment, why not put up a notice on one of the many notice boards scattered around campus in search of a tandem-partner? There are too many Irish language students who would be more than happy to help you with your English in return for help with some French/Italian etc… Who knows, perhaps your tandem-partner could become your new best friend? If the idea of a tandem-partner doesn’t appeal to you, there is no better place to make
The biggest piece of advice I can offer to
Of course, International Students are known for their high-powered social lives - their parties are undoubtedly some of the wildest and most culturally diverse in Cork, but it’s important that you try to experience the cultural delights Cork has to offer, and not spend every night out in An Bróg. What about a trip to the cinema or to one of the many theatres? We have the Cork Opera House and the Everyman Palace Theatre. UCC’s Dramat perform regularly in the Granary Theatre and are definitely well worth a viewing. Tickets are very reasonably priced too. Newport on Paul’s Street (just opposite Tesco!) hosts salsa nights every Friday night for those amongst you who like Latino music while Crane Lane (just off Oliver Plunkett Street) has great live bands, catering for every interest. Of course, don’t forget to go listen to some traditional Irish music nights. An Spailpín Fánach is a must, as is the Washington Inn. Try and sightsee! It is your right this year! At this stage, I guess most of you have discovered Cork City’s major attractions ie: St. Finbarre’s Cathedral, Cork City Gaol, Cork Butter Museum. Now it is time to travel further afield. Blarney Castle is an absolute must, undoubtedly one of the most beauti- ful sites in Ireland where legions of tourists including Winston Churchill have kissed the Blarney Stone in order to obtain the gift of eloquent speech. What about all the little seaside towns like Cobh and Kinsale? Clonakilty is also well worth a trip. Then there is beyond the county of Cork; tourist towns like Killarney and Tralee are easily reached by bus. Watch out for the numerous trips or- ganised by the International Student Society and the Iona Society. Finally, I guess all that remains to
At the other end of the scale are the Erasmus students who are effectively living the dream right now. The past few weeks are a blur (in more ways than one!) of wild parties, pub-crawls, getting lost on dark streets at random hours of the night, wondering when the weather will be warm enough to go for a swim in the fountain at Grand Parade, complaining to all your new friends about the annoyingly early closing hour of clubs in Ireland (friends that you still can’t entirely remember the names of, let alone the nationality!) You spend your days trying to navigate yourself to your next lecture before giving up since you probably won’t know what the profes- sor is talking about anyway and so, you return home, catch up on sleep from the night before and get planning the next round of partying. Both of these attitudes are entirely normal. If you find yourself relating to the first case, rest assured things can and do get better. If you belong to the latter scenario, then relax: you clearly have a lot of things sorted. However, let me offer you a little advice to make this whole adaptation process that bit easier.
something completely new and unheard of! Go along, give it a try, if you hate it (which I sincerely doubt!) there is no obligation to continue and you can just try something else! Just take advantage of all the wonderful facilities UCC has on offer to you, such as the Mardyke Arena.
new friends, both Irish and international, than in the many clubs and societies that UCC has to offer you. At this stage, I am assuming you have heard too much about the different clubs and societies and their unquestionable benefit to your life at UCC, so I won’t elaborate on what has already been well and truly publicised. Just trust me and take the plunge even if it is just to join
be said is to enjoy every second of this year. Trust me, not only will it be one of the best years of your life, but it will also be one of the fastest years! Take lots of photos and if you can, write a diary of your experiences (believe me…it will make for some hilarious reading once you return home!). Embrace every new experience (be it good or bad) and just remember that some of the most horrific experiences will become the tales you will recount to your friends back home! In the mean-time, Vive la Fiesta!!!
Mr.Movember Senita Appiakorang Yet again we say goodbye to another month of gruelling college work, toiling in the endless club or society endeavours that oth- erwise occupy us, and spending what little remaining time we have indulging in a bit of social activity. Which in my case occasion- ally involves flitting around campus with friends and a coffee soaking in the numer- ous beautiful people that stream about the place....like a tide of eye popping candy, they diffuse from lecture to lecture! Alas, this upcoming November is no exception; as we witness our fellow men explore the manly depths of moustache growing for the worthy cause of spreading prostate cancer awareness. There is nothing more dashing than a display of healthy facial hair and a demeanour of sensitivity to a man I think.
manly hairiness to ‘trim his facial furniture’. He is typically to be found in checked shirts, slack jeans, docs or similar assorted hard work/durable shoes. A man of a certain seriousness, however well able to have fun, attaining the traditionally celebrated stoic, mysterious and yet soft traits we’ve come to be familiarised ourselves with. Likely to briskly rub his moustache in deep concentration at how to go about building the dream cottage has girlfriend fantasised about since forever, a man who has a very firm and warm place in our hearts. Others include: James Franco, Robert Downey Jr.
