The University Times www.universitytimes.ie
February 10th, 2010
On Your Marks
Drugs are bad
Catherine Alice Nicholas examines the furore around legal highs. Features p6
Emma Keaveney interviews famed drug runner Howard Marks. Arts & Culture p14
Conor O’Toole gives his views on drug use in sport. Sport p22
Student service charge going towards animal testing centre Bio Resource Unit one of many ‘student services’ defended by the Provost at Oireachtas meeting. Robert Donohoe Editor Trinity College is spending a portion of the student service charge on an animal testing centre called the Bioresource Unit (BRU) according to the President of Trinity Students’ Union, Cónán Ó Broin. This accusation was put to the Provost, Professor John Hegarty by Deputy Paul Gogarty at the Joint Oireachtas Education Committee which met on January 28 to discuss the disbursement of the student service charge which is intended to pay for student services like health and counselling. The Provost told the Committee that the BRU was not always included in the apportionment of the student service charge. He said that ‘there is a facility there which provides samples for undergraduate teaching labs.’ Commenting on the funding of the BRU Ó Broin, the SU president said ‘the fact that Trinity College is now using money designated for services such as health and counselling to fund an animal testing centre shows how much of a scam the student services charge really is.’ The BRU supplies the College with live animals used for scientific research. It is located in Luce Hall which is the location of the proposed
Student Centre. The BRU was not the only item impugned during the Committee hearing. The inclusion of the library as an expenditure under the student service charge disbursement was also looked at by the Committee as being suspect. The Committee raised the fact that the College is now charging the library to the student service charge when previously it was funded from other sources of income mainly the grant paid by the State. In response to this the Provost told the Committee that ‘every action of the University is geared towards students; it is why we exist.’ He explained to the Committee that most services of the College are student services but traditionally were not included in the calculations on the student service fee but as it rose more of the services could be paid for with the charge. The Provost maintains that the core grant, which is the money paid by the State, never supported activities that did not include student services and that the College was just not defining those activities as student services for the purposes of the charge. In accounts released by Trinity Students’ Union the College wants to start charging Information System
Services (ISS), the Centre for Microscopy, and Innovation services to the student service charge. Ó Broin says that ‘the universities are attempting to rewrite history by saying that the costs associated with running libraries and computer systems in their respective universities have always been “student Services”.’ At the Committee the Provost said that the estimates for 2010 are the first to include the library as a system service. He also said that it is a proposal and the final decision has not yet been made. Pressed on if students will have input into the proposal to define the library as a student service for the purposes of the charge the Provost said that students are represented on all College committees relevant to this matter. The Chief Executive of the Higher Education Authority (HEA), Tom Boland told the Committee that he sees no problem with the College changing the definition of the student service charge from year to year as more money is charged to students more items can be included under the charge. In a letter signed of the presidents of the students’ unions of the seven Irish universities to the Committee Continued page 2
Campaigners for the Students’ Union elections posing in Front Arch just after the campaigning period began at 11pm Sunday, February 7.
Digitalism is to play the Trinity Ball Carl Doherty News Writer Digitalism is to play the Trinity Ball it was announced by Entertainments Officer Mick Birmingham. This is the first act released for the 2010 Trinity Ball. The full headline is to be announced on February 22 along with the rest of the line up. The University Times is releasing this act while Trinity News will release two more acts on the same day.
In an advertisement placed in the last issue of The University Times Birmingham said that the line-up was to be announced on February 8 however, ‘due to the new year structure this date was no longer ideal.’ he said. The bands Example and Ou Est Le Swimming Pool have confirmed on their MySpace pages that they will be playing the Trinity Ball 2010. This year’s Trinity Ball will take place on April 16. This
is the first time that the Ball will not take place on the last day of teaching. This came about due to semesterisation as Trinity Week now falls outside teaching term. Most lectures finish on April 9, the week before the Ball. However, there is still the same amount of time between the Ball and exams as there was in previous years. Tickets go on sale on Wednesday, February 24 and will be priced at €78. Last year the Trinity Ball sold out
in less than three days. Birmingham said that ‘tickets will go fast and I am not condoning camping out but you may want to think about it.’ In order to combat forgeries, Ticketmaster will be printing the tickets this year. Those wishing to go to the Ball need to apply online for tickets when the go on sale. Every student can apply for two tickets. The Trinity Ball first sold out in record time in 2007
under the tenure of Barry Murphy as Ents Officer. Ever since then it has sold out every year. Digitalism is a German dance punk duo founded in 2004 in Hamburg and consisting of Jens ‘Jence’ Moelle and Ismail ‘Isi’ Tüfekçi. They have released four singles to date: ‘Idealistic’, ‘Zdarlight’, ‘Jupiter Room’, and ‘Pogo’ The full text of the Trinity Ball announcment is printed on page four.
Capitation Committee settles on Senior Dean’s power
Former AG proposes Trinity-UCD merger
Simone Hall News Writer
Katie Haberlin News Writer
The Senior Dean has the power to seize copies of publications which present an ‘immediate and obvious’ risk to persons or property according the Terms of Reference approved by the Capitation Committee on February 2. The Terms of Reference are the first written promulgation of the Senior Dean’s power in this area. The Committee was keen to stress that it was not giving the Senior Dean these powers as he already had them but was just making the Committee aware of them and setting up a framework on how the Committee would interact with the Senior Dean’s use of his powers. The Terms of Reference make the Committee aware that the Senior Dean can remove from circulation copies of publications in order to prevent ‘immediate and obvious’ risk of violence to person or damage to property. The Committee at its previous meeting in December
was presented with a draft Terms of Reference that was rejected and a subcommittee was formed to redraft the impugned section of the Terms of Reference. The subcommittee chaired by Joseph O’Gorman met a number of times to consider the how to draft the section. There were representatives from all five capitated bodies, namely Students’ Union (SU), Central Societies Committee (CSC), Graduate Students’ Union (GSU), Dublin University Central Athletics Committee (Ducac), and Publications. A campaign was started by Publications Treasurer, Tom Lowe called Save Freedom of Speech in Trinity with the stated aim of lobbying capitations representatives not to support a terms of reference that does not protect freedom of speech. Lowe brought a motion to CSC’s Term General Meeting which sought to mandate the CSC capitations representatives not to vote for a terms of reference that ‘recognises the power of, or permits, the
Senior Dean to withdraw any publication.’ Lowe proposed his motion to CSC members at the meeting. Barra Roantree also spoke in support of the motion. The motion was opposed by CSC Chair, Robert Kearns and CSC Honorary Treasurer, Joseph O’Gorman. The motion was rejected in a vote by the members at the meeting. On the same night a motion was also put by Lowe to the Students’ Union Council which was similar to the CSC motion. It sought to mandate the SU representatives to not vote for terms of reference that ‘recognises the power of, or permits, the Senior Dean to withdraw any publication.’ An amendment was made from the floor by SU International Students Officer, Ryan Bartlett to insert the word unilaterally after Senior Dean to in the motion. This was accepted and the motion was passed by the Council. The subcommittee met the next day and made a couple of changes to the proposed wording for the draft terms of
reference. One of the changes requires the Senior Dean to get legal or medical advice before removing a publication from college. The subcommittee agreed to present this version to the Capitation Committee for its consideration. Lowe said ‘the concessions College made on the terms of reference strongly limit the circumstances in which a publication can be withdrawn, and the investigative powers it gives to student representatives mean that Trinity Publications were happy to vote for it.’ Capitation Committee passed the new terms of reference at their meeting on February 2. All members of the Committee voted in favour of passing them except the three SU representatives that felt that their mandate from SU Council did not allow them to vote in favour. Students’ Union President, Cónán Ó Broin said that ‘the Students’ Union representatives on the capitation Continued page 2
Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin (UCD) should combine to create a world class institution according to Former Attorney General and international businessman, Peter Sutherland. He made the comments when speaking at the Undergraduate Awards of Ireland and Northern Ireland at the Royal Irish Academy in Dublin on January 22. Sutherland said that if Ireland wants to have world class institutions, retaining seven universities is unsustainable: ‘Surely seven is too many if we’re talking about comprehensive world class
research universities with undergraduate education, postgraduate training and research. Personally I can’t see how Ireland can afford this.’ A way to achieve this reduction seemed to come in his suggestion that Trinity and UCD should combine to create a world class institution.He said ‘at the moment both are in the top 100 with one in the top fifty. We would have a top twenty or even a top ten player to compete in the big leagues and, if so, wouldn’t that be the best thing for Ireland?’ He was careful to make clear that this could be done without compromising the ‘rich and very different histories and traditions of these
Editor: Robert Donohoe Deputy Editor: Marykate Collins Volume 1, Issue 6 ISSN: 2009-261X Phone: 01 646 8431 Email: email@example.com Website: www.universitytimes.ie
important national institutions’ he said ‘surely, with a bit of imagination or even innovation this could be achieved.’ This is not the first time such a proposal has been put forward. In the late 1960s the then Minister for Education, Donogh O’ Malley, suggested that UCD become a constituent college of the University of Dublin. The idea was dropped after opposition from Trinity students. These comments come at a particularly difficult time for Irelands universities, which together are in debt of €32 million. UCD and UCC have recently agreed a debt cutting programme with the Higher Education Authority. The new deal will offer the
This newspaper is produced with the financial support of Trinity College Students’ Union. It is set in 9pt Utopia and Whitney – a classic newspaper typeface and a modernist sans serif respectively. It was printed by Mortons Print Ltd.
universities a chance to end the recruitment moratorium currently imposed on them if they can reduce their costs by three per cent a year. Sutherland, a UCD graduate, has also voiced his support to the decision of Minister Batt O’Keeffe to dissolve the National University of Ireland (NUI). This decision was made without telling the Dail, or indeed the University’s chancellor, Maurice Manning. The NUI is a federal institution with nine constituent and recognised colleges. The four constituent universities are NUIG, NUI Maynooth, UCD and UCC. It also makes awards to a number of Continued page 2
To contact The University Times write to: The Editor, The University Times, 6 Trinity College Dublin 2
Wednesday, February 10th | The University Times
TimesNews www.universitytimes.ie Upcoming events Wednesday 10th FEBRUARY
New Writing Workshop DU Players 3pm, Players Theatre
TAF presents Thrillah! Trinity Arts Festival 7.10pm, Chapel
“What do you think about the suggested merger of Trinity and UCD?”
Lorcan Mak Trinity Ents 10.30pm, Spy
Thursday 11TH FEBRUARY
Joly Pub Quiz Joly Society 8pm, MacTurcails
TAF presents Heathers, We Cut Corners, Wounds and Little Green Cars Trinity Arts Festival 9pm, The Village
Health Sciences Valentines Ball in aid of MOVE 10.30pm, Button Factory
Friday 12th FEBRUARY
Welfare Candidate TCD doesn’t charge its students to use the health service, UCD is massively in debt and TCD is better at looking after its students.
New Writers Week Rehearsed Readings DU Players 3pm, Players Theatre
Ents Candidate I think the suggestion is ludicrous. They are two separate entities, both with their strong points and weak points. The investment should be made to improve each, not to merge them.
Education Candidate It would allow students to benefit from the expertise of each university. However, competition between the two universities promotes a level of excellence that I think would not exist if a dilution occurred.
Ents Candidate As I’ve already been in negotiations with next year’s potential UCD Ents Officers, I’m aware of the possibility for bigger acts and more diversity for student entertainment if a merger occurred, so I’d be in support.
President Candidate I can see why they would be in favour of it, but we’re 43rd in the world, they’re 89th. 43 into 89 won’t go.
The Valentines Bess Ball 2010 Dubes 7pm, Burlington Hotel
Jazz in the Pav Trinity Ents 8pm the Pav
TUESDAY 16th FEBRUARY
The Annual Engineering Ball Eng Soc 7.30pm, Hilton Hotel
Wednesday 17th FEBRUARY
The Strauss Ball Dance Soc 8pm, Dining Hall
Thursday 18TH FEBRUARY
President Candidate Trinity has a long and proud history and in terms of recruitment and funding I think it would hinder Trinity and dilute the ‘Trinity brand’ both nationally and internationally.
Communications Candidate Given the bureaucratic mess that is now Trinity, I think it’s silly to even consider merging the two until our extensive administrative problems are fixed.
Education Candidate Excellent, I would even propose we take this one step further and knock down Belfield Polytechnic altogether and turn into something of much better use, like a big car park
President Candidate We must be mad, literally mad, as a college to merge with Belfield Polytechnic. There will be rivers of blood. We at Tits say NEVER NEVER NEVER.
DU Comedy 10:30om, Buttoner
President Candidate Trinity has enough trouble managing its own problems to even consider this. We would be better off merging with a college that has totally different courses to Trinity like NCAD or RIAM.
Monday 22nd February
Trinity Ball Launch
FROM THE FRONT PAGE
Thursday 25TH FEBRUARY
New Terms of Reference passed for Capitation Committee
Trinity Ents Tickets on sale Wednesday 24th February
The Annual Green Week Quiz Eng Soc 7.30pm, The Pav
Call for merger coincides Student service charge with NUI disbandment Continued from page 1
FRIDAY 5th February
Cable Tie Night
Eng Soc in association with DCU Nurses 10.30pm, Purty Kitchen
Continued from page 1 committee implemented their mandate to oppose any changes in the powers of the Senior Dean.’ Ó Broin continued that ‘the Students’ Union understands that the issues which motivated concerned students to propose the mandating of officers to vote in this manner have been resolved and these
concerned students are satisfied with the new wording which was adopted.’ The Committee will review all instances where the Senior Dean uses his power to remove a publication and the Committee may make a finding that his power was used inappropriately. The Capitation Committee is responsible for the distribution of the capitation fee
paid by all students to fund the five capitated bodies. The Capitation Committee has operated without a terms of reference until the new one was approved on February 2. The new terms of reference provide more than just reference to the Senior Dean’s powers. It lays down the rules for the Committee including its membership, meetings and quorum, and duties.
Continued from page 1 colleges, including the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, National College of Art and Design, the Institute of Public Administration, Shannon College of Hotel Management and the Milltown Institute. The NUI said the Minister’s announcement, ‘coming abruptly as it did, has
caused understandable anxiety among students and graduates.’ Many students who chose NUI colleges have been contacting the colleges, concerned about the quality of their degrees. NUI is a 102 year old brand with strong international recognition and more than 250,000 graduates in Ireland and across the world.
they say that the accounts on the student service charge presented to the Committee are not the same as they were shown. They say that it ‘amounts to subterfuge’ for the universities to present these documents to the Committee. The Committee agreed to call the Minister for Education before the Committee at his earliest convenience to answer questions related to the student service charge.
Information Editor Deputy Editor
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The University Times | Wednesday, February 10th
Chapel Choir Scholars receive wage from student service charge Leanna Byrne News Writer The Chapel Choral Scholars received €23,771 from the student service charge of €1500 paid by students. This was revealed following a freedom of information request submitted by The University Times for a breakdown of the Miscellaneous heading on the accounts of the student service charge for 2008/09. The accounts note that ‘in keeping with contributions
made to the student societies, a contribution is made to the Chapel Choral Scholars.’ Central Societies Committee (CSC) Honorary Treasurer, Joseph O’Gorman told The University Times that the CSC had no involvement with the funding for the Choral Scholars. ‘I have been unaware of the source of funding for the Choral Scholars. It may well be the case that there are other sources of monies with which the College could fund the Choral Scholars but I am not privy to the College’s
accounts so cannot comment further’ he said. The accounts for 2009 show a figure of €173,771 for Miscellaneous however, the College indicated that this was a typographical error on the accounts. The Miscellaneous heading on the accounts contained no other items other than the Chapel Choral Scholars expenditure. The position of Choral Scholar predates the establishment of the Chapel Choir Society (1989). Eight Choral
Scholarships valued at €1,300 are available for all voices for the year. The Choral Scholars are given the position of Officers of the College and are therefore paid by the College. The Choral Scholars form the core and leadership of the Chapel Choir which is a mixed voice choir of about twenty five singers which performs in a liturgical context. The Choir sings at two regular services during each week of lecture term and various special College and
University services. The Choir is not itself a religious organization. The College accounts for the student service charge are released with a list of nine headings for the student service charge expenditure. The FOI request also asked for a breakdown of the Cost of Registration and Examination Costs headings. In the breakdown it is recorded that the College spent €40,918 on ID cards last year and a further €31,194 on fee payment forms and postage.
News in brief
The accounts also indicate that €130,968 was spent the hire of outside examination halls, €107,835 on examination papers, and €3,892 on postage and stationary. The College also hires invigilators for exams and the bill for their services totals €315,462. There is a also another €106,271 allocated to examination pay. Lecturers are given €405,000 for allowances related to examinations.
“It is a fee” The presidents of the seven Irish universities, including the Provost, have said that the student service charge is in fact a fee that is used to pay for core college services. The Joint Oireachtas Education Committee met to discuss the disbursement of the €1,500 student service charge. The Committee met with the seven presidents of the universities and representatives from the Higher Education Authority (HEA). The Committee was looking at the issue of if the student service charge was
being used to pay for core college services and if it is in fact an introduction of third level fees into Ireland. UCD President, Dr Hugh Brady admitted that ‘fees exist in Ireland and [the student service charge] is a non-tuition fee.’ This is an important distinction as the State pays the tuition fees for most European Union students so if was found that the universities were spending the student service charge on tuition then this would cause a serious problem for the universities. The Chief Executive of the HEA, Tom Boland told the Committee that he agreed
that ‘the student service charge is a charge or a fee.’ However he went on to say that ‘the point is that tuition is still paid by the Government.’ The HEA is responsible for advising the Minister for Education about matters relating to the student service charge. Boland told the Committee that the HEA did not advise the Minister nor did he seek advice on if the universities could change the definition of a student service charge. Boland was asked if he was able to define what a tuition fee was. He said ‘there is no definition of a tuition fee and I certainly will not
attempt one in the next thirty seconds.’ However, he did say that the obvious charge might pertain to the teaching time of a lecturer. The State pays a fee to the universities for every student entitled under the free fees initiative. These fees range from approximately €4,000 for arts to €10,000 for medicine. Deputy Brian Hayes asked the HEA what one got for that money; Boland said ‘tuition.’ The Committee also looked at the call by the Minister for Education for the presidents of the universities to reduce their salaries. Ned Costello, the CEO of the Irish Universities Association, told
the Committee that the university presidents had received no such communication from the Minister. President of the Students’ Union, Cónán Ó Broin says that ‘there is just no doubt about it, the student services charge is nothing other than third level fees by the back door.’ There was no increase in charge in the December budget. All students must pay the fee except those that are receiving grants in which case the charge is paid for by the grant issuing body. The Minister was asked to appear before the Committee to answer questions on the charge as soon as possible.
The Provost leaving the Dáil
College pays for staff and their relatives’ university education Robert Donohoe Editor Trinity College has paid €111,373 in fees for staff, their spouses and children to do degrees under the fee remission scheme in 2008/09. There were twenty seven successful applications under the scheme in 2008/09. There were thirteen applications for funding for doctorial degrees which totalled €47,434. Masters degree funding for nine people came to a total of €42,043.
Bachelor degree funding for four people cost €18,464 and there was one payment for an undergraduate diploma at a cost of €3,432. The University Times asked the College for the figures for the 2008/09 payments made by the College under this scheme. The College provided details of the numbers of students that had their fees paid for by the College and gave a breakdown of what degrees they were reading for. The details of the fee remission scheme provide that
permanent members of staff, staff on contracts of indefinite duration and staff on fixed term contracts are exempt from all fees imposed by Trinity College Dublin. Additionally permanent members of staff employed on or before September 30, 1992 will have fees paid for by the College for their spouses and children. The scheme limits the entitlements to fees to only the student service charge, which is currently €1,500, where the person is eligible
to free fees under the free fees initiative. The student levies are not paid for by the College. The current levies are €8 for membership of the Union of Students of Ireland (USI) and €77 for the sports centre charge. The scheme also makes provision for the payment of fees for spouses and children of permanent members of staff who are attending other universities in Ireland.
An Oscar nomination for an animated short, The Secret of Kells, has renewed calls from the town of Kells for Trinity to return the Book of Kells. The chairman of Kells Urban District Council Cllr Brian Curran said the success of the film had given a ‘sense of renewal’ to their campaign to have a part of the book returned to the town. Cllr Curran said he was annoyed at suggestions that Kells had given up looking for its book back and he would put forward a motion at the next council meeting to reopen negotiations with Trinity. In 2000, the UDC failed to persuade Trinity to allow it display one of the manuscripts that make up the book as a centrepiece of a new heritage centre in Kells. Though called the Book of Kells, it comprises four manuscripts containing the four gospels. Two are on display permanently in Trinity. The heritage centre was closed in October because of a lack of funding and problems with its roof. The UDC is now making a special case to the Government for around €200,000 in funding that will be needed to carry out repairs. Cllr Curran maintained all the issues relating to security and ventilation within the building that TCD raised before had been addressed, and said the imminent opening of the M3 would make access to Kells much easier. The Secret of Kells is due for release in the US on St Patrick’s Day and the nomination is likely to bring it to the attention of millions of potential filmgoers. “We are going to use all those energies to try to put a positive slant on the request again to Trinity college,” Cllr Curran added. The Book of Kells derives its name from the abbey in the town where the book was stored for seven centuries until 1643, when Oliver Cromwell’s men occupied the abbey church. The book was removed to Dublin for safekeeping and has been on display in the Old Library in Trinity College since the middle of the 19th century.
New New Square rooms applications being accepted
The presidents of the students’ unions of the seven universities leaving the Dáil on Thursday, January 28 following a meeting of the Joint Oireachtas Committee for Education and Science Carl Doherty News Writer
Oscar nomination renews Kells’ demand for book
Following extensive renovations, student residences in New Square will shortly be available for occupation for the remainder of the academic year. Applications are invited for these newly renovated rooms. Applications will be accepted from full-time undergraduates in their final year only. Occupancy is for period February 19 to May 8. The cost for rent and utilities for this period will be just over €1,745. Where necessary, residents have the option to extend on a pro-rata daily basis to the end of their exams. Applications will not be accepted from students who are currently resident in College accommodation. Rooms will be allocated on a random basis to students who submit an email application before January 29. Applicants will on this occasion, be allocated on a random basis into apartments that may be mixed gender. Successful applicants will then be invited to submit an online application which will enable a formal offer and allocation to be made. Rooms in New Square are mainly in the form of two and three bed room apartments with a shared kitchen/living room and shower and toilet. In terms of facilities, fittings and furnishings, the accommodation is similar to that in Botany Bay or Front Square. Simone Hall, News Writer
Trinity booksale starts soon
Ph D (Arts)
Ph D (Science)
Doctorate in Educ.
This year marks the 21st anniversary of the Trinity Secondhand Booksale, the largest charity booksale in Ireland. The annual Booksale is a three day event held in Trinity College’s Public Theatre and all proceeds raised by will be used to buy books, journals, maps and other research materials for Trinity College Library and for smaller specialist School libraries within College. This year the event will open on Thursday March 18 at 5.30pm with an auction of rare books, commencing at 7pm. The sale will continue on March 19 called Restocked Friday where lots of additional books will be added, and will conclude on March 20 with Half Price Saturday from 10am – 2pm. Each year over 50 volunteers, both students and staff, assist in the organisation and running of the Booksale. These volunteers were celebrated for their dedication and hard work at a recent event hosted by the Trinity Association and Trust to mark the upcoming the 21st anniversary of the event. Books are collected year round for the annual Booksale at the Booksale Office in Goldsmith Hall, Pearse Street.
Member of Staff Fee Remission 2008/2009 Degree
Wednesday, February 10th | The University Times
“This is the secret to Howard Mark’s appeal, part University academic, part drug conoisseur.” Emma Keaveney p14
2010 Students’ Union elections begins
News in brief
Simone Hall News Writer
Photo: Robert Donohoe
Tit for Tat Trinity Ents held it’s Rag Week Slave Auction in the Pav on the evening of Thursday the 4th of February. The now annual spectacle, which sees students volunteer themselves to strip in exchange for charity donations, has in the past been a highlight of Rag Week and the crowds of curious onlookers in the Pav proved that this year was no exception. Representatives from DU Snow Sports Club (pictured above) in particular made sure the show was worth the entrance fee (free). Emma Keaveney, Senior Writer
Campaigning for this year’s Students’ Union sabbatical elections officially began at 11pm on February 7 with the assembly of this year’s candidates and their campaigners at front arch with the aim of securing prise positions for their posters. Teams of various sizes were present, dressed in their respective team colours and armed with their competitively designed manifestos. Some teams, and in indeed candidates, were entirely absent for the proceeding, namely David Preston and Dan Reilly, this years ‘joke’ candidates. This year sees twelve candidates competing for the five Union positions. The
nominees were announced by Students’ Union education officer, Ashley Cooke on January 25. In keeping with the election rules as set out in Schedule three to the Students’ Union Constitution, candidates were not allowed to begin their campaign until February 7. Schedule three has laid down a number of other rules for the fair running of SU elections. Among these are a budget of €600 that can be spent in the course of the campaign and limits to the amount of campaign material that can be distributed and displayed on and off campus. The campaigns are overseen by the Electoral Commission who ensure adherence to the rules by all candidates. This year sees an addition to the penalties
that can be imposed for rule breaking, which was formally only the loss of a deposit. Candidates this year may have their election material confiscated, which would be a huge blow to some campaigns. This highlights the Commission’s firm stance towards fairness and equal opportunity to canvas. An essential element to the campaigns that was come about over the last few years is the increased level of professionalism that is used to produce the campaign materials. Most candidates now are having professionally designed manifestos and t-shirts to grab students’ attention. Campaigning will last for just under two weeks, with the ballots being counted in the Mont Clare hotel, Merrion Square, on February 18.
And they’re off...
The University Times
ELECTION SPECIAL 2010 Tuesday, February 9th CASHMAN | FLEMING | FLOREA | FOX GENOCKEY | HARMON | HUGHES | LOWE | O’TOOLE PRESTON | REILLY | TRIGOUB-ROTNEM
INSIDE EVERY CANDIDATE PROFILED PAST OFFICERS’ EXPERIENCES THE ELECTIONS REVIEWED
For more information about the Students’ Union elections have a look at our election supplement.
Senator Ivana Bacik Talks about her time as President I was an undergraduate in the Law School at Trinity between 1985-89 - a really exciting time to be there. Among our lecturers were Mary Robinson (EC law) and Mary McAleese (Criminal law), both of whom were to become Presidents of Ireland. Kader Asmal taught human rights law and labour law, and was a leading light of the Irish Anti-Apartheid Movement – he later became Minister for Education in the ANC government in South Africa. So we had a wide range of role models, both female and male, and a healthy diversity of political viewpoints represented among the staff.
I became involved with both the Women’s Group and the Labour Society during my time studying and was elected Chair of Trinity Labour in 1988. Then in my final year in 1989, I was elected President of the Students’ Union on a feminist and socialist platform. I was only the second woman ever elected to be President of Trinity College Students’ Union - the first had been Aine Lawlor, who is now presenting the Morning Ireland programme for RTE Radio. The year I spent in the SU was highly charged politically. Within a month of taking office, we four sabbatical
officers were being threatened with prison simply for handing out SU guidebooks on campus. The guidebooks contained information on crisis pregnancy and abortion, along with information on allsorts of other issues useful to students, and Spuc (the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children) wanted to stop that information being provided anywhere in Ireland. Mary Robinson took up our case and defended us in court, and we avoided being sent to jail, but the court cases taken against us by SPUC dominated our year as officers. We were even questioned
by detectives from Harcourt Street about the criminal offence of conspiracy to corrupt public morals! Happily, we got great support from the student body in Trinity and large numbers of students turned out to protest outside the Four Courts when our case was being heard. There were plenty of student protests during the year I was President. Apart from the abortion information campaign, we also ran high-profile campaigns against increases in tuition fees, and cuts in student services. However, we also worked hard in less visible ways. As President, I participated
actively at College Board meetings, and successfully argued against the proposed sale of Trinity Hall - the College’s financial situation was so bad in 1989/1990, that this option was seriously considered at one stage!
Pavillion prices remain unchanged Howard Marks
Carl Doherty News Writer
The infamous drug runner visited Trinity to and joined hundreds of students in the Ed Burke. Marks’ daughter read Philosophy in Trinity 10 years ago. However, this was Marks’ second visit to Trinity to speak to students. The first time was under the tenure of Barry Murphy as Ents Officer. Marks told the audience that when he is left to his own devices he can smoke about a half an ounce of weed per day. Mr Nice lived up to his title when he went to a spree with students after the show and told them what it was like to be a student when he was at Oxford. Simone Hall, News Writer
The price of canned beer in the Pavilion Bar was not decreased after the budget despite the reduction of Vat and excise duty on alcohol. The budget reduced the price of beer by twelve cent per pint, Spirits by fourteen cent per half glass, and Wine by sixty cent per seventy-five centilitre bottle. There was also a reduction of half a per cent in Vat. The price of four cans of Bavaria remains at €8 despite this change which was due to take effect from midnight on December 9. The College has said that ‘because the Pavilion Bar has
absorbed the price increases in canned beer for the past two years, the price has remained the same.’ However, ‘the price of draft beer and spirits have been reduced.’ In the trading year ending August 31, 2009 the Pav had sales of €971,767 of which €785,226 was drink and the rest was food. The Pav remains the only bar in College since the Buttery bar was shut down during the tenure of Barry Murphy as Ents Officer in 2006/07. However, competition may be reintroduced to the Pav when the bar in the proposed Student Centre opens up. The plan is for a bar to be located on the ground floor which will have access to a
gigs venue on the first floor. It would also have a state-ofthe-art lighting and sound system. Dublin City Council has asked for more information of the proposed bar and student venue before it makes a decision on the planning application. The College was refused permission recently to build a super-pub in the buildings it owns around Foster Place. The pub would have been the biggest in Dublin City Centre and was objected to by a number of local publicans in the area. The Pav has a private members bar licence and all students of the College, over the age of eighteen, are members.
Trinity Ball Act Announcement
Digitalism to play Trinity Ball Photo: Cathal Horan
Flash mob befalls the Arts Block A flash mob took place today in the Arts Block. At exactly 1.15pm dozens of students standing in the main concourse of the building simultaneously fell to the ground. One minute later all those taking part stood back up and returned to their normal activities. The event was organised mostly via Facebook, with over 2,000 people invited to take part in the event. College security caught wind of the event before it happened, with several security guards positioned in the building from 1pm along with the college’s Chief Steward, Pat Morey. The event’s organisers were using the flash mob to promote a new club night that promises “cheap BOOZE and INDIE TUNES galore!” Despite the presence of college security, the flash mob took place without any major incident. Conor Smith, Senior Writer
Ents is Thrilled to confirm that German dance duo; Digitalism will be playing The 2010 Trinity Ball. Digitalism are BIG. And LOUD. And BRILLIANT. They’re celebrated for among other things their fantastic light shows; bathing the audience in green light and showering them with lasers. Their mixing skills are unparalleled Its dazzlingly difficult to tell where songs end and others begin; tunes bleed into one another almost at random only to make a welcome reappearance later. Digitalism’s performances are a whole body experience,
it takes over, sending shivers down your spine as it builds to a massive drop that causes all hell break loose and a serious adrenaline rush. Digitalism makes electronic music that everyone can rock out to so expect the tent to be full. They’ve played UCD twice and on both occasions created absolute chaos, The Trinity Ball to take it to the next level. It all began in 2004 in Hamburg, when Jens “Jence” Moelle and İsmail “Isi” Tüfekçi formed what would be come one of the most influential electronic acts of
the decade. They were soon signed to French label Kitsuné Music , Their tracks have featured on BMW ads, FIFA promotions as well as numerous movie and video game sound tracks. They have remixed tracks for The Presets, Tom Vek, The Futureheads, Daft Punk, Tiga, Klaxons, White Stripes, Monk, Depeche Mode, Cut Copy and many others, Their tracks and remixes are played by DJs such as Erol Alkan, Boys Noize and Justice, among others. In 2007 Digitalism declared they were working on
the idea of an “electonica garage band” and their debut album “Idealism” suggests they were telling the truth, an exciting, well crafted debut that like daft punk’s “Homework” is an instant thrill with plenty of reasons to return again an again. After show casing their debut album for almost 3 years, the duo returned home to their studio; a refurbished world war II bunker in their home town of Hamburg where they’ve been working on new material. “Unless Daft Punk produce something characteristically original and
spectacular in the next couple of years then Digitalism, along with perhaps Simian Mobile Disco and Justice, shall inherit the Earth or if not the Earth at least the top slots all the summer’s festivals” NME. “If Franz Ferdinand made rock music that girls could dance to, then Digitalism makes electronic music that everyone can rock out to.” Mixmag. Its dance and its pop. And it’s totally and utterly joyous.
The Dublin Universtiy Law Society hosted the third Dublin University William Fry Mock Trial competition final in the GMB. High Court judge and head of the Central Criminal Court Paul Carney chaired and judged the meeting. The mock trial competition pits two teams of undergraduate students against each other in a simulated courtroom setting. The teams examine witnesses, played by actors. The winning team is the team who displays the best advocacy skills. Last week’s
The Intervarsity (IV) Debating Competition 2010 took place on January 22 and 23. It was hosted jointly by the University Philosophical Society and the College Historical Society. Ninety teams entered from all over Ireland and the UK, making it the largest Intervarsity ever held in Trinity and the largest such competition ever held in Ireland. After an extremely heated debate the competition was won by Eoghan Casey and Paddy Rooney representing the Kings Inns, beating teams from St Andrews, Oxford and Cambridge.
Law Society host mock trail final in GMB
Trinity hosts debating intervarsity competition
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of its kind ever held in Ireland. This a great testament to the hard work and attention to detail which this year’s convenors, Ciara Finlay and Catherine Murphy, have brought to the job’ said Curran The President of the Hist, Jamie Walsh said ‘the competition brought some of the brightest students from the top universities around Europe to compete in the biggest Irish Intervarsity in history. ‘ Tim Cody, Senior Executive with Accenture in Ireland, said ‘these types of competitions which bring students together from across the world from various colleges are an important part of college life and of a long-standing tradition here in Trinity.’
