NOVEMBER 2017 ISSUE THREE
WHAT ABOUT US? THE MEDIAâ€™S FORGOT TEN STORIES
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MOTLEY - Issue 3 | November 2017 MOTLEY.IE
WHAT ABOUT US?
Sexual abuse within the film industry isn’t new, writes Rebecca Stone our reaction is
Schizophrenia remains one of the most stigmatised and misunderstood mental illnesses, writes Anna Mac
THE MEDIA’S FORGOTTEN STORIES
Rose Keating sits down with Kai Campos to discuss the band's roots and their plans for the future.
Motley welcomes letters from readers, emailed to email@example.com. Motley is published by Motley Magazine, G.06 Áras Windle, University College Cork, Cork. Printed by Walsh Colour Print, Tralee Road, Co. Kerry. Copyright 2017 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.
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MOTLEY - Issue 3
Masthead Editorial Staff EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Lauren Mulvihill DESIGNER
Sai Wing Ho
FEATURES AND OPINION
Gemma Kent Éamonn Grennan
Katie Burke Fifi Coughlan
Jacqueline Murphy Aditi Udayabhaskar
Leanne O’Connor Desmond Aisling Ní Ghealbháin
Staff Writers Cormac Dineen
Contributors SEAMUS ALLEN / CHLOE HARTE / SEHAR SIDDIQI / ANNA MAC / JULIE HASSETT KATIE MYERS / ROSE KEATING / CALVIN ROY / JORDAN NORRIS
Motley welcomes letters from readers, emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Motley is published by Motley Magazine, G.06 Áras Windle, University College Cork, Cork. Printed by Walsh Colour Print, Tralee Road, Co. Kerry. Copyright 2017 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.
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lright, I’m going to do it. I’m going to be the first to say it. I’m prepared to deal with the backlash, so here goes: Merry Christmas, everybody! If we’re measuring time by the window display in Brown Thomas, we are now firmly in the midst of the holiday season, and have been since about a week before Halloween. Soon enough, the city streets of Cork will be aglow with the lights of a thousand Christmas fairies, and that RTÉ clip of the man who slipped on some ice a few years back will resurface with a vengeance. This truly is the most wonderful time of the year. I’m sitting in a coffee shop in Cork City as I’m writing this, which is a very different environment compared to the one I usually write in. There’s a beautiful, warm vibe about the place, and while it’s not mobbed, there’s still a good few people here aside from me and a few of my friends. It’s a cheery spot. I quite like it here. Generally speaking, when I’m writing articles or assignments I’ll retire to my room and sit in total silence, so the chatter and the mellow soundtrack in the background is very welcome. For a final year student especially, the Winter months are very deadline-heavy. It struck me the other day that if I don’t start writing my assignments in a more sociable setting, I’m going to become a complete recluse over the next month or so. It’s a small move, but I’m hoping it’ll make a big difference to my work and my attitude in general. Good company is a fantastic motivator. Christmas is a nice time to remember the importance of good company, I think.
people who have never ceased to blow me away with each piece sent to my inbox. Flipping through this issue of Motley, you’re going to find some wonderful stories, and some very sad stories; you’re going to read about diverse opinions and new ideas. You’re going to discover new perspectives. You may even fall in love. OK, maybe not that last one. But the rest of it is still pretty great. What I’m saying is, we’re in good company here. In a world that especially nowadays can often seem far too mean and hopeless, there are still plenty of people asking important questions and seeking important solutions. There are even more than I could ever hope to showcase within these pages who are helping each other and making each other laugh. Remember that there’s bravery in being kind. Make sure you’re seeking out those people, and make an effort to be one of those people. As long as we have them - and I think we always will, in some form or another - we’ll be alright.
Merry Christmas, and best of luck with exams and assignments!
Lauren Mulvihill Editor-in-Chief
I’ve been involved with student media in UCC for almost three years now, since I first began my course back in 2015. In that time, I’ve read a lot of articles: many of them were funny, some of them upsetting, and a few were brilliant. All of them showcased an intelligent, creative, and talented group of 05
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O V E R T U R E
Before We BEGIN snippets of October.
“It still feels like a dream”
Army of Spies
21-year-old Ibrahim Halawa arrived home on
Disgraced film executive Harvey Weinstein hired
the 24th of October, The Dublin man spent
private security agencies to suppress allegations of
four years in a Cairo prison following his arrest
sexual assault as far back as 2016, according to the
at a mass protest in the Egyptian capital, and
New Yorker’s Ronan Farrow
has been acquitted of all charges
Danica Roem The former journalist made history as the first openly transgender person to be elected to a US state legislature in early November
“I don’t see why we should not try and give it a go” Independent TD John Halligan, on his plan to travel to North Korea to discuss democracy and peace with officials
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Dangerously overcrowded More than half of private rental accommodations in almost every county fail to meet national standards, according to an RTÉ investigation
October 27th The Parliament of Catalonia declares independence from Spain
Paradise Papers. 13.4 million documents leaked primarily from Appleby detailing the tax affairs of the world’s wealthiest people
Cars, Chicken Little, Resident Evil Three of the films found on Osama Bin Laden’s computer. Files obtained from Bin Laden’s compound were released by the CIA on the 1st of November 07
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Features and Opinion
Should We Know It’s Christmas Time? Éamonn Grennan and Gemma Kent debate on whether Christmas countdowns are starting too early.
EAMONN GRENNAN - YES A mood killer, a commercial ploy, an premature heralding of what should be a time of family, friends, reunions, goodwill and relaxation - these are all things I’d associate with Christmas starting as soon as November 1st comes around, and all we hear is Wham! and Frank Sinatra on Red FM. What’s seldom is wonderful, and obviously there is a time and place for everything.
be present in everyday life, not just the end of December, and while it’s understandable people start their Christmas countdowns early and covet what it brings, it’s not a crutch to rely on when everything will be candy canes and Celebration boxes. All year we should find time for these traits and actions that improve us, and it should just be highlighted at Christmas.
When I was 8 I’d start writing letters to Santa around August. Most of us loved toys at that stage and we hated having to wait for them. The idea of premeditating what I’d get for Christmas, along with the food - so large an outlier in the admittedly great everyday food we’d get at home - and the ‘deadly’ movies I’d get to see and tape on VCR, were all too good for a child to wait for. Words were had, with an exhausted mum and an irritable brother, that it wasn’t healthy or right to wait so long for such a short time of the year to roll around. You’d miss far too much of what made the autumn change and winter build-up so special - you’d lose an appreciation for what everyday life brings in the months prior.
Another reason Christmas has prematurely kicked off so early is the understandable workings of everyday commerce and business in Ireland and other countries. Christmas equals presents, rich food, decorations and trips, which in turn equals sales and revenue, which equal heavier advertising at an earlier time of the year. It’s understandable - what selfrespecting business person doesn’t like seeing their venture thrive while others cash in? In the grand scheme of things, you’re unlikely to see this side of premature Christmas disappear, but I think at least leaving any shopping to a ‘sweet spot’ time, i.e. in December, but before any last minute stress-dash to the city centre, works so well for the mood.
Obviously it’s not as drastic as ignoring everything non-Christmas had to offer, but in short, it wasn’t what a little boy should be getting worked up about. Something here translates to what a lot of people associate with Christmas - days off, no work, family, love, time to reflect on a great year and celebrate, or a middling one and see what went wrong. Such feelings of gratitude and happiness should absolutely
All times of the year should be celebrated in varied amounts, and I don’t think it’s such a Grinch-like thing, or even a begrudging quibble, to reserve times of the year for their own special aesthetics or mood. The Christmas ethos is what’s beautiful, and it’s that we should be celebrating year-round, not the lights or trees or tinsel, or the admittedly class - music.
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Features and Opinion
NO Gemma Kent
t’s not easy playing devil’s advocate, especially when the most wonderful time of the year is now just one month away. And yes, I know, the vast majority of people cringe at the mention of Christmas ‘so soon’ in the year, but in writing this piece I’ve tried to sympathize with those who advocate a one- to three-month long celebration of what is now a hugely secular consumer holiday. For one thing, Christmas is a time that encourages selfless acts and mindfulness towards other people. We donate more to charity; we visit the elderly; we seek out long-estranged relatives and bring them home. Christmas acts like the antidote for what are becoming progressively tougher and tougher years — force your mind back to 2016, and you can imagine the raging demand for peace-on-earth by the time December rolled around. The same could be said for this year, too, in the wake of terrorism and the fallout of Trump’s election. And sure, one could say that we ought to practice such charitable acts all year round; that basic human decency, like cute puppies, is not just for Christmas. The crux is, however, that if you take this statement as true then you have backed yourself into the corner of presumably having to support the elongating of Christmas as well: because if Christmas was all year long, then wouldn’t charity be, too? Extending Christmas is also becoming a great way to deal with climate change — albeit kind of ironically because Christmas is surely responsible for a hell of a lot of waste, both in packaging and in food. Notwithstanding that, Christmas is a good way to, as my dad always chimes when I bemoan the holiday, “break up the long winter”. The days get darker come Halloween, and the dreamy atmosphere that comes with Christmas is one that fills this darkness with literal light (again, kind of sucking the life out of our planet, but hey, we’re already doomed anyway. Ho ho ho!). As your breath fogs before you and you dread the arrival of the heating bill, the food bill and the re-runs of
Home Alone, Christmas and its lights put up a neat blockade against the cold and dreary, and transform the season of death and decay into something warm and fuzzy. There’s another legitimate reason to get going early on Christmas, and it, like every other argument for the motion I’ve given, is only a little bit tongue-in-cheek. Our culture today is bent on never slowing down, and Christmas, once a time to stop and regroup come the end of the year, has certainly morphed into the most stressful time for some (we love you, Mam!). That being said, the fact that we are always moving towards our next big break means that once Christmas Day has come and gone, the big hullabaloo is over. Before you know it, ad breaks once filled with jolly-bellied bearded men are swapped out for your womenonly-gym advocates in their camisoles and leggings and it’s back to the old grind, after a brief and mandatory: 3! 2! 1! With this in mind, Christmas only really gets to last two months, and that’s not at all that long, seeing as summer in this country (at least what we call ‘summer’) can last over four months. I will not pretend to have a reason to validate Christmas displays going up sooner than late October, however; such an act is unforgivable even at the holiest time of the year. My final reason to support the inevitable extension of Christmas is, well, just that: because it’s inevitable. As long as capitalism reigns supreme, Christmas will go on being marketed to death months and months ahead of time, and our compulsion to buy-buy-buy will continue to prove that strategy effective. You want Christmas to stop coming early? Fight the adverts and fight the ideology that underlies them. Tell the big Christmas pushers like Brown Thomas and Tesco to shut up or shut down. Tell them that Christmas starts when YOU say it starts. Otherwise, just buckle up and enjoy the sleigh ride. It’s Christmas after all, and there are bigger turkeys to cook than a holiday that gives you time off work and a chance to get free stuff from relatives. 09
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IBRAHIM HALAWA: DISSECTING THE TRUTH Katie Browne O’Neill
brahim Halawa arrived into Dublin airport last week after being released from prison in Cairo. Ibrahim was arrested in 2013 during a protest following the ousting of then elected president Mohamed Morsi by the Egyptian military. As the protest turned violent 17-year-old Ibrahim and his sisters, Omaima, Fatima and, Somaia, sought refuge in a nearby mosque, only to be later arrested. The Halawa sisters were released on bail after three months and returned to Ireland. Ibrahim spent the next four years in jail, in horrendous conditions, alongside over 400 other defendants facing similar charges. The trail was postponed up to 28 times until Ibrahim’s acquittal in September. After months of painstaking campaigning by the Halawa family and the Irish government, Ibrahim arrived home last week, finally reunited with his family and friends. Arriving to emotional scenes in Dublin airport, the now 21-year-old said, “It still feels like a dream, this is the moment I’ve waited for, for four years.” Last Friday night Ibrahim appeared on The Late Late Show, making his first official interview since returning home. During his imprisonment, various rumours made the rounds through the media. Some speculating he was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, accusations of Halawa being an Islamist, stories of him tearing apart his Irish passport as well as questioning of his citizenship and his, and his family’s, right to settle in Ireland in the first place. All of this despite the fact Halawa was born in the Combe and brought up in and brought up in Firhouse, Dublin. Throughout Halawa’s imprisonment and after his release, many were quick to call out the inherent racism in some of these remarks. During the interview Halawa outlined his side of the story, explaining he was visiting relatives in Egypt at the time and got caught up in the political turmoil taking place. "It was a family holiday, some people say I went there for the protest, but I didn't," he said. If I wanted to be politically active in Egypt I would have went [there] when the revolution was on.”
alawa also described his time in prison, explaining what inmates called ‘the party in prison’ which consisted of being battered by soldiers with different weapons as he ran through the prison. He also recalled an incident where a guard beat him in front of his mother at the end of a family visit: “you forget the pain of the beatings, but you remember the pain of your mother.” Addressing rumours of his membership of the Muslim Brotherhood he said, “I was a 17-year-old, you don’t know what the Muslim
Brotherhood . . . Of course, I’m not a member . . . I do not support the ideology. I was imprisoned with them and I differ with them on a lot of points.” As videos surfaced online of Halawa addressing crowds at the protest, he recounted his motivation behind his actions, saying “two of my friends died. I had to stand up for them. It was my first time getting politically involved. I told the crowd, use the ballot box . . . don’t use the military or to kill people.” The online response to the interview was largely negative, with many people scrutinising Halawa’s answers.
Others came out in support of Halawa..
