CUB Issue 520
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Cover Image by Luke Ngakane
CUB Merry Christmas… happy New Year… etc. Depending when you read this issue, Cub would like to wish you a relaxing break or a bright start to the New Year. We will be back during the second half of January so keep your eyes peeled.
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THE BIT THAT
HAS THAT HAS STUFF IN THAT
SHOWS YOU WHERE THOSE THINGS ARE
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// Time Honoured Tradition - 07 // Michael clark company - 09 // Harrold Pinter ‘The Room’ - 11 //
// Splendid Isolation - 39 // Love conquers all - 47 // Take Action - 51 //
// Editors letter - 06 // Cub Captures - 31 // The Real America - 33 // UK hiv - 49 // Malcom & Mindy - 53 // Love Lost - 55 //
// short story competition (‘Snow’ by Rahman Khan) - 27 // Magnus Betner - 29 // Christmas Recipes - 35 // I’m not loving it - 37 // Nintendo wii - 15 // Homeless - 43 //
// Racism within the fashion industry - 19 // Thigh high boots - 23 // Item of the Month - 25 // budget Jone’s Diary - 26 //
arts fashion Features regulars Opinions Music
// Flaming Lips - 57 // Jamie Cullen - 58 // Rhythm factory - 59 // New Bands Girls & Neon Indian - 60 //
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THE CUB TEAM
Ho Ho Ho Merry Holidays it’s 4th issue time Editors List sam cunningham rebecca ngakane Amy Prior Hannah Olivennes Chinazo Ufodiama Emma Hyner James Snee Tim Arscott James Ingrey
(editor) (sub Editor) (Arts) (fashion) (fashion) (features) (Technology) (Music) (Opinions)
Design/layout by luke ngakane Printed with thanks at Calverts A Special thanks to Paperback Printed using vegetable oil based inks on “Cyclus Offset” 100% recycled paper. Cub is a registered newspaper with the post office and is published by Queen Mary Student Union. The views expressed within this or any publication under the title of Cub do not necessarily represent the views of the editor, section editors, Queen Mary Students’ Union, or Queen Mary. Cub makes sure All work included in each issue is accredited appropriately wherever possible. All images & illustrations unless stated created by luke ngakane.
It is that time of the year already. Last Christmas only feels like yesterday when the next is practically tomorrow. You are now all almost half way through your teaching time be that in your first, second, third, fourth or fifth year (as far as I’m aware there are no courses offered at Queen Mary over five years in length). Whatever you are celebrating, if anything, come late December it is definitely the time to chill out and enjoy yourselves. Campus has been bustling and busy all term after the quiet summer and will soon be calm. So far it has witnessed sumo wrestling, tight-rope walking, juggling, free food and some awful Russian rappers, to name just a few of the events that have been happening all term. But for three whole weeks it will be practically empty again as most head home to spend time with other friends and families. After a long term it is time to recharge your batteries during the delightful three week break over the festive period. Eat lots, drink plenty. Relax. When January returns and the second term begins the essays only get longer, the maths sums more complex and the deadlines shorter. Remember, when you come back refreshed in January and the workload picks up, that Cub is always there for you to enjoy some light relief from your stressful studies. We don’t take ourselves too seriously and wouldn’t want you to either. Enjoy your time off.
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Article - Sian Tomlinson
Time Honoured Tradition “Oh yes it is!” As the festive period looms, the British public seek activities and entertainment to shelter them from the cold and get them in the mood for Christmas. One popular past time for Londoners is the Christmas Panto, promised every year by several theatres across the city, and offering a wide variety of B-D list celebrities. But the idea of the pantomime, as a form of festive entertainment, only came into being at the turn of the 19th century. The first British Pantomime was performed at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in 1717, when only two theatres in London were permitted to show plays. The form was inspired by the Italian Commedia dell’ Arte, the British Music Hall, and later the Harlequinades, but has survived longer than any of these parent art forms and has evolved over the centuries to produce something quite unique. Whether they have seen a Panto first-hand or not, every Brit can recognise the tell-tale features of a female cross-dressing as the hero, a male cross-dressing as the ‘dame’, and the often cringe-worthy audience responses of “oh no he’s not” and “he’s behind you!” But modern British culture still retains elements of these early art forms. A stock character in Commedia dell’ Arte was ‘Pulchinello’, a clown who can still be seen on British seafronts as the puppet character ‘Punch’, and many of the slapstick tricks used in modern pantomimes were inspired by John Rich’s ‘Harlequin’ and Joe Grimaldi’s ‘Clown’ of the 18th and 19th centuries. The stock character of the ‘hero’ changed considerably in the early 19th century, under the influence of Lucy Vestris, a Burlesque performer, who appeared onstage as the male lead. Since then, females have always played Robin Hood, Aladdin and Peter Pan, generally wearing rather tight costumes, which meant that the pantomime grew in popularity, especially for male audiences. Stage directions used today also hark back to medieval traditions, although we might not notice them. If you’ve ever heard that the devil supposedly sits on your left, or that you should throw salt over your left shoulder after spilling it to prevent bad luck, you might be surprised to know that this superstitious concept even influenced stage tradition: in
pantomimes, the villain of the piece always enters from stage left. The reason of this is simply logistics: in medieval theatre, the entrance to Hell was always on the left and so the trap door was placed downstage left, enabling devils to enter or exit with some special effects. However, despite these traditions, the Panto has survived because of its adaptability. Any rising star can easily be cast in one of the main roles, as no naturalistic acting talent is necessary, and topical jokes can be added to the stock scripts. Modern pantomimes are mainly aimed at children, and are commonly based on popular children’s stories, such as Peter Pan, Cinderella, and Jack and the Beanstalk. The Whitechapel Theatre and Queen Mary’s very own People’s Palace (now the Queens Building) played a part in the development and popularity of this art form in East London. Founded in 1887, it was the result of a new drive to provide the slums of the East End with an establishment for education and entertainment. In this period, pantomimes often lasted for four or five hours and were full of pyrotechnics, lavish costumes and colourful sets, providing an extended treat to East London’s working class. With its grand façade, the People’s Palace was a perfect setting for this extravagant form of entertainment. Unfortunately, the People’s Palace is no longer a host to such frivolous entertainment, but the big city has a lot to offer. So grab your flatmates, drag them to one of these shows, and revel in the truly British experience of the Christmas Panto for a studentfriendly price:
Dick Whittington, South London Theatre - £6 from 8th December Aladdin, Hackney Empire - £8.50 from 28th November Aladdin, Shaw Theatre - £12 from 10th December Cinderella, Broadway Theatre Catford - £14 from 12th December
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Article - Octavian Gibson
‘New Work’ at the Barbican Known as the ‘enfant terrible’ of the ballet world, dancer and choreographer Michael Clark, along with his company, have scythed a singular path through the world of contemporary dance. He has lead a lifestyle of decadence and excess that was more akin to that of a rock star than a ballet dancer: only his prodigious talent saved him from being asked to leave the Royal Ballet School after he was caught sniffing glue, while he later ended up spending nearly a decade in the abyss of an all-engulfing heroin addiction. It was his unorthodox personality and choice of collaborators that initially drew me to his work, so when I saw that the Michael Clark Company would be performing pieces taking their cue from the work of rock music’s ‘holy trinity’ of David Bowie, Lou Reed and Iggy Pop, my curiosity overwhelmed my ignorance to all things dance. The show began with a twenty minute piece called ‘Swamp’, a strange and surrealistic affair, with the dancers taking on a spectral quality as their calm and graceful classical ballet clashed with the intense industrial ambience provided by the soundtrack. The figures drifted on and off stage like ghosts in a fog, never fully formed; a short flurry then back into the ether. The harsh clatter of metal combined with the sensual movement of the dancers slowly built to a climax, an explosion of trance synths that was at once beautiful and unnerving – an unholy marriage of body and machine. ‘White Light/White Heat’ introduced the second piece for which the dancers had donned tight silver leotards and attacked the performance with the energy of an amphetamine rush, never still for a moment, yet simultaneously buoyant and on edge. The pace slowed once again for what appeared to be the centrepiece of the whole show – a solo by one of the female dancers wearing a brown cat suit riddled with syringes. The performance was as fascinating as it was absurd and felt like Clark poking fun at both himself and the shock tactics employed by the avant-garde. The tongue in cheek attitude continued with early-seventies work of Bowie before ending on a note of carefree triumph with ‘The Jean Genie’. It was an unforgettable experience that kept me, someone with no previous interest in the art form, enraptured for its entirety and changed my attitude towards contemporary dance for the better.