Tim Cody, Senior Executive at Accenture, who were sponsoring the event, and Honorary Secretary of Trinity Business Alumni presented the winning team with their trophy. The Trinity IV is held every year and invites many top debating teams from across the world to participate. Winning the IV is considered a point of prestige for debaters, with the competition lasting the entire weekend. The President of the Phil, Brendan Curran was thrilled with the event. ‘An unprecedented level of Irish and international interest, coupled with support from Accenture, allowed us to make this competition the biggest and best
Science Gallery nominated for European Museum of the Year award competition generally. ‘The final was an enjoyable event and was very well-attended. This competition gives students a valuable opportunity to improve their public speaking skills and advocacy. I think this year was particularly good year for the competition, and I was especially happy to see the participation of a number of non-law students. I would definitely encourage this, as no academic knowledge of the law is required for this competition.’ The winning team was Junior Sophister Law students Emma Dunne and Diarmaid Murphy. final was based on the prosecution of district court judge Ebenezer Daly for manslaughter. The background to the case was written by Mark Coen, a PhD candidate in law. Mock trial competitions are a common and widelyrecognised feature of college life in the United States, but are a relatively new feature in Ireland. Though there is a national mock trial competition for second-level students, the Law Society’s competition is the only university-level competition of its type in the state. Mock trial convenor Donncha Conway expressed his satisfaction with last week’s final, and with the Donncha Conway News Writer
still looking if they are shocked? It’s ‘cause they like looking at girls puking. They look it up on google when they think no one is looking but someone is looking; it’s the people at google and they are always laughing at them going ‘ha look at this weirdo googling “sexy girls puking on each other”’ I don’t know about you but I hate vomiting and if you said to me ‘will you eat all this stuff and you will probably vomit’ I would say ‘no’ . Conor O’Toole, Staff Comediest there to see people vomit because it’s funny seeing people vomit when it’s not you and it’s not because of some really tragic illness that they have but because they are mental and ate a load of mad shit. The girl in the photo above wasn’t even taking part in the real competition, she was only in this side one where she had to drink four litres of milk against this other guy that was also trying to drink four litres of milk. I think that they thought that it was going to be easy to drink milk but it wasn’t ‘cause after a bit they both started puking and the people in the photo are pretending to be shocked but why are they
Photo: Robert Donohoe
The spectacle that is the Iron Stomach
Trinity College Dublin’s Science Gallery has been nominated for the 2010 European Museum of the Year Award. Opened in 2008, the Science Gallery has welcomed more than 500,000 visitors, showcased ten exhibitions and established itself as the premier venue for exploring the cutting edge of science and technology research. Speaking about the announcement Science Gallery Director, Michael John Gorman, said: “Science Gallery is a world first - a museum where science and art collide. Our aim from the start has been to transform curious minds through science. Our exhibitions – ranging from light, infection to fashion – have surprised and connected with our audiences. We are honoured to be nominated for this prestigious award and look forward to continuing to further developing this creative clash of science and art to a growing audience.” Trinity College
Dominique Mich Englis News Writer
New research on Type 2 diabetes by Trinity College Dublin researchers could benefit young adults (aged 1825 years) with the condition. The research led by Professor John Nolan of Trinity College Dublin and St James’s Hospital, Dublin, has just been published online in the leading international journal, Diabetes Care. The study findings demonstrate new mechanisms in muscle cells that may explain severe insulin resistance which is the body’s decreased ability to respond to the effects of insulin, and a reduced response to aerobic exercise in young obese patients with Type 2 diabetes. These important findings will contribute in the longterm to the development of more specific treatments for young people with Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. It occurs because the body produces too little insulin and is unable to properly use the insulin that is secreted. It usually occurs in older people although it is becoming more common among younger people, partly due to lifestyle factors such as diet, lack of physical activity and obesity. The highest rates occur in countries with modern lifestyles. Type 2 diabetes accounts for approximately 85%90% of all cases of diabetes in European countries. It is estimated that 129,052 people in the Republic of Ireland have adult Type 2 diabetes or 4.3% of the adult population. The research was carried out by the Metabolic Research Unit at Trinity College Dublin based at St James’s Hospital. These studies are part of an ongoing research programme by Professor Nolan’s team into the causes and treatment of Type 2 diabetes and severe insulin resistance in young people. The investigations were done in collaboration with Professor Antonio Zorzano at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine, Barcelona. The studies were funded by grants from the European Foundation for the Study of Diabetes and from the EU Commission as well as grants from the Ministerio de Educación y Cultura in Spain. Trinity College It is that time of the year again when perfectly sane people decide to eat complete crap for no reason whatsoever other than to say that they did. The annual Iron Stomach competition put on by SciFi has students eating mouthwash bread, a raw onion, Weetabix mixed with beetroot, washed down with two litres of cola. Not even good cola, shit cola that you get in the two euro shop. They do it in Front Square because they want everyone to see them do it but they don’t think they are going to vomit and when they do they are all like ‘oh don’t look at me vomit’ but everyone there is only
The University Times | Wednesday, February 10th
TimesNews News in brief
Joint Committee on the Constitution hosted by Trinity
The Department of Political Science co-hosted a public consultation on electoral reform with the Joint Committee on the Constitution in Trinity’s Public Theatre on Tuesday evening, February 2nd last. This was the first time in Trinity’s history that a fully constituted Joint Committee of the Houses of the Oireachtas sat in Trinity and only the second time in the history of the Oireachtas that a formal Committee has sat outside the Oireachtas. The formal record of the proceedings is now part of the official record of the Houses of the Oireachtas. The Provost, Dr. John Hegarty welcomed the Committee to Trinity and noted that the Trinity graduate and great Irish parliamentarian Henry Grattan, ‘would be particularly pleased to find that his student successors today are fully engaged in the affairs of the State.’ Trinity College
New research on Type 2 Diabetes by TCD researchers
Wednesday, February 10th | The University Times
Minister calls for ban on legal highs So called legal highs have once again come up scrutiny from the public and the government, but banning these substances may not be the correct course of action, writes Catherine Alice Nicholas.
t seems that the fate of head shops in Ireland is becoming increasingly inevitable. Whether through heavily restrictive licensing or by a crackdown drug by drug, the Drugs Minister, John Curran appears determined to ban the legal highs sold in such shops. A rise in the number of drug-related incidents has led the Minister and many youth group supporters to call for immediate action in the “War against Drugs”. Curran believes that the use of legal pills such as “Red Doves” poses such a serious risk for users that they should be made illegal as opposed to simply regulated. These drugs are marketed as alternatives to cannabis and
ecstasy but Curran believes that they are “so close to the real thing, that they should not be for human consumption.” Concern was also expressed about the fact that that head shops are currently permitted to open until 4am which enables delivery of the legal highs to clubs. The Minister realises the controversy embedded in this move, he stated; “My view, and maybe people don’t agree with me, but my view is that they pose an unnecessary risk”. Some believe that this is yet another small step of many which will which contribute towards a backlash against the government, perceived by many to be a nanny state. However, Curran is
Smoke XXX, a cannabis substitute, is just one of the many legal highs available in Head Shops across the country.
adamant that there is justification for the ban after hearing the evidence of health professionals from A&E who witness first hand the risks of such legal highs. Galway West Fianna Fail TD, Frank Fahey endorsed this step and stated that; “We led the way in Europe, and indeed the world,
Owners complain that they have to conduct business against the backdrop of intense Garda scrutiny, predominantly negative media coverage and threats from self-appointed “community policing” groups. Shane O’Connor, who is the elected chairman of the Irish Head Shops Association stated
Last year’s ban on BZP gave drug gangs a new bestseller and outlawing new legal highs would do the same thing.
with our smoking ban and I believe we should also give leadership on this important issue”. On January 27, a public meeting on the issue was attended by over 140 people in Co Roscommon. At it, the Minister for Health, Mary Harney, was called upon to use emergency powers to bring what had been described as “an explosion” in the number of new head shops to an end. Despite the recession, the rise in the number of head shops opening in Ireland has not slowed down. There are currently twenty-four head shops operating in Dublin, Cork, Waterford, Dundalk, Galway and Mullingar.
that; ‘‘All association members subscribe to a code of conduct, whereby nobody who is intoxicated or less than eighteen years of age gets served. It’s a voluntary code, but we’d be happy for it to be made law.” He believes that banning legal drugs on sale in alternative lifestyle shops will only serve criminal drug dealers and push the market underground, Controversy was caused last year when the stimulant BZP, designed as a cattle dewormer, was being sold as an alternative to ecstasy. Harney then outlawed it in 2009. O’Connor said that last year’s ban on BZP gave drug gangs
a new bestseller and that outlawing new legal highs would do the same thing. Mephedrone, which is still legal in Ireland was banned in the UK on the December 23, 2009. It is a substance which is sold through head shops in Ireland as “bath salts” and is a substitute for cocaine. There are reports that some people are even injecting the salts. The Drug’s Minister expressed concern that Ireland might become a dumping ground for such drugs after the ban in the UK. The exploitation of a legal loophole made it possible to sell magic mushrooms in Ireland until December 2005, after death of thirty-three year old successful businessman, Colm Hodkinson in Dublin. However, owners of head shops state that there is little or no proof of these substances being harmful. They argue that this latest move is a good PR opportunity for the government. When a number of legal highs were banned in the UK in 2009, British satire site, “The Daily Mash” ran a column entitled “Herbal highs will soon be as rare as heroin”. It continued; “History teaches us time and time again that banning drugs is a completely marvellous idea. After heroin was banned in 1924, use of the drug immediately ceased
and there have been only three documented cases of heroin abuse in the last 85 years.” The absurdity of the ban is plain to many. There is a blatant difference between the number of deaths caused by alcohol and smoking and the number of deaths caused by
legal highs in head shops. To many, alcohol and smoking are the real killers with many hundreds of lives destroyed annually by such substances. Owners of the head shops emphasise that the scaremongering from youth groups have left them feeling “well and truly shafted”.
However, with the sale of such drugs becoming increasingly limited and the lobbying of youth groups in Ireland becoming more passionate the inevitable fate of head shops seems sealed.
incoherent, disorganized and most regrettably defiant.” The President closed the speech with the statement; “We don’t quit. I don’t quit. Let’s seize this moment - to start anew, to carry the dream forward and to strengthen our union once more.” However with more and more pressure being placed on the Obama administration, it remains to be seen whether the President can live up to his campaign promises and navigate the USA through what promises to be a difficult year.
Catherine Alice Nicholas
Feelings remain mixed as Obama gives his first ‘State of the Union’ address Colin McGrane examines Barack Obama’s recent nationwide address and America’s feelings of the Obama Administration one year on.
n January 27th 2010, US President Barack Obama stood before a joint session of Congress in Washington DC to make his first State of the Union Address. After what has been a particularly difficult first year in office for Barack Obama, many US citizens were expecting not only an outline of what the future may bring for the USA, but also an explanation as to why for many people, Obama’s promise of change has yet to come to fruition. In his speech, President Obama acknowledged that the change which he had promised for America had simply not come quickly enough, but he vowed that in the coming year, this situation was set to change. Foremost on the president’s agenda was the issue of job creation. With unemployment rates in the USA soaring
to record highs, Obama was quoted as stating that; “People are out of work. They are hurting. They need
When I ran for president, I promised I wouldn’t just do what was popular - I would do what was necessary.
Barack Obama, justifying decisions he has made since taking office.
our help... Jobs must be our number one focus in 2010”. While this may have garnered favour with the American public, the president was forced to defend many of the decisions which he had undertaken during the past year, most notably, defending the controversial ‘Troubled Assets Relief Programme’, a bank bail-out scheme which president Obama identified as being completely necessary in order to save the US economy. The President justified making unpopular decisions by stating that; “When I ran for president, I promised I wouldn’t just do what was popular - I would do what was necessary.” The speech also marked the president’s announcement that from 2011, government spending would be frozen for three years in order to remedy the budget deficit. On a military front, Obama
Barack Obama delivering his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress last month. said that the war in Iraq was ending and that all the American troops would be coming home. In relation to Afghanistan, he stated that with US assistance, power would be handed over to the people of Afghanistan from 2011 onwards. One of the most notable elements of the address was Mr. Obama’s announcement that he would tackle the controversial ‘don’t ask, don’t tell policy’ which bans openly gay, lesbian and bisexual individuals from serving in the US army. Mr. Obama also discussed his ambitions to tackle global warming by giving rebates to
Americans who have made their homes more energy friendly. The president also spoke of increased investment in order to advance the production and performance of biofuels and ‘clean-coal’ technologies. Healthcare was also a key element of the address, with Mr. Obama defending controversial healthcare reforms and apologizing for not explaining the situation clearly enough. A new scheme, spearheaded by First Lady Michelle Obama, to tackle childhood obesity was also announced. Despite the moderately positive (if not sober) tone of
the address, reaction to the speech in the United States has been mixed, with many people arguing that it sounded more like a campaign speech as opposed to a State of the Union Address. Nevertheless, US media reaction to the speech has been mainly positive, with newspapers such as The New York Times praising the President’s ability to bring a poignant and personal touch to many of the problems facing the United States. Other journalists were less impressed with Mr. Obama’s efforts, with Fox’s Kevin McCullogh describing the speech as “messy,
Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell gave the Republican response to Obama’s address.
The University Times | Wednesday, February 10th
T2: Nearly ready for take off Damien Joseph Carr takes a look at the near-complete Terminal 2 in Dublin Airport.
ublin Airport’s second terminal is finally rounding the last corners of completion, even though its overall design lacks corners altogether. The airport developed much faster than was first anticipated and is expected to be fully operational by November of this year. Terminal 2 is more a work of art than an airport terminal. Designed by Pascall & Watson Architects, the building itself is a three story cylindrical complex with what will be the new airport access road running straight through the centre of the 70,000 sq. metre complex, 9,000 sq. metres of which will be retail. According to the official DAA website the new terminal “will create a bright airy space for passengers that is calm and relaxing” through the use of natural light and open spaces. The DAA will do all they can to make sure that the new terminal lives up to what they said it would, but with a Celtic Tiger price tag and no more Celtic Tiger economy, this could prove difficult. The entire project is
Treatment of rape victim sparks outrage A shocking rape case in Bangladesh has sparked outrage amongst the Human and Women’s Rights community, writes Rónán Burtenshaw. On January 17th, 2010, the region of Brahmanbaria in Bangladesh shot to international attention. The region, with a relatively poor population of just over two million, sparked outrage internationally because of the treatment of a sixteen-year-old local rape victim at the hands of her town elders. In April of 2009, the girl, whose name has been concealed for her safety, was raped by a local 20-year-old man named Enamul Mia. According to Bangladesh’s Daily Star, which broke the story, Mia used to regularly stalk and tease the girl on her way home from school. Fearing the consequences of speaking out, the girl kept the rape a secret. Her silence was broken when, seven months later, a medical test showed her to be pregnant and caused her marriage to another local man to be annulled. Following her divorce and the abortion of the baby, the girl returned to her father’s house. A group of local elders, however, decreed that her family was to be isolated and punished. The leader of this group was named Manik Mia and is widely reported to have been related to the victim’s rapist. The date of January 17th was set for a castigation meeting in the yard of
the family. The punishment consisted of one hundred and one lashes with a form of whip and lasted for a number of hours. According to an eye-witness report, the young girl “collapsed and fainted” at one stage during the ordeal, only regaining consciousness after two hours. Ten or more men had played “key roles” in the beating. The father of the family received a fine in addition to his daughter’s brutal and ruthless discipline. Remarkably, the rapist in the case, a man more than four years older than the victim, remains unpunished. The village elders who carried out the retribution, which has been described as “torture” in Bangladesh and “wicked” by international Human Rights groups, say that were following religious edicts and did not call upon the man because he lived in a neighbouring village at the time. At the time of writing, Human Rights groups in Bangladesh itself are working with the girl’s family to bring both those who remorselessly beat her and the rapist himself to justice. The local police chiefs have said that if a charge is brought by the family, it will be investigated.
The Brahmanbaria region of Bangladesh, where the case took place. This, however, would be unusual practice for a region that increasingly sees the law taken into people’s own hands. The specific religious edict referred to by the head of the local elder group is often referred to as the “101 lashes fatwa”. It is a widely disputed piece of religious doctrine but has been used in a similar way to punish rape victims in other Muslim countries, most notably in a recent case in Saudi Arabia. In that instance a Filipino woman, dubbed Camille by the media, was raped by a Saudi co-worker. Subsequent to the rape she also remained silent for fear of punishment until a doctor later discovered
that she was pregnant. Following this discovery, she was jailed and lashed, suffering a miscarriage due to the harsh prison conditions. Saudi Arabia drew censure for the incident, which critics said showed the lack of distinction made between sex and rape outside of wedlock and a draconian interpretation of Islamic Sharia Law. Perhaps the most fitting way to conclude is by quoting the 16-year-old Bangladeshi girl victim. She is said to have uttered these words after her beating, “Enamul has ruined my life, I want justice.” Rónán Burtenshaw
costing €609 million with €395 million of that being spent on the terminal itself, €100 million of which is going towards internal fit-out alone. The terminal has fiftyeight new check-in desks as well as facilities for self service check-in, online checkin, baggage drops along with nineteen new aircraft stands. T2 will also avail of the US preclearance system which,
At the time the project began it was believed that the airport would reach 30 million passengers by 2020. Obviously the current economic crisis was not anticipated. T2 will be used for all long-haul flights and was specifically designed for transatlantic routes. Ryanair has from the very start rejected the need for T2. Controversy ensued
There will no doubt be more controversy over T2 in the coming months. If nothing else it will represent the Celtic Tiger era of prosperity.
it is hoped, will make it an even more attractive airport to international customers. The only other airport in Europe at present with this facility is Shannon. The government first directed the DAA to make plans for T2 in 2005 after record breaking numbers using Dublin airport in 2004, at over 17 million passengers.
when it advocated a smaller €250 million terminal which meant that passengers would be charged less. It has, along with many other European airlines, said that it will not be using the new terminal which the DAA is having serious problems trying to fill. Currently only three out of the airport’s six transatlantic operators have signed up
to T2, including American Airlines, Continental and Aer Lingus with Delta, US Airways and Air Canada as of yet undecided. The DAA is under severe pressure now to move more airlines in before it opens in ten months time. With passenger numbers at the airport having dropped an expected 11% in 2009 it is safe to say that it will be quite a while before T2 reaches maximum capacity. There will no doubt be more controversy over T2 in the coming months. If nothing else it will represent the Celtic Tiger era of prosperity. T2 was designed by the very company who designed the Sydney Opera House and who knows, maybe it will be seen as a new symbol of Ireland, just as the Opera House is to Australia. Only time will tell whether it will show the world that Ireland is back and ready for business – or serve as a glaring reminder of another way which money was squandered. Damien Joseph Carr
Wednesday, February 10th | The University Times
Death of notorious war criminal Chemical Ali
Sarah-Kate Geraghty looks back at the life of the recently executed Iraqi war criminal Ali Hassan al-Mujid.
The modest dustpan She’s dressed in blue and she’s using a flyer to sweep up our crumbs. Sometimes when I sit on the couch in the Arts Block I raise my feet so she can navigate the area below with her dustpan. At 5 o’clock every day she shuts off the downstairs area after she has called out ‘closing’. We eat, she sweeps and we leave. I learn her name when I go to the toilet: she cleaned here at 2.15 and replenished supplies. After her came Marina, and then Anne. Then it’s term’s end and the secretary nods, bemused when I ask whether I may borrow the stapler to bind an essay that’s due in 5 minutes. The following term I am scolded by the librarian as I flash with inappropriate confidence a student travel card in the hope that one piece of plastic is as good as another. I sign sheepishly for a reader’s pass at the Berkeley entrance and glide with new legitimacy through its turnstile. Trinity College: the world’s 43rd University and like Harvard (the world’s first) – a web of toilet roll and paper clips. Sometimes its tiny human threads glisten and brighten up my day. In a moment of behind–the-counter banter the librarians cite intoxication as accounting for their colleague’s fatigue. The Duty Librarian and I unravel reels of microfilm only to find it’s upside down. That welcoming smile when you’ve braved the underground passage and lurching lift to arrive safely at Early Printed Books. More than once, I have sat in a tutorial given by an expectant father twitching on his seat in the knowledge that his wife could go into labour at any time. One afternoon a secretary told me about her life and I learnt more from her than from a term of study. Sometimes in my Arts and Humanities indiscipline I yearn for the insights of science and the dignity of its heavy hours and empirical method. I think of all the societies I never joined and of all the people I never met: those that I may meet again and those that I probably won’t. I think that time – the weeks – are running out. Sylvia Plath found there wasn’t space for a toothbrush in poetry. I am finding more and more that in academia there is not only room but need for it, along with the modest dustpan, the loose staple and the power of an anecdote. It is magnificent to gaze as a web spins itself but there is something beautifully humbling in becoming entangled in it: the ordinary within the extraordinary. Kate Ferguson
li Hassan al–Mujid, nicknamed Chemical Ali for ordering gas attacks on the Kurds during the 1980-1988 Iraq-Iran war, was hanged on the 25th January 2010. Following a lengthy trial he was sentenced to death four times for genocide and crimes against humanity. A paternal cousin of former President of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, Chemical Ali rose to power with fellow Ba’athist party members in the 1970s, becoming an aide to Iraqi Defence Minister, Hammadi Shihab. When Hussein became President in 1979, Al-Mujid became one of his closest military advisors and head of the Mukhabarat – the Iraqi secret police and the Intelligence Service. Al-Mujid is quoted as saying to Hussein when denouncing traitors; “What you have done in the past is good. What you will do in the future is good. But there is one small point. You have been too gentle, too merciful.” In 1983, Al-Mujid directed a punishment operation in Dujail, north of Baghdad, in which hundreds of local men were executed, thousands deported and the town destroyed, following an assassination attempt on Hussein’s life. He served as SecretaryGeneral of the Northern Bureau of the Ba’ath Party between March 1987 and April 1989. In command of all state agencies in the
predominantly Kurdish North of the country, he became known for his ruthlessness. His indiscriminate use of chemical weapons, such as mustard gas, sarin, tabun and VX, gave rise to the name Chemical Ali, of which he was known to have openly boasted about. Others however, called him the “Butcher of Kurdistan”. The Anfal campaign,
Al-Mujid’s indiscriminate use of chemical weapons, such as mustard gas, sarin, tabun and VX, gave rise to the name Chemical Ali. which took place during the Iran-Iraq War – an ethnic cleansing campaign against the Kurdish population in Iraq - culminated in the notorious Halabja attacks in 1988, where over 5,000 people were killed. The brutal Halabja attacks was examined as part of his trial.
Forces commanded by AlMujid embarked on a systematic campaign of death and destruction in his bid to crush the rebellious Kurdish population. A decree signed in 1987 stated; “Within their jurisdiction, the armed forces must kill any human being or animal present in these areas”. By 1988 some 1.5 million Kurds had been deported, 4,000 villages destroyed and 180,000 people killed. Following the end of the conflict, al-Mujid was appointed Minister of Local Government with control over all of the region. He oversaw the settlement of Arabs relocated from other areas of Iraq. Following the invasion of Kuwait in August 1990, he began a brutal campaign under which Kuwait was systematically looted, and purged of all “disloyal elements”. AlMujid was appointed Interior Minister of Iraq in March 1991. He oversaw the quelling of uprisings in the Shi’ite North and South of the country following the Iraqi defeat in the First Gulf War where once again many thousands were killed. After falling from grace as Minister for Defence in 1995 for illegally smuggling grain, he was recalled in 1998 as commander of the southern region of Iraq. Immediately before the Second Iraq War, al-Mujid was recalled as Minister of Defence. Based in Basra, he was mistakenly reported to have died in a bomb attack in April 2003.
Captured by US forces on the 17th August 2003, he was the fifth most wanted man in Iraq, shown as the “King of Spades” on the notorious “most-wanted” Iraqi playing cards. His trial began on 21st August 2006 but difficulty arose when he refused to lodge an appeal. Throughout the trial AlMujid remained unapologetic, stating that he ordered the destruction of villages because they were full of “Iranian agents”. He openly admitted at one hearing that he had given the order to demolish the villages and relocate the villagers. He stated; “I am not defending myself. I am not apologising. I did not make a mistake.” Evidence of a conversation between Al-Mujid and senior Ba’ath officials, which was recorded on tape, detailed his plans for chemical attacks lasting fifteen days. Villagers would be told to leave or they would be attacked viciously with chemical warfare. In subsequent tapes he promised not to leave anyone who spoke Kurdish alive. In his defence al-Mujid stated that all reference to “deport them” or “wipe them out” was for psychological effect rather than an actual physical threat. He was found guilty in June 2007 but sentencing was postponed because the Iraqi president refused to sign the execution orders. In February 2008, al-Mujid’s execution was finally approved by the two Vice–Presidents
Al-Mujid at an investigative hearing shortly after his capture. and the Talabani. In December 2008, he was once again sentenced to death, this time for the role he played in the massacre of between 20,000 and 100,000 Shia Muslims, following the First Gulf War in 1991. Sentenced to death for the third time in March 2009 for the assassination of Grand–Ayatollah Mohammad al–Sadr in 1991, the Iraqi cabinet began to put more pressure on the Presidential Council for his execution to take place. On the 17th January 2010 al-Mujid was issued with a further death penalty for his acts of genocide against the Kurds between in the 1980s. News of the execution was greeted with a mixed reaction among the Iraqi people. Any jubilation on the part of
the people of Halabja is indicative of the deep-rooted hatred that remains amongst the Iraqi people for the former regime. Old wounds remain raw. A BBC correspondent noted that the general reaction appears to be one of quiet relief amongst the Shia and Kurdish communities which suffered most at his hands. Families of those killed in Halabja expressed the opinion that they were pleased to hear that he had been executed. News of the hanging broke shortly after three suicide bomb attacks in central Baghdad. It is, as yet, unclear whether the attacks are linked to his execution. Sarah-Kate Geraghty
Why Facebook is ruining my degree (and why I’m letting it) Colin McGrane weighs up the pros and cons of the ubiquitous social networking tool and its ability to distract from nearly anything. 17 people like this.
o we all know how it goes: you go to the library with the serious intention of doing proper, legitimate work, you find yourself a nice little nook, get comfy and you lay out your array of books, notepads and your laptop (and in my case, a token selection of rainbow coloured highlighters). After 15 minutes of awkwardly rooting around for a free power outlet and making too much noise zipping and unzipping your bag, you’re ready to go. Studying will, nay, must happen! However despite all your best intentions, you ultimately end up surrendering another 20 minutes of your life (and precious essay writing time) to the techno-evil of Facebook. It all seems innocent and innocuous at first, you do the odd quiz here, reply to a comment there and inadvertently ‘like’ a status everywhere, but all too soon what started out as a simple foray into your social life has become a full blown procrastination-fest which will ultimately end up with you waking from your ‘Facebook dream world’ with the realisation that you have been sitting in the same spot for three hours and the only thing you have learned is which Beyonce song represents your life (it was ‘Crazy in Love’ in case you were wondering.) And it’s only going to get worse, because once Facebook has you in its clutches, you might as well chuck that
Sociology essay (and let’s face it, entire degree) into the bin, as an endless list of ridiculous quizzes, activities and opportunities to “reconnect” with those you have lost touch with is there to keep you entertained (although in most cases, two minutes on Facebook chat is usually enough to remind you why you lost touch with them in the first place.)
for me, is the ease with which you can become a sort of bizarre “technosocial butterfly”. One minute you will be commenting on those lovely/ scandalous photos of you at Spy the previous night, the next you’re having playful conversations with the guy/ girl who you fancy/hate/love via the medium of Facebook chat! Bliss!
So, what keeps us updating, commenting and liking when we should really be doing something more important? The answer (for me anyway) is that as university students, we are simply made for procrastination. The art of avoiding work has taken a great many forms over the years, but only now has Facebook blended procrastination and social activities into one easy to manage (well kind of...) website. What makes Facebook so attractive
But alas, this social and technological marvel does come at a cost. With internet access now easier to find than ever before, it’s only a matter of time before our grades begin to suffer with all this distraction just a few clicks away. Even more upsetting is how all my computer related activities will now ultimately meander down a road which will ultimately lead to at least 15 minutes of obsessively checking comments, responding to invitations or
just generally doing a little “Facebook housekeeping”. Many times (usually after one of my totally unproductive 2 hour library sessions) I have decided once and for all to cancel my evil, degree hating Facebook account but I have always been stopped by the thought of how much Facebook has actually helped with my degree! The times which I have used Facebook to find out the venue or time of a lecture, or get some opinions on an essay question are countless. The idea that Facebook is distracting us from our college work is somewhat ironic, given that its founder Mark Zuckerberg originally set up the website as a “Harvard thing” and even the websites prototype was created in Zuckerberg’s dorm room. We might as well face it, Facebook may not be here to stay (anyone remember Bebo?) but social networking most probably is. Thus, I am probably better off trying to find a way to control my Facebook addiction, or perhaps start a new social networking site, one which is so bland and utilitarian that I shall run to the library in an effort to find a book to procrastinate over when I should be replying to comments – ah yes, that will always be the dream. Colin McGrane
Students are not the only ones distracted by Facebook.
The University Times | Wednesday, February 10th
How “Corporate Communism” is ruining the United States
Have you heard of the iPad?
Believe it or not, but our favourite company named after our favourite fruit has launched its latest product the “iPad”. It is a revolutionary product with a 9.7 inch LED backlit IPS (in plane switching) display and a large multi-touch screen apparently perfect for browsing the web, email, photos, and approximately 140,000 applications which can be obtained from the application store on the device itself. You can hold the iPad at any angle as it has the ability like some of the touch screen phones to show its content in a portrait or landscape orientation. So far it probably seems like I’m getting paid to endorse the product, but actually I myself had very little idea about what the iPad really does, in simple terms it is a notepad that has the ability to go online and thus do whatever one does online. I actually had to go to the Apple website to acquire this exclusive information. The amazing thing about this “iPad” is that it only weighs 1.5 pounds and is a mere 0.5 inches thick. Which is great for all of us who get the courage, every morning to pick up three pound MacBook Airs. I mean seriously the iPad weighs even less than the last lightest notebook, I’m sure by the end of next year there will be another genius invention out called the “I can’t see you”. It will most likely be so light, that we won’t be able to see it through our naked eye, hence as the name suggests, the “I can’t see you”. The biggest difference however is that, its storage capacity is like that of the iPod Touch starting from 16 GB and going up to 64 GB, whereas our Mac Airs have a decent storage capacity of at least a 128 GB hard drive. Actually the real deal is that the MacBook Air is a proper laptop and the iPad is not, in terms of memory, battery life and connectivity. But when promoting the iPad, its lightness in comparison to the Macs or any other light laptop, is made its USP-unique selling point. In spite of all of this the main point of discussion is not the product or its features but its rather controversial name the, I “pad”. The gadget has already become a huge success as a great joke for all those “funny people” out there. Within 24 hours of its launch the internet has already made comments on Twitter, videos on YouTube stating “Hitler’s” response to the iPad and how he has been dreaming of the day Apple’s tablet will be announced, taken from the film Downfall. Of course there were many other not so pleasant videos related to the iPad which I have no intention of mentioning to you, they’re all on YouTube if you’re really that curious or bothered. On a more mature note, Apple has recently become more and more innovative and sharp about its products, their designs, marketing strategies and the markets in which they sells these products. Aiming to compete with computer giant Sony is not something that companies like Apple do,
n the midst of the turmoil in the US in the past year or so over first the banking system and then the health care debate, a new and highly provocative theory has developed which questions the state of the US’s capitalist system and democratic politics. “Corporate Communism” a term coined by Dylan Ratigan, an Irish-American former Bloomberg News and CNBC anchor now working for MSNBC, claims that the influence of big business in America is both diluting their democracy and subverting the nature of capitalism in the country. The theory contends that big business in the United States is in effect buying influence in Congress and using that influence to avoid having to truly compete in the capitalist market. Ratigan’s recent pronouncement on US early morning television that “capitalism is broken” led to a furore in the highly sensationalist US media, but the first part of his theory appears well founded. The most recent and prescient study on the topic of big business and the money which they have contributed to politicians in Congress produces staggering findings. The report, indicatively titled “Five Committees, Three Votes: Advancing Health Care Reform Through the Swamp of $187 Million in Interested Political Money”, was carried out by the Public Campaign Action Fund, a group who supports the public funding of US political campaigns. The report looked at the committees of both the US Senate and House of Representatives who put together legislation on the health care topic. In each of those cases the report found that members on committees that voted against health care reform, which is opposed by the health insurance industry, received on average $353,105 more than those who did not, a 65% swing. It also found that amongst Democrats, those who have
come out in opposition to health care reform receive significantly more than those who don’t and that the 82 members who sat on the committees concerned with health care received a whopping $100 million dollars in total during their careers from the health insurance industry. While many in America have raised the ‘chicken and egg’ question, namely are these members of Congress getting the money because they are more inclined to vote that way anyway, or did they start adjusting their voting patterns after receiving money, it seems clear that this is at least a giant conflict of interest. When the graph shown is considered, however, the democratic nature of American politics seems to come into question entirely. FiveThirtyEight.com, an American political action site run by Nate Silver of 270toWin.com fame, produced a graph illustrating just how little ideology seems to matter when money mixes with politics.
Former Goldman Sachs CEO and former US Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson Ratigan’s question here is quite simple, how can you have a democracy “of the people” when the public representatives are, for all intents and purposes, being bribed openly? It
Are these members of Congress getting the money because they are more inclined to vote that way anyway, or did they start adjusting their voting patterns after receiving money?
Silver focuses on the public option, a plan to create a “Medicare-like” public insurance company to compete with the health insurance giants. By separating the politicians into first Democrats and Republicans, with the latter likely ideologically to vote against, and then into “liberal” and “centrist” Democrats, with the latter again being more likely to vote nay, Silver illustrates, through looking at a politician’s publicly stated position, how money talks.
seems that what he is really saying is that just because a country has elections does not mean that it is democratic. But to what extent is he right on the second part of his theory? Have big business interests in America been able to use the government to subvert the capitalist system and fix it in their favour? Well, evidence appears to show that they have been able to do this. Even looking at the two most recent issues that have clearly involved big business, the banking crisis and health care debate, the effect of big business on American politics has been unmistakable. Various articles on OpenSecrets.org, a site investigating corporate power in US politics, since its inception have detailed how large corporations have used influence, and dollars, to slant the playing field in their favour with restrictions on competition and tax loopholes written into legislation that favour the biggest contributors. This is especially true in health care, where state politicians who have enacted legislation to limit the sphere of competition in health care have seen their campaign chests bulge with health insurance industry donations. In banking, the effect tends to be on key appointments and on decisions made by those appointments. Goldman Sachs has had a famous level of influence on American politics since the Clinton era. Their influence in the Bush and Obama administrations has led to clear advantages as well. George W. Bush’s Treasury
Secretary, the US government’s most powerful financial position, was Hank Paulson, former Goldman CEO. Under Paulson, Wall Street’s catastrophe began and while AIG, who owed Goldman billions of dollars, was rescued, two of Goldman’s biggest competitors, Bear Stearns and Lehman Bros., were allowed to collapse. The Troubled Assets Relief Fund (TARP) was established under Paulson to combat the effects of the crisis and it too was headed up by a former Goldman employee. When Paulson was replaced, under Obama, by Tim Geithner, not only did his logs reveal that he called Goldman more than any other financial firm when they were recently released, but he chose a former lobbyist from Goldman Sachs as his Chief of Staff. President Obama then also picked a former Goldman employee to head up the important Commodities Future Trading Commission, while the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)’s new “top cop” for Wall Street is another former Goldman employee. All of this while Goldman have expanded their domination of the market and turned a $70 billion taxpayer contribution into a $3 billion quarterly profit today. While the “Corporate Communism” tag may never fully catch on, the theory behind it seems sound. It more than questions the verity of the United States’ claim to be the home of democracy and capitalism. For a country that highly values marketability, its two supposedly most marketable qualities appear under grave danger. While the nature of capitalism makes it inevitable that corporations will try and devour their competition, the checks and balances applied under a democratic system are supposed to protect against it. These giant corporations may have been created and made prosperous in the past by capitalism, but their oedipal desire to destroy it and ability to subvert it is corrupting and seriously weakening America. Land of the fixed, home of the bribed?