The arrest and imprisonment of Ibrahim Halawa has been widely followed and reported by the Irish media over the past four years. This wide media coverage has highlighted the unspoken racism that exists in modern Ireland today. It’s an issue that should not be left unaddressed or unchallenged. Regardless of your stance on the Ibrahim Halawa story, a minor was unjustly arrested and subject to horrendous conditions violating basic human rights, all because they exercised their right to freedom of speech. It begs the question, if this situation were in a different context - in a country closer to home, an individual from a different background - would the response from the media and the public have been any different?
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Social media allows us to tailor the truth, writes Cormac Dineen. What can be done about it?
f you are a university student in 2017, the smart money says that you spend at least an hour using social media every day. Be it Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, social media has undeniably morphed into a crutch, a crutch without which our generation would find it impossible to get through the day. By and large, we use social media as a tool that just makes our day easier. We can contact people in an instant, be reminded of events that we would like to attend, and now, even pay people money. The point is, social media is incredibly useful, and it’s gotten to the point at which if you took it away, along with the entire emoji keyboard, the Earth would in all probability stop orbiting the Sun. We might even have to start using our actual faces to express emotion again – an eventuality which must be avoided at all costs. For me, the most useful aspect of social media is keeping up with News and Views. It’s no secret that newspaper circulation is at an alltime low, and even though your parents may still nip down to the shop for a paper on a Sunday, I think I speak for most of us when say that I’d rather just log into Facebook or Twitter. In the event of any major world event such as a natural disaster or a terror attack you will be updated with all known facts within seconds, the time it takes for you to refresh your feed. This is a wonderful resource to have access to and helps anyone who can effectively
wield it become more informed on happening globally, or in any specific field of knowledge that they have an affinity for. In terms of social views and opinions, you have access to vast troves of articles that can help you become better educated and aptly equipped to field questions on topics like politics, society, philosophy and science, which could otherwise be somewhat removed from your field of knowledge. From an objective standpoint it seems like a system that can only serve to benefit the user, unlimited information at the tip of your fingers, but there’s a huge and crushing problem; censorship. You may well have read last year about Facebook censoring Nick Ut’s famous photo ‘The Terror of War’. The photograph, colloquially known as ‘Napalm Girl’ depicts a young, naked girl running down a rural track in the village of Trang Bang, near Saigon in south-eastern Vietnam, in 1972. The little girl has quite obviously experienced terrible burns from a US napalm attack and consequently, ‘Napalm Girl’ is an image that has been used for decades to symbolise the human cost incurred when states commit their people to war. There was widespread outrage when Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten had the iconic image forcibly removed from their Facebook page with Facebook citing ‘Nudity’ as the grounds for removal. Regrettably, Ut is now merely one of an alarmingly large cohort
of people who have had important works censored by Facebook, and this serves to show that there is an elite who can in certain circumstances, control what you see online. This is a very dangerous thought, and while the instinctive reaction for many people may be to break out the tinfoil had and curse those omniscient powers who deliberate over your demise late at night in dimly-lit rooms, this is an oversight. There is a far more powerful and infinitely more stubborn villain censoring what you see on social media, and you see this villain every time you (often disappointedly, in my own case) look into a mirror.
he major problem with your newsfeed on social media is that it is a collection of sources that has essentially been produced by pre-emptively filtering out any worldview which you find offensive, or wrong, or stands in stark contrast to your own. For a page to consistently appear on your timeline, and share their opinions with you, you have to have ‘liked’ the page – and therein lies the rub. As someone with somewhat left-leaning politics, when I look to my Facebook newsfeed for current affairs, I generally see liberal news outlets like The Guardian, The New York Times, and The Atlantic. Comedic work that appears on my feed generally consists of socialist memes coupled with endless literary caricatures of figures like Donald Trump, Theresa May or 11
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Jacob Rees Mogg. I often find myself invited to some solidarity protest, or a talk given by a liberal public figure. This can all be attributed to the fact that pages I like generally consist of like-minded people writing about topics that interest me, and observing the world through a kindred lens. I feel safe in drawing the corollary that when people with opposing political and social beliefs to myself look at their news feed, they see exactly the same thing, however, if you put our newsfeeds side by side, the product is two vastly different perspectives on what are ultimately the same issues.
believe that without introducing variety, and liking pages or people that you politically and socially disagree with, reality begins to take a back seat. In the past year, as well as the usual-suspects somebody like me would use to track world events, I have also commissioned the help of some blow-ins. Milo Yiannopoulos, when he is not spouting caustic nonsense about matters he doesn’t understand, has added a huge dimension to the censorship debate for me: in my opinion, there certainly is a leftist elite in Universities who often overstep the mark on what they can and cannot allow people to say or do. Fox News, when they are not running stories about soldiers, or God, or soldiers who found God,
or soldiers who found God in Texas, added some fact-based opposition to certain leftist agendas, that had not previously occurred to me: the liberal media often do omit certain home truths, such as the severity of Hillary Clinton and her Campaign team’s criminality in their efforts to stop Bernie Sanders from achieving the Democratic nomination. Even Breitbart made an appearance on my timeline, a news outlet that added absolutely fucking nothing whatsoever to my worldview, bar confirming that there are people out there who are genuinely as mad as a bag of spiders (admittedly, I’m probably doing a disservice to spiders in this instance). In essence, the point I’m trying to make is that there’s always been widespread disillusionment with the higher powers controlling the media, be it Mark Zuckerberg, or Rupert Murdoch, or any of the few big corporations that control a huge majority the media. But in my opinion, expecting total honesty and integrity from mainstream media is based on the romantic and perhaps quixotic notion that the media serves nobody’s purpose. At the end of the day, these are enormous companies with owners, directors, shareholders and a whole political sphere of their own serving interests that the average person would struggle to imagine.
There isn’t a damn thing you can do about it. The only possible antidote I can see for this poisonous potion of censorship and equivocation is to assume that every source is telling only some of the truth, and to hunt for further information yourself. This can only be done by exposing yourself to a greater proportion of conversation. So do me a favour: next time you see something on Facebook that sends you into a fit of anger, like a page, give them a week or two and see if they make any reasonable argument that gives you food for thought. See if they can add further considerations to some side of a debate in which your colours had already been firmly nailed to the mast. It’s only through the comparison of many differing views that you can come to a conclusion that is inclusive of all the facts. Alternatively, if you are one of the tin-foil hatters, you could unfollow everyone on Facebook except us, and trust that Motley Magazine will continue to provide you with the only independent voice untainted by corporate puppet masters. But hey, why the hell should you believe me?
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THE NOISY 21ST CENTURY How do we distinguish between speech that harms and speech that sparks debate? Alice O’Brien examines the divide
he motivational speaker Tony Gaskins once said, “arguing isn’t communication, it’s noise.” No debate has been louder than the 21st century favourite: hate speech vs free speech. It is a bone of contention that pokes its head into every news story, amplifies every political move and sparks violent clashes within communities. The reaction to George Hook’s controversial comments this September is a perfect example of how this debate can take flight. When referring to a UK rape case, Hook questioned why the victim had agreed to go back to a hotel room of a man she had just met. He asked why the woman in question did not receive any criticism for willingly putting herself in a potentially dangerous situation. The backlash from these comments escalated quickly until finally, Hook was suspended. This action divided the nation and reactivated this monstrous debate that seems to never sleep. As a people, we are guaranteed the right to freedom of expression. This includes the right to express our own social, political and personal ideas. However, as made clear by Hook’s suspension, this right is not absolute. In today’s social climate, where we are frequently exposed to controversy but arguably, are also more emotionally aware than ever before, the line between hate speech and free speech is blurrier than ever. With such uncertainty, we rarely receive a definitive conclusion, an answer telling us what is right or wrong, an instruction as to what we should or should not say. Instead, what we hear is noise. Hate speech is speech that offends, threatens, or insults groups, based on race, colour, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or other traits. Should hate speech
be discouraged? For many, the answer is a defiant yes. Many passionately feel that comments such as Hooks should be directly categorised as hate speech. They feel he is guilty of victim blaming and trivialising sexual assault. By scrutinising this woman’s choice, did he marginalise the victim in question? Did he perpetuate a culture where abused individuals do not feel comfortable coming forward but instead feel frightened of being blamed? This group see Hook’s comments as a threat to their ideal that no person chooses to be a victim, that all are blameless. They worry this opinion being voiced on-air will ease people into accepting it as the norm. They want him punished, and his views silenced.
owever, others arguing that policing opinions runs the risk of limiting an individual’s ability to exercise free speech. There are many who perceive punishing George Hook as violating his civil liberties. They believe the other side are jumping the gun, living in a “PC” bubble and accusing Hook of supporting and perpetuating a culture that his lackadaisical comments did not. They do not see the comments as victim blaming but rather as part of a discussion about the importance of being self-aware in potentially dangerous situations. They contend that, if these discussions are silenced, it will not solve problems but actually create a culture for them to quietly spawn. Many saw this year as one stained with this debate. Be it the rise of Donald Trump, the Brexit, the repeal the eighth campaign or countless more occurrences, it has been a turbulent time for people everywhere, but also for our ideas and morals. When free speech becomes hate speech, stops encouraging debate but rather costs someone part of his or her self-respect or part of their authentic identity, many believe a line should be drawn.
These people believe hate speech should be anything but free. But how do we distinguish between speech that harms and speech that merely sparks debate? Or is ‘hate speech’ a social construct entirely, a hypersensitive tool designed to repress certain ideas disguised as doing moral good? Is the punishment of George Hook an attempt to mute a conversation, to silence all views apart from a single narrative? These conversations could be what society needs for opinions to be heard, for society to progress and for new norms to be later embraced. To many, hate speech is the encouragement of ideas, not actions. They see no-platforming as dangerously elastic. They fear that if we accept the idea that some forms of speech are so hateful they must be repressed, then there will be no end to what society could potentially censor. This party hears no hate speech, only free speech.
deally, society would strike a deal between these two opposing opinions. When a conflict arises in relation to which is more important—protecting community interests or safeguarding the rights of the individual— how do we strike a balance that protects the civil rights of all without limiting the civil liberties of the speaker? Unfortunately, it is rare the world is driven by such logic and not by stubbornness. With both sides convinced that their convictions are unequivocally correct, achieving such an ideal any time soon seems unlikely. Instead, we are left with cases such as Hook’s, where one party labels themselves as moral martyrs and the opposition identify as champions of realism. We reach no settled agreement and neither side becomes a victor. Instead, what we are left with is a whole lot of noise.
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Influencers, Friendship Breakups and Unprecedented Girl Talk: It’s the It Galz Staff writer Aoife Walsh talks to the Dublin podcast duo.
t’s been almost a year since Dublin women Jenny Claffey and Lindsey Hamilton launched their ever-growing in popularity podcast, IT GALZ. Known for coining the phrase Fineass Feminists, IT GALZ podcast gifts its listeners with unapologetic, unconfidential, no-topic-off-the-table girl talk. While simultaneously cracking open cans of cider, the ‘gals’ have open conversations without boundaries. In their first hour-long episode, Lindsay describes the pair as “the voice for the things that aren’t said” and, over 20 installments later, they have stayed true to their goal. Do you want to know how to deal with a break up? IT GALZ has the answer for you. Have you fallen out with your BFF? IT GALZ are the girls to listen to. Enhanced with stories of their own personal experiences, this open, uncensored, hilarious series has made Jenny and Lindsay every listener’s new best friends. The best way to explain what listeners should expect from an episode of It Galz comes from the girls themselves, who dub it as “Carrie Bradshaw's column, if social media was a thing in the 90s!” Discussing anything from dating to boob jobs, the girls are quickly becoming the agony aunts for girls living in modern irish society.
We started this podcast in midst of ‘influencer culture’ where it seemed like anyone who was making it big or becoming successful was so careful with their approach to it. They were of course giving great beauty advice but we wanted to scratch the surface of that foundation and talk about more pressing issues that we knew women were dealing with. We always looked to things like Sex & The City for relationship guidance, so we wanted to offer a more relevant source of advice for this era,” said the pair when asked what makes their podcast so popular. One of the components of that makes It Galz such an interesting listen is the duo’s honesty and openness. Jenny and Lindsay have disclosed tales of everything from ex-boyfriends and friendship break-ups, to their most embarrassing drunken escapades. Given this, I wonder how they remain so open and blunt knowing their family and friends are listening. Jenny informs me that her family love their podcast, and that her parents are ‘chilled people’. “I think it comes with the territory, but as someone in the media you have to be careful of what you say, when it's not about you. I just make sure that any references we make are for a greater good and not just throwaway remarks!” she says. Lindsay describes her parents as ‘conservative’.
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"Nurture your friendships and make them just as important as the romantic relationships in your life." Because of this, she explains they “wouldn't be mad about me talking the way I naturally do in a public way BUT I gotta do what I gotta do. This is not based on flippant remarks, I truly believe in the way we speak and in being yourself whether or not you have a net of people supporting you. That's irrelevant to me. I am my own biggest fan and will talk how I want as long as I have a reason to.” Regardless of the support family and friends offer, it is clear the girls are each other's number one fans. Jenny describes her best friend and co-host as “not only one of the funniest people I know, she's an amazing woman who is truly selfless and would do anything for her friends and family. You can't really be around Lindsay without falling for her, she's a one of a kind gas bitch which I am proud to have as my best friend!” Equally, Lindsay compliments her co-host by deeming her “the most loyal and dependable gal I know. Her passion knows no bounds and she gives the most trustworthy advice and always has your absolute best interest at heart. She always has fresh ideas and insights on things that expands my perception of things and together makes us this creative duo!” Their close relationship is exactly what helps Lindsay and Jenny embody exactly what a ‘gal pal’ is. I ask them what advice they have to offer women in today’s society.“Definitely the make-up of our show is about female
relationships and how special they are. How we as best friends are so special to one another. Sometimes women tend to let their boyfriends away with treating them terribly and take their friends for granted or don't treat them with the respect they deserve. Nurture your friendships and make them just as important as the romantic relationships in your life. Firstly though, nurture the relationship with yourself. Speak kindly and treat yourself !” advises Lindsay. Similarly, Jenny offers: “I would say don't just put attention into romantic relationships; your relationship with your family and friends is just as important and often forgotten by women of all ages!”