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and lighting. We tried to make it as democratic as possible, and it has definitely paid off. We’re Cub caught up with Pawel Blanda & Harry Hans- working with some very talented people, who have worked extremely hard. ford, directors of ‘The Room’. How did you get into directing? Pawel: When I heard there was going to be a festival on, I was certain I wanted to be involved. I told Harry because I knew he wanted to get involved with drama too. I showed him the play I wanted to put on, we discussed initial ideas and off we went!
What did you or the cast find particularly challenging? P: Rehearsal space was tough to organise, The Pinter Studio was like gold dust - it was the only place we could really experiment with lighting, which is so integral to our show.
How did you cope with the ‘Pinteresque’? Harry: I figured this would be a better way of spending my time than watching TV all day! I’ve P: For the actors, learning the lines must have been involved in drama since I was young, but been a huge challenge. The Pinteresque style I’ve never tried my hand at directing before. has lots of subtly relevant lines disguised as banal conversation. Talk us through the process of stagWhat are your opinions of the play ing the play. and Pinter? P: First we pitched to the company. We met in a pub, and chatted about what we’d like to put on H: As soon as I read it I knew that we both had a lot of material to work with, especially the and where we’d like to go with the text. characters who possess shadowy identities and For auditions we chose an excerpt of text from pasts. I especially enjoyed creating the cold atthe play for each character. It’s never pleasant mosphere which dwells within the text, working doing a cold reading like that, but we were so with lighting, shadows and the spatial relationimpressed. It’s great watching the actors grow ships between characters. in confidence with what they’re doing with their P: I love the play and Pinter’s work in general. characters. When you first read him it’s hard to get past You can draw so many interpretations from what seems to be irrelevant monologues, but Pinter’s text and it’s so much fun testing which when you really start to study the psychology of way you and the cast want to take it. We took a the characters I think it’s impossible not to see lot of feedback from the actors, even on staging why Pinter is such a revered dramatist.
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Article - Pawel Blanda
Harrold Pinter THE ROOM
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‘The Room’ review
Harold Pinter (‘pint’ rhymes with mint, not as in “of Red Beer please”), born in 1930, was a playwright, director, actor, screenwriter and poet. His influence on modern literature has been significant, with the phrase “Pinteresque” becoming used to describe major characteristics of his work. These include long pauses, a continuing threat of violence, claustrophobia, and a sense of unease. He employs seemingly trivial language to reveal more sinister undercurrents. His work has been described as “comedy of menace.” In 2005 Pinter won the Nobel Prize for Literature.
‘The Room’ was Harold Pinter’s first play, written in 1957. It is probably the most suitable of all his works for performance at Queen Mary, being originally created for a student production at Bristol University. Written in a matter of days, it created a tone that would be carried throughout the rest of Pinter’s work. It is not an easy play. None of the characters have straightforward motivations and on one level, the play is very psychological. Pinter deliberately leaves the audience with unanswered questions. The directors, Pawel Blanda and Harry Hansford – both in their first year – faced a major task in tackling the cryptic and mysterious script. They did this admirably, their achievements made even more impressive by the fact the entire production was staged in only three weeks.
Born and bred in Clapton, Pinter had strong links to the East End. His working class roots led to a lifelong socialism and political activism, which becomes more apparent in his later works. For many years he was an honorary fellow of QM and in 2005 opened the Arts Building’s Pinter Studio, which is named in his honour. The one-act play is set in the eponymous room, a dark, claustrophobic place. The staging and The Festival, described fondly by Dr. Martin Wel- lighting here were particularly effective, much don as a “marvellous and crazed” idea, was de- of the action occurring in near darkness. Even vised by members of the QM Theatre Company the costumes were mostly kept monochrome, as tribute to Pinter, who died last Christmas. confirming that the audience were entering a Performing multiple plays over a weekend, pro- very murky world. vided the opportunity to explore the depth and range of Pinter’s lifelong body of work. The acting was consistently skilled, with the entire cast performing brilliantly. Standout of the show was Anna Cornish as Rose. Onstage for the entire play, she opened with a long and ram-
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* bling monologue delivered to her unresponsive husband Burt, played by William Heslop. This was mostly an off-stage role, but he provided an unexpectedly threatening presence at the play’s conclusion. Anna Cornish also brought a believable sense of fear and unease to her character, the reasons for which Pinter never fully explains. Pawel Blanda played Reily, a mysterious blind man who continually insists to Rose that her “father wants [her] to come home”. This is the only clue we get to Rose’s background, and is left deliberately vague by Pinter – and the directors. We never discover who the blind man really is, what he wants or why he’s there. Alex Jeffery as Mr. Kidd brought surprising sympathy and humour to a nervous and jumpy old man. The quarrelling couple of Mr. and Mrs. Sands were played by Sean McComas and Eleanor Turner-Moss. Once again, the characters were a mystery: very sinister, but they also provided brilliant moments of black comedy, particularly in their marital squabbles. Paired with ‘The Room’ was the short play ‘The Black and White’. Written for two actors, Rachel Gammon and Rachel Porter both brought strong presence and humour to their roles. It was skilfully directed by Suzanna Hurst.
