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Winter is Coming

Analysis of the first GoT trailer.

Beat the Study Blues

Photoshoot, Inventions that Might Help During Study Month and How to Deal with Stress

Ben Dror-Yemini

Interview with the Israeli Journalist

uccmotley.ie

current affairs entertainments features fashion


‘So let me say before we part…’

We’ve come to Motley’s March issue - the seventh and final issue of the 2012/13 academic year - and, as always, we’ve a motley collection for you to read and enjoy. I’m taking a somewhat clichéd approach to my editorial this month - full of thanks and all that other cringe-inducing stuff. This is the twentieth issue of Motley that I’ve contributed to in some way; six issues as Deputy Entertainments Editor, seven as Entertainments Editor, and, now, seven as Editor. I wouldn’t be here at all if it wasn’t for Aisling Twomey and Kevin Curran for having me on their Motley teams. I learned a hell of a lot from both of you and the others on the teams in both years, and I’m glad to have been able to keep Motley’s flame burning brightly for the year. Motley was not a solo endeavour. None of the issues would have made it to the printers nor would the behind-the-scenes work have gotten done without a fantastic team. To the team members past and present: thank you so much for your efforts, meeting the challenges head-on, going above and beyond for Motley, and for putting up with me and my tough love through the good and the not-so-good. Each issue we print is a testament to your work. You have my gratitude and respect for life, and deserve all the praise that comes your way. None of this would have been possible without you, and I won’t forget that. I’m eternally grateful to all my family and to the friends who’ve offered their support and have been a constant reassurance. James Cooney has been my rock all year; thank you for listening, being there, keeping me going and helping me so much. (You’re stuck with me now!) And last, but by no means least, to you, the readers, and to the writers, interns and everyone listed below - you have my warmest thanks for your support throughout the year. My ‘thank-yous’ have been said, but the work isn’t over yet - it may be Motley’s last printed issue of the year, but we’ll continue to publish your articles on uccmotley.ie, and we’ll endeavour to have as many online giveaways as possible in the next two months. I’m more aware than anyone of what could have been done better and differently; we’ve had our ups and downs, but I think I can firmly say that this has been a very strong year for Motley. It’s been challenging, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’m delighted to have been part of it. — John Murphy

The Team

Editor — editor@motley.ie John Murphy Current Affairs — currentaffairs@motley.ie Alan Conway (Editor) Orla Hubbard (Deputy Editor) Entertainments — entertainments@motley.ie Emma Mc Carthy (Editor) Eimear Hurley (Deputy Editor) Tamara Malone (Deputy Editor) Features — features@motley.ie Mae McSweeney (Editor) Senita Appiakorang (Deputy Editor) Peter Neville (Deputy Editor) Fashion — fashion@motley.ie Aisling Fitzpatrick (Editor) Emma Oliver (Deputy Editor) Designer — design@motley.ie Richard Sheehy Web Editor - web@motley.ie Kieran Murphy PR/Marketing — pr@motley.ie Louise Maher Photographer Egle Laukyte Advertising — comms@uccsu.ie James O’Doherty

The Interns

Daniel Boland Matthew Coughlan Leah Driscoll Ashleigh Hayman Gary McKeating Sarah Morrissey Grace O’Sullivan Roger O’Sullivan Carol Phelan

We would like to thank those who participated in the internship with Motley Magazine as part of the UCC Works Internship Programme for their work on uccmotley.ie and our printed issues.

The Writers 2012/2013 Leah Aftab Robert Bolton Cathal Brennan Dean Browne E Von Cheong Nicole Clinton Aidan Coffey Mary Collins Sarah Commane Shannon Corcoran Sian Cowman Méadhbh Crowley Eoghan Dalton Lisa Denmead Kate Dennison Cian De Poar Colm Duffy Sinead Dwyer Sarah England Luke Field Gavin Fitzgerald Sarah Glascott

Katie Healy Martha Hegarty Chris Heinhold Hannah Higgins Orla Hodnett Gearoid Holland Dave Horgan Brian Houlihan Hazel Hurley Joe Langford Clodagh Large Daniel Lennon Shell Leonard Kevin Long Gavin Lynch-Frahill Eoghan Lyng Elaine Malone Padraig Martin Gary McKeating Sarah McSweeney Angel Merisi Martina Moloney Eimear Mullane

Dean Murray Derwin Myers Sorcha Nagle Alma O’Donnell Laura O’Donovan Siannon O’Neill Daithí Ó Sé Donal O’Sullivan Terry O’Sullivan Tom Roche Cillian Ryan Aisling Salter Roy Sheehan Sarah Slevin R. Sole Tommy Tobin Bryan Wall Barry Williams Laura Marie Whelton Abigail Daisy Woods WenQing Yin Tan Yan Yu

Motley Magazine wishes to once again acknowledge work of our writers and thank them for their contributions to our printed issues.

Special Thanks to

Sarah Commane for styling and directing our December photoshoot.

Our readers.

The sponsors of our online giveaways. Everyone who helped on our photoshoots for the Fashion section throughout the year:

Sarah Corcoran and Ruth Farmer for assistance on some of our fashion shoots. Fergal and all the team at Origin Hair Design.

The Experts

The Models Laurence Keating and Aoife O’Callaghan for make-up on our fashion shoots. Niamh Buckley, Sarah Commane, Laurence Keating, Elliot Mc Carthy, JenEmmet Curtin for photography on our nifer Murphy, Orla Myersini, Meghan October photoshoot. O’Donnell, Maura Reidy, and Mark Waldron-Hyden. 

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The Shops Topshop, River Island, Gap, Warehouse, Amity, Fran & Jane, Turquoise Flamingo, Paperdolls Boutique, Mercury Goes Retrograde, and Miss Daisy Blue.

The Locations Lewis Glucksman Gallery, Amity, The Bodega, Hayfield Manor Hotel and Origins Hair Design.


30:

In defence of hipsters.

45:

Rihanna’s venture to the world of fashion with Riverl Island

6:

The legacy of Chavez.

13:

All kinds of Everything? A look at some memorable Eurovision moments!

Apology In the February issue of Motley, an image mistakenly made its way to print. We have liaised with those concerned and are pleased to have quickly resolved the issue.

25:

The Problem with Bedtime Stories.

Motley would like to formally apologise for any upset caused.

Check us out online!

We’re still accepting submissions!

Motley will be running more online giveaways in the next two months!

Though this is the final print issue for the academic year, Motley will continue to accept submissions for all sections of the magazine for publication on uccmotley.ie.

We will also be advertising your chance to be part of Motley’s Editorial Team for the 2013-14 academic year!

Interested in writing? Get in touch!

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currentaffairs@motley.ie

current affairs

Follow us on Twitter! @MotleyMagazine

Orla Hubbard and Alan Conway sit down with Ben-Dror Yemini, an Israeli journalist from Tel-Aviv. He worked as an advisor to the Israeli Minister of Immigration Absorption and then became spokesman of the Ministry. Mr Yemini is the opinion page editor of Maariv, the Israeli daily newspaper, and has written at length about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. tinian state to be, with the right of return. So it’s a kind of manipulation. I support two states for two peoples; unfortunately the leadership does not yet support two states for two peoples.’

As a journalist of significant experience, have you ever found there to be a massive difference in your ability to report in Israel in comparison to anywhere else in the world? ‘We do not have a problem with freedom of speech in Israel if that’s what you mean. Israel is a place where everyone can write whatever they want, and actually I’ve talked a lot about the ‘Industry of Lies’ that has accumulated in Israel about the Israel-Palestinian conflict, and the source of so many lies is Israel itself, unfortunately. Yes, we do have freedom of speech, and I’m very glad about it. Firstly, I’m glad to come from a democracy and secondly I have to refute the lies - even when the source is Israel itself.’

If it came to a point where the leadership of both were to support the two-state solution, where do you think the border would lie? Would it be pre-1967 or would it be a more modern border? ‘I think we should follow the guidelines of the Clinton administration, but I have to say that I do not represent the Israeli government - in many aspects I am very critical of the Israeli government. But, on the other hand, I don’t like lies, and people are lying so much and are demonising Israel. There is a huge difference between criticism - which is, of course, legitimate - and demonization. And what Israel is facing is a campaign of demonization and lies. Let’s distinguish: to criticise Israel, to criticise the settlements or one policy or another policy, is legitimate; to say Israel is an apartheid state, to say Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinians - this is demonization.’

Lexicon can be a very dangerous realm when you’re discussing Israeli-Palestinian relations, especially for those not overly familiar with the situation. Do you think we can be overly focused on the words used, as opposed to people’s intent? ‘The problem is that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the most covered conflict in the world. And the reason is not that we are so important - the reason is democracy. Every journalist has access to wherever he wants, and journalists and cameras per capita is the highest rate in the world. So we are paying the price for being a democracy. But when you are covering only one conflict, it creates a lot of misperceptions about the conflict. For example, every month, hundreds of people are killed in Nigeria, in Mali, in Afghanistan - but nobody’s talking about it because they don’t have media. A journalist friend of mine told me “I don’t have any access to Darfur in Sudan, and anyway I don’t even want to go. Here, in the IsraeliPalestinian conflict, people think I am in the middle of [a warzone], then five minutes later I am sitting in the best restaurant - just like if I’m in Paris - so I enjoy it.” So many journalists want to come to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict because they are pretending that they are in the middle of a battlefield, but really they enjoy life.’

How long do you think it would take to realise the two-state solution, and what would it take from both parties? ‘We need a much braver leadership on both sides. I would even say that we were quite close to peace at the end of the ’90s; unfortunately, when Clinton raised his initiative, it was rejected by the Palestinians. Clinton wrote in his book that it failed not because of the settlements, it failed because of the demand - I would call it fantasy - of the right of return. And if it’s not clear I have to say it again: right of return means the extermination of a people. They say in their own voices that when we ask for right of return we mean the destruction of Israel. I do not support any destruction - not of the Palestinians, not of Israel.’

Do you believe that there could be a parallel between the right of return for Palestinians and for people returning to Israel? You have made what many would consider contentious statements, specifically with regards the two-state solution. Why do you favour it, and why do you think people on either side aren’t open to it?

‘Yes, there is a parallel, and that parallel is self-determination. I support self-determination for the Palestinians - just as the very same way Jews that feel that their home is Israel have the right of return. Many countries have this kind of right of return to nationals, even if they left generations ago. The difference is that the Palestinians are the only one people who ask for the right of return to another state, which is quite strange. I mean, if you ask to return to your own state, yes of course, but what you ask is that we will have our own state, but that the right of return will be to another state. So you don’t mean peace. You mean one state. Two states - but the both of them for you.’

‘I think the main problem is leadership - leadership and the fact that we can end this conflict. Many people describe this conflict as the most complicated conflict. Let me tell you something: it is not the most complicated. Because people know what the solution is, and the solution is two states for two peoples. Now, there is a huge difference between two States for two peoples and two states. The Palestinian leadership accept the two-state solution, but they do not accept two states for two peoples. And it is quite clear why. Because what they mean is a Palestinian state, and one more Pales-

Would you think there could be any parallels to an Irish context?

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‘No. There is not any parallel - not between the two conflicts, not in any aspect actually. We are not Britain, and the Palestinians are not Irish. And anyway, most people accept the two states for two peoples solutions, and it was not the case in Northern Ireland.’


Would you not agree that there could be a parallel in the solution whereby no matter what is agreed with regards borders that the people there would always be able to stay there?

channels they are saying “let’s kill all the Christians.” And people don’t understand it. They are part of the global Jihad - that’s what they are.

‘When I say borders, it will be almost 1967 borders but with some changes. It doesn’t mean that the Palestinian state will be clean of Jews, or that the Israeli state will be clean of Arabs. Twenty per cent of the Israeli population is composed of Arabs and they hold high jobs. For example, a Supreme Court judge is an Arab, Miss Israel several years ago was an Arab, the captain of the football team of Israel is an Arab. When the ex-Israeli President was sentenced to seven years in jail, the presiding judge out of the three was an Arab. But it was not even mentioned that he is an Arab, because it’s a non-issue. I find myself in the position many times where I have to protect Israel from these kinds of lies. There are events of racism and discrimination just like in any European country. And we have to fight against it. But there is a huge difference between events of racism and discrimination, and apartheid. But what they are doing is they are taking events and propagandising them solely to demonize Israel.’

Hamas kill many more Palestinians than Israelis. The Arab countries that surround Israel have killed more Palestinians than Israel during the last 60 years, but people keep saying repeatedly that Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinians. Who is killing who in the conflict? They just have no idea, but they keep on saying it. And they brainwash people in the west. And the outcome is that in reports you see that Israel is a threat to the global peace. Israel is not a threat to the global peace. Not according to any objective parameter. The contribution of Israel to violence in the world is something like 0.0001%. Statistically, we are talking about zero. But yet ask people in the west - they will say it is something like Iran, North Korea and Israel that are the most dangerous states. They have no idea what they are talking about. And that’s why I am trying to use my very limited power to fight against this kind of demonization and lies.’

Hamas have made political gains out of conflict. Do you think the same could be said that Israeli governments have made such gains? For example, you could observe that Operation Cast Lead and Operation Pillar Defence happened close to election periods.

I came across a comment of yours earlier that I found interesting, and was just wondering if you’d explain it. You said ‘antiZionism is politically correct anti-Semitism.’

‘No, what people see is that Israel attacks Gaza - wow, poor population under siege. And Israel attacks them. That’s what people hear in every western country. But they don’t know that before the Israeli attack there were days and weeks of attacks on Israel. Hamas are saying we should kill the Christians - we should kill the communists to the last one. I will show this on a clip from the TV channel of Hamas later tonight. People think that it is a resistance kind of organisation. Not at all. It’s a chapter of Al-Qaeda, and that’s what they are - it’s the nature of Hamas. And yet you see so many youthful idiots coming from the west to sympathise with Hamas, but yet they don’t know that at the very same time in Arabic on the TV

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‘I will explain. It begins with demonization. You don’t even have the right to exist. That is what happened at the time of the Nazis with anti-Semitism, and now we are talking about Israel and the right of self-determination. So actually they are following the same pattern. Not everybody who says “I am against any kind of nationstate” is anti-Semite, but when people are saying it only about Israel, then yes they are. In Israel, what we want is to be a Jewish state and a democracy. It’s not simple, it’s not easy, but that’s what we are. People deny the very basic right, but only for one people on earth - from the Jewish people. They think they can say “well it’s not a people it’s a religion” - you will not tell me how to define myself. I am not religious, and yet I am a Jew.’ Image: Emmet Curtin. With thanks to the UCC Philosophical Society.


Hugo Chávez - A legacy like no other Sarah Morrissey reflects on the accomplishments and legacy of Latin American Leader, President Hugo Chávez. It is uncertain which headline will best capture Hugo Chávez’s legacy, but what is clear is that he has left an enduring impact on Venezuela, and a lasting impression on the world. Although Chávez died on March 5th following a long battle with cancer, the change he brought to Venezuela continues to reverberate across Latin America. The crowds queuing to see his body lie in state and to attend his funeral are testament to this.

these office holders’ legacies and to observe how long they may endure. Stalin, who, to the west, was a ruthless and brutal communist dictator, is viewed as a hero by more than half of Russians, and Hilary Clinton has given a voice to women all over the world but critics suggest she failed to make a mark as Secretary of State. Speculation abounds as to whether her legacy is complete or whether a more inspirational chapter is yet to come - will she take the White House?

Hugo Chávez rose to prominence as the military leader of a failed coup in 1992 when he had hoped to topple the corrupt government of President Carlos Andrés Pérez. Chávez was released in 1994 by the new President, Rafael Caldera, in response to public outcry. Venezuela possesses the world’s largest oil reserves, but in the 1990s the country was governed by a corrupt, wealthy elite while the vast majority of Venezuelans benefited little from their country’s natural resources. Chávez’s leftist beliefs captured the poverty-stricken population who sprung him to power in 1998. He immediately set about rewriting the Constitution to create a more participatory democracy. Chávez will forever be looked on by many Venezuelans as the man who introduced schools, clinics, drinking water and decent housing to the wider population. He drew international attention as he allied himself with international pariahs such as Iran and Cuba, and successfully agreed oil price increases for the benefit of the Venezuelan economy. He aimed to give power to Latin America as a unit against the mighty force of Washington, and he was relatively successful.