The iPad only weighs 1.5 pounds, which is great for all of us who get the courage every morning to pick up our three pound MacBook Airs.
on the other hand they really have no other option, as they continue to sweep up markets like those in China where the Apple iPod has managed to create a solid position as a brand in the country. This has mainly happened because Sony regarded the country as only a manufacturing base whereas China has become the biggest and most lucrative electronic and information product market around the world. Hence over the last few years the company has been losing ground in China while its rivals like Apple have been playing catch up by showing more interest in the IT industry of China. Then again Sony was quick to realise its current position was decreasing in the biggest markets so it now has started to develop digital music players under its own label and has priced them far lower than the iPods. To be more precise, Sony launched their six newest MP3 players just a few hours after Apple unveiled their iPod Nano. Therefore it is still quite difficult to say whether which company is better at playing the market game but it is obvious that, the minute Apple launches any new product Sony also has one ready to unveil right after them, the MP3 players and the new Vaio X series notebooks which are impossibly thin, are just a few examples of Sony being clearly ready to compete head on with Apple. In my very honest opinion, the iPad will be a great sensation for all Apple loving people in this world but for me right now, I’m OK with my iPod Touch and Vaio laptop, I can’t help but be diplomatic. It still isn’t available yet for sale but there is a “notify me” section on their site that will let you know when and where it will be made obtainable. My task currently is to find out what Sony comes up with next to get Apple back to their drawing boards.
Rónán Burtenshaw Sahreen Qureshi
In defence of a student run bookshop J
onathan Wyse cuts a familiar presence around College; his profile stalks these pages too, with his regular applications of stolid if steadfast neoliberal fiscal ideology to a variety of issues. While the targets of Wyse’s differ greatly from each other, the frame he forces each one into, remains the same. This is a humble response to that article from the Students’ Union (SU) Bookshop. His modest proposal was of course the privatisation of the current Students’ Union Bookshop (Wyse’s sinister Americanism, ‘bookstore’, pays salute to his imported American solution). As often with very theoretical people, Wyse’s grand idea is risibly impractical, as well as repugnant to the student-centred practices and ideals of the SU. The College Board, which kindly gives space to the SU, does so to promote a sense of community within Trinity’s walls. Ann Summers is as likely to open in House 6 as a private enterprise bookshop. We should be proud that College
does not allow the community spirit to disintegrate as Wyse wishes and we fully support calls to set up a student-run luxury lingerie boutique. As it is, the co-operative structure of the bookshop embodies the ‘By Students, For Students’ approach imperative indeed in times of recession and cutback: a privatised bookshop would neglect smaller subjects, squeezing out Ancient Greek or Theoretical Physics or Linguistics, and only supplying the needs of big, immediately profitable courses like Bess. The Bookshop Co-op tries to supply all needs to the best of its ability. Greek and Bess and all the others are looked after, and rightly so because the SU belongs equally to all students. Given the physical restrictions of the premises, a privatised bookshop would be like Read’s of Nassau Street, selling only Bess best-sellers. Discount course texts for all! Wyse does a fine line in wild and unsubstantiated allegations, showing, perhaps, that he learned more than brutal
economics from his time as an intern at neoconservative think tank in America. The Bookshop Co-op is not “a cabal of racketeering students that [sic] exploit [sic] their [sic] privileged position by celebrating significant events in the Trocadéro”, nor is Barack Hussein Obama an Al-Qaeda terrorist. We will focus on the first allegation, the Charvet-etchampagne lifestyle Co-op members apparently live at the SU’s expense. Bloodhound Wyse sniffed out this story at the Piranha Christmas party; unfortunately all the free alcohol must have gone to his head and in his haste to accuse all around him of embezzlement, he absolutely misunderstood the situation. Like most workplaces, the Bookshop has a Christmas party, with a budget for food. This money went towards a meal in the Trocadéro, with the outstanding balance paid by the individual members. The “annual pilgrimage” to London is another of the by now thoroughly sodden Wyse’s targets. This book-buying
The College Board, which kindly gives space to the SU, does so to promote a sense of community within Trinity’s walls. Ann Summers is as likely to open in House 6 as a private enterprise bookshop.
mission is a simple affair: London bookshops and warehouses give us very generous discounts when we bulk buy their stock. So, it is economic to source many of our texts in London and still sell them to students at lower rates than comparable second-hand bookshops, like Chapters. We receive modest expenses for this trip which is, of course, enjoyable, but we do not reside in luxury and are not paid wages. The trip is not paid for by the SU, it is paid for by the Bookshop. Like his neo-con mentors, Wyse is at his happiest when contemplating the poor, from a distance. Bookshops, he decides, are not for the poor, books are a luxury. They may go to the Library (which, not being run ‘By Students, For Students’ has reduced its service and access to books for students). Only a fantasist would claim the Bookshop is a substitute for Trinity’s copyright library. We are a supplemental service, a successful one, which turns a profit for the Students’ Union while meeting the academic and leisure-reading
needs of thousands of students at agreeable prices – a maximum of 60% of the recommended retail price. Indeed, as we buy most of our course texts directly from the student body – at a much higher price than most second hand shops – Trinity students enjoy a double benefit in buying from and selling to the SU Bookshop. Every business has difficult customers. Perhaps it is inevitable that, in a university, some of these difficult customers should become overheated with the fervour of the free market theory they have just discovered in a book’s introduction, or ‘Heartless liberalism for Dummies’ (the Bookshop, incidentally, does not neglect right wing economics). Flattered certainly by the interest Wyse shows in us, we wish him the speediest of recoveries from this latest infatuation. In the interests of the next news cycle, this is our last word on the matter. Padraic Lamb
Wednesday, February 10th | The University Times
Legal Highs are bad for your health
to the Editor
Letters should be mailed to ‘The Editor, The University Times, 6 Trinity College’ or sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org We cannot guarantee that all letters will be published. Letters may be edited for length and/or style.
Health hazards in Arts Building Dear Sir, I was assigned Room 3070 for a Romance Seminar at 10.00 today. It is a small, disgusting room, without natural lighting or fresh air. Given the number of students using the room it must constitute a health hazard, quite apart from the expenditure on electricity required by its use. I have protested about this situation (and there are many other unsuitable rooms used by the secretaries and students in the Arts Building) over many years, but they have been entirely ignored. There is no point in putting up notices about influenza when such little care is taken over the health of people using the Arts Building on a daily basis. Very best wishes, Gerald Morgan, FTCD (1993-2002)
There’s no substitute for content Dear Sir, The renewal of The Record is most certainly to be welcomed. It is without doubt that The University Times is a much more pleasant read than The Record ever was. A new name, better quality paper and broadsheet format, however, are not substitutes for content. Perusing the last edition of the paper (20th January 2010), I found it hard not to be dismayed by the nauseating familiarity and poor style of Cónán Ó Broin’s diluted analysis of the current economic woes faced by this country. In addition, the library sit-in of 28th November 2009 can hardly be deemed newsworthy for an edition of the paper published almost two months later. Furthermore, I do hope Sarah Walker’s nonchalant criticism of the Sunday Independent magazine, Life, was intended with the utmost irony. The journalism to which she refers doesn’t quite stoop to the literary incompetence of a Dan Brown novel so effortlessly exhibited by this publication. Yours etc., Shane Quinn, SS Law and French P.S. May your writers’ long and arduous struggle with grammar continue. Sinead Mercier, Illustrator
Changes to election rules Current Events: Legal Highs Dear Sir, I am writing to you with reference to changes made to the rules for candidates running in the Students’ Union elections. While I would have in the past brought these concerns directly to the Education Officer, this year I feel, given the difference in height between myself and current officer Ashley Cooke, a letter in this publication would prove a more convenient medium. One of the changes to these rules, defined in Schedule 3 of the Students’ Union constitution (which was passed by Council almost without their knowledge as it was presented as an ‘Item for Noting’ and was not actually spoken about at that particular meeting), prevents candidates from being ‘sponsored’ in the form of their materials being displayed in off-campus locations such as a night club or newsagents. In past years enterprising candidates have used their connections with various establishments frequented by students, such as Tripod or Spars and Centras close-by to campus, to advertise their campaign. For three Wednesdays in a row last year you could enter Heat @ Tripod and see three screens with the projected image of current Ents Officer Mick Birmingham as he was running for office (the third Wednesday was a week after he’d won, but they forgot to take him down). The ability to advertise yourself in these creative ways helps to show an important aspect of the candidates, an especially important aspect in the race for the Ents Office. To remove the candidates right to do this in the name of ‘fairness’ is nothing more than blatant communism. (They don’t call him Ashley the Red due to a carpet-drapes mismatch.) Of course, one would hope that enterprising candidates with the ability to advertise themselves in such ways would simply flaunt the rules laid down by the Electoral Commission and take the simple ‘fine’ if caught, but this bring me on to another rule change I take issue with. New rules allowing the EC to confiscate election materials, such as posters, t-shirts and manifestos, from candidates in response to them breaking the rules is tantamount to theft. The candidates have paid for these materials out of their own pockets. They are the property of these candidates. If Mr. Cooke and his gaggle of Electoral Commissioners think they can steal from students, they’ve got another thing coming. They are essentially punishing students who break the “laws of elections” by breaking the law of the land. Hence, I put forth my final argument in this rambling letter: Ashley Cooke and all members of the Electoral Commission should be arrested immediately. For the safety of the twelve candidates in this election (ten and half of which are serious) we must stop the Red Menance and his gang of t-shirt thieves. I’ve personally explained to the officer stationed in Pearse Street Garda Station nearly a half dozen times over the last week and have been ignored each and every time. I will be making a citizen’s arrest of Cooke and the EC this Wednesday afternoon. If you support me, or simply support your own freedom, I’ll see you on the ramp of House 6 at midday. Yours etc., Conor Smith, B.A. (Mod.), M.Sc.
Closing head shops is an attack on our personal freedom T
he recent media furore towards so called head shops typifies an irrational response to drug policy in Ireland. The media has hyped the story of head shops on the predicate that what they sell is immoral and dangerous per se. While they have made little or in some cases no attempt to present any of the counter arguments. Any move that tends to limit what is sold in the head shops perpetuates the conventional ‘wisdom’ that the State’s function is to regulate the personal decisions made by those that wish to take chemicals to induce mind altering experiences. That is the unalterable fact of our drug policy. However, under examination one can see how hypocritical the policy is considering the ubiquity of alcohol. I am stipulating that there may be negative health impact from the compounds sold by the head shops; there is no denying that and I for one am certainly not trying to. My principle position regards the premise that I am the master of myself therefore I claim the right of self-determination. If you accept the State’s authority to ban these goods solely on the stated aim of protecting you from yourself, then you declare yourself a slave. It is my right to choose how I wish to conduct my life and if I wish to take chemicals that are bad for my health but cause a feeling that I like then
what I have done is made a considered calculation of cost/benefit analysis and determined in my subjective view of the nature of what I want from my life that taking a drug is something I want to do then I should be free to do that. It is of little use for you to tell me that in your subjective outlook on life living the healthiest and long life is the best way to live a life. There is no objective definition of what is a good life and therefore it is morally pre-
tell them that we know what they want. The concept of human selfownership allows us the freedom of conscience on what we regard as best for ourselves as no other person will ever have as much esteem for your personal enjoyment of life as you will. We accept for what would seem historical reasons that alcohol and cigarettes are damaging for our health but are not banned but albeit they are massively regulated. But the
The late comedian Bill Hicks makes the point that if there is a war on drugs then the people on drugs are winning the war.
sumptive and condescending to impose your view onto me. Most people will look at a person’s decision to refuse medical treatment even though it may save their life and respect that decision, even if they disagree with it, as that person’s exercise of their bodily integrity. You may wish to live through the pain of cancer to live as long as possible and stay with friends and family for as long as you can however, another person may wish to refuse life preserving medication and die before pain taints his last few months of life. That person knows best what they want we do not dare
hypocrisy towards the value of these health-damaging chemicals relative to controlled substances is a very discriminating one. Particularly perpetuated by a complete unwillingness to engage in any debate that tries to dismiss myths that surround these drugs, defends a person’s informed right to choose, or acknowledges that prohibition not only makes the negative elements of drugs worse but turns the neutral or positive elements into negative ones. On that point we know what is sold in head shops is what it says it is and if it is not then we have a case for
argument. Not knowing what drug one is taking is a particularly sinister element of the illegal drugs market. There are lots of statistics about different compounds being sold are ecstasy and cocaine among others informed knowledge of what one is taking will necessarily make it safer. But also if they are synthesised in proper and clean laboratories by trained experts rather than idiots with a homemade chemist’s station and these proper labs will use measured and stated dosage then it is undeniably a more positive environment than what does and will go on when these chemicals are controlled and it is left to criminals to make and sell. The late comedian Bill Hicks makes the point that if there is a war on drugs then the people on drugs are winning the war. This funny observation is demonstrative of the reason why prohibition just will not work that is because there is always an appetite for drugs and those who want them resent the moral certitude that will not allow them to have it. By way of end, I am completely aware that there are other arguments posed for the banning of these stores and/or their products but I do not have enough ink here to address them all. Carl Doherty
The University Times | Wednesday, February 10th
The University Times That was rag week? T
hat was Rag week. We have just completed another seven days that we decided to call Rag week. Things were done that tried to make the week feel more like it was different to any other week but, try as we might Trinity will never be a place that takes to the concept of Rag week. In other universities and
colleges students will take the week off and engage in all sorts of mayhem whereas here a spree in College rooms would see you before the Junior Dean. There are a number of reasons why Rag week in Trinity will never be as big as we all hope that it will be. First, our location in the City is, for some reason, not conducive
to making Rag week work. There is also the fact that while it is a noble cause it is, if we are truthful, only going to be remarkable if it is exciting and fun and more than what it has been but, again this will not happen here in Trinity. We have tried so many times to invent the fun that we always hear about from our friends in Galway,
Limerick and elsewhere but there just does not seem to be the ability no matter how abled those that try invent it are. Insomuch as Trinity is the best university in the country on most every other gauge our Rag week does not even register on the bar that shows you were to start registering. That is the sad state
that is nobody’s fault and this paper does not intend to lay falut at anyone’s door. It is what it is and that is it. We therefore must become accustomed to not having it like they do in places where it is fun. We must come to expect not to be something that that we do not expect. Expect the expected.
Caesar’s The Price of a Life Israel’s Shame in Gaza stuff “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, to God the things that are God’s”. It is never easy to follow a biblical quote but this stating of the obvious did strike me. The change from a notoriously clerical country to one where it is practically forbidden to use the word “crib” in Christmas advertisements in just a few years is a rollercoaster generational ride. However, this change of attitudes towards faith from a too sociological to an “exclusively personal” approach might have its downsides – just think of the recent Knock “apparitions” or the international cells of unrepresentative “muslim” terrotist fanaticism. I am convinced that like the independence of powers within the state is healthy for its functioning so the independence of institutions within a nation is fundamental for its long term stability. Still, following the health imagery, there is no need for the political or social liver of Ireland to deny the existence of the religious kidney of Ireland or for this kidney to bypass law or consider itself to be a justified exception. They simply have to work together for a better Ireland. And maybe it is as true here as in America that “Before we can work on the problems, we have to fix our souls. Our souls are broken in this nation.” (Michelle Obama) Moreover, in a theocratic state like the Roman Empire’s Judea “to render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s” must have sounded at least uncomfortable to the politico religious leaders of the time, used to equate religious hopes with political victories. (Maybe that happened here as well?) However, for the Roman authorities trying to spread the cult of the Roman Emperor as a “living god” who you must adore, the other face of this coin sounded like defiance. In fact, atheism and superstition were some of the charges facing the first Christians for the next few centuries after this event, for refusing to adore the divine Roman Emperor. Here in Ireland it looks like blasphemy will be the charge if you use unparliamentary language like “G*d b**ss” or dare not use “Happy holidays!”... This mock tolerance by eliminating any expressions of religious belief or simple cultural difference from the public sphere should not replace an engaging debate of ideas and worldviews which has to be free as much from aseptic intolerant prejudice as from an “anything goes” mentality. I think college is the best place to learn how to do this. After all, the undergraduate experience is the perfect time to become anything we wish, to discuss anything we wish and to learn anything we wish, searching for the best version of ourselves without immediate career concerns. This is a privilege that is worth defending from obsessions about rankings or research or funding. As Allan Bloom, a Professor at the University of Chicago, described, a freshman “has four years of freedom to discover himself – a space between the intellectual wasteland he has left
behind and the inevitable dreary professional training that awaits him after the baccalaureate. In this short time he must learn that there is a great world beyond the little one he knows, experience the exhilaration of it and digest enough of it to sustain himself in the intellectual deserts he is destined to traverse. He must do this, if he is to have any hope of a higher life.” How to integrate this experience into modern, “bolognised” curricula? I do not know but as Junior Sophister in Trinity I certainly did not feel that in these last 3 years my class was given any decent opportunity to think outside the box but for the chance punctual insightful lecture. The broad curriculum program seems like an anorexic cousin of the Horizons program in UCD and except for some resilient societies the undergraduate experience in Trinity is fading away at a fast pace. Even the concept of a B.A. (Bachelor of Arts) is now merely theoretical; liberal education, an illusion. Maybe what is lacking is a unified university-wide course of general education for undergraduate’s not just “pick and mix” course requirements. Literature, philosophy, natural sciences should be, at a basic level, requirements for everyone whether you are studying Zoology or European Studies. The time to learn how to discuss the great questions in a meaningful way is now not later. The place will be nowhere else in Ireland if not in this college. A demand for a real quality education to individuals not to numbers in lecture halls lies more or less dormant in most students but is there and is expressed even in things like the recent Berkeley Library sit in. This shared desire to form ourselves in our wholeness and develop our real potential which college authorities seem to ignore should be answered somehow and soon. It is as much of fundamental justice to “render to Caesar’s the things that are Caesar’s” as to render to the students the things that should be ours – a proper preparation for a truly multicultural society, not an anti-cultural one. Andre Madaleno
Far removed from the headlinegrabbing recessionary gloom, a diplomatic storm is brewing in the corridors of power. A report published by Richard Goldstone, an internationally respected jurist has put Israel back in the spotlight. The report details Israel’s conduct in the Gaza strip during the short but bloody war that ensued last November, and it doesn’t make for pretty reading. The report concludes that Israel had “committed actions amounting to war crimes, possibly crimes against humanity.” The report further advises that Israel should be given six months to pursue a full and independent enquiry into what happened in Gaza, and if this is not done, the Report recommends that the case be referred to the International Criminal Court to investigate war crimes. Given the serious allegations this report makes and its potential consequences, it’s no surprise that Israel has moved quickly to defend itself. The Israeli’s argue they were acting in self defence and their offensive must be seen as a legitimate response against Hamas rocket attacks into Southern Israel. The American House of Representatives approved a motion condemning the report as “deeply flawed,” and yet it was approved at a general assembly of the UN. How are we to interpret and reconcile these conflicting views and motions from the International political community? A close analysis of the Goldstone report goes some way to explaining the natural political consequences that acceptance or rejection of this report entails. The Goldstone report highlights some serious questions about the ethics of the Israeli army during this war. It is forced to the conclusion that Israel’s offensive was a “deliberately disproportionate attack designed to punish, humiliate and terrorise a civil population.” There are disturbing accounts of Palestinians being used as human shields, civilians waving white flags being butchered down and indiscriminate bombing of civilian centres. The Goldstone report does not shy away from exposing Israel’s actions in Gaza, and reporting the uncomfortable facts. 5, 500 Gazans wounded, 1,300 dead, over half of them civilians. It’s estimated over 4,000 homes were destroyed, 21,000 badly damaged and over 100,000 people left homeless. When faced with the cold hard facts of their slaughter of the Gazan population, the Israeli government remain defiant. They assert that they have a duty to protect their people against rocket attacks from Hamas, however, even a cursory look at events leading up to ‘Operation Cast Lead’ raise serious question marks over this justification. In June 2008 Israel and Hamas agreed a ceasefire and rocket attacks into Israel fell from hundreds per month to single digits at the beginning of July. Evidently Hamas was striving for a peaceful way out of this conflict, the few rockets being fired coming from dissident elements. Israel concedes that before it broke the
ceasefire on November the 4th 2008, Hamas had not fired a single rocket and though they considered repeated Hamas offers to renew the ceasefire, it rejected them, preferring invasion. If Israel’s actions thus cannot be justified properly on the basis of protecting their citizens, are we left with the conclusion that Israel’s actions were a class of a ma-
It is forced to the conclusion that Israel’s offensive was a “deliberately disproportionate attack designed to punish, humiliate and terrorise a civil population.” cho-chauvinistic display of power? If for the moment, however, we accept Israel’s justification, the more morally pressing question arises, what price does Israel put on life? Israel inflicted vastly more civilian damage in three weeks than Hamas did in three years. Article 53 of the Additional Protocol
to the Geneva Convention states, “Civilians shall enjoy the protection afforded by this section, unless and for such time as they take a direct part in hostilities.” Evidently actions such as the bombing of a UN hospital prove that the Israeli army didn’t even pretend to pay lip service to this obligation, however, Professor Lubin of Georgetown University uses this to question the value Israel places on a human life. To do this, he considers the killing of Nazar Rhyann. Rhyann was a senior Hamas leader, and thus appears a lawful target under the Geneva Convention. His death however, included the death of his wife, eleven children and whoever else was around at the time. Is that level of death proportionate compared to the value of the military objective achieved as the convention requires? Israel would claim yes. The rest of us are left to reach our own conclusions. The question thus arises in light of this damming evidence, how can America and their Nato allies persist in their support for Israel and their condemnation of the Goldstone report? A hint may be seen in a comment made by Lt. Col. Benjamin, a legal adviser to Israel during the occupation, “To adopt the Goldstone report would have very dramatic consequences, not only for us, but also for any democratic country fighting a terrorist army with substantial military force but hiding in a civilian population.” This simple comment is evidence of Israel on the offensive; a barbed warning to all states participating in the
‘war on terror.’ The barely hidden human rights scandal at Guantanamo Bay and the travesty in Gaza are unfortunate by products of the honourable cause of spreading democracy and winning the war on terror. The sanctity of human life now lies second to political progress and policy, as evidenced by the UK’s indefensible decision to place trade links and political harmony with Israel over the difficult but ultimately right decision to decry these actions as crimes against humanity that we in the Western hemisphere simply cannot defend. The Goldstone report has been heavily criticised by the US and Israel for being unhelpful to the peace process. All reasonable people should treat this justification with derision. No political goal should be allowed to run roughshod over basic and fundamental human rights and the value of human life. There can be no peace without accountability.Individuals have long memories and the Palestinian people have a memory that will last for generations to come, they will not forget this tragedy in the interests of political expediency, and neither should we. The US may well be able to veto the Goldstone Report at the UN Security Council, but it is submitted that this continued impunity, and not justice and accountability, are the greater long term threats to peace. Eugene Reavey
Wednesday, February 10th | The University Times
Tony Blair “Responsibility but no regrets.”
ony Blair’s long awaited appearance before the Iraq Inquiry last Thursday afforded little in the way of fresh justification for Britain’s troubled involvement in the Middle East. However, it did provide a fascinating portrait of a man who is acutely, if perhaps dangerously aware of his own place in history. As Blair sat before the inquiry, backed by the families of lost troops and surrounded outside by those denouncing him as a war criminal, his nervousness was apparent. Equally apparent though, as he fidgeted intensely with his microphone, was his eagerness to begin. For Blair, this was not simply a forum to justify the decision to go to war. This was an opportunity to cement his legacy and to shape how history will view the defining matter of his premiership. As he stated at the outset of the Good Friday Agreement Talks, “I feel the hand of history on our shoulder with respect to this.” This too, was history in the making, with the unusual addition of a protagonist who knew it all too well. From the outset, Blair has been as much concerned with the historians’ pens as with current opinion polls. Brand Blair was meticulously created in a manner which will bear as much resonance with historians in fifty years time as it did with voters in 1997. The development of New Labour possessed a great deal of the Americana iconicity of Roosevelt’s New Deal and Obama’s recent election campaign. Reflections on ‘The People’s Princess’ following the death of
Diana acted as a sound bite as much tailored to the emotionally open late 1990’s electorate as Thatcher’s ‘That is out’ was to the defiant Britain of the 1980’s. The fact that Blair’s premiership directed two wars, the emergence of devolution, the introduction of both Civil Partnerships and minimum wage legislation lends credence to his place among the upper-echelons of Downing Street’s more memorable residents. The Blair concern has never been one of short-term popularity. Even at the embryonic stages of his premiership, he
From the outset, Blair has been as much concerned with the historians’ pens as with current opinion polls.
was convinced of the need to be a master rather than a steward of Number 10; more like Thatcher than Major and more Churchill than Callaghan. His consummate performance within the inquiry seemed impervious to the heckles of the protesters outside. Blair has always been more concerned with historical prominence than his place among his
contemporaries. It is largely this fervent desire for historical recognition as one of the great British leaders that led him down the Iraqi path. Blair’s assurance in his course of action is as unyielding today as it was in 2003. It is well noted that decisiveness and assurance are prerequisites for historical longevity and his need for historical recognition dictates such a stance. One of the few comments to draw audible moans from the Inquiry’s public gallery was the former Prime Minister’s assertion that while he bore full responsibility for the War, he felt no regret. Noone had expected a full admission of remorse for the decision to go to war but families of troops were outraged that no regret for the loss of life had been expressed. For Blair though, such an admission was not an option. Throughout the six hours of questioning, he consistently reiterated his now trademark assertion that “hand on heart,” he did what he thought was right. An admission of regret in any form would have weakened the black and white nature of the issue in Blair’s eyes and would have been latched onto by a media that is hungry for a climb down. It is unlikely that such an admission will ever be forthcoming. History is rarely kind to leaders who admit that they were wrong. If anything, Blair’s steadfast belief in the correctness of his own actions is admirable in isolation. However, his faith in the kindness of history has proven extremely dangerous, with repercussions far beyond the Iraqi context.
Blair’s sidelining of the dissenting cabinet voices of Robin Cook and Clare Short, coupled with his manipulation of Attorney General Lord Goldsmith’s advice that regime change was illegal has only served to weaken both cabinet government and faith in the legality of government actions. This has added weight to widely held fears of an increasingly presidential and unchecked Number 10. In addition, public resentment of the decision to go to war and the newfound distrust of American foreign policy among the British electorate has effectively tied the hands of future Prime Ministers. British governments will find it extremely difficult to join an American sponsored conflict in the Middle East for the foreseeable future, given the virtual certainty of electoral backlash. The continuing instability within the region and the possibility of a future genuine need for war has created the dual concerns of a serious continuing Middle Eastern threat and newfound British impotency. Blair’s ultimate hope is that history will view the Iraq War as a masterstroke of foresight and that his decision will be viewed as an early, decisive action to avert a much greater threat. His assertions that the world in 2010 is much safer as a result of the decision to go to war are lent credence by the scaling back of Libya’s nuclear activity. However, as former Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell states, such a claim is “pure speculation.” Blair’s belief in the bigger picture of historical thinking saw him pursue a divisive war at great cost and
has ensured his subsequent unwillingness to appease a public infuriated by his actions. He is willing to tolerate the barbs of the media and the screams of protestors, holding true to the Churchillian adage that “Responsibility is the price of greatness,” and reasoning is that history will judge him well.
To his opponents, this belief is a matter of speculation. To Blair, it is a matter of faith. One can only hope for his sake that, given the current devastation of his reputation, his faith will be repaid. Sean McGreneghan
The lost art of getting to know somebody I went to a birthday party over the holidays and made a new friend. By that I mean: I met someone, we talked at length over the course of a few days, discovered we had a lot in common and parted on very good terms, promising to keep in touch. As I drove home I was struck by the magnitude of what had occurred! In a generation of young people who fly the flag of Facebook, I had done things the old-fashioned way. Before – after what would have undoubtedly been an awkward and inadequate first encounter – we had availed of the chance to add each other as friends on Facebook, we had spent time making our own minds up, quietly, and often unconsciously, assessing each other
on the aspects we believed important. Armed with nothing more than a hurried introduction to exploit as background information, two people had formed an honest and involuntary opinion of each other. We didn’t know the friends that we had in common, something which unquestionably would have affected our mutual evaluations. We had no idea how many friends we could both claim as our own, no estimate of our respective popularity amongst our peers. At first, we had no idea of the others’ interests, what schools we had attended, whether we had siblings, what countries we had visited or where we were from. My immediate opinion of my new
I am highlighting the fact that Facebook has made being sociable quite anti-social. friend was based on nothing more than the words that came out of their mouth. As the weekend progressed, I also got to see their actions and their reactions to
different situations. I had no idea what they ‘liked’ on Facebook, but I could see how they liked to act. I didn’t know their status, but I understood their mood. I am not asserting that I have just met my new best friend, and did so only because Facebook wasn’t involved. I am not professing to have proven that better friends are not made on Facebook, but in the real world. No, I am just attempting to highlight the fact that Facebook, has, unsurprisingly, made being sociable quite anti-social. I could have met a horrible or uninteresting person at the birthday party, but I would have decided that they were horrible, or uninteresting, because they seemed it, in my opinion, face-to-face,
not because their Facebook pictures were horrible (think endless pictures of burning a cat) or uninteresting (think very few pictures of one family holiday up a mountain). We will now undoubtedly add each other as Facebook friends, my new friend and I. We will see pictures of each other with our friends, read conversations we have both been having recently. Will our opinions change once we are allowed access to this grotesquely underestimated amount of information about each other? You may think me naïve, but I don’t believe they will. I have to believe that despite what we may appear to be on an internet networking site, we have gained enough of
an instinctive impression of each other to dismiss our online evaluation. Remember the old friends you have, who always remembered your birthday at school, when no-one else did? You got to know them, and saw that thoughtful side of them, before it was even possible to write a horribly unoriginal message on their Facebook wall along with everyone else who was electronically informed of their birthday. We have, it appears, already let Facebook take away from us worthwhile birthday messages, now it seems to be totally transforming the way we get to know each other. Rory O’Donovan
Giving up rather than taking up Sarah Walker I’ve decided giving up things is the new taking up things. I’ve taken up study and the gym, now it’s time to give up alcohol, give up cigarettes, and give up the hedonistic days of first to third year. But not necessarily give up all hope. I don’t see the point of eradicating all semblance of a social life in the name of exams. While of course it’s never the best idea to spend every night getting trashed a week before your final exams, neither is it healthy to restrict yourself to fourty minutes of social interaction a day. So my new motto is “Everything in moderation, including moderation.” But what is strange is how easy it is to put your head down and relinquish the urge to have a cheeky pint on your way home from the library. Maybe it’s because I’m in fourth year now and “The Fear” has really kicked in. Continuous assessment was introduced to scare the hell out of the wasters. But since Christmas there seems to
be a general consensus that nobody goes out during the week anymore, and those five days are sacred for the library. So for now I’m living for the weekend, which adds both a feel of sophistication to my irregular outings, and a sense of foreboding that comes with the knowledge that this is the pattern my life will take from here on out. So with this sacrifice in full swing, I have become much more demanding of the places I go to for leisure. As a nonnative of Dublin, I know my time is running out here. While I may be working here next year, nothing is set in stone. So instead of talking about all the places I’ve never been and have always wanted to go, I’m making it there. Fair enough, this experiment has only lasted two weeks, but I’m making a good shot of it. No longer am I forced to suffer the indignity of wading through the dance floor of The New Palace, being bumped and grinded against my will. After one night
of being stabbed repeatedly by the protruding hipbone of a sixteen year old hussy, I said to myself: enough. So for a bit of class, a bit of a change, I took myself off to Howl at the Moon! It was free in, which is always a plus, and over 21s so there were minimal children wearing pleather. Then again, there were minimal people born past 1975. As I made my way to “The Zimmer Room” you can imagine the reservations running through my head. While I’m all for active elderly, putting a room they can dance in down two flights of stairs seems a little sadistic. But thankfully after a few hours (and several overpriced drinks) both the atmosphere and the number of students picked up. The dance floor that had previously been dominated by two drunken girls flailing their handbags (one of whom was, unfortunately, me) finally began to fill with a reasonable semblance of crowd. There was room to dance but it wasn’t deserted, and the music was mostly focused on songs had two rr’s in them. “Dirrty” and “Hot in Herre” got a particularly warm reception. I would like to take this opportunity to include a disclaimer that I know nothing about ‘cool’ music, so if you ask me if I’ve heard the new Toddla T remix I’ll probably reply that I hate to babysit. Therefore I’m coming at this from an unbiased angle. After the mild success of Howl I began
to pick up enthusiasm. I plotted where my next adventure would take me, and inspiration soon came in the form of a girl’s night out to Whelan’s. The night was planned with military precision; I was barely able restrain myself from laminating the timetable. We started at the Pav, as usual, which ensured cheap drinks. It also ensured that the rest of the plan was completely screwed. After a cheeky burger (it’s better to stagger the night’s indulgences) we made our way to Whelan’s, those too cheap to pay for a taxi on frozen foot. Our first mistake was to separate. As I stood in the queue and learned it was €10 in my two companions muttered something about trying the palace and faded into the night. I got in about 12.45am and spent the next 20 minutes wandering about the split-level club trying to find the others, muttering to myself that it didn’t look like Whelan’s pub or the Village, both of which I’d been to before. It was only the next day that I was told we were in some sort of mystery club next door to Whelan’s. Whether or not they’re related remains to be seen. In any case, I was on flying form after the savvy smuggling in of my pre-made gin and tonic, and decided this place was rife for making mates. To my delight the crowd was infinitely more amiable than I’m used to, and I had some stellar conversations with Julian the Rasta and Martina the Call-Centre Worker. I was
bought a gin and tonic by a random nice man and I reconnected with my rockfilled adolescence on the dance floor. My only reservation was the mosh pit that formed for The White Stripes, and the curiously cool temperature of the main dance room. It bordered on icy. I’m not sure if that was to encourage people to huddle for warmth, drink more alcohol, or just give even the sweatiest man the opportunity to find love. I only had the chance to stay an hour before being pulled to Roma II, but it was definitely worth it. And as for the club, it wasn’t bad at all. I was afraid both places would be more subdued than the usual college haunts but I was pleasantly surprised. While I usually have a good time wherever friends, dancing and alcohol
are involved, the friendly strangers in Whelan’s really made a difference. And although Howl might have a bit of a reputation for being more business than pleasure, the free entrance and proximity to college were winners in my mind. I’ll definitely be back to both. So for now I look forward to the weekend, giving myself a well-deserved break from studious monotony. I am aware that this won’t last forever and at some stage I’ll be forced to devote all seven days to study, which will mean giving up Saturday hangover pizza and internet TV. But for now I’m enjoying trying out all the places I always wanted to go, and relishing the lack of stiletto scars on my delicate feet. Christ, I’m getting old.
Make love not war
All the singing ladies
Rachael Shearer on Dublin scenesters and why it’s so cool to be “alt”
Deirdre Kilbride examines how women in the music world are faring today
Arts & Culture page 15
Music page 19
The University Times February 10th, 2010
Arts & Culture
Trinity’s Next Top Model Trinity’s version of the famed television show has reached its fourth year. Ciara Barrett reviews the show and the fashion.
n Tuesday, 26 January 2010, the LGBT Society hosted Cycle 4 of Trinity’s Next Top Model. TNTM has headlined Rainbow Week, a campaign designed to raise awareness of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered community in Trinity, for four years running. Like the Tyra Banks-hosted TV show on which it is modelled (no pun intended), in past years TNTM has been a site for glamour and intrigue. Case in point: Cycle 2’s male winner (back when the show had energy enough to sustain both a male and female winner) was exposed as a non-student contestant. But for better or for worse, this year’s TNTM appears to have been stripped of any such potential for scandal. Everything has been pared down: this year there was no raised runway, only one winner, and the host failed to show up. At times, TNTM Cycle 4 proved slightly underwhelming, whereas it should have striven towards the overwhelming and the OTT.