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The Wii, with motion control and a fresh image, turned the gaming industry on its head. Now grandmas sit with their grandchildren and play a few round of Wii Sports Bowling. The console is, without doubt, a global phenomenon, drawing in new audiences like none could before it. In attempts to recapture market share, Sony’s own motion controller, the ‘wand’, arrives next spring and Microsoft’s Project Natal camera, offering controller-free input via body and facial recognition, launches winter 2010. But why was Nintendo’s Wii so successful in the first place? And can Sony or Microsoft ever hope to make a significant dent in the Wii’s dominance? Nintendo’s Wii success stems from a long learning process beginning with their handheld platforms. When Nintendo released the successor to their hugely successful Gameboy devices in 2004, the DS (short for Dual Screen) became an instant hit. To some its design was unsightly but it supported updated graphics, big first party franchises and, in addition to a standard button configuration, it implemented a stylus which could be used to tap and draw on the lower screen. This addition paved the way for what may, in retrospect, be one of the most significant games in recent history: Brain Age: Train your Brain in Minutes!, which involved the player using their voice and the stylus’s functionality to complete sums and other aptitude tests. Educational games had been developed before and never met with any commercial success. However, Brain Age’s international release one year after its debut in Japan was an instant hit, riding the wave of a newly health-conscious population. Health and fitness were at the top of the political and public agenda after films like Morgan Spurlock’s Super Size Me, which released just months after the DS’s launch in 2004 and divulged the shocking consequences of a fast food diet, and the Channel 4 documentary on healthy eating, Jamie’s School Dinners, broadcast in the UK in early 2005. This was arguably the turning point for Nintendo. The public image of video gaming was still vastly negative (lazy couch potatoes in their mum’s basement, sniffling over Warcraft) but games like Brain Age proved it could in fact be life-enhancing. What other ways could a video game console improve a person’s lifestyle? Nintendo had struck gold
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Article - Felix Tatman
with its DS device and was about to explore The system’s technical specifications were this avenue further, to even greater com- almost a step backward when compared to the graphical powerhouses of the Xbox mercial success. 360 and Playstation 3, whose high manuNintendo’s first step toward conquering facturing costs and use of cutting edge a new market was the industrial redesign components like Blu-ray disc drives forced of their portable device. The DS Lite hit Microsoft and Sony to initially sell systems shelves in March 2006 and eliminated any at a loss in the hope of recouping the costs complaints one could make about its aes- through high attach rates. On the other thetics. Nintendo replaced the metallic and hand, Nintendo’s machine was so cheap clunky tech-head design of the old model to produce they have continued to make a with cleaner lines and a neutral white colour profit on every unit sold since its release scheme (the unit was also available in black date in the winter of 2006, adding up to inbut white was the core model). This sleek credible profits without the dependence on unit was clearly targeting the new market software sales. The hardware’s lower price it had discovered in 2005. White suggested point was a major trump card. It debuted an association with health or purity and was at just £179 ($249) making it the lowest intended to be more pleasing to a female price of admission to the next-generation of audience, while the design was also much gaming. Supporting only standard definition smaller than its predecessor, meaning it resolutions of up to 480p, it also did not rely could be more easily carried (in a woman’s on the market penetration of HD television handbag for example). The system’s game sets which were required to enjoy the full library began to expand rapidly, including experience of the rival consoles. It was, at more and more titles relating to new con- its heart, a simple machine and one that sumers of both sexes and all age groups. resonated with a casual audience. Brain training games and pet simulations like Nintendogs became staple franchises The Wii’s simplicity and resulting success refor the company and gradually the public im- minds us of video games that first breached age of video games began to soften. It was the mass market, like Space Invaders or now acceptable to enjoy games. Nintendo even Pong. As other game systems drive forward with technical innovation, new genwas paving the way for a new device. erations of players are left facing the barrier of mastering what has become the modern In late 2006 Nintendo revealed its hand. controller, with all its complexities. Project At launch, the Wii was the only available Natal identifies this problem and removes system to offer motion control as its prima- the barrier altogether, allowing players to ry user interface – ditching the increasingly use their body and gestures as input deviccomplex layout of buttons and analogue es. Yet the experience associated with the sticks for simpler, more intuitive gesture Xbox 360 (online shooters, etc.) does not based interactions coupled with pointer match this product, which brings us to the tracking from an IR sensor bar. The combi- problem of brand identity. Project Natal’s nation initially gave optimism to video game launch is being described by Microsoft as enthusiasts, who touted the Wii as the only similar to a ‘console launch’ but many are system that could finally match and perhaps left questioning what this means if the camoutperform the precision of a mouse and era remains a separate peripheral. Some keyboard or dual-analogue stick controller have speculated that this statement means configuration. More accurately, of course, the device will in fact be integrated into the the Wii’s motion controller was designed as existing hardware. A more sophisticated a stylus with buttons on it that you could interpretation, however, is that the system wave in the air. The idea was simple: if you will receive a product rebranding equal to could use a DS, you could use the Wii, and that of the DS/DS Lite, more closely associit was so popular that finding a retailer ating the controller-free experience with the with the system in stock was near impos- Xbox branding. sible for months after release. The DS had readied the general public for video games Recent polls conducted on kotaku.com conand when the Wii launched just before the firmed 46% of respondents enjoy motion Christmas holiday, it was on everybody’s controlled games but ‘enjoy standard-control games more’, while 42% agreed motion gift list. control wasn’t relevant to the games they
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play. So, as the maker of the technologically superior HD console, where is Sony’s slice of the motion control pie? Andrew House, head of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE), has stated he feels Wii owners would be ‘happy to upgrade to a more powerful machine later in the lifecycle when the price point was right for them’ in the same way they did from the Nintendo 64 to PlayStation 2 in the last generation (source: Kotaku). From this we can begin to understand the thinking behind Sony’s motion controller. The ‘wand’ very much resembles the Wii remote and this, far from playing copycat, serves a purpose: Sony wishes to eventually lure the younger crowd weaned on Wii titles to the PS3 with a similar control scheme they understand well, and then graduate them onto the more hardcore titles with time. The recent rebranding and industrial design overhaul of the PS3 reduced the geek-factor of the system considerably, and importantly reduces the price of admission by a significant amount, allowing Wii players and non-gamers to more easily make this transitional step up. Nintendo, moving early, recognised that the synergy between motion and health could be advantageous to their industry right, when the public was growing concerned about diet and exercise. Their entire hardware line communicates and embodies that synergy, making gaming on their system both acceptable and desirable. PlayStation and Xbox, as divisions within larger corporations, are tied to their manufacturer’s values and that does not allow them to commit to such a powerful ethos. However, their approaches show they understand the need to be different from Nintendo and capture the audience in other ways – Microsoft by removing obstacles, Sony by luring through similarity. The best they can hope for is to skim from the Wii and non-gamer crowds. But then, what happens when the Wii 2 arrives?
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Racism Within the Fashion Industry Nowadays, it is hard to think of the international fashion industry as racist. With models walking the runways every six months and constantly having their photographs taken, it is difficult to see how models who are good at their jobs are being rejected based on the colour of their skin. Nevertheless, there is more to this story than meets the eye. Although we may think that we have entered a more tolerant era, emphasized by Obamaâ€™s presidency, if you leaf through a magazine or watch footage of a runway show there is little racial diversity. Recent events within the industry have highlighted an inadequacy and insensitivity toward minorities. Beyond the exclusion from runway and editorials, it seems that the industry is taking it to another level. In the October issue of French Vogue, Dutch model Lara Stone is featured in a 14-page photo shoot covered head to toe in dark brown paint. Unbelievably this isnâ€™t the only example one can find. V Magazine has also followed suit by printing a picture of two white models posing with each other, one of whom appears to be black. Although
Article - Caitlin Morley
both publications insist that their motives were creative and no harm was intended, it is probable that the financial incentive was too great. It seems too convenient that, at a time when the publishing and fashion industries are suffering from declines in sales, a controversial issue like this comes along. Despite the artistic elements of the Vogue shoot, the amount of free press the magazine received leaves ample room to speculate that their motives were fiscal. During this period of celebrated racial diversity, why not use a black model? As there was no real creative explanation for painting a white model black, it would make more sense to promote equality by hiring a black model. Furthermore, the debate should not be limited to black models, as Asian and Hispanic models suffer from a similar prejudice. It is only within the last 10 years that Asian and Hispanic models have become more prominent in the fashion world. Working models like Adriana Lima or Tao Okamoto are just starting to attain the awareness and money that black and white models garnered in the 1990s...
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So who’s to blame for tipping the balance? First of all, modeling agencies should take partial responsibility for this problem in fashion; the fact that they don’t employ many ethnically diverse models means that clients have little choice among a certain ethnicity compared to white models. Secondly, casting directors and designers also play a role. When casting a show or shoot there is a desire to have models that are quite alike so that the focus is on the clothes and not on the model. As there are more similarities among white models, the designer tends to choose more white models as a result. Ironically, designers blame agencies for not hiring more models of different ethnicities, and the agencies blame designers for not creating more of a demand for them. Ultimately the blame has to land on the industry as a whole. Because this is a business dominated by white people, the obvious answer is to start diversifying. The makeup industry is a perfect example of how there is a massive financial advantage to embracing race. By extending the range of products to different ethnicities, the makeup industry was able to tap into a variety of international markets. Interestingly, it is the major cosmetic giants who bring diversity to the fashion magazines. Companies like Covergirl are promoting their products using models of different races and even pulling in celebrity role models; L’Oreal has capitalized on this venture by hiring the likes of Eva Longoria Parker, Freida Pinto, and Aishwarya Rai to appeal to a diverse demographic. As the cosmetics and
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fashion industries become ever interlinked it seems that cosmetics may have a positive influence on fashion. As the cosmetic industry is beginning to feature more diversity there is an increasing demand for fashion to do the same. Within the industry, the editor of British Vogue, Alexandra Shulman, has attempted to change the way that fashion views shape and race. Even supermodel Naomi Campbell has expressed her disappointment over the circumstances for ethnic models coming into the business. Furthermore, there is a public demand for more inclusion in fashion. Through mediums like the internet and travel there is an increasing awareness and acceptance of different kinds of beauty. This is why racism in fashion seems so crazy. At the end of the day the fashion industry, like any other, is a business. By being more inclusive in advertising, runway and editorial, people of different ethnicities will feel more accepted and inclined to buy a company’s product. Similarly, reality shows like America’s Next Top Model, reinforce this idea that there isn’t one specific type of beauty. The rapid rate of globalization means that more people are being exposed to different social groups all over the world. There is no creative, financial, or social benefit to excluding people of different races in this day and age. Although Vogue and V may have capitalized on this sensitive issue, it is ultimately their responsibility, as well as the industry’s as a whole, to promote equality and satisfy consumer demand.