Exhibit B: The City-Slicker; Jude Law.
With all this to anticipate, the thought comes to mind as to all the mo-mentary celeb figures that are commanding their moustaches right now, and for each there is inherently a stylistic prerequisite attached to it that all you men out there can channel or are already doing so.
Exhibit A: The Lumberjack; Ryan Gosling.
This mo-man is lumbering his moustache like a champ and is a credit to all the rugged lumberjack types out there. Mister lumberjack is too busy cutting and tending to kippling, respectfully handling his woman and all round dripping in dishevelled and
Exhibit C: Le Parisien; Johnny Depp.
Jude Law embodies the meaning of that ultimate ‘geezer’ and the type of guy who channels this look and has ownership of the style that concludes this enigma. This mo-man is self aware, a funky calibre of a man with an effortless tendency towards suaveness. He's a man’s man, presumably hilarious, absolute charmer and lady-trembler, grows a moustache in the name of brother-hood but appropriately trims it for aesthetic pleasure otherwise detrimental to his lady credentials. He also knows the immediate positive effect of a well tailored blazer with everyday wear and/or scarf! He uses these ac-cessories to ooze nonchalant, sexy demean-our. Switswoo. Others include; Orlando Bloom, Brad Pitt, Russell Brand etc.
This moustached gentleman is sleek, groomed, verging on dapper in some cases but fundamentally conquering the properties which add up to that ‘classic’ mystique in a man. We will find this mo-man forever smells divine (is it cologne or just some warm infused oil he smears?!) has a stern but curious spark in his eyes, enjoys long walks on the beach with his equally lovely, companion dog or some other ‘inspiring’ person to accompany him. He may enjoy photography, literature... playing the harmonica?! A man of intellect and a wicked humour, may speak in riddles or use rhetoric a lot. A viewer of Mad Men? Soft spoken, enjoys vintage, isn’t necessarily homosexual but misunderstood because of his level of as- tuteness or sensitivity, a very sensual lover, and head turner. May caress moustache as a deference or device to yield from rushed vocalisation of his opinions. The intense type you want to be whisked away by or envy cause he just has that enigma. Others include: George Clooney, Jesus Luz, Marc Jacobs, Ed Westwick These three guys cover the spectrum of moustaches and styles in the lads we shall hopefully see in all kinds of extremes displayed by you men. Whether they perfectly define you or not, take an opportunity to explore another realm of style, and distinguish yourself as man from the boys. With these gents as reference points as they pave the way in genial moustache growing, I fail to see how you can go very wrong!!
Aisling Fitzpatrick interviews one of Ireland’s rising stars in fashion
Stephen Moloney is the burgeoning talent behind Sttches, Fabric and Soul, a blog that has rapidly been capturing the hearts of the fashion world, since it as launched in 2010, with its street style outfit shots. A relative newcomer to the blogging scene, Moloney has garnered countless accolades for his work, including being shortlisted for the Vogue.com Fashion Photography Competition. I sat down with Stephen to talk about his future in fashion, and thoughts on Irish men’s style.
younger guys are at all taken seriously when it comes to being interested in fashion (at any level) in this country. It’s also a pity that the fairly epic design talent (regardless of gender) that our art schools churn out usually have to get on the boat to find validation, support, and nurturing.
Aisling Fitzpatrick: Firstly how did you first become interested in fashion?
Stephen Moloney: I guess I always had an interest in aesthetics - what looks good, what doesn’t look good. This eventually ended up manifesting itself as an interest in fashion. Allow for a few years of repression - ugly clothes and feigning disinterest - until finally getting on with it.
AF: What have been some of your memorable moments as a male in the fashion industry?