As published in the un-corrected event program, this year’s TNTM was originally scheduled to be hosted by Dublin drag queen and entertainer Miss Panti. At the beginning of the show, TNTM organizer Jason Keegan announced that Panti would not, in fact, be coming, and that taking her place would be fellow gender-bending entertainer Veda Beaux Reves (aka Enda McGrattan). Veda was herself slated to judge, but it fell to Trish Fallon, Director of 1st Option Models, and Noel Sutton, ‘Stylist to the Stars’, to make the final decision. Keegan introduced all three before making a tribute to late Trinity student and friend of the LGBT, Eoin O’Domhnaill. Eoin, who sadly passed away last month, had been an active supporter of the Trinity LGBT Society and served as Students’ Union LGBT Rights Officer until earlier this year. His absence was felt on the night of the show. Replacement host Veda did, however, prove to be an entertaining emcee, amusing the audience with her often caustic sense of humour, mostly at the expense of the models. Where the rest of the show never quite achieved the same high-camp quality that Tyra Banks’s ANTM has set as precedent, Veda embraced it with a sardonic glee. Apologizing for appearing onstage and visible to the audience before the show began (she was looking for a cigarette, though I think she used a different word) and thus destroying the necessary ‘illusion of glamour’, Veda clearly enjoyed deconstructing the show’s not-so-elaborate facade. She later took out a packet of bourbon creams to feed the ‘starving’ models, periodically offering them up to the contestants and audience. Veda was in on the joke, and delightfully so. As for the models, this year’s contestants were (in order of walking): Katie Bebbington, Georgia O’Callaghan, James McCarville, Aisling Cronin, Sophie Sarratt, Sarah Rochford, Jenny Doyle, Joe Colgan, Naomi Coyle, Sara Benson, Claire Bermingham, Jane Cleary, James Gough, Diana Sandu, Adam Hurley, Ciaran Doyle, and Jill Woodnutt. They were coached on walking and posing by Sebastian Castrillion, who has worked with both Gisele Bundchen and Shakira and is opening a branch of Elite Models in Ireland next October. The models wore their own
clothes and competed in three rounds: ‘Funky’, ‘Fancy Dress’, and ‘Formal’. While some of the models appeared to be taking the competition very seriously, others were clearly in it for the craic. Ciaran Doyle was especially enjoyable to watch, wearing a sheer, puffy plaid blouse in the Funky Round, a bin bag during the fancy dress, and a handsome Victorian-esque suit for the Formal Round. Other standouts were Georgia O’Callaghan, who dared to bear a radiant smile throughout, and Claire Bermingham, who walked confidently without affectation, and whose outfits showed her off to best effect. James Gough strode purposefully with a masculine sway of the shoulders. The five finalists were Naomi, Claire, James Gough, Jill, and James McCarville. After narrowing the list down to the two Jameses, the judges selected James McCarville as the winner of Trinity’s Next Top Model, Cycle 4. He will be signed to a one year contract with 1st Option Models. The fashion worn by the models on the runway (or what could be seen of it: as the judges frequently commented, most of the models rushed through each round with barely a turn or glance up), was a mixed bag of styles. Indeed, the inclusion of the Funky and Fancy Dress Rounds in place of casual or daytime wear generally prevented the models from exercising much creativity in the way of current – read: actually wearable – trends and styles. During the Funky Round, there were sequins, lame, and spandex to be found on the girls, and lots of hot pink and cobalt blue all around. James McCarville may have won the competition for himself based solely on his fancy dress costume: he was bang on trend in a fur gilet and tight black hot pants. Other costumes, such as Sophie’s French maid outfit and Diana and Jill’s angel costumes were too conventional to gain much notice. Sophie was, however, able to score high in her blue formal dress with some contrasting red lipstick. Claire’s silver column halter dress was an absolute knock-out. While the models worked the runway, headshots taken by photographer Lucy Nuzum were projected onto a screen towards the back of the Dining Hall venue. Nuzum’s portraits succeeded in highlighting each model’s unique facial
Some of the models at the Trinity’s Next Top Model. Photos: David O’Dwyer
features and a hint of their personality, otherwise difficult to perceive from the short amount of time each model appeared onstage. Before making their selection, the judges briefly questioned the five finalists, ostensibly to get a sense of each contestant’s personality. Judges Fallon and Sutton asked simple questions of the contestants , for example Naomi’s height (just under six feet), James McCarville’s real hair colour (red), and generally how
‘adaptable’ each contestant thought s/ he was. It is likely, however, that James McCarville was a front-runner from early on due to his height, lanky build, and sassy walk. He was visibly shocked and delighted upon being declared the winner. Lasting barely an hour, and much of that waiting time, this year’s TNTM was a brief but enjoyable show, if a little lacking in the ‘wow’ factor. All proceeds in ticket sales and sponsorship went to the Open Heart House, which gives aid to patients living with HIV/AIDS. Jason Keegan reported about 2,000 euro raised – no small accomplishment for an otherwise relatively unassuming show. Ciara Barrett
‘Filtered Theatre’ On Trial As part of New Writers Week, famed playwright Steven Berkoff visited Players Theatre. Emma Keaveney was in attendance There’s a wonderful scene in Wes Anderson’s film ‘The Royal Tenenbaums’ that I can’t help thinking of at one point during DU Players Audience with Steven Berkoff, the acclaimed English actor, playwright, author and director. In the scene in question, Eli Cash (played by Owen Wilson), himself an acclaimed author, is having trouble coming to terms with some of his literary reviews. “Why would a reviewer make the point of saying someone’s NOT a genius?” he moans over the phone to an unseen confidante. “Do you especially think I’m NOT a genius?” There is a pitch perfect pause and then the doleful response of an artist whose livelihood depends on the opinions of others: “You didn’t even have to think about it, did you?” I reference this scene because Steven Berkoff is similarly
a man who has had to twist and battle with the confinements of mainstream theatrical critics. Anecdotally, in fact, he is rumoured to be the the only person to have ever threatened to kill a theatre critic. When asked to comment on this, he responds, “Of course. That’s what you do when you’re an actor. I’m not a balanced person.” The critic in question had said that Berhoff was “fatally miscast” as Hamlet. “Why fatally?” Berkhoff asks. “Why not just ‘miscast’?” Steven Berkoff is a very entertaining guest speaker. He speaks passionately on his love for the theatre and the arts and it’s very difficult for the listener not to latch on to this. The drama in his voice is tangible, positively quivering, as he describes the reasons he became an actor as a young Londoner. “As an
actor, you have an instinct to fulfil yourself. The theatre is like a kind of therapy, some kind of ritual...like a religious system, a calling. It’s something inside you that you want to express and you feel it stronger and stronger. I’m an actor because for me it was life or death. My life is affirmed by this extraordinary nuclear action. For others, it was a career.” He speaks in similarly animated tones about his writing: “I wanted to write things that were coming from my intestines, from the deepest part of my being. That may sound a little hyperbolic, but that’s the way I felt.” All of this is communicated with flourishes, hand gestures and a voice resonating deeply with booming emotion. The effect is absorbing, certainly, but a very clichéd representation of the
acting community: paradoxically becoming tedious and predictable in its drama. When Berkoff turns his attention towards what he sees as the flaws of today’s conventional theatre, however, the audience is treated to a rant of a grumpy old gentleman, worthy of Victor Meldrew himself. He describes a typical visit to the theatre for many: “Your brain is a writhing cesspit. The snakes are eating away at your brain until you can’t take it anymore so you fall asleep. That’s why so many people fall asleep at the theatre...The brain needs to be attacked on so many levels.” Berkoff is fully aware that he has his audience entertained, that we are waiting and listening for his viewpoint. “It’s a filtered theatre, like the kind of golf club that bans Jews. It’s not just theatre either, look at painting!
What a shithole! They’re laughing at you while they take your money. Making tents about who screwed them,” he continues in a reference to Tracy Emin’s infamous tent presentation. Despite this, Berkoff remains stubbornly optimistic however that there is hope for the future
of theatre as an art form. “People keep going to the theatre because they are hopeful. They’re thinking ‘maybe the next one!’” Emma Keaveney
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U ti ff rs off as so in Th al y pe g n che ha h. m in sid gr ns e Then mster cs sa it h ed ng pok li- 0 psyc t N s ar th br eb iv ofhith d a ot om th m w ithsaid boen ha inte er th t.as be or nu ft in di ‘sta be ies t, cl on €1 s ys riso y or A ub ze ublin leti ey w ctur eeti ca was w no C or d rfr ut un nc u- w be sa em reat use fo sa an fi nn ad e be e , r a D es an sp y Sp ap e lit cl ub r rf ay ni ed or e ha ec pa D ge th in re e pe fo UC foM siivugnc ed Ath Th isfied stru m cl ch t St ent co dco fo ru th fromic m ci en d s le orve g ct m s, ut on M brar . pe ga e eke ex ge0 fo.ur ethe a ts hi ). of d nc an be isce sA th re rais nd ha indo le€4 I, of d ed bl e fa uipm an er is mpa ol d m co min tiooon ac at y Th al ac at is an na d en id he -an ha t t fu he er th totaC thuce sietie tionorat rt ro an is pu th eq s nt NU e Li ob it y co e C an nna Cold enty tr uc diss ac was spor w rr Pres ys ca figu en t o s en ed Fi an en h n ed D Th s th an lta rpth se er ve th ct sa lasgh ruon ra d of be en em ha lse (D e Duc e ay cu pa tm re by rd pm is d on iv se ith to -O Trin ur d ries ru The a tw su co ge s er dng an re of ur w is id ar at er five M the ho alhi Uyni rn s un ar ag ly oa lo rb an r le ha pm ’s m 00 deve ent ho an ra es e. of in ev ith g , on hi le co on w Ge ’da retu ub fo ,0 lo th Th ty in ol ep e al B ve fu s w on th in m why en Irel lib mak iv n - ill seanlli ry. t li by ni n tshnid 23 C 00 ve ey 64 re tm /09. r sa d ’ D ar nu d de re ie g ee C ub w ir ns tio U oi Jo aents be e cl they al ow ts op in ers fr ecU nD th roomlibra an ip e 00,0 de ul €1 the ar 08 s fo e ets an e an nt e to cilit in th ins red ld th s Br ou r sh ee sked ry es larg re in oj a p nd lin ch pe uc chal r ng sh Th €6 re McA at to Dep 20 on m ta ai s’ Ó engts Stfoud t.’ou ‘Th dg ed itte ce id fa fund .’ fe r fu esm A ra siti sCol whi e ex nsletrgewahihe teri hearr. pr su in ge sh ng le th d r in ti at e ch nt án ud bu ov m r t as ts ts re ts fo pudu ss ce’sts an ha lib er hae e r or ol e, ec ti th r th r. Intes cate fo ts ca the the ects o thas aneld ee prob de ón st‘actFrin m U yeffien pr om t pe se spor seed ec e uden te tro- t C ac ed ts in iv itKyat agito m e co t- m e eic oj th fo fa ca lo nd ojec allo of t oj em co e ic Oud C as Ed C gh is ity ty h en h, st u vo e in en to un iny an e orrv nion es y re thY sp ucss en th so di al t fu pr al in rg bu pr m a rg is th ci id ud 0 ei nd ting id l pr of e Trar m he e T od ud Trw bu of em gsst mse U ic ille in en en t’s tu tion ble the e ort. is bu th d M toeputar y thSIudytr ce fu is ov pita xt th o yo t th st €7 tion of st r ad into re ’ rv wth r in pa Pr ines At se em rbe m or ac bu la of th Sp e con- e edER in ac ac ply r fors tsse itto rath D br ex pr ca te to ‘D or al of ra p us m su e Ed acIV sts e r flgoo apild op Sp e stri ai s in of es e us nu ene ate ate t s pp nu ge st hi stuto w e sc plN ha ipfo erin Bu r th th ho dte es thdu in lib p ge ea itte t, of Th di t av st U ur sw di ne Th pu ad su an ar gi rs l e to r th le ge w ofill ca ud d m im re ty ho co an St Tr er or un m ng e at they ol lin thear loco torw w ill ec of fo at m re to an ch e be r al er e ly yiev io cl t th C the om Sp th nEd ke es GPThus th e no ed taileDir t st bo ch thee ec n du 07 SU n of ntre h th em fo oh riter L saw ct ic C of ar mat de e rges n co w A m re th Dire feThinisg le. io ,t ho duomiththouat e.’ai on oo ge 20 D io ce it lD W N nt to e r ates ts ce to nt ea th la io a ne ti e s en reon w ac ni y C ar pay w en nt Th ek opPrev ee TC ct ts nc to ed pCar U ed ai th ch y ts le ar sp 2 ch ew fr se ’ TER se na ec , st or us lo ed du or id op ce om e ill of pe. ateem N ant ec esat y m ngf- ofl ts Ash ent to spor fr Th 5 m n ge es ster IN m Fi Dir ey sp g deve us t to ti-o sp pa for orts ed en icst ud d of in pa N du e .2 io ge st to ee irh w w ith os irr rv be e sp ’ uden r, ud used e se d A an th e cAul nt be re is or rm le sle mfreeCrha7t e th €1 ruct cu orolse op m ea as fe e s? 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Intes cate fo ts caN thse theth eclin in d tics sa it ur ting st ca ha in er as r st iv of te tr t pr om t pe se or ed ec e C ed ts ic en icat ito Fr wasan leo ey w ct ut nd ec loA ub ze oj fo fa K t ee ub lo be Ed nc C gh is sp e se proj th stud vo in en to of ity fo uc ubh h, uy th Th a fied ru min ec es en em ud rv es so dica al t fu proj al al cl bunie prD mAem u e ud 0 TY co ived cl rg rgt St ent ei nd ting id l of e ar y ex ut SI trod ud ad to st e se rv ic the in en en t’s tu tion ble gath e e or).t. isatis is st a Trts buhich bu M eput ce tion ac min fu is ov pita xt th o yo t th st €7 tion of nin in en id he ER in st ac ply rs se to the em rbe m or ac bu la of Th thal Spac ess coac D ta uc e ex pr ca te to ‘D or al of ra p tr of uc esdi e uswe as spor wEd rr Pres ys ca m su e IV s for g uop Sp e ri ai s nu ese e ate st t uc D Th cu pp nu sa to w ge e on s ap s hi ha N st te ge of Th dist t av st d in tor (D the r thD hoe ve May e U ge min ill and th er du im w ne Th pu ad su an ar regi rs all le Treamit ort, ar ho hi Uni ty er fi co s th ue at ol lin ar co w P ly ev cl they ec of fo at at w e m re to an ch e be r er C the om Sp th nub Ed ke th e no ed taileDir t st th boTh ty in by nion n tsid ts’ ch e fees g G us w ic at n du 07 SU n of ntre h th em fo oh riter L cl ey ir s d C of U oi io ho om ar mat de e rges n co w A m re th e in e th on oo ge 20 D io ce it lD W th ai N nt to e r ates ts ce to Br ou en th la io a ne th in re ti e s th s ni y C ar pay w en nt Th ek Prev ee, on ed aint ar ud TC ct ts nc to ed pCar ew ts ar om e ill of 2 ta chai s’ Ó ing St t.’ ng lem se . e fr t ec at m f-ch ’ U le ch TER se na ec , st or us lo ed du or id op ce nt án N ts Ash ent to spor ec ti fr Th 5 m n ge es er en st IN m Fi Dir ey sp g deve us t to sp pa for orts ed -o la de ón ‘act as el ee prob d of in pa N du e .2 io w rr ge to ee 7t h os ibe e sp ’ uden r, ud used e se C as ty ent- m e d A an th e cAul nt be re is or rm th €1 ruct cu olle le fr r op m ea as fe e s? St ce e st ue w ci id is th or of th M ce is tal fund Sp m te st pr no e ex to cr w fts C ab ices be th nt e Offi th be p of tin r e pi pa es t th sed er om y t of iu in e it e re the or is ps th ed all un rv em de Th on at ly hi Pr A us s fr rr t pe m ca This en ed Sp ised Con se pt at ou for nd of The e ti th on rs ha sinc . Th ed it be r’s e Te gh inco a . tm m an sc Se th e gr ce te ca id uld be th mpr e 7, a di ar ei e te nd ar d . re h ge 7 07 ss sa ho em .’ et th oi in tion ive. s ar €7 20 pa at su w it at tr ea t fu Dep t an ts y of co th €7 ed in is ta ut ee ill th ea ‘s r m re ch to in cr en e or ec it e is and of prov tick all r ch is en w e in at es Tr on d th fo nt e 0 th t m th sh proj ajor m p an 8 ge e n ei Th es exec m e ce Th €7 ed th ir e tati an th ar ap um or ec th co by iv te pr 50 nd e no uc hi he e ts m m qu th ul on w te ive. re th e e. ut w ri refl th fu or e s in rs t ch was rend em are adu- ic om fr trod du re by ns ni na ut re on th bl ec re to at utes w sp Th tre’ be en ch fe m e gr bl . un in en ge ed co ’ U re re ’s er ec su s of aila ex to e ex in 4 pu nt uen em ud hi er ar ag in ts er t by en ub ils av w d tion ed m e ne ac e C m st w t ey th 99 6 st en re w e t ch e ed re tu ne an te en cl uta th th of al ge en ul that , d 19 ts ce al s r us ts m ffice Stud rs de t ye e da nsti s ag . 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Con r ar e D Th ra st t fo m at be utiv ps. t og ac en ed s d in pr uc ud form ub an m mem ec ou ec ex gr el cl p no e D st it ve ilar ou d on the ch to su ed ha m gr an ps n si A A p, ou on ee re G ou r gr tion fift ag gr ei si e ve as ts t w n th po e ar ha or or ac ai rsp reor , a er ey Sp t, oe dy uc r m pe ge Th Th es of D ei ey en e oh le to bo en e W or es th on ef ol g g C ay th D hi C in in y itte or ct w g t th pr rt -C e on re on ev Dire of pt rn it m they ay th m wha of R tem ve rs be r-in ting w r Tr ee Ro ito D inity it h n. A as ck ents BE at go ve Comthat e of m th . w la M e eir Uni w Ed Tr y ud e. the U d g ru ns a cs sa it h ed ng pN s ar th ha in er as r st iv of A ub ze ublin leti ey w ctur eeti ca was be nc ed fo ecut es ucl ni D th Th fied ru m ub St t A co iv cl ga e ex ut ). is st a ts hich t iden he ce tion ac min Th al ac at is w en es ys ta uc e rr ca uc ss ac was spor D Th (D e di Duc e ay cu Pr sa s on ar at er five M the ho hi Uni s on w e th Th ty in ub by ni n tsid ts’ cl ey ir U oi e th th ins red Br ou en th ms ta ai s’ Ó g Stud t.’ ng le ch nt án ctin ec ti de ón ‘a as el ee prob C as ty ent- m e w ci id is th pa es t th sed Pr A us sc di
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launching his new international career as an author and all-round nice guy. Mr. Nice remains an international best seller in several languages and was the best selling non-fiction book of 1997. Not bad for a convicted drug trafficker. For many, Marks is so hot he’s human lava: so charismatic you can tangibly feel his presence in the room. Invited by Trinity Ents to speak in the Ed Burke to sell books or sell his upcoming cinematic biopic, accepting joints from starry-eyed fans is a matter of course. It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it. A few quick-fire facts about Howard Marks: Famously described by the Daily mail as ‘the most sophisticated drugs baron of all time’, Marks is said to have controlled ten percent of the world’s hashish trade at the height of his career. He has
His first joint was given to him by an older student at a party in Oxford when Marks was nineteen
there is certainly a sense of frustration with the lack of same drugs policy. We always thought it would be just a matter of time before the law was changed and that was 41 years ago. I am frustrated at the lack of progress.” Marks himself admits he would be in favour of legalising all drugs “so there is an element of control over them and people aren’t forced to pay money to crackpots like me.” He concedes, however, that his viewpoint might have to be amended should a particularly harmful drug come on the market, “for example, if someone created a drug that incited rape or murder. Of course, I couldn’t support that.” So then, having established that drugs are great, I should probably talk about
Rhys Ivans as Howard Marks in the upcoming film adaptation of Mr Nice.
With the current and ongoing furore over Head shops and legal highs in Ireland, it’s a delicious prospect to hear the world’s most famed drugs smuggler talking about drugtaking as an ‘academic’ and ‘intellectual’ adventure
Marks’s latest endeavours, most notably his writing, his merchandise and the biopic of his life being released later this year. Mr. Nice, the dramatisation of the autobiography, stars Rhys Ivans as Marks and Chloe Sevigny as his wife Judy. Ivans, a fellow Welshman, had been friends with Marks for years before the film was even pitched. “When I met him he was singing in the Super Furry Animals, before they became good,” Marks tells me. “He was sleeping on the drummers floor thinking of becoming an actor. I was on the front of the Super Furry Animals cover, thinking of being an actor. He said to me one day ‘If you ever write a book and it’s made into a film, can I play you?’ And I said yes, and we shook hands on it. I’ve got the conversation on video somewhere actually. It was a fantasy in both of our heads. We always talked about it whenever we would see each other. We saw each other at Glastonbury every year. We used to have drug taking competitions, which I won every time.” Marks complains about the length of time it takes to complete and release the film, especially since the forthcoming release of his next book has been delayed to coincide with the film. I put it to him that it’s surprising the film was made at all and Marks agrees. “It was a long process. We thought it would never be made. It’s very non-PC, if you like. There is no ‘moral’ to my story.’ Nothing bad happens to me and I don’t learn a lesson in the end.” Perhaps this is the secret to Howard Marks’s appeal. He is the cheeky chappie who consistently “gets away with it” part university academic, part drug connoisseur. In an effort to remain stoically cynical about something, anything, this man has done in his career, I ask him about the merchandise available on his official website – ‘Mr. Nice’ marijuana seeds and various branded rolling paraphernalia. Surely, this is all in blatant conflict with his anti-authoritarian, hippie background. Marks doesn’t pause for a second. “I’m just trying to milk it really,” and he smiles that crotchedy smile. I really want to question him, interrogate him on the contradiction these new ventures present. He’s selling his name after all. He’s become a brand. Howard Marks is essentially the Victoria Beckham of drugs! But I can’t be too hard on him. I really can’t. He’s just so...nice. Trust me, you’d like him too. With the current and ongoing furore over Head shops and legal highs in Ireland, it’s a delicious prospect to hear the world’s most famed drugs smuggler talking about drug-taking as an ‘academic’ and ‘intellectual’ adventure. Marks himself comes across in person as intimidatingly intelligent so it’s not surprising that he is the poster boy for functioning drug-users everywhere: he has achieved a degree in Nuclear Physics and a Masters in philosophy, ran a multi-billion dollar operation and revitalised his public persona via an international bestseller. And he did it all on twenty-five joints a day. It’s enough to make you feel just plain lazy. “Among my generation,
theatre on Monday the1st of February , he held court over an enthralled lecture hall, passing on stories and wisdoms collected over years of drug smuggling, writing and dodging the law. The next morning, I trudge up to the Merrion Hotel for a one-on-one interview, admittedly a little worse for wear after the previous nights adventures. Despite years spent as a fugitive traversing the globe, it is Marks’s Welsh accent that strikes you first upon meeting him. With Marks, Marijauna, the drug that made him famous becomes “Mari-wa-ni” and this quirk endears him to me instantly as a fellow ‘culchie’. A native of Kenfig Hill, a small coal-mining village near Bridgend, Marks moved to Oxford to study nucleur physics. “People from Kenfig Hill tended not to go to Oxford, so I was unusual in that respect. When I got to Oxford, people there thought I was some primal primitive throwback to some uncivilised state... I was unable to be understood, which was embarrassing.” Despite his status as a Welsh outsider, Marks excelled in his studies and was soon introduced to drugs. His first joint was given to him by an older student at a party in Oxford when Marks was nineteen. “I smoked that, liked it and started smoking from there.” I’m curious about the difference between students in the 1960s and students today. Marks is in the unique position of being an expert on the subject. “There’s differences brought about by the lack of grants and stuff like that. Students these days have massive debts which obviously must effect them. We were lucky to not have that so there was certainly much more freedom. We felt that the older generation were invested in us. They were taking care of us, giving us a fairly easy experience of life so we could establish ourselves as employable for the rest of our lives. That seems to have gone now. As far as drugs were concerned, drugtaking was almost a recreation of the academic whereas now it’s much more prevalent amongst all the classes. There was very much an intellectual elite who thought drugs were adventurous, whereas now it’s not seen in the same way.” worked with the British Secret Service and has been connected with the Mafia, the IRA, MI6 and the CIA. Sentenced to twenty-five years in America’s toughest federal penitentiary, Marks served only seven years. Presumably, he got time off for good behaviour. In 1996, Marks released his autobiography, Mr. Nice, thus to get used to. He is the high priest of the party: a legend to anyone who has even a passing acquaintance with drugs, 1960s culture or even culture in general. I lean in and ask him whether he ever gets used to the fan culture that surrounds him. “It goes with the job” he grins. Marks is an opportunist who realises that if he wants
t’s a Monday night and I’m in a student apartment in Dublin, surrounded by people smoking weed who don’t particularly care about whether or not they have lectures to attend the next day. Guys and gals are strewn across the living room, balancing themselves on beanbags, picking at choice morsels of cheese and passing round joints. Sitting enthroned in the corner of this party, however, is a more mature gentleman who is the object of curious glances from the other twentysomethings in the room. Along with his halo of scraggly silvered hair, every wrinkle on his wizened face suggests a story well worth listening to: and after the evening we’ve had we can only speculate at the wealth of stories still to be revealed by the best-selling author and world-famous drugs baron. The gentleman sitting in the corner of the sitting room is of course Howard Marks. He is tapped on the shoulder. “This fella here sends this over to you.” An appreciative nod passes between Marks and the ‘fella’ in question and yet another joint is ceremoniously handed over. Adulation is a very strange thing and it’s something Marks has had
Wednesday, February 10th | The University Times 14
Emma Keaveney meets infamous drug runner Howard Marks and finds him a charmingly charismatic opportunist.
The University Times | Wednesday, February 10th
At peace with WAR? Rachael Shearer on Dublin scenesters and why it’s so cool to be “alt”
ost remarkable is the wall of heat. Whatever battles you may have overcome before, this is the frontline. This is your biggest enemy. You brace yourself, preparing for wet heat to caress your flesh; the blood of the slain, falling from the damp air into your eyes, your mouth, your soul. Your hair is slick with sweat. Your body slides unwillingly against those of your friends, your enemies... can you even tell who is on your side? In the dark hell of the warzone, you lose yourself in a steaming abyss. You’re swallowed. You cannot win. So, if you cannot beat them, you drag your beaten body onto a windowsill, and you join them. The incompetence of the fresh warriors never fails to entertain. So presumptuous, so naive, they come bearing stylish war-paint, insubstantial armour and regrettable footwear, brandishing cameras, phones and other valuable goods practically begging to be wounded or seized. Their hair collapses under the weight of the heat, their garments are torn by the savage soldiers, their shoes, susceptible to the booby-traps of the rough terrain, endanger their supervisory body and his/her fellow troops. Fortunately, these catastrophic preparatory skills are quickly abandoned and refreshed. The cadets return with minimal clothing to withstand the heat and humidity, sturdy boots to enable agility for clambering upon speakers, couches etc, and a considerable amount more inebriated to endure the long night of warfare ahead. Putting the novelty of being “at war” aside, why is it that this Friday night event has become so popular, especially among the “type” that it attracts? Theoretically, it shouldn’t work. It shouldn’t be a success at all. The venue, for a start, is a nightmare. Considering the heat
of the main dance room, the smoking area should be much larger or at least more accessible. Sweating to the point of near-death and then facing several flights of stairs in all directions is a highly unpleasant experience. When you finally reach the dingy black hovel that is the smoking area, its depth and enclosure ensure that you get no air whatsoever, unless it’s being breathed at you from someone equally sweat-soaked and half-dead. The darkness of the bathrooms also adds to your general disorientation as you cannot see where you’re going or what you’re doing and this, when dizzy from varying altitudes, is just delightful. Granted, it’s probably a good thing that you can’t see your own reflection after so much as five minutes on that dance floor. The upstairs section is often rented out to some posse of cupcake eating, champagne-swilling over-aged teenagers which often lends itself to extreme mortification when you find your hot, moist self collapsing into their party, much uninvited and unfortunately exhausted from yet another flight of stairs. This also means that one can only avail of the downstairs bar-services, four thousand steps away. Drinks promotions? They do exist. They’re just written on a piece of paper that’s so small and so hidden that you can’t see them. Wonderful. Suffering a severe dent in your
Despite the sweat, blood and tears of War, it is loved. Adored.
finances, body-water content, air and dignity, your only options are to leave, or continue the onslaught of the “dancing” upstairs, another four thousand steps up away. There, you’re in for a musical treat. Every song that you’ve ever cringed at, cursed for being on the radio, heard school-attending youths blaring on the luas and laughed to yourself at their immeasurably bad taste, is played at full volume for your pleasure. The WAR attendees and their attire certainly do not emulate this “pop music” image, so why gyrate against the couches, the windows and each other along to these “tunes”? Are their catchy melodies really that arousing? Biting their lower lips, caressing themselves and flicking their sweatdrenched hair around in some kind of mating-ritual fashion certainly sends mixed messages considering the soundtrack. Is it meant to be ironic because, really, they listen to bands that came out yesterday, and songs by Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Backstreet Boys etc are just, like, so the opposite of them!? Or perhaps, underneath it all, they have terrible taste in music and genuinely enjoy a good romp along to “Pokerface” over a quick nip to a so-fresh-it-hasn’t-evenhappened-yet gig. The strange, animalistic behaviour that people shamelessly engage in when in battle is somewhat appalling. In the downstairs bar, the rare but thoroughly amusing couples such as the forever awkward, Ass-crack and Camel-Toe can be seen vigorously engulfing each others’ faces while surrounded by similarly enthusiastic pairs indulging themselves in what can only be described as grotesquely energetic. However, this charming exhibition doesn’t compare to the incredibly egotistical displays of showmanship provided by the “dancers” atop the speakers with their cluster
of groupies hanging off the pedestal in adoration. Surely this self-induced exposure is some kind of frantic, haphazard attempt to prove their outstanding, artistic interpretation of dance and screams a revelation of all kinds of desperate. Despite the sweat, blood and tears of War, it is loved. Adored. And more importantly, frequented by hundreds every week, myself included. Whatever criticism can be made of War from the outside, it is immediately forgotten once enclosed in its dark, sweaty warmth. You don’t care who sees you doing what once you’re leveraged above the crowd, busting out your best moves for all to see. All that matters is getting up on something or someone, moving in a way that humans are not meant to move and seducing strangers, friends, objects, who cares? You wouldn’t get away with doing it anywhere else. This is where you can rebel against the laws of nature. This is where you can get away with murder. It is only human nature to want to escape from social norms, fly your freakflag a little higher, sweat more than you ever imagined was humanly possible. It’s just a shame that the only place we’re willing to do it is within the saturated, gloomy constraints of a nightclub. Rachael Shearer
Post-modern irony and its gradual deconstruction of art Perplexed by the current trend towards an illogical reverence of pop music, Oisín Murphy tries to understand. Last week, Charlie Baker, thesaurus in hand, printed an article in Trinity News bemoaning irony’s dominant position in modern culture. In his frustration, he even went so far as to suggest that “in some circles, it is acceptable to use racially offensive epithets as a term of greeting between friends”, invoking irony as an excuse. This slightly absurd notion (“Hello, you nigger!”) was a sticking point for Charlie, who overlooked, for the most part (and not necessarily to the detriment of his piece), the grotesque influence irony has had on our consumption of music, as a society. For this article, Oisín Murphy had lunch with friend Katy Deacon, a Senior Freshman TSM student, with a view to discussing the machinations of pop culture... “Oh my god, how insane is it that I bought Lady Gaga’s album! Because it’s, like, just pop music but, you know, I’m in ‘college’ and stuff! I should feel guilty about this, right? But it’s so insanely ironic oh-10!” Katy is sitting opposite me, rolling up another cigarette that looks more like a miniature spliff. She licks the seal like a dog. Are people saying “oh-10” this year? I suspect some must be. I venture that she ought to spend her money on other music. Tentatively, I use the word “better”, hoping it doesn’t offend, even though I feel I shouldn’t care too much about what she thinks, I don’t want to let on that I resent all womankind, certainly not over lunch anyway,
which hasn’t even arrived yet. “Uh... I don’t really know, I mean, I don’t exactly take myself as seriously as you do...,” she smirks, without making eye-contact, as though speaking in front of an audience of like-minded people, nodding in agreement with her assertion that life is some kind of joke which I don’t get, “It’s just a bit of fun.” “It does have consequences though, doesn’t it?” I wonder aloud. “I mean, if you buy it, you’re validating its existence – it seems you’re making a relatively negative judgement as to its quality but at the same time providing a demand for its production. Because of irony as well, I don’t really understand –” “Come on, you can’t tell me you don’t like some of her songs,” she interrupts. I tell her I don’t like any of her songs. I ask her why she likes them. “Oh come on! They’re really fun to dance to; I just enjoy them, like.” I think I’m approaching the kernel of truth within the equivocal praise visited upon the Lady Gaga phenomenon: the explanation for her transcendent appeal and applause. It’s the dancing. It has to be. The music is derivative and familiar enough that people will want to dance to it. Not dance alone in their rooms, of course, but in a club with lots of potential sexual partners and possibilities for being felt up and treated with disdain by everyone there except your friends who don’t actually like you very much but it makes people sad to be alone. It needs to
be dressed up in such a way that it isn’t just Cascada, though; poor Cascada just don’t get irony, they’re so desperately naff, aren’t they? Nobody’s going to appropriate Cascada into the listening habits of the middle-classes. So come on, Katy, is it the clubs, the dancing, the bawdiness of it all, wrapped up in absolvent irony so you don’t have to think about it? She taps her cigarette onto the path,
Surely excusing bad taste with irony acts as a “Get out of jail free” card for those wishing to abdicate responsibility for their own choices? observing passing traffic like some kind of smoking, staring idiot. “I guess it’s just a laugh. I can’t really explain it. It’s not like she’s all I listen to, anyway.” No, I suppose she isn’t. It would be a bit absurd to only listen to one particular artist for one’s whole life, to be fair. She must see a problem with such an
approach to music, though? Surely excusing bad taste with irony creates more problems than it solves - acts as a “Get out of jail free” card for those wishing to abdicate responsibility for their own choices? It’s part of a wider pattern of human indiscretion, yes, but how can it be justified on a commercial plane? Record executives aren’t piling up mounds of worthless irony-dollars with sour expressions on their faces, cursing the knowing smugness of quasi-intellectual college students. “It doesn’t matter what one person does; why do you take these things so seriously?” she presses me, adjusting her beret. To me, Lady Gaga represents all that is objectionable about pop music: the commodification of sexuality, the cynical lack of technical originality, selfpromotion and the singular interest in profitability – supposedly justified, somehow, through irony. “We ought to feel more responsible,” I suggest, “for the things we consume, and see ourselves a part of the cultural machinations we like to observe as outsiders.” “If you’re so ‘socially conscious’,” she smiles, “how come you didn’t pay 20c extra for the Fair Trade coffee?” Fuck you, Katy. She really thinks she’s won because of that. I can see it in the way she rolls herself back and forth on that bastard wheelchair. Oisín Murphy
Wednesday, February 10th | The University Times
The internet and filmmaking New horizons for the image
Chris Kelly examines the effects, both positive and negative, of the world wide web on Hollywood.