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Thigh High Boots
Slowly creeping into fashion since Autum 2007, thigh-high boots are now fully integr Thigh Hi ed in the winter 2009 look. With designe
such as Chloe, Lanvin or Marc Jacobs cov Slowly ing their model’s thighs, long boots havecre b 2007 , thigd come a must-have for fashionistas. Shoe ed in the signers Christian Louboutin and Jimmy Ch such asbe C have created theirs and celebrities have their going crazy for them. As for theing high strem am check out all the usual spots andcome you’re su signers Ch to find some. Now, more importantly, ho creatt does one wear thigh-high boots?have Indeed, long leather tubes – for the bestgoing 2009craz lo check out go for suede – can be quite frightening find so they are, after all, with no harshtojudgeme doesthat oneju intended, stripper boots. But isn’t long leath the point of them? This year, naughty outfi su are a must, especially accordinggotofor most theysport are, vas like Beyonce, Ciara or Kate Perry intended, corsets during their shows, or legging zeb printed cat suits in their videos. the As itpoint seem are a mus obvious – although you never know – th vas like ca Be none of us will be wondering around corsets pus in a lace corset, thigh highs seemdu t printed ca right thing to buy when you want to go obvious the naughty look. For those of you who, –l none ofleu myself, don’t have Gisele Bundchen’s pusthe in sam a l go for over-the-knee high. It has rightinthing effect and doesn’t drown your legs ma theLike naugh rial and prevent you from walking. Ka do Hudson, wear them with jeansmyself, for a mo go forgo ov relaxed trendy look. Like Rihanna, effect and hooker chic. Choose Stella McCartney-st rial futuris and pr legging ones and wear them with Hudson, geometric short dresses, or, finally, choow relaxed tr suede and wear them à la Gossip girl with hooker ch preppy short skirt, a nice shirt and a CUBvourite duffle coat! So off you golegging to find on yo perfect pair and write it down ongeometric your Chr suede and mas list…Surely, for once, Father Christm won’t mind you being naughty. preppy sh vourite du perfect pa mas list… won’t min
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Article - Hannah Olivennes
mn ratigh ers Boots vereeping into fashion since Autumn begh-high boots are now fully integratdeThigh High Boots winter 2009 look. With designers hoo Chloe, een Lanvin or Marc Jacobs coverSlowly into fashion since Autumn model’s thighs, long boots havecreeping beeet, 2007 , thigh-high boots are now fully integratmust-have for fashionistas. Shoe deure Thigh High Boots ed in the winter 2009 look. With designers hristian Louboutin and Jimmy Choo ow such asbeen Chloe, Lanvin or Marc Jacobs coverted theirs and celebrities have the Slowly into fashion since Autumn their model’s thighs, long boots havecreeping bezy for them. As for theing high street, ook, 2007 , thigh-high boots are now fully integratcome a must-have for fashionistas. Shoe det all as the usual spots and you’re sure Thigh High Boots ed in the winter 2009 look. With designers signers Christian Louboutin and Jimmy Choo ome. ent Now, more importantly, how such asbeen Chloe, Lanvin or Marc Jacobs coverhave created theirs and celebrities have wear thigh-high boots? Indeed, the ust Slowly into fashion since Autumn their model’s thighs, long boots havecreeping begoing crazy for them. As for theing high street, her fits tubes – for the best 2009 look, 2007 , thigh-high boots are now fully integratcome a must-have for fashionistas. Shoe decheck out all the usual spots and you’re sure uede di- – can be quite frightening as ed in the winter 2009 look. With designers signers Christian Louboutin and Jimmy Choo find some. Now, more importantly, how after all, with no harshtojudgement ting such asbeen Chloe, Lanvin or Marc Jacobs coverhave created theirs and celebrities have doesthat onejust wear thigh-high boots? Indeed, the stripper boots. But isn’t bratheir model’s thighs, long boots have begoing crazy for them. As for theing high street, long leather of them? This year, naughty outfits tubes – for the best 2009 look, ms a must-have for fashionistas. Shoe decheck out all the usual spots andcome you’re sure go for suede – can be quite frightening as st, hatespecially according to most disigners Christian Louboutin and Jimmy Choo to find some. Now, more importantly, how theysporting are, after all, with no harsh judgement eyonce, Ciara or Kate Perry amcreated doesthat onejust wear thigh-high boots?have Indeed, the theirs and celebrities have been intended, stripper boots. But isn’t uring their shows, or legging zebrathe long leather tubes – for the bestgoing 2009crazy look,for them. As for the high street, the point of them? This year, naughty outfits atforsuits in their videos. As it seems check out all go for suede – can be quite frightening as the usual spots and you’re sure are a must, –like although you never know – thatespecially according to most difind some. Now, more importantly, how theysporting are, after all, with no harshtojudgement vas like Beyonce, Ciara or Kate Perry us will be wondering around camegs, doesthat onejust wear thigh-high boots? Indeed, the intended, stripper boots. But isn’t corsets lace corset, thigh highs seemduring the their shows, or legging zebrame long leather of them? This year, naughty outfits tubes – for the best 2009 look, printed catforsuits in their videos. the As itpoint seems g to buy when you want to go atego for suede – can be quite frightening as are a must, obvious – although you never know – thatespecially according to most dihty atelook. For those of you who, like theysporting are, after all, with no harsh judgement vas like Beyonce, Ciara or Kate Perry none oflegs, us will be wondering around camon’t have Gisele Bundchen’s ore intended, stripper boots. But isn’t that just corsets during their shows, or legging zebrapus in a lace corset, thigh highs seem the ver-the-knee high. It has the same for of them? This year, naughty outfits printed catforsuits in their videos. the As itpoint seems right thing to buy when you want to go d doesn’t drown your legs in matetyle are a must, obvious – although you never know – thatespecially according to most ditheLike naughty revent you from walking. Katelook. For those of you who, like stic, vas like camBeyonce, Ciara or Kate Perry sportnone oflegs, us will be wondering around myself, don’t have Gisele Bundchen’s wear them with jeans for a more ose ingseem corsets pus in a lace corset, thigh highs the during their shows, or legging go forgo over-the-knee high. It has the same rendy look. Like Rihanna, for ha zebra-printed rightinthing to buy when you want to go for cat suits in their videos. As it effect and doesn’t drown your legs matehic. Choose Stella McCartney-style -faseems obvious – although you never know theLike naughty rial futuristic, and prevent you from walking. Katelook. For those of you who, like nes and wear them with our – that none myself, don’t have Gisele Bundchen’s legs,of us will be wondering around Hudson, wear them with jeans for a more c short dresses, or, finally, choose ristcampus in a lace corset, thigh highs seem go forgo over-the-knee high. It has the same relaxed trendy look. Like Rihanna, for d wear them à la Gossip girl with a mas the right thing to buy when you want to go effect and doesn’t drown your legs in matehooker chic. Choose Stella McCartney-style hort skirt, a nice shirt and a CUB-fafor Like the naughty look. For those of you who, rial and prevent you from walking. Kate uffle coat! So off you golegging to find ones your and wear them with futuristic, Hudson, wear them with jeanslike for myself, a more don’t have Gisele Bundchen’s geometric short dresses, or, finally, choose air and write it down on your Christlegs, go relaxed trendy look. Like Rihanna, go for for over-the-knee high. It has the suede and wear them à la Gossip girl with a …Surely, for once, Father Christmas same effect and doesn’t drown your legs in hooker chic. Choose Stella McCartney-style nd you being naughty. preppy short skirt, a nice shirt and a CUB-famaterial and prevent you from walking. Like vourite duffle coat! So off you golegging to find ones your and wear them with futuristic, Kate choose Hudson, wear them with jeans for a geometric short dresses, or, finally, perfect pair and write it down on your Christmore suede and wear them à la Gossip girl relaxed with a trendy look. Like Rihanna, go mas list…Surely, for once, Father Christmas for hooker chic. Choose Stella McCartneywon’t mind you being naughty. preppy short skirt, a nice shirt and a CUB-falegging vourite duffle coat! So off you gostyle to find your ones and wear them with fugeometric short dresses, or, finally, perfect pair and write it down onturistic, your Christchoose suede and wear them à la Gossip girl mas list…Surely, for once, Father Christmas won’t mind you being naughty. with a preppy short skirt, a nice shirt and a CUB-favourite duffle coat! So off you go to find your perfect pair and write it down on your Christmas list…Surely, for once, Father Christmas won’t mind you being naughty.
