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SEPTEMBER 2017 ISSUE ONE

DON’T PANIC

WILL ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE REDEFINE WHAT IT MEANS TO BE HUMAN?


MOTLEY - Issue 1 | September 2017 MOTLEY.IE

MOTHERFOCLÓIR!

BREXIT

WHISTLEBLOWERS

FASHION SHOOT

Editor Lauren Mulvihill talks to author Darach Ó Séaghdha about his journey through the Irish language.

As Britain’s post-Brexit options appear increasingly limited, Theresa May’s government risks exacerbating the issues that influenced the referendum result, writes Seamus Allen

Features Editor, Gemma Kent, sits down with Foil, Arms and Hog to talk franchising, winning streaks, and a mid-filming debacle with the Gardaí.

Campus style kicks in for our fashion photoshoot with clothes

P. 34

P. 38

P. 14

P. 18

Motley welcomes letters from readers, emailed to editor@motley.ie. Motley is published by Motley Magazine, G.06 Áras Windle, University College Cork, Cork. Printed by Walsh Colour Print, Tralee Road, Co. Kerry. Copyright 2016 Motley Magazine. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is strictly prohibited. All efforts have been made to ensure that details and pricing are correct at time of print. Motley magazine does not take responsibility for any errors incurred. This magazine can be recycled either in your green bin kerbside collection or at a local recycling point.


MOTLEY - Issue 1

Masthead Editorial Staff EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Lauren Mulvihill DESIGNER

PUBLIC RELATIONS

Sai Wing Ho

Hassan Baker

FEATURES AND OPINION

ONLINE EDITOR

CURRENT AFFAIRS

Gemma Kent Éamonn Grennan

Kayleigh Falvey

FASHION

Jacqueline Murphy

ENTERTAINMENT

Katie Burke Fifi Coughlan

Leanne O’Connor Desmond Aisling Ní Ghealbháin

Staff Writers Cormac Dineen

Sadhbh Sullivan

Contributors LIZ HESSION / REBECCA STONE / SEAMUS ALLEN / ELÁIR NÍ THUAMA / MICHELLE RUMLEY / AMY POLAND DAN WEBB / AOIFE WALSH / CHARLIE CASHMAN / CLAIRE AHERNE / ADAM DALTON / HANNAH CARBERRY MELANIE BUTLER-O’REILLY / AOIFE HEGARTY / ISOBEL CREEDON / JULIE HASSETT / LUKE HOLMES CIARA BUCKLEY / ROSE KEATING / CARMEL HORGAN

Motley welcomes letters from readers, emailed to editor@motley.ie. Motley is published by Motley Magazine, G.06 Áras Windle, University College Cork, Cork. Printed by Walsh Colour Print, Tralee Road, Co. Kerry. Copyright 2016 Motley Magazine. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is strictly prohibited. All efforts have been made to ensure that details and pricing are correct at time of print. Motley magazine does not take responsibility for any errors incurred. This magazine can be recycled either in your green bin kerbside collection or at a local recycling point.


Editor’s MESSAGE

elcome back, folks! And simply ‘welcome’ to those of you who are joining us for the first time. Nice to see you, to see you nice, and so on. Perhaps a more pressing task - from my point of view at least - is to welcome you all to Issue One of Motley Magazine. My own name is Lauren, and you’ll be able to find me on this exact page in every issue of Motley Magazine from now until the end of the 2017/2018 academic year. You may also spot me on campus, and if you do, feel free to say hello - it’ll make me feel popular. Since its founding in 2006 Motley has become one of Ireland’s leading student publications, and that feat has been achieved solely through the hard work of our staff and contributors students like you and I who have a passion for writing, a passion for media, and a passion for creative innovation. No matter how weird and wonderful your interests, there will be a place for you within the pages of Motley. If you’ve ever wanted to take a dip into the world of journalism, here might be a good place to start. You can contact me anytime at editor@ motley.ie, or head over to our website (Motley. ie) for more details on getting involved. We also welcome artistic contributions such as

photography, painting and comics for all those lovers of visual media out there. I’m tempted to wrap this up with a few friendly words of advice, as has been the tradition with back-to-college editorials since the dawn of time. Honestly, I don’t really have any; each one of us is different, and each one of us is going to experience our time here in very disparate ways. If I was to offer any guidance, then, it’d be to respect that. We’re not all going to follow the same path, but look out for each other as best you can. Keep an eye on friends and acquaintances on nights out; ask people how they are; eat your vegetables. Oh, and try not to lose your student card - I’ve forked out €40 over the past year getting it replaced and re-replaced, and that’s just a dose. Once again, welcome one and all to University College Cork, and welcome especially from me and the rest of the Motley crew. Take care of yourselves, and have a wonderful year!

Lauren Mulvihill Editor-in-Chief

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O V E R T U R E

Before We BEGIN snippets of August.

“I’d rather have my child, “Well, it’s a nice Sunday mornbut by golly, if I gotta give ing. And what better place to her up, we’re gonna make it spend it than with you?” count” Susan Bro, mother of Heather Heyer, speaking at her daughter’s memorial service in August. Heyer was killed when a white supremacist drove a car into a crowd of anti-fascist protestors in Charlottesville, VirginiaFlorence + The Machine Queen of Peace

“It’s a damning indictment of the sort of society we live in” Writer and activist Owen Jones on the Grenfell Tower fire. The tower block blaze in North Kensington, London, left at least 80 dead and over 70 injured; residents had repeatedly warned authorities of potential fire hazards in the building

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British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, upon being told he seemed ‘chipper’ following the announcement of the UK General Election results. Far from the landslide victory expected of Theresa May’s Conservative government, the election resulted in a hung parliament

“August, 2013”. The month in which Dublin man Ibrahim Halawa, then 17, was arrested during protests in Egypt. Halawa has been awaiting trial alongside 493 other individuals ever since. A judgement is expected on the 18th of September.


38.

The age at which Leo Varadkar became Taoiseach, making him the youngest in the nation’s history. Varadkar has vowed to lead a government of “the new European centre”.

Love Wins in Taiwan.

Taiwan became the first country in Asia to legally recognise same-sex marriage in late May, 2017. LGBTQ+ activists continue their fight to ensure full adoption and inheritance rights, among others

66 Million.

The number of trees planted in India over a period of 12 hours in early July. Over 1.5 million people were involved in the recordbreaking environmental campaign.

7,941. The population of known homeless individuals in the Republic of Ireland as of June 2017. This is the highest number on record

Fenty Beauty. Beauty line launched in September 2017 by singer Rihanna. Products aim to cater to a large spectrum of skin types and colours, with foundations available in 40 shades

3.5 billion.

The number of YouTube views on Luis Fonsi’s ‘Despacito’, making it the website’s most-watched video of all time. 07


Welcome to University! Student Rep for the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences Amy Poland gives students both new and returning her top tips to make the most of college.

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irst thing’s first: congratulations! You’ve survived the Leaving Cert, made it to University, and finally trudged through orientation – none of which are easy feats, so give yourself a pat on the back. But after that back-pat, what’s next? To help answer that question, I’ve compiled a handy list of things I wish someone had told me in my first year of University.

1. Your timetable is your new best friend If you haven’t yet figured out your timetable, have no fear. Here’s a quick low-down of how to figure out where you’re supposed to be and when: check out your course on the UCC Book of Modules to get your module codes (e.g. EN1003), google timetable.ucc.ie/module.asp and enter the required details. Alternatively, you can use mytimetable.ucc.ie and follow a very similar process. There are a bunch of timetable templates available online for you to fill out your schedule in a way comprehensible to you (personally, I think plenty of colour). If you’re anything like me and have a barely-there memory, take a picture of your timetable for easy access when you’re running through campus.

2. Blackboard (because you’ll hear about it everywhere) Blackboard is going to be both your saviour and the bane of your existence for the duration of your degree. Here you will find course documents, lecture updates, assignments, grades and Turnitin. Turnitin is what you’ll be submitting assignments through, and it has this neat (and sometimes anxiety-inducing) feature that calculates the percentage of plagiarism in any given essay. Make sure you learn how to reference, and you’ll be in the clear. To log in, search blackboard.ucc.ie and enter your student number and password (if you ever forget your password, the lovely people at the helpdesk in the Boole Basement will help you out). Use those same details to log into mystudentadmin.ucc.ie, which is where you’ll find your overall grade at the end of the academic year. 08

3. Reap the benefits of being a student Although some people may argue that benefits are far and few between, you have to take what you can get. Not only does your student card grant you access to the library and the Mardyke gym, but it can also unlock a whole new world of discounts: cinema tickets, shops, travel, and food – all at way more affordable rates. All you need to do is ask if a student discount is available and have your student card on your person. Collegetimes.com usually keeps updated with all of the new discounts and deals available just for students. Go forth and save!

4. Figure your life out I don’t mean that in an existential sense; you have years to sort that out. Rather, for the following few weeks, it’s important to set up a routine that you can follow throughout the rest of the academic year. Set achievable goals. No one expects you to get up at 6am to go to the gym and then survive a day filled with lectures (that said, entrance to the Mardyke gym is free for students and exercise is important – no matter how gruelling some of us may find it). Few people are able for that commitment. So organise a system that works for you: if you want to go out, go ahead – you do your thing. But make sure you can function the following day, because deadlines and exams can come around very quickly.

5. Check in with yourself It’s so easy to start college off running and wear yourself down within the first few weeks, both physically and mentally. So it’s important to make sure your health is your priority, whether that’s by taking supplements, going to the doctor, taking time out for yourself, or asking for help. There are plenty of helpful services within the college that will help you on your way. The Student Health Doctor (situated just across the road from the UCC gates on College Road) provides free consultations and STI screenings. Services such as contraception consultations, eye tests and vaccines are offered at a discounted price. A word of warning, however, is that because the service is free,


College Reps: Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences Amy Poland, artsrep@uccsu.ie Science, Engineering and Food Science Ronan Carey, sefsrep@uccsu.ie Business and Law Kayleigh O’Sullivan, blrep@uccsu.ie Medicine and Health Laura Mitchell, medandhealthrep@uccsu.ie

the waiting room does tend to be full. So, either try to make an appointment in advance, or be prepared to wait a little while. A counselling service is also offered to students for free, and you can contact them by email at counselling@ucc.ie or phone (021) 490 3565. The student counselling page of UCC. ie also provides a list of alternative ways to get what you need. This year’s Student Union Welfare Officer, Kelly Coyle, can also be contacted at welfare@uccsu.ie. You and your health come first!

answers and help. Class reps can also attend student council where important motions are passed and pizza is often consumed. They also meet with lecturers and staff to give feedback on how a course can be improved. Entertainment reps organise entertainment for the class, and can also look for support from their College Representative. If any of these roles sound even remotely appealing to you, point number nine is vital (even if you’re not into either of them, number 9 is still important – read on!)

6. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

8. Know your College Representatives

If you don’t understand something in a lecture, don’t be afraid to ask your lecturer to clarify. Go up to them after the class and ask questions, or contact them via email (a quick google of their name should supply you with their UCC contact details). Alternatively, you can always approach your elected Class Representative to do the dirty work for you. Which is a perfect little segueing onto my next point.

Your College Rep is your link to the Student Union. They will be appearing at your lectures to elect your Class and Entertainment Reps over the following weeks. They are also there to offer advice or answer any questions you may have – although you can also contact your Peer Support leader if you feel more comfortable! Each college has a representative that was elected in the last academic year. If you’re in the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences – then, hi! I’m Amy, your rep for the year! If you have any questions for your college reps about elections or anything, shoot us an email. We don’t bite!

7. Get involved! This is probably another one of those things you’ve heard plenty of times since you’ve come to UCC, but there’s a reason for that. Getting involved with at least one aspect of the student cohort – whether that’s going for a position on a club or society committee, or volunteering as a Class or Entertainment Representative – it’s worth it. It gives you the opportunity to come out of your shell, learn new things, meet new people – plus, it all looks great on your CV. Keep an eye out for posters around campus advertising Society and Club AGMs. As for class and entertainment reps – you might be asking what they do. Class reps become the voice for their class for the year. If there are any queries or concerns, students may go to them – and in turn the class rep can turn to their College Representative (more details to follow!) for

9. Have fun College life is a lot of things. It’s stressful, fun, and busy – all rolled into one. It can be the best time of your life, and I really hope it is. Take care of yourself, go to events, and make friends. You’re only in college once (well, that may be untrue depending on how long you cling to education), but in either case you might as well make the most of it! If you have any queries or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact any member of the Student Union – we’re here to help. Go forth and prosper!

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Features & Opinion

BECOMING A STUDENT AGAIN Michelle Rumley describes her return to education as a mature student, and her experiences as a nontraditional fresher.

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ecoming a student again was not a decision I made lightly. I have a checkered past when it comes to doing courses; I was in my mid 30s and broke. I had thought about it seriously for a few years, world-weary from working in jobs that lead to nowhere, with unsociable hours, bad habits and unhealthy relationships. I knew there was more to life: I was watching my friends become more fulfilled in their chosen paths and I could not live with an older me looking back on these years and being full of regret and resentment. When I eventually went onto the UCC website and began looking at the undergraduate courses, I was filled with a nervous excitement!

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ears before, when still a flighty teenager straight out of Ballynowhere and finding Dublin as my new playground, I attended UCD — briefly. Needless to say, I was totally overwhelmed by everything. Here I was, feeling my way around a new place and a city, first time away from home and not handling the freedom that it brought in a responsible way, to say the least! Late nights, lazy mornings and eventually less and less lectures in 10

the very grey and intimidating UCD campus led to the decision to leave university.

interested, scared and unsure as I myself was. As with the others that I met during the induction days, we all have a common goal: to embrace It wasn’t until a few years later, in the experience of being a student in a my mid-twenties, when I started less traditional way than our younger to really feel the pangs of regret. I counterparts. Coffee dates with these had had various jobs, some fun and people are something that has kept eye-opening, some mindless and me upbeat through some very dark unfulfilling. I generally worked in bars days over the last couple of years, and and did so right up to being somewhere my commencement for 9am has never of Arts in UCC in been so enjoyable! 2015. I feel so very privileged to attend hen you lectures that fill I have a checkered begin me with intrigue y o u r past when it comes and awe and educational journey inspiration. While to doing courses; I in UCC as a mature the essays and was in my mid 30s student there are exams are without induction days to and broke. doubt a challenge help you get to grips and still something with the enormity I struggle with, there is nothing else of it all. I am so thankful for this as I I would prefer to be doing right now. met many lovely people who are now I know that I am on the right path: my friends. As a student of English, though to where I have no idea! One there is the option of joining a tutorial thing is certain though, I have found group for mature students. In doing my tribe. Our little group, happily this I made firm friends with people taking coffee breaks beneath the leafy who may have very different lives trees of the UCC campus. to me outside of UCC but who, in this classroom setting, were all as

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Features & Opinion

Accommodation Elaír Ní Thuama offers some affordable tips for snazzing up your student accommodation.

Student housing, as I’m sure you know, varies wildly, but it tends to have a very… practical feel. It’s not exactly homely. That’s not a great vibe and can be especially weird for Freshers, who may be away from their real home for the first time. To combat that, here are a few ideas on how to make your accommodation feel like a term-time home rather than an expensive prison cell.

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Put photos in frames. A few cute snaps up on your noticeboard is a good look, but for a more permanent feel (to remind yourself that you live here for the college year; you can leave your stuff there if you go home for the weekend) why not choose a favourite pic (or two) to display properly? It’s a small touch, but it makes a difference.