We are living in an era fascinated by the legacies of those that went before us and overflowing with people in the midst of creating their own. In America, Obama has become the first African-American president, here in Ireland women hold the positions of Chief Justice, Director of Public Prosecutions, and Attorney General, and in Burma, Aung San Suu Kyi is demonstrating to the world the power of the people. When we think of legacies we think of formidable figures that challenged the status quo. We think of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela. More controversial legacies are those of Mikhail Gorbachev, Pope John Paul II and Michael Collins. These individuals were and are intelligent, passionate and charismatic. None of them were born with a legacy. They dedicated their lives to creating one. They all gave something to the people, be that a voice or an opportunity. These individuals, the legends of the modern era, come from all classes and social backgrounds: they include Protestants and Catholics, women and men, upper and lower classes - some reached their prime by the time they were thirty, some were and are still making a mark at seventy.

However, Chávez’s role as the left wing standard bearer in Latin America had diminished before his battle with cancer began. In 2009 he successfully removed a constitutional limit on presidential terms, but only after forcing the plebiscite on the people for a second time. In the latter years Chávez oversaw a failing economy and the highest crime rate in Latin America. His famous remarks at the UN in 2006 denouncing then US President, George Bush, as the ‘devil’ served to further alienate Mr Chávez from the international community. It is for reasons such as these that debate rages as to Mr Chávez’s legacy hero of the poor, or just an arrogant dictator?

These individuals started out no different from hundreds of others. But they wanted something in life that other people did not desire in the same way - they all wanted to bring about change, they all wanted to do better. Many of them achieved tremendous success in their drive for reform - change in their country, in wider society, and in humanity. But you don’t have to achieve the change you are seeking to leave a legacy - some of the greatest legacies are those that lay the stepping stones for others to achieve; in this vein, Charles Stewart Parnell, Rosa Parks and Countess Markievicz come to mind.

As Chávez’s body is embalmed and laid out for permanent display at the Museum of the Revolution, one cannot help but consider all the other legacies taking shape around us. In a year that has observed Hilary Clinton leave office, and the 50th anniversary of Stalin’s death, it is interesting to note the determinations that were made about

We should not forget to take the most important element of Chávez‘s legacy: inspiration. Hugo Chávez came from a poor family on the plains of Venezuela, raised by his grandmother and mocked at school. He has changed Venezuela and the world. Whether you admire him for ‘making the poor count’ or you think he was rotten to the core, you should be inspired - inspired that a poor boy from the Venezuelan plains changed the lives of his countrymen, and made an impact on the world. The debate around Chávez’s legacy reiterates that anyone, from anywhere, of any religion, sex or class, can leave a legacy. This raises the question: what will your legacy be? Images: telegraph.co.uk, guardian.co.uk, nytimes.com.

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‘Faithful Execution’

As President Obama embarks on his second term, Daithí Ó Sé explains why we should expect to see braver and more determined leadership this time around.

‘I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solomly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. So help me God.’ - Obama’s Oath of Office, 20th January, 2013. On Janruary 20th 2013: President Barack Obama placed his left hand on the bible and raised his right hand for the fourth time and gave the above Oath to begin his second term in office as President of the United States. Administering the oath was the Chief Justice, John G. Roberts Jr along with the Obama family in the Blue Room of the White House. There was no word slip up this time as happened in 2009, with younger daughter Sasha whispering ‘good job daddy, you didn’t mess up’. The ceremony which fell on a Sunday meant the public swearing in occurred the next day on Monday 21st. With Obama’s decisive victory over Mitt Romney over 100 days ago, he secured his second term, rejuvenated his political capital and now enjoys the momentum of his new mandate to govern with a healthy approval rating in the mid 50s. With a surplus of over 5 million votes, the Obama juggarnaught cast the 2012 Republican platform in the ashheap of history where it belongs. In a brilliant move, Obama’s team sought to define their opponent early on before corporate money inundated the airwaves. Thrashing his business experience and personal ethics, Romney was cast as a corporate boogeyman whose sole aim was to acquisition companies, liquidate them and cash in on the profits. This risky strategy of directing time and money in the summer worked to great effect as the electorate (predominantly Republicans) grilled the man who could be their standard bearer for the fall. They wandered aimlessly from one contender to the next as they tried to build up a credible alternative to Romney, but, given the weak field, it failed and Romney advanced, albeit injured from the conservative right as he moved to the centre. His choice of Paul Ryan as VP nominee brought Obama’s weakness: the economy, front and centre, but it was a decision also of nessesity given the hostility in his own party. Obama was able to expolit the breach between Establishment Romney supporters and the Ryan Tea Party wing of the party, all the more so

after the notorious ‘47%’ video emerged. This intrinsic division between business as usual and radical confrontation burst open on election night as pundits on FOX could not believe the result. They were resoundly defeated: Obama re-elected, Democrats up in the House and the prospect of a Republican Senate majority had again slipped through their fingers with the unpalitable extreme candidates (Akin, Murdoch). Before the GOP had time to examine the results and reorganize, the ‘fiscal cliff ’ fight was already upon them. Heartened with his new found strength, the President went on the offensive, recommending raising tax rates for the weathly to their highest level since the Clinton years. Boehner, trapped between Obama from the left and his number two, Eric Cantor, on the right, had no choice but to play ball. After intense negociations, the White House and Congress came to a compromise of rates going up for those making more than $450,000 a year. The bill easily passed the House 257-167, with 217 votes required for passage. Democrats voted 172-16 in favour while Republicans votes 151-85 against. One third followed Speaker Boehner and voted for the bill, while Cantor led the charge against with two thirds of the GOP Caucus. The result was a huge victory for the President while the Republicans caved which caused further discord and frustration. Sadly, the fiscal victory he had so longed for did not dominate the news that month. On the morning of December 14th, 20 year old Adam Lanza shot his own mother before driving to the local Sandy Hook Elementary School and fatally killing 20 children and 6 adults. He then committed suicide when authorities arrived. This horrifying act set off a firestorm across the country and the world. President Obama addressed the media from the White House Press Room, and in a rare personal moment, shed a tear before the Press Corps which went round the world.

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After Gabby Giffords in January 2011 and the Aurora Massacre last summer, the public had had enough and demanded action. This in turn triggered a strong defence of the Second Amendment from pro-gun activists – ‘the right to bear arms’. America freed itself with the gun from Great Britain 230 years ago and has become interlaced into their national culture. And while I could understand a man defending his family home from criminals breaking in in the middle of the night, I don’t believe that that same man has the right to own assault weapons with armour piercing bullets while driving down Main Street. Hunting animals is one thing, being Rambo is quite another.

Before Obama had even taken the Oath of Office, these issues had simmered to the surface before he had a chance to carry out his own objectives for the second term: reduce unemployment and the deficit, education improvements, implement ‘Obamacare’, transition out of Afghanistan, Syria, Iran, energy independence and others. In the inauguration speech, Obama outlined a progressive shift which was met with surprise and displeasure by his conservative rivals. He mentioned immigration reform, the downfall of Romney’s conservative principles and even the fight for gay equality - a first in an Inauguration: ‘Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law - for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.’ Following ceremonies at the Capitol, Obama selected new Cabinet Secretaries, Agency heads and went for lunch before walking down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House. Having served four years, some are moving on while others are staying. These new faces and veteran warriors of the Obama administration will put his plans into action and build his legacy.

Currently, testimony is being given from both sides on possible Gun Control legislation such as a reinstatement of the assault gun ban and after Obama’s signing of 19 executive orders which outline enlarged funding for mental health, increased background checks, amalgamating Federal information between agencies and improving gun safety standards and awareness. As you can envisage, the FOX News megaphone decries these as outrageous attacks on Americans’ constitutional rights. I enjoy Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the National Rifle Association (NRA) - his message to Congress is that there is no point as people are still going to be shot and that we should put armed guards in schools.

Unlike a new President, Obama will be mindful of the clock timing out his Presidency. He has a short honeymoon period, followed by around 18 months of productive law-making before the 2014 midterms, followed by candidates will be running for President in 2016. Obama has had both great victories and bitter defeats in his first term, but with the struggle of re-election elevated he is unburdened to aggressively push his ideas. He held the centre in his first term to maintain his winning coalition together, and now will unleash it for his progressive second term which will begin with strong rhetoric in his agenda’s outline at the 2013 State of the Union. I think we’ll see a much more liberal and tough President than the one we have seen in the past few years. He bided his time, withstood their relentless attacks and is now stronger than ever. The Obama legislative offensive is about to begin. Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war. Forward.

First, in 1957, President Eisenhower said that ‘It’ll be sad day for the United States if children can safely attend their classes only under the protection of armed guards’. That says a lot about current gun culture and Society. Second, pro-gun activists continuously push the notion that a good guy with a gun can stop a bad guy with a gun. He can’t. Columbine had an armed police officer, Virginia Tech had a police department and Fort Hood is a military base. All three fell victim to appalling attacks by a lone gunman on a mission to kill. Now, while it’s true that someone can go into these places and attack with a knife or other deadly weapon, it’s far easier to increase the death toll if you’re packing a shotgun with armour piercing or pistol with multi-reload action. Something has to be done to protect people. ‘Won’t something please think of the children?!’

Images: Whitehouse.gov, independent.ie.

Another contentious area that dominated the election was immigration reform. Hundreds of thousands arrive in the United States every year, many illegally, many wishing to work hard and just make a living. Others come to make a brand new life from what they had before. These ‘dreamers’ want to go to college, join the military and contribute to the country. The Republican response was higher walls and more men defending it during their Presidential Primary. This smack in the face pushed Hispanics and other minorities right into Obama’s hands who voted for him in overwhelming numbers. In 2011, Obama tried to pass the ‘DREAM Act’ where immigrants would be able to follow a path to citizenship legally but it was blocked in the Senate using the filibuster. Two years later, he has timing and public opinion on his side which the Republicans recognize. Improving the immigration is both an economic issue as well as a national security one, with many criminals and gang violence spilling over the border from Mexico and other places. In a rare bipartisan moment, both sides are currently drafting a new bill which could be written into law this spring. In a country founded by immigration and spreads the ‘American Dream’ that if you work hard enough you can do anything, it makes sense to welcome those to wish to make America strong - not turn them away.

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Bryan Wall considers the future of the Catholic Church in Ireland in the face of growing disillusionment. It is a generally accepted truism that from the foundation of the Republic the Catholic Church has had a large part to play in the running of the country. Legislation was passed or defeated on the whims of Catholic interests, social norms and conventions were passed down from the pulpit to the worshippers in the pews, and, most shamefully, thousands of women and children were forced into what was essentially slave labour in the country’s industrial schools and Magdalene Laundries. However, the attitude of many towards the Church has changed dramatically over the last twenty or so years - no doubt caused by the revelations of what went on in the industrial schools and Magdalene Laundries, along with the revelations of a vast conspiracy to cover up allegations of physical and sexual abuse of children being carried out by members of the clergy. The Church as an institution, regardless of all its posturing statements over the last number of years, will have to do something drastic if it is to recover from the scandals that have engulfed it. One can clearly chart the decline of its influence using the latest figures regarding religious worship in Ireland. In the 2011 census, 81.4% of the population declared themselves as Catholic - a 4.9% increase since the 2006 census. Regarding this increase, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) stated ‘that while the number of Catholics overall increased by 179,889, or 4.9%, since 2006, much of this increase came from the nonIrish (mostly European) national community.’ On the other hand, those identifying as having no religion increased by 45% in the same period. A further 72,914 did not state their religion, or lack thereof, with another 3,905 and 3,521 people stating Atheist and Agnostic respectively as their religion. However, as anyone remotely familiar with the religious demographics of Ireland will tell you, the number of ‘true Catholics’ is likely to be far smaller than the 81.4% recorded in the 2011 census. This can be supported in a range of areas. For example, in 2012, Red C published the results of a poll they carried out in which they asked the public whether or not same sex marriage should be allowed under the Constitution. A total of 73% of respondents were in favour of an amendment to the constitution that would allow same sex marriage, which is up from 56% in 2008. Regarding sex before marriage, according to The Irish Times 6% of those asked in 2004/2005 said that sex before marriage was always wrong, compared to 71% in 1973/1974. In another survey commissioned in 2012 by the Association of Catholic Priests, it was found that 35% of Irish people attend Mass at least once per week, 36% attend a few times per year, and 27% attending Mass ‘less often’. In contrast, 85% of people in 1980 stated that they attended Mass at least once per week. On the issue of clergy, 87% stated that priests should be allowed to get married, 77% stated that women should be allowed to become priests, and 72% stated that mature married men should be allowed to be ordained. Every result from these surveys is at odds with basic Church teachings, which most of the respondents would be well aware of.

This is why the number of ‘true Catholics’ in the country is likely to be far lower than the 81.4% who identify as Catholic: peer pressure, family tradition, and social habit can explain why people identify as Catholic when their ideals are completely at odds with Church teachings. Despite the superficially liberal nature of the majority of Irish society, there still exists a pressure to conform to some of the basic Church teachings which are now considered more of a tradition than anything else: Christenings, Confirmations, and church weddings. The Church as an institution, however, is well and truly on the path of decline in Ireland, and will remain so without drastic changes in the coming years. According to a poll published in August of 2012 by WINGallup International, Ireland is now rated as one of the least religious countries in the world - coming only second to Vietnam. Added to this is the very real fear that the rate of new priests being ordained will not be enough to keep the Church alive in Ireland, with only six being ordained here in 2011. Despite all of this, the Church itself, and religion in general, is going to remain a force in Irish politics and society for some time to come. The current struggle to take back patronage of the primary school system in Ireland from the Church demonstrates the power and obstinacy they still hold when their interests are threatened. For example, the reaction of various orders to the release of the McAleese Report was complete disregard and callous indifference. In an interview that was broadcast on March 8th on RTÉ Radio 1, two nuns defended their role in the running of the Magdalene Laundries. When one of them was asked if they should apologise for the laundries she simply responded: ‘Apologise for what? Apologise for providing a service?’ Answers like this should no longer surprise us, and neither should the anger that we feel at their utterance. Even though the Church in Ireland is far weaker now than it was decades ago, it still holds sway. We must always remember that it has the power it has now because of the power it had in the past.

Images: worldpolicy.org, guardian.co.uk, picstopin.com.

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Our Very European Ball and Chain Sarah Slevin discusses who really holds power with regards Irish borrowing. Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, recently swept into Ireland in a blaze of elegance, hyperbole, and political pageantry. Madame Lagarde’s renowned charm and eloquence was placed centre-stage, as she mentioned everyone from Edna O’Brien to Peig during her keynote speech delivered in Dublin Castle. Over the entire course of the visit she succeeded in demonstrating a genuinely held sympathy for the economic plight of the country, whilst also addressing the questions of debt sustainability and fiscal rectification. Her message was encouragingly optimistic - that Ireland is in a prime position to emerge from the bailout programme in which we were placed nigh on three years ago.

The IMF has, on many occasions, advocated a write-down on Irish debt by forcing losses on senior Irish bondholders. Any attempt to do so has been rejected by the EU and the ECB as a move that would spook investors and cause financial panic across the union. The organisation has, in turn, been known to question the extent to which austerity measures can place more strain on an economy than they’re worth, with this suggestion also falling on deaf ears across the continent. It has always been clear that it is Europe’s will that must be done first and foremost, which for Ireland means saddling an enormous mountain of debt for the good of the Union.

Madame Lagarde put her head squarely above the parapet in encouraging her European partners to ‘go the extra mile’ in ensuring Ireland can be the success story everybody wants it to be. Her timing was impeccable, as the Taoiseach and Minister Noonan continue their efforts to seek an extension on the maturity of loans received from the EFSF and the ESM. She also gave her support to the ‘progressive’ property tax soon to be introduced, and discussed the issue of repossessions in the context of mortgage arrears.

This means that the IMF has been all talk but no action, its influence being stunted by the power wielded by its European ‘partners’. Why, then, should Europe sit up and listen when Christine Lagarde recommends that we receive special treatment? Her visit and her comments have no more practical use than those of Queen Elizabeth II almost two years ago - symbolic and self-affirming, but lacking the wherewithal to make a significant difference to Ireland’s future.

This demonstration of confidence from the head of the international financial watchdog is seen as a welcome boost whilst the days of financial reckoning draw nearer and nearer. However, all of Madame Lagarde’s grandiloquence may be seen as just that - upbeat rhetoric that will make little or no difference to Ireland in the short, medium or indeed long-term. The balance of power amongst Ireland’s triumvirate of paymasters has long since been wrested away from the IMF - in fact, they probably never had it to begin with.