Sarah Hamilton, featured on ‘DON’T BE JEALOUS W/ SPECIAL GUEST SARAH HAMILTON’. The hosts are hoping to bring more opinions to their show soon. “We're really looking forward to featuring more guests as it's really important to us that we get people from different opinions and background on our show!” says Jenny, while Lindsay hopes to discuss more with women who have dealt with abortion and unwanted pregnancies. “I'm really interested in hearing from women who have gone through unwanted pregnancies and accessed abortions. I would love for us to be able to host that subject in a fresh way seeing as it's so topical.”
Recently, Jenny and Lindsay teamed up with Snapchatter Claire Fulham, known on Snapchat as Claire.balding. With Claire, they recorded an episode called ‘BEING FUNNY WOMEN… WITH CLAIRE BALDING!’. They describe this episode as their ‘favourite one so far.’ “It was so much fun to sit and chat with a like minded woman who we met through social media, that we had such a strong connection with. Not only was the episode in general hilarious, it showed us the power of social media and how easy it is to meet people with similar interests or senses of humour, that you might not have met without it. Go listen to it, you will laugh your ass off !’
Besides having more guests on the show, Jenny and Lindsay don’t see themselves stopping anytime soon. At the end of the interview, I ask what the hosts see in the future for IT GALZ. Lindsay tells me she aims to continue supporting women. “I want to just connect with as many women as we can and talk about pressing issues and less pressing. Making every woman feel valued in whatever they’re going through.” Adding to this, Jenny is focused on perfecting the podcast. “I'm happy once we're creating and I just want to get better and better every episode.”
Claire Fulham is the second guest featured on IT GALZ. Previously, Lindsay’s sister,
You can find IT GALZ on Itunes and Soundcloud by searching ‘It Galz Podcast’.
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t is September, 1983. Following the referendum of that month, many exhausted pro-life campaigners are lamenting their defeat. Lamenting their defeat, because what is now Article 40.3.3 of the Irish constitution- also known as the Eighth Amendment’= - had successfully been approved by the Irish people, despite significant pro-life opposition. To some, this may be a surprising revelation. The story of Ireland’s Eighth Amendment is one full of incredible twists and turns. This article of the Irish constitution, which is today vilified by the pro-choice movement, was once vilified by much of the pro-life movement. Yet, the Eighth Amendment is the very reason that women in Ireland today have a constitutional right to an abortion - albeit in extremely limited circumstances. Before the Eighth Amendment, abortion was absolutely and unconditionally illegal in Ireland. If the Eighth Amendment had been enforced, the life of Savita Halappanavar could have been saved. Nonetheless, it is hardly surprising that Ireland’s pro-choice movement want the Eighth Amendment repealed. It is, however, incredible and bizarre that Ireland’s pro-choice movement are campaigning for an unconditional repeal of the Eighth Amendment as a goal in itself, rather than campaigning for a positive proposal which encompasses a repeal of the Eighth Amendment. There is little point in talking about repealing the Eighth Amendment without a discussion of what a post-Eighth Amendment abortion law would look like. To claim that the Eighth Amendment is so extraordinarily restrictive that its repeal can only be an improvement makes a mockery of the situation of women who most desperately need access to abortion services. To unconditionally attack the Eighth without campaigning for policy to replace it, is to attack the part of the constitution which first granted Irish women the right to an abortion. Those who think this is a trivial, technical matter should remember Savita Halappanavar, whose tragically unnecessary death occurred only five years ago.
The Pro-Life Opposition It may seem incredible now, but originally most of those who campaigned against the 8th Amendment did so on pro-life, not pro-choice, grounds. They did so because it was believed correctly, as it would turn out - that the Eighth Amendment would lead to the introduction of abortion in Ireland. Before the Eighth Amendment was introduced to the Irish constitution, abortion was illegal under all circumstances. The Amendment did not ‘make’ abortion illegal in Ireland; it already was. What eventually became the Eighth Amendment was initially proposed as a constitutional amendment to further entrench the already existing legislation against abortion. However, it prescribes ‘due regard to the equal right to life’ of both the ‘mother’ and the ‘unborn.’ As the Irish Taoiseach and Fine Gael leader Garret Fitzgerald warned during the course of the referendum, “If, therefore we adopt this amendment, we could be opening up the possibility that we are all trying to close off: the introduction of abortion.”
Interpreting the Eight The Repeal the Eighth movement in Ireland generally regards the Supreme Court ruling in the 1992 X Case as a positive outcome, one that advances the pro-choice cause in Ireland. In this landmark ruling, the Irish Supreme Court ruled that pregnant women whose lives were endangered through pregnancy - including for reasons relating to mental health - had a constitutional right to have an abortion. However, it’s crucial to realise the Supreme Court can only make judgements about constitutional rights based upon the actual content of the Irish constitution. The article of the Irish constitution that the Supreme Court deemed to prescribe Irish women the right to have an abortion when their life is endangered is, in fact, article 40.3.3 – that is, the Eighth Amendment. The Eighth Amendment did, after all, explicitly state that the mother possessed an ‘equal right to life.’ Despite the Supreme Court’s ruling, the government failed to change the Irish statutory legislation concerning abortion, which pre-existed the Eighth Amendment. The Irish Supreme Court - and hence, the constitution itself - was effectively ignored by the government. Thus, in 2010 the case was brought to a higher level: the European Court of Human Rights. The European Court of Human Rights deemed that in Ireland women had a constitutional right to an abortion when their life was endangered - because of the existence of the Eighth Amendment in the Irish constitution. In fact, of the three Irish abortion cases brought to the European Court of Human Rights, two were rejected. The Court judged that the European Convention on human rights did not confer a right to abortion beyond the scope that the Irish constitution allowed. The European Court of Human Rights did not criticise Ireland’s Eighth Amendment; on the contrary, it demanded that it be enforced. It ruled that Ireland was not “in accordance with Article 40.3.3 [the Eighth Amendment] of the [Irish] Constitution.” It is thus crucial to realise that both the Supreme Court and European Court of Human Rights rulings only have any force due to, and as long as, the Eighth Amendment exists in the Irish constitution. This time the government did not ignore the Courts. As governments typically do, it commissioned an expert group to study the Court’s ruling, and make recommendations about a legal remedy. As is typically the case with such government-commissioned studies, the process, from a layman’s point of view, seemed to be extraordinarily protracted and cumbersome. Nonetheless, the group did indeed submit a report with recommendations to the government. In an incredible and tragic coincidence, the report was delivered to the government the night before Savita Halappanavar’s death was broken to the public in the national media.
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The Paradox of the Eighth Amendment
The 2013 Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act In response to the expert group’s report, legislation for abortion in accordance with the expert group’s recommendations was drawn up. The government, able to cite the constitutional necessity of new abortion legislation due to the European Court of Human Rights’ judgement, and amidst public fervor over the death of Savita Halappanavar, pushed the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act through the Oireachtas. Government TDs and Senators who voted against the bill were expelled from their party, including seven members of Fine Gael. Seven may not seem like a large number, but in Ireland it is extraordinarily rare for TD’s to vote against the party whip. Thus, discontent with the bill extended far more broadly within Fine Gael than amongst the seven rebels. An extraordinarily large majority of Fianna Fail TDs voted against the bill. While some pro-choice TDs opposed the bill, the majority of TD’s did so on the grounds that the bill was excessively liberal. It is crucial to realise that the majority of TDs who voted against the 2013 Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act viewed it as too pro-choice.
It is hardly surprising that many, if not most, people across the entire pro-life/pro-choice spectrum are discontented with Ireland’s Eighth Amendment. However, the portrayal of the Eighth by pro-choice campaigners in Ireland is both incredible and bizarre. Many pro-choice groups are willing to campaign for an unconditional repeal of the Eighth Amendment, and to adopt a ‘Repeal not Replace’ motto. Yes, for abortion to be liberalised significantly in Ireland, a repeal of the Eighth Amendment is necessary. But, to repeat, there is little point in talking about opposing the Eighth Amendment without a discussion of what a post-Eighth Amendment abortion law would look like. Repeal by itself has no effect whatsoever on Irish statutory law concerning abortion. If the Eighth Amendment is repealed rather than replaced - if, in other words, any mention of abortion is removed from the Irish constitution - this simply means that politicians are now free to make any decision on abortion they wish. Referendums will no longer be necessary. It will become an ordinary legislative matter to be decided by politicians alone. Of course, Irish politicians could choose to do nothing at all, and leave Ireland’s abortion laws as they currently are. If the Eighth Amendment is unconditionally repealed, Irish politicians will also be free to make abortion regulations even more strict than they currently are, or to ban abortion completely if they wish. It should be remembered that most TDs who opposed the 2013 Act favoured stricter, not more liberal, abortion laws. Of course, if the Eighth Amendment is repealed in a referendum where it is obvious that pro-choice reasons determined the vote, such an outcome is unlikely. Politicians do not want to be seen as undermining the will of the people. But the story of the Eighth Amendment is a story of unlikely occurrences and perversely unanticipated consequences. The reason the Eighth Amendment was first brought into existence was to prevent Irish Judges introducing abortion “through the backdoor” in the same manner as American Judges had done. Irish Judges then used this very article of the constitution, which had been specifically intended by the Irish people to prevent Judges legalising abortion, to legalise abortion, by interpreting the article in the most diametrically opposite way to how the Irish electorate of 1983 had intended it should be. Those whose warning cries had been dismissed in 1983 had predicted such a paradoxical outcome. The consequences of unconditionally repealing the Eighth Amendment are equally difficult to predict, as it grants Irish politicians enormous discretion about how to interpret the popular will.
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n mid-October this year, the New York Times broke a story on Harvey Weinstein’s actions and the allegations against him. Since then dozens of more victims have come forward with their own horrific accounts of encounters with the now disgraced film mogul. While it’s refreshing to see a change in the way sexual abuse is looked at in the film world, it has, for want of a better term, opened a Pandora’s box of sexual crimes that have been ongoing in the industry for years. Everyone is now aware of the sexual misconduct perpetrated by the Hollywood producer, but his amoral behaviour is only the tip of the iceberg regarding sexual abuse and exploitation in Hollywood. High-profile performers including Rose McGowan and Kate Beckinsale are among the multitude of women who are accusing Weinstein of abusing, manipulating and mistreating them over the course of their careers, including stunting their career growth
and blacklisting them in Hollywood when they refused to perform sexual favours for him. There have been several high-profile cases against major players in the film industry over the past few decades, such as Roman Polanski’s child rape case in the 70’s and Woody Allen’s child abuse scandal in the early 90’s. Since the publication of the NYT exposé on Weinstein, more people have come forward with their stories and more industry people are being accused of sexual misconduct throughout their careers. Kevin Spacey, Casey Affleck (and his brother, Ben) and many more have had accusations and court cases hurled their way since the bravery of others has given their victims courage to speak out. The Weinstein issue is nothing new to Hollywood, as these kinds of scandals have been occurring for years within the industry. What’s different about this situation is the way it is being treated in the media. Whereas before newspapers would sweep sexual scandals under the rug and try to blame the victims instead of the perpetrators, we now see major news outlets condemning the actions of the alleged abusers, with major actors and producers following suit. Many people in Hollywood claim they had no knowledge of Weinstein’s actions, or those of any other actors/directors/producers for that matter. Nevertheless, it seems ludicrous
to the public that these industry people would feign surprise at Weinstein or Spacey being sexual predators when in many interviews and public events, other members of Hollywood would slyly reference their dishonourable actions. In an interview with BBC Newsnight, English actor Emma Thompson states that people did indeed know of Weinstein’s actions, but failed to act on their knowledge. She also states that “he [Weinstein] is at the tip of a very specific iceberg”, predicting with quite astounding accuracy that we would continue to hear more stories about sexual manipulation in Hollywood as a result of the victims’ bravery and the NYT article.
o, what does this mean for Hollywood and its major players? It is everyone’s hope that, as more people bravely stand up and talk about their experiences, the abusers will get the punishment they deserve. It is clear to everyone that these Hollywood producers exploited their position of power and used it as leverage against young, unknown actors and crew members. As time progresses, it will expose whether the offenders will get the punishment they deserve and show the progression of society’s view towards this sort of conduct; or, conversely, whether we haven’t learnt anything in the past 50 years. What is a guarantee, though, is the unbreakable courage of the victims: their telling of their stories, and the change that will be actioned by their bravery. 19
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Gemma Kent does battle with her identity, and chats with Evan Scully, competitor at this year’s Dublin Marathon.