am on the internet for what can safely be called unhealthy amounts of time every day. Checking it is the first thing I do when I wake up and usually the last thing as well. To classify it as an addiction seems a little strong, but the thought has crossed my mind. Of the websites I regularly check, some of which include alt blogs and elitist message boards, new music, television shows, and movies are freely available for my consumption, with films usually uploaded onto the internet while still in cinemas. So how does this affect filmmaking/the film industry? First of all the internet to me is like a subversive and
unpredictable alternative to mainstream film and television. It gives a forum to all those weirdos who wouldn’t otherwise have a voice. There is important stuff too – news and whatnot. But there is no hierarchy whatsoever; it’s very chaotic (probably indicative of the undetermined “space” of the internet) and always very exciting. Film (and I refer to the behemoth of Hollywood) is, on the other hand, an old beast, yet a tenacious one that is constantly adapting and evolving. While distinctions between film and the internet are collapsing, they are doing so in strange ways because the internet has pretty successfully incorporated
film and television (and music; although music is hardly germane to the topic at hand) into its basic structure yet film/ television has retained its power and authority (at least for now) as the dominant mode of popular entertainment/ discourse. One would think that since practically any movie can be found for free on the internet, cinema attendance or DVD rentals would wane. Instead, 2009 produced the most financially successful film ever made in an otherwise not disappointing year. Also, since making a movie is as cheap and easy as it is (the only necessary tools are a digital camera and a YouTube account), the lack of internet-based film and television productions is surprising. We might just be in the beginning stages of internet entertainment possibilities; a comparison to film’s first few decades might be apposite. Viral videos about celebrities may eventually seem as ‘primitive’ as something by the Lumière Brothers, which is to say pivotal and influential but still very much at the beginnings of something yet to fully bloom. It seems today as though for individuals the internet is a jumping off point for a career in film – the ultimate goal remains Hollywood. The internet does not appear to be a legitimate, mainstream alternative. The connotations of an “internet celebrity” are, after all, not the most complimentary, especially when compared to the glamour attached to a movie star. Take Robert “Bo” Burnham, who rose to YouTube fame a few years back with his bedroom filmed rap, “I’m Bo Yo” (nearing its 11 millionth view). He has since released two comedy CDs and is now apparently working with Judd Apatow on a feature length film. Another recent example is the story of Fede Álvarez, a Uruguayan filmmaker who made a $300 five minute short film. A few days after uploading his work onto
YouTube, Álvarez accepted a $30 million movie deal. Yet, with all the opportunity for literally anyone to make anything film related, I’m surprised there aren’t more major projects popping up all the time. Maybe there are, but they just aren’t any good and fly under the radar. Also, the notion of the internet as a realistic rival to film/TV might be impeded by the weird stuff out there on the web. Famous internet videos do tend to be quite crude – people falling down and just generally making fools of themselves (but then again, only through the internet could something as bizarre as the 2girls1cup phenomenon occur). These possibilities were just not around in the 80s and 90s. At most you had underground figures appear on television (like Harvey Pekar’s guest spots on Late Night with David Letterman and Squirt TV, a mid-90s public access show discovered and picked up by MTV), but nothing like today, where someone can upload a video and be offered a multimillion Hollywood contract the following week. Crossover between film and the internet is becoming noticeably more prominent, both in regards to content and production. After an understandable period of suspicion and distrust, major
other characters, Valentin is set up as the protagonist of the film, the focal point around which scheming and bickering occurs. This is a shame, because this watery character holds little interest, and the film’s construction of early twentieth century prudishness, and the satisfaction it hopes to provoke by puncturing Valentin’s stuffiness, is pointless and facile. Valentin’s vapidity does provide, however, a nice counterpoint to the energetic Sofya, who artfully corner’s and unnerves him at several amusing junctures. Helen Mirren’s performance, and indeed character, is one of the few things in the film not tainted by cliché, tweeness or strident conventionalism. As mentioned, McAvoy’s character is forgettable. Plummer does a reasonable job as a Dumbledore-like Tolstoy. However, the film at no point tries to explore or represent the man as the towering artist he was. In fact, the film might have benefited from divesting itself of all pretensions of historical accuracy, perhaps by not pretending the film had anything to do with Tolstoy. Because really,
I doubt many fans of War and Peace will be flocking to see the film (I also doubt many people in Trinity will go either). There is an inflated sense of Britishness about the film, the countryside setting and the accents especially are more than redolent of Merchant and Ivory. Indeed, you get the impression that there is some weird kind of cultural appropriation going on in the Anglicisation of the great Russian figure. The film clearly has no interest in any but the most callow of Tolstoy’s ideas, and irritatingly sets up the commune and those figures which surround Tolstoy as sinister and stifling, a rather pat conservative representation. Instead, the film’s focus is on the blossoming love between Valentin and Masha, and the disintegrating love between Tolstoy and Sofya. This sounds kind of like the plot of Anna Karenina, and if the film had enough artistic investment or appreciation for the novel these narrative arcs might have been developed less crassly, but no luck. The film’s engagement with Tolstoy’s politics is as shallow as its engagement
The internet has provided a canvas for many artists to show of their work, including Bo Burnham (belowleft), The Lonely Island (above) and Timsmit Thibaut Niels’ test film What’s in the Box? (right).
television and film companies are realising the financial potential of the internet. They basically had to adapt and now it’s common for a major television company to stream their shows on their official website, something unheard of just a few years ago. The rise of legitimate streaming websites can also be noted in sites like hulu.com, which benefit from contractual agreements with networks and studios. Although interrupted by commercials, “official” videos do not have the unpredictable and often
The connotations of an “internet celebrity” are not the most complimentary, especially when compared to those of a movie star.
substandard quality of streaming sites, which are gradually being made redundant. While there aren’t many long lasting internet shows (nothing that would rival film or television) there are some notable exceptions, like the Drunk History videos. This web series, which has the production values of an average amateur video, employs the gimmick of having a drunken narrator retell historical events, and features the likes of Jack Black, Danny McBride, and Michael Cera. The Los Angeles based website channel101.com, featured monthly comedic short “series” parodying the television format. The site gained semi-mainstream notoriety only when channel101 alums Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone, and Akiva Schaffer (the Lonely Island) joined Saturday Night Live a few years ago; once again, using the internet as a spring board to bigger and better things. Which for now is an understandable, if ultimately misguided, strategy, for the possibilities of the internet far outweigh whatever film and television could ever throw at us (and I do not know whether that is a jab at the current wave of 3D filmmaking). Chris Kelly
The Last Station Directed by Michael Hoffman Starring Helen Mirren, Christopher Plummer, James McAvoy, Paul Giamatti Running time 112 minutes
The Last Station charts the melodramatic relationship between Leo Tolstoy (Christopher Plummer), his wife Sofya (Helen Mirren) and their disputes concerning Leo’s excessive philanthropy. Young Valentin Bulgakov (James McAvoy), a stuffy devotee of Tolstoyan philosophy, is hired by Tolstoy’s confidante (Paul Giamatti) as Leo’s private secretary and ordered to spy on Sofya and to record her machinations to influence her husband’s final will. He finds himself recruited by various figures that
circulate Tolstoy’s estate, which is run like a proto-hippie commune, eventually being seduced by the anachronistically proto-feminist Masha (Kerry Condon) which needlessly complicates an already intriguing set up. Directed by Michael Hoffman, whose biggest success is perhaps 1996’s One Fine Day, the film competently traverses various layers of quasi-intrigue involving the thorny issues of inheritance and marital friction. Though giving ample time to the
Leap Year Directed by Anand Tucket Starring Amy Adams, Matthew Goode, Adam Scott, John Lithgow Running time 100 minutes
Some may classify this film as a romantic comedy. I would think it more appropriate to call it a flat and uninspiring love story filled with witless jokes. The only thing romanticised in the film is Ireland, with its lovely green hills, charming castles, tranquil lakes illuminated at night by bright moonlight, abundant rainfall and cows (I always thought it was sheep Ireland was famous for, but there you go).
In fact, Ireland seems to be the real star of the film, whose predictable plot most of you have seen plenty of times under so many different titles. Yet, here you go again: another girl who wants to get married asap, but accidentally meets someone else and decides within days that she loves him more than the guy she’s been spending the last four years with. This happens to all of us, right? Anna (Amy Adams, seen in Julie &
Julia), a young and dedicated controlfreak who works as a real estate exhibitor (and somehow reminds me of a cross between Desperate Housewives’ Brie and Bewitched’s Samantha – or maybe it is just the similar hairstyle) has decided it is time for her to get married to her longterm boyfriend Jeremy (Adam Scott). Since he is too busy fixing other people’s hearts (working as a cardiologist) and seems to have neglected the needs of Anna’s, she takes matters in her own hands and chases him to Dublin where he is attending a conference. Taking advantage of an old Irish tradition allowing women to pop the question on the 29th of February – the titular day of leap year (who would have thought the Irish promoted emancipation?), Anna determines to get married on her terms. Clearly, marriage is the only thing that makes a woman happy in this film. Sparkly earrings and the three words are not good enough, apparently. Following through on her mission,
Anna flies from Boston to Ireland, but ends up disembarking in Wales, due to a heavy storm that causes Dublin Airport to close for the day. This is probably the only realistic description of the Irish way of life throughout the whole film. After some difficulties, Anna finally finds a fishing boat able to withstand the intense storm and take her to the Emerald Isle. Anyone with a bit of a geographic
with his fiction, unfortunately. Not to say that the film isn’t reasonably enjoyable, but most everything about it is so unaffecting and inconsequential, despite Helen Mirren’s entertaining histrionics. The few a-cultural scenes of intimacy between Leo and Sofya are among the more powerful in the film, in contrast to the shallow romance which develops between Valentin and Masha, and make one wish the filmmakers had decided to focus exclusively on the older couple. In contrast, the inclusion of the younger folk’s romance is brusque, glaringly commercial and inartistic. The tragic trajectory of Leo and Sofya’s romance, sentimental though it is, is diffused too sparsely throughout the film to have a really lasting effect, and might have complemented the other narrative spheres more satisfyingly. The film’s marshalling of such high quality actors is, for the most part, a waste. Eoin Rafferty
knowledge might expect a boat coming from Wales to arrive in Belfast or Dublin. But no, in this instance, it ends up in Dingle. And so, the love story may begin. And last for the remaining hour of 100 minutes of torment. After arriving, Anna meets handsome Irish boy Declan (English boy Matthew Goode) who runs a pub in Dingle. It is not clear where exactly Declan is meant to be from, but definitely not Dingle as
his Kerry accent is nonexistent. But then again the film also shows gigantic cliffs apparently situated in Dingle whereas Fungi was not mentioned once. However, there was a scene where Irish guys in a pub smack each other’s heads in; I presume the producers did put some effort into researching Irish habits. Eventually, Anna convinces Declan to bring her to Dublin and a romantic road trip through Ireland begins. Not wanting to spoil the fun (*cough*) of going to see the movie, I shall not reveal the (admittedly predictable) ending. Some may find it entertaining to watch the otherwise greatly talented Amy Adams walk and roll through mud, get sick on Matthew Goode’s shoes and talk to cows. Others may find it forgettable and unremarkable. I would consider myself on the ‘other’ side. But you may want to find out for yourself. Gundula Beeler
The University Times | Wednesday, February 10th
Friday night with nothing to watch?
Buzz building for Band of Brothers sequel
After his recent announcement that this will be the last season of his show, Jennifer Duignam examines how Jonathan Ross has stood up over the last ten years.
he king of the chat show has relinquished his crown. Jonathan Ross is officially leaving the BBC and with his departure comes the demise of his most famous vehicle, the highly entertaining self-titled Friday Night with Jonathan Ross. First broadcast in 2001, the show soon became a hit with the viewers, as Wossy’s ability to simultaneously interview and poke fun at his guests (with a dash of vulgarity thrown in for good measure) proved a welcome break from tradition. So where did it all go wrong? Tuning in to last Friday’s show in an effort to come up with an answer for this, I had a chance to make up my own mind as to whether Ross’s departure was a well-timed calculation, or a reluctant resignation. The fact that Jedward made an appearance just made things a little bit sweeter. Before I begin a callous dissection of the show, I must acknowledge that our host has not lost an ounce of his wicked sense of humour or charm. Fighting off a bout of the flu, he opened the show with a joke about the situation at hand, saying his doctor had advised him to cancel the show, in which he replied that the BBC had beaten him to it. And while some may view that as a sly dig, most of us will know that this is simply typical Wossy. He embraces the awkward and manages to see the funny side in the most embarrassing of incident. Take the first show back after his suspension last year following his and Russell Brand’s phone message to Andrew Sachs. The majority of his programme consisted of subtle references and sly asides, without ever mentioning the event directly. Having incurred the wrath of many a critic, he managed to cleverly side step the issue without ignoring it completely,
and as such it became something of a masterclass in how to handle a delicate situation in front of the camera. Ross’s interviewing skills are undeniable too, having tackled such legends as Barbara Streisand and Tony Curtis with aplomb. But all that aside, after almost ten years, has the show gone stale? I don’t think anybody can disagree with me when I say that Friday Night with Jonathan Ross did lose some of its sparkle after the unfortunate incident with the phone call. I am of course referring to the offensive message left on Andrew Sachs’ mobile phone after he failed to turn up for the Ross’s show. Subsequently broadcast on a BBC2 radio programme, the misguided prank drew heavy criticism from listeners, media critics and politicians alike, and resulted in both stars being suspended for a 12 week period, and Brand’s eventual resignation from the company. Ever since, Jonathan Ross appears to be a cautious man, clearly exercising a high level of self-restraint in an effort to avoid such backlash again. Some have even argued that his departure from the BBC may have been prearranged, a direct result of the controversy. In other words, the management at BBC might have agreed to allow Ross to finish out his current contract under a series of conditions and under the presumption that they would not be renewing it. While this makes financial sense (the contract is supposedly worth £18 million) I am somewhat sceptical of this view. Would such a strong personality as Wossy simply have sat back and allowed this to happen? Would he not have simply resigned on the spot? He was at the high point of his career, and would no doubt have been inundated with offers from other broadcasters. But such guess work is
He embraces the awkward and manages to see the funny side in the most embarrassing of incident.
futile, and frustrating, and I inevitably end up right back where I started. The irrepressible Lucan duo ‘Jedward’ were Ross’s first guests of the night. However if I’m being honest, it was Jonathan (not John) who looked a little overwhelmed, out of his depth even. He didn’t get a word in edgeways as the duo went off on more tangents than anyone would have thought possible, leaving our presenter looking quite bemused by it all. A highly amusing 15 minutes of television it was, but coherent it was not. Following Jed were the cast of the Channel 4 teen sci-fi drama, Misfits; at last order was somewhat restored as our presenter posed an equal amount of questions to each, each squabbling to try make their voice heard over the others. With a dig at one unfortunate
member of Misfits (the Irish one of course) telling him he was unbelievably annoying, we almost caught a fleeting glimpse of the old Jonathan Ross. The sparkle was back. Nowhere was this truer than Ross’s interview with Kim Catrell, of Sex and the City, which became the showpiece of the night. Fusing Ross’s well-honed interviewing skills with innuendoes and dirty jokes galore, it was Wossy at his best. While maybe not as daring as some of his earlier interviews, Friday Night with Jonathan Ross is still highly enjoyable to watch, and episodes like that of last Friday, are reminiscent of Jonathan at his best. He seemed to regain his mojo, as he was faced with a subject he could have fun with, rather than someone he struggled to understand (Jedward). And perhaps this is a clue as to why Ross has chosen to leave now. While still just as funny as the day he started, he does seem to have lost his way a bit with the younger crowd. Perhaps his decision is a means of quitting while he’s ahead, rather than waiting for the show to become outdated and irrelevant. What is obvious though, is that with the end in sight, Jonathan is regaining some of the old magic we fell in love with, little by little. We can only hope that this gradual progression continues, and that Wossy bows out of the BBC with a bang. Jennifer Duignam
Glee takes teen drama in a new direction M
y name is Michelle Doyle and I am addicted to Glee. I know, I know… all that singing, all that dancing, all that Sue Sylvester, how did I not see it coming? I am a shadow of my former self; I get my fix on the TV. I then cruise YouTube for hours on end and search IMDB for quotes. My life is spiralling out of control; my sleep pattern has been drastically altered. I stay up until 3am for catch-ups. This is the third time I’ve watched that episode today. Glee has destroyed my life. But how did this happen? When did it start? How did I get in quite so deep? I remember it all so clearly. I remember seeing the ads, the logo, some girl with a big mouth stepping forward and grinning at me before singing Don’t Stop Believin’, one of the most irritating songs in existence. And what’s more, what really gets me is I remember ridiculing Glee. Glee was no better than a piece of flattened gum on the sole of my shoe but what’s worse, that gum has been impossible to peal and now Glee is an intrinsic part of my daily existence. I need help! As for the soundtrack an American girl in my course brought it back from the states for me… For the troglodytes amongst you however that have somehow managed to escape the feel-good clutches of TV’s newest teen sensation, Glee is the all-singing, all dancing American hit show that is raging almost halfway through its first season on E4 and hurtling at unstoppable speeds in national popularity. A perfect fusion of all that has come to be derided in stereotype, teen-TV, the show follows an after school show choir (or glee club) called “New Directions!” and is a back-to-basics approach to teen drama that plays to its own conformity by drawing on the age-old recipe of old-school teen movies. What makes Glee different to all its less popular and more derided sibling shows before it however is that despite playing to the cliché by the book, the broth has been contorted ever so slightly to bring the viewing public something new and fresh. Indeed, myself and probably everyone else reading this has had the misfortune of being veterans of 90s TV, an unimaginative breed of television that drew from its parental legacies of The Breakfast Club and culminated the decade with the intellectual failure that was cheerleading movie Bring It On. Come the
millennium it was a case that while we still hadn’t built cars that fly or taken family vacations to the moon, we could at least shake up our programming. So, hand-led into the new decade by our friends Sebastian, Catherine and whatever Reese Witherspoon’s name was in Cruel Intentions, TV focused on breaking the derided mould made popular by Saved by the Bell, instead favouring pseudo-sophisticated teen shows that plugged at the idea of a more intelligent viewer. Gone were the days of mere popular girls with bad attitudes and in was the notion of popular girls with diverse ranging personality complexes whose bitchiness derived from loveless childhoods and bad parenting. Flat characters were out, replaced by the wholly relatable 3D anti-hero. However, just as we grew tired of the vegetative appeal of 90s TV, so did the drama, scandal and intense character development seen in practically every TV show in the 00s become a little overbearing. We wanted everything to be less serious, more fun, Jedward style. The seeds were sown for something different, something that reverted back to the age-old stereotype but manipulated it in a way that it wasn’t merely a copy of what had
Glee is thoroughly unoriginal but unoriginal in a new and witty way that hasn’t ever been seen before.
come before it: the answer was Glee. Don’t get me wrong now, Glee is such a stereotype, from the quiet Asian girl to the girl fabulous gay boy, to the Beyonce-esque diva and the nasal voiced nerd in a wheelchair, there is essentially nothing that separates Glee from its identical siblings before it. Except… it is different. The winning formula applied to Glee is that it’s thoroughly unoriginal but unoriginal in a new and witty way that hasn’t ever really been seen before it. From the dry, sharp-tongued, non-PC, outlandish
remarks from Sue Sylvester to the feel-good singing and dancing, this show appeals to a wide spectrum of audiences by honing in on a diverse range of target markets that up until now were not being adequately catered for. Aside from the soundtrack obviously, the blatant appeal of Glee is fast-talking, insidious Cheerio’s coach Sue Sylvester whose toxicity will stop at no lengths and whose ambition to win sees no limits. In shows like Gossip Girl, were Sue’s thoroughly un-PC approach to life aired, it would bring down the credibility of the show. Glee however does not try to attempt plausibility; instead Sue reigns down on the students of McKinley High as well as appearing in ‘Sue C’s It’ on the Ohio News in which she gives subtle and terse advice to the people of Ohio, deriding ‘fatties, uglies’ and homeless people and calling for a post-mortem on fat people’s inclusion in society. Sue’s character is played by actress Jane Lynch and is currently nominated for Best Supporting Actress in The Golden Globe awards. Just like stage-hit and film success: Hairspray, as the LA Times put it: “Glee is the first show in a long time that’s just plain full-throttle, no-guilty-pleasure-rationalizations-necessary fun!”. And what’s more, Glee could be set in any day and age and has the potential to, like Fame, be dare I say it, timeless in the event that it doesn’t over-repeat itself in subsequent seasons and become another of TVs toxic assets. Currently Glee is up for a string of Awards including Teen Choice Awards, Golden Globe Awards, and Writers Guild Awards as well as winning Best TV Series at The People’s Choice Awards. And so, before I draw this ‘Gleek’ rant to a close, I leave you with a snippet of advice from my idol Sue Sylvester which would have done me well when writing out my CAO options two years ago: “I empower my Cheerios to be champions. Do they go onto college? I don’t know, I don’t care. Should they learn Spanish? Sure, if they wanna become dishwashers and gardeners. But if they want to be bankers and lawyers and captains of industry, the most important lesson they could possibly learn is how to do a cartwheel!” And that’s how Sue C’s it. Michelle Doyle
It was with excited squeals that I discovered last week that Sky premiered the first footage of one of its newest acquisitions and arguably one of the most highly anticipated television events of 2010, the epic HBO mini-series The Pacific. From the creative team behind 2001’s Band of Brothers, this 10 part series follows the real life experiences of three US Marines across the vast expanse of the Pacific front during World War II. With such Hollywood royalty as Stephen Spielberg and Tom Hanks involved, the show’s pedigree is undeniable, evidenced further by the huge amount of buzz it is generating already, despite its premiere date being over two months away. With a cast of relatively unknown actors occupying the lead roles such excitement may seem premature to the uninitiated. But for all of us who fell in love with the Easy Company of Band of Brothers this will seem entirely justified. Where The Pacific diverges from its predecessor though, is its approach to narrative. The mini-series will focus primarily on the fates of three individuals, rather than the whole company. This seems to be a more personal style of story-telling, as the show follows the soldiers from enlistment to their triumphant, if somewhat uncomfortable, return home at the end of the war. Taking a documentary style approach to the filming, in what director Tony To describes as “under-the-helmet” shooting, the early footage looks promising. The battle sequences that populate the trailers capture the harshness of war and the discombobulating effect it has on the ordinary soldier to dizzying effect. Described by co-producer Hanks as “...some of the most vicious stuff I’ve ever seen on film...” the show appears to be pulling no punches when it comes to the action, with some critics drawing similarities between the beach scenes and those of Saving Private Ryan – high praise indeed. Irish viewers however will be slightly disheartened to discover that Sky has decided to broadcast the mini-series exclusively on its movie channel, limiting access to the show considerably. Fans can only live in hope that RTÉ takes the plunge and purchases the Irish rights, even if it does mean we’ll have to wait a little while longer to see it. And believe me, if The Pacific proves to be even half as good as its predecessor, it will be worth the wait. Jennifer Duignam
American Idol hits Irish shores American Idol, the trans-Atlantic, hybrid-cousin to the X Factor, Pop Idol and all other legitimate and illegitimate reality TV versions of Simon Cowell’s British brainchild, Pop Idol, is set to hit TV3 this 2010. The show that brought us Kelly Clarkson as well as a host of outtakes and bloopers that have scourged YouTube and Internet society for almost a decade made this year’s TV debut in the US on the Fox network on January 12, 2010. Hosting this year’s panel shall be king of harsh, Simon Cowell, along with gastric bypass buddy Randy Jackson and topped by bad dancing, loud-mouthed, over-opinionated and generally all-round irritating, Ellen DeGeneres as well as girl-power side kick, Kara DioGuardi who after a Wikipedia search is apparently famous and accredited as a ‘great song writer’ that has written for the likes of Britney, a woman whose last pop song proved her ability to count to the number three. This year’s show, which included a rotating panel of guest judges for the auditions phase including fame-chasing WAG Posh Spice prior to her redundancy to Ellen, has already seen auditions hitting up the Internet with a vengeance, the most current and popular one being 62 year old, Larry Platts, singing iconic OAP classic: ‘Pants on the Ground’. In the event that American’s are anywhere near as fickle as I’m lead to believe, no doubt Platt’s take on this classic shall be preserved and immortalised in the annals of YouTube fame, possibly (but not really) in the same way Susan Boyle was over a year ago. Of American Idol, Cowell has remarked that he wants series 9 ‘to find it’s own version of (cash-cow) Susan Boyle.’ – In which case, despite his stage-one elimination, Platts is probably the next best take on aging, unmarried, British odd ball, simple Susan. American Idol will be shown on TV 3 on Wednesdays at 9.30 and will maintain the same top 24 semi-finalists format used in previous seasons. Michelle Doyle
Skins returns for a fourth season Returning once more to incite fear and anxiety in parents and teachers alike, Skins shall be gracing our TV screens on January 28 for a ten-week run. This season will continue with the cast of season three and is set to further develop their plots and story lines. Skins has been popular since its debut in 2007 and draws in over one million viewers an episode. Likewise, talks are underway regarding a Skins movie in which the gaps shall be filled as to what our favourite 17 year olds get up to outside of school during their summer holidays. Regarding the change of cast every two series, writers have remarked that it keeps the show from going stale and helps initiate each new generation of teenager into the mould of which series of Skins was their series as such rather than trying to facilitate an older generations of ex-teenagers. Michelle Doyle
Wednesday, February 10th | The University Times
What happens next? The secret of exhibiting art Over the last ten years, the influx of art media and high quality image reproductions has changed the way art can be experienced. Rosalind Abbott explores the ways in which galleries must rethink the exhibition process in order to keep the crowds coming in.
he name ‘What happens next is a secret’ is quite apt for the exhibition to which it lends itself. Upon entering the exhibition space at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA), viewers have been given no hints as to what artists they may find on display, what styles of art will be showcased, what mediums will be used, and so on. All the gallery’s leaflet states is that the exhibition is ‘experimental’ – though the experiment relates more to the exhibition itself than the works it showcases. Rather than selecting a group of works thematically, or by period, ‘What happens next is a secret’ displays works with no underlying connections. This synoptic approach results in a refreshing mixture of media, styles, movements and periods – one of first works I encounter is Jack B. Yeats’s expressionist ‘The Folded Heart’ (1943), but it shares a room with a contemporary conceptual sculpture. The idea is that fresh connections will be generated by the viewers themselves, and through the placement of artworks in relation to one another. As the exhibition goes on, new artworks will be added – and some taken away – changing the context the works are seen in and, consequently, the effect they have on us. The exhibition itself and the way it’s put together take centre stage; the artworks are merely components of the bigger picture. This is by no means a new
idea: in 1891, Monet exhibited fifteen works from his Haystacks series together. He argued that without seeing the works grouped together according to his specifications, a viewer could not possibly understand the value of them. His paintings were to be appreciated not as individual pieces, but as a collective aesthetic; again, it was the exhibition itself which became the ‘artwork’. Yet the difference between this and the IMMA’s experiment is
example, in the stark white walls of the National Gallery, when it is intended to be displayed in a lavishly decorated church? Perhaps as a result of such problems, more and more contemporary artists are turning to site-specific installations over more traditional, two-dimensional art forms. Katie Paterson, for example, recently hooked up a series of streetlamps on a pier in Kent to synchronise with storms happening around
Artworks are created as isolated objects, yet they’re exhibited alongside other works which may enhance, or dampen, their impact.
crucial: Monet’s various depictions of Haystacks were always intended to compliment each other and to be exhibited together. On the other hand, the majority of artworks are created as isolated objects, yet they’re almost always exhibited alongside an assortment of other works which may enhance, or dampen, their impact. So is it fair to jumble together random pieces of art, no matter how carefully selected? Whole new avenues of art theory can be opened up when we question the validity of the exhibition. How can we effectively judge a Renaissance altarpiece, for
the world in real time. Her piece can only be witnessed in its intended setting, uncontaminated by the conflicting aesthetics of other artists. In addition, we cannot feel we have truly experienced installations such as Paterson’s without travelling to them and witnessing them first hand. A jpeg image posted up on an art blog, or press clipping from a newspaper review, will not make wouldbe art visitors feel they have experienced the work without physically going to see it. One cannot help but suspect that ‘What happens next is a secret’, too, is a response to the increasing popularity
and availability of art media, both online and print. In order to entice people to visit museums and galleries in person, artists and curators must rethink the entire exhibition process: after all, why hop on the Luas to see art when you could do a quick Google Image search? By turning the emphasis to the curation of the collection, rather than the works themselves, the IMMA demands our attendance: we cannot experience this exhibition vicariously. This creates several paradoxes. Firstly, that it is through the shift of emphasis away from the artworks and onto the curation of them that we are encouraged to see art first hand, and thus to fully experience them. Only by looking away from the artworks can they be truly appreciated. Furthermore, the exhibition simultaneously becomes a celebration both of what is real (seeing the art in the flesh, rather than distorted copies) and what is artificial (the works become equally distorted through the exhibition process). Yet if we cannot experience art through reproductions, and we cannot objectively interpret it when we see it being exhibited, is there any real way to appreciate art at all then? This is a problem which remains unresolved by the ‘What happens next’ exhibition, but that doesn’t compromise its effectiveness. Rather, it seems aware of
this paradox and exploits it. Because of our heightened awareness to the artificiality of the exhibition, we can come to recognise it for what it is. The first time I strolled around the space, I was unaware of how seeing one piece would affect my interpretation of another. Only afterwards did I start to see links forming in my head: Kathy Prendergast’s ‘Lost’ (1999), ‘Cardinal’ by Paul Nugent (1997) and Frantiska and Tim Gilman’s 2006 ‘The Museum minus the collection’ all evoke a sense of absence or loss. It can be difficult to break away from this mood when confronted with more light-hearted or positive works like Joao Penalva’s ‘David’s mother’s white bowl’ (2004). Aiding this unwarrantedly eerie atmosphere is the film installation ‘Here after’ (Paddy Folley, Rebecca Troust and Ingerlise Hansen, 2004) which plays on loop at the back of the exhibition space: I can hear the film’s haunting soundtrack of whistling wind, dripping water and white noise as I walk around the collection. A subconscious effect on my interpretation of the rest of the works is inevitable. But the experiment is not over yet – the full impact of the exhibition cannot be experienced without several visits, due to the constantly evolving nature of the collection. I ask a member of staff when new pieces will be introduced: ‘Well
that’s just it’, she replies with a twinkle in her eye, ‘You’ll just have to keep checking back’. The idea is that when I return, the works which remain in the collection will be
experienced differently, now that their surroundings have changed. And with Picasso, Hogarth, Michael CraigMartin and Antony Gormley amongst the list of names
soon to have works exhibited, I may well be checking back soon. Rosalind Abbott
Regarding unnecessary second readings ‘Second Readings’ is a recently published compilation written by Irish Times journalist and critic Eileen Battersby, containing reviews of classic literary texts such as Ulysess and The Great Gatsby. Kevin Breathnach outlines just why such revisits are superfluous.