Nevertheless, it is of paramount importance to the IMF that their engagement with Ireland be seen as a success. As the main enforcer behind the bailout programme, they are the party tasked with ensuring Ireland’s compliance with the terms of the agreement. In addition, Ms Lagarde has described her role, and her organisation’s role, as that of a mediator, someone who will engage with indebted countries and facilitate their rejuvenation and renewal. This is a job she fulfils with aplomb, as her contributions have been crucial in diffusing tension during the financial crisis of the past few years. While comments made in Dublin last week should not be keenly taken to mean more than they do, her role in extracting the global economy, and in turn Ireland, from the mire in which it finds itself should not be underestimated.

The emergence of the EU, and the ECB in particular, has changed the financial landscape of Europe in a way that couldn’t have been foreseen back in 1944 when the concept of the International Monetary Fund was first mooted. Intended to allow international economic co-operation and to rebuild the financial system post- World War II, it now sees itself as a key player in ensuring global financial stability. As a major contributor to Ireland’s bailout fund, one would imagine that their opinion of what is the right approach to returning Ireland to financial independence would be almost definitive. Not so.

The visit of the IMF chief provided another welcome photo opportunity for the Taoiseach, demonstrating the warm relationship Ireland holds with its international colleagues. Madame Lagarde, for her part, showed all the charm and cordiality with which she is associated, making the visit ultimately beneficial for both parties. However, for all the talk of a reduction in Ireland’s debt burden, we should remember that this visit will make little or no difference to how much money needs to be paid back. It is our European friends that hold the financial reins in this arrangement, and we would do well to remember that.

Images: Agence France-Presse/Getty Images, guardian.co.uk, Gareth Chaney, imf.org.

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entertainments

film

Daniel Boland wonders what summer has to offer. The joy of the summer months is often ruined by exam results and repeats while in university, but one thing you can always rely on is a strong collection of films hitting the big screen. The competition is quite stiff when compared with the roaring success of The Dark Knight Rises and The Avengers from last year with both earning over $1 billion at the box office.

Everyone is a child at heart, making it hard to ignore the children’s films coming to the big screen this summer. The prequel to Monsters Inc. will be released on July 12th, with most of the original cast returning to the aptly named Monsters University. As the title suggests, the film will centre on the antics of Mike and Sully as they meet in college. This summer will also see the return of Gru and his minions in Despicable Me 2 on June 28rd as they embark on an adventure with madness ensuing.

It seems filmmakers have decided the superhero genre is the ultimate cash cow for earning the big bucks at the box office with a number of big names entering the ring during the summer months. Marvel has two entries to this year’s summer with Iron Man 3 and The Wolverine. Robert Downey Jr. will be bursting onto the screen first with the billionaire playboy Tony Stark come May 3rd. In this instalment, Iron Man will see himself facing The Mandarin, who tears Starks world apart in typical extreme ways. Hugh Jackman also returns as Wolverine in the second Marvel serving of the summer. The Wolverine will be released on July 26th and is set sometime after the 2006 film X-Men: The Last Stand. In the film the titular character travels to Japan to unearth some events from his past in true Marvel style. Previous instalments in both the X-Men and Iron Man series failed to gather enough momentum to reach the $1 billion mark at the box office, but that doesn’t mean they won’t bring in a large amount this summer as both series have a very large following.

It may be time to cancel any plans for the summer as you will be spending it in the darkness of the cinema enjoying these upcoming blockbusters – it’s not as if there will be much sunshine here anyway, so don’t feel too guilty about it.

Not to be outdone by Marvel, D.C. Comics has brought one of its own home grown characters to the big screen for summer 2013. Superman is set to make his return to film on June 14th under the title Man of Steel. The film will depict the origin story of Superman and his alter ego Clark Kent as he adapts to his unique powers, with Henry Cavill playing the Kryptonian and Amy Adams playing love interest Lois Lane. The relatively unknown Cavill could make quite a name for himself in Hollywood if Man of Steel is a runaway success, adding him to the roster of successful superhero actors.

Giant robots fighting monsters sounds like a great film premise that will become reality on July 12th through Pacific Rim. The film is set in the near future where giant monsters that arise from the Pacific Ocean invade the world. In an attempt to combat these monsters, the human race create giant robots that are controlled by the mind. The film features a relatively unknown cast and, as such, will be relying heavily on the story. That should not be a problem with Guillermo del Toro at the helm – Pacific Rim is sure to be an enjoyable, and often dark, cinematic success.

Images: Walt Disney, 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros., Pixar, Universal Pictures.

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music

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Eurovision: It’s here again…with its ‘fetlocks blowing in the… wind.’ Sarah Glascott takes a look at Ireland’s former glory – the Eurovision. It’s still a little bit away, but the 58th Eurovision Song Contest is rapidly approaching. This year, the final will be held in Sweden on the 18th of May – a perfect mid-exam cheese fest! The Eurovision Song Contest falls into the category of love it or hate it. I love it – it’s so unbelievably cheesy and a little too ridiculous at times, but that’s what makes it. Every year without fail, I will watch the Eurovision Song contest, hoping Ireland will win or at least place somewhere above 30th, but, secretly, I know that due to the political ‘teaming up’ of neighbouring countries, this little isolated island will never relive its Eurovision glory days. But you have to watch in hope anyway! In preparation for May, here’s a look back on a few of the more memorable moments in Eurovision History – both great and not so great!

Ireland’s Wins Ireland has won the Eurovision a record seven times from Dana to Johnny Logan. However, in recent years, performances like that of Dustin the Turkey have caused Europeans to believe we don’t take the contest seriously enough. Personally, I just think we don’t want to win because we can’t afford it anymore (see Father Ted episode ‘A Song for Europe’). We do have talent though, and apart from our numerous victories, this was clearly demonstrated with the 1994 premiere performance of Riverdance during the interval. The sheer skill of the Irish dancers led by Michael Flatley and Jean Butler received a standing ovation and some would say that it was the greatest eight minutes in Eurovision history. Riverdance has gone on to become a worldwide phenomenon.

ABBA ‘Party for Everybody’

One of the greatest success stories in Eurovision history occurred on April 6th, 1974 when a group of four Swedish singers took to the stage. This group was ABBA and with their hit Waterloo, they claimed first prize in the song contest. Their clothes and hairstyles embodied 70s pop and the band went on to become one of, if not the most popular, pop group in history. From 1975 until 1982, ABBA ruled the world’s pop scene and their music is loved by generations. The Broadway musical Mamma Mia and the 2008 film of the same name revived the world’s interest in the music of ABBA.

If the greatest eight minutes in Eurovision history occurred in 1994, then perhaps the most bizarre three minutes occurred just last year. With a combined age of 484, a group of six Russian women called Buranovskiye Babushki managed to come second with their song ‘Party for Everybody’. These women danced energetically about the stage and proved that you’re never too old to be part of the wacky world of Eurovision.

Lordi From a great pop act to a terrifying rock band, Lordi is being included in this list of memorable moments purely due to their frightening look. This Finnish rock band, headed by Mr Lordi, is instantly recognizable due to their horrifying monster masks. They won the Eurovision Song Contest in 2006 with ‘Hard Rock Hallelujah’, becoming the first Finnish act to win the contest, and they have enjoyed moderate success in Europe. I guess they’re still waiting for their day of ‘rockoning’ to arrive!

Images: Eurovision.

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tv

Season Three is Coming Emma Mc Carthy dissects the season three trailer for Game of Thrones. On April 1st, Sky Atlantic is heading back to Westeros. It’s time to gear up for Game of Thrones season three (or A Storm of Swords for people who have read the books). With an ad campaign that consists of dragons and an on-going war, HBO have gone all out in promoting the new series and once again proving that they, unlike other channels, know where to put their money. The trailers have showed plenty of new developments and on-going stories and, as someone who has read the books, I can look at the trailers and upcoming promos with glee, knowing what I’m looking at, before I realised: Dan Weiss and David Benioff have played the readers for fools in the past and changed a few stories around so, really, what does anyone know? Only what they’ve chosen to show us. With that in mind, I think it’s best to dissect the trailer, character by character and see what’s going on.

After her trials in Qarth, it seems like Daenerys Targaryen might finally be on her way to Westeros but, alas, from the look of the trailer, her journey to the Seven Kingdoms has been put on hold once again. The reason? Well, with the countless soldiers behind her, it would seem like Dany is planning on building herself a bigger army. We have a tiny snippet of Ser Jorah Mormont all metal-suitedup and ready to fight, so will we get to see the dragon’s daughter in a battle of her own? Maybe one to contest last season’s Blackwater? With the explosion erupting behind her (of course, she wouldn’t look back, she’s cool like that), it seems like Dany’s journey will become one of action as opposed to last season’s intrigue and brains. As for Drogon, Rhaegal and Viscerion? They’re big, they’re flying and they seem ready to fuck shit up.

No season three spoilers!

First of all, where is Theon Greyjoy? The trailer shows no sign of Alfie Allen’s character who, at the end of season two, was being knocked unconscious and dragged off by his crew from Pyke before they burned Winterfell to the ground. We’ve seen Yara, presumably back in Pyke, but no sign of her brother. Alfie Allen did accidentally seem to let slip the fate of his character at Comic con last year, but with Game of Thrones, if you don’t see it on screen, it probably didn’t happen (much like Bran and Rickon’s supposed deaths) so we’ll have to wait and see. As for Bran and Rickon, they’re still in the forests on the North and making their way to John and the wall. With them is Hodor and Osha the wilding, but we have two new companions to join the story this season in the form of Jojen and Meera Reed. The Reeds stem from the Crannog people and were originally in the second book but were held off until this season to be introduced. Meera is yet another kickass female character who will be yet another form of fiction which will have people lining up to take archery lessons while her more introverted brother, Jojen, will have more than a few answers to Bran’s questions about his connection to Summer, his direwolf and his dreams about the three-eyed crow.

The Lannisters are still in power; Joffrey is still King and Tyrion has been ousted from any position of power he once had now that Big Daddy is at King’s Landing. It seems with the arrival of Tywin Lannister, Cersei has truly won the battle of wills she had out with her brother last season. Of course, as we all know, Tywin’s favourite is Jaime, but with his warrior son still off performing his double act with Brienne, Tywin’s affections fall to Cersei over Tyrion any day. Although Tyrion fought bravely at the battle of Blackwater and earned himself a pretty radical facial scar (he lost half his nose in the books) due to a murder attempt set up by Cersei, the people of King’s Landing have no love for the Imp as it’s been reserved completely for the wealthy Tyrells and their daughter, Lady Margaery. Joffrey’s new bride seems like an innocent little flower, but, as we saw in snippets from season two, she might actually be a match for the young King and the most hated character on television.

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The King of the North, Robb Stark, was last seen getting married to Talisa Westerling and dishonouring his oath to Walder Frey – a man who is not to be betrayed according to Catelyn. From the trailer, it seems the young Stark can’t get enough of his new bride and his mother’s slight of releasing Jaime Lannister didn’t last long. Cat, though, is vengeful as ever, telling her son: ‘show them how it feels to lose what they love.’ No honeymoon, then? You know what would have been a great way of letting them know what it’s like to lose someone they love, Cat? By killing their son and brother instead of releasing him! Honestly! We also see Robb and Cat attending a funeral as they watch a body burn on a boat, floating down the river. With the introduction of more Tullys, you’d have to wonder how many more people Robb and Cat can lose and still have hope for the fight? Jon. Jon, Jon, Jon… Could you look like you know what’s going on at least some of the time? We had this with you all through season two: someone would explain their plan right to you, and in the next shot your expression clearly shows that their explanations were clearly wasted on a simpleton. Jon’s infiltrated the wildings in

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an attempt to get close to the King of the Wildlings, Mance Rayder (played by Ciaran Hinds), so he can learn their plans. Jon states that he wants to fight on the side of the living (everyone does, Jon – that’s just common sense), and if naked Rose Leslie in the trailers means anything, his act means he will have to break his vow and jiggy with Ygritte in all kinds of weird wildling ways. Hopefully with his new life – even if he is acting – Jon will get a bit more ferocious. He’s always had sword skills and he’s always been a good fighter, but he needs to toughen up a bit if he wants to survive with the wildlings. It’ll be interesting to get to see more of the wildlings, but I think we’re all more interested in that army of white walkers that were making for the Night’s Watch camp to supposedly kill every motherfucker in there. Will Jon have anyone to report back to? We’ll have to wait and see what’s going to happen, but the trailers did prove one thing: Game of Thrones will continue to be the best fucking show on television.

Images: HBO.


30 Rock – I Want To Go To There Terry O’Sullivan recounts his favourite moments of Tina Fey’s comedy. 30 Rock’s beginnings stem back to 1999 when Tina Fey became head writer for American comedy institution Saturday Night Live. Working with the likes of Will Ferrell, Jimmy Fallon and Andy Samberg, it is easy see where the backstage antics of the fictional comedians on 30 Rock came from. The arc came to an end in 2013 as one of the most critically acclaimed comedies on TV finished after seven seasons. If you have been living under a rock, the central premise consists of comedy writer Liz Lemon (played by Fey herself) as she tries to balance her professional life and still ‘have it all’. Fey recruited her friends from her SNL past in Alec Baldwin (who has hosted SNL a record 16 times) and Tracey Morgan (who plays a fictionalized version of himself named Tracey Jordan).

ings didn’t always reflect this as the series had been close to being cancelled a number of times (which itself was parodied in many episodes). Many people drew similarities between 30 Rock and Arrested Development in that they both are too ‘intelligent’ to maintain a high mainstream audience.

One of the interesting aspects of the show that made it stand out was that the focus of the show was on a single woman in her thirties. Before this, not many shows, especially comedy ones, had such a female perspective. Liz Lemon is constantly struggling with relationships, being a boss in a primarily male-dominated profession and with society’s views on a woman who puts her career before family. While dealing with this subject matter, she also skewers post-feminism by including the vapid character of Jenna Maroney (played by Broadway actress Jane Krakowski) who is constantly playing up to all the worst stereotypes of a diva. Shows like the new comedy sensation Girls follow down the path blazed by 30 Rock.

I guess when it is all said and done, TV history will look back favourably on 30 Rock. Apart from breaking new ground in terms of content, it proved to be one of the densest, well-crafted comedies to grace television. In true 30 Rock fashion I will end this article in an irreverent gag: ‘When I was a kid growing up in the projects, I would look up into the stars and dream of going into space, escaping the slums, and killing an Ewok!’ Images: NBC.

Another startling aspect of the show is the sheer number of celebrity cameos. With the calibre of Salma Hayek, Steve Buscemi and Matt Damon all playing recurring characters, as well as one off cameo’s by Robert De Niro, Tom Hanks and Oprah Winfrey, the respect from the acting community cannot be failed to be noticed. Some of these cameos have been used to lampoon celebrity culture and the public’s fascination with tabloid journalism – James Franco portrayed himself in a sham relationship with Jenna to boost his profile and hide his romance with a Japanese love pillow perfectly illustrates that. The show was heaped with praise from the start. In its first season it gained nominations for Emmys (winning two), a Directors Guild of America Award and a Golden Globe (winning that), among others. Also in 2009 it received a record 22 Emmy nominations. It had the critics falling over themselves trying to praise the show as well with Newsweek calling it the best comedy TV show of the last decade and Vanity Fair naming it the 7th greatest comedy of all time. Sadly, the rat-

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Is Friendship Really Magic? Tamara Malone investigates the love for the revamped children’s show. In recent times, there has been a resurgence of popularity with the hit little girls’ television show, My Little Pony. The most unusual thing about this somewhat cult status, however, is that viewers – at least those who gush about their love for the ponies on the ’net – are adults, and many of them are male. Certainly readers of Motley are already well aware of this phenomenon, as there has been a large amount of backlash online particularly against the male fans, known both proudly and disparagingly as ‘bronies’.

is set in the town of Ponyville in the obviously fictional land of Equestria, and most of the characters are designed by Lauren Faust who has also worked on the well-known haunt of our collective childhood, The Powerpuff Girls. The Generation 4 show, many old-time fans of the franchise may notice, shows perceptible differences with earlier incarnations. This is due firstly to the decisions taken by Hasbro and Lauren Faust to create a focus less ‘girly’, with more fully-developed characters and more adventurous locations, and secondly with the implementation of E/I rules (educational and informational, the new standards set for American TV which targets viewers under the age of 18, placing an importance on informing as well as entertaining) based on the Children’s Television Act of 1990.