ystic Fibrosis (CF) has been on my mind a lot these past few weeks. Just over a month ago, the CF community was in uproar over comments made by Pat Kenny on his midweek show on TV3 in which he posited a relationship between the high levels of CF in this country and our failure to provide women with a safe means of getting an abortion. In response to his claim, Cystic Fibrosis Ireland (CFI) launched a public statement that both acknowledged the good work of a long-time CF campaigner while also firmly condoning the horrifically thoughtless — and untrue — remarks. What perhaps worried CFI more than the reckless falsity of the claim was its underlying message: that, given the chance, any sensible person would abort a child they were told would be born with CF; that somehow these children lack the possibility for a worthwhile life. In their responding statement, CFI closes with a reminder that “people with cystic fibrosis
are living increasingly longer and fuller lives”, and that the recent all-clear for government funding for drugs like Orkambi and Kayldeco “should provide reassurance to parents who have recently been told their child has CF”. Around the same time as this ordeal, another noteworthy event was taking place, albeit one that wouldn’t feature on national news or cause any degree of uproar: I was, at last, turning twenty. The pride at reaching this age is a universal thing — no more teens! — though it is not without its sombre side (no more teens…). For me, with the milestone falling just four days after Kenny’s comments, the resulting self-reflections inevitably took the form of a forbidden trip on Google, to pit the question of newly-reached age with the question of possibility. And while I know, I know, I shouldn’t mope over projected life expectancies because every-case-is-differentsays-my-mother, it’s hard to stop yourself doing the math, especially when the age you’ve reached today and the age you’ll reach at the end are both so round, so easily divisible. Before you know it, you cancel the zeros, find the greatest common divisor, decide last minute to be justifiably optimistic. And you discover, like the song says, you’re already halfway there (all while keenly aware that you are being explicitly oblique with your readers about why you are doing this, though they
may well be putting two-and-two together). My relationship with CF has been characteristically mixed-bag, if my indirection didn’t already make that clear. My early years were spent in unashamed divulgence, entertaining my primary and secondary school classmates with a never-ending narrative about my diagnosis, and jokingly suggesting that a failure to take pills before I eat would result in my untimely demise (It will! …no, it won’t). Now, in college, though I am still eager to answer any questions put to me on the matter, I seem to have decided not to bring the topic up of my own accord: the bulk of my closest friends only found out in May, when I was, you could say, caught drug-handed. This hesitancy to be ‘out-there’ about the whole thing is far from fuelled by shame, or fear of rejection. On the contrary, my having CF is something I wish everyone knew about me, because then I wouldn’t have to feel awkward when having group meals, or when I grimace because you’ve unsheathed a cigarette. But this disclosure is not easily made: I am anything but recognisably sick. And this invisibility doesn’t just impact on how the world sees me, it also influences how I see myself. When the world can’t remind me I’m perpetually ill, and my body for the most part also respectfully declines to do so, then I am bestowed with the muddy privilege of
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Features and Opinion
a superman-style dissonance in personality. I become two people: the UCC arts student who has seven needy cats and loves garlic mayo, and She Who Has Cystic Fibrosis. And then Kenny’s comments crept up on me, right as I aged, and it was like a numbing leg coming back to life: suddenly, I was the antithesis to those divisible ages that shadowed me. Suddenly, I was the indivisible whole — arts student and cat-hater and PWCF (Person With Cystic Fibrosis) all in one breath. And I realised that when people talked of babies with ‘certain disabilities’ and asked if those babies would be better off not alive, those people were talking about me. But also: they weren’t. How could they be? That peculiar dissonance wouldn’t stop yelling in my ear. You are the full alphabet, it screamed, A to Z, not to C to F. I am more than the stereotypes could ever afford me: I am not wholly convinced I am going to die at forty. And society commends this kind of brazen denial in the face of hardship, but I have to ask: what are the costs for declining to accept an unavoidable, indivisible, part of who you are? And if I want to avoid those costs — as all who wish to be fully-fleshed human being should — then what do I do about a definition that locks me out? The answer: re-write the definition. I first heard about Evan Scully, fellow PWCF and recent competitor at the 2017 Dublin Marathon, just days after I read Pat Kenny’s comments. His story, right at the moment when I felt most conflicted about myself and my identity, was the perfect counterbalance. I got in touch at once. Evan boasts an impressive CV, working as a nutritionist and sports therapist with some of the world’s leading Olympians — running the Dublin Marathon was the natural next step in a long line of successes. With this in mind, I asked Evan how he came to his decision, not just to run the marathon in under three hours (a feat only 2% of the world’s population can
attain), but why he chose to aspire to become the fastest person in the world to do it with CF.
the stereotype of a PWCF is—makes me feel nauseous.”
What I like most about Evan’s story is that he is “I chose to run the marathon when the idea a resounding example of the kind of boundless was planted in my head just after Christmas possibility I came to think was denied to 2016,” he told me. “The original plan was to people like me. In giving CF the middle finger complete it in under three hours, just because through completing the marathon (finishing that sounded good, but as only nine minutes outside the weeks went on I felt I “I never wanted people to the three-hour window needed to challenge myself this time around) Evan to a harder goal. I looked know I had CF, not until I is a reminder that there up what the fastest time to got annoyed about the is more to someone than run a marathon by a person fact that all you hear on their genetic makeup, and with CF was. 2.47.47. that there is always the the subject is doom and possibility to go beyond Target set.” gloom." the limitations others place More than just a desire on you, whether that be for personal achievement, Evan also cites his through life expectancies or dated stereotypes. determination to upturn our notions of what In his closing words to me, he draws on the CF is. “The marathon record is just another example of runner Roger Bannister, the first way to prove CF wrong,” he tells me. “I never man to run a mile in under four minutes. wanted people to know I had CF, not until I Before Bannister overcame this feat, it was got annoyed about the fact that all you hear considered physically impossible; now, his on the subject is doom and gloom. I started time has been broken on multiple occasions. to wonder what it would be like for parents That’s what Evan wants to do with CF, when he whose baby had been diagnosed with CF to undoubtedly makes another go at beating the google what that was [as] there is rarely a good record: “When people with CF and parents news story. Rather egotistically, I figured that of a baby with CF see that I can run a time mine was a good one.” that less than 2% of the world’s population can What struck me about this response was run, I hope it paves the pathway for someone Evan’s ability to identify both as someone else with CF to run faster than me.” I confess, with Cystic Fibrosis and as someone who my resilient readers, I certainly won’t be the had the potential to make a difference. Evan one to break this subsequent record (allow me acknowledges that there is “nothing in [his] this one limitation), but I can only hope that anatomy that makes [him] different from Evan’s aspirations are proven true elsewhere. other people with CF”, having been born with In the meantime, my plans are focused on the Delta F508 strand - the most common in digging CF out from under the carpet, looking the country and, incidentally, the same strand it square in the face, and resolving my longas myself. What separates Evan from other fought conflict with it: no more dividing the people with CF, he says, is his driving force indivisible or submitting to the impossible; and how he views himself as an agent with the from this day forth, only the full alphabet will possibility to be, in his own words, “the best do, and that includes C and F. that I can be”—not to mention, as anyone in a similar situation can verify, his fixation You can follow Evan on Facebook on staying healthy: “I think fear plays a role @evanscullyCF in my obsession to be healthy. [Because] the thought of deteriorating—of becoming what
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Features and Opinion
Shattering the illusion Chloe Harte discusses the less glamorous side of an Erasmus.
s members of the ‘Instagram generation’ we have been subconsciously imbued with a romanticised perception of living abroad; in other words, we’ve given ourselves ‘notions’. Social media led me to expect that Erasmus would find me an instant circle of multicultural friends, a pint of Orchard Thieves in every city in Europe, and the sudden realisation of a career path. Factors I hadn’t considered included how long it takes to forge a real friendship, the cost of travel, French admin, and homesickness. Side note: it is not only impossible to find Orchard Thieves in Lille, but also no one in France drinks cider. That which most people describe as ‘culture shock’ may actually be the shattering of the an illusion that social media engenders. My first few days on Erasmus were summed up in the form of an artsy Instagram of the beautiful Cathedral of Lille; the only place where I wasn’t crying. I didn’t post pictures of the reality: I was heartbroken for everything I had left in Ireland, and that sadness was reflected in the sad eyes of my mother as she said goodbye to me. I did not update my Facebook status to reflect the overwhelming sense of loss that choked me, intensified by the terror of the unknown that lay ahead. Alone in a foreign
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country with a shaky grasp on the language, I was suddenly aware that all of the stability in my life had vanished. All that remained was me, and I wasn’t sure if I was enough. My Snapchat story was vacant of the fear this terror engendered in me. The unease that dominated my body was externalised in my arrival at the student accommodation. The absolute joy that is French administration resulted in a sleepless night in a hostel, wondering if I would be homeless for the weekend. As I lugged my 37kg suitcase up the steps to the Residence, I felt sick with worry. My fear was externalised by a boy in the grips of a seizure on the front steps. The frantic activity that ensued was dismissed by the receptionist’s shrug and contortion of her face to imitate the boy. I clicked my heels together, but was not transported home. French admin is funny: they let me into my room because it was lunchtime and they didn’t want the hassle. Up four flights of spiral staircases I lugged my cases, feeling like Rapunzel in her tower. I did not tweet about the broken shower and spongy floor mat (“mattress”) that greeted me. Ironically, a sponge was the ideal mattress: I didn’t sleep the night through for seven weeks, and it
soaked up the tears of heartbreak I sobbed every night. Everybody is heartbroken about something; everyone has left someone or something behind. I decided to go to Lille on my own, and by God did I feel alone at the beginning. I know it’s a cliché - practically a French native already, I know - but I do believe I am ‘finding myself ’ during this experience. Although the Erasmus is still difficult at times, I tell myself that if it didn’t terrify me, it probably wouldn’t be worth doing. Life really is too short to let your inhibitions hold you back. There are more than enough obstacles to trip you up on the path to your dreams without you digging pits to fall into along the way. I refuse to live my life afraid of opportunity and adventure, and the Erasmus encompasses both. The realisation is also dawning upon me that I don’t need to limit myself to one dream, just one at a time. My path may split into several directions, but if one leads to a dead-end the others await my eager footsteps. In short, I am growing as a person. It’s okay to be lost. It’s normal to feel like you’re drowning. Take the most frightening path, safe in the knowledge that you’re not trapped, you’re exploring.
Transcendence Leanne O Connor Desmond
Autumn falls in folds around my feet Bodies beat back the sweet sounds of Degradation, an alien Nation rises from the Earth built on the toil of our ancestors. Whispers carried through the fog-drum-beats Long lost, we dance to the rhythm of our Mothers’ syllables. The lonely lullaby of The night, tattooed scripture in her lungs Screaming for recognition, the billows of Breath, it is Winter now. The rebellion Sleeps, hibernating in the earth filled by Deserted barracks, the ghosts of the past Write letters to our past selves in the sky But we are too bust with the rush of Life.
You’re marking it hard on me, to breathe, In the same direction, It’s a misconception till you’re in it on your own I find faces with your look But they don’t see what I see, I made you up, But you’re still real, when I opened up I miss the simple concept of “I love you” So after all this, “I love you”
Are you an aspiring poet or short story writer? Send a sample of your work to email@example.com and it could be featured in one of our upcoming issues! 23
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Features and Opinion
Schizophrenia remains one of the most stigmatised and misunderstood mental illnesses, writes Anna Mac
chizophrenia is a word that is thrown around a lot. Not many people know or understand what it actually is. I first encountered schizophrenia symptoms at the age of 17, when I was at a party with my then-boyfriend. I started crying and freaking out, because I didn’t recognise who he was. I blamed it on some sort of side effect from the anti-depressants I had recently been prescribed with. I didn’t have another episode until the night before my Leaving Cert results. I came home from a jog and collapsed on the couch, where I later woke up screaming hysterically and thrashing because I didn’t know where I was or who my parents were. The symptoms didn’t become a regular thing until November 2015, when I spent a full month in a false reality, convinced I was in a mental hospital, my parents were doctors and my brother who was visiting me was out to get me - maybe even kill me. I went back to the psychiatrist and he gave me anti-psychotic medication, and diagnosed me with schizo-effective disorder, which is basically a mixture of schizophrenia and depression. Class. The term “mental health” is a bracket wide and broad, covering all sorts of issues from depression and anorexia nervosa to post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In today’s society, a lot of ground is being covered as best as we can in schools, the workplace and in social circles. Our awareness is at an all time peak. Yet, when someone mentions “mental health”, people automatically associate it with depression. As this is probably the most common mental illness, it is easy to understand that people immediately jump
to the conclusion that a mental illness is somehow related or linked to depression. The amount of education that is being supplied with regards to depression and the process of it slowly being stripped of its stigma is very welcome; but what about other mental illnesses? This evening I watched a programme on RTE called Schizophrenia: The Voices Inside Your Head. For the first time since I was diagnosed with schizophrenia, it is the first programme, film, or any sort of media content that actually resonated with me. I have watched every film under the sun that deals with psychosis over the past two years, and nothing has ever hit home like this documentary did. I am sick and tired of people using phrases like “he’s a schizo” or calling a person “psychotic”, as if it’s the worst thing in the world - some sort of mutation. Schizophrenia is a mental illness, and a horrible one at that, but is so damn stigmatised that I was terrified to write this article because I’m sure people will have an automatically biased opinion with regards to the illness without ever learning about it properly. I don’t blame them. When I was diagnosed I cried and cried for days, and to be honest I still have days where I can’t believe I have this illness due to the reputation it has, how it’s portrayed in the media and the amount of work you have to do on yourself, with or without medication, to cope with it. There is a general consensus that schizophrenia is dual personality, hearing voices in your head or just downright insanity. For me, schizophrenia
is not knowing what’s real and what’s not; having intrusive thoughts that, if I shared with anyone, would make them think I’m crazy; having bad concentration amongst other symptoms that all make every day a little bit harder than it should be. I take antidepressants and anti-psychotic medication, but my aim is to be medication-free by this time next year. While the medication keeps me on the straight and narrow for the most part, it has serious side effects that I am sick of. I have put on a crazy amount of weight, my creativity and personality are suppressed to the extent that sometimes I wake up and feel nothing at all, and I can only function after I’ve had a hefty amount of sleep. And yet, despite all of that, I’m still a functioning human. I have a full-time job and still do some creative bits here and there, but I really want to stress how important it is to educate yourself on different forms of mental health because I guarantee you know someone suffering with some sort of illness - not necessarily schizophrenia or depression, but everyone is fighting their own battles. Watch documentaries, read, discuss with your peers, do whatever you can to find out more. Mental health is sacred, make sure to love and respect you state of mind, whether it be fit or unwell. Either way, there’s no other mind quite like yours. Useful Numbers Samaritans Ireland 116 123 Aware 1800 80 48 48
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WHAT ABOUT US? THE MEDIAâ€™S FORGOT TEN STORIES
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Christmas is a time for family, friends and lots of love. We often take our cushy, warm homes for granted during the festive season, but seldom do we spare a moment to consider those less fortunate than us – why would we, anyway? After all, the media is so very selective in the content it showcases. We are privy only to a curated part of the world’s events, but should it necessarily be that way?
ave you noticed how certain events are far more heavily publicised than others? Take, for instance, the hurricanes in the US these past few months. The world and his wife know about Hurricane Irma; how it traumatised families and people who had to evacuate their homes in Florida owing to the devastating gusts of wind and torrential rain. 6.2 million homes were without power in Florida alone, with flash-flood warnings given to residents of Jacksonville. It is curious that most of our awareness surrounding Irma is related to Florida – the same storm hit the Caribbean Islands as well, but not many news outlets focused on that. Irma hit Barbuda, St Barts, St Martin and Anguilla before it reached Florida. The impact was particularly harsh in the Dominican Republic, with over 20,000 homes evacuated and two thousand more affected by flooding. There were riveting images of homelessness and distress from the island, but only if you were reading ‘niche’ newspapers. So why was it that the vast majority remained blissfully unaware of the tragedies just south of America, but manically updated on happenings in Florida? Here's another one. You must have heard about the Dreamer’s Act – yes, the same one President Trump wants to repeal, throwing many tens of thousands of young immigrants’ lives into danger and uncertainty. As recent as this week, there are appeals and petitions to stop the rescindment of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Act: college presidents at universities across the US, politicians, and even the Dreamers themselves have petitioned for change, and there is much buzz surrounding how Trump will handle the outpouring of sentiment going forward. But the rejection of young immigrants isn’t something isolated to the Land of Opportunity alone – it’s happening elsewhere as well. Sadly, we don’t hear about it too much.