here are two sins in the enterprise literary journalism which, when combined, announce amateurism louder than any other failings can: reviewing an old book for no particular reason; and then remaining more or less within the parameters of synopsis. It is on this injurious marriage that the pages of university arts sections such as this are generally founded. Published at the end of 2009, Second Readings is a collection of fifty-two reviews by Eileen Battersby, all of which are guilty of these two journalistic failings. Over the course of a year, Battersby, the Literary Correspondent for the Irish Times, publicly revisited classics such as The Great Gatsby and Ulysses, and each time returned with virtually nothing to say about a book that hadn’t already been said in the relevant Wikipedia entry. Battersby has an annoying habit of outlining the plot of a novel in the present tense, even if the plot in question takes place in the past tense. “A boy falls in love with a rich girl,” begins Battersby on The Great Gatsby. It’s as if she’s pitching the novel as an idea for a film. But what’s worse are the big finishes that follow each full-length synopsis. “The more closely one examines this story concerned with surfaces, the
more closely one grasps the depth of Fitzgerald’s wasteland symbolism and the ironic use he makes of a billboard optician in a narrative in which so few characters see all that clearly.” Martin Amis, a master of the literary journalism himself, said once that he didn’t want to write a sentence that anybody else could have written. Contrast that noble aim with Battersby’s sentence on
These are book reports more than they are reviews – This, this and this happens; see, teacher I’ve read it! Gatsby, itself a close relative to millions penned by undergraduates worldwide. Meanwhile, her review of Ulysses is fraught with mixed metaphors, bad grammar and the gushing platitudes for which she is renowned. “Like a thief in the night, James Joyce [...] exploded all
notions of traditional narrative.” The reader recoils at the news that thieves, a frightening enough group as it is, have added explosives to their armoury. “Bloom’s morning begins in Eccles Street preparing breakfast, defecating and tending the cat.” The reader now turns green, at first with envy (darling, why don’t our mornings prepare breakfast or tend the cat?), and then in disgusted relief (thank heavens our mornings don’t defecate, the kids are bad enough!). “Ulysses is a stylistic and linguistic tour de force.” Finally the reader yawns. It is unclear whom Battersby had in mind when she composed these pieces. They are, in essence, full-length synopses of random classics, and though it is true that there is more to a good novel than its plot, it remains nonetheless an important aspect of all but the most stylistic of novels. In almost every review, Battersby gives the game away for those who haven’t read the book in question, and bores to tears those who have. These are book-reports more than they are reviews – This, this and this happens; see, teacher I’ve read it! – and they should therefore be introduced, like their cousins on Wikipedia, with a spoiler-warnings. It might be useful at this point to contrast Battersby’s ‘second reading’ of Ulysses
with a meditative piece on the same book by John Berger, an art critic who seems to have written hardly a dull word in his life. Let’s call it the Batter. / Berger comparison. “Ulysses is like an ocean,” reflects Berger, “you do not read it; you navigate it.” And later, “To compare the book with an ocean again makes sense, for isn’t it the most liquid book ever written?” This is sort of writing that elevates criticism to an art form, and which The Irish Times should make it its business to publish on a regular basis. Whereas Battersby pushes her unwary reader into her own dishwater retelling, John Berger sprinkles him with salt water, preparing him for the odyssey to come. Instead of a spoiler-warning, Battersby introduces her collection of book-reports with an entirely forgettable celebration of reading, entitled ‘The Reader in the Hammock’. “People read at night, on the train, on the bus, at work, at school, maybe not in church, but at meals, in restaurants, when waiting for the washing machine to empty, for the bread to bake, for the mechanic to service the car, for the windows to somehow manage to wash themselves.” And it’s my understanding that Battersby had one eye on a dog-eared copy of The Faerie Queen even as she composed this
passage. It seems ridiculous to have to say it of The Irish Times’s Lady in the Library, but Eileen Battersby would do well to stop for a moment, perhaps as she waits for the washing machine to empty, and actually think about the novel she was reading while waiting for the mechanic to service her car. “A good reader,” said grouchy old Nabokov, “is a rereader.” And a good re-reader, I’m sure he would agree, is a re-examiner. If Eileen Battersby shows little evidence of being a re-reader, she shows even less of being a reexaminer. Kevin Breathnach
The University Times | Wednesday, February 10th
TimesMUSIc News and Views
All the singing ladies, all the singing ladies
US Department of Justice approves modified Live Nation, Ticketmaster merger
he Runaways’ hit ‘Cherry Bomb’, the first single on the band’s eponymous debut album, raucously proclaimed the arrival on the scene of the all girl teen rock sensation, fronted by Cherie Currie with Joan Jett as co-vocalist. The forthcoming biopic The Runaways chch-charts (sorry) the antics of the eponymous all-girl teen rock band at their inception in 1975. The film stars the queen of the aloof/ awkward tightrope, Kristen Stewart as Jett, and an alarmingly pubescent Dakota Fanning as lead vocalist Currie (they really do grow up so fast). At the helm is Floria Sigismondi, better known for her work on music videos for the likes of Interpol, The Cure and Sigur Rós. Sigismondi’s treatment of The Runaways’ rise to fame chronicles the band’s sex, drugs and rock’n’roll lifestyle, and the manipulation by record producer Kim Fowley of their unique selling point - jailbait rock (band members were all sixteen years of age or younger when recording their first album). Nonetheless, The Runaways went on to establish themselves musically, playing sell out shows across the United States and supporting big names such as The Ramones and Van Halen, representing a seminal foray by women into the hitherto male-dominated realm of stadium rock. The Riot Grrrl movement of the ‘90s in particular further paved the way for girls with guitars in the midst of what its Bikini Killpenned manifesto deemed “beergutboyrock that tells us we can’t play our instruments”. Now firmly ensconced in the twenty-first century, however, we exist in a world where the term ‘feminism’ seems archaic and vaguely embarrassing, like those hirsute sketches in The Joy of Sex. The frisson surrounding The Runaways’ emergence in the ‘70s would hardly register a blip on today’s prurience radar, honed by The Pussycat Dolls and The Saturdays. With this in mind, it’s intriguing to see how women are faring in music today – or to use a friend’s quaint wording, in “real music” today, a nebulous genre wherein, crucially, the ability to shimmy ruthlessly sculpted pelvic bones is not a prerequisite. Proving that the contemporary interpretation of “girl band” is not necessarily synonymous with “manufactured”, Brooklyn-based Vivian Girls bring excellent punk-tinged lo-fi tunes like ‘Moped Girls’ and ‘Tell the World’ with their sophomore effort Everything Goes Wrong, released in September 2009. Far from the musical equivalent of the boys lining up on one side of the dance hall with the girls clustered at the opposing wall however,
bands such as supergroup The Dead Weather toy with the sexual static of the girl/boy dynamic to great effect, Jack White replacing Jamie Hince’s scuzzy guitar grinding on Alison Mosshart’s smoky vocals, while muchhyped newcomers The xx play Romy Madley Croft’s sweet vocals off Oliver Sim’s richer bass tones. The swagger and charisma of the lead singer position is not monopolised by men in 2010. Following in the footsteps of some of music’s greatest lead vocalists such as Siouxsie Sioux and Debbie Harry, female lead singers front a number of serious contenders at the outset of the new decade. Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Karen O’s tidal wave of success shows no sign of abating. In 2009’s It’s Blitz, O gave us more streamlined vocals than previous albums but lost none of her edge, pounding out floor-fillers ‘Zero’ and ‘Heads Will Roll’ with quasi-orgasmic abandon. O’s soundtrack for the painfully hip project of exboyfriend Spike Jonze, Where The Wild Things Are, earned more brownie points, her naive piping voice and vulnerable yelps complementing the tender core at Jonze’s adaptation of the childhood classic. Toronto natives Metric feature Emily Haines at the helm, their fourth album Fantasies released last year. Haines and guitarist Jimmy Shaw recently performed a spine-tingling acoustic version of standout track ‘Help, I’m Alive’ at a Canadian telethon to raise funds for the Haiti disaster. When looking at prominent women in music at the moment, attention cannot be deflected for too long from 2009’s greatest discovery, Florence and the Machine. Having garnered acclaim from the critics, the mainstream and the cool kids on the street, the only question remains is when the Flo-flavoured backlash will set in. Not for the foreseeable future, it seems; Florence and the
Last week, the US Department of Justice approved the controversial merger of two music industry giants; concert promoter Live Nation and ticket agent Ticketmaster. This follows the UK Competition Commission’s approval of the merger in December, taking a U-turn on their previous claim that the merger was anti-competitive. This new superpower will control every aspect of the music industry from artist management (including U2, Madonna, Jay-Z, the Eagles), distribution and promotion of events, tickets sales and venue ownership, with all the extras like T-shirts and beer sales, parking etc. Michael Rapino, chief executive of Live Nation and the newly merged company, said the coming together would create “a more diversified company with a great selling platform for artists and a stronger financial profile that will drive improved shareholder value over the long term”. However there is widespread concern that the new company will dominate the market, pushing up prices for the consumer. The DOJ-approved merger contains modifications to the originally proposed merger to the effect that Ticketmaster will have to licence a copy of its ticketing software and sell its Paciola ticketing company to other “suitable” companies. According to the DOJ, these moves will recreate the level of competition that existed in the live music marketplace before the merger of Live Nation and Ticketmaster. Independent promoters, music journalists, bloggers and the wider public remain sceptical.
Today’s female lead singers can give the boys a run for their money, such as Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine (above) and Karen O of The Yeah Yeah Yeahs (right).
The sound of a generation Telephone’ remaining one of the most joyously cacophonous singles of the past couple of years. Further afield, Charlotte Gainsbourg has all but exorcised the shadow of famous father Serge that inevitably haunts the Gallic actress/musician. With fans still reeling at her turn in Lars Von Triers’ merciless Antichrist (genital mutilation, ahoy), Gainsbourg re-
Having garnered acclaim from the critics, the mainstream and the cool kids on the street, the only question remains is when the Flo-flavoured backlash will set in against Florence.
Machine have two sell-out shows in Dublin’s Olympia this coming May. Florence Welch is not the only Londonbased female musician to watch out for - tousle-haired musical wunderkind Mica Levi brings her multi-instrumental genius to the outfit Micachu and the Shapes, ‘Golden
leased critically acclaimed third album IRM last year, collaborating with none other than multitalented alt rock legend, Beck. So what’s in store for the teenies? The jury is gearing up to see what Jack White’s new protégés, The Black Belles, have to offer. The group is newly signed to White’s Third Man
label and is quite literally cloaked in mystery; one of the few images available of the group shows them in sexy witchy get-up that may or may not be remnants of Sarah Jessica Parker’s wardrobe in Hocus Pocus. Facetiousness aside, the snippet of their track ‘What Can I Do?’ available on their MySpace page is a tantalising taste of the gritty garage rock to come. With White, who by now could be considered something of an industry heavyweight, acting svengali to a band of guitar-wielding girls, parallels with The Runaways are hard to resist. Incidentally, The Runways director Flora Sigismondi directed the video for The White Stripes’ ‘Blue Orchid’, on the set of which White met future wife, model Karen Elson. With The Black Belles remaining elusive and a release date for The Runaways as yet unconfirmed on this side of the Atlantic, we’ll just have to hold our breath and see what 2010 has to offer. Deirdre Kilbride
The face of youth culture for the later part of the last decade as well as impetus for modern indie music, Skins, is back for a fourth season and is still in search of great music to add the finishing touch to the face of E4’s hottest teen product. The show that launched a thousand careers and saw the overnight move of Crystal Castles from underground to mainstream is currently accepting demos from independent bands to include in the still un-finalised soundtrack for this season, which will be airing up until late March / early April. Previous bands to have associated themselves with the teen legacy include: Lady Gaga, Florence and the Machine, and Bloc Party, as well as a series of other signed and unsigned bands to boot, with the website including a full itinerary of all music used in every individual episode to date. However the series is adding a twist to the send-in routine this year. Those unsigned bands that submit and whose music is used shall be given the chance to get signed to record label AWAL (Artists Without a Label), the same label that discovered MySpace stars The Arctic Monkeys. Those interested in availing of the opportunity to have their music aired on the current season as well as the possibility of getting signed should log onto: www.e4.com/skins/music/your-music.html Michelle Doyle
Label Vagrant, E Works
Label Nonesuch Records
Label Sub Pop
Eels’ End Times: a happy-go-lucky psychic journey or a symphony of the absurd? There’s no doubt that after E’s (aka Mark Oliver Everett’s) musical success and accomplishments, he has survived it all in life. There’s something that all of us have to encounter one day or another, and he is no exception to the rule. E has managed to mix the sorrow of a breakup with a bit of happy-go-lucky tunes on his End Times album. The well enrooted influence of the Beatles, together with the melodic voice that blends between Cocker and Dylan, offers a vehicle for his traumas and expectations of what comes after a breakup. ‘End Days’ in particular penetrates the ethereal, inviting us to float on top of a dunes’ dance. His cartoons, like life at the moment, have inspired him and matured him; developing audibly nostalgic songs, with acoustic guitar, organ, piano and others, achieving a healing process through the simplicity of a well-performed musical therapy. Certainly the creativity that surrounds his artistic qualities helps him
breathe in solitude. E’s ‘I Need A Mother’ cry touches deeply those who have lost one. He throws all his pain and frustration at us in this album, narrating his life both past and present, from ‘The Beginning’ as his ‘Younger Days’ take him to ‘Mansions of Los Feliz’, to ‘Nowadays’; ‘Unhinged’, he feels ‘High and Lonesome’ and ‘On His Feet’ he cries, ‘I Need a Mother’ as the only thing he has left is his ‘Little Bird’ to keep him company. And in his deluxe edition containing bonus songs, it seems that for him, his universe has reached a black hole where there are no ‘Apple Trees’ and the only thing he has to do is to sing in ‘Paradise Blues’ as he keeps on looking for ‘The Man Who Didn’t Know He Lost His Mind’. The absurdity of it all is that musical taste is a magnet that fans can’t resist. End Times will perfectly gratify the idea of identifying with E’s intimate hurt, not just as a musical star but also as a human being. Maria Copley
The new Magnetic Fields album arrives replete with a characteristically blunt title, a gimmick which has come to indicate its central conceit. Thus, following on from the distortion of Distortion and the love songs of, er, 69 Love Songs, Realism would seemingly promote the kind of stripped-down approach that generally results in the phrase “with Rick Rubin as producer”. The recent news that Peter Gabriel included a rendition of the band’s classic, ‘The Book of Love’, on his latest album also sounds an alarm about the group being co-opted by the harbingers of Adult Orientated Rock. However, the group have always skirted this issue by infusing their particular low-fi pop with a surly nihilism that would rather be anywhere other than daytime radio. Songs such as ‘We Are Having a Hootenanny’ signal the presence of this trademark marriage of the bittersweet with seductive melodies, all delivered with a manic conviction last seen on the faces of the villagers at the end of The Wicker Man. Despite this, the results elsewhere are somewhat underwhelming. While the new format emphasises Merritt’s vocal nuances and
linguistic dexterity, it stands as one of his weakest lyrically. There are few of the withering put downs of assorted exboyfriends and abstract emotions that made 69 Love Songs such an entertaining set. Indeed, his most overt expeditions into plain whimsy stand as some of the album’s most obviously jarring points. That said, when Merritt gets back on sardonic track, Realism is very good indeed. The superficially straightforward ‘Everything is One Big Christmas Tree’ sees Merritt putting his stamp all over a genre staple, while proving that his laconic baritone is surprisingly suited to singing in hilariously brusque German. Similarly, ‘The Dada Polka’ easily transcends its portentous title and continues the band’s tradition of creating supremely arch clap-along folk anthems. Weighed down by an excess of filler, perhaps, and disappointingly less catty than usual, Realism nonetheless proves an interesting excursion for Merritt and co., albeit one that risks making them sound genuinely happy. Michael Barry
Beach House’s third album, their first to be released on Sub Pop, created a storm of buzz and hype similar to the reaction to Animal Collective’s Merriweather Post Pavilion almost a year before, when it surfaced on various music blogs shortly before Christmas. Teen Dream finds the Baltimore duo of Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally moving on from 2008’s Devotion into a dreamier new world. Legrand’s vocals have become deeper, more melancholy but also more dynamic; from the poppy haahh-haahhs of lead single ‘Norway’ to the repeated refrain of album closer ‘Take Care’, Legrand’s voice casts a spell, combining with the lush layered instrumentation to invoke a dream world of Beach House’s own creation. Album opener ‘Zebra’ sets the tone for the rest of the album: the vague, simplistic, almost imagistic lyrics (“black and white horse / arching among us”) combine with Legrand’s lazy delivery, as the melodic and rhythmic layers slowly build until we are left dazed by the sheer beauty of the music that has been created; from there, things only get better.
‘10 Mile Stereo’ recalls an early Arcade Fire, ‘Used to Be’ chimes like the best Brian Wilson songs, but it’s on ‘Real Love’ that Beach House really find their groove; a soft love ballad to begin with, Legrand moans over a simple piano line that builds slowly into an affirmation of love, the music building and swaying as her voice takes on an almost animalistic howl at times before receding into softer tones and fading with a haunting “you know we belong”. ‘Take Care’ rounds out the collection with a burst of brilliance, a tender swoon as Legrand assures us that “I’ll take care of you / if you ask me too.” The dreamy elegance of Teen Dream has already assured Beach House a place on many critics’ year-end best-of lists, even at this early stage in the year. The sound is that of a band confident in their own abilities and the music that they’re creating; if the leap in quality from Devotion to Teen Dream is anything to go by their next album should be a classic. Niall Ryan
Wednesday, February 10th | The University Times
TimesSCIENce & Technology The Cutting Edge
When you wish upon a star Anthea Lacchia looks upwards and delves into stargazing in Ireland.
ere’s a hobby that elevates the mind as well as the eyes. Not only is stargazing cheap, but it is also fascinating and quite addictive. My personal interest for stargazing started when I first stumbled into a small planetarium in West Cork; Schull village boasts the only planetarium in the Republic and it’s well worth a trip. Whether you are an astronomy genius or can barely recognize the famed ‘Plough’ constellation, the planetarium’s hemispherical dome, which accurately reproduces the night sky, leaves you with plenty of room for improvement. Star shows are available all year round, varying with seasonal demand. Confronted with astronomical time scales and distances, the visitor is inevitably reminded of his place in the universe. But even though the planetarium is a good start for the amateur stargazer, the sky outside is
the real treat! Personally, when I first tried stargazing, all stars looked the same. If you feel just as awkward and can’t remember if Pluto is still on the planet list (it’s been downgraded to “dwarf planet” status, by the way!), the best advice is to choose a clear night and, warm blanket at hand, venture outside. Locating the Plough is a good start (it’s always visible in the night sky). From there, the use of star-hopping charts can bring you to any and all the delights that the seasonal sky has to offer. It is surprising what the naked eye can see, but it all depends on the level of light pollution and transparency of the atmosphere. With a bit of experience and luck, you may be able to catch a glimpse of Andromeda, a galaxy 2.5 million light-years away and the only spiral galaxy clearly visible with the naked eye! February is a great month to start
Is there life after death? Religious faith and the questions surrounding the afterlife aside, beyond the moment of death, is life in any form a possibility for mere mortals? Theologians, seekers of immortality and scientists have clashed have repeatedly clashed on this matter (turning a deeper shade of indigo in the process), but one radiation oncologist, Dr Jeffrey Long, has after ten years of extensive research into the field declared the answer to be a definitive yes. A near-death experience is classified as being so close to death that if the body’s condition does not immediately improve, death is inevitable. In fact, the patient is often clinically dead with an absence of breathing and/or a heartbeat. Despite the obvious distress the body is in, the person is often fully aware of and indeed remembers the experience. This raises the question: Why does the mind stay active despite the apparent death of the body. If we look step-by-step at a near-death experience, the body appears clinically dead, that is, the lungs stop respiring and the heart stops beating to preserve any remaining oxygen for the brain. Due to the lack of blood flow and the oxygen which it carries, the cells go into shock and vigorously attempt to keep themselves alive. Without the circulating oxygen in the blood however this last ditch attempt at survival only brings forward their already inevitable demise. The body cannot remain this way and if the heart and lungs do not begin to respond within a few moments the person will die. Evidently death is not just a momentary event. It is actually a process that begins when the heart ceases to pump oxygen rich blood in order save oxygen supplies. This manifests in the systemic loss and rapid decomposition of the body’s cells and from this the
shutting down of vital organs leading to the pronouncement of death. The interesting point is that the brain is still capable of functioning at this pivotal stage as all remaining oxygen is sent to it alone. Is the person conscious of their death and what is running through their mind? Does consciousness of thought suddenly stop as soon as the heart stops or is the mind alive for hours later as the body lies lifeless in the morgue? Is there a separation between the
Is the person conscious of their death and what is running through their mind? Does consciousness of thought suddenly stop as soon as the heart stops or is the mind alive for hours later as the body lies lifeless in the morgue? death of the brain and the existence of the mind? The fact that people can recount these near-death experiences leaves the scientists in this field in little doubt that the mind’s lifeexpectancy may outlive the bodies, it does rule it after all. Sarah Edwards
stargazing: on the 13th, the constellation of Orion the Hunter will be clearly visible and, on the 15th, Venus and Jupiter, the two brightest planets, will converge in a conjunction. Don’t miss the chance to get a clear view of the asteroid 4 Vesta, on February 20th. If you’re interested in astronomy, Ireland’s National
You may be able to catch a glimpse of Andromeda, the only spiral galaxy clearly visible with the naked eye! Astronomy Club organizes a series of lectures throughout Ireland (see www.astronomy.ie), as well as an annual trip to the Armagh Observatory. But, for beginners and experts alike, the
constellations, with their names rooted in Greek mythology, are an endless source of fun in themselves. Have you seen vain Cassiopea, relegated to her seat in the heavens? Maybe the white, winged horse, Pegasus, will gallop towards you or the friendly dolphin Delphinus will playfully splash you. Only having accustomed yourself with these and other friends, should you consider looking through a telescope. The BBC magazine “Sky at night” suggests an intermediate instrument between eye and telescope: a pair of binoculars. In fact, they can show a wider view than a telescope and are perfect to learn your way around the sky. With Valentine’s day coming up, what better way to impress a date than to boast your knowledge of the night sky? The Heart Nebula, shaped like the organ itself, is perhaps the most romantic nebula and it is visible towards the north all night. Just let your imagination soar.
Enda Shevlin reviews some of the latest technology on show in Las Vegas earlier this year
has been downgraded into a popup menu which only appears when clicked so applications you never wanted can’t pester you with those horrid little popup balloons. Speaking of which, these balloons are no longer used by Windows. Instead we have the ‘Action Center’ which is essentially a functional revamp of the ‘Security Center’ on Vista. The alerts can be shut off if you wish and can now be viewed here at your convenience. Rather than lagging Windows 7 with new software, Microsoft has actually removed three programs it considers nonessential: Windows Mail, Movie Maker and Live Photo Gallery. These are now included in the Windows Live Essentials pack, which is available free on the web. There are also no lightweight office applications such as the Works word processor; Microsoft is blaming Anti-Trust laws. Windows Messenger and a PDF viewer are also missing, but manufacturers may include these. They aren’t hard to install but it does feel like Microsoft are being a tad on the skimpy side here. A definite plus has been ensuring that the OS is capable of recognising virtually any device around. If unlucky, you still have to lock horns with the device manager which doesn’t appear to have been touched during the development process. ‘Device Stage’ is essentially a sugarbathed version of the above which is tailored to specific types of hardware developed by Microsoft in collaboration with manufacturers. So, is Windows 7 worth shelling out for? Essentially, it’s what Vista should have been. It’s faster, more organised and probably more secure than its predecessor (we’ll know this for sure after the hackers have had a proper crack at it). It’s not all that much faster than Vista, and it is outperformed by XP in certain categories. It’s not really a new OS, just a cleanup of the mess Vista was initially, and in fairness the updates made it a much better OS. To sum up, the future for Windows and its latest edition looks bright and comes as a relief to those of us who will inevitably end up using it.
Downturn? What downturn? The Consumer Electronics Show 2010 sauntered confidently into Las Vegas, Nevada on January 7th of this year to breathe shiny, stylish, concept driven, electron powered life back into a tech industry which you’d be forgiven for thinking was in the midst of a slump. Thankfully the techies have something of a goldfish memory and buoyed by healthy takings in the run-up to Christmas, they arrived en-masse to showcase their pride and joys to a hyped audience. Microsoft made several announcements, the biggest of which was the unveiling of their new “slate” PC which promises to combine portability (10 inch screen) with PCstandard power although at what cost remains to be seen. The Microsoft slate was one of three tablet PCs unveiled at the conference in what is set to become a competitive new market with the release in recent weeks of Apple’s much talked about and indeed feared iPad. Microsoft also gave an impressive video demonstration of their latest gaming technology due for release at the end of the year code named Project Natal. The new add-on peripheral to the Xbox 360 will allow gamers to control and interact with the console using gestures and spoken commands without the need to touch a game controller. It’s hoped the release will allow them to close the gap on Nintendo’s Wii console which continues to outpace the Xbox in terms of sales. Also announced was the release date of autumn 2010 for Halo Reach, the latest instalment in the Halo series. Intel won the People’s Choice award with an impressive new technology called Wireless Display or WiDi which allows the user to connect their laptop to a HDTV without having to fumble with cables and connections. Wireless interfaces like this are already on the market but require a USB dongle for your laptop. What makes WiDi special is that the software is preinstalled on your laptop’s Intel wireless card meaning one less thing to carry around. A receiver unit for the TV will be required which can be accessed by multiple users. Basically you will be able to stream YouTube, games and desktop apps straight from your notebook to your TV. It sounds cool and indeed WiDi has been billed as the “hottest sleeper technology of the year” by reviewers and can be expected to become a ubiquitous part of laptop functionality in the near future. A mere concept at last year’s show, 3D television really came to the fore in 2010 with all the big players including Panasonic, Sony, Toshiba, Samsung and LG showing off what they hope will revolutionise the TV industry. Personally, I can’t see it happening for another 10 years but industry experts are hawking predicted sales figures of 3.5 million in the US this year thanks in part to the popularity of 3D cinema releases such as Avatar, Up and A Christmas Carol. “Ritzy displays” in which Panasonic’s 3D-compatible flat-panel HDTV won overall Best of Show were followed by announcements that both BSkyB and ESPN are to establish a 3D service in the coming year. However, with many people having recently shelled out for HD upgrades, pricing may well be the most important consideration as to whether or not 3D enters homes. A central theme of the show is that people actually get to see new products in action. Eager to prove to customers just how seriously they take product testing, ioSafe, a company which makes disaster-proof data storage devices, conjured up a present-day Armageddon scenario involving 1,500 degree heat, water and crushing via a 20 tonne excavator to prove that its new external hard drive is as tough as they come. And indeed it is. Weighing in at an obese 10 kilos, the “black box of data protection” as its billed survived admirably and was able to upload data as normal once its Armor Plate militarygrade steel drive casing was pried open. Impressive yes, but at $500 for 64GB of storage its safe to say that most people will take their chances on the cheaper, non-armour plated hard-drives for now. Bringing up the rear at the CES were the staple crapgadgets. Hanspree, a Taiwanese specialist in TVs and monitors, bucked the above mentioned 3DTV revolution by bringing out its line of cuddly animals including bears, giraffes, sheep and elephants with TV monitors embedded in their sides. I get the idea of making a kids TV, but why make it look like a stuffed animal? Have you seen the things some kids do to stuffed animals? It’s not pretty. Meanwhile, the “Phubby”, a sleeve for your phone or MP3 player which fits around your wrist is without doubt one of the most hideous pieces of tech fashion I’ve ever seen. Doubling as an opposite-sex repellent and probably a samesex repellent too for that matter, where this crapgadget will more than likely find its market niche is as a form of visual contraception.
Microsoft upgrades to Windows 7 George Morrow takes a look at Microsoft’s latest operating system and how it has improved on the heavily criticised Windows Vista. Ah Windows, if it weren’t for the fact that people essentially don’t like installing every tiny bit of the operating system on certain Linux distributions or shelling out a small fortune for a Mac, you would be long extinct. You’re not without your strengths though: the ability to work with just about any piece of hardware and of course the ease of use. Microsoft recently released the latest addition to the series: Windows 7, thus starving the temptation a rising number of people have been feeling to grab the free cyber lego that is Ubuntu Linux. Windows 7 is essentially a trimmed and streamlined version of Vista. The Kernel (links application software to computer hardware) has been slimmed down and the GUI (Graphical User Interface) scheduling has been reworked to the advantage of the everyday user. It boots with greater speed and will happily run on machines where running Vista is either not an option or so slow that a downgrade to XP would be more viable. Battery lives of laptops should also see a small improvement. The Aero interface remains but now, there’s a shiny new taskbar similar to the dock of Mac OS X instead of quick launch. The ‘Aero Peek’ utility allows all windows at once to be viewed in the desktop. A nifty little feature is the ‘Aero Shake’ which allows you to minimise all other windows except the one you’re using by shaking it with the mouse. By highlighting the icons, thumbnails appear and can be closed by clicking the “X” icon. ‘Aero Snap’ allows windows to be maximised to either full screen by dragging a window to the top of the screen or to half screen by dragging it to the far-right or far-left. The start menu has been upgraded. You start typing and the results start appearing. Its range has also been extended to include control panel items. Spotlight on OS X is more thorough but it’s also slightly more draining on the system. Windows Media Player has received something of a codec overhaul and now sports a decent arsenal of codec playing capabilities straight out of the box. The ‘Play to’ function allows playlists to be imported directly from external devices such as the PS3 and the Xbox 360. Another newly improved feature is the system tray, or rather the lack thereof. The tray
The Consumer Electronics Show 2010
The University Times | Wednesday, February 10th
Sports Payton silences Peyton as Brees blows them away Gavin Moran documents the rise of the New Orleans Saints and the fall of Indianapolis Colts.
Gavin Moran From Miami, Florida
record 106.5 million viewers. 74,059 in attendance. 90 players on the field. Two teams, two coaches, two cities. One dream, one trophy and only one winner. Superbowl XLIV. For the first time in sixteen years the two no.1 seeds from both the AFC and NFC championships clashed on the grandest stage of them all. But the fun did not end there. Add in the fact that opposing each other were undoubtedly the two best quarterbacks of the last few years and you begin to understand why this game of football is now the most watched broadcast in American television history. Two weeks had passed since Brett Favre threw away Minnesota’s chance to defeat New Orleans in the NFC championship game. Two weeks had passed since Peyton Manning gave a masterclass in a 30-17 destruction of the New York Jets in Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis. Conducted by Manning, the regular season Most Valuable Player the Indianapolis Colts began as four point favourites. Beginning the season with fourteen straight wins one would have thought that they would be the overwhelming front runner but the New Orleans Saints began the season with their own equally impressive thirteen game winning streak. Commanded by Drew Brees the Saints were the best team in their conference and finally fulfilled their potential by reaching the first Superbowl in franchise history by defeating the Vikings 31-28 in overtime. Sun Life stadium in Miami was the setting for this spectacle of American sport. This was the fifth time since it opened for business in 1987 that it has hosted the biggest game in U.S. sports. ‘Superbowl Sunday’ has long since been one of the most important dates in the North American calendar and it doesn’t show any sign of relinquishing that status. Weeks of build up had finally ended when Carrie Underwood led those present in a rendition of the ‘Star Spangled Banner’. Enter the two teams. It had been over a decade and a half
since he two best teams had battle it out for the Vince Lombardi trophy. This was a truly magnificent occasion, highlighted again by the fact that Emmitt Smith, a Hall of Famer and three time Superbowl winner performed the toin coss. Among all the glitz and glamour you could have been forgiven for thinking that the story began and ended with just the sport. But it didn’t. This was bigger than any previous Superbowl. This was the day New Orleans finally re-arrived on the world stage. The action began accompanied by the thousands of flash bulbs that have become so common with the opening kick-off when the Colts Pat McAfee kicked the ball 67 yards to the New Orleans 3 yard line. Gathered successfully under little duress Courtney Roby returned the ball 20 yards before he was downed at the 23 to set up the first attack of the game. Both quarterbacks had reached this point in very different circumstances. Drew Brees the Saints maestro, released after a contract dispute with the San Diego Chargers in 2005 had battled back from injuries and lack of form to justify head coach Sean Payton’s decision to sign him just two months after he had taken charge of the team. Manning on the other hand has been an institution for over a decade in the NFL. With 10 Pro bowl selections, 7 seasons with 12 or more wins in a row and a Superbowl ring already on his finger from 2007 it was clear who would come out on top if it came down to experience. And that was exactly how it began. The usually unflappable Brees was reckless to begin with, almost searching for the first down on every play and as such the wily, experienced Colts’ defence forced a hasty three and out receiving possession on their own 27 yard line. Manning’s comfort under the spotlight was immediately apparent as he found Dallas Clark with a pass deep right for a gain of 18 yards. With the ball now in midfield it was not a matter of could the Colts score but how many points would they get. Quickly manouvering
Superbowl MVP Drew Brees receives the Vince Lombardi trophy
The half time entertainment was provided by the legendary British rock band ‘The Who’, and it was apt that Pete Townshend displayed his famous ‘Windmill’ style of guitar playing on stage just as things were beginning to turn around on the pitch...
there way to the Saints 22 yard line Indianapolis were face with a 2nd and 7, ordinarily a routine assignment for a team of such quality. Colts’ guard Kyle DeVan had other ideas though when he performed a false start incurring a 5 yard penalty, leaving Indy with a 2nd and 12. A seven yard reception from Joseph Addai would have been good enough for a first down originally but left Manning with some work to do and when he failed to convert the 3rd down the ball was placed at the feet of Matt Stover for a 38 yard field goal attempt. The 42 year old struck the ball beautifully, the kick was good, 3-0 Colts. The ball was back in Brees hands, this time on the Saints 26 yard line. Again he looked
of brave calls in the game the Saints head coach decided to go for it. Again a running play was called and the ball was given to Pierre Thomas. He was held up, no gain, no points, New Orleans demoralised. Peyton Manning now had 1:49 and two timeouts to try and add to the 7 point margin separating the sides. Uncharacteristically the Colts went with three straight running plays, failing to secure the first down needed to bring the half time break and gave the Saints a chance to steal some momentum with the ball being placed near the half way line with thirty five seconds to go. It was an opportunity they would not miss as again Hartley showed impressive leg strength with a 44 yard conversion to
Among all the glitz and glamour you could have been forgiven for thinking that the story began and ended with just the sport. But it didn’t.
shaky and a quick three and out was achieved by Indianapolis who now held the ball with 5:12 remaining in the first quarter on their own 4. Cue a Superbowl record tying 96 yard touchdown drive orchestrated by Peyton Manning culminating in a 19 yard catch by Pierre Garcon. Stover kicked the extra point. 10-0 Indy. End of first quarter. The game was beginning to follow the script so many had written. The underdog Saints who had fought so bravely to re-emerge after the devastation caused by hurricane Katrina had finally met their match and were being ruthlessly exposed by the professional and efficient Colts. Many who had championed New Orleans’ cause began to lose faith. Except the players that is. The task they faced was a daunting one however, a comeback from a 10 point deficit would equal the biggest in Superbowl history. Beginning the second quarter at their own 11 yard line Brees drove the Saints to the Indianapolis 22 yard line where he was again foiled but this time instead of being faced with a punt they were within field goal range. Faced with a 46 yard attempt Garrett Hartley had not made a kick from outside 40 years all year. The ball was snapped. The kick again was good, 10-3 Colts, New Orleans on the board. It was vital that they got the score as a comeback from three scores down while not impossible was improbable. The ball was back in Peyton’s trusted right arm although this time it wasn’t so assured. New Orleans forced an immediate three and out, stopping Indianapolis scoring for the first time and thus regaining possession at their 28 yard line and a chance to level the scores at ten apiece with a touchdown. A six minute drive ensued leaving the Saints confronted with a 3rd and 1 on the Colts’ goal line. Brees put the ball in the hands of Mike Bell as they drove forward for the six points. No gain. 4th and 1. Surely Sean Payton would take the points and go in to the half time break with a four point deficit? No chance. With the first of what can only be described of a succession
leave the score at 10-6 to Indianapolis at the interval. The half time entertainment was provided by the legendary British rock band ‘The Who’, and it was apt that Pete Townshend displayed his famous ‘Windmill’ style of guitar playing on stage just as things were beginning to turn around on the pitch. The game’s defining moment was upon us. Rookie Thomas Morestead lined up to take the kick off which was to be received by the Colts returning team. Not so. In a move that surprised even the kicker himself head coach Sean Payton called for an onside kick which was recovered by the Saints on their 42 yard line giving New Orleans the ball and fresh impetus. A 59 yard drive was finished by 16 yard short pass to Pierre Thomas who broke a couple of tackles before diving into the end zone to give New Orleans the lead. The conversion was successful, 13-10 Saints who were leading for the first time in the match. How would Indianapolis respond? The only way the know how. A 76 yard drive was concluded by a 4 yard Joseph Addai run, Matt Stover adding the extra point, 17-13 Colts and normal order had been resumed. It was up to the Saints to react now. Brees again stormed up the field only to be stopped abruptly on the 29 yard line of Indianapolis causing the field goal unit to enter the field of play once again. Could Garrett Hartley convert a 47 yard attempt and become the first player in Superbowl history to kick three field goals successfully from over 40 yards? Of course he could. 17-16 Colts, with the ball at Indy’s 25 yard line the third quarter drew to a close. Manning’s ball. Fourth quarter of another big game surely it was a formality that he would close it out from here? Again things didn’t work according to plan and a 51 yard field goal from Matt Stover was no good giving the Saints advantageous field position and control of the match. Five minutes of playing time had elapsed when Drew Brees found Jermemy Shockey the tall, muscular tight end for a two yard reception and a five point lead. Payton was faced
with another big decision. With 5:42 on the clock he could take the 6 point lead and challenge the Colts to outwit his defence and win it with time against them, or in a much riskier move he could attempt a two point conversion and at least secure a chance at overtime for his side. Following the pattern of his earlier moves option two was selected. Brees to Lance Moore. Ball dropped, points lost. Could this be the shift in fortunes that Indianapolis needed? No. Again they were to be foiled as the decision was challenged and referred to the television officials. The call was reversed, the Saints now led 24-17 with less than six minutes on the clock. The pressure was on the Colts but who better to deal with it than Peyton Manning a former Superbowl MVP? Things began well for Peyton as he quickly moved his side to within touchdown range just 36 yards from the Saints end zone. Two plays later and he was looking down the barrel at a 3rd and 5 with just over three minutes remaining. Reverting to one of his most trusted plays Manning looked left quickly for Reggie Wayne who had made a quick move to an area which would be enough for the first down if the pass was complete. Enter Tracy Porter the sophomore cornerback who stepped in front and intercepted the ball from the usually impeccable Manning. A 74 yard return with completed kick left New Orleans leading 31-17 with 3:12 on the clock and a mammoth task facing them. Surely this was too much for even Peyton Manning, potentially the greatest quarterback ever. Driving his time to the Saints red zone in under a minute those of a Saints disposition began to look nervously at the clock as the impossible began to look possible. With only 3 yards to go Manning threw short right to Pierre Garcon who got tangled with a defender and a penalty was called. Offensive pass interference, 10 yard penalty, 1st and 13. Three quick plays were snuffed out and it was left down to one play, 4th and 5 at the New Orleans goal line. Either this play was successful or the Saints would be World Champions. Manning dropped back and again looked for Reggie Wayne in the end zone, the pass was on target, the ball was in his hands. But he dropped it. The game was over. The Saints win. The Saints win! Five years it had taken for the city to re-emerge. New Orleans was back. Images of thousands on Bourbon Street celebrating their heroes have replaced those of the same street submerged in water. The first time head coach and the quarterback that wasn’t wanted had gotten what they craved what the city needed. It was and will be a big boost in the revival of the city as it looks to attract visitors. This writer is proud that the team that he picked to win the Superbowl pre-season has fulfilled its promise and brought a city that was on its knees to the top of tree. This day will never be forgotten in Louisiana and all that remains is one question. Mardi Gras commences in 8 days, interested anyone?