Elegant Silver Photo Frame 5"x 7" €7.99, Home Store and More (Right) Glitter Daisy Photo Frame 4"x 6" €1.99, Home Store and More (Left)

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Get a plant. Yes, this is a very cliché tip but you know what? It’s a solid one. Plants brighten up a space in a way that few other things can. Lidl sells cute little potted plants for a few euro. And you know what else? If watering daily sounds like work, it doesn’t even have to be real. If you don’t think you can commit to looking after a real plant on top of all the assignments and Socs and nights out, you don’t have to. Buy some fake ones. Put them on your desk. Job done. Diamond Trio Mint Plant Pot, €3.59

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Buy yourself some mugs, maybe even some bowls. This probably seems like a strange thing to spend money on because your accommodation most likely came with those things, right? But think about it: in your actual home where you lived before you came to college, is every single piece of kitchenware white and industrial-looking? I’m guessing probably not. It seems like a very small thing, but I promise, drinking your coffee out of your own mug with a snazzy pattern or your initial on it or whatever - it adds a lot to your sense of actually living in a place. And this doesn’t have to be a huge financial outlay. Dunnes, as I always say, has some lovely stuff.

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Miles of magnolia paint doesn’t tend to be very inspiring. I’m not saying ruin the walls with blu-tack and lose your deposit, but the sides of plastic-y wardrobes or the backs of plastic-y doors can be good places to stick things without causing any damage. So jazz things up a bit. And here’s the pro-tip: maybe go a bit artsier than your standard ‘Keep Calm And Carry On’ posters. “Ah here,” you laugh, “I don’t have that kind of money at all”. Hear me out: you don’t need “that kind of money” to achieve this. Art print posters exist. Allposters.ie has a whole ‘affordable art’ section. Go mad.

Scandi Cereal Bowl, €4, Dunnes Store

Gustav Klimt Apple Tree Art Print Poster, €4.95, allposters.ie

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And now, the most important tip: if you want to get fairy lights or a yin-yang tapestry or anything else some killjoy has gone “pssh, Freshers” about: do it. It's your room.

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Features & Opinion

COLLEGE BAG ESSENTIALS Staff writer Sadhbh Sullivan shares her top tips for packing your college bag this semester.

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e are all guilty of carrying some of the most unnecessary items in our bags. In fact, the average college-goer’s bag is likely to contain several unwanted receipts, a broken iPhone charger and traces of the night out before. Life is hectic, and there’s simply not enough time in the day to make sure that you have everything you really need. Needless to say, you should always carry a refill pad and a good pen in your bag. While these are obviously beyond important, the following items are foolproof essentials just short of necessary to get you through a college day.

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here are a number of electronics you are expected to have with you on a daily basis. While a laptop is a must for some, UCC provide laptops on loan for use in the library for four-hour periods. Your phone should never be too far from reach, and of course it would be useless without a charger, so try to make sure you have one with you at all times. From watching recorded lectures to listening to study playlists, earphones are also very useful, and should be stowed in your bag at all times.

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enerally, I won’t leave the house without a packet of tissues. September just wouldn’t be the same without your yearly dose of the flu. While shops like Accessorize tend to stock some of the cutest packets of tissues you can find, you will catch me sporting a packet of Kleenex this semester. Alongside these, at this time of the year it can be useful to pack a bottle of hand sanitiser and a few sachets of Lemsip in your bag to minimise the extent of your back to university flu.

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or the makeup lovers, oil blotting paper, or an oil blotting stick is essential. College days are long, and lecture rooms can be ridiculously warm at times. Keep a packet of NYX Professional Makeup blotting paper in your bag, or if you’re not quite on a budget try to get your hands on the Benefit Blotting Stick.

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water bottle is a must; staying hydrated is so important. The average student should aim to drink two litres of water every day. Luckily UCC gets this, with countless spots across campus to refill your bottle, from the main rest to the library and just about everywhere in between. Whether you’ve nabbed your favourite high street find or an empty bottle has emerged from the depths of your handbag, looks really don’t matter with this one.

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ip balm seems like such an obvious college bag essential, but we all tend to forget the little things. While “Chapped Lips” season is among us, it doesn’t fall within the never ending list of returning Autumn/Winter trends this year. Keep your favourite in your pencil case, so it will never be too far from reach. College life can be stressful, but a little bit of organisation definitely eases the yearly transition back to university.


YES, I'M IRISH - NO, I DON'T DRINK Current Affairs Editor Jacqueline Murphy writes on the upsand downs of an alcohol-free lifestyle in modern Ireland.

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s news comes of Simon Harris’ plans to introduce minimum pricing on alcohol, it begs the question - as a nation, are our alcohol consumption levels spiralling out of control or is it just another trait of the so called ‘Merry Irish’? Alcohol Action Ireland says the country faces a 'significant crisis' concerning booze, with many people favouring strong and cheap drinks. The organisation suggests a woman can reach her weekly recommended low-risk limit - 11 standard drinks - for only €4.95. Men, meanwhile, can reach their recommended limit of 17 standard drinks for only €7.65. A pricing survey by the group looked at alcohol prices across several major stores & supermarkets, and found that a number of brands of cheap cider had the lowest price for a standard unit (as low as 45c). You see where this is going. In September of last year, I made the conscious decision to give up alcohol completely. Growing up in Irish society as a third level student meant that decision was by no means easy to make or stay true to. Ireland is known worldwide for its notorious drinking culture, to the point where being pregnant or on antibiotics are considered the only valid excuses if you’re spotted at a social gathering without a glass in your hand. When you think about it, alcohol is the only drug that you have to justify NOT taking – surely that says something about modern society’s attitude towards alcohol consumption today? I think at this point, it’s important for me to highlight that I’ve never had a ‘problem’ with drink per se. Never have I felt reliant on alcohol, or longed for it when it wasn’t there. My reasons for ditching drink completely didn’t come as a result of me ending up intoxicated in a bush after a night out or finding myself in A&E after five shots too many. The main reason behind my decision was down to the way drinking alcohol makes me feel personally, ever since my first experiences of it in my mid-teens.

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hiskey seems to make me outspoken to the point where I don’t know when to shut up, while vodka leaves me far too emotional - and don’t even get me started on wine. Low moods, extreme paranoia and aching muscles for three days straight, I finally made the choice to cut myself free from alcohol just under 12 months ago and on reflection, it was honestly one of the wisest decisions I’ve ever made.

From waking up hangover-free on a Friday morning with no cloud of The Fear hanging over my head to the copious amounts of pre drink/taxi/entry money I’ve saved so far and put to more sensible use, the pros certainly outweigh the cons in my eyes. I even managed to take up running not long after I ditched the alcohol, embarking on a 5km run most mornings before college, a far more beneficial stress-reliever/mood booster than any night of heavy drinking has ever given me. However, while these benefits are undoubtedly worth their weight in gold, they do come at a price.

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ince choosing to no longer consume alcohol, I feel that my time spent socializing has decreased significantly. As a college student, the majority of social gatherings involve alcohol, and when you’re the only one not engaging in it, it can take some time for both yourself and those around you to adjust to that decision. My aim for 2017 is to get back into the habit of meeting up with people more frequently, as regardless of whether alcohol is the centre of the gathering or not, I feel I’m now at a point where I can feel comfortable whilst sober and still enjoy the company of those closest to me. In particular, I think that from a dating perspective, being a non-drinker can make the chance of meeting someone new even more stressful than it already is. Personally, I’ve found that over the last few months, when I tell a guy that I don’t drink, a large number automatically assume that I’m no fun, highly-strung and thus lose interest. I feel our country’s drinking culture is primarily to blame for this, as from an early age it’s instilled in us that alcohol is necessary in order to have a good time, when in fact it’s just a beneficial accessory (when used correctly and in moderation). The age old assumption that drinking always results in a good time is often very misleading. When abused, it wrecks friendships, sex lives and first and foremost, our mental health. We sometimes drink to forget about our troubles, even just for a few hours, only to wake up the next morning and find all those worries still in tow, along with a sore head and a little less of our dignity intact. We sometimes drink ourselves to the point of oblivion, many find themselves unable to chat someone up without the false courage that vodka provides us with, making mistakes under the influence that will result in regrets lasting far longer than any hangover will. When consumed sensibly and for the right reasons, alcohol can enhance our enjoyment of life, there’s no doubt about it – it’s when we begin to rely on, abuse and feel controlled by it that the problems start.


Interview

MOTHERFOCLÓIR! Editor Lauren Mulvihill talks to author Darach Ó Séaghdha about his journey through the Irish language.

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arach Ó Séaghdha, Irish language enthusiast and author of Motherfoclóir: Dispatches from a Not So Dead Language, has had an eventful few years. The Irish for ‘eventful’, by the way, is ‘eachtrach’; this word can also mean ‘adventurous’, but shouldn’t be confused with the Irish word ‘éachtach’, which means a killer. This is the kind of thing you can learn on Ó Séaghdha’s popular Twitter account, The Irish For, from which he began tweeting “smithereens of Irish, translated with grá for your pleasure” in January 2015. Dedicating an entire online presence to an Ghaeilge is quite a commitment, and I was interested to know what exactly it was that got Darach so hooked on the language in the first place. “I think – for me it’s – it’s hard to get at. I think a big thing is the actual music of the words themselves, the actual combination is just so beautiful. Maybe it’s something you get when you come into it having spoken something else first… the overlaps, the meanings are just beautiful to us. Some words are almost like one-word poems. Like ‘rún’ is a love and a secret – a secret love, a promise, and they’re all combined in just one word. It’s like a dual way of hearing things,” he explains. “I do like the actual thought patterns and the way certain words reflect a particular way of looking at the world. It’s a little bit different; a little bit indulgent; a little bit playful.”

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arach, in the opening pages of Motherfoclóir, explains that his interest in Irish, far from being purely academic in nature, is in fact deeply personal. His journey has its beginnings in his own relationship 14

with his father, a man who spoke seven languages in total. As his father grew older and became progressively unwell, Darach wanted more and more to truly understand the things that drove him – and one of those things was the Irish language. “I was looking into Dineen’s dictionary, looking into, like, Nós Magazine, Radio na Life… and it started occurring to me that there was definitely a connection between the music and the rhythms of the Irish language and the warmth and reverence that was very [close] to my dad’s sense of humour, that was kind of clever and witty and poetic… but in a very natural way, as opposed to a schoolish, know-it-all-y way. Even the little pairings of words, like ‘Gardaí’ and ‘gadaí’ – police and thieves – and how some words would have multiple meanings…. The more I learned, the more it became fascinating and I really felt that, if more people knew about it, then more people would be interested. “At the time, I was beginning to drift from Twitter in general; there was always a bad news story… or there was always something that people were on a lynch mob buzz about. But it did occur to me that there was still an awful lot of people there just for the craic… and it occurred to me that the way I was going back to Irish, it was very suited to 140 characters. My first tweet was the Irish for ‘selfie’ – ‘féinphic’ – and it kind of went from there. It got quite popular quite quickly, which is wonderful. I did feel at the time, I suppose… was my Irish good enough for it? And that imposter syndrome made me work harder, made me look for better things and pushed me a lot to get better and to

get to where I am today, which is great. Before my father did die, he he was aware that ‘the Irish For’ was popular and was already being written about in newspapers. Before he passed on, he was aware that this was something that was connecting, was catching fire, and was right up to date with the modern world. That was great.” ‘Catch fire’ it certainly did: ‘The Irish For’ has garnered almost 24,000 followers at the time of writing and continues to move from strength to strength. The account is warm, witty and fascinating, much like the language it is based on, and presents Gaeilge not as a dull school subject to be learned under duress, but as a living, breathing, and versatile thing. “I think that the more I learn, the more I realise I don’t know, and I think that’s been a really big thing,” Darach says. “Say, I’ll be talking to my friend Peadar and he’ll say something like, ‘an bhfuil tú alright?’ and ‘cad a tharla ar do job today?’ and it’s very freeing. People actually in native areas do speak like that, and I realised that in a proper Gaeltacht it’s ok to talk like that. It does free you, and actually makes it easier to try harder. Definitely I’m still on a journey, and I’m honestly loving that journey.” he Irish For has undoubtedly proven popular for the accessible way in which it presents Irish, particularly among young people, according to Darach. This seems to reflect a wider trend wherein more and more of us are developing or rekindling our interest in Irish, which now has over 2.3 million learners worldwide on Duolingo. It appears we are increasingly viewing it as a language that is very much in touch with our modern lives, as opposed to one that should be relegated to classrooms or even budgeted out of existence.

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Darach Ó Séaghdha

“So much of the Irish argument is so similar to the Brexit argument: oh, we’ll just cut this and we’ll save all this money and we’ll just learn ourselves. They’re not thinking ‘actually, no, this isn’t one thing that you cut’… removing it would cause so much damage,” Darach says. “You can’t keep having a cockfight and calling it a seminar of poultry behaviour. There’s just so much of this kind of co n f ro nt at i o n a l journalism, getting two people to fight and pretending we’re having a balanced debate. It’s not. There’s great things to talk about, it’s not about getting one person saying something, one person attacking something. You’re getting people with two completely different views. It would be nice to get someone to just talk about why people who like Irish are cool.” Even for those cool Irish-likers outside the social media realm, there has been a significant buzz surrounding Ó Séaghdha’s debut book, Motherfoclóir: Dispatches from a Not So Dead Language, published in September 2017 by Head of Zeus Books. Darach had been approached by publishers on a few occasions since setting up The Irish For, but admits he worried about such a book becoming “‘The Feckin’ Book of Irish Words’, and there was a bit of resistance; I explained to [them] that there was a personal story behind it, about my relationship with my dad”. He said it was actually a conversation between his agent, Sallyanne Sweeney, and his now-publisher at the launch of Michael D. Higgins’ book that really set the wheels in motion for the eventual publication of Motherfoclóir: fittingly, the conversation was based on The Irish For’s use of an old photo of Michael D at Slane as a Twitter avatar. Head of Zeus, who were recently voted as the UK’s Independent Publisher of the Year, were very supportive of Ó Séaghdha in writing exactly the kind of book he wanted. “It’s

a

mixture

of

memoir

and

miscellany,” he says of the book. “It’s the story of my return to Irish and the connection to my relationship with my dad…. It’s a story about words that have fallen from the dictionary and words that have been added to the dictionary; there’s a whole bit about the Irish language and the constitution and things like that as well. It’s kind of a stroll through a language, so basically it’s for people who are interested in words, whether they speak Irish or not.” Motherfoclóir is set to be a huge success. From what I personally have read of it, this is a book that will be of huge interest to anyone with a fondness for words – but also all those with a penchant for warm, witty and often very personal writing. This is not the last we will hear of Darach Ó Séaghdha, whose work is sure to introduce many of us to a side of the Irish language we had never known before, as well as being a case study in the importance of pursuing your interests. “I wanted to write books pretty much as soon as I could read them. I did have botched and unfinished attempts at novels, and I’d tried so many things before… and I was beginning to lose faith that it was ever going to happen for me, so it was just wonderful that it actually did come together all at once,” he says. “I know a lot of people might think they have a niche, nerdy interest; I would say don’t be afraid; if you take it, if you do something with it you might – you can find a way. If you think very intensely you can find a way for it to touch every single other thing you’re interested in. If there are people out there with niche interests, pursue them! Don’t worry about whether it’s commercial enough or not. At the end, people who read things, they can smell real passion. Absolutely go for that.” “Motherfoclóir: Dispatches from a Not So Dead Language” by Darach Ó Séaghdha is available to buy from September 2017. You can follow Darach on Twitter, @TheIrishFor.

Ni neart go chur le chéile If you’re looking for more Irish-language media and entertainment, take a peek at: @TheIrishFor on Twitter Naturally!

Motherfoclóir Podcast

If you liked the book, then you’ll love this. Available from all good podcast providers.