What the converted fans of the franchise may or may not know is that My Little Pony has been in existence long before its discovery by them, and the form the television show now takes (My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic) is far from the only incarnation of the ponies; in fact, the idea began not as a show, but as toys. The plastic Pony toys were first developed in 1982 by Bonnie Zacherle, Charles Muenchinger and Steve D’Aguanno in association with Hasbro, the toy and board game company, and followed from 1981’s My Pretty Pony. The version which was released in 1983 was a pony in one of various colours, with a soft, long mane and an individual mark on the flank known as a ‘cutie mark’ (adorableness, right?). Four ‘generations’ (or toy lines, from which have been made accompanying animated features) later, we have 2010’s My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, centring on the lead character Twilight Sparkle who, with the help of characters Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, Applejack, Rarity, Spike the Dragon, Princess Celestia and Princess Luna, learns important lessons about friendship. She and her friends, additionally, form together what is called the ‘Elements of Harmony’, a force which can defeat evil, each pony representing a different aspect of friendship. The show

Why does the show have such a huge fan-base among male adults? Many explanations have been given, among them references adults can understand, such as ponies which look strikingly similar to characters in The Big Lebowski, the flash-based animation characterised by bright, simple colours which tends to be popular amongst internet-users, and themes which older audiences can appreciate. The creators have stated that they wanted to create a show which parents would enjoy watching with their children, and it has been mentioned that a lot of first-time parents nowadays would have been college students during the popularity of cartoons like SpongeBob SquarePants and Invader Zim. The most simple explanation of the popularity of the show is a joy in the innocence and purity of the beautifully-created world therein. It is not to be doubted that such shows will always be popular, and it is to be hoped that acceptance of their fans, online and off, will grow. Image: Hasbro.

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UCD School of Mathematical Sciences

www.ucd.ie/mathsciences

ŠUCD

Graduate Studies UCD School of Mathematical Sciences Why study with the UCD School of Mathematical Sciences? The School is the largest of its kind in Ireland. It is a dynamic, multi-disciplinary department spanning the three disciplines of Mathematics, Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics and Actuarial Science. The school engages in research of international renown and teaches students in almost all of the colleges of the University. UCD School of Mathematical Sciences  invites applications to its graduate programmes from graduate and final-year undergraduate students with backgrounds in quantitative disciplines such as Mathematics, Statistics, Engineering, Economics, Finance and Physics.

Programmes available: Grad Dip/ MSc Actuarial Science (Institute and Faculty of Actuaries accredited) MA Statistics/MSc Statistics (Royal Statistical Society accredited) HDip Mathematical Sciences, HDip Mathematical Studies & HDip Statistics MSc Mathematics, MSc Mathematical Sciences, MSc Meteorology, MSc Simulation Science PhD's in Statistics, Applied and Computational Mathematics, Simulation Science and Mathematics Further information and scholarship information www.ucd.ie/mathsciences/graduatestudents

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Questions? Contact pgstudies@maths.ucd.ie


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19


Features

What’s Your Type?

Don’t get too carried away with changing the font function! Mae McSweeney explores the surprisingly treacherous world of fonts.

Script MT Bold

As my final act of sub-editorial writing for Motley, I thought it fitting to discuss a topic which is close to my heart, as both as a writer, a student and an occasional peruser of horrible PowerPoint slides. I speak, of course, of fonts!

Look. You’re not a 13-year old girl doodling your crush’s name in a vanillascented diary. If you are, please stop reading – the student-oriented humour of Motley is not suitable for your age-group! But seriously, after a certain age, elaborate cursive stops looking sophisticated, and starts to look very try-hard. Also, it’s impossible to read. The reason we’re asked to print up assignments rather than submit them handwritten is so correctors don’t have to deal with our horrible, spidery, slanted, blotted, illegible scrawls. Submitting a 4000 word essay in any kind of script or cursive font is just asking for trouble. Dot your ‘i’s with love-hearts as much as you want, but this is business – break out Calibri or Arial to get the job done.

As famed graphic designer Alan Fletcher put it, ‘a typeface is an alphabet in a straitjacket’. The font we choose to type in can say as much about us as what we actually write. Whereas hand-writing renders your thoughts in your own hand and allows discerning pop-psychologists to decipher your personal neuroses and anxieties from that flick at the end of your ‘y’, using a typeface means adopting someone else’s design framework to express your views. I think it’s something we might take for granted.

(Wingdings)

Comic Sans

No.

Of course, typeface design snobbery is not just for the elite anymore, as evidenced by a universal hatred of one font in particular – the dreaded Comic Sans. Not quite natural enough to feel ‘human’, nor rigorous enough to feel ‘designed’, this font falls into the ‘Uncommon Valley’ –that Freudian anomaly whereby something is familiar and yet alien. That’s why you hate Comic Sans – in feigning a hand-written effect, it comes off as creepy and phony, and yet is too ugly and childish to gain any credence as a serious typeface. That said, it has its fans. The Vatican released a photo album dedicated to Pope Benedict after his retirement – written almost entirely in Comic Sans. God works in mysterious ways.

Courier New Are you writing this essay with an actual typewriter? No? I didn’t think so. Now back to work. That concludes my diatribe on the delightful nuances of font. This April, I sincerely hope that the PowerPoint slides you read are concise and tastefully designed, that Microsoft Word will always auto-save your work before it (inevitably) crashes, and that the printers in the library are plentifully stocked and regularly serviced. Oh, here’s a pro-tip from a 4-year UCC veteran – double space your essays. It shows that you’re not a stinge with printing, and it soothes the eyeballs of a lecturer who has seen the phrases, ‘critical analysis’, ‘post-colonial perspective’, and ‘Marxist approach’ so many times that they’ve lost whatever meaning they once held.

Times New Roman If you’re anything like me, you started out on this trusted font in your first year of college. A standard typeface used in printed novels and broadsheet newspapers, it provides the sense of legitimacy and authority that an 18-year-old haphazardly writing her essay on Medieval crusades so desperately craves. History students will no doubt be attracted to it, but they may be onto something. As a solid serif font, the small lines tailing from the edges of letters and symbols make it easier on the eye, especially for cranky lecturers correcting the 32nd assignment on ‘the events leading up to the1916 Easter Rising’. As safe a bet as it is, Times New Roman is so ubiquitous and unadventurous that it may irritate more free-thinking correctors; it’s worth considering Plantee and Musin as similar, but fresher, alternatives.

It’s all over now, baby blue As we have reached the final Motley issue of this year, it has suddenly dawned on me that I have my final year exams in less than seven weeks. All too recently it was Christmas, and then the pages seemed to fly off the calendar until Valentine’s Day. And now, it’s nearly April – and there is no pressure equal to that of an Arts student in my position. In a few months, the safety and security of university life will be gone and it will be time to tumble into the real world. At these times that I wish it were possible to go back in time and warn my primary school self not to wish so hard that I was grown up. Young Peter, I am here now and it is looking pretty terrifying! Guys and girls, as someone who is reaching the end of time in University College Cork, I beg you – have a proper look around your campus, and appreciate it. Don’t just speed from lecture to lecture, and back home in time for dinner. Look out for everything – the small, the trivial, the pride-inducing and even the downright insane. There is so much going on that we don’t pay attention to when we have the chance. In fact, I have noticed more about the university campus in the last couple of weeks than I did in the years before it. I count myself very lucky that I had the opportunity to shape my own college experience. Over the three years, I joined several societies, and even set one up myself. These are amazing chances not only to do something you love, but to meet friends that you will keep for life. If you haven’t taken part in after-lecture groups,

Thanks UCC, Motley, and you, dear reader. Here’s to a brighter, clearer, more legible future.

Peter Neville fondly reminisces on his days in UCC, and bravely envisions life as a graduate in The Real World. then do so. Trust me, you’ll regret it otherwise. And if you are a fellow final year, then at least make sure to use the gym several times before you leave – it’s free, remember? And now that study month is almost upon us, and the end is in sight, there seem so many better things to do rather than to do academic work – whether it is to apply for every job available, travel the narrow side streets of Paris, lie lazily in the President’s garden, or just catch up on that TV series you’ve been missing lately. These are all distractions that I have succumbed to in recent years, and things that will take almost all my will power not to do again. But here’s hoping that everything goes ok, and I get out of here in one piece. Anyway, what I am really saying is that this is my final article for Motley and I’m getting sentimental in my old age. This publication has been a huge part of my development both as a journalistic writer and a novelist. And so, I’d like to wish best of luck to all my fellow editors and deputies – especially Mae, John and Senita – and say a very gracious thank you. To quote dear Bob: ‘Strike another match, go start anew. And it’s all over now, baby blue.’

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Thank you, University College Cork. I’ve been Peter Neville – refuse to be ordinary!


A Word about the Artist Ciara Kenny is a Cork-based artist and cartoonist, and a recent graduate of Pharmacy at UCC. She has lent her artistic skills to every issue of Motley this year, and we’d like to thank her for that. If you too have enjoyed Ciara’s work throughout this past college year, then consider liking her Facebook page, ‘Ciara Kenny Art’, where you’ll find more examples of her art, including stunning celebrity portraits and witty comic sketches.

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Seven Inventions That Might Help You This Study Month Ashleigh Hayman gets innovative this April – welcome to the future of studying It seems like just yesterday was R&G week, yet April is already here and study month has once again ungraciously crept up on us. Don’t shoot the messenger, but that also means that exams are fast approaching. It’s likely to be the sunniest weather we’ve seen all year; lectures are finished up and all you want to do is sit around, savouring the last few weeks of the year – but this month isn’t exactly a holiday. If, like most of us, you’ve left a sizeable bulk (i.e. all) of your study until now, then you are going to need all the help you can get. Here are a few things that might make these weeks more bearable, or at least save you a minute or two.

Banglz ½ lb. Weighted Bracelets While April is all about early mornings and working hard, this is unlikely to include much exercise, and very likely to include a lot of sitting around. But if you throw on some weighted jewellery, you’ll at least feel like you got some body conditioning into your day. It is no substitution for the gym, but it’s better than nothing – and with all that writing of notes you might even end up with biceps come June.

The Lace-amatic While this may not be the most fashion-friendly piece of equipment, it’s the lazy man’s best friend. Once set up, you just have to turn the lever in the morning and your laces are tightened, and turn it back to loosen them for your afternoon nap. No limping along the corridor trying to shove your feet into tightly laced shoes, no more broken backs of trainers, no more wasted seconds of lace tying. Ok, you could just buy slip-ons, or realise that it really doesn’t take that long to undo laces – but it will save you that small annoyance and, as Tesco keep telling us, every little helps.

Weight Watch Belt There is little that’s more stressful than queuing to study in the Fishbowl – comfort eating to numb the pain is common. The initial benefits of the bacon alarm clock may also contribute to this unfortunate side-effect of study month. While toned arms might distract from a flabby belly, only the Weight Watch Belt will constantly remind you of what a fat lump you are. While many of us will want to stay in denial, there may be a few dedicated folks still thinking of the upcoming summer and the possible need to strip off – if you can visibly track your expanding waistband, you might reconsider your practice of devouring whole pack of Jaffa Cakes as a reward for opening Blackboard.

Butter Stick Fairly self-explanatory, the butter stick not only saves time on the hunt for a clean knife, it allows quick easy coverage in your hours of need (otherwise known as ‘morning’). As toast is the staple diet of a large portion of UCC, it isn’t as idiotic as it sounds – and clean cutlery is hard to come by during April, with many people abandoning their washing-up duties in favour of extra revision, or a few more minutes in front of the TV.

Game Shows Speaking of TV, game shows provide a magical loophole, whereby one can vegetate in front of the telly and learn at the same time – sure you are practically studying! Who knows what information and facts you might pick up from the likes of The Chase or Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? From science to history, music to law, there is a slim but possible chance of acquiring useful information. I like to compare it to panning for gold – time-consuming, with a low success rate – but if you do get lucky, then boy is it worth it! But don’t get too carried away – even I know the whole exam is unlikely to be multiple choice questions drawn exclusively from the back-catalogue of The Weakest Link, unless your lecturer has mentioned his enduring respect and admiration for Anne Robinson.

Wrist Watch Post It Notes If, by the end of a hard day of study, your hands look more like those of a tattoo artist than the (reasonably) clean ones you left the house with, then these post-it notes may come in handy. Stop poisoning your fists with pen ink and note those important page numbers, dates, refs etc on these, nearly as close, wrist post it notes. It’s on your arm so it still serves as reminder, without having to skim through refill pads or search the bottom of your bag, plus you can’t accidentally wash it off.

While none of these will actually do your study for you, in desperate times we need to conscript all our assets. Keep reminding yourself that it will soon all be over. Unless you end up repeating, but let’s not depress ourselves too much. Now stop procrastinating and get back to your books!

The Bacon Alarm Clock This is definitely one of the best ways to upgrade this age-old tool. Put a frozen bacon strip in at night and then this clever little alarm clock times it so that not only are you woken up but are greeted by the smell of your freshly cooked breakfast. With your regular alarm clock, what’s stopping you from hitting the snooze button for ‘5 more minutes’? This ingenious clock rewards you for your efforts – the urge to grab your rasher and groggily traipse downstairs to make a toasted bacon sandwich (thanks, butter stick!) will outweigh any temptation to slumber on.

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Images: BBC, bacontoday.com.


features@motley.ie Follow us on twitter! @MotleyMagazine

Eoghan Lyng’s guide on how to not let April get the best of you. With all the greatest of will in the world, April and May are not the easiest of months. The fun side of college comes to an unexpected stop and the real work that everyone puts to the back of their mind comes to the forefront. The clock ticking, the sweat pouring and JStor crashing from the sudden traffic of millions of students worldwide, it’s not surprising that some of us feel the pressure. Exams are incredibly tiring – let nobody tell you otherwise. From a personal perspective, I had more sleepless nights during my Leaving Cert and first year college exams than any other period in my life. I am not insinuating that the exams are the only stressful obstacle a person faces during the academic term, but students seem more visibly stressed in April/May, than any other point during the academic year. Stress, however, is not an entirely bad thing. When people feel pressured, adrenalin kicks in and takes over an individual`s energy levels. Stressful situations can lead to productive activities. It is of little surprise that more work gets done in the months, weeks, days approaching exam time, rather than any work attempted in the procrastinatory period before Christmas. A certain amount of stress is perfectly normal. But an excess of stress can have mental, social and physical repercussions, causing emotional and psychological grief. You can beat stress! All it takes is a certain amount of relaxation and positive thinking. Recognising stress is the first thing any person must achieve before many other steps can be taken. Stress symptoms include exhaustion, emotional outbursts (i.e. crying), sleeplessness/ over-sleeping and headaches. If you find yourself undergoing any of these symptoms and fear they may be stress-related, then put aside a couple of minutes for yourself and take a breather. Respiratory exercises are an excellent way to regain a peaceful composure. Taking a minute to focus on your breath is a great way to re-assess your attentions. Focusing on your own breathing can reorient you, and pull you out from that destructive inward-looking anxiety. Try it now, while reading this sentence. Take a deep breath and pay all of your attention to this breath being taken. Commonly, people tend to over- or under-eat when stressed. Overeating on confectionaries may seem beneficial at the moment, but can make you cranky and tired in the long run. Skipping or skimping on meals will only add to emotional discontent you feel. Healthy eating is essential in aiding a person`s spirits and increases energy lev-

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els. Try to eat your 5-a-day of fruit or veg. Simple carbohydrates like brown rice are better than white bread, and grilled chicken is better than a cheeseburger. In spare time, work off the stress with physical activity to increase metabolism and self esteem. Give yourself realistic goals. Lists are brilliant – crossing tasks out on a list is ultimately very helpful and allows you to feel proud of what you have achieved so far. It may be a cliché, but it works. Communication is beneficial for anyone. It is incredibly common for people to feel anxious, pressured, upset and stressed for a variety of reasons, and hiding yourself away from others will only make it worse. Talking to people is an excellent way of relieving problems. UCC’s counselling service has trained professionals who can give you practical advice, and are happy to listen to any problems you have. If that is not your style, talk to your friends – you will probably find that they find everything as problematic as yourself. A problem shared is a problem halved, as they say. Things are not so bad. Stress is a very common problem. It’s easy to find yourself afflicted with it, but with the right attitude, it’s also easy to deal with. April is a difficult month, but it is conquerable via communication, healthy eating and relaxation. After the exams, enjoy your well deserved sojourn resting on your laurels, where April will only be a distant memory. The very best of luck in the upcoming exams!