SM: I think that any boy with a more-than-is-usual interest in getting dressed, will appreciate the satisfaction that comes with knowing you’re going to stand out that little bit more than the guy in his identikit Canterbury tracksuit/hooded sweater/ bootcut jean combination. Unfortunately, I don’t think that young people, particularly
SM: I think clothes are seen primarily for their function as opposed to their form around these parts. Looking well was probably never on an Irish person’s agenda through the ages, so that mentality remains fairly engrained in today’s society, though very slowly and very surely things seem to be improving. As a nation we’re awfully cynical, and we’re far too concerned with what other people think of us and how we look, and that’s certainly going to put people off being any way experimental when it comes to what clothes they put on their back. People simply need to lighten-up and stop being so critical. They most likely don’t stand out - and therefore shouldn’t have an opinion on somebody they take exception to - and are most likely going to be shrouded in ubiquity and irrelevance. AF: Who inspires you?
SM: Ricardo Tisci, who heads Givenchy, is a massive inspiration and influence - his story of how he got to where he is now is inspiring, and his aesthetic is beautiful. Kelly Cutrone’s ballsiness, determination, feminism, and dedication to the colour black is hugely refreshing. Lee McQueen is obviously highly revered too, for reminding us of how inextricably linked art, fashion, and escapism all are.
AF: How did your blog, Stitches, Fabric and Soul, get started?
SM: My blog started as a means of documenting the people I met and the clothes they wore on the street when I moved to Dublin for university. Since then, it’s become a photo-diary, a means of collating all my inspirations and influences, dissecting collections, a certain amount of idolising talented people, demonstrating my own personal style, and sharing anything that might take my interest. It is (and always will be) just a hobby that got a little bit out of hand.
AF: What reaction do you typically get from fellow male students for your interest in fashion?
SM: The atmosphere in Trinity is pretty open and tolerant, so when it comes to personal style, I think the boundaries can be pushed that little bit more than somewhere more rural. Similarly, I’m only going to surround myself with friends who have a similar interest - so, to me, anybody else’s opinion or second look is invalid and not worth paying heed to. AF: Why do you think there is such disinterest in fashion among young Irish males? Do you believe anything can be done to change attitudes of guys towards the fashion
AF: Do you have any advice for young Irish men looking to get someway involved in the fashion industry?
SM: Most importantly, ignore the negative opinions of other young Irish men who just ‘don’t get it’ - surround yourself with likeminded people, and immerse yourself in every aspect of the industry. Try and rack up as much experience as you can, and make yourself and your particular skill-set relevant to the industry.
FALL BACK TO SPRING FORWARD Investigating Irish Male Fashion By Tiarnan O'Sullivan
So listen up!
Wear fitted jeans, only opting for skinny or spray-on if they suit your body type. Seek out local boutiques and vintage shops for a unique look.
The summer is well and truly over. With the finishing of the season, also gone is any (admittedly hopeless) prospect of sun, warmth and lengthy hours of daylight. The latter, I must admit, is something I am well and truly happy to see go. Now, before you think I’m one of those ‘bring-on-the-darkness-so-we-can-all-listento-Evanescence-and-mourn-for-our-lives’ type folks, let me explain my delight for this steadily reducing vision the winter offers us – no longer must we be subjected to the archetypal Irish male’s “unique” wardrobe . Finally, nature has provided the Irish with a much needed asylum from the trauma of the typical pasty white Irish man. You know the type I’m talking about, complete with abovethe-knee grey linen shorts carefully matched with a 3 sizes-too-big tank top and tattered white sneakers. Bear in mind this recent upsurge of apathy towards personal appearance amongst the Irish male makes almost no historical sense within our nation’s fashionable past. The early 20th century Irish man was one of refined elegance with a sharp approach to his everyday image. Gone are the days of tweed slacks, fitted linen shirts, narrow braces and the infamous flatcap, replaced only by weathered runners and a mismatched tracksuit. Shoe shining, a massive tradition amongst the men of this lost era of fashion is now as rare a practice as logging into your Bebo profile. The clothes that could only be defined as ‘Irish’ have been digested by the globalized fashion industry and have come out the other end as rarities only the intentional buyer will find. In simpler terms, my Grandfather had ten times the fashion sense than 90% of the Irish male population. But I digress. It is far easier to judge the men
of Ireland for their fashion sense than it is to try and provide possible remedies. Of course, I do believe that fashion is in the eye of the beholder; a broad plain where each look cannot simply be judged as either good or bad. But let’s get real, certain fashion choices make your eyes want to spew, and it’s high time we set about creating a mini- bible that holds more moral significance than the Ten Commandments. Covet your neighbour’s wife all you like, but walk downtown in a popped-collar, short sleeved shirt and you’ll be forever sentenced to a lifetime of loneliness and unemployment. All jokes and vast exaggeration aside, men’s fashion is less about making a dramatic statement and more to do with showcasing yourself as a presentable person who takes themself seriously. With events within UCC such as the second semester recruitment fair and postgraduate career talks offered by several multinational companies on the horizon, image has never been so important. A pair of shaky hungover hands reaching for the nearest sweat pants and comfortable hoodie are of course acceptable from time to time, but bear in mind that you never know when and what opportunities may arise that require you to look your best. These guidelines serve as signposts to achieving a presentable image for yourself – many may suit some more than others, but these will undoubtedly prove useful for those of you interested in improving your sense of fashion. As someone who, at present, is working under two employers currently looking for staff, I cannot stress the importance of knowing how to dress well. Countless CVs have not made it past the bin simply because our employers don’t want to work with someone who appears to be straight out of a bad 80’s B-Movie.