Nós Magazine

An online Irish-language magazine dedicated to modern culture, tech and current events. Find it at www.nos.ie

An Siopa Leabhar

Here you can find both original books by Gaeilgeoir writers, and Irish translations of popular works by the likes of Roald Dahl and George RR Martin (www. cnagsiopa.ie)

Raidió na Life

Irish language radio station covering a huge range of topics. Based in Dublin, but those outside the pale can listen in at www.raidionalife.ie 05


Features & Opinion

Motley TRIES

QUITTING SMOKING Hassan Baker

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t’s worth noting that this article is written more so to document the struggle one encounters when attempting to quit smoking, rather than as a confessional essay or a success story, as it by no means is one. I started a very different article a few weeks back. One that pinpointed the pros and cons of smoking, and highlighted why I wished to stop smoking. On reading this, one can assume why I quit that narrative. It’s because I failed. I don’t feel so bad about failure however; as a part of me never really wanted to fully quit smoking. The cynic in me would argue that it’s no fun to be a smoker if you don’t try to quit every now and then. The truth is, even with the failure, I have gained certain benefits from the trial — but even more so, I’ve gained an insight into the addiction itself. My strategy was to switch to a vape at 12mg for a week, then reduce to 8mg the following week, and continue to cut down progressively the week after until I reach 0mg. Then I would break the habit of vaping 0mg in the last week. In a way, I still think that would work if I had done it an appropriate time. I reached an oscillation period of about 2mg to 6mg a day, when I stopped registering the effects of nicotine and got bored of the vape so stopped using it altogether. After two days of being off nicotine I found myself in the office at 11 PM physically shaking and feeling overly dizzy. The coffee added to the nausea. 16

I rushed out to the nearest store and bought a box of cigarettes. The relief was more so like someone upped the oxygen amount in air, almost like the relief of an inhaler during an asthma attack. It wasn’t a sudden nicotine rush, and there was no spinners encountered, more so a gradual incline back to normality. This was, admittedly, anticlimactic, which is not only fitting for the scenario, but in some way poetic.

now that college is starting.

What I found quite peculiar was how the addiction itself is split into chemical need and habit. There are moments, like the extreme case mentioned above where the chemical addiction gives way to some withdrawal symptoms. However, for the most part the hardest bit to shake of was the habit of making a rollie and smoking it. It served as a good break in between study, or lectures, or rom the attempt, I can now doing nothing. It also served as a good pretty much go the entire day by follow up to many things, a heavy meal having only one smoke, that one for instance. But it was when I shook smoke being the one the habit off that I’m used to having the chemical need first thing in the really started to morning. Not having kick in. This was it leaves me groggy something I was for most of the day. not expecting, but But once I have that is definitely a good The relief was more morning smoke, I can thing to know, as cut out the habit of it means that I will so like someone smoking by keeping be better prepared upped the oxygen busy and distracted on my next attempt. amount in air, throughout the day, With the cycle that or in a good few everyone knows, almost like the relief cases, by sleeping there will be a next of an inhaler during throughout the entire attempt. day. This ritual of an asthma attack. Not all is lost smoking first thing in the morning had been useful in the past however, I have greatly cut down the at waking me up, as I am by no means amount that I smoke now. I smoke a morning person, but has reduced about three to four rollies a day now. in effect as my tolerance has grown. Though this will most likely increase in Although I can go on with one smoke, the next few weeks, what with final year I have quit quitting for now, and do not looming. stick to a one smoke limit as it is too exhausting to keep track of these things

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Staff writer Cormac Dineen offers up his take on our

COMPLICATED RELATIONSHIP with the world of

INTERNET DATING.

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few months ago, I had an interesting conversation with a work colleague during which I pressed him for his opinion on the phenomenon of internet dating. As we talked I saw him slowly and deliberately scroll through Facebook on his phone, pausing at brief intervals to like a picture or a comment, and even smiling or laughing to himself on occasion. In a practiced and diplomatic response, he looked at me over the top of his phone and said, “I don’t really have any problem with internet dating. I mean, to each their own, but I just can’t see myself ever doing it.” This is a position echoed by about 90 percent of people to whom I’ve posed the same question, and, in my opinion, the minutiae of expression in his response made it evident to me that the stigma surrounding internet dating is not diminished by the smartphone age we now find ourselves in — it is alive and kicking. Immediately, my colleague was on the offensive, making it clear to me that he was not prejudiced. His selection of words and the timbre of his voice immediately informed me that despite his insistence on not having “any problem” with it, internet dating actually carried some sort negative association in his mind. The heavy emphasis he placed on the words “I” and “myself” seemed like an attempt to alleviate any suspicion I may secretly have held that he was going home and flicking through profiles on Match.com, seeking people who also liked drinking stout in three gulps, smoking rollies, and listening to the Foo Fighters. Finally, the definitive manner in which he ended his response seemed as if it was designed to avoid any further attempt at conversation.

And so, as I watched my colleague apply his electronic seal of approval to the activity of girls across Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat, having renounced internet dating no longer than 30 seconds previously, I couldn’t help but ask myself: is there any difference? The modern progression of a relationship through social media is so animal and primitive that you could easily imagine David Attenborough narrating over it. First, we have the friend request or follow: the introduction is made. As the weeks go by and the proverbial peacocks circle each other in a delicate dance, they begin to like each other’s posts – not so much as to seem overeager, not so little as to seem uninterested. If one of the interested parties is feeling bold they may comment on a picture or post – a statement of intent. Finally, we have a private message, nothing short of an excuse to begin a relationship shallowly masquerading as an innocent question: “Hello, I was just wondering if you had any good music suggestions, you seem like you have good taste?” Give me a bloody break.

I’ve personally seen and have been involved in conversations taking place over social media that couldn’t possibly be construed in any way other than a show of romantic interest. By the time a few weeks of meaningless chit-chat has come and gone, you might build up the confidence As he turned his attention back to Facebook, to ask them if they’ll be out that night. I knew there was a high likelihood that he An affirmative answer to that question was liking the posts of people to whom he effectively eliminates any remaining was attracted as well as combing through Give me question marks, barring some incredibly his own posts to see who had given them the a bloody break. poor interpretation of the context, it’s not all-important thumbs up or love heart, and I out of the realms of possibility some sort of immediately and unexpectedly found myself confronted with relationship may start with this person if you chance upon the one of the biggest hypocrisies of our generation: despite them in a bar. Most fizzle away to nothing, a few become what we may say, we’re all internet dating. something, all are a form of internet dating. The advent of Tinder in 2012 opened up the possibility of meeting someone online. It’s important to understand the basic pledge of its marketing campaign: the app is about finding casual sex rather than any kind of meaningful relationship. Now casual sex certainly isn’t a bad thing, and I wouldn’t dare argue that an honest relationship has never been fostered through Tinder, but the generally accepted purpose of the app leaves in its wake the possibility of finding a partner, and does nothing to retract from the pejorative nature of the dialogue surrounding online relationships.

I suppose what I’m trying to say is that in 2017, half our life is conducted through the internet. We use it to bank and to shop, for work and for leisure, as an encyclopaedia as well as a cinema screen. So why tolerate this pernicious stigma that belittles love and trust built up through the internet rather than on a bar-stool? Why allow some demeaning, archaic viewpoint on what a relationship should and shouldn’t be imply some artificial quality to a relationship built online? It seems kind of silly, doesn’t it? Everyone is doing it anyway!


Features & Opinion

RECONCILING THE IRRECONCILABLE THE BREXIT DILEMMA

AS BRITAIN’S POST-BREXIT OPTIONS APPEAR INCREASINGLY LIMITED, THERESA MAY’S GOVERNMENT RISKS EXACERBATING THE ISSUES THAT INFLUENCED THE REFERENDUM RESULT, WRITES SEAMUS ALLEN

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T

heresa May has been the subject of prolific criticism - often unfairly. She has been criticised for what appears to be a lack of any coherent or consistent Brexit negotiating strategy. The UK election of June 2017 has also been presented in much of media discourse as a disastrous setback for the Conservative party, with the blame placed on May. The election has been characterised as a punishment of the Conservative party by voters - purportedly because Theresa May's election strategy was a damp squib which failed to 'connect' with the electorate, by failing to offer a positive vision with much substance behind it. Many have even argued the election results were a symptom of voter disenchantment with the Conservative's alleged mismanagement of Brexit. In reality, the results of the election could be considered a resounding success for the Conservatives. The Tories gained over 5% points in terms of vote share as compared to the 2015 election, a significant gain. Under Theresa May, the party performed significantly better (judged by votes) than during thecourse of David Cameron's leadership. In fact, the Conservatives performed stronger in 2017 in terms of voter share than they have since 1983 - thus making it their strongest performance in thirty-four years. While the Conservatives did lose seats, it was anticipation of a stronger Conservative performance, combined with the


Brexit

British electoral system's tendency to produce results only tenuously linked to how voters actually vote, that served to obscure the strength of Conservative performance compared to previous elections. Thus whatever the election result signifies, it is certainly not a volte-face by the British electorate with regards to Brexit. The Labour party committed itself to honouring the referendum result , explicitly ruling out any second referendum. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, while officially pro-remain during the referendum, was highly ambiguous concerning the EU, at best. The unequivocally pro-EU forces - the Liberal Democrats, the Scottish Nationalist Party, and the Greens - all

as an objectively worse position than EU membership. In fact several Norwegian prime ministers, including current prime minister Erna Solberg, have openly lamented the situation in which Norway is bound by EU policy but without any voice in EU decision making. Erna Solberg, like a number of other Norwegian prime ministers, have declared their opinion that Norway would be objectively better off as an EU member. Brexiteers promised that British tax-payer's money currently being diverted to the EU would be used for British citizens' well-being instead. Yet the price of retaining membership of the European Economic Area means receiving no EU funding but nonetheless having to contribute to EU budgets and the funding of multiple EU institutions. Norway contributes not

From the point of view of Brexiteer aspirations concerning sovereignty, this surely has to be seen as an objectively worse position than EU membership. failed to benefit from Brexit misgivings, with all three parties suffering a loss in votes. The SNP endured such heavy losses in the election that the prospect of Scotland retaining EUmembership via an independence referendum seems to have declined considerably. Yet despite the failure of any real opposition to the pursuit of Brexit to manifest itself since the referendum, it seems the aspirations of Brexiteers are becoming increasingly imperilled. But like the apparent incoherence of Theresa May's Brexit strategy, this is in fact inevitable - the conflicting promises of the pro-Brexit movement were irreconcilable from the start.

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rexiteers promised the restoration of British sovereignty, no more British financial contributions to EU budgets, the end of EU rules and regulations, no more EU judges influencing British law, and an end to rampant immigration. But the overwhelming majority of proBrexiteers do not deny the importance of free trade between the UK and the EU. Whether they be staunch Conservative europhobes, far-left eurosceptics, or Nigel Farage and the UKIP party, the enormous importance of maintaining free trade between the UK and the EU is not denied. Yet free trade agreements - especially those as comprehensive and deep as the EU's - inevitably elicit restrictions on the sovereignty of the subject parties, so long as the deal is to be maintained. The UK could leave the EU to resume its sovereignty and wave goodbye to meddlesome Brussels bureaucrats, Brexiteers declared, while also maintaining free trade with the EU. Indeed, a perfect model of how this was possible was already in existence: the special agreements existing for Norway, Iceland and Switzerland. Even Nigel Farage holds up the Norway model as something for Britain to emulate. And yet Norway is part of the European single market, is bound to obey most EU rules and regulations, bound to follow EU jurisdiction, and is also part of the Schengen free movement zone. Brexiteers talk of an EU democratic deficit and sovereignty - yet crucially Norway has to obey most EU rules and regulations without having any representation in the making of such regulations, in either the EU parliament or in the EU council, and has no influence on the composition of the European Commission. From the point of view of Brexiteer aspirations concerning sovereignty, this surely has to be seen

much less per capita than actual EU members states. 'We pay, but have no say' is how Norway's former foreign minister Espen Barth Eide summed up the situation.

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his is why Theresa May has specifically ruled out the option of the Norwegian model for Britain - but the alternatives currently being proposed seem little different. Britain's chief Brexit negotiator David Davis is on record as accepting that Britain will need to continue paying into EU budgets if it wishes to continue benefitting from the existence of EU institutions. With regards to economic regulations, British proposals currently make the ingenious suggestion that Britain will have its own set of regulations and standards -but ones so sufficiently tied to those employed by the EU for British standards to be automatically EUrecognised. Regardless of what real sovereignty this will leave Britain with, given Britain will no longer have any role in formulating EU regulations, this is something the EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barner has ridiculed as 'impossible'. Britain plans to retain its place in numerous EU institutions such as the EU Scientific research program or the European Space agency, but also many with a regulatory mandate, like the European Aviation Safety Agency. Britain has been forced to tacitly accept a role for a judicial body post-Brexit in overseeing any UK-EU agreement - and indeed for the European Court of Justice itself to have a continuing postBrexit influence. While embarrassingly dropping demands for a British judge to remain on the ECJ, British Justice minister Dominic Raab has admitted Britain will need to keep a 'half eye' on ECJ rulings post-Brexit. Raab's denials that the envisaged post-Brexit judicial arbitration body will merely be a reincarnation of the ECJ under another name are so far unconvincing. British voters were told they could leave the EU and maintain free trade with the continent. Caught between the imperatives of accepting a democratic referendum, and averring major economic disruption, Britain has only a relatively limited number of possible options. In pursuit of honouring how voters voted in the EU referendum, Britain may find itself making a deal that fails to honour why voters voted as they did - by failing to resolve the issues providing impetus to the Brexit movement in the first place, and arguably exacerbating them even more.


Return Of The ‘Boom’ - Still Facing Gloom As the Irish economy begins to improve, are we in danger of replicating the mistakes of the Celtic Tiger, asks Rebecca Stone

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s many of us will remember, it was not so long ago that Ireland was plunged deep into a recession with the economic downturn of 2008 leaving many jobless, homeless and without much hope for the future. However, in recent months, there has been a change in the financial atmosphere of Ireland, just as there was with the Celtic Tiger. The Boom in the 1990’s brought milk shake shops and sandwich bars to our shores and people from working class backgrounds jetted off to exotic locales and enjoyed a standard of living they h a d n’t

20

previously. People were less concerned about saving their money and looking to the future, and this same mentality is beginning to be seen again around Ireland with the emergence of the ‘New Boom’.

larger. 13% of those homeless in Cork were 18-26 years old, the same age as many of us in college here. With every new burrito shop and coffee house opening, the divide between those with money and those without grows ever larger.

s anyone living in Cork or any large town will know, the influx of countless doughnut shops is enough of an indicator to know that the financial woes of the past are beginning to fade, at least for the well-off middle class. Yet, while a new Capitol building is erected in Cork city centre, one can’t help but notice how the poverty situation has remained largely unchanged since the Boom and its subsequent crash. Homelessness in Cork and the rest of Ireland is high, but as more money is being put into new housing developments and businesses, those who sleep on the streets don’t yet feel the benefits of this ‘New Boom’. As of 2017, over 1,500 people in Cork alone turned to Simon for help due to their being homeless, and the numbers around Ireland are growing ever

As students, we can look forward to new employment opportunities and the prospect of a more secure future, but for those who are unemployed and homeless, looking forward to better times becomes more and more difficult. We can mostly feel safe in the knowledge that we won’t be homeless after we graduate and that we might have a basic but paying job. As was the case with the Celtic Tiger, people with money reaped the benefits of the Boom but even with all our newfound wealth we still can’t seem to tackle the growing problem of poverty and homeless families. The idea of fancy getaways and artisanal restaurants may be what many fantasise about with the rise of the ‘New Boom’, but for the less fortunate in Cork City it may mean finally getting a home or simply a menial job.

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Homelessness in Ireland: the Facts - As of late June 2017, the population of known homeless individuals in Ireland stood at 7,941 - the highest number on record. One can’t help but notice the rapid construction of new housing estates due to a ₏97 million investment in the housing market, but it also seems bizarre as many housing developments built during the last boom remain empty. To address a growing housing crisis in the city, the council has enacted schemes to restore these houses and put them up for sale. Perhaps this ₏97 million investment could be better applied tackling one of, if not the biggest, issues facing the city of Cork presently?