The advice given here is not of a medical nature. Consult the UCC Student Health and Counselling Services for more detailed information on stress, anxiety, healthy eating and general well-being.

Images: abdn.ac.uk, recipeforhealth.com.


Papal Potential Grace Sullivan is not convinced that Pope Francis has the X Factor. Maybe we need to go back to the drawing board… Surprise, surprise – the new pope is an old, white man with a somewhat dodgy history of corruption and a slight aversion to gay people. YAWN. Seriously, if the Catholic Church wants to stay relevant, they need a major image makeover – less cardinal, more Kardashian. Here’s a list of celebrities who could have easily out-poped Francis in terms of pomposity and glamour.

Bono An obvious choice, namely because he is the biggest charity/activist/giver on the planet. Bono really would fit the bill and the clothes – the man truly is fun size. He could host all his concerts from St Peter’s Square and people of all different religions would be joined together over his beautiful music. The man has the potential to end years of religious conflict with just the introduction to ‘One’. Many of his songs are religious anyway, the only thing is I don’t know if I’d want U2 CDs and merchandise being flogged outside the gates on a Sunday.

Charlie Sheen Seeing as this is total fantasy anyway, they may as well give the Anger Management star a stab at it. God is all about forgiveness and reform, and Charlie has had more comebacks than Jesus had resurrections. If nothing else, he would really make for captivating viewing. Vatican City would never ever be the same again, and we could all sleep soundly knowing that Ashton Kutcher would be available to take over his gig if needed.

Hugh Heffner A personal favourite of mine - this man deserves to be head of the church, because: 1. He already runs his own mini-city.

Joan Rivers

2. He knows his way around a Grotto or two.

Okay, not the most obvious of choices, but Ms Rivers certainly has the charisma and the voice to spread ‘the word’. She’s not afraid to speak her mind and offer her opinion. Also, her fashion credentials would ensure all leaders of the Catholic Church would be clad from head to toe in Chanel everyday (Prada footwear is so Benedict). The Pope’s role is to be the mouthpiece of God, and if you’ve ever seen her on Fashion Police, or do stand up, she is certainly vocal. One of many problems I can see arising is her Jewish faith, but that’s not really relevant here.

3. Charisma is something he has by the bucket load. 4. Already an expert in bringing people to their knees (let’s just park the innuendos there before it goes too far).

The more I consider him, the more he seems like a viable candidate. In addition to the aforementioned list, he is obviously willing to wear the robes. Under the reign of Heff we would all get free bunny ears at mass. Surely, the conclave should have considered him? I reckon he’d ensure a happy ending for everyone.

Ellen Degeneres I think if they were ever to let a woman be the Pope, it would be Ellen. If you’ve ever seen her shows you’ll know exactly how altruistic she is. Picture the scene: you’re walking through Vatican City and she springs out and gives you a €10,000 Lidl voucher, just so you can buy your messages for the next few years. There would always be dance music playing throughout Vatican City; at Sunday Mass we’d boogie our way up for Communion to a thumping dubstep bassline. Aside from how much cooler she would make the Church, she’s a lovely person with a good heart. She gets my vote anyway.

Ah, if only the heads of the Catholic Church were Motley readers. The next time the conclave need to hold their secret ballot, they should really just flick through an issue of HELLO!, see who’s trending on Twitter, or check E!News beforehand. Catholics like to be entertained, too.

Images: ew.com, mediabistro.com, worth1000.com

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The Problem with Bedtime Stories R. Sole huffs and puffs and blows your mind – exposed to these stories, no wonder we turned out the way we did!

For those who think that the kids of today don’t have the same morals that we did, perhaps it’s because kids today are more alert to the ambiguousness of some of the traditional bedtime stories.

Hansel and Gretel

Cinderella

Accepting sweets from strangers, however, is ok, because if you follow them home, you can always lock them in the oven and then (figuratively) eat them out of house and home.

If you’re grounded, it’s ok to sneak out and gatecrash a party you weren’t even invited to in the first place as long as: (a) you go in disguise, (b) transport is provided by somebody claiming to be a responsible adult (e.g. godmother) yet encourages you to break your curfew, and (c) you’re back home by midnight (if the pubs finish up at 11.30, the parents are unlikely to stagger in the front door before midnight).

Princess and the Pea Secret #02 to snagging a rich husband: engender yourself to the potential in-laws by complaining at length about the most insignificant detail you can find, such as the uncomfortable bed they made you sleep in when you stayed in their house and availed of their hospitality. Apparently whinging and moaning is a sign of high breeding.

Secret #01 to snagging a rich husband: wear very small shoes no matter how uncomfortable they are, then grease your feet with ‘essential oils’ so they slide in smoothly – proof that size DOES matter to all women and that there IS a valid purpose for aromatic oils and beauty creams. Pride and Prejudice fans, remember that the heroine Elizabeth Bennett only realised that she loved Mr Darcy AFTER she saw the size of his… house.

Lads, if you feel a damp patch in the bed, it’s because she can’t spell ‘pea’ and misunderstood the goal of the fairy-tale. But if you insist on your pet dog/cat sleeping in the bedroom as cover for your ‘silent-but-deadly’ farts, you’re in no position to criticise.

Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Dick Whittington and his Cat

If you plan on breaking into somebody’s house, make sure to sit in their chairs and sleep in their bed(s). If you get caught, you can sue for compensation for injuries sustained to your back. Real criminals don’t need duffel bags when solicitors can deliver a much greater haul

The reason that there are so many potholes in Ireland is because all roads used to be paved with gold. But when the Celtic Tiger ended, certain people decided to retire and the pensions had to be funded somehow. They played with other people’s money, not their own.

Never eat ‘free’ food without a clear route to the nearest toilet. The circumstances of Goldilocks’ rapid departure were never fully clarified

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice If you want something done, delegate to somebody responsible. But you can still take credit afterwards.

The Wizard of Oz Halloween Pranks – it’s ok to throw a bucket of water over an old woman as long as you believed she was a witch (and would melt). Elderly ladies living alone might want to send their litter of pet cats away should the felines be mistaken as black magic familiars.

The Boy Who Cried Wolf If you’re going to invent or spread gossip, make sure it’s both vague and juicy so that nobody will bother to discredit it and it’ll spread like the flu and nobody can ever trace it back to you.

If you find a body crushed under the masonry of a recently destroyed house, it’s ok to take their shoes. Ignore those complaints about looting after the various hurricanes in the US, such as Katrina and most recently Sandy.

Pied Piper of Hamelin If you’re going to refuse to pay a bill, make sure that your creditor doesn’t know where you live. Of course, when little girls become teenagers, they’ll learn the other meaning of this tale: musicians will tempt you off the straight and narrow, and his sense of rhythm is a more useful clue than the size of his instrument.

Three Billy Goats Gruff Pranks: if you meet a stranger on a bridge and he says that he is very hungry, it’s ok to push him into the river. It doesn’t matter that he’s homeless and was just asking for some money/food to survive.

Little Red Riding Hood If grandma still has her original teeth, the odds are that she’s a wolf, although the judge might have some difficulty (in terms of PR, not ethics) swallowing that as a basis for dismissing the DPP’s charges involving a brutal hatcheting of a little old lady in their own home.

Snow White

Otherwise, it’s fun to throw her false teeth down the stairs and watch them bounce. They also make excellent pastry cutters.

You should never accept… apples… from strangers. Never trust a mirror that tries to convince you that you look good. Clothes shops have been using them for years, together with questionable lighting methods. However if you find a flattering mirror and also begin to hear a strong-willed voice, the type of therapy you need isn’t retail therapy.

Images: Lois Lenski, Arthur Rackham, Tina Schart Hyman.

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The Spoofer’s Guide to… Time Dilation (putting the sh*te in Zeitgeist) Painful physics puns abound in Gearoid Holland’s laboratory of laughs. It’s all relative though... You’ve heard of the bluffer’s guide on how to talk at length about things you know nothing about? Well, The Spoofer’s Guide is about to undermine those bluffers by demonstrating an ‘understanding’!

Classical Relativity Relativity is all about comparing your perspective to somebody else’s. The key is to remember at all times: •

Distance = Speed x Time.

From your perspective (i.e. your frame of reference), distance, speed and time are all normal. It’s everybody else’s perceptions that are screwed up (but because they’re in the middle of it, they don’t realise anything)... Of course they think the same thing about you.

For example, if I run up an escalator at three miles an hour, I think I’m moving at three miles an hour, but you think I’m going nowhere fast (because I ran up the wrong escalator and it’s moving downwards at three miles an hour, thus cancelling out my progress). Each observer is right from their own frame of reference. It explains, for example, how politicians perceive they are moving forward but to the rest of us nothing appears to change. The perceived ‘inconsistency’ of another frame of reference compared to your own is called ‘dilation’ (i.e. TDs’ expenses in exchange for no actual movement toward progress).

Special Relativity In the above example, time was the constant. Distance and speed were ‘viewed differently’ depending on the perspective of the observer. Einstein proposed that at very high speeds (such as the speed of light), that speed (not time) was the constant (i.e. distance and time, not distance and speed, were the ‘flexible’ variables to be perceived differently by two observers). This is known as relative velocity time dilation, or the special theory of relativity. Imagine a ball being thrown upwards in a car. The people in the car see only an up-and-down motion. However, the unlucky pedestrian who got splashed by the car (because the mother was distracted yelling at the kids to stop messing about in the back seat) would see something different. The pedestrian would see the ball travelling (1) upward and downwards AND (2) forwards... – i.e. in an arc. If the pedestrian sees the ball travel a greater length (i.e. an arc) but the speed of light is constant, then the time taken for the ball to travel must have ‘flexed’ within the car in order for both observers to see the same ball return to the same hand. The special theory of relativity is that time slows down the closer one’s velocity gets to the speed of light. However, it is impossible to actually exceed the speed of light, so: •

No matter how fast you run, you’ll never catch the bus the one morning that you slept in and have a 9am class test worth at least 15 per cent of your overall grade. No matter how fast a man’s sports car is, it can never travel fast enough to slow down his girlfriend’s biological clock to the point at which it will actually stop ticking.

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Gravitational Time Dilation All of the relativity so far involves moving objects. But that doesn’t explain wormholes and time travel though. Einstein’s follow-up, the general theory of relativity, states that space and time are inter-connected and a distortion in one can also affect the other. Time slows down as gravity increases, so the closer to the epicentre of a gravity field you get, the slower time passes. This was demonstrated at great expense by flying atomic clocks around the world. However, some twit called Gearoid Holland pointed out that this effect can also be observed (at considerably less expense) in everyday life. Conceited local morons are extremely immature – almost as if they haven’t grown up fully. Equally, arrogant counties with bloated egos are, as everybody knows, several decades behind the rest of us. In both cases, the bloated egos are so large that they generate a gravitational field powerful enough to slow down time itself, and thus their ability to develop. Of course, they don’t realise anything until they actually leave the affected area, which for a moron is impossible.

The real cause of climate change The ‘exponential bloated ego’ responsible for creating a time dilation effect in some parts of Ireland is caused by an unshakable belief among some citizens that the earth does, and must, revolve around them. However, it is also central to the debate regarding the highly controversial topic of climate change, according to a hitherto unseen scientific paper by a lowly BA called Gearoid Holland, entitled the Hindenberg Re-Butt-al: You believe that the world revolves around you. However you also believe that the sun mostly shines out of your ass (henna tattoo optional). Therefore, if the world revolved around you, the world would be in total darkness most of our lives, because how often would the world’s orbit take it close enough to your butt for sunlight to be seen beyond the corona of those butt cheeks? However, since the sun’s rays impact on at least some portion of the earth’s surface at any particular time of the day, the only solution therefore is that the world must occupy a geostationary orbit directly in line with your rear end (where the sun shines). Therefore, you have a personal responsibility to reduce your intake of beans and curry, since your noxious odours are clearly a significant contributing factor to both the depletion of the ozone layer, and to global warming (if not genocide due to air pollution). And if you fart too hard, the sun will go into supernova, so that we will either die from the radiation from the solar flare, or from the absence of sunlight which is critical to plant growth. However, the theory has been kept quiet for now as nobody wanted to make waves by paying particle-lar attention to this theory, and perhaps seeing the light. (Ed: Ughh! A triple whammy! Should’ve made him walk the Planck for that one.) Images: hplusmagazine.com, somuchpun.com.


­­­Fame: It’s Not Going to Live Forever Web Editor Kieran Murphy strives to find a definition for fame in a world occupied by attention seekers and opportunists

How does one define fame? It’s one of the most important debates of our time - if you’re editor of Now Magazine, that is. Andy Warhol famously said ‘in the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes’, and his prediction seems to have come true. Gone are the days when you could label someone a ‘celebrity’ because they regularly top the charts, or grace the cover of magazines; fame and celebrity status can be now attached people who’ve amassed thousands of Twitter followers or threw a shoe at Harry Styles’ crotch. Fame is no longer something that’s earned through years of tireless efforts, but rather sought out by narcissists with money to burn on buying Twitter followers. Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian may be known as ‘being famous for being famous’ but this phenomenon didn’t start with them. In the 90s, a wide-eyed opportunist named Lolo Ferrari, rose to fame by owning the largest pair of breasts in the world. Each implant weighed 2.8 kilograms, and were reportedly created by an engineer who also worked on the Boeing 747 design. Fearri rose to fame by showing up at the Cannes Film festival and just standing around until she got noticed, and from there it spiralled into a lacklustre music career, but also a great role in Channel 4’s much-loved Eurotrash. So while Lolo at least put herself through several severe and invasive surgeries to become famous, it’s now easier than ever to ever to reach the dizzying heights of fame - all you need is a Twitter account and a credit card. Self-promoting opportunists can now become members of the non-elite ‘Twitterati’ by simply purchasing some followers: 10,000

Dead Famous

are a bargain at €500. One of the products of this phenomenon is Olly Riley, who’s known for being abusive towards his followers, and tweeting about his shoes as well as his desire to go back to Malaga, and unless all of his 160,000 followers are entertained by watching paint dry, his ‘celebrity’ is certainly fabricated. A more notorious product of Twitter fame is Riley_69, who not openly boasted about buying his Twitter followers, but rose to infamy by tweeting death threats to darling of the Olympics, Tom Daley. This isn’t a completely new, though - before the emergence of the Twitterati, MySpace spawned its own celebrities, the most successful being Tila Tequila. Tila amassed over three million friends on the once-popular social networking site, before hitting the Big Time with her MTV reality TV show, A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila. In the intervening years she’s become more famous for having her storage locker bought off at an auction than her attempts at music or acting. Fame is no longer privy to the talented and admirable, but now rather accessible to everyone and anyone as long as they have to money to spend or the desire to air their dirty laundry on social media. So while you may be pining for the days where stars were once on another level, it seems that the chorus of ‘Don’t you know who I am?’ is only ever going to get louder.

Image: mf-updates.blogspot.com

If you think cam-whoring and pap-baiting is solely a symptom of the Modern Age, think again. Mae McSweeney names and shames some Pre-Madonna Prima Donnas.

Lord Byron Beautiful, charismatic and controversial, George Gordon Byron inspired devotion and passion amongst his followers which even Lady Gaga could only dream of. Just as the most entertaining of contemporary public figures exhibit some form of personality disorder or mental anguish (Charlie Sheen, Britney Spears, Mariah Carey...), he is said to have been bipolar. In his short life, Byron managed to rack up enormous debts, engage in a scandalous liaison with his halfsister, and exile himself to the Ottoman Empire, where he died from a fever contracted in Missolonghi, Greece. You just couldn’t write this stuff. Similar to Tim Allen’s supposedly popularity in Japan, the Greeks consider Byron a national hero for his exploits in their War of Independence. His wife even coined the term ‘Byromania’ in reference to the admiration and adoration he evoked in the public.