Celebrate your Irishness. Slacks, flat caps, braces etc. Look to The Wind that Shakes the Barley for inspiration. Buy a decent pair of casual shoes and avoid the tattered Reeboks where possible. Play in the sand with your style. Metaphorically of course, unless you love the beach.
DO NOT: Purchase too much from the “That’s too far” corner of Topman and River Island. Wear short sleeved shirts, rather roll up the sleeves of the full length ones. Wear t-shirts that are too small or too large. Adhere to the mannequin of a high street shop as if it is your only option. Be afraid to dress well and be proud of it. Both men and women respect a man who knows how to dress and is not fearful of showing it.
Suit Up! Blau Von T explains what she wants from a man, sartorially.
over women's; the immense possibility of twisting a classic with such a minute change. How does one suitup and learn from the greats such as Cary Grant or Dean Martin and interpret them into a modern day version? Love or hate his music, we can all appreciate Pete Doherty's ability to suit up like a disgruntled dapper Dan. He wanders, he rambles, he saunters about like a forlorn hero from some long forgotten movie of the 1920s. He looks like he rolled out of bed and just fell through a vintage
In a way I think it is much easy for a man to be considered well-dressed than it is for a woman. Why so? Perhaps because of less competition amongst the male population making it easier to stand out from the crowd with only a little effort. For the most part it is far easier to get the basics right. Take, for a sartorial example, a fellow I once observed on the Tube; looking very professional in a well tailored yet demure suit and brogues that he had paired with shocking blood red socks. I sat there fashion perving on his socks that perfectly complimented the tiny red detailing of his tie. So simple, yet effective, and I think that encapsulates the upper hand menswear has
store; socks before trousers, trousers before shoes. Actor Adrien Brody keeps to the classic shapes and fabrics but manages to keep them fresh with unconventional twists such as wearing a tie underneath his shirt or pairing large french cuffs of a tux shirt with a slim line suit. Nobody does dressed-down formal better or has such a knack for neck wear as Brody (probably as he doesn't rely on the pre-packed Penneys shirt and tie combos). Male blogger Adriรกn Cano oh I love his use of hats and the way he weaves the colour red through his outfits. I don't think the average Irish man takes proper advan- tage of the wide colour palette - I mean you don't all have to be Chuck Bass but colour isn't something to be afraid of. Jamie Hince with his light blue suit very nearly upstaged Kate Moss on their wedding day. Parting paragraph. Every man needs a grey suit, there's a reason people said Johnny Cash looked like he was going to a funeral and even a navy/midnight blue suit limits your shoe or tie options. The ulimate suit is the grey three piece suit, there's a reason people say Daniel Craig is hot as fuck. The ultimate shoe; as seen on Joesph Gordon Levitt in the film Brick. Images; Lookbook.nu, Zimbio
The Business of Design Catherine Dennehy sits down with one of Irish fashion’s most successful names, designer Peter O’Brien. Ireland is not quite the fashion capital of the world, yet one in a while we produce someone that makes the fashion industry take note. We have Philip Treacy, Paul Costelloe and the man sitting across from me sipping tea: Peter O’Brien. Peter O’Brien has had an enviable career. He’s worked for some of the world’s biggest fashion houses including Dior, Givenchy and Chloe. More recently he has launched lines with A|Wear and his latest collection has just arrived in store at Arnotts. Speaking about his experience, O’Brien says “Working in Paris is great, but comparing it to my own collection is like chalk and cheese. What I like about the high street is that you make a product that is more accessible, and with Dublin being as small as it is, I get to see people wearing my clothes on the street. That’s nice.” The one downside that comes with launching his collections within high street stores is the lack of stability. He says that the work has to remain season-to-season because “retail is incredibility difficult at the moment”. Despite strong sales, no store is willing to commit to a long-term collaboration. “I would be nice if they would”, he says, “and I would be very reassured by that but hopefully it will continue”.