M

aybe, though, the new boom will bring about serious social change for Cork City, bringing employment and prosperity back to the area. As new businesses open every week, one can be hopeful about the economic future of Cork, providing us with hope that the problem of poverty can be soon rectified if we do not repeat the mistakes of the Celtic Tiger years. Many remember the devastating economic crash of 2008 which saw many families and individuals turfed out onto the streets. Although some managed to alter their situations, the lack of employment opportunities meant many remained homeless in the city. The gradual emergence of the new boom provides confidence for the people of Cork about the ever-growing poverty crisis in the city, but it is still early days with regards to the benefits of this economic growth. Only time will tell whether we will repeat our actions of the Celtic Tiger, or whether our new prosperity will reach all people equally.

- The number of homeless families has increased by 27% in the past year. - 1 in 3 of those in emergency accommodation are children, with the fastest-growing age group in homelessness being those under 4. - 1,200 people turned to Cork Simon Community for help in 2015 alone. - Official statistics recorded a 15% rise in the number of under 25s living in emergency accommodation between June 2016 and June 2017. - The true figure is likely much higher, as those who squat or couch-surf are not accounted for in government statistics. Sources: Focus Ireland (www.focusireland. ie) and Cork Simon Community (www. corksimon.ie)


Features & Opinion

Owls and Pears Liz Hession assumes the role of Fraternity Spy extraordinaire in the heart of the Netherlands

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’m aware that ‘Erasmus’ isn’t the most exciting topic contained in a student magazine. The last few weeks have been somewhat unsurprising as far as Erasmus-beginnings go. It’s lots of fun — pretty much just as I expected. Except I didn’t know I’d be moving into what is, essentially, a frat house. “What can I discuss with our Motley readers this month?” I’ve been pondering to myself. The weird supermarkets? Overdependency on Google maps? 11% Dutch beers? The bicycles? Oh lord, the sheer magnitude of bicycles. The canals? Cobble-stones? The devil’s lettuce? God help us, how about the culture shock? Clogs? Or Dutch frat culture? Or pears? Pears. Not what I was hoping for. I certainly wasn’t hoping to be suddenly surrounded by a cacophony of shattering glass only nine days into my stay – especially not in my own bedroom at 4PM on a Tuesday. I was FaceTiming my mum; she started screaming, I was hyperventilating. Oh, the fright of it all. At least, I am now confident that pears do in fact have a weight and mass suitable to exhaust an entire bedroom window from its panels, and that Dutch teenagers have a shot that’s truly abovepar in both accuracy and execution. I’m also sure that my newfound relationship with the humble pear will develop into lifelong resentment. Maybe I don’t want to talk about pears. I whinged to a Dutch friend. “Why did it have to be

me?” I exclaimed, mourning the cost of repairs and the depletion of my financial safety nets. I don’t even like pears. Had I unknowingly exposed myself as a pear-hurling target? “Well, you do live in a Minerva house,” he replied. Does ‘Minerva’ translate directly to ‘please throw pears at me’? “What the hell is Minerva?” It sounded like a kind of disease — perhaps an ailment of the sinuses, or the bowel.

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inerva is the oldest and most prestigious Dutch fraternity and I became intrigued by this Dutch breed of frat bros. In the wild, they flock through my quaint, Medieval university town in uniformed squadrons, barraging between bars, in a constant state of mutuallydependent social satisfaction. Mostly stereotypically Aryan in demeanour, easily identified by crest-laden ties, matching suits and signet rings; often heard to be discussing various personal connections to the royal bloodline, party members, and corporate playgrounds. I probably would’ve thrown pears through my window too. I needed to know more about this bewildering sort. 2AM Wednesday morning: I took to google, and the Fear began to set in. Reddit forums and public blog-posts on the subject abounded; I slowly began to grasp the mentality and customs of the Dutch Frats. So, I’ve been trying to observe them. The Minervans. The Augustines. The Quintuses. (Quinta? Quintee?). No Greek letters here. Much more civilised than that. The old boys with old money; the descendants of clerical gentry, perhaps. Famous in these parts for popularizing the ‘boot-cut jeans, brown shoes, shirt, tie, and suit-jacket to lectures’ combo. Hair-oil particularly completes the look. Although there’s

women, too. Femme-fratale, I’ve called them. Blonde and swishy. In their natural habitat, they reside in the upper-floors of my humble abode, confining themselves mainly to the mulch-made party attic in the roof, surfacing only to return to their large boudoirs, each clad with life-size posters of models and porn-stars. Often ambiguous in their political alignment, the frats serve as a form of social pathway that ensures eternal validation to the fact you are a wealthy fart, and you can rest assured that all your friends are too. They don’t speak to me, really, but they’re despicably polite. U.S. films come to mind; the ones whose comedic enterprises are based firmly upon Greek letters, toga-parties, pool-side sorority sisters: Elle Woods, American Pie. It’s not entirely dissimilar to their Dutch frat bros and sisters; I’m pretty sure they’ve replaced Greek letters with owls and owl-related logos, and that’s the only difference. The poor owls might as well be illuminati symbols. Owls and pears; now a troubling presence in my life. But I still endeavour to bring the news of these strange beings home to Ireland. I shall continue to infiltrate their lair, and invest in some decent binoculars. At least, if I fail my exams this year I can compensate by writing a detailed research essay about my new life as a Frat Spy, and why pear trees in residential areas should be banned.

Must I shield my identity lest they come for my blood?” I enquired of my Dutch comrade on the inside. “Liz, stop. The culture-shock is getting to you. Go back to Duolingo.” Duolingo. The owls, there they are again. Hootyhoo.


Current Affairs

Seasonal Affective Disorder – When The Autumn Blues Become Something More Jacqueline Murphy

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iven the state of Irish weather during 95% of the year, it’s not hard to believe that the constant chill looming in the air and the almost non-existent sunlight levels are having a negative impact on our daily mood and overall attitude towards life. But what if I told you there was more to it than simply suffering from a case of the winter blues? SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is a branch of depression seldom spoken about and quite often, its very existence is questioned. Seasonal Affective Disorder is very much a real psychological illness, affecting 1 in 15 Irish people during the period from September to April each year, primarily due to the lack of sunlight we absorb on a day to day basis.

SAD

begins and ends at about the same times every year so if you’re like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the autumn and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody, unmotivated and lacking the enthusiasm to carry out tasks you would usually enjoy doing. Of course, there’s a big difference between feeling pissed off about three days of consecutive rain and your mental health being chronically affected by the weather, but that line is often difficult to distinguish. You may feel silly, or as if you’re overreacting about a part of life that can’t be changed, but you shouldn’t brush off that yearly feeling as simply a case of the “winter blues” if it’s beginning to take a toll on your relationships, social life and mental state.

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ccording to Mental Health Ireland, the symptoms of SAD may develop at any age, but it most commonly starts between 18 and 30. Common symptoms include sleep problems (usually oversleeping and difficulty staying awake, but in

some cases disturbed sleep and early morning waking), lethargy (lacking in energy and unable to carry out normal routine due to fatigue, heaviness in the arms and legs, overeating/craving for carbohydrates and sweet foods), apathy (loss of motivation and ability to concentrate), social problems (irritability and withdrawal from social situations, not wanting to see friends) and depression (feeling sad, low, sometimes hopeless and despairing). A diagnosis is usually made after you’ve experienced two or more consecutive winters of these symptoms.

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s the bad weather predominantly experienced in Ireland is impossible to avoid or adjust to, you may feel like SAD is something you just have to struggle on with, but that’s certainly not the case. As more and more awareness is made about its status as a mental health disorder, the treatment options are becoming more available and easier to discuss. Talk to your GP about prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs and diet supplements (including vitamin D), as well as any herbs you may take which will improve your moods and will help lessen the severity of many of the symptoms highlighted above. If you and your GP feel your case of SAD is particularly debilitating, you may want to consider light therapy. There are several devices available— from battery-powered visors, portable light boxes and special light bulbs, to dawn simulators (lamps that switch on before dawn and gradually light your room, like the sun rising), all of which have proved hugely successful for many SAD sufferers worldwide.

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nd while the amounts of sunlight we’re exposed to are minimal, we can take simple steps to maximize and utilize it effectively. Simply making your house brighter - trimming the bushes

around your windows and keeping your blinds and curtains open during the day - can have a big impact on your day to day mood. Getting up early to take advantage of as much daylight as possible is advisable, as is sitting near a window whilst studying/working. Maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle will also make you less prone to encountering SAD, or any other mental health disorder for that matter. Regular exercise, getting enough sleep, eating a well-balanced diet, limit caffeine/ alcohol and reducing stress where at all possible will no doubt have a super positive impact on your health, both physically and mentally.

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astly, monitor your moods on a weekly basis. Watch for early signs that SAD is getting worse, if you suffer from severe winter depression, consult your GP immediately. They can help determine if your symptoms are related to SAD or may have another cause, in which case additional treatments available include psychotherapy, behavioral therapy, stress management techniques and specific prescribed medication may be recommended. The stigma surrounding mental health, unfortunately, is still present in Irish society, but don’t let that leave you suffering in silence. SAD is a mental health disorder and with the right care, it can be managed just like any physical illness would be. 23


The Build Up

5 Things Therapy Has Taught Me

ate last year, I bit the bullet and did something I probably should have done a long, long time ago – I booked my first appointment with a therapist. For quite some time before that, I’d been feeling increasingly low, lacking motivation and just generally unstable, not to mention incredibly anxious to the point where it was interfering with my daily life to an extreme degree. When I ask myself why it took me so long to seek help, I guess the main reason was fear. As silly as it may sound, I was terrified that I’d be made feel stupid, that my issues wouldn’t be taken seriously and that I’d be judged. In reality, that wasn’t the case whatsoever and I now regret not tackling the issue sooner, which could have possibly prevented a lot of unnecessary stress and anxiety.

1. Not Every Therapist Will Suit You

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The breaking point that spurred me to book that very first appointment was about 6 months ago, where I found myself lying in bed, in the very same position since that morning. I’d lost all motivation to even get up and go about the most simple of tasks in my daily life. A combination of debilitating anxiety and extreme periods of feeling ‘low’ left me mentally exhausted and empty. The zest for life I previously possessed was nowhere to be seen. I was eating to survive, not through enjoyment, sleeping (with difficulty) to pass the hours away. I was no longer living, but merely existing, and at that point, I realised I had to do something about it. my feelings of extreme anxiety, my therapist explained the concept of anxiety to me in the most perfect way. Basically, we must view our bodies as a glass, and anxiety levels as water. For a person who doesn’t suffer from anxiety or panic disorders, day to day stresses will only add drops to that glass, so when a particularly stressful event occurs, the glass won’t overflow and they can therefore manage their anxiety levels. On the other hand, someone (like me), who becomes anxious over a variety of everyday occurrences, will always have their glass half filled with water, so when something overly stressful happens, my glass will immediately overflow, leaving me unable to handle my anxiety levels, resulting in a panic attack or even a series of them. As soon as this analogy was explained to me, it all fell into place and I was able to understand why different forms of stress effect different people in different ways. Avoiding unforeseen/uncontrollable stresses such as sickness, job losses or exam panic is usually impossible so learning to minimise everyday stresses is key in reducing the frequency/severity of panic attacks. 3. The Past CAN Come Back To Haunt You I’ve always been guilty of bottling up my feelings to the point where they wreak havoc with my mind. During one particular session with my therapist, I was asked to think back to my earliest memory of feeling anxious and on edge. It wasn’t until I did this that I discovered what an impact previous events, 24

It’s just like everything else in life, hairdressers, personal trainers, tutors – different people have different approaches to their jobs and personalities can have a lot to do with this. People often presume that therapists and counsellors all read from the same page and give identical advice for each type of problem but that’s far from true. Some therapists are more ‘matter of fact’ in the way they speak to their patients, while others are more gentle and softly spoken. Neither way is better than the other, it all comes down to what you, the patient, react best to. The first therapist I saw was no doubt, a very wise and educated man, but his attitude towards my concerns was quite abrupt and I just didn’t feel overly at ease speaking to him. Later, I began speaking to another therapist, who had an incredibly calming voice and gentle aura about her, and instantly I felt at ease discussing my thoughts with her. If at first, you feel you can’t open up to a particular therapist, don’t give up on the idea of therapy. Try another therapist, and another, until you feel that sense of security and ease, it will make the whole experience much easier for you. 2. The Overflowing Glass Analogy During a session where I discussed in great length from years ago, were having on my current state of mind. Just because you feel anxious or low now doesn’t necessarily mean those feelings are being caused by an event or situation that just occurred. The past has a funny way of reoccurring in the present, which is why it’s so important to address all of your issues with the same level of care and importance, regardless of whether they date back to last week or 10 years ago. An unresolved issue or traumatic event left unspoken of will only continue to fester, and the longer you leave it untreated, the more difficult it will be to address it when it does come to the surface. 4. Honesty Is Key When I first began speaking to a therapist, I was very reluctant to open up completely. Sure, I’d taken the first step, I was sitting there in front of her, but part of me was still refusing to let down my guard, that shield I’d been gripping onto desperately for so long. I guess I was afraid that if I opened up completely, I’d never be able to stop, that the words would just pour and pour until all of my fears and heartaches were spread all over the table, but looking back, that’s exactly what I needed to do – let it all out. Going to therapy and only sharing half of the problem is futile. It’s like putting a plaster on an infected wound: it’ll stop the blood escaping, but the infection within will continue to do its damage. Opening up all at once isn’t easy and I’m not recommending you share every single traumatic △


Current Affairs

△ experience in one session, but intentionally avoiding a because if you aren’t in a good place alone, how can you expect particular area will do you no favours. If the thought of opening up about certain things is making you feel uneasy, try writing them all down, categorising them and ticking them off as you address them, the act of ‘achieving’ by ticking off from a list as you complete will do wonders for your mind too. 5. Love Yourself First One of my biggest weaknesses is that I’m the sort of person who’s ‘in love with the idea of being in love’. By that I mean I often jump into things without thinking them through, getting involved with someone half-heartedly purely in the hope of feeling more ‘complete’. Opening up and discussing my innermost feelings has taught me that in previous relationships the issue wasn’t that the other person didn’t care about me enough, it was that I didn’t care about me enough. Being happy and content with yourself has to come first,

to be, with someone else? I also learned that expecting another person to mend your heart without actually addressing the issues yourself is never going to work. Having a loving partner won’t magically erase the painful memories of your past, but working through those issues, learning to love yourself and THEN extending that love to someone else – that might just be a recipe for success. *This article was originally posted on Jacqueline’s award-nominated blog, jacquelinezeta.com, where you can find pieces related to mental health, fashion, beauty, and current events. You can also find Jacqueline on Instagram, @jacquelinezeta.

I Started Seeing a Therapist:

5 Things I’ve Learned Current Affairs editor Jacqueline Murphy discusses what visiting a therapist has taught her, and how it has helped.*


Cover

Features Editor Gemma Kent explores how the future of Artificial Intelligence could see reality and science fiction blur.

(Just Some) Essential Sci-Fi: 2001: A Space Odyssey, 1968

Stanley Kubrick

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, 1979 Douglas Adams

Star Trek: The Next Generation, 1987-94

Gene Roddenberry

Ghost in the Shell, 1995

Mamoru Oshii

I, Robot, 2004

Alex Proyas

Deus Ex, 2011

Jean-François Dugas

Humans, 2015+

Sam Vincent Jonathan Brackley 26


Artificial Intelligence

“The rise of powerful AI will be either the best or the worst thing ever to happen to humanity. We do not know which.” – Stephen Hawking If

there’s one thing the twenty first century has proven time and time again, it’s that just because something was once a fabrication of science fiction, doesn’t mean it couldn’t one day become a reality. Back to the Future’s ubiquitous drones, 2001: A Space Odyssey's video chatting and H2G2's real-time language translation - all of these remind us of the uncanny ability of science fiction to predict where humanity’s technological advancements are going to lead us. One of the major game changers sci-fi has prophesied since its inception is the rise of Artificial Intelligence: computers which can perform tasks that would normally require human intelligence. As we accelerate towards the creation of the world’s first truly sentient robot, it seems the movies are about to prove their prescience once more. But that begs the question: what now?