The Rohingya. Who are they? Why do they matter? These are some of the questions Al Jazeera tried to address in their Who Are The Rohingya? article, simply because there wasn’t enough awareness amongst the general readership to be able to present an article without its context being understood first. To provide a brief but succinct introduction, the Rohingya are labourers originally from India and Bangladesh who migrated to Myanmar in the 1800s during the British Rule of the Indian subcontinent. As the entire geography was largely under the Raj, this migration was deemed internal. The Rohingya were Muslim and travelled to Myanmar in search of work – the problems began after independence from the British, when ethnic minorities such as the Rohingya (or the Rakhine, as they call themselves) were to be granted citizenship of the country they were residing in. Myanmar considered the Rohingya to be ‘illegal’, as they had migrated under the British rule and thus were unrecognised by the newly formed government. They were therefore rendered stateless, and so they have remained since 1982. They continued to live in camps and slum villages in Myanmar with no other choice left to them, and the grim circumstances and desperate attempts by society to extricate the Rohingya from their country gave rise to the mass migration we are now seeing, from Myanmar all the way to Bangladesh and India, where their ancestors were originally from. This humanitarian nightmare has been deemed the world’s fastestgrowing refugee crisis, with the Rohingya as the “most persecuted ethnic minority in the world”. Yet, it comes as a surprise to many that such a crisis even exists,. If it is given attention in the media, it is often misunderstood as ‘just another news story’, thus perpetuating 27
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the premise that the Rohingyas are irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. This crisis isn’t just a story of hardship, human survival and migration – it also mirrors our empathy for the world and its people. Why is it that the press cares so much for some, and so little for the rest? Is there some invisible smokescreen in the offices of media moguls, who decide what events the world should see and read about? Are certain people worth more than others? Do we, as normal citizens, play any role in this behaviour of the media? We are all guilty of it. How many of us changed our Profile Pictures to some filter of red, blue and white after the horrific Paris attacks in 2015? Most of us did. Some chose a black background to show their solidarity, whilst others took to social media to post statuses and tweets about how they felt, and that they would #PrayForParis. How many of us changed our Profile Pictures to filters of red, white and black to pray for the victims of the terrible bombings in Syria? Forget showing solidarity, most of us didn’t even know it had happened. The Assad regime in Syria and the might of ISIL in the Middle East & the Levant have made their way to our television screens time and again, but this usually only happens when there are too many boats overturning in the Mediterranean; Russian or American fighter jets attacking ISIL; or during the coldblooded murders of journalists kidnapped by the terrorist group. Barring these three situations, when have we seen the media present coverage of what was happening to the inhabitants of the region? Granted, we can find a few gems in the form of documentaries or an in-depth analysis of the situation on BBC Panorama or something similar, but is it asking too much for the media to focus on human impact rather than aimlessly running
et’s admit it: we are biased. The human race is not perfect. We have our flaws, we prefer some people over others, and our DNA is programmed to not give this harsh reality too much thought – after all, it’s human nature! The reason the media portrays the tragedies of Florida more than it does that of the Caribbean is simply because we couldn’t care less what happens in the sunny island paradise. We do not talk about the Syrian bombings and loss of life because for some reason, our definition of terrorism changes depending on the geographic location it takes place in. We neglect the migration crisis of the Rohingya because it isn’t sensational enough. To fully understand the nature of this problem, we must ask some tough questions. To make
matters worse, we must be honest. Does the media value some cultures more than the rest? Does the audience place a higher value on loss of life in developed countries like France & Britain as opposed to developing and socalled ‘third world countries’? Is the media so blinded by the fact that America is the world’s only superpower, that we concentrate our all on the DACA repeal instead of realising that migration is, in fact, a global issue? Does the fact that the Rohingya come from extremely disadvantaged, poor and basic backgrounds justify their banishment from our newspapers and television screens? Is empathy, kindness and recognition of hardship an expression reserved only for those who are like us? Is this what media reporting has become – shallow, selective and empty? It is difficult to find a concise answer to the
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slew of questions presented above. It isn’t entirely our fault that we are ensnared in the trap of modern media tactics. It’s basic human psychology; the media gives us what they think we want. And this is where we hold the greatest amount of power. With repeated website clicks and newspapers selling faster than hotcakes with their tried-and-tested sensational headlines, the media knows what it takes to make their papers tick. The question is, however – are we only really interested in deliberately curated pieces of news? Or do we want to know what’s really going on out there?
mankind, particularly given the projections that AI will have taken up a majority of human work, leaving our race in a labour conundrum. Despite this reality, newspapers have cleverly kept it out of our daily dose of current affairs. When it comes to things political, readers are almost always misinformed on the true goings-on.
This could not be better illustrated than with the developments in North Korea, which as many know, is embroiled in a nuclear missile controversy with the US. However, what we aren’t told is the details of whether nuclear war he media is not only guilty of is a real possibility, and the tone is usually vague skipping some stories entirely – it and ambiguous at best – uncharacteristic, twists existing ones as well. The especially for outlets that love nothing more deception, if we can call it that, is more a than a jaw-dropping, specific headline on delicate game of their front page! balance and a With repeated website clicks and A similar response calculated decision newspapers selling faster than could be observed to keep events that during the ‘secret have the potential hotcakes with their tried-andmeeting’ Theresa May to snowball into tested sensational headlines, the allegedly had with something larger EU officials at short under wraps. Is it media knows what it takes to notice, and whilst because the media make their papers tick. the media hinted is in cahoots with at the possibility major influencers, or do news outlets have an of such an exchange having taken place, no unspoken code of things they simply don’t confirmations (nor denials) were subsequently write about? We’ll never know. The lack made; it was hushed up as quickly as it was of emphasis on such issues is concerning, published. There are mysterious games being however – take for instance the introduction played by the media, and as readers, we ought of the Universal Basic Income (UBI) in to be cognizant of being intentionally misled. a small part of Finland, where it’s doing Nonetheless, is there anything we, who crave wonders for citizens who are unemployed good journalism, can do to save ourselves from but using the money to keep themselves this unending spiral of contradictory and productive and determined in their search to biased media coverage? secure a job. The success of this scheme may have profound implications on the future of As it happens, we can. Consume the news
that matters by curating it yourself. It’s easier than you think. By giving yourself the power of deciding what and how you read, the notion of falling for sensationalism, bias and prejudiced journalism is lesser than imagined. Taking the active approach of ‘liking’ or following alternative news outlets on your favourite social media website could be a start. For every story covered by CNN, there’s an RT to rival them. As BBC offers their interpretation of an event, how about looking at what Deutsche Welle has to say? Moreover, apps like Flipboard exist to do just that – a personalised magazine of curated stories that interest you, from sources all over the web, including personal blogs and independent writers. Yes, it’s still curated, but at least in a manner that you are consciously aware of, and from sources beyond your run-of-the-mill news outlets. This is a great way to connect with the real events of the world, and whilst some might consider this niche, it’s way better than choosing to remain unenlightened in this age of technology and connectivity. It might seem trivial, but it matters. Journalism is all about questioning the status-quo, and encouraging the reader to explore the world and its affairs themselves – to deny a reader that right is to do injustice to very premise of journalism. They say Christmas is all about the joy of giving, don’t they? Well, I have a present for you. This Christmas, gift yourself the choice of perspective – it might just change your entire outlook on life. Together, we can be the catalyst to a much-needed change in the way the media selects and reports their stories – and maybe, just maybe, the media’s forgotten stories will not remain forgotten for long. 29
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Features Entertainment and Opinion
hen I used to think of killing myself, I would watch YouTube videos of the people suicide left behind. I watched the motions of fathers and sisters and best friends. They explained how they couldn’t even bring themselves to walk in the aftermath of their loved one’s death, how they felt guilty for being blind to the dark, hollow, weighted mass that occupied that person’s mind, and how they blamed themselves for their light being put out. Usually, this would bring me back to focus. I would feel conscious again. These thoughts would stop and they would be replaced with heavy, active thoughts of nothing. On countless occasions, one of my major mental barriers was what I call the “what if I did it today” thought. The thought that if I did it today, it would be near his big event, it would be on her birthday, it would be just after our fight. The thought of my stain leaving behind a frustrating legacy of guilt with those I love was unbearable - so much worse than the thought of going on numb, not understanding my mind or how I felt.
bored at its limp attempts at play and, whether it be a conscious or subconscious action, you move on. This is fair: no one wants to play with a broken toy. But what I feel like people forget is that nobody wants to BE a broken toy either. Feeling like a burden when you used to feel like a present is the worst thing in the whole wide world. You know they don’t know how to fix you, but you don’t know how to fix you either. You don’t even know if you deserve to be fixed, or if it will ever be done. Just like a broken toy, you observe. You observe everyone smiling and having fun. You observe people feeling happy, feeling sad, learning and growing, but you are just observing. Life becomes a real-time movie. You are only able to watch it play.
getting help. For me, this wasn’t true. I started to feel better when I began to accept that I am not normal. That for whatever reason, I do not react to certain situations or cope with certain things the way my friends do. When I stopped making excuses for feeling the way I was feeling, ceased trying to keep up with everyone else but live at my own pace and promised myself I was finished feeling guilty and hating myself for feeling nervous and lost, I felt liberated. I began to identify the people and small things in my life that made me happy, and decided to see and do them more. I began to meditate and write. I am a relatively cynical person, but this realisation and these practices didn’t just change my life, they made me live.
My best friend once said that he admired how empathetic I can be. I do not see myself as empathetic. I see myself as scared. Scared that when one of my friends feels hurt or down they feel how I feel when I am depressed. I know that they didn’t know when I felt at my worst, so I live in constant fear that I won’t know if they feel that either, no matter how much I I listened to a podcast before presented by a try. Sometimes I can almost feel my concern man who suffers from clinical depression. In it, being mistaken for nagging, my questions he attempts to shed light on a subject that is so being translated into annoyance, my presence dark. In one particular being misinterpreted for episode, his guest said To admit how I was feeling and pestering. This tension something that stuck to be honest made me feel feels so real to me that with me. She said, “I violently vulnerable. I almost feel like I can never realised that it touch it. I have the best wasn’t normal to think of killing yourself.” A friends in the world and would give absolutely moment of clarity hit. I suddenly realised I anything in my life up, put myself in any sort thought the same. To put it metaphorically, of danger or risk anything to ensure they never I imagined our minds as long rooms. Every ever feel like that. This does not mean I am room had many doors. Each door represented selfless; this just means I am scared - scared of an option, a reaction, a way of coping. To me, being one of the ones left behind. suicide was just another door - less frequently used, of course - but still another door. I don’t I don’t know what I thought therapy would know why, but I never knew it was abnormal be like at the start, but I didn’t imagine it to think about not being here, to wonder would be like what it was. I think I thought about the ease of just not being present, to I would sit down with this being who just crave the peace in feeling nothing. knew everything about me and knew perfectly what I was feeling and how to fix me. I never ometimes I think that people look at imagined I would have to explain any of it. I those who suffer from mental illnesses think, looking back on my whole life, therapy like toys. When the toy works, it radiates was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. To joy. You can’t get enough of it. You are a small admit how I was feeling and to be honest made child and you want to bring it everywhere you me feel violently vulnerable. But gradually, go. But eventually, toys break. People sincerely it got easier. Saying things aloud to someone do try to fix the toy, they genuinely want it to who didn’t know me gave me perspective. It work again so they can play with it like they made me realise that there is nothing to gain used to, but it won’t. In reality, there is only from wanting to be gone. No games can be so much time you are going to spend fixing won by not trying. No battle can be won from something that just won’t fix. Eventually, you not fighting. grow tired of its lack of adventure, become People say the first step to feeling better is
When I was little, I loved to act. I was not a good enough actor to make it big, but I realise now I was a good enough actor to play a happy character to those around me and sometimes, even to myself. This is why mental illness is so dangerous: it is too easy to hide and in so many ways, too easy to hide from. When I am unwell, I am aware that I appear as a happy person, easy-going and funny. Unlike a physical illness, mental illness has a selfdestructive mind of its own. You would never feel like you were cheating, being a burden or being dramatic for accepting help for a broken arm or a sore throat, so why feel that way if you are suffering mentally?