Sarah Bernhardt Bernhardt was a French stage and early screen actress, dubbed ‘the most famous actress the world has ever known’ (no, I’d never heard of her either). From her earliest ventures into showbiz, she showed excellent promise in the diva department: Bernhardt was asked to resign from the Comedie Francaise acting academy, after slapping another actress who had shoved her younger sister. Ever the shameless self-publicist, much of the details of her life are uncertain, due to a personal tendency to over-exaggerate, distort, and flat-out lie. Not content with her role as an actress, Bernhardt took up painting and sculpture in her 20s - an early pioneer of the kind of narcissistic determination to conquer every creative realm now exhibited by James Franco, Justin Timberlake and Rihanna (whose recent ‘collaboration’ with River Island pleased only the most die-hard advocates of crop tops and long-legged dungarees). Ever-dedicated to her fans, she reportedly slept in a rosewood coffin, surrounded by the love-letters of adoring men. If she had a Twitter account, I’d follow her.

Thomas Beckett In 1170, this Archdeacon of Canterbury was killed by four knights who were thought to be connected with the king. News of his murder spread throughout England and to the continent, and the legend of the martyred Becket grew until he was posthumously considered ‘the father of the poor and the comforter of the sorrowful’. Wall hangings, murals and stained glass were embellished with scenes from Becket’s life. To this day, Canterbury Cathedral, the scene of his infamous murder, still draws curious tourists. He was a kind of John Lennon of his day – cut down in cold blood, a beacon of hope and peace for thousands; and, dare I say it, probably a bit over-rated.

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Images: wikimedia.org.jpg, amazonaws.com.jpg


Dreadlock Holiday Hazel Hurley responds to Laura O’ Donovan’s article, ‘Til Dread Do Us Part’, from the February issue of Motley, with a rousing call to arms for a dreadlock revolution. Since reading Laura’s article about dreadlocks in the last edition of Motley, I have been fondly reminiscing on my own time as a dreadlock wearer, and I agree with Laura that everyone should try dreads once. It was the spring of 2011 – the fallen leaves had overstayed their welcome on the footpaths, disguising the dog foulings around my home by the Mardyke, making for a delightful daily game of hopscotch as I wandered to and from campus. I was young and free, in my second year of a four year degree, living off Daddy, with no responsibilities or threat of having to find a job. I had a mad mop of wirey brown hair and a lot of time on my hands. The time was right for a dreadlock holiday. I looked up some online dreadlock forums and many of them recommended using the beeswax method. With the benefit of hindsight, I tell you now – DO NOT! This method involves backcombing a section of hair, rubbing beeswax on it and then twisting the section into a rope. This is repeated weekly until the hair starts to knit itself together to form hard ropes. It takes months to get to a stage where you have strong dreads you can be proud of. This is how I formed my dreads and I remember those first few weeks, meeting people with proper dreads and cowering away, feeling like a fraud. Interestingly, something similar happens to me now that I have my hair is now dyed a colour I call ‘orange’, or what my friends call ginger. Legitimately ginger males now approach me on nights out and use the common experience of ginger-dom as an ice-breaker and chatter-upper. I was previously unaware of this secret community of gingers, but it does explain how the species has survived extinction. There I am, tilting my head to hide my brown roots, with your man looking all confused and disappointed, as I have to say ‘no, sorry, I can’t say I’ve ever had that rash’. In the end, after only a few short months I had overdosed on beeswax and was left with a massive sticky clump of waxy, ropey hair on top of my head. Fearing a swarm of bees would take up residence therein, and with no hope of brushing it out, it was a job for the scissors. That story probably doesn’t inspire confidence but I think everyone should have a go with dreadlocks. Before I give you a recipe for easy, clean, relatively instant dreadlocks, I’d first like to share a few unique, strange insights I gained during my dance with dreadlocks.

are no jobs! This is my final year in UCC and I’ve been thinking lately about what I have really achieved here besides a one-way ticket to Australia. I want to leave my mark on UCC, let everyone know I ‘woz ere’. If there is anyone I haven’t offended besides gingers, Havanas regulars and people with big heads, maybe you would like to join with me to create a super race of dreadlocked students. I will be Pat Mustard and you can be my hairy illegitimate babies.

Delicious Dreadlocks for One

Ingredients: 1 head of hair (preferably long and coarse). 0.6mm crochet needle (available from any drapery or wool shop). Comb. Hair bobbles. Time. Patience.

Method 1.

Starting at the back of the head, part the hair into even sections depending on how thick you want your dreads to be and tie each section with a hair bobble. (It may be easier to start the dreads in stages, as it will take a long time.)

2.

Take a section of hair and backcomb it.

3.

Twist the hair into a rope shape.

4.

Get your crochet needle and begin to stab the hair vigorously up and down the length of the hair (good study month stress reliever). The tiny hook on the needle will begin to knit the hair together.

Dreadlocks can bring you closer to the one you love. If you are in love, requited or not, and being apart from that person pains you, then steal some of their hair – just like that creepy hair-sniffing screamy guy from Charlie’s Angels. It is then very easy to knit their hair into your own dread. Now a piece of that person is with you always. The hair may be technically dead and rotting, but romance certainly isn’t.

5.

Repeat for each section of hair.

6.

Repeat step 4 regularly until ropes are formed.

7.

Use needle to smooth out any lumps and bumps that may appear.

Dreadlocks are an effective disguise for a big head. A new friend of mine, we’ll call him John to protect his identity, told me in confidence one day that underneath his dreadlocks he has a massive alien head and that his dreads were a godsend in concealing the fact. Do you have an abnormally large head that you find difficult to hide? Then maybe dreadlocks are for you.

Serving Suggestion

Firstly, dreadlocks can be a fantastic weapon – particularly if you have heavy glass beads attached to them. One of my favourite activities during my dreaded period was heading to Havanas to hit bitches in the teeth. I would dance around like a mad yoke, whipping my hair back and forth and every so often I would hear the satisfying clink of glass bead on tooth. While the bitches be trippin’, spilling their Southern Comfort and Lime, I would skip away to find my next victim. They wouldn’t know what hit them and they would never dare ‘start’ on me in case I used my hippy voodoo powers on them. Win.

There are certain stigmas and myths that surround dreadlocks – we all know them, and most are not true or do not have to be true. Some say that it is difficult for people with dreadlocks to get a job because of this stigma, but if we all had dreadlocks there would be no stigma, and, anyway, there

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Add feathers, beads, coloured wool or the hair of a loved one to serve.

Care and Maintenance Wash hair regularly with special dreadlock shampoo (available to order online) or bread soda. (Who ever said dreadlocks were dirty?)


Hatin’ on Hipsters: the new hip thing to do. Senita Appiakorang writes in defence of the much-maligned counter-cultural icon of our times – the hipster. It all began with something ‘real’ to aspire to; a sincere intent to escape the corporate, fickle and prescribed capitalism of the 1980s and 90s. A need to create and live artfully, authentically and in an original way, to purposefully marginalize themselves from what the corporate West stood for. This underground movement rejecting the mainstream, and adopting the ‘alternative’ – we call them ‘hipsters’. No one could have anticipated how the ethos behind it would become so popular and widespread, eventually becoming re-interpreted and diluted into the mainstream so that the definition of ‘hipster’ is far from concrete.

There was a more varied age group and geographical distribution of people who listened to certain bands because of their ‘you-probablyhaven’t-heard-of-them’ appeal. They turned towards DIY clothing or ‘thrifting’ for fashion inspiration, because it offered more of an opportunity to create their own identity, rather than be dictated to by corporations.

The hipster subculture of the 40s would have been synonymous with jazz culture; the slick city cats who knew where all the real hot stuff was happening, with their lifestyles of wild parties, loose sexual habits, drugs in abundance and negligence of their health.

This is a question of authenticity: who is more authentic – the person who identifies with a cultural movement and adopts all aspects of that trend into their lives, or the poseurs who accept that to be a hipster is a pretty meaningless aesthetic qualification, so there’s no need to take it too seriously?

Today’s stereotypical hipster spends hours in some minimalist cafe drinking flavoured coffees, to the soundtrack of some as-yetundiscovered musical prodigy, looking up ‘kooky’ cat memes on their iPhones, while post-modernly discussing the kitschy appeal your grandma’s jumper. Note that tone of disapproval isn’t mine – its society’s! Why do we love hatin’ on hipsters so much?

Why are they so contrary? Most hipsters these days would have experienced or else graduated from third level education and pride themselves on debates of substance or practicing the art of satire, irony or sarcasm in good humour whilst putting themselves forward as unthreatening but very well informed. There is a tendency among them to represent the more liberal perspective, feeling that we live in a society that is still quite conservative in many ways. A more phony kind of hipster might not be able to back up his or her claims with facts – but the true cool kids make sure to cover their asses, keeping on top of current affairs by reading their favourite liberal media – The Huffington Post, NPR, or satirical news programme, The Daily Show. Your bespectacled Doc Marten-wearing friend is likely to be outraged about the latest antiabortion legislation, petroleum oil spill or animal cruelty scandal.

This question came to the surface a couple of months ago when some friends of mine found themselves described as the postcards for hipster lifestyle. Ever since, the worried whispers of ‘Am I a hipster?’ have been passed around amongst us. Honestly, there’s no two ways to answer that question. If someone asked me outright would I consider myself a hipster I would probably say ‘hell yes’. If liking the arts, buying vintage/ second-hand and high street, reading certain kinds of books, taking a stand on social issues by ranting online or going to a vigil, claiming to eat well, going to a trend cafe to have herbal tea and listening to niche marketed music rather than the chart stuff puts me in that bracket, then I am willing to accept that. All these things I do with sincerity, so why should I shy away from the label? What is so wrong with wanting to be cultured and what happens when that performance of being ‘cultured’ dictates culture? Are hipster bashers just bitter, or are they even more ‘hip’ in their determination to not conform to non-conformism?

In any case, if the hipster movement started out as a type of rebellion, its motive has disappeared. When everyone is staging some personal rebellion against the mainstream by shaving the side of their heads, when the yelping notes of Gotye are blared on breakfast radio, when sardonic, anti-authoritarian bohemia becomes a commodity, the next ‘hip’ move to make is to snide such individuals for jumping on the bandwagon that the rest of us were too lame to catch on to!

Let’s dissect the differing strands of hipsters, and pin point what it is that really grates on our nerves about them.

What do they believe in anyway? The nearest distinct relative to the modern hipster is the grunger, who avoids overt consumerism if at all possible, instead encouraging a DIY approach to sustain one’s life or art without depending on capitalist society. Examples would have been Eddie Vedder or Kurt Cobain – misunderstood introverts at odds with the grain. This movement ran out of steam around the midnoughties, as there had been a shift in the demographic of people that would subscribe to this way of thinking and living.

The moral here is that ‘cool’ is a slippery thing to hold onto, but, really, someone’s coolness is made up of character, wit, and general hangout-with-able-ness – regardless of whatever clique they subscribe to. The village idiot, who jumps from trend to trend to remain relevant – we can all see through that. So what if hipsterism began as a reaction to the mainstream, a trend in itself? That doesn’t mean I have to move pastures – it’s suiting me just fine!

Images: madamehunter.com, menegenerator.net, venturevillage.eu.

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Gender Agenda For those who are sceptical of the relevance of feminism, Angel Merisi reminds us why we need an International Women’s Day. March 8th marked International Women’s Day: the globally recognized and celebrated socialist movement, with over 1,314 events staged worldwide. It’s been observed since 1908, when 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding better pay, shorter hours and voting rights. Since then, improvements in favour of women’s equality and status have come to fruition, in many sectors and on many levels. Nevertheless, there are still critical territories in need of modification such as equality of pay. In today’s modern world, the recognition of women in their capacity as role model, in the workplace, and, indeed, all walks of life has increased dramatically. However, throughout various indigenous cultures of the world, we still find women dominated by age old traditions, customs and staunch patriarchal authority, as is the case for many Pashtun women of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Particular aspects of cultural and social tradition can often have adverse effects on the lives of Pashtun women. It is important to state that not all Pashtun women are heavily influenced or burdened by the nature of their culture, and therefore cannot be categorized in general, or realised in terms of being uneducated or repressed. Indeed, many Pashtun women have attained high political office in recent years, while others have successfully carved out careers in journalism and in many other areas of the social domain and workplace. Yet a significant number of Pashtun women living in rural parts, such as areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Afghanistan, are affected in many ways by the ‘code of honour’ known as Pashtunwali. This code of honour is an inherent, ingrained understanding among Pashtun society, where the tribal laws and customs are adhered to and exercised, often with force, thus affecting many women’s lives in a negative way. With a population of over 50 million, the Pashtun people are Afghanistan’s largest ethnic community, and Pakistan’s second. Separated by the geographical border known as the Durand line, the Pashtun community is a tribal, clannish formed society, traditionally rules according to male values, as seen in most patriarchal societies, with the regulated Pashtunwali at the nucleus of its culture. One of the most oppressive aspects of Pashtunwali is the responsibility to uphold the honour of the family and tribe. If honour is endangered on any level, the considered perpetrator may become an outcast, disowned by both family and clan. The fear of bringing ‘sharam’ or shame on the family weighs heavily on the shoulders of Pashtun women. In Pashtun society, if a woman suffers injustice such as domestic violence, forced marriage, chooses a husband other than the choice of the tribe, confronts a husband over infidelity, acts or speaks in a way that is considered too liberal, she will have to bear the consequences, with hostile reactions from those around her. For instance, a Pashtun woman who commits adultery can face the prospect of being stoned in public, and in some cases the sentence is death.

In constant fear of shaming their family, women are often forced to bear injustice silently, to deny and sacrifice their basic human rights in order to retain the honour and status quo of their family. Violent acts such as rape often go unreported, promoting silent subjugation on the part of many Pashtun women. In light of recent revelations concerning the treatment of girls and children at the Magdalene laundries here in Ireland, the concept of bringing shame to the family is not alien to our own collective consciousness. In the majority of cases, it was close relatives who decided these girls’ fate, and therefore wittingly sentenced them to a life of seclusion, misery and horrific abuse. Another widely practiced institution of Pashtun culture is the system known as ‘Jirga’, where a panel of honoured elders called ‘Masharan’ along with other influential men of the community, assemble in order to settle disputes and domestic problems that arise within the tribe. The Jirga practice, existed in Pashtun culture long before the advent of Islam, and the Qur’an and Sunnah were since incorporated into the Jirga system. In a recent case in Afghanistan, a woman spent six months trying to get a divorce through her local court. Eventually the case was handed over to the local Jirga council for a decision. Although the woman herself was not allowed to attend the hearing, her husband, the man she wanted to divorce, was a member of the panel. In the FATA areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan, many disputes are dealt with by the Jirga, deciding the fate of countless women’s lives. The lives of Pashtun women vary from those living in urban centres to those residing in rural areas. In Afghanistan, after many decades of war and the subsequent rise of the Taliban, considerable hardship and curtailment of basic human rights have become the norm for many Pashtun women. The threat of aggressive behaviour is enormous in certain areas of rural Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Afghanistan. These actions are sometimes driven by an inaccurate interpretation of Islamic law, as recently witnessed in the shooting of 15 year old school girl Malala Yousafzai by the Taliban. There are still many discriminatory practices affecting women across the modern world today, but, as history shows us, change takes time, particularly in societies where long standing traditions and belief systems are deeply entrenched in the collective psyche. However, events such as International Women’s Day, allows the opportunity to share experiences, promote dialogue and to encourage a deeper understanding of the lives of less fortunate and often overlooked women across the world. Images: internationalwomensday.com, theatlantic.com.

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‘Are Ya Well?!’ – In Pole Position Leah Aftab talks with pole fitness instructor Brenda Collins about the emerging fitness trend, providing us with some useful information on the historic practice – hopefully enough to keep mammy and her rolling pin at bay! You’ve tried to get fit - you really have. You’ve tried spinning, swimming and step and tone, but it hasn’t worked out the way you planned. You even had a gym programme and stuck to it for a whole week before relapsing into couch potato mode. What if I told you there was a new way to get fit? A more exciting and, dare I say, fun way to get fit? The answer lies in the phenomenon that is pole fitness. Combining strength, flexibility and art, it has become the new Zumba. Although it is seen as a modern and trendy form of exercise, it has in fact been practiced in China since the 12th century, and in India for the last 800 years, albeit in a different form. In the Western world, pole dancing has traditionally been associated with night clubs, exotic dance acts, and has even been confused with stripping or burlesque. In short, its reputation was somewhat unsavoury. However, a new dawn for pole came in 1994 when Fawnia Dietrich opened the first pole fitness and dance school in Las Vegas. She pioneered the idea of using the pole as a tool for exercise, and subsequently a business machine. Pole fitness is now widely regarded as a sport, and many national and international competitions and workshops now take place in countries around the globe. However, in Ireland old prejudices die hard, and upon hearing that one of their own prefers the pole over the aul puck around the field, the shell-shocked Irish Mammy is wont to keel over with disgust. Fear not, Irish Mammy – all hope is not lost. Brenda Collins, pole and fitness instructor of Mi-fitness explains.