1950s, we have been experimenting with the idea of intelligent machines since the time of Ancient Greece, where Olympian Hephaestus, god of blacksmithing, was said to have created automatons to assist him in his projects. However, it is accurate to credit Turing’s work as the first to spark practical investigation into the possibility of intelligent machines. It was just over a decade after his proposal that the first AI programmes were being unveiled: one, a 1962 checkers player and the other a 1956 ‘Logic Theorist’. Neither of these machines were groundbreaking by today’s standards (the checkers programme was only as good as a well-briefed amateur) but these creations paved the way for the technology surrounding us today. The next twenty years buzzed with optimism as scientists investigated the newly named field of Artificial Intelligence. One of the key reasons for this sudden interest was an exponential increase in science fiction films and literature, among them the iconic 2001: A Space Odyssey. This boom of positivity was soon stunted as the difficulty in replicating △

Maybe we have nothing to fear in the first place – or maybe we do.

The Backgroud Check Far from beginning with the ‘Turing Test’ first devised in the

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Artificial Intelligence

△ human mobility and problem solving

skills became clear. In 1973, what is known as the AI Winter set in, a time during which funding for AI projects was slashed due to lack of progress. It was only about a decade later, in 1981, that businesses began to realise the lucrative potential of a machine that could perform at least some of the tasks a human could, and with this in mind we turned our attention to what has become known as Weak AI.

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lso known as Artificial Narrow Intelligence, Weak AI can perform a narrow range of tasks (often to a superhuman standard), but cannot independently apply this knowledge to the performance of a new task. That is, weak AIs cannot generalise their knowledge of X to help them perform Y, in the way that you or I could apply our knowledge of how to play football to how to play soccer. Consider Deep Blue, a chess-playing computer built in the 1990s that went on to beat the chess champion of the time, Garry Kasparov, in 1997. Deep Blue, while clearly adept at playing chess, was not ‘generally’ intelligent, as it could not, say, play checkers or attempt Ludo without having been programmed previously to understand the strategy behind such games. It was capable of performing only within the strict parameters of its programming. In this way, Weak AI cannot learn for itself. Programmes like Deep Blue seem commonplace to us now. In the years since its inception, we have seen an invasion of self-service tills, the rising prominence of phone assistants like Siri and Cortana in our daily lives, and – looking ahead – the possibility of selfdriving cars and aeroplanes. But while these latter forms of AI seem a world away from the functioning of Deep Blue, there isn’t much separating them as far as the terminology is concerned: they still remain restricted by the boundaries of their programming. For all our leaps and bounds over the last seventy years, we have yet to crack ‘the big one’: Strong AI. Recalling the definition of Weak AI, it is easy to guess what Strong AI might be (hurray for the ability to generalise!). Strong AI (better known as AGI or Artificial General Intelligence) is AI which is capable of independent learning and generalizing and which 28

can, in a nutshell, think and reason as a human can. While we lack examples in reality, programmes like HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey and VIKI from I, Robot are good predictions of what AGI might look like. It will feel ‘human’ emotions as we do, and be capable of making its own choices based on its needs and wants. It will also represent a new era in our history. The First 100 Day Experts predict the arrival of Artificial General Intelligence at some point within the next thirty years. If the rate at which technology changes is rapidly accelerating, how deeply steeped in AI will the world be by the time AGI arrives? Consider those areas currently in their infancy: the rise of voluntary amputation to enhance physical aesthetic and ability; the installing of chips in your arm and brain which enable you to control computers and electronic doors with your mind - all of these will be coming of age by 2029, meaning that AGI will bloom in a world that has already radically altered its perception of where to draw the line between human and machine.

these robots affect our perception of real-world people? Add into the mix, then, the potential of these robots to be sentient creatures. What happens when these dolls have, to some extent, thoughts and feelings of their own, and decide they do not wish to continue performing their designated role? The outcome mirrors contemporary sex slavery, only that these slaves can be built and programmed for the job. Moreover, many experts currently fear that these dolls could have damaging effects on how we view women in our society: a woman-like doll that you can possess wholly and do with as you please may potentially contribute to a mentality that sees women as property, useful only as a means of pleasuring their masters. If these dolls are matched with an AGI programme that makes them all but organic women, how much more potent could this message be?

Humanity, Impeached o, let’s be pessimistic, shall we? Considering humanity’s reputation when it comes to existing peacefully with our own sisters and brothers, it probably won’t be long If we assume that AGI will arrive in a before we are overrun by smarter, world accustomed to such technologies, stronger, more durable AGI cousins. what does this mean for the impact it They will take seats in our government, will have on our lives? To explore this, let abolish our rights, and make us the us examine a growing branch of AI: the test dummies in the crash simulations use of artificially for their new, intelligent sex expensive topdolls. of-the-range cars. It might These life-size, It will feel ‘human’ sound like an h u m a n - l i k e emotions as we do, and be extremist point (typically womanof view, but this like) dolls are a capable of making its own prophecy of growing market carnage is not for those who choices based on its needs only foretold in claim to struggle to and wants. science fiction build meaningful films galore, relationships with other people. Unlike it is also advocated by many of today’s the stand-still models previously leading AGI experts. Elon Musk, CEO available, contemporary dolls interact of Tesla (a company leading the way in and converse with their ‘owner’, and self-driving cars), is well-known for his come with a variety of settings meant to uncertainties when it comes to the rise simulate a real human personality. The of AGI. Taking to twitter in recent weeks, debate surrounding the ethics of this Musk described Artificial General practice is lengthy and deserving of a Intelligence as “vastly more risk [sic] whole piece in and of itself, but for this than North Korea” and called for the article it’s enough to consider some of regulation of what he deems a “danger the likely positions such debate might to the public”. These views are not inspire. Is it ethical to simulate rape on shared universally, of course, and others such robots? Could they provide a safe in the industry, most recently Mark place for humans that cannot integrate Zuckerberg, have sparred with Musk well into society? How drastically could over his so-called scaremongering.

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Together in Perfect Harmony Maybe, just maybe, our AI future is not as doomy and gloomy as this article has so far suggested. After all, while there is a littering of science fiction that suggests a gruesome and troubled future for our relations with AGI, there are as many stories which foretell that humanity and robot-kind will live sideby-side, with only as many problems as you would expect between sudden, vastly different neighbours. The fulcrum of the issues we will face will be the need for a relational definition of what it means to be human: what it is to love, grieve and generally think, when we can create a non-organic entity that also experiences such qualia. A functional definition of love, for example, might run something like “love is a dilation of the eyes and a quickening of the heart when in the presence of someone one deems attractive.” But if an android has neither conventional eyes nor heart, how then does that affect our definition? This dilemma is hardly intrinsically negative; if anything, the existence of a greater pool of varied experiences will only strengthen our ability to refine and make more accurate our means of defining crucial parts of life. Already, you have probably decided that my functional definition of love doesn’t quite hit the spot. More minds and unique viewpoints, from a

philosophical point of view, can only give power to such debates.

not least because in this reality it is the AI that creates us, and not the other way around. But even more than that, the Life, The Universe and Everything idea that Earth and its inhabitants were To finish, let’s look at one of science created, not as a means of answering fiction’s quirkiest children: The life’s big questions, but as a tool to Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. If ever uncovering the very questions we there was a work of science fiction that should be preoccupied with in the first could flaunt its irreverence for systems place, is both a deeply confounding and surprisingly of logic and still uplifting idea. remain a definitive For one, it classic of the means we do not genre, it is this one. what it is to love, grieve need to concern A key element of ourselves the story is the and generally think, when with working s u p e rc o m p u t e r we can create a noneverything out – Deep Thought, in the context of whose function organic entity that also our discussion it is to come up here, it means with the ‘answer experiences such qualia. we do not need to The Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe and a definitive answer for what our future Everything’. For all its superior AGI, will look like with AGI in it. Rather, however, all Deep Thought can produce as a species, our job is to ask, ask, ask, at the end of its seven and a half million and resolve ourselves to not knowing years of calculations is the number ‘42’, everything, and recognising that there claiming the defective output lies in is something valuable in the journey to there being no proper question to begin knowledge. And perhaps that is the best with. In an effort to find this question, way we can view AGI going forward: Deep Thought builds a superior entity: not as a problem we must solve, but as fellow problem-solvers in themselves, our humble planet Earth. designed by us to aid in our quest to gnoring the gloomy end that meets ask the right question. So, don’t panic. the Blue Planet in the early pages It might not be an apocalypse after all. of the book, there is something captivating about this version of events,

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29


ENTERTAINMENT & CULTURE

What’s next for “Riverdale”?

Returns with its second season on October 11

By Aoife Hegarty When “Riverdale” first appeared on our screens in January 2017, it became an instant hit. The series is based on characters from the extremely popular Archie comics. Critics raved about the comingof-age story/murder mystery and praised the performances of its young cast. Season One focuses on the murder of Jason Blossom and the ramifications the murder has, not just on the characters, but also on the small town of Riverdale and its many secrets. With the murder mystery aspect of the storyline resolved, the finale of season one ends on a massive cliff-hanger, one which will play a big role in Archie’s character arc for Season Two as his character becomes much darker.. One thing we do know about the upcoming season is that Betty will be heavily involved in the main plot. Actor Lili Reinhart had this to say in an interview with Comic Book; “Betty gets wrapped up in something that she never asked to be wrapped up in and this kind, sweet, gentle person is pushed to her limit.” So, what exactly is it that Betty will be “wrapped up in”? A guess is that it has something to do with Jughead and “the Serpents”, as when we last saw Jughead he had just been given his own “Serpent” jacket. The look of admiration and pride on his face when wearing it seemed to make Betty uneasy. Will Jughead fall in with the Serpents? If so, could he inadvertently put Betty in danger? The show’s second season will always see the introduction of Veronica’s dad, Hiram Lodge. The ramifications of Cheryl Blossom’s torching of the Blossom estate should also give us some juicy drama. Overall, the stage is set for a promising second season of Riverdale.

The Return of Rick and Morty Season 3

By Isobel Creedon Adult Swim - home of not-suitable-for-kids animation Rick and Morty – certainly likes to make its viewers wait. With the last episode of Season 2 airing in 2015, fans of the show were soon learning (or hoping) that patience is a virtue, good things do come to those who wait, and similar adages that make people feel better when they’re not getting what they want. Then, all of a sudden, Adult Swim spring it on us: Episode One of Season 3, April Fool’s Day 2017. One could be forgiven for thinking the joke was that the episode wasn’t really released – it was. The joke was that that was a teaser, and fans were back to playing the waiting game for the full series release. That day has come, and it has brought with it mature, adult themes you can recognise and then choose not to apply to your own life because Rick and Morty is as darkly funny and ridiculous as ever. ‘Pickle Rick’ is a great example of what the show does brilliantly. Somehow, Rick turning himself into a pickle and not turning up to family therapy until the last second – as a pickle/rat hybrid – actually ends up being the catalyst that begins to heal wounds and help them understand why they are as unbelievably dysfunctional as they are. However, just because you understand something doesn’t mean you’re going to change, which makes it seems as though it will be business as usual for the remaining episodes of Rick and Morty Season 3, meaning you can return to laughing when you know you shouldn’t and continuing to ignore those adult issues.

Super Mario Bros Deluxe

By Julie Hassett I think everyone has met the Super Mario Bros at some stage. Mario, the loveable Italian plumber has jumped into our lives numerous times over the years since his first appearance in Nintendo’s Mario Bros back in the ‘80s. For many gamers, including myself, Super Mario Bros Deluxe (the 1985 GameBoy version) was one of the first games to get us hooked.

As someone who did not even own a GameBoy in the early 2000’s I would frequently rob my best friend’s console specifically to play Super Mario Bros. The plot to the game is no different to any of the Mario games released in more recent years: The Mushroom Kingdom is in trouble, and Mario is sent to defeat the evil villain Bowser to stop his Koopa Army from causing complete destruction. The game has eight worlds where the player controls Mario as he jumps from pipes, uses power-ups, and runs across the stages to reach the flagpole at the end of each level. Up until quite recently Super Mario games have followed this formula pretty strictly. As someone who started playing these games at a young age, it’s amazing to see how far Mario has come. With the recent release of Super Mario Maker, in which fans can create their own Super Mario levels, it really shows that Nintendo has progressed alongside the gamers, and know exactly what it is that we love!

IT Pennywise the clown returns to the silver screen By Luke Holmes There’s no question that horror buffs will be heading to the cinemas come September 8th to see the remake of Stephen King's terrifying novel It. First adapted for the small screen in a 1990 mini-series, It had a huge effect on children and adults alike thanks to the horrifying nature of Pennywise the clown. In the past year we have become no strangers to scary clowns, with them appearing throughout the United States in places such as graveyards, bus stops and even the Oval Office. What keeps the interest alive is that this character of Pennywise appears every 27 years to claim its victims. Many film critics, and fans of Stephen King's work, have been asking if Bill Skarsgard, a baby-faced 27 year old actor will be able to portray a character that Tim Curry played so well. Based on the trailers released to the public, director Andrés Muschietti's’ gamble has surely paid off. If you are a fan of jump scares, scary clowns and horror movies in general, then you are guaranteed a great movie with It, where everything floats. 30

Book Recommendation: Jane Eyre

By Ciara Buckley As those hazy summer days end, we are forced to revert our minds back to the mind-set of college. All the while students are seeking slivers of motivation to plough through the oncoming semester whilst battling the balancing game of partying, procrastinating and work. Why not distract yourself from those post-summertime blues by delving into what has been described as one of the greatest works in English literature? Charlotte Brontë’s ‘Jane Eyre’ tells the story of an intelligent young woman who seeks a passionate life far from the brutal mistreatments of her turbulent childhood. Yearning for intellectual and emotional fulfilment, Jane undertakes the role of governess at Thornfield Hall, under the employment of the mysterious and wealthy Edward Rochester. As her powerful attraction to the enigmatic man transforms into love, mysteries begin to emerge in Thornfield, threatening to relinquish their newfound romance. Jane learns to battle her conflicting emotions while searching for her identity in this newly discovered world. Underlined with lingering sexuality in true gothic fashion, this literary classic is one for the ages. Brontë explores a young woman self-described as “poor, obscure, plain and little.” Jane is stripped of these superficial conventions and through the course of the novel faces a series of complex moral choices as she refuses to be oppressed by adversity. Jane's journey of self-worth is timeless as she triumphs over the harsh neglect and abuse that she has faced throughout her lifetime. Her triumph comes from her self-assertion of in such a gender-prejudiced society.


OFF THE RECORD

"Look in the mirror but it isn’t me. Do we laugh like we used to do?" ‘Turn Out the Light’, the newest single from band Flat Out is due to be released this coming August to the excitement of fans of both Irish trad and pop.

Flat Out

Turn Out the Light Words: Rose Keating

The Mayo born group were first formed in their home town of Ballina in 2013. The band consists of cousins Claire and Mark O’Donnell, as well as friends Brid O’Donnell and Harry Lawlor. The band have created a unique sound as they blend the genres of folk, trad and pop using traditional Irish instruments such as harp, accordion, bodhran, flute and tin whistle to achieve this. Flat Out’s latest single combines the best of both worlds right from the first few bars. The blending of a firm and relentless guitar accompanied by percussion rhythm and harp

allows for a surprising but refreshing lack of softness. Nothing about this piece can be described as delicate; the robust and energetic sound is a far cry from the waif-like slow airs and delicate ballads I so often associate with Irish trad. This song is a war cry, merging together a rock-pop attitude with the wild and primal tone of the trad instruments. Flat Out, on speaking of the new single, have said, “The message for this song we want to get across, to everyone who struggles with their mental health, is knowing that they can open up and that there is help out there.” The sound of this song - enthusiastic and energetic, with just a tinge of sadness captures this sentiment entirely.