Following John Galliano’s dismissal from Dior, O’Brien reckons that the company will not try and replace him with another ‘star’, marking the significant change the whole industry has gone through. “It’s a very different place since I was first there, he claims,”and the birth of the high street has created instant, disposable fashion. This didn’t really happen 20 years ago”. Despite having taken part in a fashionthemed reality T.V. show, called Style Wars, O’Brien is not a fan of the mediatised “circus of fashion”. He thinks that the whole concept of celebrity makes him want to “lie in a dark room and never come out”. He states that reality shows are “constructed and stage-managed and produced in a way to get a particular kind of programme”. “It’s about entertaining television and humiliation. It’s absolutely not about anything else.” He laughs about Tyra Banks’ America’s Next Top Model. “Girls are made to hang upside down, painted green and then the elephant
in the room is that the photographer is taking appalling photographs and the girls are blamed. It’s nonsense.” He hates the idea of working in the fashion industry with only the intention of getting famous. For those that want to get into fashion for the right reasons, a career in design is still extremely unattainable, according to O’Brien. “I think that the divisions in our society have possibly become bigger. When I grew up, the notion of going on to third level education didn’t even strike me as a possibility. Whatever about doing something academic, but the idea of doing something to do with the arts, that was a million miles away.” He believes that very little has changed since then. “98% of the kids starting out in fashion are middle class. I don’t know how we build bridges so that kids who are less privileged have access to this.” It is something that O’Brien feels very strongly about and he would love to see a scholarship scheme set up to get young Irish people, that would not otherwise have the chance, involved in fashion. However, Peter O’Brien’s real passion lies in theatre, and he is currently working for The Abbey Theatre, having previously created costumes for several shows in The Gate Theatre. “I would love to do some theatre work in the West End”, he says, admitting that, while it does not pay well, he would “do it for love”.
O’Brien first went to work in Paris in 1981, and describes it as a very different place to work in than it is today. “The big houses hadn’t been taken over yet. Now, the brand has become more important than the product. It’s all run by men in suits.” He says that high fashion is now created by a revolving door of designers, more concerned about selling the name than the quality or the beauty of the clothes.
On top of that, O’Brien is working on his next Arnotts collection, and considering launching a made-to-order business in Ireland. Charming, out-spoken and talented, Peter O’Brien is a fascinating character. He laughed it of when our waitress mistook him for David Norris, paid for the tea and even offered to make me my wedding dress.
“It’s like Broadway”, he says, “when it was the centre of American culture in the 1950’s. People once used to go see a show because Marlon Brando was in it. Now people go to see a show because Andrew Lloyd Webber has marketed it. No one cares who is in it. No one cares who is playing the Phantom. It’s all about the brand."
What a gentleman. Peter O’Brien’s collection is now available in store at Arnotts, Henry Street, Dublin
Let’s start a
Jean pool! Daniel Crowley We are constantly hearing about Irish men and their lack of style and fashion sense so maybe it is time to start making little changes to look a bit more fashion forward. One way is to replace the tracksuit pants with the right pair of denim jeans and leaving the “fat man pants” for the gym and lounging in front of the television on hangover days as it was intended. When it was first designed, denim was primarily used to make work clothes and tough clothing like overalls for miners in 1853 as it was strong and washable, Levi Strauss supplied this sturdy fabric. It was also worn by cowboys because it could withstand such work. In the 1940s men wore denim jeans when they were off duty from the war and this made rival companies Lee and Wrangler become competitors to Levi. Denim became very popular in the 1950s with young people as a sign of rebellion in television and film. Jeans then got more experimental to match the fashion trends in the 1970s and 1970s. Designer jeans were extremely popular in the 1980s with designers making their own designs on them and adding their own labels. These trends from the 1960s on have continued today with denim remaining in style in most style seasons. When buying jeans it is important to know what the main intention for their wear will be, for example; every day wear or nights out and occasional wear. If you are looking for jeans for formal wear it is advised to stick to straight cut, slim fitting or skinny jeans in dark shades of blue or black with no designs of rips through them. All three types of jeans can be teamed with brown pointed lace up shoes or dark brogues with a checked shirt with an open blazer. This look will see anyone through interviews right down to a dinner date. Jasper Conran at Debenhams or highstreet stores such as River Island have a great selection of smart looking jeans with a wide range of prices to suit your budget.