With regard to mental illness, bad things only stem from silence. I would be lying if I said I do not have bad days anymore. But the difference now is that I know they are just bad days. I know I can get through them. There is so much more to life than silence, and so much more to gain from living and not just observing. The word “sonder” is the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own. To me, it means you create your own story, that life is your own movie. You are in charge of who plays a part in it and who does not, you choose what path your character takes and what kind of character you play. You write the script, you play the lead. So, if life is a movie and you only get to star in one, why not make it the best movie the world has ever seen, a movie perfectly tailored to you? Make choices, don’t just be. Treat yourself like you treat others, make your life a good movie. Play the game, fight the fight.
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E N T E RTA I N M E N T
Crash Bandicoot Words by Julie Hassett Crash Bandicoot was probably one of the first games I ever played. It is a platform game developed by Naughty Dog, who went on to make such games as The Last of Us and the Unchartered series. Crash was first released in 1996 for the Playstation One, and is listed as Playstation’s eighth best-selling game of all time. The plot is simple: Crash has been experimented on by Doctor Neo Cortex and his assistant. After escaping from Cortex’s clutches, Crash decides to save Tawna, a female bandicoot whom Crash grew close to during his time in captivity.
In Love and War by Alex Preston Words by Michelle O’Sullivan In Love and War is Alex Preston’s third novel, which has been hailed as “complex and profoundly moving” by The Guardian. It is a book that follows the journey of Esmond Loundes, the main character, who is a young British boy that has been sent to Italy by his father after being involved in a scandal at Cambridge at the time of the Second World War. Beginning his stay in Italy working on his radio station, he soon finds himself embroiled in the war by becoming a Resistance fighter in Florence. Esmond meets the love of his life, Ada, who is a young Jewish girl also involved in the Resistance. Esmond and his comrades are notorious and swift in their endeavours, yet
C U LT U R E
Playing as Crash, the player must progress through stage after stage, defeating enemies, dodging obstacles and collecting the legendary Wumpa Fruit. The game is nothing revolutionary, but it is definitely a welcome addition to a beloved franchise for many long-time gamers! The game has seen seven main titles, along with three racing games, two party games, four spin-offs and three mobile games. Not to mention the N. Sane Trilogy released by Naughty Dog earlier this year, which contains a collection of remastered versions of the first three titles: Crash Bandicoot, Cortex Strikes Back and Warped. At this rate, I think we can safely say: Crash Bandicoot is set to continue for a very long time!
they are never far away from a shootout or a chase. They become the target of many assassination attempts by the fascist leader who is pursuing them. All of this is told through the eyes of Esmond from his letters and journals, giving more of an insight into the past of the character and how he feels about the events unfolding. Set in wartime Florence, Preston gives his readers a wonderful view of the city but also how treacherous the streets became during the war. Readers are taken on a journey with the members of the Resistance and finds themselves rooting for them. The novel is full of action and sympathetic characters, which makes it difficult to put it down. Preston leaves the reader on edge and wanting more right up until the end of In Love and War. The fact that it is also made up of journals and letters written by Esmond, and not just dialogue, makes it a different and interesting read.
Tommedian Words by Katie Myers
Many people now turn to the internet for entertainment, be it via Netflix, YouTube or some other online platform. As a result, more content creators both in comedic and dramatic circles have turned to the internet to reach a wider and more varied audience. Following the announcement of his new ‘Under the Influence’ tour and talk show on RTE, Donegal comedian Tommy Tiernan has released a YouTube channel. Tiernan’s channel ‘Tommedian’ came to fruition on the 1st of September of this year. Described by the Tommedian team as featuring ‘lots of fantastic new material and never seen footage’, the channel posts new content every few days per week. The channel’s subscriber count stands at 145 at the time of writing. Given Tiernan’s busy year to date, viewers may expect a wide array of content including behind the scenes footage from shows and gigs. If you like myself enjoy taking a little piece of comedy with you everywhere to brighten up your day, ‘Tommedian’ is a channel to keep on your subscribed list.
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Following his first LP Age Don't Mean a Thing, released last year, Robert Finley is set to release a new album titled Goin' Platinum produced by 'The Black Keys' frontman Dan Auerbach on December 8. Although finding success late in life, Finley certainly proves that "age don't mean a thing" with one of his newest songs from the Goin' Platinum album, 'Medicine Woman'. 'Medicine Woman' has the traditional blues sound associated with Finley, but with a contemporary twist. Its opening has a playful, repetitive melody that alone would be stuck in your head. This contrasts nicely with the rhythmic drums and the pulse of the bass guitar. However, when Finley starts singing, his voice is definitely the main attraction of the song. Throughout the song, you can really hear him giving it his all, singing with pure emotion, pleading with this woman in a mixture of zealous and mellow tones. Complimenting this is an eclectic selection of instruments from the ever-soulful saxophone to the drop-like xylophone.
Medicine Woman Words: Carmel Horgan
As Dan Auerbach is the producer of the album it makes sense to hear a similar sound from 'Medicine Woman' to songs performed with Auerbach's band 'The Black Keys' but don't expect this of all of the music on Goin' Platinum! Official audio of another song from Finley's upcoming album has been released. It is called "Get It While You Can", and has a completely different sound. Having a heavily musical background, varying in experiences including the Army and the Music Relief Foundation, Finley is perfectly capable of adapting to different styles and bringing his own twist. As described by Auerbach in an interview, "... you could set him in front of an orchestra and he would sing just as good...â€?
Leeds-based electronic three piece, Loux, are fledglings on the British music scene, having just played their debut live gig in June of this year. Despite their recent emergence, Loux have already played sold out gigs in Manchester. They are currently curating their own night in Leeds Oporto venue and have been lauded by the likes of BBC radio darlings Fearne Cotton and Annie Mac. Their debut single Meet Me Halfway puts the trio firmly under the banner of Dream Pop, although not as dark or thought-provoking as Lana Del Ray or Cigarettes After Sex. This is a synth-laden track, giving it a familiar 80â€™s vibe but also a layering of guitars that become more obvious towards the end of the song. The female lead vocals are decent and have a sometimes ethereal quality to them. When the song becomes heavier, it becomes more interesting, and makes me daydream about hearing performed with live drums instead of a drum machine, which does not give it enough depth. My favourite part of the song is the last 40 or so seconds where it becomes a richer sound thanks to the more prominent guitars. I can imagine this being part of the soundtrack to a coming-of-age indie teen flick, used in the scene where the main protagonist daydreams about her lost love while staring into her dressing table mirror. A must for fans of All Twins and Foals.
Meet Me Halfway Words: Michelle Rumley
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BLOCK Shane Ramsbottom (left), and Jason O’Donovan (right), of BLOCK.
Kieran Enright talks to BLOCK’s Shane Ramsbottom and Jason O’Donovan about Cork’s Music scene past, present and future. “There’s a change happening in Cork - you can even see it with the graffiti around the city. It’s very far out to say, but the first sign of a moment in a city is when art starts to come to the surface. Something has to happen, something has to overflow.” When Sir Henry’s shut its doors in 2003, it left a legacy of legends, head-bangers, would-bes, and nobodies, both locally and internationally. It was a landmark in Cork for almost 25 years. However over time, as the city evolved to cater to its student market, the memory of Sir Henry’s legendary stage seemed to fade away. With Donovan O’Brien on leave to focus on his final year of college, I sat down with Shane Ramsbottom and Jason O’Donovan, two of the masterminds behind BLOCK, to discuss the collective’s ambitions in Cork, and the return to tradition they want to establish. I decided to begin with the obvious question; who, or more specifically, what is Block?
“We’re a unique promotions company, a collective”, Shane begins, “it started out with three guys; myself, Jason, and Donovan O'Brien, with expertise in three different areas: promotions, finance, and DJing, coming together to create something new. We don’t use normal venues - we use unconventional places like burrito bars, chinese restaurants, old cinema theatres, and vintage clothes shops. Right now, everyone’s sick of normal nightclubs, where you have to spend €15 to even get in, and another €50 on drink to have a good time We’re here to facilitate nights for students who want to enjoy good music, and not spend a fortune.” ‘Unconventional’, indeed. Over the last year, the group has organised 12 events. Among their most notable was teaming up with Burritos and Blues back in October of last year for “Burritos and Cans”; and their New Year's event where they took over Sago Asian Bistro. I asked Shane to elaborate more on this idea, and their motivations to do this in Cork. “When we moved to Cork, we noticed that gap in the market for Techno, and House music - something Dublin
satisfied years ago. Sir Henry’s back in the 80’s, and 90’s was something special. You know, it’s something missing nowadays, and we want to build Cork’s music scene back up to what it was. Acts like Fish Go Deep, and Jamie B are playing a big part in this too. We’re motivated by what Sir Henry’s created in Cork, and now we have the ideas and the means to do something new, with our residency in the Village Hall, and the Kino. It’s the perfect time in Cork. It’s a city with a 20’000+ student population, with only one House venue, and the capacity is not big enough for the demand. Unfortunately, the Savoy closed down, but now we can finally bring something new to Cork, and help revive that scene.” House and Techno aren’t the only type of music you will hear at a Block event. Their recent launch of Disconaut at the Village Hall was focused on disco. “When Block was created, it was a collective for all genres of music that fall under the one group. There are so many one-off groups that focus on a specific genre, but we wanted to bring them together. We want to give all DJ’s a chance, especially Irish DJs. BLOCK
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Entertainment Current Affairs
Recent picture from their Disconaut series.
is about giving them that platform to showcase their type of music, to grow, and most importantly, to be heard. At the beginning, we just wanted to showcase House, and Techno, but out of nowhere the Disco scene is re-emerging. Not just in Cork, but all over Ireland. That’s what our Disconaut series is about.” Their success over the past 12 months shows one thing: the demand is there. The ideas that Block are putting out there are being heard. I wanted to know more about Cork’s music scene, and how Block views it. “In Dublin, there’s a showcase of something new every night of the week. In Cork, the nightlife is there, but there’s almost a monopoly. At the minute it’s not about the music, it’s about the profit. Block is only about the music. We have had 12 events in the last year, 10 of which sold out. We charged cheap tickets, and all the money made from that was pumped back into Block. It started last year with our burrito nights, and now we’re seeing more and more people
coming through the doors of each event. So, the prices for tickets may go up a bit, but it’s all going into making each event better. Even now you can see a difference, like with Disconaut. It all went into creating a stage that literally looked like a spaceship, and you could tell the impact that had on people. That’s why we’re doing it!” Block also secured a slot at the recent Docklands Festival. I asked the boys to tell me about that experience.
O’Carroll, and Adam O’Brien. Our aim is to expand even further, and get more types of music, and DJ’s involved. Right now, Donovan is our main techno DJ, and Calum, and Ciaran are our main Disco DJs. As I said, more and more people are coming to each event. Our first main goal would be to start a Disco night the second Thursday of every month, and a techno night on the final Thursday. We also want to start getting involved at more festivals around Ireland, and hopefully have our own by 2019.”
“It was an amazing experience. More than anything it was great to see something like that happening in Cork, and the response it got. It sold out so quickly. It was a mixture of all type of music, and it had something for everyone. So, it was great to play there, because it represents exactly what we’re trying to do.”
I left our interview feeling elated. Their determination to revive a music scene based on mutual love for music is remarkable. Cork is oversaturated with mundane venues and trivial promotions, so it’s refreshing to see young people take back control of what is ultimately theirs, nightlife.
Before I let the guys go, I wanted to know what the future holds for Block.
You can find out about their upcoming events on Facebook, at “Block”.
“We now have four other resident DJ’s, Calum O’Brien, Ciaran Cronin, James Disconaut snapshot.
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Michelle O’Sullivan’s must-watch Christmas movie isn’t the typical sort We’ve found ourselves at that time of year again, when all there is to see on the movie channels are films like Elf and The Grinch. The winter season is moving in and the need to curl up in front of the fire with a cup of hot chocolate and a Christmas film has returned. When one thinks of Christmas, the idea of Santa, elves and reindeer is an automatic stereotype. Naturally, you’re going to watch a movie with these features to get you into that “Christmassy mood”, but there is one film that I consider to be a Christmas classic despite lacking all the stereotypical characters. This movie miracle is Richard Curtis’ charming rom-com, Love Actually. Made in 2003, the film is set in London five weeks before Christmas and follows a number of different storylines and characters. This witty rom-com does not follow one concrete narrative, but many different ones and these are portrayed by a star-studded cast who give the film its charming quality. It seems as though Curtis went through a checklist of all the biggest British celebrities from Hugh Grant to Colin Firth, Emma Thompson to Alan Rickman, and that’s only to name a few. The charming cast along with the various storylines makes for a truly enjoyable watch. You must be asking yourself why I’m talking about a rom-com as if it were a Christmas-themed movie. The reason is, quite simply, this is not any ordinary rom-com. Yes, you have love interests and relationships, but as I mentioned it takes place in the run up to Christmas time. We see the rush and excitement in both households and places of work, yet along with the excitement there is a sense of boredom and repetition: the characters go through this each year and they are still going through their daily grind of school runs, work and so on in the meantime. This is where we see the characters shaking things up for themselves; some may be lead astray by certain temptations - a new lover, possibly?