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With winter suddenly upon us and temperatures plummeting rapidly it’s just too chilly for last season’s leather jackets - the time has come for that essential fashion investment: the cosy winter coat.
knee-length this season and updated with a splash of colour to banish those winter blues. Add a bit of edge by teaming it with sparkling embellishments and skyscraper heels, or show your style credentials with
The duffle coat is top of the style stakes right now, with celebrity followers Alexa Chung and Gwyneth Paltrow, as well as the seal of approval from the autumn/winter catwalks of Burberry and Stella McCartney, but how do you steal their style without falling into the Paddington Bear trap?
A splash of bright colour to banish those winter blues
To have your own fashion moment, go for a fitted, structured duffle and avoid excesses of fabric - this is not a voluminous look. Pair with stylishly undone hair, a statement scarf and leggings for dressed-down daywear, but don’t get caught short: duffles are
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Article - Caitlin Morley
and update three-quarter length sleeves with bright chunky bangles.
Duffles are everywhere on the high street right now, so find your perfect match at Topshop, or go for one of eight cut-price duffles at Dorothy Perkins, with a colour for everyone. Alternatively, hit Brick Lane’s Beyond Retro or Spitalfields’ Absolute Vintage, perfect for one-offs with style attitude, or London’s label-du-jour Alexander McQueen for a more expensive high fashion take on the duffle. If in doubt, simply team with opaque tights, cosy boots and a bright scarf: the duffle coat is as fashion-forward as you can a bright ankle boot. Try accessorising with get this winter without getting cold, so wrap eye-catching jewellery or indulge in some up warm! cute woollen gloves to keep you toasty until spring. Give your duffle some individuality with an oversized brooch or clashing scarf,
Budget Jones’ Diary I love the holiday season; sleigh rides, sitting around the fire with loved ones, finding a Chanel Coco Cocoon leather bag under the tree…I wonder if it’s okay to buy Christmas presents for yourself? I think I am going to have to rely on generous gifts from relatives this year as the old loan slowly disappears
Presents, check. Bangon-trend-knock-emdead outfit, checK. before my very eyes. My recent obsession with the world wide web had turned me into a recluse, but I decided that Christmas shopping would be an opportunity for me to rehabilitate myself in the busy streets of London. I trawled around the shops in pursuit of something original but sadly, I wasn’t too impressed with my findings. I did manage to pick up some cool bits from Urban Outfitters though, in fact I probably bought out their entire ‘Cheap & Cheerful’ section. Buy of the day: a retro gold Casio watch for just £42, because receiving>giving. After my relatively unsuccessful trip, I realised that some creativity was required of me this year - I mean, who doesn’t love personal presents that you can’t get on the high street? Some vintage jewellery from Camden, a few Barry M items, a hand-knitted scarf (granny chic is so hot right now) a load of chocolate all dunked into a cheap basket from Poundland, et voilà; the Christmas hamper from heaven.
Just as I was placing the final bow on my twentieth hamper, I realised I had spent so much time creating my masterpieces that I hadn’t had time to put together a killer outfit for the annual Christmas party! I began raiding my wardrobe in search of the perfect ‘look at me’ ensemble. Okay, so sequins are still big news (after seeing MJ sport a pair of gold sequin harem pants in This Is It, I knew I still needed them in my life). ‘Maybe I could team this black sequin dress with an oversized blazer?’ I desperately asked my fashion conscience. No. First of all, I am getting tired of living in this blazer, and, secondly, the weather has made it practically impossible to wear anything less than three layers. What’s a girl to do? That girl opened up her laptop and typed in www.girlmeetsdress. com, chose a Phillip Lim dress, rented it out for a fraction of the selling price, and, just like that, her day was saved. All I needed now was an equally stylish haircut to compliment the dress, so off to the hairdressers I went. Recently, I have noticed the re-emergence of extreme styles, predominantly peroxide bobs or asymmetrical/half-shaved heads. I disclosed this to my hairdresser in the hope of bleaching my dark brown locks, but we decided it wasn’t for me – ‘as long as you’re cool with having tufts for hair?’ So I chickened out and opted for a natural brown bob and a fringe à la Dannii Minogue. Presents, check. Bang-on-trend-knock-emdead party outfit, check. Hot hair, check. Dashing young man to help me adjust the mistletoe, work in progress… Yours Stylishly, Budget Jones x
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Snow “You can never conquer the mountain. You can only conquer yourself” – James Whittaker.
I’m looking up at the sky, the clouds are grey and the snow is falling very slowly, it falls so slow you’d think you’re trapped in some time machine. Looking out into the distance, all I see is a white blanket covering the ground and the trees in the distance, surrounding this large mountain in the middle of this huge field. It’s been five days since we arrived on this mountain, trying to figure out whether or not we really are meant to be together. And by ‘we’, I mean me forcing the woman that I think I love to come to this mountain which will probably kill her in two days time. But I have a feeling it won’t; I know it won’t, because I love her.
I never did understand this ‘love’ business. It’s just a word, but a word with so much meaning people would do crazy things because they believe in it. It’s like the word ‘God’, God is only a word, but it’s given meaning through the power of that word; it’s not what the word means, or how it’s spelt, but what the word entails. I don’t know, I never did understand the power behind words, everything that can be said, can be said in a different way, in a different light, destroying all meaning. Or you can say something wrong and ruin a wonderful moment. Why must we put so much faith in the power of words? Why must we as humans have faith in things we made ourselves? We build bridges in faith that it will hold us as we go across. We build houses in faith that they will protect us. We write and speak words in faith that we can convey our emotions, bring meaning into someone’s life. And just as easily, bridges can be burnt, houses can be robbed, words can be silenced.
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‘Snow’ by Rahman Khan
Snow When I was a child, I used to live with my older sister, our parents had died a while back and she was old enough to take care of me. And one night I would ask her how our parents met; she would then tell me the story of this lonely mountain in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by trees that protect it. It was said that this mountain was where ‘love’ had all begun, that this mountain had a special power to it. It was said that if a man or woman brought someone they loved to this mountain, camped, climbing as high as they could for seven days, the mountain would kill the one they loved if they weren’t really in love, and would spare them if they were right for each other. When I met the girl of my dreams, I decided to take her to this mountain, I knew we would survive because we really were in love. The first few days were pretty hard; we had never climbed a mountain before. The snow was hard and would hit us in the face like an iron slap. On the fifth night, I decided to sit outside in the snow and look up at the stars. Lying down in this blanket of pure white, I think about why the hell I am here, on this mountain. Whenever my hand touches the snow, I think about the hard rock underneath it all. Behind this beautiful veil lies a grey, hard rock that cannot be moved, wearing this mask to make people think it really is beautiful. Is that what I’m doing?