"You walked in to the room. I’d never seen anyone like you." These lyrics sung out in an awe-struck croon seem to capture the siren toned and bittersweet essence of Kim Hayden’s new song right from the very first line. ‘The Other Woman’ is the title track of the singer-songwriter's debut album, due to be released August 25th. Wicklow born Hayden rose to fame during her time on The Voice of Ireland music competition, where she enthralled both judges and the public with her electrifying performances. Hayden’s first EP ‘Warrior’ was released in April 2013, and quickly rose to popularity, reaching No.1 in the iTunes Soul/RnB charts. ‘The Other Woman’ is a soft, sad rumination on the age-old fable of the other woman. She has been given a ‘femme fatale’-style glamour in this song. If Dolly Parton’s ‘Jolene’ is a plea for mercy from the allure of the other woman in her life, this song is simultaneously an ode and a lament to this character. On speaking of the album Hayden has said “Some may think ‘The Other Woman’ is me talking about another woman in my partner’s life, but funny enough it’s actually about the other woman in me; the wild Kim, the dark Kim.’’ The haunting vocals accompanied by a velvety guitar and percussion lead to a sound that caresses the listener. This track is an ode to our darker, stranger and more sensual sides. ‘The Other Woman’ is a seductive tribute that lingers long after the music fades away.

Kim Hayden

The Other Woman Words: Rose Keating

"We go waltzing through the past/ Everything is made to last" Over a year since his previous release, the album Let Bad In, Ciaran Lavery is back with a new track called ‘Everything is made to Last’. His music is commonly described as heart–onsleeve acoustic pop, and these tones can be heard throughout the song.

Ciaran Lavery

Everything is Made to Last

After the opening catchy guitar riff and his soft voice drags you in, the lyrics are beautifully relatable. Lavery sings about the past and how it can be relived through memories. His poignant lyrics ask questions and express thoughts we all have had at some stage in our lives. They are full of nostalgia mixed with themes of identity and religion. The song slowly builds up to a strong,

passionate chorus and by the time the second one arrives, you’ll be singing it at yourself in the mirror. The guitar is the primary instrument heard throughout the song but at the second chorus it is over-ruled by an invigorating drumbeat, and this gives the song an empowering and soulful feel. ‘Everything is Made to Last’ has over 200,000 streams on Spotify and counting at the time of writing, with Lavery himself having close to 800,000 monthly listeners. Having a sound similar to the likes of Little May and Ben Howard, I highly recommend you give this track a listen: this won’t be the last you hear of Ciaran Lavery.

Words: Carmel Horgan 31


Entertainment

message and remains in control of her own novel. A sad trend has emerged in modern literature, one which has seen initially robust female leads watch their story run away from them: generally down the avenue of becoming little more than a love interest.

ALICE By Christina Henry

Melanie Butler-O’Reilly takes a look at a classic tale with a very modern twist.

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e live in a world where 'retellings' and 'reimaginings' of classic tales are being announced almost daily. Take Disney, for example: while I am one of their most loyal supporters, the seemingly endless influx of live action remakes and new slants on an old story have left me a bit jaded of the concept. This brings me to Christina Henry's Alice. This novel is a reimagining of the iconic Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, a world that has remained a firm favourite of both children and adults for more than a hundred years. It is perhaps no secret that even the original tales were disturbing, and potentially a reflection of Carroll’s opium use. However, these stories are essentially a form escapism for children.

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lice veers sharply away from Carroll’s Wonderland. Henry leaves the reader with the feeling there never was a Wonderland, only a twisted metaphor for depravity and corruption. This is not a fairy story, it is a crime story. Alice is the tale of a young woman who has been committed to a psychiatric hospital after she was discovered emerging from the Old City with blood stains on her thighs, disjointed memories, and garbled ramblings about a rabbit. I will not spoil anymore of Alice’s journey, it is best discovered for oneself. A warning, however: the novel is not for the faint hearted, bluntly depicting vicious scenes of sexual violence and often holding nothing back in its brutality. Yet the frequent bloodshed does not mar what is undoubtedly Henry’s greatest achievement; the characters of Alice and the Cheshire Cat. The titular heroine quite clumsily and almost unintentionally endears herself to the reader as the story progresses. This older, more damaged Alice is a survivor - without giving away too many spoilers, she is specifically a rape survivor. Despite her intense trauma, she manages to present a strong feminist 32

Alice, in a refreshing turn of events, does not make the same mistake as other Wonderland adaptations, which allow the iconic Mad Hatter to eclipse its leading lady. This unfortunate habit was clear in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. The promotion featured Johnny Depp’s Hatter far more than it did Mia Wasikowska as Alice herself. Henry allows Alice to come into her own without the interference and consistent presence of the Hatter.

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heshire on the other hand, a character often overlooked, is thrust into the spotlight by Henry; an excellent decision by the author, as he provides a highly entertaining foil to Alice and her naivety. While purposely predatory and menacing, Cheshire does not easily subscribe to the ideals of good and evil so prevalent throughout the novel. He is a character each reader must form their own opinion of, with no deliberate direction from Henry. Cheshire is both troubling and darkly comical, a direct nod to his predecessor in Carroll’s Wonderland. While the novel may feature many familiar names, the characters hold little to no likeness to their inspiration. Alice is not a small, precocious child; she is a grown woman faced with her own blurred recollections and potential insanity. The White Rabbit is no longer a pocket watch-clutching creature, but a monstrous hybrid. Cheshire, as previously mentioned, is shadowy at best. In the end, it is the preconceived notion the reader has of these characters that makes Henry’s creations even more horrifying- a fact she is well aware of and exploits brilliantly. Alice is not without its faults of course. The entire setting, or ‘world’ of the story, is left entirely too vague to conjure a complete picture, and the ending feels abrupt. Much of the novel is devoted to establishing the presence of the Jabberwock; yet the eventual confrontation is rushed and feels almost disjointed. The novel’s conclusion renders the Jabberwock unsatisfactory. It is also possible to argue that the cruelty and violence can start to seem manufactured and only incorporated into the novel for somewhat of a shock factor. Less close, and less bloody, calls for Alice, and more consideration and care put into the confrontation with the Jabberwock would have concluded the novel with finesse. Instead, it merely fizzles out. Despite its faults, Christina Henry’s Alice is a powerful and unnerving vision well worth falling down the rabbit hole for, even if ‘re-imaginings’ and adaptations have left you unfulfilled in the past. In truth, the novel is much more than a quick read or a delightfully disturbing twist on a classic. It is a testament to the grown-up Alice in all of us.


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ome might say that the existence of good writing is threatened by the digital age. One man who proves this theory wrong is Roddy Doyle, who in 2011 began using Facebook as a platform for his latest work, a series of lightly comical conversations between two middle-aged men meeting at their local pub. It was an assuredly smart move, as the pair’s colourful exchanges provided users with some much-needed comic relief following several harrowing world events. After the Paris terrorist attacks of 2015, the men put their own twist on the slogan ‘Je suis Charlie’, inspired by Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame; ‘Je suis Quasimodo’. Although Doyle’s Facebook posts displayed his unmistakable knack for dialogue, it seemed as if harmless craic was all that they had to offer at times. This was the case up until July of this year, when Doyle teamed up with the Abbey Theatre to bring the two men and their lively discussions to life in the form of a play. Graham McLaren and Neil Murray, directors of the Abbey, said: “We want the Abbey Theatre, our national theatre, and its audience to be reflective of Ireland. To us, this means presenting work all over Ireland, and not necessarily in conventional spaces. Roddy’s funny, touching and provocative ‘Two Pints’ seemed the perfect piece to do this with this year.” Their plan was an undeniable success, as the national tour was sold out in twenty-two pubs across the country. Doyle welcomed the prospect of his work being performed in such an atypical space, saying: “When I wrote ‘Two Pints’, I didn’t envisage it being performed in a pub, but it is part of the adventure. This new play is being put on in a context that is unfamiliar to me – that excites me.” Given that the human experience is the central theme of the play, producing it in

a pub as opposed to a theatre was a wise decision (after all, pubs are the go-to place for socialising in Ireland). The audience feel that they are a part of the production from the moment they walk into the space, thanks to designer Kate Moylan’s deceptively simple layout. Liam Carney and Lorcan Cranitch, both of whom have previously worked with the Abbey, play the two men. They are, as Peter Crawley says in The Irish Times, ‘the kind of intimate friends who can meet in a pub without greeting, who can say anything but keep emotional expression guarded, who joke frequently – often hilariously – but very rarely laugh.’ On the surface, they come across as the same pair of wind-up merchants we see in Doyle’s Facebook posts. No stone is left unturned in their lengthy exchange, which meanders from their religious beliefs (or lack of them), to the Koran, and then to their admiration for TV chef Nigella Lawson. Soon, they end up having a complicated discussion as to whether or not women have tonsils, leading an awkward phone call to one of the wives for assistance. Embarrassingly, they discover that it is in fact Adam’s apples - not tonsils that women do not have. Although it shares the same lively banter as its online counterpart, the play carries an emotional punch that at times would have been difficult to depict in a twohundred-word Facebook post. Carney, for example, regularly goes to the hospital to visit his elderly father, who is reaching the end of his life. Mortality, as a result, has a crucial influence over the men’s thoughts, emotions, worries and anxieties. However, director Catriona McLaughlin successfully balances the hilarity and heartbreak of the conversation flow, allowing for both a poignant reflection by Carney on his father’s deteriorating health and a darkly comical exchange about prostate cancer (What’s the test? – A finger in the hole. – A

doctor’s finger? – Yeh, it has to be a doctor’s finger). To further tug at the audience’s heartstrings, there are occasional bursts of anger on Carney’s part, resulting from the physically and emotionally draining hospital trips. He is envious of the so-called ‘baby doctors’ who take care of his father and will always look healthy, while people like him and Cranitch ‘will always be the patients’. They have deeply profound discussions of the afterlife, even though they aren’t exactly the spiritual type. While many people, understandably, create their own theories as to where the human spirit goes after death, Carney is indifferent to concepts such as heaven and hell. It is at this moment he utters one of the play’s most memorable lines; ‘we’re better off staying where we are’. Once the men have finished their pints and the bar has been shut, we’re left reminiscing upon the highs and lows of human existence. We must, one day, visit a sick parent in hospital knowing that they will never get better. We will constantly reevaluate our own beliefs in the afterlife, that is, if we believe that one exists. Moreover, now and again, we will get quite simple things mixed up, like Adam’s apples and tonsils, and subsequently make a fool of ourselves in front of our mates. A single Two Pints entry on Roddy Doyle’s Facebook page may serve as a pick-me-up amidst the gloomy content we see online every day. However, if the average user goes out and sees it performed live, they will learn that dialogue is nothing without emotional charge. In addition, that between heaven and hell, they are better off staying exactly where they are.

“It’s a load of shite.” “Eternity? Yeah.” 33


Interview

Features Editor, Gemma Kent, sits down with Sean Finegan, Conor

McKenna and Sean Flanagan (better known as Foil, Arms and Hog) to talk franchising, winning streaks, and a mid-filming debacle with the GardaĂ­.

FOIL, ARMS AND HOG 34


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t’s the 30th of June, and the audience to join them up myself and my right- there. They radiated enthusiasm hand woman, Katie, are throughout every set, from one queueing up outside the City cymbal crash to the next, and Limits Comedy Club just off their willingness to poke fun at Patrick’s Hill, wondering how themselves and the medium of I will explain to the man at the the live show itself was a great door that I have a free pass to way to keep the audience roaring get in despite the only proof with laughter. Brian’s words as being an easily forgeable email. I he introduces the show sum up pepper about it the whole way to the whole experience better than the door, but luckily for me the I could: “This is live comedy; this Comedy Club are nice people, is pure joy.” and once I’ve stammered out why I’m here a few times, Brian, After the gig, the lads are to be the manager, lets me carry on found at the summit of an eager inside (under the easy-to-meet queue near the lobby, where they condition that I give City Limits are selling DVDs of their earlier a good review). Inside, Katie and performances and obliging eager fans I buy drinks, with funnythen pick faced selfies. our seats as When it is near to the our turn for front as we the meet and can. Needless greet, we are to say, three “This is live comedy; relieved to of Ireland’s this is pure joy.” confirm that funniest A) the trio y o u n g comedians draw a serious crowd. remember their promise of an after-show interview and B) that It’s impossible to go into the ins the friendly demeanour they and outs of a comedy set without radiate on stage is a genuine utterly butchering every joke reflection of their off-stage selves. made (my family can attest to After the boys have wrapped up this). I think the best I can do thanking show-goers, it’s down to commemorate a brilliant to business, and I am proud few hours of comedy is to say that I’m only a little tongue-tied. that the trio made excellent use of a quaintly-sized stage, First on the list is a discussion on and weren’t afraid to call on a the process behind their weekly few unsuspecting members of YouTube videos. △


Foil, Arms and Hog

△ “We film it, edit it and schedule it all check it.” on the day before,” Arms explains. “It can sometimes take a while to do. Like in the summer, when we’re writing a new show, we tend to do ones that focus on a single shot.” They tell me that one can trace when new content for shows is being written, because there will be a chunk of these ‘single shotters’ clustered together. Foil adds, “It’s a massive thing because it’s just the three of us doing everything. If you want to flick [the camera] and see the other side, you have to dress a whole background behind the other character.” “It’s hard enough to make our office look like an office, without having to do it from a different angle,” Arms chimes in. “That’s an extra hour of editing, right there.”

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n the subject of their online work, I’m compelled to mention one of my favourites: “Learning to Drive with your Parents”, a video which captures perfectly the utter craziness surrounding those early months of learning to navigate the streets. The filming of the video itself was apparently just as chaotic, Hog tells me. “We got stopped by the cops filming that!” he says, as soon as I bring it up. “It’s the scene at the end where McKenna [Arms] is in the car behind us, pretending to be a random guy beeping the horn, and I get out and punch him through the windscreen. When we were doing that part, the coppers pulled up, sirens [blaring]. We turned white.” I ask, “Did they recognise you?”