How did you get involved in pole fitness? ‘I heard about famous people doing it, like Teri Hatcher of Desperate Housewives  fame. I looked up places in Cork to try out a class and discovered that there was nowhere. So I bought a pole, assembled it in my house and began teaching myself through videos and the internet in 2007. I had an added advantage in that I have a gymnastics background, but this is not essential – your flexibility increases with time.’

What did your parents think, because in Ireland the emphasis is still very much on the ‘what will the neighbours think?’ aspect of life choices? ‘My parents were very supportive; their main thing was that the pole didn’t wreck the roof!  After I began learning new moves I realized I was hooked and received my qualifications in 2009 and began teaching classes that summer.’    What is pole fitness and what are its health and exercise benefits? ‘Pole fitness is a form of exercise for men and women which helps to tone and define the abs while strengthening them and helping to build arm strength and muscle. It improves flexibility, cardio vascular fitness, and helps to build leg definition. I would advise anyone who wants to try out a class to go to a minimum of 4-5 to see a difference as after one class all you feel is pain the next day. It takes time to build up the strength to lift your body upside down but the results are worth the wait.’   Do you think the Irish perceptions of pole fitness are one-sided? ‘People tend to ask me what we wear, once they realize its gym wear and that we work in bare feet, rather than heels, they get more comfortable with the idea of it. However, once your skill level improves and you begin sitting on the pole and going upside-down, you need your skin to grip to prevent you injuring yourself and sliding – that’s when shorts are required. People ask if I’ve worked in a club, and once I’ve reassured them that I haven’t, they are more understanding. Still, a lot of perceptions haven’t changed; Irish people seem to remain to associate pole dancing with clubs and the like. There is still a certain stigma attached to pole fitness in Ireland – people think of one thing and fail to realize how beneficial it can be. At the same time, it has definitely received more interest from people, this is as a result of programs such as Got to Dance and Britain’s Got Talent  choosing pole contestants, where the level of skill and strength required becomes obvious. My best advice for people who don’t really know what pole fitness is would be to Google and YouTube pole dancers, such as Michelle Shimmy and Dirty Birdy; although their level of talent takes years, it still provides an insight into what is involved.’ See, Irish Mammy? There’s no need to disown your young one or beat them – now, relax, have that cuppa and let them climb that pole like their monkey ancestors! Pole can be an addiction in itself and the rush of nailing a new move will satisfy you much longer than an episode of Corrie. For people like Brenda pole fitness is a career, for others a sport, and for the rest it’s an addiction. Not only can it help lighten the scales, it might also lighten a conversation. Go on, give it a twirl! Images: nownews.com.

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On a Roll, In a Hurry

Tommy Tobin attempts to answer the question that has plagued the hungover UCC student since the invention of the deli counter: who does the best hot chicken roll in Cork? Whether you have yours with mayo, butter or relish, hot chicken rolls are a student staple, filling your belly without lightening your wallet. Filled chicken baguettes offer a world of possibilities. For many, hot chicken rolls are a convenience food, purchased for a quick bite between classes or after a night out. Who among us though hasn’t gone for a stretch eating hot chicken rolls on the regular? I will not be casting stones on that one, to be sure. The filled sandwiches could double as a full-on meal or as a late-night snack.

Near the Brookfield accommodations is Mango, which offers quite a cheap chicken roll. I didn’t much care for the roll or the service. That said, I was peckish when I went in, and full when I left – mission accomplished. What sets Mango apart is both the convenience for those living in and around Brookfield and the vast seating area for customers; I really enjoyed being able to sit down, lay out a paper, read, and dine. ‘If I get a chicken roll, I don’t like a lot of fillings,’ says UCC postgraduate Maria Moloney. Rather than Tim’s strategy of layering on the sandwich salads, Maria opts for a plainer roll that emphasizes the flavour of the chicken and of the spread - a perfectly valid stand.

Beware of sneaky shops that advertise sandwiches for prices as low as €1.99. The unsuspecting consumer thinks he’s hit the jackpot – ‘A meal for less than two Euro, sign me up!’ Unfortunately, the quality of these rolls can be poor, even if you’re quite peckish. Often, the price of these rolls often does not even include fillings. If you’re in to fillings, you can end up doubling the price of your sandwich with some not-so-savvy choices. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t get duped by the deceptively enticing signage!

Moving toward town, the newsagent on Gilabbey Street has a decent roll, competing with some stiff competition from the neighbouring Subway eatery. Up a way near Cissie Young’s, Whelton’s Centra offers a hot chicken roll for €3.30 that comes with a free soup if you order it during certain times. For €3.60, you can get a roll with all 100% Irish chicken. Neither of these places offer unlimited fillings – keep that in mind when you order.

I might be preaching to the choir. As an international postgraduate, hot chicken rolls are a new and fascinating subject to me; I have experimented with over a dozen places, loads of bread rolls, and many, many fillings. More than a convenient eating occasion, ordering a hot chicken roll has become a chance to experiment with endless flavour combinations – tomatoes today, red onions tomorrow, and then both the next day.

Over on Washington Street, Londis is a handy place to drop by for lunch if you need to post something to the day, as there’s a small post office there in the back. Again, there’s a Subway (this one open until 3am) just a bit away. You’ll have to think about your sandwich needs carefully there, especially as you’re likely to get better service over at Subway.

Delivering value for money in hot chicken rolls means offering customers convenient options, speedy service, and fried chicken goodness. Some places, such as Whelton’s Centra near Cissie Young’s, offer free soup (at certain times) with hot chicken rolls. Others, like Clifford’s Daybreak right near campus, toast your sandwich for no extra costs. It’s a competitive market, as all of Cork’s deli counter’s jostle for your hard-earned munch-money.

As for Grand Parade, I wasn’t too impressed with the roll I got across from the fountain. It was neither tasty nor memorable, and I wish I’d gone to Hillbilly’s instead. Up the street a bit, there’s Herlihy’s Centra, which is probably the best spot to get a hot chicken roll in Cork City at 3am. With hot food served throughout the night, this place is a favourite for those employed by Cork late-night venues, as well as those who frequent them.

‘I just love hot chicken rolls,’ says Michael Holland, a UCC alum currently living in Cork City, ‘They taste good, and they aren’t that expensive.’ For Michael, and his friend Tim Crowley, a current UCC postgraduate, toppings are king. For them, Clifford’s Daybreak near campus is the place to go. Located on College Road, this spot has a hidden café upstairs. Sticking to the main deli counter, Clifford’s Daybreak offers hungry customers unlimited salad fillings, three types of chicken, and the aforementioned free toasting option.

If I had to pick one, for me nothing beats the satisfying crunch and convenience of Clifford’s Daybreak, especially with the fillings and the free toasting. I look forward to more rolls in more places, especially over the next study month. Images: valleyforgefooddisplays.com.

Coffee Near South Mall – What’s Brewing? Tommy Tobin pits two of Cork’s newest and hippest coffee joints against one another. Who will be crowned ‘Bean Supreme’? Read on. Finding coffee in Cork is not that hard. Finding good coffee in Cork? That can be a challenge. Let’s say you find yourself near South Mall one afternoon; where do you head for your cup?

can be a bit loud and seating can be a challenge at peak times; I was fortunate enough to snag a spot and a sandwich for a few hours. Open from 7:30am to 6:30pm weekdays and fewer hours during the weekends, The Bookshelf offers a relaxing reprieve from Cork City centre. For my money, the best spot in the house is the small seating area on the first floor – it’s more private than the rest of the place.

One option, and it’s a good one, is the trendy spot, Filter, right across the river over on George’s Quay. It’s a hangout for the hip. With Rocket Man salads, the place offers some food for your body, as well as fuel for your brain, along with its global coffees like the Ethiopian Yirgacheffe.

So, where do you go? If it’s excellent coffee you’re after, try Filter. If the brew is your secondary concern, and you just want somewhere cushy to rest your feet, head to The Bookshelf. Either way, you’ll be grand!

Filter also plays host to local artists. A recent display, Traces of Her, by Carolyn Collier was displayed with great fanfare in January, opening to a packed house and free drinks. The sweets are something special. Overall, it’s a good spot, but very, very small. Its limited size makes it an intimate location, but also means that the sounds from the coffee machines fill up the space. Given that the place is oh-so-trendy and hip, it can be a bit intimidating to order. With some coffees ordered filter only, others espresso, you don’t want to look like a newbie at the till! Filter is for the person who really knows their coffee blends and wants a quality cup. The Bookshelf Coffee House on South Mall is another fine spot for a cup. Quite a bit bigger than Filter, The Bookshelf feels very comfortable. It just celebrated its first birthday and already it’s established as a popular coffee spot. It’s a relaxing spot to read, chat, and sit for a bit. Again, the acoustics

Filter

The Bookshelf Coffee House

19 George’s Quay,

78 South Mall,

Cork City.

Cork City.

Rating: 4/5 stars.

Rating: 3.5/5 stars.

Images: thenigerianreporter.com.

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Shell Leonard waves us off with a selection of delectable baked goods and iced treats.

The Perfect Buttercream Frosting This is my secret to perfect buns – an amazing injection of flavour in every bite. This is my foolproof recipe for delicious icing, which can be transformed with the slightest addition.

What better to finish a fantastic year at Motley than a ‘best of the rest’! Here are some of my favourites recipes for baking that are too good to leave out. I hope you all enjoyed making the recipes as much as I did.

Strawberry Cheesecake Muffins.

Ingredients:

Optional:

* 140g butter. * 280 icing sugar. * 2tbsp of milk

* Food colouring. * Coffee/Vanilla/Lemon/Almond essence.

Ingredients: Process:

* 6 large strawberries, diced. * 120g plain flour * 2 tsp baking powder * 40g of butter, softened. * 130ml of milk * 1 tsp of vanilla essence * 1 large egg * 145g caster sugar * 5 digestive biscuits crushed.

Cream the butter and sugar together. Add milk when the mix becomes stubborn. Add extra milk if necessary.

Banoffee Tower Ingredients: *1 banana *120g digestives, crushed into crumbs. *50g butter, melted *1 tin of Carnation caramel

Icing:

* 300g icing sugar. * 50g butter. * 125g cream cheese

Process:

Process:

Crush the digestives in a bag using a rolling pin.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

Add the melted butter.

Place strawberries evenly in the base of the bun cases.

Using a cooking ring or a ramekin, press the crumb mixture in as a base. This can be as thick as you want. Be sure to pack it tightly.

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and butter until it makes a fine crumb. Add milk and vanilla, and then combine. Add the egg and mix well.

Place a layer of banana on top.

Bake in the oven for 25mins.

Add a layer of caramel and chill for 2 hours.

Combine icing sugar, butter and cream cheese until smooth.

Serve with a slice of banana on top.

When the cakes have cooled, add the icing and sprinkle with crushed digestives. Garnish with a strawberry.

Doughnut Muffins Ingredients:

Rocky Road

* 150g golden caster sugar * 200g plain flour * 1tsp bicarbonate of soda * 100ml natural yoghurt * 2 large eggs, beaten * 1tsp of vanilla essence * 140g butter, melted

Ingredients: * 300g dark chocolate. * 100g soft butter. * 3tbsp golden syrup. * 120g digestives. * Mini marshmallows. Optional: * Maltesers. * Turkish delight. * Glace cherries. * Almonds.

Process:

Filling:

Whisk together the yoghurt, eggs, and vanilla. Combine with the dry ingredients.

Melt the chocolate, golden syrup, and the butter in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of water.

* Jam - Raspberry or Strawberry. * Squares of dark chocolate.

Add the melted butter and combine.

Process:

Add the fillings, mix and chill for 10mins.

Heat the oven to 170.

Fill the bun cases two thirds of the way up. Place a tsp of jam or square of chocolate and cover with more mixture.

Mix together the sugar, flour, and bicarbonate of soda.

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Cook for 20 minutes. Images: Shell Leonard.


The Raven

Choke

By Peter Neville

as you walked. Their jagged edges carve, like knife to wood. And a curious dripping noise. If I was alive, it would have been a nightmare. But I am not. For me, this was heaven. Even pain is better than nothing, if only marginally. Since I died there have been no feelings. No pleasure, no discomfort. Just existence…

Neck aching… Hand squeezing… Bubbles... Lungs burning… Head spinning… Muted screams… Throat closing… Sick laughing… Water… Fingers crushing… Pain soaring… Delusional… Nerves groaning… Bones jarring… Silence… Pulse slowing… Fear drifting… Alone… Struggle ceasing… Life ending… Over.

Sometimes I haunt my killer. His face is calm. He doesn’t know I’m behind him. Oh, if only he knew. Instead he lives his life freely. Sometimes I want to cause his death - but I can’t. Not because I forgive, but because I refuse to give him something that I can’t have. Even death will give him a sense of panic. And more so, it will give him a sense of life.

That is all I remember. Maybe someday more will come back to me. Maybe someday everything will make sense. Until then I force myself to live in ignorance. It doesn’t matter now. Attacked and forced under water- that’s all. No reasons why will make it better. Nothing will stop me from being dead.

There is another reason why. His face is calm. It is cleanshaven. His hair is turning grey.

And so, I live my life. At least, that is what I call it; best to keep away from the whole walking-corpse element. Maybe I don’t breathe. Maybe my heart has begun to rust. Maybe my family have me buried. But I am still here. Walking. Waiting. Unsure of everything. Nobody can see me. At least, not directly. Sometimes when I drift along the street, it’s different. People instinctively step aside for me. They don’t realise they do it. I do not thank them.

And he is my brother.

Sometimes they spot me. Sometimes they see something. Perhaps its imagination but I think it’s me. They hear my echo. They see my shadow. For a moment I am alive again. But then they look away. Sometimes I wish that my eyes could cry. My soul feels pain and sorrow. Unbearably so. But I am just a watermark. Nothing more than a conspiracy theory. Ghosts don’t exist, of course. Those who believe in me are crazy. Sometimes I think they are. Living should not see the dead. They should fear for us. Just as we envy them.

The Dogs Of War By Eoghan Lyng Over misty sands and spineless steel

My father didn’t cry. Part of me knew in advance. Another part thought habits would disappear. There is no pain quite like watching a funeral. But imagine it with your own lifeless body. Your family. Your friends. Your emptiness. Some things should never be experienced.

A heart of gracious pride succeeds

This is it. This is all.

Silent screams of inner glory

Today I dreamed. That is rare. Dreams don’t follow death. There is nothing to aspire to. And so, dreams are worthless. Most bodies leave behind such trivial things. Most bodies, except mine. Today I dreamed. It was a cave by the ocean. It was somewhere a million miles away. It was cold and damp. It was being blasted by a sea fret. The stones hurt your feet

That take the charm of gold

Every child and every seam For real control of selfless luck

Our spirits rise in hopeless gaze From the communal spit of war.

Stranger than Fiction! •

The Brothers Grimm wrote their stories originally as an exercise in proper grammar.

‘Go’ is the shortest complete sentence in the English language.

There is a statue in Lima, Peru, of Winnie the Pooh.

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fashion

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Rita Ora, My SoCalled Life, Blossom, Clueless, Cara Delevingne and Jeremy Scott all formed the inspiration for our final shoot. Eighties-inspired garish prints and slouchy silhouettes are the perfect way to brighten your study month.

e h t t a Be s e u l B Study

Vintage Levi’s: Mercury Goes Retrograde, €25. White Tank Top: Penneys, €6. Baseball Cap: River Island, €20. Strappy Sandals: Penneys, €15.

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Shift Dress: GAP, €29.95. ‘Hollaback’ Belt: River Island, €20. Red Wedges: Penneys, €18. Neon Clutch: GAP, €24.95.

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Black Crop Top: River Island, €17. Bomber Jacket: Penneys, €7. Silk Trousers: Penneys, €17. Wedge Trainers: Penneys, €18

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Neon Crop Top: River Island, €22. Denim Waistcoat: Mercury Goes Retrograde, €20. Denim Shorts with Belt: River Island, €34.50. Beanie: Mercury Goes Retrograde, €10. Neon Trainers: River Island, €55. Necklace: Stylist’s own.