The night of seventh day came, we spent the entire day talking, we didn’t want to climb up any further, and we had enough of this mountain. Why do we need to prove to anyone we were meant for each other? It took us seven days to figure that out. We decided to leave the mountain in the morning, knowing that we really were meant for each other. I guess this is what my parents felt before they left the mountain. But the end of the day, she was fast asleep and I was holding her, we were inside the tent trying to keep warm. I tried to stay awake as much as I could, but sleep came and I was out. The next morning I opened my eyes. The sky was blue, the snow was no longer falling, and the wind was cool and calm. I looked to my side and she hadn’t gotten up yet. She must be tired, it’s been a long week. I think I’ll let her sleep a little while longer.
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Magnus Betnér is the king – or tyrant – of Swedish comedy. He sells out theatres built for Macbeth, receives death threats from neo-Nazis and is a regular headline in the evening press. With a deadpan stare and venomous diction he shocked a crowd of 1700 in the Copenhagen Opera House by calling a politician a “Nazi whore”; he has stood up in front of a congregation to present evidence that Jesus was the original sugar-daddy, and revamped the feminist debate by giving his two year old daughter the advice to “play as much as you want with your fanny. It’s all the fun you’re going to have when you’re 42.” Now England is in his sights. He is attempting to join ABBA, IKEA, Sven and naive blondes as a successful Swedish export, starting at the very bottom. “The risk is that you’ll get tired and lazy if all you do is go around doing dream-gigs all the time. It would be fun to start over and break a sweat again,” says Magnus Betnér when asked about his decision to try his luck in England. And his shirt has already got soaked. At the George IV pub in Chiswick he got slaughtered by an opinionated table in the back after calling Michael Jackson “a circus act that could sing and dance” – an experience he refers to as “the worst gig I’ve had, definitely here, maybe overall in the last twelve years.”
Betnér is the best comedian in the world, and I will sell the shirt off my back to promote him... a lot of comedians have a lot of things that are totally unnecessary that they put into their act, Magnus scripts all that out, and he talks hard hitting about the necessary; he really gets the bits” I sit down with Magnus at the Comedy Café where he is about to do a ten minute spot. It is amateur night. Magnus Betnér is short, his head is shaved, his body-language nonexistent, and his old career as a professional poker player is written all over his face. How is he finding England? “It is pretty segregated, and people seem to be downhearted about the financial situation, maybe more so than in Sweden, Norway and Finland where I’ve been doing most my gigs.... and that’s probably because they don’t have the social security that we have in Sweden. People count on the state to look after us in another way than here.”
He moves on to equality, an issue high up on his agenda. “They haven’t gotten anywhere here really, and it’s tragic, but it’s interesting because I can use material here that I would’ve found relevant in Sweden five or six years ago.” And he feels that the English can handle the subtle critique, unlike in the States, where he toured earlier this year. “It is harder to do my kind of comedy there. Doing ten minute gigs with an unpronounce- They don’t read the papers; they don’t read able name and an ambiguous accent would books; they barely know what’s going on in be hard anywhere, but it is especially tough their own country.” in London. Few people know this scene better than Martin Davis, the experienced MC ”You have to find a balance so that people at the Comedy Café in Shoreditch. “What will listen to you even if they don’t agree” you must remember is that English people And why should you listen? “Because I do like to drink,” he tells me, as he orders a comedy with a bit of substance, which is beer. “And it’s a recession, so most people what I like, and you don’t find that much of it are just going out for a laugh… They’re not in this country.” going to want to listen to someone’s opinion. After all – it’s just entertainment.” In It remains to see if England will embrace other words, supply and demand has led to this cynical Swede, or if his arrogance will a lot of the comedy lacking substance, and overshadow his wit. The true judges will be most of it is “gags and sex-jokes”. the crowd, but when asking Bob Slayer, fellow comedian, things are looking good. “You So, is there any demand for a Bill Hicks in- can try to get to bigger clubs, or do TV, but spired ex-history student whose comedy is Magnus says ‘fuck all that; I’ll build my own considered dry and dark? Magnus’s English fan base’... He might be dark, but he gets manager, Michael Taylor, has made up his away with it.” mind. “I am absolutely certain that Magnus
Interview - Axel Nygren
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Our November Cub Captures - photos sent in by Ashley Sweetman, Anish Modgil, Emma Hyner, Danielle Johnson,
want to show us your Best photos from the month send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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The Real America First of all: I spent today on the beach. And it was Novem- Obviously, I have to work hard like them. If I fall below ber. Yeah. Suck it. a C (which is a 70% here btw) then I get sent back to England. But should I stop moaning about it? I am not at Okay, gloat over. I don’t want to talk about blue skies, that stage yet. I am proudly sticking to my English roots volleyball and wearing sandals in winter. I didn’t go over and complaints surface regularly and dominate any conto California to gloat (much) and it has rained here (may- versation that’s about my workload. But which attitude be three times) but most of all, I am not going to rage is better? Maybe the Land Of Opportunity is actually the about how great California is because that’s tacky... and Land Where You Are Expected To Work Hard and therebecause I get enough satisfaction riling my sister about fore people succeed by default? it! But apart from mentioning the sheer weirdness of my roommate looking up at the blue skies and saying “this Don’t despair, though. I am stubborn. I will not adopt a is Christmas weather” without any sense of irony, I had positive attitude unless it is extremely necessary and I a different idea for this article. Because you know I said still refuse to pronounce words the American way (I had I was going to discover what the real America was like? an argument about ‘sweater’ vs ‘jumper already today) Well, it turns out real Americans work HARD. but is that enough? I am already getting used to it being sunny in November. I broke my umbrella the other day You know how you have a few pieces of coursework now and instead of getting mad and immediately buying a new and again? Maybe a project or two? Or nothing until an one, I just put it in the trash... bin. I no longer complain end of year exam? Wanna trade? Because America ex- about the chocolate being weird. My internet toolbar now pects you to work way harder than that. My friends know comes up with American Amazon before the English one. this because I keep moaning about it. A lot. This week And the other day I heard myself saying I was ‘British’ alone, I had two pieces of coursework and an exam. Last during an introduction. Think about it. When have you ever week I had three pieces of coursework. But they don’t introduced yourself as British? Hopefully (in order for my count it as coursework here. Instead, a 2,000 word piece argument to work, if nothing else) the answer is: never. of coursework is called ‘homework’ and it only counts for Because that’s an American thing. about 5% each! So at the moment, my super-fun life is all about fun fun studying. But seriously, I am going to So maybe not conforming is harder than I first thought. come back from America and LAUGH at the workload that However, I’m still trying. And why? No, not because EngQMUL throws at me. 6,000 words? Really? But you’re lish people are just cooler. I am not that patriotic (although giving us a few months on this! Are you sure you don’t considering the medical bill I just got today, I am getting want it in next week? I can do that if you need me to. closer to it - paying for healthcare is a joke!). It is because Yeah, really, it’s no biggie. being English means I get special treatment. People are nicer to me wherever I go. I can instantly make friends, So I have my first Definite Conclusion for my investigation simply based upon the fact that I have a ‘British’ accent. for the Real America: English people are lazier than Ameri- And recently (much to my own amusement) I was used cans. This does not mean that they are better than us. as a justification for knowing a fact: “she knows because Their cheese still sucks (the non-sucky stuff costs way too she’s British” is one of the funniest quotes I have heard much to buy!). They don’t have TopShop. The pound still this year. So next time you are wondering how to survive kicks the dollar’s ass. And they don’t have crumpets (try one of your few essays or stressing your way through explaining to someone what a crumpet is, it’s so funny!). Reading Week (which we don’t even have) remember my But still, it can’t be denied. I am a wimpy whiny baby in words of wisdom. comparison to my hardcore American flatmates. Working hard is important. But you are British. You have And I can’t decide how American I should become. the accent. So you were born kicking ass.