It’s quite the opposite. Christmas is about realising what and who are important in life and celebrating this for the holidays. The characters do not change the entire structure of their lives, but rather return to where they’re supposed to be. They return home to their love ones, be it old, new or estranged. Another fascinating component of this charming movie is the way Richard Curtis managed to intertwine each individual story, connecting all the characters in some way or another. It’s a small feature of the film but it truly drives the meaning of the film home, which is summed up nicely by Hugh Grant’s character: “If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around.” Here we have a rom-com that seems to fit perfectly into the Christmas movie genre, because it’s entirely about love. Whether it’s love for your family or your significant other, the romantic theme is thoroughly explored. It’s a popular opinion that Christmas is a time for love, so why wouldn’t Love Actually fit in perfectly with the Christmas classics? Will it give you that warm, fuzzy feeling inside that’s associated with Christmas? Yes. Will it get you into the spirit of Christmas? Yes. Should you watch it this year if you get the chance? My answer would absolutely be yes! It’s charming, witty, full of love and joy and I think that no matter how many adjectives I use to describe Love Actually, it doesn’t do it any justice. You’ll have to go and watch it yourself, and I hope you find it as satisfying a watch as I did.
We see each one of the characters doing something in order to change up or make their life less monotonous. This, I suppose, is not what Christmas is about, realising that you have a very mundane life. 36
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Ciara Buckley offers an analysis of the homoerotic subtext behind the world’s most famous mysterysolving duo, Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson, and its relation to the recent trend of queerbaiting.
Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes first shot to critical acclimation in 1887 when Ward Lock & Co published A Study in Scarlet, the earliest appearance of the famed Victorian figure and his sidekick. This historic publication commemorates the introduction of what would become the first in a collection of detective tales, asserting Sherlock Holmes as an iconic figure in English literature ever since. His sharp critical eye and baffling deductive theories have continued to capture the heart of the general public for years, establishing Sherlock Holmes as a beloved, admired and recognizable symbol of British intellect overseas. However, it isn't just the interesting and witty criminal track-downs that have had viewers consistently coming back for more. The timeless nature of these stories has been aided by the profoundly close relationship that Sherlock maintains with his companion and colleague, Dr John Watson. Generations of readers have accepted the canonical and deeply imbedded friendship of the two main characters, but in recent years, adaptations such as Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat's Sherlock, have teased at a different type of relationship that has captured the imagination of fans everywhere. BBC’s Sherlock projected an updated version of the classic: the characters now live in the twenty first century, surrounded by modern technological devices, but most importantly they now exist in a society that promotes a freedom of sexuality and expression that would have been shunned one hundred years ago. As such, the intensive interpretation of a relentlessly loyal, and sometimes borderline possessive Dr John Watson, complimented by the often socially inept but intellectually uncommon portrayal of Sherlock Holmes, has led many to question the real nature of the two men's relationship. It certainly isn't difficult to see why public debate has emerged surrounding a possible
romantic entanglement between the two. The episodes are packed with lingering, longing glances and suggestive dialogue, all of which leads to fans insisting that there is more going down in Baker Street than a good crime case. The show itself has explored and taunted the possibility, but nothing has ever come of it. This has motivated a wide range of indignant fans to take to the internet in a storm of rage, calling out the series’ cast and creators for their blatant indulgence in queerbaiting. The term “queerbaiting” has gained momentum in recent years thanks to the emergence of the internet fandom community, and has been explicitly linked to Sherlock on several occasions. Queerbaiting implies the purposeful suggestion of a samesex relationship between leading characters in a series with the purpose of attracting an LGBTQ+ audience. These relationships insinuate a level of romantic establishment which is, more often than not, berated and joked about by surrounding characters. This is certainly true for Sherlock, as characters’ commentary on the couple’s relationship status is orchestrated to a rather questionable, and often problematic, comedic effect. In a period where it has become significantly harder to gather a substantial television audience than in the past, that there is an emerging absence of morality within marketing departments when trying to secure a larger audience. This blatant abuse of conduct was particularly clear in the most recent Sherlock trailer, which promoted the fourth series of the show. The clip toys with the possibility of Holmes finally declaring his undying love for his flatmate; however, when the series finally did air, this was revealed to be a complete deception, illustrating perfectly the lack of delicacy and care that marketing companies employ when orchestrating content that will be received by the public. In a recent interview with the writers, cocreator Mark Gatiss stated that his intentions
for the characters have never been anything but platonic. This is quite a reductive statement, seeing as he has gone to call fans “entitled” in yearning for a theme that he does not wish to explore. The problem, however, lies in the execution of this “platonic” relationship. Brilliantly crafted performances by Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman have reasonably led people to believe more than – what it appears – the writers desired to project. Representation is a serious issue and it is something that the writers have ultimately trivialised. It is incredibly disconcerting to witness show creators continue to string along an already highly-targeted community within society. Their attempts at dampening a fire they have already set has resulted in undermining the voices that scream for fulfillment. These people see themselves reflected in the characters that they watch. The idea that a romance between Holmes and Watson subverts an established friendship is not only ridiculous, but discriminatory. Fans ask that writers correct this glaring double standard, vociferating in an untamed fury that they no longer be demonised for craving what Hollywood has utilized for years in elevating heterosexual couples. The ambiguity remains in a desperate need of extinction. There comes a point when ‘playfully exploring a theme’ becomes the dangling of a diamond over fans’ heads, only to yank it away at each season finale. While the future of the show remains murky and uncertain due to a combination of low ratings and clashing scheduling demands of principle actors, it is crucial that a returning season either deconstructs the ambiguity surrounding two characters that are locked in one another's endless orbit in a way that is not strictly platonic, or quit using homoeroticism as a crutch to keep people tuned in: at this point in time, the media that we ingest, including Sherlock, can no longer have it both ways. 37
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Mount Kimbie Rose Keating sits down with Kai Campos to discuss the band's roots and their plans for the future.
ount Kimbie are an English electronic duo, consisting of Dominic Maker and Kai Campos. Originally hailing from London, the two met while studying at university and later went on to form their band. The two found their roots in the dubstep scene of the time, producing albums such as their early EPs Maybes and Sketch on Grass to critical praise the following year. The band has undergone much change since then, and have developed and evolved in terms of their musical style and genre. The band has recently released their new album Love What Survives, and are about to go on their European tour. I sat down with band member Kai to discuss the new EP and the band's new direction, and to get an understanding of this band's roots, where they have come from and where they are planning to go. From the very offset of the interview, Kai established himself as a down to earth, if somewhat modest individual. I started off by asking about the reception of their latest album, and how their fans seemed to be taking the new tracks. Kai responded in a
somewhat bashful manner, explaining that he finds the process of the album release quite weird; you finish a record, and you release it into the world, and it’s strange that anyone apart from yourself would hear it. He then admitted that the band were indeed selling tickets to the show, and that he thought that that, at least, was good. We then began to discuss the new album in greater detail. Two of Kai’s personal favourite tracks, ‘Four Years and One Day’, and ‘You Look Uncertain’, seemed to capture his feelings towards the album as a whole; he discussed how two songs meant quite a bit for him, because although they were quite different to some of the band's previous work, they were also, at their heart, the same. With the band's roots being found in the dubstep genre, and to have developed into a far more subtle post-punk vibe in their latest album, this change was something that seemed to worry Kai.
work on one of our records. Then, as you get more involved in it, that just becomes what you’re doing. That, for me, is the most exciting thing, being able to play those, and being able to broaden your understanding of yourself.”
“Those songs, when I was first writing them, I thought that they were too different from our previous work to
He then went on to discuss how their new album differs from their older one. He admits that this was a subconscious change; the
Mount Kimbie's new album " Love What Survives".
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band took long gaps between albums, and Kai explicitly states that he does his utmost to stop himself from thinking about their previous albums while working on a new one, in order to keep up a sense of creative intrigue. Kai explains that although the album is definitely different, but that it was never an intentional goal to make it this way, but instead is simply a result of taking four years off, and developing as a human being, and this development resultingly being represented in the album. According to Kai, while the previous albums reflects the band's interests in going through smaller, minute sounds a fine tooth pick, their new album zooms out a bit; the focus is on the thing as a whole, in broader strokes. The differences between albums did not seem to lie simply in genre, it seemed, as Kai went on to discuss some of the difficulties that they experienced while creating their latest album, which they did not encounter in their previous work. He explains that he felt that the first albums seemed to come with much more ease than their latest ones, and that the new one seemed to feel like trying to prove a point. He explains the slight feelings of disorientation upon finishing a first album, when after all the work has been done, when the band is left with the question of what next? “It’s definitely not easier. It’s like the expression, everyone has a book
in them, and I think there’s something about being younger that makes the first one fairly painless. It was the combination of a lot of time.” This difference seemed to impact not only the work, but the theme and title of the album itself. When I inquired about the albums titled, wondering if the name held any particular significance or had any story behind it. At first, Kai told me that he believed that all album titles are a little unusual, but that for music like Mount Kimbie’s, which is primarily instrumental, he enjoyed not having to be hedged down by any particular phrases or sentences. However, he did admit that for him on a personal level, the title album did whole a certain level of individual meaning, and that the title just seemed to fit. “It’s not just one definite meaning, but it means a lot to me. I found that all the things that made me finish work or made me good at what I was doing when I was 21 were not helpful when I was 29 or 30, so I had to change the way I was thinking about work. There’s a fear in that. It’s a little about faith, and being able to shed stuff, and start again, and look forward, and progress.” We then began to delve a little deeper into the past of the band, as I inquired about the band's past predominantly dubstep based
work, which has changed quite a bit over the course of their albums. Kai reveals that he finds the label of being called a dubstep band to be quite an uncomfortable fit. He explains that dubstep was a genre that they were surrounded by when they were starting out, and at the time, they found it extremely vibrant and exciting, and that were taken aback by it as a genre, because they didn’t know what was going to happen to it. However, as time went on, he found that it flipped and became something they saw as insular and uninteresting. “Now, having to live with that tag, it feels uncomfortable because it just doesn’t mean the same thing as it did. This record, I think, is maybe the death of that.” We then went on to discuss the band's upcoming tour, and Kai enthusiastically spoke of his love of his travel and movement that came with the touring lifestyle. He did, however, speak of the struggle of creative restriction that comes with touring in comparison to the actual making of the album. In spite of this, Kai seemed eager for the upcoming tour. Given the success of the recent album so far, this enthusiasm is more than understandable; this album is an exciting evolution in the work of this band, and the tour is sure to be a thrilling example of this evolution in action. 39
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Calvin Roy explores the rise of the ‘80s in popular culture.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Jurassic World, Mad Max Fury Road, It, Ghostbusters, Blade Runner 2049, Prometheus, Terminator Genesys… What year is this?! The 80s appears to be as popular as it was 35 years ago. Remakes and reboots of movies originally popular in the 80s are big business. Let’s focus on this “retromania” as a whole: why are American moviemakerss so nostalgic for the 80s and 90s? This trend will most likely continue to spread in cinemas. Coming up in the next few years we can expect new Star Wars movies, Gremlins 3, Terminator 6, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Top Gun: Maverick, and Lethal Weapon 5 to mention just a few. It looks endless. Why is that? One could argue that it is laziness pure and simple, and I partially agree. But this is also a sociological and a cultural issue. The producers, directors and screenwriters of those films play on the sensitive strings of nostalgia. They manage to attract an audience of young parents who grew up watching cult American films. They are familiar with this culture and those universes. They are obviously curious to know what happened to their favourite characters and to see how they grow old (seeing an elderly Harrison Ford as Han Solo struggling to run inside his Millennium Falcon mirrors the audience’s own ageing). Besides, parents are eager to bring their own children to see those films and share their childhood with the new generation. Jackpot! Why now? Well, remakes and reboots have always existed (even Thomas Edison and the Lumière Brothers at the end of the 19th century did some!) Back in the 80s itself, some movies were remade too: Scarface (1932/1983), The Thing (1951/1982 & 2011), The Fly (1958/1986). Every 30 years or so, it looks like spectators and producers become nostalgic. This trend has obviously intensified this past decade. In addition, let’s not forget those TV programmes Hollywood nostalgia has dug up: Twin Peaks came back last summer
after a 26-year break, alongside MacGyver. Stranger Things Season 2 is probably the most highly-anticipated show of the second half of 2017. Guess what? It is set in 1984. In the first episode, a character is nicknamed “Mad Max”; the local cinema in Hawkins is screening Terminator; the characters play the arcade game Dragon’s Lair - and this all within the first ten minutes! Want more? Sean Astin has now been cast: we know him as Samwise Gamgee in The Lord of the Rings and Mickey in The Goonies. Nostalgia took over films and TV series, but also music. Vinyl is enjoying a revival, with contemporary artists including Lady Gaga, Daft Punk, and Lana Del Rey releasing their albums both digitally and on vinyl. Even audio cassettes sales are rising! The soundtrack of some popular films is also heavily inspired by the past: think Guardians of the Galaxy and Baby Driver. 2009 appears to be a turning point: ‘King of Pop’ Michael Jackson died and left a great void. No wonder pop culture as a whole strongly turned back to the past. It is very likely that people simply did not want to bury their childhood alongside Jackson. They want to preserve his memory by taking refuge in a decade when things were seemingly easier and comforting; when American teens could play Super Mario Bros on SNES during the morning while listening to David Bowie on vinyl, go see Back to the Future at 3 in the afternoon and go to a Michael Jackson’s gig at 9 in the evening. What a time to be alive! Retro culture is everywhere these past few years, and I didn’t even mention vintage design in clothing and furniture! There are a lot of key factors which explain this return to the past: like I said, it is a sociological and economical “issue”. But don’t get me wrong, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. In terms of movies, let’s be honest: some of the new sequels/prequels/reboots are actually pretty good. As students in our twenties, let’s not become serious adults too soon. A bit of nostalgia has never hurt anyone. Let’s enjoy simple things and let’s not forget the heroes who brightened our childhood.