Wednesday, February 10th | The University Times
TimesSPORTS Sports Illustrated with Conor O’Toole
Drugs are universally bad
oday I’m talking about drugs in sport. Unfortunately, my granny knows I write this column, but due to her deteriorating vision, she can only read the headlines. So here’s why I think drugs are good. What I want to know is just when you start considering something ‘drugs’ and stop considering it ‘fruit.’ Eating fruit will make you better at sport, but it’s not against the rules. Taking steroids will make you better at sport quicker, but they are against the rules. It’s like saying all jerseys should be made out of cotton because spandex is too efficient and aerodynamic and shit. People seem to think simple constitutes good and complex means evil. Or maybe it’s just the kind of people who govern sport. Sure, you could argue that steroids are bad for sports people, but so is SPORT. Think of all the brain damaged boxers, all the ugly rugby players. I’m pretty sure at this point even I could take Muhammad Ali in a boxing match. This is something I believe in, if you’re going to devote yourself to try to be the best at something, you might as well be as good as possible. Great musicians like ‘The Who’ have sacrificed their hearing for the love of what they do, I don’t understand why sporters don’t have the same dedication to self-destruction. If it means being the best *insert sport here* player, you might as well push your body as far as it’ll go. C’mon like, you’ll probably retire at 34 anyway, do you really wanna live for another 40 years knowing you’re getting less and less useful and gradually being forgotten by everyone who once held
You want to peak at 26 and be dead before you’re 30 as a side effect of being too amazing. Like what happened to Bruce Lee. His body was so dangerous it beat itself to death. Hero. you in any sort of regard? No. You want to peak at 26 and be dead before you’re 30 as a side effect of being too amazing. Like what happened to Bruce Lee. His body was so dangerous it beat itself to death. Hero. I think we should start experimenting with other drugs in sport. I’d watch a football match if all the players were on acid. That would be worth 90 minutes of my time. ‘Neither team have touched the ball in what is approaching the 35th minute of play, but Stephen Gerrard has taken to performing some sort of interpretive dance while the Chelsea defenders are all hanging out in the goal, I think one of them is caught in the net, the others appear to be attempting to build a hammock.’ Ok, it’s going the complete opposite direction to my superathlete plans, but screw it, I’ve got time to play god with two groups of people. Please note that in a completely un-sports related move, I have not capitalised god. He’s on my naughty list this week. Sport is certainly more tolerable when on drugs. If you’re baked, golf actually goes at an acceptable speed for a television program. Watching boules might be fun too, if it was ever on at an acceptable time for people to be out of their heads
If they legalised all drugs I wonder how it would effect international sport. First of all I guess it would mean the Netherlands would be allowed to compete again. at. Well, let’s face it, no one smokes weed with the intent of watching boules (until now) and it never seems to be on the TV when I might’ve watched it. TV is a last resort of amusement for me, and is only really acceptable when you more or less can’t move. Ever tried reading a book while stoned? Reading that same page over and over again is only amusing for the first four, maybe five reads. If they legalised all drugs I wonder how it would effect international sport. First of all I guess it would mean the Netherlands would be allowed to compete again. I’m guessing due to the high quality of their drugs athletes from Columbia would have a decent advantage over, let’s say, the likes of Turkey, who don’t really make the cut when it comes to the manufacture of illicit substances, according to noted drug dealer Howard Marks. Sure if the Disney film Cool Runnings is to be believed you can (almost) win winter sports, even while really high. Disney would never lie to you. ‘Miley Cyrus is good, believe us, we made Bambi.’ The child of Billy Ray Cyrus shouldn’t have ever have been allowed make music. She is the spawn of line-dancing and should be put down as soon as possible. Sorry, I seem to have deviated from my point a bit there. I guess at the end of the article all you can do is summarise what you’ve already said by copying and pasting phrases from earlier on. So here’s why I think drugs are good. Eating fruit will make you better at sport, but it’s not against the rules. Think of all the brain damaged boxers, all the ugly rugby players. erstand why sporters don’t have the same dedication to self-destruction. elf to death. Hero. lay god with two groups of people. pitalised god. ed to compete again. of their heads at. ive reads. I’m guessing due to the high quality of their drugs athletes from Columbia would have a the spawn of line-dancing and should be put down as soon as possible. Sorry, I seem to have deviated from my point a bit there. phrases from earlier on.
Trinity secure bonus point in hard fought victory
Trinity Ladies GAA claims all-Ireland title Trinity College Ladies Gaelic Football Club created a piece of history in Clanna Gael Fontenoy last Wednesday 27th Jan by claiming the Quill Cup, which is the first time the lady gaelic footballers of Ireland’s oldest university have claimed an all-ireland league title. Trinity managed to come out the odd goal on top of University Limerick in a thriller of a game with a scoreline of 6-8 to 5-8. An obviously delighted Trinity captain Cliodhna Farrell was gracious in victory “All the girls have been putting in a huge effort this year and we seem to have a nice blend of enthusiastic freshers to add to the more experienced campaigners. Limerick gave us a really tough game but that was always to be expected considering the depth of talent they have at their disposal, but thankfully we came out with the right result on the night”
Team manager Ryan Casey said “our whole approach has been different this year, all the girls seem a lot more determined and focused after last year’s heart breaking Lynch Shield Final loss to DCU. Diane O’ Hora (former Mayo star) has come on board this year and she has been life a breath of fresh air and everyone has responded positively to her. Paul Kennedy (Clanna Gael stalwart) also helps out with team matters and is ever present, be it training or a match.” “The Clanna Gael Fontenoy club in Ringsend have also been absolutely super or the last couple of years and i must thank them and Pat Kane, in particular, for always been able to accomodate us....even at very short notice.” “Sponsorship has been very hard to come by this year but the Parnells Club in Coolock
have agreed to sponsor the Trinity Ladies for the coming years which is a huge relief for all involved with the club and i can safely say all the girls are extremely grateful to Parnells for this generosity (who are also the main sponsor of the Trinity Men’s Footballers).” Great strides have been made in promoting Gaelic Games at Trinity with the appointment of a full time GAA development officer (Eoin Vaughan) last year and the incorporation of a set of goal posts this year on college park. According to Ryan “There are so many people in the college who don’t play which is a pity, because all levels of ability can be accommodated for, not only with football but also
Hurling, Camogie and Handball, but this is also testament to the hard work done by a small number of individuals. I would like to thank everyone who came out to Clanna Gael last wednesday to support us, it meant a lot to the team” “GAA is certainly going in the right direction in Trinity, the instillation of the goal posts on college park this year is significant but undoubtedly putting silverware in the trophy cabinet is the best way to raise the profile of the whole club. Hopefully this league campaign will provide the perfect platform for the Lynch Cup.”
Corcorcan and Catherine Graham, soared to the top of Division 1 of the Leinster League, earning a place in the Premier Division this year along side World Ranked players such as Ciara Moloney. Inspired by this success, Trinity expanded to a second ladies’ team in this year’s Leinster Squash League, raising the profile and interest in ladies’ squash in Trinity. It must be said; UCD made a fantastic effort in bringing a whole host of supporters from Belfield who lined the balcony offering cheers of encouragement to both their own players and Trinity’s. Friendly banter
continued at the prize giving which took place in the new Pav alongside a delicious selection of Pav delicacies. The usual evening antics followed with Trinity showing their standard enthusiasm on the dance floor, highlighted by the Club Captain attempting the Russian “Preesyadka-dance”, more informally known as the Russian “knee bendy leg sticky outy” dance. Who would have thought those squash lunges would give you the ideal thigh strength...
Trinity takes back squash colours trophy The Ancient Persians could relate; you are led into a sense of security, victory is in sight. Then, as you confidently send on the last of your men, you look up to see your opponents send on the equivalent of the Spartan army, few in number, but indestructible. The Trinity men playing at the Squash Colours must have felt this way when, after three of the four men’s teams secured confident triumphs, the crucial A-team had to face University College Dublin’s strongest force. Ultimately, Trinity had to watch the trophy slip away. Last year was the first time in 11 years that the colours trophy had made it to Belfield, so naturally, on January 22nd this year, Trinity was determined to return the trophy to where it belonged. The day began with Men’s C team walking away with a 5-0 win, an encouraging score for a team of which three out of the five players are new to Trinity this year, Louis Weeks, Daniel Collins and Mark Donnelly-Orr. Trinity Men’s D team, who achieved a 3-2 victory, also reflect the high number of new players in this year’s colours giving evidence of the club’s escalating membership numbers, great news for the reputation of Trinity and squash overall. Edward Miles, Trinity Squash Captain, led four new
talents on the scene, Kevin Kerrigan, Adrian Maraj, Anthony Simpson and Harry Gilbertson to victory. Each took a confident 3-0 win promising a strong future for the club. David Lowry showed his usual precise style alongside admirable court etiquette against UCD’s second ranked player, Fergal Field. Lowry lost 1113 on the fifth match after an exhaustingly close game, including a split ball at a match point. Nicholas Cano, playing at number one for Trinity, had an equally challenging game against Danny McInerney. Danny was playing in his record 8th Colours tie, qualifying through undergraduate degree followed by postgraduate research and PhD. Nicolas and Trinity will be glad to know it will be his last time playing for UCD as he beat Nicolas in a close 3-1 encounter. Struggling to put together an experienced women’s team, UCD demonstrated great encouragement for beginners by recruiting a number of female players who were new to the game that year. It was great to see so many novices experiencing the game at a competitive level. I can only hope the high standards of our ladies Premier Team have not put them off furthering their interests in the sport. Last year the ladies A-team consisting of Trish Ryan, Trish Burns, Sarah
Trinity fares well in fencing tournament
Prof. Duffy Memorial Cup Results Men’s 1st Salle Duffy 2nd Marlburg 3rd Trinity 3rd Leipzig
Women’s 1st Leipzig 2nd Marlburg 3rd Trinity 3rd Irish Pentathlets
The weekend of 30th and 31st saw the return of the Prof. Duffy Memorial Epee tournament, held in the Trinity College sports centre. Saturday was the men’s event, with international teams from Germany and England making the trip over to Dublin to take part in Ireland’s premier epee event. After a tough poule round, where the Trinity team won all matches, they were seeded 2nd. With a bye into the last 8, they had to fence Northampton, a team of great experience. In a close match, Trinity won 45-30, and were through to the semi-finals. Here they fought against a team from Salle Duffy, all of whom were seasoned international fencers. After the closest match of the day, with the lead constantly changing, Trinity lost by the narrowest of margins, 45-44. The match drew great support and spectators from the knocked out teams and Trinity men can be proud of this great result, the first Trinity medal in the Duffy Epee for a
number of years. Salle Duffy was the eventual winner, beating a team from Leipzig, Germany, 45-41. On Sunday was the turn for women’s epee, with a number of teams again turning up, from UCD, DCU and Germany. Trinity had another team entered, who fought to the top of their poule and then had a well fought victory in the last 8 over UCD. In the semi-finals they met Leipzig women, and were just beaten in the last fight of the match to lose 45-42. This, however, is another strong result for Dublin University Fencing Club, not only on the whole but also for the female epee squad, proving that all the hard work and dedication throughout the year has paid off with a deserved medal. A great set of results for both the Trinity men and women at the weekend, and no doubt look forward to welcoming back all teams next year and hopefully a win! Alex Kelly
On a crisp winter’s afternoon in College Park, Trinity emerged victorious over their northern rivals Malone and in doing so gained a crucial bonus point to rise above their opponents in the AIL Division 2 Table. Despite an indifferent first half performance from the home side, Trinity always looked the more dangerous of the two teams and in the end fully deserved the win. Conditions were not conducive to vintage rugby with College Park showing the signs of a hard winter and both sets of players struggled with the heavy ground conditions. Moreover, the fact that the ball was more akin to a bar of soap meant that both sides found it difficult to establish any sort of effective passing game. Malone enjoyed the better of the possession in the opening ten minutes but looked bereft of attacking ideas with the ball in hand and often resorted to kicking possession away aimlessly. The away side were aided though by a number of infringements from Trinity and it was not long before Malone were awarded a penalty from around 30 metres out. Fly-half Pentland duly opened the scoring with the assistance from the post to put the Belfast side 3-0 up. After their shaky opening, Trinity soon gained a foothold in the game and a line break from fly half David Joyce put Trinity in a good position in the Malone twenty-two. After a number of phases, the ball was worked back to the fly half who slotted over a drop goal from close range. The score seemed to enliven the Trinity side and not long after the restart Chris Mills broke through the Malone defence with some excellent running. The Trinity pack followed up with numbers and after a sustained period of pressure, some slick passing along the back line released full-back Andy Wallace to race over for the first try of the game. Joyce narrowly missed the resulting conversion to leave Trinity 8-3 ahead. For all the home side’s superiority in terms of creativity and attacking flair, they were becoming increasingly undone by poor discipline and the penalty count was stacking up against them. Continued infringements from Trinity prompted the referee to call captain Scott La Valla aside to warn his players about their indiscipline. Yet this warning was not heeded and Trinity were reduced to fourteen men for the remainder of the half when Dominic Gallagher was yellow carded for having his hands in the ruck. Malone quickly capitalised on their numerical advantage and scored their only try of the game, albeit in somewhat controversial circumstances. It came about after a ferocious Malone drive that travelled from just inside the Trinity twenty-two all the way to the try line where the ball then appeared to get lost under a sea of bodies. In spite of this, the referee awarded the try and the resulting conversion put Malone 10-8 ahead. Trinity responded well and soon began to display some fine running rugby which the visitors struggled to contain. Malone subsequently gave away a penalty for having hands in the ruck which was easily converted by David Joyce. Trinity were gaining in confidence all the time and soon after the restart, Centre Conor Colcough scorched through the Malone line with
Trinity v Malone Trinity: 30 Malone: 10 January 30th, 2010 a scintillating piece of running. Support followed up from James Gethings who worked the ball out to Alan ‘Dozy’ Mathews who then powered over the line for the try to leave the home side 16-10 up at half time. Despite this lead the penalty count stood at 6-2 against Trinity and the cries from the coaching staff before the team emerged for second half focused on ‘possession and discipline’. Trinity duly began the second half with a renewed zest and were soon exploiting holes in the Malone defence with some intelligent running. It was not long before the home side notched up their third try courtesy of Mark Murdoch after the initial break from Number 8 David Coyle cut through the Malone defence. Joyce continued to kick well slotting over to open up a 13 point lead. The game itself was a much better spectacle in the second half and Malone finally managed to get the ball in the hands of their backline who put several phases together. However for all their endeavours they lacked a killer edge and their threat was easily nullified by a resolute Trinity forward line that defended with great determination. This determination was exemplified by the Flanker Gallagher who redeemed himself after his earlier indisgression with a shuddering dump tackle on the opposition centre. This led to a Trinity penalty after the Malone number 10 became isolated and did not release the ball. Joyce found touch with the kick and from the lineout Trinity drove in search of the line, but the opposition defence stood firm and the ball was held up just under the posts. With Malone now severely under the cosh, they took their last throw of the dice and made a triple susbstitution bringing on Kuhocna, Barlow and Amos. However their impact was minimal on the course of the game and Trinity continued to exhibit the better play. The home team could now sense that a bonus point was within their grasp and played the last fifteen minutes with an improved desire. Their hard work was rewarded when David Joyce capped a fine performance by crossing the line for a relatively simple try to secure the bonus point and put the game well beyond the reach of the visitors. His successful conversion left the final score at 30-10. In the end it was highly satisfactory result for the home side in securing the bonus point win. Trinity showed glimpses of real promise and there were some fine individual performances notably form Colcough and Joyce. It must be said however that the Malone side were rather limited and Trinity may have been made to pay for their bouts of indiscipline at the hands of a better side. Nonetheless, Trinity march on and with several key players still to return from injury there is much to be hopeful about ahead the much anticipated Colours match against bitter rivals UCD in a few weeks time. Conor O’Donnell
considering they are neighbours although not particularly fierce rivals. England’s failure to qualify for the 2008 finals cost then manager Steve McClaren his job as the ‘Three Lions’ missed their first international tournament since the World Cup in 1994. Gavin Moran
Euro 2012 Qualifying Groups
Group A: Germany, Turkey, Austria, Belgium, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan Group B: Russia, Slovakia, Republic of Ireland, FYR Macedonia, Armenia, Andorra Group C: Italy, Serbia, Northern Ireland, Slovenia, Estonia, Faroe Islands Group D: France, Romania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Belarus, Albania, Luxembourg Group E: Holland, Sweden, Finland, Hungary, Moldova, San Marino Group F: Croatia, Greece, Israel, Latvia, Georgia, Malta Group G: England, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Wales, Montenegro Group H: Portugal, Denmark, Norway, Cyprus, Iceland Group I: Spain, Czech Republic, Scotland, Lithuania, Liechtenstein
Irish hopes as the Russians will ‘Russia will be difficult and Slovakia. Slovakia are a technically good team and they are a team with a very tough mentality.’ Macedonia have cost the Republic a place at a major finals before when in 1999, Mick McCarthy’s side were denied a place at Euro 2000 by a late Goran Stavreski equaliser. They have remained tough on their own patch with Scotland losing there in their last campaign and Holland leaving with only a 2-1 win. Andorra and Armenia should pose no such problems but the same was thought of San Marino in the qualifying campaign for Euro 2008 and Ireland nearly came unstuck there. The grouping of England and Wales together is interesting but Russia are certainly beatable. ‘I actually think we can win it, I certainly believe the number one spot is there for the taking.’ There is a confidence in Irish football after the almost successful campaign for 2010. Two of the world’s top seven sides, namely France and Italy were matched by Ireland so the Russians as the top seed in this current group should hold no fear for us. Despite not qualifying for the World Cup the Russians have pedigree in this tournament, winning it as the USSR in 1960 and finishing runnerup on three further occasions (1964, 1972 & 1988). Slovakia did however qualify for South Africa and Ireland boss Trappatoni believes that they will pose as big a threat to fter being robbed by the hand of a Frenchman our fate was again in the grip of our European counterparts: the four men who carried out Sunday’s Euro 2012 draw-two Polish and two Ukranian. Luck was on the ‘Boys in Green’s’ side this time though as Ireland were handed what was unanimously regarded as a favourable draw. Giovanni Trappatoni’s charges will look to put their World Cup nightmare behind them and will feel confident having been placed in a group with Russia, Slovakia, FYR Macedonia, Armenia and Andorra. Former Ireland international Ray Houghton was confident after the draw ‘I’m delighted,’ Houghton said. ‘The other top seeds are further ahead of us
23 The University Times | Wednesday, February 10th
Euro 2012 draw favours the boys in green
Best goal you’ve ever witnessed for United? A Denis Irwin goal at Wimbledon. Great team goal, thirty two passes before the finish. Ryan Giggs’s goal against Arsenal galvanised the club-an emotional game and an emotional moment.
How do you motivate your players with them earning large sums of money? I think they deserve the money, they earn it. I’m straightforward with my players, successful people want to be successful.
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A word on why you have been such a success? Luck. Work ethic too. I get up at half six in the morning and am in bed by half eleven. Haven’t missed a day’s work in my life.
Would Mark Hughes be welcome back at Old Trafford? Absolutely. One of our great players. Did you know forty one players have played for both United and City? ‘Sparky’ never played bad in the big games.
Who will retire first, Alex Ferguson or Ryan Giggs? The way he’s going at the moment me! I think we’ll ride off into the sunset together!
What is your view on friendly internationals? I don’t think the managers themselves think that they are any use, they never play their full teams! The international calendar is a lot better now than it was before. The international friendly in March is ridiculous with British clubs competing late in
Did any of your ex-players show managerial qualities when they played under you? Alex McLeish (Current Birmingham City manager). He always had an inquisitive nature. Never in a million years did Mark Hughes. He was always very quiet, came in did his training and went home. Quite a lot of the lads are taking their coaching badges now: Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Gary Neville, even Wayne Rooney-he could be a surprise!
How do you relax away from the game? It’s easier for me to relax now, years ago not so much. I love history, reading and watching movies, I just saw Avatar recently. I’m quite active away from football and I keep three or four books by my bedside all the time. Reading the ‘Painting of the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo’ and Ted Kennedy’s book currently.
second and was intent on not suffering the same straight sets defeat against Federer that had occurred the only other time the two had met in a major final the 2008 U.S. Open. The third began in an encouraging way for Andy as he raced to a 5-2 lead breaking Roger mid-way through the set and looking like finally securing a set in a Grand Slam final against his rival. Federer obviously didn’t read that script though. Cue an incredible comeback to level the set at 6-6 and force what can only be described as an epic tie-break. Four set points were to pass Murray by as eventually Federer wrapped up his third Australian Open title in five years by the score of 6-3 6-4 7-6
ease and although the nine games were tightly contested it was Federer who delivered on the crucial points when it mattered converting two of his three break point chances. After three losses of serve between the players in the opening set there was to be just one slip in the second and again it was Murray who faltered. With the players tied at 1-1 the Swiss took advantage with s display of scintillating winners that the Scot could not match. Having consolidated the lead with his own serve to make it 3-1 neither player was to relinquish serve for the rest of the set as Federer secured it 6-4 in just 46 minutes. Despite again losing the set Murray was much improved in the
oger Federer continued to re-write the tennis history books by securing his 16th ‘Grand Slam’ title in Melbourne on Sunday 31st January. Meeting Andy Murray in a major final for the second time in three years he was determined to succeed at the stage where he had failed so spectacularly against Rafael Nadal twelve months previously. Federer began in a ferocious manner breaking Murray in the Scot’s first service game and racing into a two games to nil lead. The first set would draw level at 2-2 before the Swiss ace took command in the eight game of the set with a superb backhand winner to give him a 5-3 lead. He served out the set with
European competitions. Any up and coming Irish youth players? Robert Brady and Conor Devlin a youth team goalkeeper. Shay Given was at United as a kid but his father wanted him to sign for Glasgow Celtic. Best player you never signed? Paul Gascoigne.
(11). At 28 years old it appears the Swiss is not slowing down and is keen to add to his considerable list of achievements. In addition to taking a 16-14 lead in his personal battle with close friend and golfer Tiger Woods in their race to see who will win the most major championships in their respective sports, this triumph has just emphasised that Roger Federer is again the dominant force on the courts after undergoing a slight recess from his place as no.1 in the world in 2008 when Nadal capitalised fully on an injury laden and illness stricken season for the Swiss by winning two Grand Slams and taking the coveted no.1 title which has now been restored in many eyes to its rightful owner.
Sweet sixteen for Roger R
United manager visits Trinity
Legendary Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson visited the Phil on January 20, Gavin Moran was there for the Questions and Answers session he attended.
Tuesday, November 3rd | The University Times
6 La Marcha Real is the wordless national anthem of which country? (5) 7 Iraq’s currency (5) 9 Sounds like minks could capitalise on this European country (7) 10 This is the only American state that does not have a straight line in its state border (6) 12 Former Yugoslav territory that claimed its independence in 2008 but still lacks global recognition (6) 13 Haiti and the Dominican Republic share which island? (10) 14 Irish county where Michael Collins was born (4) 17 Ireland’s minister for health and children (6) 19 The United Kingdom’s Prime Minister before Tony Blair (5) 21 Washington, Roosevelt, Lincoln and which other US President are sculpted into Mount Rushmore? (9) 22 The official language of Iran (7) 25 Obama’s great-great-great grandfather is rumoured to have been brought up in this Co. Offaly town (9) 26 Before Barack Obama was elected President, he was a senator for which US state? (8) 27 Current president of the Union of Students in Ireland (7)
1 Kofi Annan was UN Secretary General until the end of 2006. What country was he from? (5) 2 The first and last European colony in China (5) 3 House on campus where one would find the Students’ Union and Central Societies Committee’s offices (3) 4 Former SU President, now senator. Ivana _______ (5) 5 Between 1922 and 1937 the Irish Government was known as the Executive ___________ (7) 8 Nation enclave, completely surrounded by the Republic of South Africa (7) 10 Who held the post of President of Ireland between 1976 and 1990? (7) 11 Which European country , in 2009, banned the construction of minarets? (11) 15 Lives in No. 1 Grafton Street (7) 16 The only European country to border both France and Spain (7) 18 What Republican candidate famously lost out to Harry Truman in the 1948 US Presidential Election (5) 20 Current SU sabbatical officer running for his second successive term of office (7) 21 “Is it the fourth” are reputed to be the last words of which US President that died on July 4th? (9)
“Call Mr Quinlivan a fucking tool”
23 The first female governor of Alaska (5) 24 Brother of Fidel Castro that succeeded his brother in February 2008 (4) Compiled by Cathal Reilly
Please submit any completed crosswords to the Students’ Union front office in House 6, care of Dáire McNab. The winner will be selected at random from correct entries and will be announced in the next issue of the University Times.
Ents Stuff What follows is Ents Officer Mick Birmingham’s unofficial press release for the first act to be announced for Trinity Ball 2010. The release was written the morning after this year’s Rag Ball, a particularly heavy night for the short man. A scan of the release can be seen to the right.
I, Mick Birmingham, do solemnly declare to hold you and cherish you, but mostly hold you. To this, I can now tell you, you the people, that Digitalism are playing Trinity Ball 2010. Yes the darkest of secrets. I will personally make eye contact with anyone who dances for comedy. Yes I will, Obama is faltering. We believe in hope. Jape is my friend, friendly every time. We be chattin’, except when you douse him in liquid. We be hanging. I’ve been good, you’ve been great. See you at the ball, Mick Birmingham
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Honorifics Only use titles at first mention in copy and only to the extent necessary by the context of the piece: Chancellor Mary Terese Winifred Robinson, M.A., LL.B., LL.M. (HARV.), D.C.L. (by diploma OXON.), LL.D. (h.c. BASLE, BELF., BROWN, CANTAB., COL., COVENTRY, DUBL., FORDHAM, HARV., KYUNG HEE (SEOUL), LEUVEN, LIV., LOND., MELB., MONTPELLIER, N.U.I., N.U. MONGOLIA, POZNAN, ST AND., TOR., UPPSALA, WALES, YALE), D.P.S. (h.c. NORTHEASTERN),DOCTORAT EN SCIENCES HUMAINES (h.c. RENNES, ALBERT SCHWEITZER (GENEVA)), D.PHIL. (h.c. D.C.U., D.I.T.), D.UNIV.(h.c. COSTA RICA, EDIN., ESSEX), HON. FIEI, F.R.C.P.I. (HON.), HON. F.R.C.S.I., HON. F.R.C.PSYCH., HON. F.R.C.O.G., F.R.S.A.,M.R.I.A., M.A.P.S. should become Chancellor Mary Robison or simply Mary Robinson. Titles that follow a name are separated by a comma: George Bush, President of the United States. Where a person is best known by an office that may be used on first mention in copy and by the office thereafter: Pope John Paul II becomes the Pope, Queen Elizabeth II becomes the Queen.
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n a recent argument with a ‘mate’ of mine, former UCD Ents Officer Stephen Quinlivan, who said that my degree in pharmacy was a joke and that all that it amounts to is sitting in a shop and reading the piece of paper that the doctor gave to the customer and getting it off the shelf and giving it to them. He says why the fuck do you need to do a four year degree in order to read a bit of paper and give what it says to someone! This sophistry employed in his attack can only be described as fucking criminal. His lack of understanding of the role of a pharmacist is a testament to his ignorance about the complicated nature of drugs and their interaction with each other and biological structures. ‘Oh but, it’s the doctor that knows about how the drugs work and then he makes that call.’ This was his pathetic attempt to respond to my point. Anyone who knows anything about medicine will know how potent some drugs are and how complicated the pattern of interactions between them is. I don’t know about you but, when it comes to my health it is always advisable to have more than one person looking out for anything that could be potentially damaging. Doctors are not infallible, they have been known to miss things or make a mistake and the safety layer that is recognised in virtually every developed country is the pharmacist. This is always the pharmacist’s principle duty; to look at the prescription and consider the intricate and vast permutations of interactions and if we note anything contra-indicated we will contact the doctor and seek clarification. Perhaps Mr Quinlivan is blessed by the fact that he has been lucky enough to not have been sick much in his life or to have a number of serious ailments at once or not to have a medical condition that means some drugs are not suitable for him and I could go on with the numbers of reasons that prescribing drugs is not as easy as he might believe. One thing is sure though that Mr Quinlivan is lucky enough that he lives in a country where there is that protection afforded to people because one day he will get old, he will get sick, and he will be given medication and hopefully he
This sophistry employed in his attack can only be described as fucking criminal. His lack of understanding of the role of a pharmacist is a testament to his ignorance about the complicated nature of drugs and their interaction with each other and biological structures. will then realise that he feels comfortable when the doctor, who is a very busy person, spends three minutes with him then scribbles a load of words that he doesn’t understand onto a piece of paper and sends him on his way. He will be happy to know that it’s not a trained monkey looking at that page and giving it to him. I know that he will be happy to know that the person looking at the page has spent a long time reading books the size of a house about chemicals that he can’t even pronounce and cares about if the words the doctor has written on the page are correct and accurate. A pharmacist will spend the time explaining how to take medication. If he is stupid enough to think that he can get away his whole life popping aspirins when he feels a bit ill then he’s sadly mistaken. Anyone who has ever had to take strong pharmacological preparations will know that there are important rules about how and when to take them. Some have serious side effects that need to be explained. He is again lucky that he is relatively intelligent, even if he thinks two diplomas makes a degree (B & L), therefore he can make an informed decision about his medication but there are a lot of people that rely on the pharmacist to explain in great detail the medicines that they are taking. Prescribed medications are also not the only thing that we dispense. We provide very important first line information for patients. Our GPs and hospitals are over run with sick people, imagine the problems that would arise if all of those
He is again lucky that he is relatively intelligent, even if he thinks two diplomas makes a degree (B & L), therefore he can make an informed decision about his medication but there are a lot of people that rely on the pharmacist to explain in great detail the medicines that they are taking. that came for minor medical advice to their local pharmacy had to go to the doctor. Our medical system as we know it would cease to be. So when Mr Quinlivan ever makes his stupid argument to you about pharmacists look into his face and call him a fucking tool. This article is supposed to be 1,000 words long and I was able to deal with Mr Quinlivan’s treatise in about 700 so I propose to spend the remainder telling you about girls that have nice boobs and know it. These kinds of people make me sick. They go around flaunting their tits in a look-at-me-type way. They know that they have nice tits but that’s not good enough for them, no, they want you to know that they have good boobs too. Now I do enjoy boobs they occupy a lot of my personal thoughts during my alone time as well as other things that I won’t get into. Have you ever considered why it is ok to show as much of the boobs as possible as long as the nipple is covered? I think that that is the oddest thing of them all. It’s not as if nipples are my favourite part of a tit; I like tits as a whole. I don’t even know if they are my favourite body part–sometimes they are sometimes they are not. I am fickle like that. email@example.com
And they’re off...
The University Times
ELECTION SPECIAL 2010 Tuesday, February 9th CASHMAN | FLEMING | FLOREA | FOX GENOCKEY | HARMON | HUGHES | LOWE | O’TOOLE PRESTON | REILLY | TRIGOUB-ROTNEM
INSIDE EVERY CANDIDATE PROFILED PAST OFFICERS’ EXPERIENCES THE ELECTIONS REVIEWED
Tuesday, February 9th | The University Times
Upping the ante Former Education Officer Robert Kearns examines the growing professionalism of election campaigns in Trinity since his time in office. It’s always fun when a friend approaches you asking you to give the ‘these kids didn’t have it so good back in my day’ angle in a newspaper article. It’s even more fun when you’re only 23 and still in college. However, it is fair to say that the SU Sabbatical Elections have changed hugely in the time that I’ve been involved in them. By way of introduction, I ran for Education Officer in 2006 and was, quite happily, successful. In fairness, I was practically unopposed. (My most threatening competitor was running on the mantle of launching the campanile into space!) Even though this was only four years ago, the methods of campaigning have changed a great deal in that time. Actually, it’s almost impossible to compare the process which I underwent to what the candidates of 2010 will take part in, in the coming weeks. To try and conceptualise some of the differences, bear in mind that there were literally no Trinity students on Facebook in 2006. None. By the time you’ve read this article, you’ll probably have been invited to groups for at least five of the candidates. These will be used as information hubs for every campaign for the next fortnight. Allied to these will be flashy professionally designed websites which spew forth the already overly distributed policies of the candidates. During our election, my fellow candidates and I converted our Bebo pages (pause for nostalgia) as our election vehicles, using blogs as our method to communicate with the masses. As Education Officer, I had to run the following year’s elections. In that year, we made some
important changes which have influenced the way in which the elections have changed and expanded ever since. Before this, candidates had to produce single colour manifestos and posters, and were limited to fifty t-shirts per campaign. These rules were eliminated and provisions were made for election ‘stunts’. Now full colour posters and manifestos are the standard for every campaigner and you can be expected to see up to 160 people in t-shirts for some of this year’s campaigns. Anyone who witnessed our 2006 elections and then saw Cathal Reilly’s presidential campaign of 2008 or Mick Birmingham’s of last year can see how much the methods of publicising the elections have changed in such a short time. More permissive rules and more accessible technology were feared by the Students’ Union for many years as it was worried that they would somehow “corrupt” the electoral process. However, the Union’s embracing of these has only served to democratize the election process and allow students to find out more about their future public servants. As long as candidates are able to use as many forms of communications as possible to show off their credentials, the competitive nature of the contest will constantly drive the candidates to build bigger teams, get better designs and create more innovative stunts. As annoying as this all may be to any student who’s just trying to get from A to B in the Arts Block, this drive is a good thing for the Union. As a result, I’m sure election turnout will rise again this year, as it has every year since 2006.
With all of these changes, it should be noted that the most important factors will never change. At the end of the elections, a massive pile of paper will be sorted, counted and transferred, and some old hack will read out a result. There will be tears and celebrations on the night, but these will follow two weeks of screaming campaigners, gnashing of teeth, barbed words and stabbed backs. Back in my day, we used to call the SU Elections ‘Trinity’s finest bloodsport’. Once the campaign gets going, I hope voters will understand why.