The trio go on to “We used to have more “They may have,” explain some of he says. “Because Irish-specific stuff in the necessary evils they immediately of releasing their the shows,” said, ‘Oh yeah, work online. “You’re you’re filming something’ and then terrified of missing a day,” Foil says, drove off, that was it.” Apparently, a to which Arms adds, “It’s not even so rolling camera is the perfect way to much that you’d miss one. It’s that if you miss one, you’ll make an excuse to avoid being jailed. miss another one. It’s never just one.” I’m told their ‘winning streak’ has been Speaking of the lads’ infamously running for a good two and a half years accurate Irish Mammy character, I now, which puts that fifty day Snapchat realise that the show I have just seen streak Katie and I once racked up to definitely lacked very ‘Irish-specific’ shame. “God,” says Hog, after a brief jokes. While the absence didn’t detract pause, “imagine if you missed one week. from the overall experience, it did You’d wake up one night with night answer one of the questions I had been terrors or something.” He feigns utter meaning to put to the three: ‘how do dismay at the idea (eye twitching, brow you cater for a non-Irish audience?’ furrowed, mouth hanging) - although it’s possible the dismay is genuine. I “We used to have more Irish-specific ask if there’s a preference for online or stuff in the shows,” Foil explains. live performances, and am met with a “We obviously still have lots of it on YouTube, but on stage we’ve weeded it chorus of support for performing live. out, mainly because we wrote our new “[With filming online,] you do the video show in advance of [the Edinburgh and then you go home and have your Fringe Festival]. The show develops dinner. That's the height of it... And you there, so if they’re not laughing at the hope that people like it the next day, of Irish stuff, it gets cut.” course. Brimming on the edge of the interview’s “It’s like doing a stage show with two end, I ask if they are apprehensive ahead way glass,” Arms says, “the audience of their new show, OinK. Expecting can see you but you can’t see them. You sentiment and a sombre ‘we’ll miss the have no idea if they’re enjoying it. And old one’, I can’t help but laugh when they if you happened to wake up at eight unanimously declare they can’t wait to o’clock in the morning [when the videos see the end of it. “We’ve done it about are scheduled for release] to go to the three hundred times in the last year," toilet or something, your heart starts Foil says. “You get so bored of it,” Arms thumping ‘cause you know the video’s adds. “And we’ve still got a show left in out and you're screwed ‘cause have to London!” Hog laughs. “Good luck there, 36

lads.” But Arms has a handy solution to cut down on the repetitiveness of the shows. “I’m thinking I might try to franchise it out to three guys who look like us,” he says. “That’s’ our big career dream, to franchise Foil, Arms and Hog.” “Imagine a North Korean FAH!” Hog says. “And we’d need, like, a Sugar Babes FAH, that’ll be all different ethnicities and can just tour anywhere,” Foil adds. You heard it here first, folks. A love of live performance is clear among the three. When Katie asks if they are still susceptible to a dose of pre-performance nerves, there is a unanimous verdict that they have performed too much to fear the stage. The only time they risk losing their stride, Arms tells us, is “when the laughter stops” or “if there’s something weird about the venue.” Luckily, there is no risk of that in the Comedy Club, where the only way you might miss a joke is because everyone is still laughing at the last one. Plus, the sound in that place bounces off every wall, like, four times (I am told Tommy Tiernan loves the place, because it's LOUD). There really is little faulting the Coburg Street venue, and I don’t say that just because the manager jokingly threatened me to. It really is a great place to settle down and spend a few hours clutching your ribs and drying your eyes. It’s got all the style of a city club, but with the cosy charm of a sized-down Opera House. If everyone reading this attempts to say “City Limits Comedy Club, Coburg Street, Cork” five times fast for at least thirty seconds, then I think I will have inadvertently brainwashed a chunk of the Motley readership and done Brian - the inventor of this impossible challenge - quite proud. (Successful renditions should be recorded and emailed to features@motley.ie, for the prize of ‘my infinite respect’). Before we wrap up, I ask the lads if they will be returning to Cork in the near future. “We’re working on it,” Foil tells me, “maybe in September. That’s when the new stuff that you saw tonight will be re-written, fleshed out, and [even] funn[ier].” “And at least twenty minutes longer,” Arms adds. “We will stretch that shit out way past when you think we should stop.” Having seen them perform, I don’t think ‘stopping’ should be on the agenda any time soon.


Foil, Arms and Hog will be appearing in the Cork Opera House this October 22nd. Go to foilarmsandhog.ie/tour for ticket details. The trio can also be found on Facebook, Twitter (@FoilArmsAndHog), YouTube, and Instagram (@foilarmsandhog). 37


Whistleblowers

THE HEROES W As public opinion grows increasingly hostile towards them, staff writer Cormac Dineen argues for the importance of whistleblowers in a world that seeks to hide the truth

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n the closing scenes of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight we see Batman, played by Christian Bale, explain to the obsequious Commissioner Gordon, portrayed by Gary Oldman, that keeping Gotham City from total implosion means telling the public that its saviour, Batman, and not Harvey Dent, was responsible for the execrable spate of police and citizen killings that concluded with Dent falling several floors to his death. As Batman talks, we see consternation etch itself onto Gordon’s face when he realises that Batman will be forced to shoulder the b u rd e n

of public hatred in the aftermath of these events, a hatred that should have been addressed to Dent. In a heartwrenching dénouement, we see Batman dart between shipping containers to his escape as Oldman voices over with one of the most memorable lines in recent film-history, “he’s the hero Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So, we’ll hunt him, because he can take it. Because he’s not out hero. He’s a silent guardian. A watchful protector. A Dark Knight.” As I sat, re-watching the film in my living room, a strange thought struck me. It wasn’t the usual burning desire to run upstairs, get on an old Halloween costume a n d smoke

cigarettes on my roof while wistfully watching over Cork City. I wondered, rather, if some parallel couldn’t be drawn between the plight of Batman, and that of the whistleblower. For the purposes of this article, the USA will be my case study, and that’s no disrespect to Morris McCabe who falls firmly into the same category as the Masked Manhunter. Naturally, most of the American right already hates the whistleblower: this is quite straightforward and understandable. The average redblooded American - we’ll call him Bret Cooper - sees the whistle-blower as a threat to the Budweiser-sipping, guntoting, NASCAR-watching freedom that he’s known and loved for his entire life. For Bret and his elk, releasing classified national and military documents is about as unAmerican as burning an effigy of George Washington while dribbling piss onto the StarSpangled banner. This threat is further emphasised by a republican political class who espouse Bret’s values and fears with convincing rhetoric, all the while cutting holes in the bottom of his pockets and holding a basket down by his feet.

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owever, in a surprising new phenomenon, we see the American left now gradually trend toward an unfavourable position on the role of the whistleblower. We

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WE DESERVE have seen the liberal media allude to dark dealings between WikiLeaks and the Russian Government being the root cause of Trump’s ascension to overlord of the Free-World, along with literary caricatures of figures like Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning. A frightening phenomenon indeed.

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their possession. Regardless of when and how the classified information came into their hands, the role of the Whistleblower in our society is to expose the truth, and I’m not talking about the truth as told by an unnamed source in Washington, I’m talking about hard evidence of criminal activity undertaken by the most rich and powerful members of society. Whistleblowers don’t deal in speculation, only fact.

or me, something is amiss when journalists at top liberal news outlets like “The Washington While I greatly Post”, “The New admire the honesty York Times” and Whistleblowers don’t of most journalists in Britain, “The deal in speculation, in the mainstream Guardian” (Oh only fact. liberal media, I can’t the irony!), all help but feel like a seem to suggest, albeit in an indirect select few are letting down the team by manner, that WikiLeaks is some sort displaying a kind of cognitive dissonance of puppet that conspired with Putin with the WikiLeaks implications that is to sway the election. Aside from unbecoming of such historic bastions of overlooking the glaringly obvious integrity. Perhaps it is symptomatic of problem that the Clinton campaign hubris; they feel as if their reputations and the DNC conspired in a series of as the pillars of honesty in our society shady emails to sway the primaries are under threat from the new kid on against the democratic pariah, Bernie the block. Maybe, they have weighed it Sanders (political chicanery on par, if up and came to the decision that, if the not worse than that which they now reputation of WikiLeaks is the price that accuse Trump and the Russians of ), must be paid to shoehorn a fat despotic they seem to suggest that the timing of oaf out of the Oval Office, then they will the leak is almost definitive evidence gladly pay it. And just possibly, there is that WikiLeaks dumped the emails some truth to their inferences, and the on the back of some agenda. I find years have seen Julien Assange grow it incredible that these self-styled bitter toward the US, and momentarily, ambassadors of the truth offer up cheap his interests aligned with Russia’s when shots at an opinionless organisation, he dumped those emails and destroyed who did nothing but release a string of Clinton’s campaign, which even if true, classified documents as they fell into is in my opinion irrelevant considering

the factful nature of the documents released. Whatever the truth may be, I choose to side with the whistleblower. They don’t have to pour honey in our ears with brilliant penmanship, or capture our attention with dramatic narratives. They present cold, hard facts in the form of official documents, emails and memos that the 99% were never meant to see. To be a purveyor of the truth in a world that fights against it is nothing short of heroic to me. Whistle-blowers protect tax-paying citizens by delivering information that I believe they have every right to see. They’ve given us the truth in a world, which like a Christmas time game of Monopoly, is being smothered by deception. And to me, the truth is everything, no matter when or how it arrives. So now, as I sit here watching Batman limping his way back into the shadows, being chased by swat teams with hounds worthy of Montgomery Burns, while Hillary – no wait, Harvey – Dent takes his place as a fallen hero, I can’t help but think of the modern-day whistleblower as our very own Caped Crusader, protecting us to his own detriment, even if we don’t know it. The meme was right: not all heroes wear capes.

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Fashion

Adam: ok €44.99 Coat: New Lo n Model’s Ow s: an Je om M n Ow ’s el od M Belt: ’s Own Shoes: Model el’s Own od M : es ss Sungla Claire: Look €19.99 Jumper: New land €43.00 Is r Skirt: Rive s €15.00 ey Boots: Penn Own Hat: Stylist’s ylist’s Own Sunglasses: St

STYLIST/CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Katie Burke

PHOTOGRAPHER

Charlie Cashman MODELS

Claire Aherne Adam Dalton

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Adam: Jumper: H&M €34.99 Mom Jeans: Model’s Own Shoes: Model’s Own Belt: Model’s Own Claire: Denim Jacket: Bershka €35.99 Jumpsuit: New Look €29.99 Boots: Penneys €15.00


Adam: Top: H&M €19.99 Shoes: Penneys €16.00 Jeans: Model’s Own Belt: Model’s Own Hat: Stylist’s Own Claire: Jumper: Bershka €15.99 Trousers: Stradivarius €35.95 Shoes: Penneys €16.00 Sunglasses: Penneys €3.00

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AW TREND REPORT

By Katie Burke

Red Alert Possibly the biggest trend to come from the AW17 runway shows, this colour has now become a staple on the high street. Taking inspiration from design houses such as Alexander McQueen, Max Mara and Clio Peppiatt, to name just a few, this trend is ruling this current season. Also, red’s neighbours on the colour spectrum, orange and pink, are having their own mini-trend moment so you’re sure to find something of a similar hue in stores if a vibrant red just is not for you.

Winter Sunshine

Courtesy of Topshop

Fashion

Heritage Chic Another key trend from brands such as Prada and Mulberry was heritage chic. Tartan, check and houndstooth prints flooded the runways, which we have included in this month’s photoshoot through the River Island miniskirt and statement wide leg trousers from Stradivarius. However, if you’re still not brave enough to try this trend on your bottom half, there are plenty of patterned coats arriving in shops that might just take your fancy.of a similar hue in stores if a vibrant red just is not for you.

When asked what colours Autumn, and particularly Winter, bring to mind, yellow is rarely one of them. Despite this, this bold colour has found its way from the A/W runway shows of Botega Veneta and Hermès into our beloved affordable high street stores. Yellow can be a tricky colour to pull off; however, the denim jacket from Bershka which we have styled in our shoot is a perfect example of how to work the trend into your wardrobe for the coming season. The denim jacket is a classic item for many college students, so it will casually blend in, as opposed to an eye-catching luminous yellow fur coat, but still give you that kick of colour. Pair the colour with monochrome shades of black and white, and you’ll have a perfect pop of colour added to your outfit without going overboard.

Mini-Trends There are many other trends having a moment, perhaps on a smaller scale, but gaining fans nevertheless. Polka dots are making a return to the rails, which we’ve styled in our shoot with the adorable Topshop blouse. As party season approaches an important trend to keep an eye on is space-age metallic, which were seen at Chanel’s show. Finally, the key college student staples of knitwear and sportswear are continuing to dominate both the runway and the high street so there’s no doubt you’ll be on trend somehow, or someway.


Budget Beauty Buy

There’s no need to break the bank when it comes to beauty, says Aoife

Walsh

‘Influencer’ is a term we are all well acquainted with these days. How many of us follow fashion and beauty bloggers on our social media? We are bombarded with information on what the best, newest product is to help you achieve the most perfect on-trend makeup look. Unfortunately, as students, when we go to buy these recommendations we all too often have to make a conscious choice on whether we really need a €40 setting powder or if we want to be able to afford to eat for the next two weeks (€1 noodles, anyone?). As a makeup fanatic, I have spent years refining my skill of trawling through the aisles of Boots and just about any other chemist or makeup outlet and finding the best budget beauty buys so I don’t have to break the bank in order to get my makeup fix. Here are some of my best finds:

Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Ultimate Wear Concealer, €5.79 Under eye dark circles and blemishes are often my biggest challenge when trying to create a flawless skin base. With many drugstore brands increasing the costs of their products, camouflaging those pesky pimples and sleepless nights that come with the stress of being a student is becoming increasingly harsh on every makeup lover's pockets. Thankfully, Collection 2000 has provided the solution everyone has been waiting for: An extremely affordable, high coverage, creamy concealer. Priced at €5.79, this Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer provides 16 hours of coverage. After foundation, apply some on the desirable area, blend with a beauty blender or concealer brush, set with powder, and you’re good to go. Available from Boots in shades Fair, Cool Medium, Warm Medium, and Dark, it suits a large range of skintones for a very small price. It is these characteristics that have vastly lead this concealer to become a beauty cult favourite.

Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Ultimate Wear Concealer, €5.79 Fake eyelashes without the stress of putting on actual fake lashes? Yes please! L’Oreal Paris’ new Mascara claims to provide a major curl, with volume, that will last all day long and I can confirm that it does just that. It comes in five shades - Black, Black Waterproof, and Indigo, Teal and Lilac for the more adventurous buyer who wants to switch things up. This mascara removes the need to curl your lashes before applying your mascara as it transforms your lashes with just one to two applications, so one tube lasts a long time. So forget eyelash extensions and try this mascara instead, you will not be disappointed.

Sleek Solstice Highlighting Palette, €13.49 Sleek has answered our highlight prayers! Sleek’s Solstice Highlighting Palette consists of four shades that cater to a variety of skintones. One shade, Ecliptic, is a buildable lavender cream highlight, while the rest (Hemisphere, Subsolar and Equinox) are a blendable powder. This highlight palette is more for those who seek an obvious, bright glow on the face that lasts for hours, while also providing for those who want a more sheer highlight with Ecliptic. Placed on top the cheekbones and other areas you wish to accentuate; such as the middle of the nose, the cupid's bow, and the inner corner of the eye, this highlight almost gleams in the dark. In particular, ‘Equinox’ which is sat in the right hand bottom corner of the palette caused an online frenzy amongst the beauty community due to its vibrant, nearblinding highlighting power. It is the most pigmented shade out of the four, and leaves a copper, metallic finish without emphasising the pores. All shades blend seamlessly into the skin. Overall, this budget highlighter can compete with many high end highlighters, but for quarter of the price.

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Interview

Dry Roasted Peanuts Lauren Mulvihill meets with the up-and-coming Cork band.

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met JJ Lee, Marc Ó Cearnaigh, Chris O’Sullivan and Robert McDonnell – otherwise known as Dry Roasted Peanuts – in one of Cork School of Music’s many practice rooms on a humid, mid-July afternoon. The space was mostly taken up by two shiny grand pianos – Robert tapped out a tune on one as we all took our seats. I used the other as a makeshift table. The Cork-based four-piece had been busy in the recording studio all morning. “I think there’s a certain character that our music has that probably unifies all the songs, but stylistically they are quite diverse… [but] I don’t think it’s any reason to stop writing songs that come naturally to us,” says singer and guitarist Marc, when I ask how the band’s sound has evolved since the release of their first EP, Sometimes I’ll Stay In/Sometimes I’ll Go Out, in May 2017. “If you put a set of barriers on yourself you might just kill your creativity,” Chris, the band’s drummer, adds. “So it is kind of important that whatever just comes out of you, to write it.” As Marc notes, “it’s all about authenticity”. Speaking to the members of Dry Roasted Peanuts, their passion for music is absolutely palpable. The band, who according to bassist JJ count Pixies, Joy Division and the Smiths as being among their main influences, have been causing quite a stir since their original formation almost two years ago. “I started the band with these two guys that I knew, [who] I met in first year of college, and then we met Marc somewhere at night… it must be a year and a half, two years ago, and they were like, d’you want to go jam there?” Guitarist/singer Robert explains. “So we went and we jammed a few times. Then the other two guys – the original two guys – dropped out and we got a drummer in.” In fact, the band has featured a “revolving door” of drummers prior to Chris’s joining at the beginning of this year, and Dry Roasted Peanuts finally ceased to be a three-piece with the addition of JJ soon afterwards. 46

At this point, I do need to make the somewhat offputting confession that I’m not the greatest of music writers. There’s very little I have to work with in terms of vocabulary when it comes to describing the sound of Dry Roasted Peanuts. Saying that, sometimes the best descriptors are the simplest, and you can trust me when I say that this is just a very good band. A great band, even. As Robert and Marc put it, they’re actually “really class”, and I would have to agree. The gritty, indie-rock style of music you’ll hear on tracks such as ‘Choker’ and ‘Waiting On a Bus’ is just one facet of this band’s appeal, with gig-goers practically lining up to praise their live performances. “Generally with most gigs we play we’re not just there to make up the numbers or anything,” says JJ. “If we’re going up, we’re there to be the best act of the night.” Referring to a gig they had recently played at a Limerick music festival, Robert tells me he “kicked a micstand over and hit a woman in the face”. “But she came up afterwards and she said it was fine, she didn’t mind… because she was so attracted to all of us.” He quickly adds, “no, she wasn’t. She was kind of annoyed.” “I think some people are like, oh man; these guys are – this is great, this is rock and roll,” Marc chimes in, alluding specifically to the band’s stagejumping and mic-stand-kicking antics. “And then other people who haven’t had as much to drink are like, ‘these guys are fucking clowns’.” Even in terms of their individual personalities, Dry Roasted Peanuts are an interesting bunch. This surely influenced Cork-based filmmaker Daniel Breen’s decision to film the band for Waiting On a Bus, a thoroughly enjoyable short documentary that can be found on YouTube. At the time of writing, the video has garnered almost 4,000 views on YouTube and Facebook, and gives a behind-the-scenes look into the band’s dynamics.