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COLUMN - Rebecca Ngakane
A Chilli November photos taken by Rebecca Ngakane
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Christmas Recipes d Wine own Mulle Make your rty! pa as m rist for your Ch
You will need:
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Make your own cosmetics! If you got the skills, why not try knitting your Christmas gifts this year? You can buy wool for as little as 99p a ball at markets (CUB recommends Peckham market for the best selection!) and make wicked individual presents for all your mates. If you never got the Brownie’s knitting badge, visit www.coatscraft.co.uk for a step by step guide!
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saucepan and and sugar in a Put the wine sugar has dis e th til heat un stir over a low solved. of the orange s in one end Stick the clove and slice the at end. Halve and cut off th ange slices to or all d Ad . ge rest of the oran -studded one, ing the clove the pan, includ on. mon and lem with the cinna ost simmerslowly until alm Heat the wine at for 15 mins a very low he ing, then sit on t to allow the no re ca . Take to keep warm mer – as this – or even sim liquid to boil orate. Strain ap ev to ol oh alc will cause the e hot. YUM! rv se d sired, an the wine, if de
After sco uring DIY cosmetic CUB has websites found tw o pretty ones ca awesom lled w e w w and w .NotMar ww.mak tha.com eyourcosm On these etics.com sites the . re are ad sourcing vice abo ingredie ut n ts tips abo an d practical ut makin g the co well as smetics recipes as for bath masks, bombs, lip balm face s and b well wort o d y b utters... h a go!
WHY NOT? OK so it’s ne ver the chea pest time of year. What with the wo rld economy deeper in th e pits than John and Ed ward’s popular ity, CUB offe rs you a few £££ saving tip s!
Pre-heat oven to 200°C. Grease two baking trays. Sieve the flour, baking powder and ginger into a bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces and then rub into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Now add the sugar and syrup and mix until it forms a dough. Remove this from the bowl, wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for 30 minutes. Take the dough from the fridge , put it onto a flat surface and roll it out, making it about half a centimetre thick. Now you can start cutting out the shapes, which need to be placed on the greas ed baking trays.
Decorate y our tree with delic ious decoratio ns!
You w il
350g plain flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 2 teaspoons ground ginger 100g unsalted butter 185g Demerara sugar 3 tablespoons golden syrup
When you have done this, place the trays into the oven and bake them for 12 minutes. Once out of the oven take a skew er and make a little hole at the top of each biscuit. Leave them for two minutes before putting them on the cooling rack. Once they are cool you can decorate. Thread them onto some ribbon or cotton to hang on the tree!
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I’m not loving it ]Like a large amount of the population, I sit down on a Saturday evening to escape the infinity of life’s tasks by turning on the television and having a cup of tea. I position myself leaning forward ready to moan about this week’s XFactor, and to see what hair style Danni has gone for this week. But as the weeks of the competition have elapsed, I have become less and less agitated by the smarmily innocuous personality of Simon Cowell, yet conversely more and more aggravated by the incessant advertising entourage that follows the man and his T.V. creation around. They are an entourage of angry cashdogs, obediently following their owner and venomously barking and biting, putting pressure on innocent passersby. Cowell is not the only one to experience my anger. According to the Advertising Association, the total UK advertising expenditure was £18.6bn in
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2008, with the three biggest spending media being the press, television and the internet. With this amount of money being transferred by a team of Apprentice style marketers into advertising output, the end result of message after message is scary. During an episode of ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire?’, in the pinnacle of the contest, whilst all are glued to the television set around them, Chris Tarrant sends the tension tumbling by chuckling the immortal words of any commercial television or radio station, “We’ll be straight back after the break.” It really is NOT a ‘break’. What it is though, is being pinned down on your comfortable chair by a group of company executives, pumping your face with advert upon advert. In the comfort of your own living-room. When your mind’s attention is at its most vulnerable
Article - James Ingrey Layout - Hannah Ngakane
point. This relaxing Saturday evening, like every time I switch on the television, I am again mauled down by the snarling cash-dog. As I begin to flutter in and out of sleep, I am forced to wade through endless messages telling me “that I’m worth it” for eating the “ALL NEW McDonald’s anti-aging cream, scientifically proven to help you Quit Smoking.” And if you don’t watch any television or ever spend any time on the internet, then you will most likely live at an address somewhere within the catchment area of thousands of take-away shops ready to invade your frontdoor with never-ending bundles of leaflets. How can you take government messages seriously to Recycle when the local Dominoes is distributing leaflets through your door as if a fascist propaganda machine has taken hold of the country?
Enjoyment of listening to free, relaxing music comes at the cost of being regularly interrupted by a guilt-tripping message telling you not to leave your tap on. Or, when tuning into any commercial radio stations, you are double-glazed over by a shouting man before you get a chance to hear any music. It seems the only positive is when advertising becomes more specific; the way social networking sites use your personal details and interests to find adverts that are relevant to you. So a student who has only few concrete slabs of outside space doesn’t have to listen to offers for a new conservatory. As freeview and on-demand television progresses, this will happen more often; with programmes, films and music advertised on the basis of what you have previously watched. But that’s even more maddening because you have too much choice at your behest to get what you want. Clearly competition and choice among companies is a good thing for the consumer. That is why comparison sites have been making a killing and employing Pavarotti look-a-likes to sing an annoying tune very loudly. There are so many comparison sites to choose from.
even this ends in frustration. The brightness of Christmas has long been high-jacked by big companies, and nothing is different this Christmas. Videos of happy family time at Christmas are broadcast with a message tagged on the end about getting Sky or shopping at Argos. This is violating, especially given that a public holiday provides a rare chance to escape from the 1,500 messages coerced into our brains on an average day. That’s why the bright and colourful Christmas lights are on Oxford Street and that’s why you will continue to be invaded in your My irritation is not confined solely to the own space over the Christmas holidays. It’s television though. With the recycle advert all a big Commercial Christmas Conspiracy. mentioned above, it is not difficult to see that the government’s largest spender in the Soviet-style internalised government departU.K is the advertising industry. I am heckled ments that take away this choice are not my by billboards, ticked-off by the bus and told- solution. Neither do I think a massive blownoff on the tube. Local government, NHS, or up Van Gogh on the side of a Mile End tower big Government; it’s all the same. Surely not block is the best substitution, nor a Picasso all of this is needed. Local councils and the through the post. I just want to impose a government should take a long hard look at bit of constructive criticism to the advertisthe output of their campaigns and only stick ing industry. It is a message directed at the country’s hoard of advertising chiefs: YOU go to the most successful ones. A dull, dreary December day can be bright- and compare yourselves, YOU Stop Drinking, ened up by upbeat and colourful messages YOU Join the army, and for goodness sake which let some light into grey London. But TONE IT DOWN™ on a Saturday evening. Surely this is too much choice. I used to be grateful for the break in action to go a get a drink, but am now being hounded to the kettle by a bouncy Italian tenor even as the volume of the television set TURNS ITSELF UP to make sure I, and all the other people in the room have got the message: GO COMPARE. At least not being able to see the advert has its humorous advantages; however much he shouts, I really don’t have much interest in ensuring the smooth flow of action between acts on a comedy night.
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1 The Conservatives’ attitude towards Europe is nothing short of a disaster. Illusionary plans about an opt-out of the social chapter, and Tory MEPs bonding with radical rightwing extremists within the European Parliament, have highlighted British awkwardness within the European Union once again. Continental critics are, as always, quick to respond: The French Minister Pierre Lellouche, for example, called the plans for re-negotiating core treaties simply “pathetic” - “It’s not going to happen for a minute. [...] Nobody is going to play with the institutions again. It’s going to be take it or leave it, and they should be honest and say that”. And in Germany, the CDU party of Chancellor Angela Merkel had even quietly broken off relations with the Tories before the summer.