An insider’s guide to losing the elections I was busy at work browsing Facebook when a sweaty, long-haired man calling himself ‘Conor Smith’ bustled towards me. He garbled something about writing an article for a paper about an election, while brandishing a rolled-up newspaper in my face in an overtly-threatening manner. Just as I was about to scream for help, he departed, as swiftly as he had arrived. Upon reflection I realize that this man was probably the Conor who lives in the room next to mine, and that he was asking me to write an article for The University Times, about the Trinity SU elections. If this is actually printed in the Albuquerque Council Election Gazette, I apologize for its content. If this is indeed published in The University Times, I apologize for its content. I wrote an article entitled ‘An Insider’s Guide to winning the Elections’ two years ago for the Times’ predecessor, The Record, which met with presumably widespread acclaim. Indeed, one of my friends went so far as to tell me to my
face that he had immensely enjoyed the article, though he did go on to lose an election last year. I was tempted to resubmit said article before my conscience, and an inability to find it on my computer, convinced me otherwise. So, I’ve decided to take a different tack, and essentially write the opposite article – ‘An Insider’s Guide to Losing the Elections’. One Thursday three long years ago I made my way to the Earl of Kildare hotel, for the elections result night. As a candidate for the position of Welfare Officer, my next year, my life, my legacy, had the potential to drastically change in a few hours’ time. I was quietly confident – I’d managed to vote for myself twice, and knew that my rivals, assuming that they weren’t as good at voting as me, would only have voted for themselves once, which gave me a 100% lead. I was also confident of getting a few extra looks-based votes – I’d give myself a solid 7 out of 10 for looks (7.5 if I’ve had a few; 8 at a push if I’ve been Viagra-ed, and I’m in a
Information Editor Robert Donohoe Contributors Marykate Collins, Robert Donohoe, Orlaith Foley, Robert Kearns, Emma Keaveney, Dáire McNab, Barry Murphy, Cathal Reilly, Conor Smith, Hugh Sullivan, Claire Tighe
Photographs David O’Dwyer, Robert Donohoe, Martin McKenna Special thanks to Eoin Maher, Gearóid O’Rourke
A look back over campaign materials from the last few years clearly shows the massive improvements. Robert Kearns’ poster was used in 2006, Conor Smith’s manifesto in 2008 and Rob Donohoe’s professionally designed newspaper-style manifesto was used last year.
by Dáire McNab, one-time Welfare candidate
particularly good mood) and expected to pick up some of the ‘this one’s attractive, I’ll vote for him’ votes. Against that, I was conscious that one of my rivals was a whole point better looking, and I had recently received the shattering news that the girl who I was at that time seeing, while I had sex with her, had only given me her third preference vote. Plus, my hustings hadn’t gone to plan (I almost came to blows with a girl at one, and at another a fake blood-filled condom which was concealed under my shirt failed to implode as planned, leading to considerable embarrassment), and at the previous nights’ Slave Auction I had accidentally tucked my penis between my legs before exposing it (for charity I hasten to add), which led to me sporting what could only be described as a ‘mangina’. No one wants to vote for a man with a fanny who has unimploded condoms hidden down his shirt. I was on edge – would Lady Luck shine on me that crisp February night? As it turned out, no, she wouldn’t. Not only had my soon-to-be-girlfriend not voted for me, most of my friends hadn’t either. I ended up being narrowly pipped to fourth place by RON, or ‘Re-Open Nominations’, who isn’t even a real person, and I got less than a tenth of the votes the winner got. My night reached its nadir when, as I was standing on a chair watching the Welfare votes being sorted into piles for each of the candidates, I realized that I probably wasn’t going to win. As I digested this bombshell, the girl standing beside me turned and enquired whether I was wearing mascara. This is a fairly common occurrence for me- I
happen to be blessed with particularly full-bodied, luscious eyelashes, and am frequently accused of wearing mascara. However, this would have to be the one occasion where I actually was wearing mascara, which was applied (as a joke) by a female friend earlier in the day. I felt humiliated, and quickly left before the girl beside me
I was quietly confident – I’d managed to vote for myself twice.
noticed that I was also sporting blusher. So, to all this year’s candidates – if you do end up losing, at least console yourself with the fact that you haven’t lost wearing make-up (unless you’re wearing some for the laugh, or you’re a tranny, or you’re a girl). If you have lost wearing make-up, at least you didn’t lose with several people thinking you have a fanny (unless you’re a proper tranny, or a girl). If you have lost with people thinking you have a fanny, at least you haven’t lost with an unexploded bit of rubber up your top (unless you’re a girl). And, if you are a girl and you’ve lost, and you’re at least a 7 out of 10 – a man named Conor Smith would very much like to meet you.
The University Times | Tuesday, February 9th
The coveted Ents Office is being fought over this year by three candidates. Both Florea and Genockey have served under various Ents Officers and say that they have the experience, while self-described satirical candidate O’Toole
Keith Florea JS Bess KEITH FLOREA is a 3rd year Bess student. He has been a club promoter for nearly two years and has also been working with Ents during that time. Florea is running for Ents as he thinks he can make a difference and give students what they want. He feels students want more variety and more say rather than just being offered one particular night out, they should have options. Florea is interested in looking into offering a better variety of music events, so that all students’ tastes are catered for. He plans to set up online polls to find out what
the students want. If elected he wants to unite the current Ents website with society websites, so that students can just go to one website to see what is happening. Florea first started off as a DJ four years ago and then started working as a promoter. He sees being Ents Officer as a natural progression. He does not see being a DJ as a hindrance but rather as a bonus as he is familiar with so many of the student nights out. However he intends to drop everything else he is doing if elected so as to concentrate on entertaining the students of Trinity. With reference to being the underdog,
Darragh Genockey JS Bess
My time as Ents Officer
Barry Murphy It’s kind of difficult when you’re asked a few years later to write an article about being an Ents Officer or your time as Ents Officer. Once you’ve gotten older and have left college it can be a challenge to remember accurately how you felt about it at the time. It kind of becomes blurred and tainted by how you feel about it now. We all look back on photos of ourselves when we were younger or hear stories about what we did and cringe at the memory of our younger selves. Having said all that, it is not to say that I didn’t enjoy my time as Ents Officer or that I regret it in any way. The only thing I regret is the level of importance I seemed to attach to the job and to myself for doing it. It is the arrogance of youth that I cringe at when I recall how self important I was. It is the levels of unnecessary stress that I put myself under that I would change. Because really more than half the college don’t care what you are doing or what the events are. More than half of the other half are happy to go to the same cheap drink nights out as the year before and the remainder will be pleased enough if you put on a decent ball and throw in the odd curve ball like Howard Marks (well done Mick!) or The Presets or something. It really isn’t rocket science! The hardest part is just realising that and enjoying it as much as humanly possible. It is the best opportunity you’ll ever have to completely lose the run of yourself for an entire year and get paid to do it! You can put on events you’ve always wanted and with the budget that is there these days you can basically do what you want. I wish whoever wins the best of luck and hope they do plenty of things they should regret - I hope they drink, smoke, and whatever else too much, sleep with an unacceptable amount of women, don’t go to the gym or get enough hours kip, eat greasy food and just have an unbelievably good time. Not many people get the opportunity to do what whoever wins is about to so they should take full advantage of it. Just remember not to think any of it is too important.
DARRAGH GENOCKEY is a 3rd year Bess student from Tallaght. He started getting involved in promotional work whilst still at school and has continued with this during his time in college. In his 1st year he was asked to manage the band ‘Killer Chloe’, who played at Trinity Ball and the Fringe Festival. He is currently the Social Secretary of both Dublin University Business and Economic Society (Dubes) and the Cancer Society. This year he has played a very active role in the Ents crew under current Ents Officer Mick Birmingham, to whom Genockey was campaign manager last year.
When asked why he was running for Ents this year, he replied that he ‘feels I would do the best job and would thoroughly enjoy being able to take a year off to concentrate on entertainment for Trinity students’. If elected he plans to make Ents more accessible to all by working closely with both societies and class reps, something which he feels may have been lacking in previous years; “Ents is for everyone; all the societies, all the sports clubs and all Trinity students.” This year the competition has been taken a step further, with all three candidates cur-
Conor O’Toole SF Engineering CONOR O’TOOLE is an 18 year old 2nd year Engineering student. He likes mountains and his room is green and blue. O’Toole is running for Ents this year as he feels it needs to be shaken up. According to him people have fallen into a perception of what they think Ents should be. He wants to show the human side of Ents. He cares more about being entertained rather than losing massive amounts of money. If elected he plans to make Freshers’ Week really, really fun and sleep with as many 1st years as possible. He does however want to be as effi-
cient as possible, with a booking system in place, so that everyone can have a turn. He is also interested in free entertainment and will try his best to fund as much of the alcohol as possible so that students don’t have to. When asked as to why the average Trinity student should vote for him, he replied; “because I am the average Trinity student. I would vote for me.” O’Toole was disappointed this year with current Ents Officer Mick Birmingham as he has yet to see a barbecue at the Pav. O’Toole feels Ents needs more events, more entertaining things, yet one thing it
has stepped up to challenge them. The students’ decision in this race will dictate where we’ll be partying next year, what kind of events we’ll have in the Pav and who will be in charge of Trinity Ball 2011.
Florea does not see a problem with this and does indeed view himself on a level playing field with the other candidates. He is however different to the other candidates as his nights out “offer more variety”. Florea however declined to say as to whether or not this would help him out in the elections. His ideal Trinity Ball Act would be ‘The Killers’, ‘Muse’ or ‘The Prodigy’. Florea is happy with how Mick has done this year, yet wishes he had added more variety to the music events. However all in all feels that he has done a very professional job. When asked what he has that the other two candidates do not, Florea replied that although he is great friends with both of them, Florea feels that he can do a better job. “The elec-
tions are fun, there will of course be competition, but it will be friendly competition.” In reference to how the elections are so big in Trinity, Florea stated that it was great; “Compared to other colleges, the elections are much more fun here in Trinity.”
rently promoters, yet Genockey feels that he has more experience than the competition. He wants to take Ents outside of House 6, even looking into organising intervarsity events, which would leave greater scope to book bigger acts without having to worry about the cost. He has already been in contact with other university Ents officers and says that he would love to work alongside them if he got the opportunity. Genockey feels that Birmingham has done a great job so far this year, creating a new style of Ents, such as getting Howard Marks as a guest speaker. Yet he is aware that much more can be done. He is excited about the elections, and eager to start, despite being aware that it will be a tough two weeks; “Some peo-
ple might not agree with what I’ve done or what I intend to do if elected, but that’s what the elections are all about, putting yourself out there to be judged. Hopefully in the end I’ll be elected, I’m looking forward to the two weeks either way.”
definitely needs is more tea; “There is no proper tea facility in this college. One of the best universities in the world yet appalling tea facilities. Students should have a place to relax with a cup of tea for seven, eight hours at a time.” When informed that we had the Buttery for this O’Toole stated that “I don’t think it’s working out as a bar.” In terms of his ideal Trinity Ball act, regardless of money or logistics, O’Toole replied that “money and logistics are no issue.” Ideally he would love to have the Pixies play. Currently O’Toole is excited about Andrew Maxwell playing on Monday, yet he is also excited about the start of elections. It is the first time a comedy promoter has ran for Ents, yet
O’Toole prefers to be known as a ‘comedy informer’ as comedy promotes itself. If elected, he plans to increase informing and decrease promotion as he feels this would be a “good idea.” According to O’Toole this “is the way forward.”
Tuesday, February 9th | The University Times
President The presidential race is always one that attracts the most attention. The Students’ Union Constitution defines the role of the President as the chief campaigning officer. That means that the President is responsible for running the major campaigns on issues such as fees, library, and the long-awaited student centre. The President’s position is often used a jumping off point for a political career with many former Trinity Students’ Union presidents now holding important jobs in law and politics. This year we have four candidates competing for the spot which means that we are in for an interesting race. Fearghal Hughes is a seasoned veteran at sabbatical election campaigns as he was campaign manager to last year’s president Cathal
HAILING FROM Palmerstown, Declan Harmon is a 21 year old JS Bess student who is a self-professed rugby and GAA fan. A member of Rialto Vincent De Paul and treasurer of Ballyfermot GAA Club, he cites his involvement in community and voluntary groups as the best experience for the role of president. “I think I have experience in managing money, whether it be as a treasurer of a GAA club, or as a member of a board of directors of a voluntary body that has a turnover of over a million a year. I have experience in positions of responsibility within organisations that are handling large volumes of money. Because I have that experience, I think I can deliver on the issues I’m putting forward in the campaign.” These issues include better access to jobs and internships for all students and results on the library campaign. Harmon’s main policy, however, is that of ensuring greater accountability and control over how the Union spends its money. “We spend a lot of money on our union, around €400,000. That money doesn’t
Reilly and for the less successful candidate in last year’s election Cathal Horan. After years of planning he has decided to throw his hat into the ring and make a dash for the first floor of No. 6. Nikolai Trigoub-Rotnem is another Union insider vying for the job. Currently the Assistant Campaigns Officer of the Union, he plans to take the position of chief campaigning officer next year. Declan Harmon came out of the woodwork just before the nominations were due in. While not being well known in No. 6 he has been involved in numerous other activities, both in and out of college. Dan Reilly is running as a self-proclaimed joke candidate. He claims to have the backing of the Trinity Intellectual Traditionist Society, an organisation with an interesting initialism.
SF History and Political Science
just fall from the sky. It comes from us, it comes from the students. I don’t think we’re getting as much out of it as we could be. I think that the Union could be much more effective and I think I could make it more effective. That’s why I’m running.” Harmon went on to outline the ways he intends to make this come about. “I would publish the income and expenditure of the union each month on the union website. I would publish my salary and expenses, as president, online. I would ensure that finance is discussed at every SU Council and SU Exec, which does not happen at the moment. The people who are in charge of the Union have to be held accountable.” Harmon claims that this would give class reps “an element of control over where that money is going.” Trinity SU’s membership of USI is also under scrutiny in Harmon’s plan. He cites figures from 2007/2008 (the last year that figures are available for) and goes on to say “we spent just under €70,000 on membership of USI. I don’t think we’re getting much out of that. USI is meant to be our lobbying arm at a national level. It doesn’t seem to me to be doing much except operating as an employment agency for aspiring politicians.” If elected, Harmon says he would make moves towards disaffiliating from USI.
Another primary policy for Harmon is increasing awareness of potential jobs and internships for Trinity students. Claiming that the worsening job market is “the biggest challenge we all face,” he believes that the Union should be informing students of internships in all areas of study, not just business and science. “The Union could and should be doing more to help students prepare themselves for going out into the workplace”’ he says. Harmon thinks that current SU President Cónán has done a good job, particularly with regard to revitalising sports clubs within the college. However, he thinks that the library campaign was a possible weak point, saying “The library campaign was a good campaign. It was well run. But I don’t think we’ve gotten results from it. That’s not necessarily Conan’s fault. It’s not necessarily anyone’s fault. But if I were to be elected, that is something I would keep up the pressure on.” When asked to comment on his status as a relative unknown within the Union, Harmon is quick to dispel those who would paint him as an outsider. “I’m a member of the Union, like every student here.” Instead, he says, we need to ask ourselves why the vast majority of students in the college decide not to become involved in the SU.
DAN REILLY is a Senior Freshman History and Political Science student. He is running as a self-professed joke candidate. His views centre on the policy of bringing Trinity back to its 1800 roots and to restore the level of Trinity pretentiousness to the College. An important part of this is the policy is introducing an authoritarian regime and to rule with an iron fist. He believes that Trinity needs to introduce a monarchy style system for running the College. Commenting on the presidency of Cónán Ó Broin, Reilly says that he will send Ó Broin to Kilmainham Gaol for introducing GAA
goal posts to Trinity because he says that it is in direct opposition to his policy of an Anglo Athletics Association which would provide funding for the mother land sports like cricket and rugby. He also thinks that Ó Broin is involved in a conspiracy to make Trinity more like UCD. The introduction of semesters is shameful and it lowers Trinity to UCD’s level. Any plan to fly the Irish Tricolour above the front gate of Trinity is strongly opposed by Reilly. He would rather see the flag of St Patrick or maybe a harp with a crown on it. Reilly is the only candidate that is promising to make security a central theme of the campaign. If elected he says he will introduce a new security force to replace the Trinity security which he will call the Royal University Constabulary (RUC). They would have full powers of arrest and
search which he hopes will crack down on messing in college. He thinks that people will vote for him because most students are cynical like him and will not want to see another careerist get elected. He will abolish all future elections and appoint himself leader for life. He is running as part of a political party called the Trinity Intellectual Traditionalist Society which espouses the principles of Stalinism and Toryism. It is unclear who the other members of the party are or if there are any at all. With policies similar to Dave Preston, who is running in the Education Officer race, Reilly was asked if they were running on a ticket but he told The University Times that this was not the case but that they were arranging a meeting to discuss a number of issues.
The University Times | Tuesday, February 9th
TIMESELECTIONS My time as President
Cathal Reilly Being President of the Students’ Union is a very tough task. In my year I had no idea what was in store and I am sure none of us could have predicted what challenges were to present themselves. The surfacing of fees campaign took up a lot of time as a major issue of importance to the majority of students and we knew that it could be make or break for the Union. The President has a lot of work to do, a great deal of which is based around committee work - sitting on various college committee including Board - Trinity’s highest decision making body. Our job on these committees is to represent the students’ interests and to tell the college what you want aiming to ensure they acts in the best interests of the students. Another major role in my job as President was as the Union’s chief campaigning officer. Given the nature of the fees campaign, a lot of media attention was needed to aid our cause. Luckily the Irish press always seemed to be willing to lend a hand, with plenty of articles and photographs being published in national and local media.
FEARGHAL HUGHES is a twenty-three year old from Drogheda, County Louth. He is in Senior Sopistor Environmental Science student. Hughes is a Students’ Union insider having been actively involved in Union politics for four years in Trinity. The last two years he has spent as Engineering, Mathematics, and Science (EMS) Faculty Convenor which means he represents all the students in that faculty. Hughes also has been involved in societies including the Cancer society. He is proud of the charity work that he has done especially helping to establish the EMS day last year. Hughes has a long list of experience be it organizing the Science Ball for the past few years, writing for the sports section of The University Times, and playing rugby with the College team. Speaking on his motivation to run for the position of president of the Students’ Union, Hughes’ view is that the Union “did some things right and some things wrong” over the last few years and he wants to try to continue with the successes and to improve what he regards as being done
Of course, running campaigns can be very difficult without campaigners to lend a hand. We were very lucky last year to have record numbers of wonderful class reps and other students to give us the man power needed. Campaigning for what our students need and want was always our top priority, but another key issue I dealt with last year was the visibility and approachability of the Students’ Union. In increasing these, the number of students using our services, such as the welfare loan system, increased dramatically. I feel that these individual services for our students are just as an important part of what the Students’ Union does as national campaigns. The most important thing an SU President can do is to be out there, to be known and to be approachable. To represent effectively you need to relate to those you represent. You need to remain a student. This is much more difficult than it sounds but is the best advice I could give to anyone in the position. And always keep in mind, the three tools needed for anything you do are: hard work, common sense and stick-to-it-iveness!
SS Environmental Science
JS Engineering with Management
wrong. Hughes has a couple of core issues that he is focusing on during the race. His first policy is based on the library, in particular the opening hours. He is determined to have the library open on Sundays and he says that Trinity has the worst library opening hours in the country and is very critical of the College for allowing this. He says that the moratorium of hiring staff has caused a huge number of problems for the library and
Trigoub-Rotnem is keen to stress that political lobbying is the way forward for Trinity SU. “The Union can no longer go back to thinking inside Trinity college. Those days are over. We need to think outside the box. We need to think down the street, at the Dáil. The big decisions on grants, on fees, the big decisions are all made there. It’s important to work inside Trinity college but we need to think outside of Trinity as well.” Pointing out the political lobbying done by this
Hughes’ view is that the Union “did some things right and some things wrong.” he wants to find a solution to this by finding money that can be saved in other areas of the College. His second issue regards student grants and what he says is the need for reform of the system. He regards the current grants system as outdated and in need of root and branch reform. The Student Support Bill which is held up before the
Oireachtas contains comprehensive changes to the system; Hughes intends to lobby Senators and TDs to enact the legislation as soon as possible. Asked about incumbent Cónán Ó Broin, Hughes said that he is “doing a great job.” Hughes complimented the fees campaign and said that the President has to engage in national politics too in order to affect College decisions. The student service charge is now on the agenda because serious issues have recently been uncovered regarding the spending of the money paid by students. Hughes says that people should vote for him because he has experience dealing with the College because as Faculty Convenor he sits on University Council which is the highest academic committee in College. It is where most of the major decisions that affect your education are made. He says that he has already built up a relationship with the College officials and that this will make his transition easier if he gets elected. Finally, Hughes has been involved in two presidential races in the past two years as a campaign manager for last year’s president Cathal Reilly and for unsuccessful candidate Cathal Horan. Hughes says that this has given him a unique insight into the operations of the elections.
THIRD YEAR Engineering with Management student Nikolai Trigoub-Rotnem believes that he can bring experience from all realms of college life to the role of president. He says he has “done the college thing” and points to his participation in the judo, snow sports and surf clubs as well as his work within the Union as the former Chair of Council and as the current Assistant Campaigns officer. His interest in the campaigns aspect of the presidency role is obvious and he praises the work of this year’s team. “This year I think the Union has really taken a step up. Now the question isn’t ‘can we get microwaves in the Hamilton or couches in the Arts block.’ The question now is ‘Can we beat fees? Can we improve the grants system? Can we work on a national level?’ I think that’s amazing and it really gives students belief in the Union, belief that the Union doesn’t just sit on committees and moan. Students are saying ‘Wait a second, the Union actually does do something for me.’ I want to make sure the Union stays at that level and that we keep the bar high.”
“Students want visibility” years President Cónán Ó Broin, Trigoub-Rotnem says that “it would be a shame to see the Union take a step back from that level. We’ve done so much good work for ourselves in the Dáil with TDs and with the media. If we leave that behind now we’re really going to damage our reputation.” No doubt Trigoub-Rotnem would use this political lobbying to fight grant cuts and the proposed increase in the registration fee, both of which are his key policies for his year as President. If elected, he also aims to
increase the Union’s visibility and relevance on campus. “Students want visibility”, he says. “They want to see that the Union is working. They want to see that the Union is doing something for them.” He thinks that the perception of the Union as a big clique needs to be changed by running big campaigns, “like the library campaign, for example. I want to make sure that students see the campaigns. I want students to know that we’re doing this work.” With regard to the library campaign, Trigoub-Rotnem underlined the importance of direct action on the part of the students. “I think there’s a general wave of ‘we need to do something’ – there is a recession going on at the moment. We need to get value for money in everything we do because otherwise we’re not going to get out of this... Students are demanding more and direct action is necessary.” He goes on to say that if elected as president he will campaign for the introduction of automated book lending and automated access to the library which would allow the library to open for longer hours without requiring extra staff. As well as this, TrigoubRotnem plans on working alongside sports clubs to ensure that they are properly consulted on matters of planning and funding in the sports centre.
Tuesday, February 9th | The University Times
Welfare Officer The job of Students’ Union Welfare Officer is often summed up with two words: condom dispenser. Of course, there is a lot more to the job than that and this year’s two candidates are more than aware. Current Welfare Officer Cormac Cashman is aiming to retain his position, while Steph Fleming is stepping up to be his successor.
My time as Welfare Officer
Orlaith Foley Running for elections is a pretty daunting experience. You are very much out there on your own and open to any amount of criticism. That said I thoroughly enjoyed my campaign experience. It involved being in on campus at 8am every morning and staying around until usually around 8pm every night – pretty hectic. Though you’re under stress I advise all the candidates to soak it all up and try to enjoy it as much as you can. As far as the job is concerned, Welfare is a tough one because people tend not to know what you do. Most of what I did as Welfare Officer was all behind the scenes work. It is a job that concerns all non-academic issues that come against students so as such it is very private work you are involved in. A good welfare officer, from my experience, should be someone who genuinely cares, who is strong enough to support others and someone who is not shy. After all both Education and Welfare officers spend the majority of time listening and talking to students.
Cormac Cashman Incumbent CORMAC CASHMAN is currently the Union’s Welfare Officer and is running for the position once again. On the subject of his re-running Cashman says that “the biggest failure of our Students’ Union is every year there’s a lack of continuity” noting that big projects and casework can fall behind because of this. Among Cashman’s plans for next year are to address the problem with Ireland’s grants system, which he describes as a “hugely failing monster.” Cashman believes his experience dealing with
various grant awarding bodies this year will be crucial when the government looks
Steph Fleming SS Physiotherapy STEPH FLEMING is a 4th year Physiotherapy student, originally from County Cork, who says that her reasons for running for the position of Welfare Officer are simple: she’s passionate about Welfare services and thinks that she would be good at the job. “Studying physiotherapy, I’ve been in some pretty intense work environments, intensive care units, The National Rehab centre. I’ve treated patients who have gone through the toughest times of their lives. I will work hard to help people. I’m very passionate
about it.” If elected, the first thing she wants to do is to make the
Communications Officer JS Bess
TOM LOWE is the first person ever to run for Communication Officer as the job was only changed to its current incarnation from Deputy President after the elections last year. Lowe is twenty-one and from Shankill in Dublin. Lowe has worked for Trinity News for the last two years helping them make their
Welfare services “as accessible as possible”. She points out that some students have very long days in college and thinks that the Welfare office should have evening hours at least one day a week to accommodate this. Fleming wants to bring increased accessibility to off-campus sites also. “There’s hundreds of students based elsewhere. I want to make sure that Welfare services get to these sites too.” Fleming also sees increased LGBT awareness as a priority. “I want Rainbow Week to also reach out to people who don’t necessarily see themselves as LGBT. LGBT has expanded to LGBTQ - Q being questioning, as
in you’re not really sure who you are yet. You find yourself in college – it might be a cliché but it’s also true. If you’re coming out as gay, lesbian or bi, college is a place where you find the opportunity to do that.” Fleming speaks passionately about her belief in the importance of the Welfare position. “It takes a lot of courage to seek help. I think there is a feeling in Ireland that seeking help is a sign of weakness, that people should be able to stand up for themselves. But I want to ensure that people feel secure and happy and confident – if they’re having problems, make sure they know that they’re not dealing with it on their own.”
Tom Lowe paper has established. Lowe has been at the head of a campaign called Save Freedom of Speech in Trinity which was opposing some wording on the Senior Dean’s powers to seize publications in college that was included in a draft terms of reference for the Capitations Committee. “I was mandated by the Trinity Publications Committee about three weeks ago to go out there and do it” says Lowe. Lowe puts a lot of importance on hearing from students and listening to what they have to say. “Communication is a two way system” says Lowe and he believes
ests” with regard to his own promotion of gay club night Prhomo in Basebar. Cashman talked about the advantages of his promotion work, including a number of charity nights he’s run this year and how it has taught him how to make people aware. When asked why students should vote for him and not his opponent Cashman wouldn’t comment on his opponent, but instead pointed out that he has the experience of doing the job for the last year. Finally Cashman was asked how he would feel if he lost this election after his victory last year. He said that he’d get back to finishing his degree, but also that he “would be gutted.”
My time as Communications Officer
One of the main jobs of the Students’ Union Communications Officer is to ensure the production of The University Times, along with the duties of overseeing SU communications and publicity. This year there is only one man who wants to take over from Rob Donohoe’s editorship, Tom Lowe.
newspaper, he says this has given him an impetus to want to run his own newspaper and he thinks that he can do some good work as editor of The University Times. The Communication Officer has the responsibility for the production of The University Times and Lowe says that as editor he intends to improve on the work done this year with the paper. He says that “there were great strides made over the last year in the paper” but he says that it takes more than a year for a paper to reach the top quality. Lowe is clear that he is keen to maintain the principle of editorial independence that this
to reassess the grant system next year. When asked how he felt about his job so far this year, Cashman said, “I’ve achieved a lot of things I wanted to do.” Among his successes he mentions the Accommodation Advisory Service run by the Union and a service he’s run in Trinity Hall going door-todoor to chat to first year students. Cashman believes it is important to reach first year students as soon as possible so that they know there’s help for them as they go through college. When asked about the trend of nightclub promoters running recently Cashman responded by saying “I don’t think there’s a clash of inter-
that class representatives can sometimes be voting on their own view rather than representing that of their classes’. He wants to provide an online feedback system so students can make their views known. When asked how he thought the incumbent Robert Donohoe was doing as Communications Officer, Lowe said “he has done well.” Modernising the communication systems in the Union is something that Lowe feels could have been done better by Donohoe. But Lowe is confident that he can achieve some of the things that he says Donohoe has not managed to do.
Communication is a fundamental aspect of the Students’ Union’s work, and it will make or break the success of an SU team in the eyes of the student body. The SU works hard to deliver the best representation and services it can for students, but unless students are aware of such efforts, a sense of distance and a political cynicism can easily emerge. As such, the role of Communications Officer is a huge responsibility. This position entails a commitment to long hours of design and production, constant brainstorming of creative new campaign ideas, and the enhancement and development of existing means of communication. Along with the multitude of creative duties, you are also an elected representative, there to be of assistance and support students at all times. Newspaper production, campaign design, website management are all manageable. It is the juggling of all these things with the busy schedule of being an elected representative that can make the job so challenging. Regular meetings, councils and campaigns and events mean that you have to work hard to stay on top of everything. Providing advice and assistance, hearing and acting on students’ concerns, advising on college procedures, dealing with queries and problems, putting students in the right direction and being constantly available are all important aspects of the job. At the end of the day the SU is the union of the students – there to make college life easier and better for every student. Above all, you have to really care about and believe in what you’re doing. It is a huge undertaking. You have to possess a genuine desire to do the job well, and serve students as best you can.
The University Times | Tuesday, February 9th
This year’s race for Education Officer originally looked set to be uncontested, with Jen Fox as the only one stepping forward. That was until last year’s joke candidate for President, Dave Preston, decided to take a shot at looking after Trinity’s students’ education. How will Fox fare against Preston’s latest humorous effort?
SS Philosophy and Classical Civilisation
CONTRARY TO the above Dave Preston claims to be a Senior Sophister Protestant Studies student, with a minor in Catholic repression. Preston says he is running because while Trinity was once the bastion of Protestantism in Ireland, this has fallen by the wayside. He worries that we are now too much like Maynooth or UCD and says he will bring the protestant back to Trinity. To achieve this GAA will be banned and replaced with rugby, croquet,
fowling and cock fighting. Preston’s main policy is “Yes to fees, pay your way.” He says that we are a rich, strong, protestant university and we don’t need government handouts like the Catholics in UCD. Other policies include longer lectures, harder essays, more exams, less comfortable seats and uglier lecturers. Among the things Preston plans to abolish when elected (“not if”) are Sociology, “because nobody needs a degree in CSPE,” and Engineering, “because that’s building, which is Paddies’ work.” Bringing back a promise made last year in his bid for President, he will “stop knackers coming through Trinity to use the Dart.” When asked about how he thinks current Education Officer Ashley Cooke has fared this year, Preston responded that Cooke has sucked up to the nanny state too much. Preston plans to fire the entire library staff when elected, replacing them with immigrants who will do twice the
work for half the pay. Preston plans on “ruling with an iron fist in a glove made of cuddles.” Students looking for help with essays will be sent to the boiler room. On the topic of his failed presidential bid last year Preston insists that he was, “hoisted out by this puppet Union.” He claims that they couldn’t handle him and that the election of Cónán Ó Broin was, “a Bush election.” Preston asserts that he has a strong backbone and a stiff upper lip and doesn’t care what the average students wants in an Education Officer, but feels they should vote for him and listen to their betters. He said he is more than confident in his victory.
JEN FOX is a 4th year Genetics student from Bray. She says that she has gotten very involved in the Union in the last couple of years. When asked why she is running for Education Officer she said that she’s been working closely with current Education Officer Ashley Cooke this year and that she sees “how tough the job is and I still want to do it.” Among her many policies are building on the work done recently with the library, printing in college and academic online presence. She feels that college’s current online systems are woeful for students, with the widelyused WebCT being outdated. She wants to get the college to modernise their virtual
learning environments. Another policy of hers regards the Union bookshop and textbooks in general. She plans to get the bookshop’s stock on the Union website and to have more interaction with Science and Health Science students. She also has plans for a “buy and sell” service for books on the website. When asked about how Ashley has done this year she said he’s done a great job and has made a fair whack at his promises, with the 24 hour study space open and the grinds service online. When asked about her plans to make the Union more approachable she talked about plans to hold informal meetings with the five Union officers every few weeks in various locations outside House 6. Fox felt that this year’s library sit-in was necessary, saying, “there are certain situations where such aggressive action is an option or is required.” She had some
reservations about the haste with which the library campaign was put together, but knows the time constraints the Union was under. Running against a sole ‘joke’ candidate Fox said that she hates the assumption that she has the election won. “It’s the wrong frame of mind to be in.” As for why students should vote for her Fox promises that she hasn’t said anything she doesn’t mean and will do what she says she’ll do.
My time running for Education Officer
Hugh Sullivan When I look back at the pictures of myself during the elections in 2008 I notice that I have a manic grin on my face in nearly every photo. I think I was convinced that if I didn’t smile the whole time and seem like I was enjoying myself people would think I couldn’t handle the pressure or my opponent would think they were getting to me or something. In reality people probably just thought I was mental. That’s just symptomatic of the insanity and paranoia that results from the psychological warfare and exhaustion of running for election. It’s unsurprising that people go a bit clownish during those two weeks as Trinity’s elec-
tions are a bit of a circus. The colour and quantity of t-shirts is more important than the ability to coherently describe on an A4 page what you would do if elected and election gimmicks have supplanted policies. I must admit I was just as guilty of the above as everyone else: I had a massive overdraft, a massive moustache and my mom campaigning in the arts block for me (I’m convinced she won me at least 150 votes). If I could change how the elections were run then, I would have relaxed the rules on campaigning a lot and make the financial rules a lot stricter. It’s ludicrous that you’re allowed spend something like €600, but you can’t use your social advantages to campaign. You can buy
150 t-shirts, but you can’t be endorsed by a club or society. To me that’s a bit mercenary. Most of the 10 days of that election campaign have blurred into a single generic day in my memory: Up at 7.30, throw on the least smelly t-shirt available. Wake up campaign manager and other candidate sleeping on my floor. Inhale some Weetabix, throw some manifestos and flyers into a bag, jog over to Zumo for a smoothie with guarana and back onto campus in time for a 9am lecture in the east end. Scour the social spaces in college looking for students to annoy, return to one of the main teaching centres at 5 to every hour to squeeze in as many lecture addresses as possible.
Power nap, quick sanger and out to whatever night was on to pretend to get drunk and lobby people to get their mates to vote for me. Home by 1. Repeat. It was definitely worth it for me come countnight, but like most candidates I realised eventually that being a sabbatical officer is nothing like I thought it was going to be. A quick flick back through manifestos over the past four or five years will tell you this. How many on-campus off-licenses are TCD students owed? How much time should sabbats have spent running clinics in the Hamilton and D’Olier Street? The simple fact is that when elected, people realise that there’s an organisation to run with severe consequences for buggering it up and rules in which it has to operate.