Dry Roasted Peanuts

“If you think I’m a dickhead now, see me in that – Jesus Christ, it’s very bad,” Marc says. “We all come across kind of like wankers in that thing,” Robert agrees. As I mentioned before, each of the band members clearly has a real love for music, and they all have plenty of experience as musicians in their own right. According to Chris, they’re “immersed in it, maybe more than some other people are”. Considering their passion for the music itself, I was expecting a good backstory for the band’s name. I didn’t get one. “I’ve been in bands since I was like 16 or so, and I just hate [choosing a name]. It goes on forever and you don’t get to practice things because you’re all bitching about band names, so I said ‘pick that one’ without thinking about it too much,” Robert reveals. Marc later - only half-jokingly - goes on to explain that “it’s deeply conceptual, because Dry Roasted Peanuts is not so much a band as an absurdist project”. If you ask me, it’s something like a mixture of both. If there’s one thing I’m certain of, however, it’s that Dry Roasted Peanuts have a lot of good things to look forward to in the future. Before we wrap up, I ask the band where they see themselves five years from now. Their answers range from “being a really good band” (Rob) to simply “out foreign” (Marc) and quite plainly “hopefully we’ll be grown up by then” (Chris) – but what’s clear is that this band has big plans, and are ready to put in the work to achieve them. “There’s an awful lot of Irish bands at the moment that are doing really well for themselves, all things considered,” JJ says. “They haven’t got arena rock levels or anything like that, but they’re getting UK tours.” “We will have well and truly surged into the collective cultural psyche by then, and we’ll be a fixture in it,” Marc adds. “Our aspirations are the ultimate aspirations.”

Upcoming Gigs: Sept 13 -

Cyprus Avenue, Cork

Sept 22 -

UCC SHAG Week, Devere Hall

Sept 22 -

Alchemy Cafe, Barrack Street, Cork

Sept 29 - The Library, Limerick Oct 21 - Cyprus Avenue

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Features

LOST IN TRANSITION TCK ADITI UDAYABHASKAR examines the ups and downs of life as a Third Culture Kid.

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ome. The word invokes feelings of warmth, happiness and a familiarity to a certain place or person in the world. It’s somewhere you instinctively know will make everything alright in the end. Imagine turning that entire idea on its head – what do you have? A sense of the unknown, exposure to thoroughly foreign places and a weird surge of excitement, as if a Pandora’s box is waiting to be opened. Life as a third-culture kid can seem like that; forever learning that you belong everywhere, yet nowhere. Put simply, third-culture kids (TCKs) are children who grew up in a country not natively their own, or in a culture vastly dissimilar to the one their parents were born into. Suddenly thrown into a new environment, these children learn – and fast – how to adapt to continually changing surroundings. Anyone from a farmer’s son to a multinational executive’s daughter could be a third-culture kid – it simply implies having lived in circumstances quite atypical for their heritage.

live closer to the children they love so dearly. The trauma and difficulty that separation presents cannot be defined in words – and is a heavy price TCKs pay for their privilege. There’s also the hindrance of working at companies that don’t sponsor visas. Imagine living a good portion of your life in a country, only to be asked to leave because you no longer have the right to work there. TCKs often live and study as dependants under their parents’ visa, but once you come of age, you’re left to fend for yourself. Battling it out on your own can be daunting, and while non-TCKs can feel that being a third-culture kid gives you limitless opportunities to explore the world whenever and however you want, the truth is a harsh reality of borders and citizenship. For TCKs, this can be an especially bitter pill to swallow – to suddenly realise that the world isn’t their oyster can go against everything they were brought up to believe, and is deeply life-changing for the many TCKs I’ve met so far.

So why is being a TCK such a big deal? Well, for starters, it It can be really weird for me to read lists on BuzzFeed or means they have no real concept of ‘home’ – as a TCK myself, other websites that say, 21 Signs You Went to School in the I’ve been moving from place to place since I was three months UK, simply because I super-relate to one half of it, whilst the old, and I find that a little piece of everywhere has stuck onto other half is totally alien to me. How is this possible? It may me forever. Now, not moving every two-three years is worrying be because I moved when I was halfway through primary – is this normal, you wonder to yourself. Of course, there school and the parts that I did remember and enjoy, I could can be upsides to this sort of lifestyle; you’re exploring new relate to. I remember that embarrassing time when I told my countries or cities every other year, you probably can speak friend I liked his pants, only to see a look of horror on his face two languages fluently by the time you are ten, and you have – what have I done wrong, I thought to myself. It was only a thick booklet of well-worn passports to call your own. It also later that I realised ‘pants’ meant underwear in the UK, not helps that you are extremely adaptive, willing to experience trousers like I was brought up to learn in America! On a more something new and well aware that change is indeed the only serious note, however, being a TCK quite literally means constant in life! I have English friends who have never lived living out of a suitcase. All of my possessions fit into a large in the UK yet hold a British passport, I’ve met the children of roller-suitcase: that’s it. You learn to cut out the material, and diplomats who know people in really high hold on to the practical, sensible and places, in addition to the kids of purely portable necessities of life. Would you Most likely you aren’t a adventurous travellers that chose to give like me to move to Germany tomorrow? their children a life less ordinary. In the citizen of the country your Done! I can do it. process, I learned much about myself, but parents live in – which It sounds insane, but it’s part and parcel more significantly, about life and what the presents a major obstacle. of constantly being on the move, and ‘big picture’ really is. airports and transatlantic flights can ne thing TCKs face very often is the question, where seem more familiar than a comfy bed back home. Of course, are you from? It’s extremely difficult to be able to one must recognise that this lifestyle isn’t for everybody – reply honestly, without it sounding like a humble- learning new languages and accepting out-of-the-ordinary brag. As a result, the answer is usually a cut-off, shortened situations is not everyone’s cup of tea. You might be surprised version that may not exactly be the truth – simply because, we to find that TCKs are bizarrely envious of those who haven’t want to keep it short and avoid a boastful response. Despite lived our life, simply because we crave that normalcy, this, TCKs are often misunderstood – this is understandable, predictability and sense of familiarity in our lives too. We because to the many who haven’t moved around frequently wonder how it would feel to have all our friends live within our unusual lifestyle may be typecast as privilege – which is a ten-mile radius, instead of having to clog your smartphonenot completely true. The dangers of belonging everywhere display with world clocks to coordinate chats with friends on yet nowhere are significant, and often take away from the another continent. We wish we could pop home to wish our benefits of being a TCK. So, what could possibly go wrong? parents a happy birthday or be able to attend alumni events like our peers do, but accept that this is a compromise we Well, for instance, there’s the problem of wondering if you make to be able to sustain our forever nomadic lives. can ever actually live close to your family as you age. Sure, we all look forward to moving out and living independently, but hird-culture kids live a life of extremes – much when you think you would like something close to home as a excitement, and substantial hardship. Yes, we TCK you find yourself in a fix. Most likely you aren’t a citizen recognise we have had access to a plethora of unique of the country your parents live in – which presents a major experiences and are grateful for it, but we also accept that our obstacle. Applying for visas is the norm, and you can never exposure comes at a cost. Whilst we wouldn’t change any of be confident enough when you’re dealing with embassies. it even for a million euro, it does make one consider what life I’ve seen families torn apart, with the parents living in one really is – full of ups and full of downs, but if you always knew part of the world, struggling to find a way to be able to see or what was going to happen tomorrow, would it be any fun?

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Entertainment

SHREK: STANDING THE TEST OF TIME Dan Webb explores the ongoing legacy of the Dreamworks classic.

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hen talking about movies, one of the most important things to note is how a given film affects its audience: whether it makes them cry, laugh, or jump up and down with joy. Movies can affect viewers differently at different points in their lives, whether they be a child, a teenager or an adult, but some movies transcend age and bring joy no matter the age of the audience. Shrek (2001) is one such movie. Shrek, produced by Dreamworks Animation Studios, portrays a different kind of fairy-tale world throughout. It has a darker, more twisted edge that many people find appealing and enjoyable to watch. The animation styling sets it apart from any other Disney animation that came before it. It is new and fresh, and draws the audience into the sorrowful story of titular anti-hero, Shrek the ogre.

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he characters appear to have rough edges, as if they were deliberately created to appear imperfect - a characteristic that Disney seldom promotes. In my opinion, this lends the story a great degree of curiosity. The characters are just so bizarre and unique in their designs, you literally cannot take your eyes off them. The film also twists our expectations of the stereotypical fairy-tale genre. In its first few moments the audience expect Shrek to be a romantic fairy-tale story. However, five minutes of screentime later we are watching a comedy about two friends on the road: an ogre and a talking donkey, on a quest to save a princess. There literally is something for everyone here. Kids enjoy watching the adventures of Shrek and Donkey, voiced masterfully by Mike Myers and Eddie Murphy respectively. Meanwhile adults are treated to a genre-defying spectacle of character development as they continue along their journey. What fairytale movie would be complete without a princess to hold it all together? In this case, we have Princess Fiona (voiced by Cameron Diaz), an inversion of the ‘damsel-indistress’ trope. She does not use her typically feminine singing skills to talk to all the animals, for example, but rather uses them to catch herself breakfast. Such a strong female character was bound to have an impact on both the female and male audiences, and the effect of Fiona’s characterisation has shaped the film industry ever since. A common trick employed in modern animated movies is the use of comedy and humour to engross the audience, helping them to become invested in the world and the characters inhabiting it. Most animated films employ lowbrow comedy that only really appeal to a younger audience; however, the team working on Shrek manage to twist this common technique, and create a comedic tale that appeals to all ages. 50

Adults and children alike can relate to Shrek through its use of comedic devices which make it that much more accessible for audiences of all ages.

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hrek does have some questionable points to the plot and appears to encourage discrimination against certain characters throughout. For example, the evil villain of the movie is Lord Farquaad, voiced by John Lithgow, who is a source of comedy for the audience because of his height and not his humour. Farquaad is used as comic relief in a movie that explores loss, pain, and the need to be accepted. The evil villain has huge plans contrary to his stature, as he stands at only four foot two, and rather than celebrate his determination he is picked apart by the other characters in the movie. While Shrek is advertised as a children’s movie, the film explores many dark themes throughout such as the kidnapping of Fiona and the discrimination against magical creatures. “Shrek” captures the adult audience through its reflection of human society through the eyes of the animated characters. This movie is a perfect blend for children and adults, as while the kids can laugh at the slapstick humour the adults are reminded to be kind to one another as they go through life. In conclusion, it is not that surprising that Shrek has survived as long as it has in the hearts and minds of its audiences. The franchise includes four movies and a spin-off, with numerous animated short films, videogames and comic book - as well as a musical adaptation - in addition. In my opinion though, the original Shrek has always and will always be the best the franchise has to offer, it is certain that this is a film that will be around for many more years to come.


Features & Opinion

Éamonn Grennan talks about the haven of the San Juans and the novelty of a more holistic, community-focused J1

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atersports or water activities are great fun to teach to kids: you get to boss around, you splash and dive like freefor-all, and inevitably you get to bond with the ones who think you’re too cool to be true. The effect of comradery is magnified massively by eating with and camping next to the kids in teepee units, NativeAmerican style. As anyone can testify when they adore their brothers, sisters or close teenage friends, it’s the greatest thing to connect, guide and laugh with younger people prone to idolizing easily — let’s not forget a bit of ego-massaging is always welcome, and that an appearance as a cool, Irish kayaker who

does what he wants, when he wants (or at least gives the impression of doing so) is always going to be be lapped up. I adored all the campers I was stationed with as well as the vast majority of the ones with whom I completed activities, and to see them go was the peak of bittersweetness. All signs point to me coming back next summer, with tearful reunions and growth spurts and breakfast granola all around. Being a waiting staff at a diner simply has no chance of vying for my, or in fact anyone's, attention.

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ON THE WATERFRONT: TALES OF THE J1 CLASS OF 2017

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ff the coast of Washington State lie the San Juan islands, consisting of Lopez, Orcas and the titular San Juan, with an oasis of smaller islets dotting the periphery. 12,400 people call these islands their home, a number which swells impressively come tourist season. A haven of “white culture” resides there year round, with yachts, holiday homes and immaculate lodgings peppering the landscape; not to forget that Seattle, that most liberal of metropoles, is a one-hour ferry ride away. And crucially, on John’s Island, 5 kilometres north of San Juan, is Camp Nor’wester, my home and workplace as a J1 student for the 2017 summer season, which provides “a unique outdoor living experience for young people” in the purest sense of the word: good old-fashioned camping fun for kids, and, it could be argued, even more enjoyment for the staff. Crafting, watersports, obstacle courses and archery are just some of the exploits those on John’s enjoy, with campers growing up to become staff themselves, resulting in a large continual ‘Nor’wester family’ through the ages. For me, the headache of organizing the venture was absolutely dwarfed by the reward; so much so that doubts about my planned career goals and journey along my pathway were knocked out of whack, if not completely out of orbit. Now that third year back in Ireland is starting up, how can what I experienced in this job, however low-paying or seasonal, ever match in quality what I always thought was the be-all and end-all for me, but what I was maybe always too afraid to question?

ut here’s the catch: being a great Waterfront Instructor (still have the name tag and all) means a lot of responsibility, punctuality and social etiquette, but how does it truly let me compete for the jobs I want, at the level I want, in biological research? The long and short of the story is that many other science students in UCC and further afield are planning (and getting) summer placement in industry and research, and that to be competitive in what I want in Ireland or the UK, I may be faced with a mini Sophie’s-Choice. Apples and oranges it seems to be, and it positions that age old divide: work or pleasure? I talk to coworkers at the camp and they fret so much about getting the position they want or if they’ll get to be with their own specific kids again next year, and I wonder if I can or should come back at all?

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erhaps it is all first-world problems: deciding between another J1 or a summer sciencing away in a big important lab, boo-hoo, woe is me. Careers, full-time and part-time alike, always seem to have an uneasy sense of commitment, just like buying a house or getting married, at least until you work your way up whatever ladder you want. However, the opportunity window of living out some youthful dreams is finite and, as they say, make hay while the sun shines. And so I should, as should you, fine reader, if you happen to be a student in a similar position, where a feasible dream presents itself only to exceed your grasp and not your reach.


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Motley Volume XI, Issue One (September 2017)  
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