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Return of the Fashion editor Katie Burke takes a look at the 80s throwback
rowing up I always had a love/hate relationship with the 80s, with hate having the upper hand. The 80s undoubtedly provided us with iconic movies and music. Feeling down? Turn on a bit of Whitney Houston and shimmy along to her classic hits. Want a feel-good movie? Look no further than silver-screen classics such as Dirty Dancing, and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Although, attempting the Dirty Dancing lift should always come with a safety warning, and perhaps attempting to emulate Ferris by crashing your local St. Patrick’s Day parade to perform Twist and Shout is not advisable.
While over the past few seasons fashion has been having a love affair with the 60s and 70s, the 80s has reared its headband-clad head and is set to become the biggest trend of coming seasons. The Christmas season is the perfect time to dabble in this trend as it screams ‘party’. The benefit of this timing is that we do not have terrifying early 2000s trends to work with, or even be stuck in the 80s itself. Now that a couple of decades have passed we can select what elements of the decade were the least offensive and rework them to suit today’s standards.
What always haunted me about the 80s was the clothing: think Dynasty, think Jane Fonda’s workout videos. The 80s was full of neon, high-rise leotards and leg warmers à la Fame. When I was roughly thirteen years old, walking into my local Penneys required sunglasses since the shop was filled wall to wall with luminous clothing, jewellery and shoes. This return of 80s neon was placed on top of already dodgy early 2000s styles, so I’m rather proud of tween me for steadfastly opposing this trend.
Olivier Rousteing, the creative director of fashion house Balmain, is an avid fan of the shoulder pad and structured blazers. Oversized sleeves and contrasting silhouettes were also seen at the Yves Saint Laurent S/S 18 collection. The sparkles and metallic of the 80s are also making a return, alongside bright colours (but for everyone’s benefit, please say no neon). The Christmas party season is the ideal time to delve into this colourful and eyecatching trend as the high street have some fantastic options, as shown in this month’s shoot, that will have you not only feeling acceptable in the 80s, but in 2017/18 too.
Image: River Island
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Charlie Cashman MODELS
Chloe Farquhar Location: Shake Dog, South Main Street
Top: River Island, €45 Trousers: Bershka, €17.99 Coat: Model’s Own Shoes: Model’s Own Sunglasses: Stylist’s Own
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Bodysuit: Bershka, €17.99 Sequin Trousers: Topshop, €80 Coat: H&M, €99.99 Shoes: Model’s Own
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Bodysuit: Penneys, €15 Skirt: Penneys, €14 Faux Fur Collar: Penneys, €8 Sunglasses: Stylist’s Own
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Christmas Fashion Essentials Sadhbh Sullivan runs through the biggest trends of the Christmas season
hristmas is one of the few times in the year that everyone can pull off a velveteen look. Making a comeback each year, velvet pieces are staples in my Christmas wardrobe. This year velvet suits are hitting the rails with a storm, proving to create some of the most quirky, cute Christmas looks. Although they may be slightly on the pricier side, velvet is a timeless Christmas trend that will inevitably re-emerge from your wardrobe each year. I’ve sourced my favourite velvet suit from Topshop this year, however more pieces are continuing to emerge across high street stores ahead of the Christmas rush.
Scarf: Penneys, €12
ith Christmas exams looming, it seems as though the last thing we’re currently thinking about is outfit planning. Christmas is one of my favourite times of the year: the lights, the cosy jumpers and the hot chocolates by the fire - everything about it seems so perfect. While it’s hard to find time for yourself in the midst of studying, “’tis the season to be jolly,” and nothing cheers me up more than a little bit of retail therapy. Faux fur is one of my favourite Christmas trends. Each year High Street stores are filled with an array of faux fur pieces, from scarves to jackets and just about everything in between. This season is all about mixing textures, so while many of my favourite faux fur jackets are beyond worthy of breaking the bank, subtly incorporating fur into your look is a great way to achieve this seasonal trend on a budget. Penneys are currently stocking an array of faux fur scares, offering the perfect subtle addition to any outfit for under €12, as seen in a shot from this month’s photoshoot.
It wouldn’t really be Christmas without adding a little bit of sparkle to your look. It seems as though Image: Topshop fashion buyers have eyes like magpies this season, with all things sequin and sparkly sneaking their way back into our wardrobes. Thankfully, most of us won’t be complaining about this one, taking the quote “she who leaves a trail of glitter is never forgotten” to a literal level. This Christmas is set to see full glittering outfits, the bolder the better. A sequinned dress is the perfect way to incorporate this trend, and while it may never reappear from your wardrobe until next year, hopefully it will be worth it for a night of embracing being extra. If you haven’t already noticed the craze this season, sock boots are the “IT” thing to have in your wardrobe this year. Adding a finishing touch to almost any outfit, sock boots are perfect for both day and night. Whilst Penneys have released their own version of the boot, Zara’s sock boots remain at the top of my wish list. Taking heels to a whole new level of comfort, this trend is definitely something I can back. Finally, nothing screams Christmas quite like adding a pop of red to your wardrobe. Red, a key A/W trend which was styled in our September issue, is such a versatile colour, so thankfully it can fit into your wardrobe pretty much all year round. Combining this yearly trend with the recent vinyl obsession, a red vinyl skirt, as seen in this month’s photoshoot above, is the perfect addition to your wardrobe this Christmas. Try mixing textures by teaming it with your favourite slogan tee, a pair of fishnets and a leather jacket. Missguided currently stock some of my seasonal favourites, but thankfully you can catch the red vinyl trend in pretty much any high street store. Christmas is all about embracing life, this year why not let your outfit do the talking.
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Giving Back This Christmas By Katie Burke
ashion is often criticised for being too materialistic, whether or not that criticism is fair or prejudiced. However, with the world facing turbulent and unstable times, both socially and politically, the fashion world has stepped up. From political statements in runway shows such as Ashish or articles on current affairs appearing in fashion magazines, the industry is showing its ability to provide work of substance, and often to help others. Christmas is a time for many things, whether that be parties, watching the Late Late Toy Show, or taking a breather from college. Most of all, it is a time for giving, and not just to our family and friends: it is a time when we are reminded to help those less fortunate than ourselves in whatever way we can. To show how you can mix your fashion-loving self with your charitable side, here are some ways you can help others through fashion and clothing. Charity Shops It might seem obvious, but sometimes the humble charity shop might slip your mind. By sending your clothing to a charity shop, you are not only helping to raise funds for charities, but will also help others who canâ€™t always afford high street prices but can get their fashion fixes, or even Christmas presents, at charity shop prices instead. Clothes Sales Similarly, clothes sales can be run by anyone wanting to clear out their wardrobe but also do a good deed. This year, fashion blogger Megan Ellaby held a clothes sale for the victims and families of the Manchester terror attack, raising what were
undoubtedly much appreciated funds. Take inspiration from Megan and see if anything similar is happening in your area. Clothing Collections Often, clothing brands will bring out items of clothing or collections which will see a percentage, if not all, of the cost go to the chosen charity. ASOS are currently selling t-shirts with Choose Love emblazoned on it, with 100% of the money raised going towards helping to raise awareness for the refugee crisis and helping those in need. If you see any clothing and charity collaboration elsewhere, their products might also serve as Christmas presents for your nearest and dearest while helping others. Volunteer or Donate Volunteering at your local charity shop is another fantastic way to help others. As many people receive unwanted gifts over Christmas, charity shops are often overwhelmed with donations, so your helping hand might not go astray. An international non-profit organization which is entrenched in clothing is Dress for Success, which helps women enter/ re-enter the workforce through coaching and mentoring, but also through providing adequate professional clothing and advice. The organisation has a Cork branch, and you can find out more information about donating clothing, money or volunteering with them on their website at https://cork.dressforsuccess.org/ . 47
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ith Halloween wrapped up and the cold weather on its’ way – it looks like it might be time for us to follow suit. However, this winter keeping warm comes with a twist. Yes, 2017’s winter wardrobe means you can stay stylish and warm with a hint of a little something spectacular: say hello to the purple revolution.
H&M have truly jumped on the purple bandwagon, with their new collection selected by none other than the Weeknd. Having one of music’s hottest properties select your outfit isn’t a bad way to begin. This varsity jacket complements any old-school aesthetic, whilst playing on the idea of Americana. Whether it’s stepping out to the shops or heading to the club, this is one which suits all walks of life.
Purple has made its long-anticipated return to our shelves in sensational fashion. Whether it’s a retro look tinged with grape, or a little splash of burgundy to brighten up your lifeless greys – there’s always room for some purple in your look. You can walk down the streets making people question whether it’s the 70s again, or you can break the mould and follow all the latest trends to turn heads wherever you go.
‘The Weeknd’ crew neck sweatshirt – H&M - €23.95
Purple is the new black for menswear this season, writes Jordan Norris
ASOS has also become a major player when it comes to kitting out teenagers and young adults – with them too offering simplistic and affordable ways to incorporate some purple power into your outfit. A simple oversized hoodie makes for perfect loungewear, while also being more than stylish enough when it comes to comfortable outdoor wear. ASOS Hoodie in Purple – ASOS – €24.32
When it comes to decking out the lower ends with some well needed sparkle, 11 Degrees’ Core Joggers range for A/W17 offer plenty of shades of our favourite colour – providing a sporty, simplistic look with a hint of trendiness.
Core Joggers in Purple – 11 Degrees - €16.75
Multiple shades mean multiple looks and multiple opportunities to stand out from the crowd. Men: purple is back, and long may it reign.
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By Fifi Coughlan
pon reflection of the SS18 shows in New York, London, Milan and Paris, the resurgence of all variations of feather was apparent, with influences from haute glamour eras such as from the 1920s, â€˜30s, â€˜40s and â€˜50s. But what is important is the selection for this current Autumn/ Winter, with feathers lending the appearance of uncorrupted romance and charm. Whether boa, marabou or peacock, the return of plumage was seen across the catwalks in collections by Balenciaga, Prada, Calvin Klein, Chanel, Miu Miu, JW Anderson and others. Balenciaga AW17
If the complete feather Balenciaga look seems too daunting for everyday wear, affix feathers into your wardrobe via accessories such as detailing on handbags, across the slim strap of your stilettos and OTT peacock feather earrings.
or attainable glamour, make like 90s Kate Moss circa the Johnny Depp era, and adorn feathers across your chest for unadulterated, yet accessible, glamour for the Christmas party season. Minimalism is trickling out the window as the evenings are getting darker and the nights getting colder.
Calvin Klein AW17 Prada AW17
This season designers took heavy inspiration from vintage glamour, but also modernised the look. This makes it accessible for the average person, but with the awareness of the fact that glamour is back with a bang for the party season.
Nothing seems more enchanting than walking into a room, furnished in alluring marabou, in full command of your feathers. Supersize statement earrings and silks also help to encapsulate the look. There is no doubt that it will be interesting to see what the high street stores present us with this season in terms of street siren and pocket-friendly glamour, hopefully without being banal. Bonus points if you use the Kira Kira app for supplemental sparkle.
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On Walking at Night By Rosie Southgate
It’s midnight in the city and I’m alone. Slightly sweaty and aching at the calves, I wipe my hand across my forehead as the last of today’s make-up gives up on me, restoring my face to it’s natural and dubious glory. Richmond hill in its steep and grey way has become a nightly pilgrimage for me, a calm and reliable softness in a city that grows busier every day. And louder. The jazz weekend hangover seems to be descending upon Cork like a flu, with ugly reminders of fun and questionable liquids still on the streets. It’s just me up here, although against the furthest bench I can see a black outline and I can’t tell if it’s a man or bag of rubbish. I sit. In this Weinstein-tainted era, it is probably wise to stop walking at night. In this society where as a girl you are repeatedly told not to go out at night alone, going out alone at night has become one of favorite pastimes. I stand up and walk on, the cold descending upon my fingers and ruining my moment looking over the Shandon bells. Down on McCurtain street I meander past kebab shops housing mini-skirted women and past chippers where men in white polo shirts give hungry looking teenagers bags of delicious grease. A man is walking towards me, with the brisk
and certain walk of a person who is going somewhere. Behind him, bohemian sorts saunter along towards the hostel bar in woolly jumpers and hiking boots. The Everyman and the Metropole look chic, lit up in a middle-class sophistication sort of way, and I cross the street to avoid eye contact with a woman sitting outside Centra. She looks cold, but I look purposeful. In the distance coming down Summerhill, I see a skinny man whom I once had a thing for, aloof and wearing blue headphones completely oblivious to the world around him, something I always admired. Rounding the corner, I pass a bowling alley I never noticed before and bear down towards the river. All is quiet, apart from a few taxis, awaiting their spooky passengers. The river makes a fuss, a whirly splosh of black water against green slime. I head for home, now feeling more alone and somehow less inclined to stay out. Maybe it’s the dimmed streetlights. I jam the red plastic buds into my ears and select choons for the walk home, no longer listening to the city. This article was originally published on Rosie’s blog, rosiesouthgate.wordpress.com.
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Motley Magazine provides a vibrant, diverse and eclectic eye on life in UCC and beyond. A proud independent media source in UCC, Motley has won Best Magazine at the Student Media awards for the past three
years, with awardwinning coverage on Arts & Pop Culture, News & Current Affairs and even short fiction. New issues come out monthly and you can always find a copy on newsstands throughout campus.
We’re always looking for new student writers. If you’re looking to get involved with something new, journalism is an excellent path to take. If you’d like to pitch an article or join the team, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Motley also welcomes letters from readers, emailed to email@example.com. Reach out to us online: we’re @MotleyMagazine on Twitter and Instagram, and you can find us at https://facebook.com/MotleyMagazine. Use the hashtag #MotleyMagazine to share your thoughts on this issue, and we might even feature what you have to say next month! Updates throughout the month on Motley.ie.
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