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Neon Crop Top: River Island, €22. Polka Dot Dungarees: River Island, €55. Leather Backpack: River Island, €40. Necklace and Boots: Stylist’s own .

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Mesh Crop Top: Penneys, €8. Tribal Print Shorts: Penneys, €13. Bomber Jacket: Penneys, €7. Leather Backpack: River Island, €40.

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Neon Crop Top: River Island, €22. Disney Jumper: River Island, €35. Acid Wash Shorts: River Island, €30. Blue Heels: Penneys, €18.

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Black Crop Top: River Island, €17. Suede Midi Skirt: Mercury Goes Retrograde, €25. Neon Anorak: GAP, €39.99. Strappy Sandals: Penneys, €15. Sunglasses: Penneys, €3. Bracelet: Stylist’s own.

Credits:

Photography and Direction by Egle Laukyte Sarganova (White Cat Studio). Model: Meghan O’Donnell. Fashion by Aisling Fitzpatrick and Emma Oliver. Fashion Assistant and Makeup: Laurence Keating. Hair by Origin Hair Design. Shot on location with thanks to Fergal and all the team at Origin Hair Design.

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Images: ASOS, Specsavers, Topshop.com, Topman.com, River Island, Net-A-Porter, Zara.com


fashion@motley.ie

facebook.com/MotleyMagazine

Martina Moloney explores the history behind one of the fashion industry’s most iconic brands. One page is not nearly enough to convey the splendour, extravagance and artistry that is the dazzling world of Prada, but I will deign to synopsise the influence this inimitable brand has had on the fashion world as it celebrates its 100th year in business. Mario Prada founded the family company in 1913, specialising in luxury high-end goods such as leather luggage, walking canes and vanity cases. However, it was not until 1985, with his granddaughter Miuccia at the helm, that the brand reached worldwide acclaim on the introduction of their iconic black nylon rucksack that has transcended the decades to remain one of the most covetable accessories around.

ticulously researched and specially developed textiles and prints. It is also no mean feat that she has flourished in accomplishing this while remaining commercially viable in what is an uncertain and turbulent economic climate. Indeed, Prada herself is estimated by Forbes to be worth $12.4 billion and is rated as the 67th most powerful woman in the world. Miuccia was, incidentally, an unlikely successor to the fashion empire, attaining a doctorate in political science in Milan and subsequently spending several years Piccolo Teatro studying to be a mime. Italy’s first lady of fashion is a feminist, Communist-leaning designer of great ingenuity who transformed the brand, along with her husband, the CEO of the company, into one of the most prestigious, boundarypushing names in fashion. The accomplishments of Prada are seemingly infinite, as the label that began with just two stores in Milan, has delved into womenswear, menswear, a sporting line, footwear, accessories, perfume, art projects and even animated films. In 1992, Miuccia debuted the less expensive, edgier diffusion label Miu Miu (her own nickname) to critical acclaim, and the following year in recognition of her innovation, exquisite craftsmanship and revolutionary vision she received a Council of Fashion Designers of America International Award. This was just one of the numerous accolades the designer would go on to accept in the forthcoming years, with another notable achievement transpiring in 2009 with the launch of the comprehensive book on her brand, Prada: Creativity, Modernity, and Innovation.

It is undeniable that the future seems prosperous for the Prada empire. Touted by the formidable American Vogue editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour, as ‘the only reason we all come to Milan,’ as well as the ‘lifeblood’ of the city, Miuccia continues to create much-lauded, impeccable collections and remains one of fashion’s most monumental virtuosos. The foreword of the aforementioned tome on the brand declares that ‘careful observation of and curiosity about the world, society and culture are the core of Prada’s creativity and modernity’, and I for one am confident that this will remain the case as the label enters its second century at the cutting edge of fashion.

Described in The New York Times as one of Italy’s foremost cultural exports, Mrs Prada maintains a tireless campaign in each collection to create directional looks that ‘extend the parameters of design’ while surmounting the infamous fickleness of fashion. She succeeds in handling the delicate balance between being respected by her peers and the fashion elite while at the same time achieving unparalleled success amongst an international audience ravenous for the newness and pioneering brilliance which is synonymous with the brand. Quoted as saying ‘in fashion, once you’ve got something, you’re already thinking about what’s next,’ Prada’s relentless pursuit of originality has resulted in pioneering me-

Images: Style.com, Vogue, Prada, lilithenize.com.

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Fashion Imitating Life Nicole Clinton discusses Rihanna’s foray into the fashion world and compares her efforts to her predecessor, Kate Moss. Celebrity clothing lines for high street stores have become increasingly popular since the turn of the millennium, with everyone from Fearne Cotton to Alexa Chung designing ranges for the most popular shops. While we’ll never be sure how big a role these celebrities actually take in the creation of their collections, mortals flock to the high-street to try to emulate their fashion icons by buying a piece of authorised star style. With the recent launch of songstress Rihanna’s collection for River Island making fashion headlines, let’s delve a little deeper and compare it to perhaps the high street’s most famous star collaboration – Kate Moss for Topshop. The promotional images for Rihanna for River Island are a lot more attractive than the actual pieces, making the collection appear a great deal more glamorous than it is in reality. The sultry purple and blue lighting mixed with the vivid, gothic make-up looks enhance the otherwise ordinary styles. The ad campaign was shot by photographer Mario Sorrenti which gives it a cool editorial feel but only serves to disappoint when the customer actually enters the shop and sees the pieces on the hangers. Although she states that she ‘designed every piece in the collection so [she] could wear it’, Rihanna doesn’t appear in the graphics. Models of different ethnicities display the laid back designs, but the singer’s urban attitude is nonetheless evident. The ‘Rihanna vibe’ gets trapped here, as it fails to hit me when I block out the stunning models and the sensual purple hues and I look at the individual tangible pieces. For example, the colour scheme of the collection is on trend, but not necessarily one that you would automatically associate with the pop star. Lime green/yellow, black and grey are the staple colours and the majority of the collection consists of overly priced, plain t-shirts, camisoles and sweatshirts in each of these colours. Where’s the cutting-edge, urban coolness that we all expect form the Baijan superstar? The most glamorous invasion of the line comes in the form of a few black dresses, which succeed in being simple and sophisticated with their thigh splits and low backs. The use of vertical stripes is an interesting insertion and the footwear does manage to embody a rock star attitude but overall, the collection is rather exasperatingly casual. The fabrics employed do little to change this fact with a weak, jersey material reigning supreme. I can’t decide as to whether I’m more perplexed or disappointed that Rihanna thinks the female public wants to wear a mechanic’s overalls or a ‘tracksuit skirt’ (I named that one!). We understand that she wanted to make a brave statement, but for someone who rarely racks up fines from the fashion police, we expected a different kind of standard. If we’re going to spend money on a celebrity’s designs, we’re doing it to achieve their look or attitude, not to achieve the look or attitude that they believe we should have. That’s just condescending. This is why Rihanna for River Island is a let down: it’s just not as Rihanna as we’d hoped. Luckily, River Island is advertising this as her ‘first’ season of styles, so there’s still time for her to see the error of her ways and repent by giving us the vagabond cool outfits that we adore her for in her next collection.

While ‘Rihanna for River Island’ is just embarking on its venture on the high street, ‘Kate Moss for Topshop’ came to the end of its course last year. In fact, it could be said that the supermodel’s range for Philip Green’s retail giant kick-started the trend of celebrities designing for the high street and also aided the tycoon to launch his Topshop chain in the US. However, unlike Rihanna’s collection for RI, Kate’s designs actually reflected the style we all expect from her and have admired her for since her controversial introduction to the fashion world in the early nineties. The Moss rock-chick/grunge look perfectly blended with a matured boho-sophistication in her multiple ranges and provided us with the much-sought-after feeling of being cool enough to date Johnny Depp and chic enough to make Karl Lagerfeld actually like us. The fusion of Croydon’s most famous export with Oxford Street’s most revered shop meant that the majority of her pieces were saturated with the ‘London look’ that modern fashion junkies worshipped. The leather and black exuded her careless, effortless rocker attitude while the chiffon and beads reminded us of the frailty of the original ‘superwaif ’. Moss once even gave us proof that she does more in the process than just sign her name, when she once rolled down the window of her cab and yelled ‘I like your jacket!’ at a random girl, after realising that she was wearing one of her pieces. Of course, there were some dodgy pieces (for example, a golf sweater), but overall, the supermodel did her best to bottle up her mysterious aura and taste and sprinkle it over her collections like a fashion sorceress. This is the element that Rihanna’s collection lacks. It definitely doesn’t scream Rihanna – it barely whispers her name. Perhaps this is a result of the fact that I doubt anyone ever really tells Moss to do anything, but Rihanna is a product of a team of people, manufacturing a piece of pop perfection. An album and a tour every year and a new video every month with a different image just in case her fan base get bored must leave very little time for her to express her own tastes. With Rihanna and River Island attempting to take over from where Kate Moss and Topshop left off, it seems like celebrity lines for the high street are here to stay. Maybe that’s because we trust their tastes or maybe it’s simply because we feel a little more like them if we wear pieces that have their seal of approval. But its okay, style theft isn’t a crime! And being totally original is overrated anyway… Images: Topshop.com, RiverIsland.com, Nitrolicious, MTV Style, Haley Berryman.

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Sarah Commane takes a look at the recent debates that have emerged around street style as a phenomenon. Street style has created more than a little bit of debate within the fashion industry over the past month. Suzy Menkes, fashion reporter and editor of the International Herald tribune, sparked this debate by calling out many bloggers and street style ‘stars’ in her article ‘The Circus of Fashion’. She rather rightfully suggests that the parade of people ‘peacocking’ outside the shows has become as important as the shows themselves and asserts that: ‘You can hardly get up the steps at Lincoln Centre, in New York, or walk along the Tuileries Garden path in Paris because of all the photographers snapping at the poseurs.’ This statement is warranted and many commenters believe that street style is at capacity. Street style has peeked and I believe the phenomenon will undergo quite a bit of change over the next few seasons. I don’t believe it will dissipate, but rather evolve. But evolve to what? Nobody knows, but this is the beauty of the rapid pace of change within the industry, perhaps the most striking aspect of the industry at the moment. Fashion will keep us guessing and keep us on our toes. This momentum of change is a catalyst that has led to our current attitudes towards fashion and style. We consume and dispose of fashion and style at a rate that is unprecedented. This could lead to ambiguity; there may not be a definitive style trait associated with our present era and if this proves to be true, this rapid rate of change could be the defining feature of the 2010s.

Another incredibly positive aspect of product placement within street style is the exposure it gives to emerging designers. The Garage documentary mentioned above brilliantly highlights this. One of the commentators is Vika Gazinskaya who states that getting her designs photographed on the street is part of her marketing strategy. This strategy is as smart as it is advantageous and is adopted by a multitude of well established brands as well. Gifts and sponsorship are part of the blogging world; bloggers are regularly courted by brands and many accept the gifts offered – another fact that Menkes has issue with. While street style can promote great bloggers, up-and-coming designers and established brands, the situation, as I mentioned before, has reached critical mass and has led to this backlash. We, as viewers, exasperate the situation. We have contributed to this phenomenon too by creating the demand. If there was no demand, there would be no street style blogs, photographers or ‘stars’. We covet the images of the beautifully dressed. This is

Paradoxically, style and fashion have never been more prevalent within our culture – a culture which also honours the celebrity and, more specifically, the reality star. Menkes and fellow critic Tim Blanks associate the street style phenomenon with reality stardom. Blanks is less harsh than Menkes on this issue, however I believe they are both on-point to a certain degree. Have a look at the minidocumentary Take My Picture made by Garage Magazine to hear his commentary which pre-dates Menkes’ article. At each fashion week there are many people looking to be noticed by Tommy Ton, Phil Oh, Tamu McPherson, and so on. In the Garage documentary, Blanks recounts, with a grimaced face, his experiences of watching people do outrageous things to be noticed by photographers.

part of our fascination with celebrity; we all have our favourites, the ‘stars’ we look out for. Personally, I love Juila Sarr-Jamois and Leigh Lezark. Street style is a fun and frivolous way to interact with fashion – at least through the protective barrier of a laptop screen. I have never been outside the shows when the ‘fash paps’ are hounding their prey, but from the footage I’ve seen it seems a bit insane. Phil Oh goes as far as to call it ‘trench war-fare’. I can see how many of the more experienced, traditional ‘fashion crows’ Menkes refers to would pine for the days when there were more restrictions in the industry.

The reason for this behaviour has to do with exposure; often these people are walking product placement or trying to gain exposure for their work. This is not necessarily a negative. There are many street style ‘stars’ that create amazing work. I’m thinking of Susie Lau and Leandra Medine, specifically, who were cited in Menkes’ article and have responded thoughtfully and inquisitively to her.

While I adore Tommy’s images, this elitist statement stands in opposition to the essence of street style. Is this indicative of the mind-set of the majority of street style ‘stars’ – or, should I say, street style ‘elite’? I hope not.

There is still massive snobbery within the industry. A telling quote from Tommy Ton in Take My Picture brings this to the fore. He states that ‘people who dress up to get photographed will not get photographed by the right people’. In the next scene Susie Lau replies ‘well, that’s rather an elitist view – who are the ‘right’ people?’

Images: juliasarrjamoislove.tumblr.com, fuckyeahleighlezark.tumblr.com, Facebook, hyperkult.com, inseams.com, stylebubble.typepad.com, manrepeller.com.

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The Politics of the FRow Emma Oliver discusses the winning combination of personalities that make the perfect front row.

Front row: the most coveted seats of any fashion show are now more important than ever. Patience seems to be a thing of the past as the fashion world demands to know who is wearing what, where they are seated and how high their heels are at the very moment it is happening. Shows are now live streamed all over the world putting even the maverick PRs under more pressure than is humanly possible – one little slip or accidental misplaced guest and boom, instant humiliation viewed by millions online. No one can or will forget the in-discrepancy at the infamous Zac Posen show where editor of Jalouse literally bitch-slapped a PR executive. Somebody was slapped at a fashion show and it didn’t involve Naomi Campbell? I’m shocked.

The Actress Many of these beautiful people are guaranteed front row access. Why? The publicity is phenomenal. However, controversy was sparked last year when Nicole Farhi openedup about celebrities being paid by the brand to sit front row: ‘It is so unprofessional. I have never paid a celebrity and I will never do it. It’s stupid [...] What do they show you in the papers after a fashion show? Not the clothes, but the celebrities who are being paid to sit at the show.’ However, the show must go on and, paid or unpaid, the actress present to complete this winning formula was the stunning Michelle Dockery from Downton Abbey – front row centre, wearing head-totoe Burberry.

Where you sit at a fashion show tells volumes about your power within the industry. However, there is a recurring formula that one can always rely on to spot when guessing who’s going to be FRow. The most recent Burberry Prorsum show, sweetly titled ‘Trench Kisses’, is a fantastic example of this winning combination.

The Editor No fashion show front row would be complete without the powerhouse that is Anna Wintour. Anna gets what Anna wants, and God forbid she is put in an unfavourable seat at your fashion show – you can be sure to kiss your coverage goodbye. The editors of the Elles and Vogues of the world will always be given FRow as they have the power to rate or slate what they see in front of them. Having them FRow certainly will help to get in the good books of these harsh critics.

The Rapper This one never fails to amuse me. Why do these people act too cool for school one minute, then do a U-turn and start acting like they care about clothes and shows that don’t involve themselves. (Oh, Kanye… You’re bringing out a fashion label? Don’t.) That said, Tinie Tempah scrubbed up well for Burberry. Well done Christopher Kane.

The Singer The Supermodel

Rita Ora is, without a doubt, a name on everybody’s lips post-fashion week. She was seen in some downright outrageous outfits that will no doubt be imitated by girls worldwide. Burberry is a brand well-known for showcasing the latest bright young things in all aspects of the modelling and entertainment industry. It is undoubtedly a smart PR move; before London Fashion Week fans of Rita’s may not have even heard of Burberry Prorsum. Bet they know it now.

Last, but not least, the supermodel. Cue Rosie Huntington-Whitely. No front row is without one.

Et voila! All the above ingredients combined make one hell of a sweet front row.

Images: style.com.

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Motley Issue 7 2013  

In this issue: interview with Israeli journalist Ben Dror-Yemini; dissection of the first Game of Thrones season three trailer; The Spoofer’...

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