shades and the shirt should be a loose fit, it is hard to make this look right and best avoided. All these jeans can be worn with hoodies, both closed and kangaroo. Dark gray and blue shades should be avoided when wearing dark jeans and light gray should be avoided when pale or gray denim. You should stick to brighter colours such as green and red. Gray and blue shade hoodies can be worn with coloured jeans such as green, mustard and pepper red. You can head to any highstreet stores like Topman and New Look which have a fantastic range of jeans and better still most of them give ten to twenty percent of the retail price when you have a student card so always have it in your wallet.
can wear straight, slim or skinny jeans with a pair of converse, high-top trainers or high-top boots with a bold print warm woollen for the winter with a hooded leather bomber jacket. Wide leg and bootcut jeans could be worn with skate trainers with a window or worker check shirt open at the collar with a white or gray t-shirt inside. If wearing a denim shirt with jeans they should be completely different
It is also important to know the different styles of jeans available and how they should be worn. Straight cut jeans should sit at the natural waist and have a straight leg. Slim jeans have a tight fit to the calf of the leg and have a slightly loose cut at the ankle. Skinny jeans are tight fitting right down to the ankle. While wide leg jeans also known as builder style jeans sit at the waist and have a relaxed loose fit through to the ankle. Bootcut jeans are one of the most common jeans and sit on the waist and are relaxed through the leg and gently widen from the knee to the ankle. If you are confused when in the store ask the sales assistant, they are there to help you! You should also take into consideration your normal wearing conditions such as are the pockets big enough to hold your wallet, keys and phone, and importantly the loops should be large enough for your belt. As a good pair of jeans should last a person up to two years so it is recommended to go for timeless washes. It is a good idea to get jeans that are a little longer for you just in case they shrink in the wash, you want them to sit on the shoe not stop by your ankles but be careful that they do not drag under the shoe as this will cause them to tear at the hem very fast. When you put money into cloth- ing you want to see them last.
If you are looking for everyday wear jeans then the selection is broader in style and shades such as gray and lighter blues. You
Girls Night Out: Dress, Kuccia Klothing €55, Shoes Penneys, €23, Head Piece, Hallmark €20, Cardigan Scarlett €150
Left: Blazer €155, Pocket Square €30, Lilac Shirt €80, Grey Jean €110 All Salingers Below: Coat €360, check shirt €89, Cream tee €79, Jeans €130 All Salingers.
Models: Sami Long (www.facebook.com/MissSamiLong), James Mc Donald Photography: Juila Healy Photography Assistants: Cian o’Connor , Kevin Curran Female Fashion: Sarah Commane Male Fashion: Christofer Kaprelian (Sallingers) Fashion Assistant: Aisling Fitzpatrick. Hair: Jerry Rossiter (Cork Hair Academy) Location: The Star, Western Rd.
The Pick Up: Sami:Top, Mercury Goes Retrograde €30, Trousers €19, Shoes €19, Clutch €11 all Penneys, Turban ASOS €20, clutch James: check shirt €89, Cream tee €79, Jeans €130 All Salingers.
The walk of shame: Faux fur Coat, Turquoise Flamingo €60, T-shirt , Penneys €9, stockings Penneys, shoes River Island €85
The Hangover: Jumper, Penneys €16, 50’s style knickers Dunnes €12, socks €2 Penneys
Photo by Daire Calnan, winner of this monthâ€™s UCC Photography Society Competition email email@example.com for competition details
We explore the "extra curicular" activities of students. The Blanks discuss being the bad the bad boys of a capela and the fashion section g...