3 Certainly, nobody expects the British to be enthusiastic about the European Union. There are powerful historical reasons for this. For France and Germany, European integration meant re-asserting their standing as powerful and legitimate nations. In contrast, Britain’s European integration symbolised her post-war decline to a seemingly “regional power” - with the Empire gone and naval predominance ending, Britain was forced to integrate if she did not want to see her economic and political position erode. These attitudes were, of course, intensified by Britain’s different wartime experience: on the Continent, defeat and occupation severely weakened the faith in nationalism; in Britain, successfully fighting Nazi Germany emphasised once again certain separateness from Continental affairs.
2 These people are not against Britain as such. Indeed, they appreciate Britain’s pragmatic diplomacy, her global outlook on world affairs, and her invaluable Commonwealth links. They praise Gordon Brown’s leadership in tackling the financial crisis. Poul Rasmussen, President of the Party of European Socialists (PES), argues that European leaders on both the left and right want to keep Britain at the heart of Europe. But they wonder why Britain herself does not want this.
Article - Mathias Haeussler
4 This notion of splendid isolation, having successfully resisted occupation for nearly 1,000 years, had also enabled Britain to gradually develop its unique, democratic institutions – an institutional continuity which inevitably triggered strong suspicions of surrendering national sovereignty to any supranational authority.
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And when Britain finally got round to reluctantly accepting the inevitability of joining the European Community, she joined at the worst possible moment, facing the unprecedented oil crises of the early 1970s. Combine that with having to shoulder the financial burdens of an extremely unfavourable Common Agricultural Policy, and it is easy to see why British relations with the EU have hardly been a success story.
Because, whether Britain likes it or not, the European Union is here to stay. The current situation offers a unique opportunity for Britain to reassert her standing within the Community; an opportunity to shape and lead its future development. To do this, however, a wholehearted commitment is needed.
7 11 At least the government seems to have grasped this: in a recent speech at the Institute for Strategic Studies, David Miliband identified a deception within Britain; a “deception of the country that you can hate Europe as it exists today and remain central to European policy making”. It is this deception that lies at the heart of the Conservatives’ European policy. And it is this deception that troubles anybody concerned with Britain’s future.
6 Indeed, there is a good deal to be said about this alleged “exceptionalism” of Britain. And more recent disputes, such as over the Euro, certainly did not help to encourage popular support for the Community either. So why shouldn’t Britain get rid of Europe altogether?
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The point is that the European Union is not about the past – it is about the future. In the interdependent world of the 21st century, soon to be dominated by a G2 of China and the United States, even a comparatively strong European nation-state such as Britain is no longer adequate to address global challenges: fighting the financial crisis, climate change and terrorism. It is only from within the largest economic bloc of the world, the European Union, that Britain can continue to exercise influence on a global stage. But, hubris, nostalgia or xenophobia all too often get in the way: as many as 30% of Conservative candidates want to leave the EU altogether. But if Britain does not get her act together now, she will get increasingly isolated and inevitably see her power wane.
12 If Britain does not want to see her political influence wane, she has to stop looking to the past and embrace her crucial role within the Community. The choice for Britain is simple. She can embrace the EU, make her voice heard, and continue to exert influence on the world stage. Or she can get lost in illusionary xenophobic debates and gradually see her influence diminish.
Let’s take the proposed Common Foreign Policy as an example; a development so necessary for future policy-making, yet so unpopular in Britain. To be clear, a common European foreign policy is not designed as substitute to a national foreign policy - it is rather a tool to bundle common assets and translate them into real negotiating power. The single market, responsible for 40% of the UN budget and two thirds of development assistance, is a uniquely powerful force, for example in trade negotiations, sanctioning Iran, or enforcing environmental standards. But this potential can only be realised if Europe speaks with a common voice. In its current form, the EU’s ad hoc co-ordination all too often results in patchy and uncoordinated diplomacy, severely castrating its political strength.
9 The ratification of the Lisbon Treaty now offers a unique opportunity to reform these severe short-comings. But instead of seizing the moment and making their voice heard in Brussels, the Conservatives get lost in surreal debates about “fighting federalism” or “re-negotiating treaties”. This overshadows the real issues at stake.
13 Britain has always been admired for her pragmatic outlook on world affairs. Let’s hope pragmatism wins the argument once more.
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Like most of you, CUB will be using the Christmas break to catch up on our rest, spend time with family and gossip with our friends – some people are unable to have this luxury. Over half of rough sleepers in the UK are on the streets. Obviously it is impossible to give figures as to how many people this is, but the leading homelessness charity Crisis places the figure at around half a million people in England alone. The avenues and alleys of our capital city are home to the majority of homeless people in the UK with figures stating that 3,500 people slept on London’s streets last year. Talking to RAG (Raise and Give) Officer Sally Nguyen illuminates the importance of volunteering at this time of year. QMSU RAG will be running a ‘Santa’s Little Helpers’ event at a nearby supermarket, packing up bags at the checkout desks for voluntary donations from the customers to give to worthy causes this Christmas. In the past, RAG events have raised hundreds of pounds for various national and international charities. The East End has a vast history of providing refuge for the lost or lonely traveller in London and today in 2009 it is no different, containing one of the most ethnically and economically diverse populations in the UK. Since 2003 Tower Hamlets council has been working, with the aid of Labour government funding, to set up a huge array of services to those who find themselves without anywhere to live. These include mediation services, housing advice, rent deposit schemes and tenancy support, and have helped see a 50% drop in statutory homeless applications since the scheme began. However, these are only the ones we know about. The hidden homeless, those who have not sought any help from local authorities, vulnerable people who are either too scared or unable to access services, are estimated to total around 400,000 in England in 2009. A round of drinks at the pub? Your mobile phone bill? Just over £20 could provide a place for a person to spend a night in a Crisis
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shelter, with three meals, a bed and access to counselling and help to leave the world of the streets for good. If you are reluctant to hand over any cash this Christmas, there is always a chance to volunteer in one of many of the East End’s shelters and hostels. This may not be as arduous as it sounds, aside from adding valuable credibility to your CV, it is an amazing chance to meet new and interesting people all working towards an ultimately beneficial goal... makes a difference from typing out a 3000 word essay doesn’t it? Around 8000 people gave up time last year to make a difference, and it’s not all soup kitchens and serving teas. The opportunities range from providing entertainment and running workshops and activities for guests to helping with the logistics of co-ordinating food deliveries, working as a language translator and offering up your medical knowledge. ------------- CHARITY EVENTS ------------The CRISIS annual Carol Service Southwark Cathedral 6.30pm on 12th December The Thames Philharmonic Choir will be performing alongside readings and performances by Crisis members and supporters, there is no charge for tickets but there will be a chance to donate at the end of the service. Providence Row Volunteering Opportunities East End of London anytime Located off Brick Lane, in the East End, one of the UK’s poorest and yet most populated areas. Why not jump at the chance to assist this fledgling local enterprise help your neighbours this Christmas? The CRISIS Christmas Centers across London 23rd – 30th December For the past 38 years CRISIS has offered vital companionship, hot meals and warmth, and a wide range of essential services that homeless people often miss out on and 2009 is no exception.
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Visit QM Careers f help fin or di and get ng tin jobs and g experien work ce
Why not write or draw something for the next person who picks up cub?
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Love conquers all We’d basically flown to a hotter version of Britain. I’d never been so glad to be home and vowed never to leave the Anyone who knows me well enough will be familiar with country again. And I never did... my downright refusal to leave Great Britain. On pleasure or on business, it doesn’t matter. I’m not going! I just Since then I’ve limited my holidays to little jaunts to Camdon’t leave this country. Ever. Friends have tried to coax bridge to see my friend Maddy and week long trips back me abroad with promises of shisha and camel rides on the home to Scotland to visit family. But that’s it. It may sound sands of Abu Dhabi, sunbathing in Australia, relaxing in Ge- sad and conceited to you but I’m happy here. I have evneva but it never works. I have a fear of travelling abroad erything I ever need. I enjoy the cooler climate. I enjoy and a fear of leaving this country. I did that once, when I “quintessential English” pursuits. And I like a cup of Earl was thirteen and my mum took me to Tenerife on holiday. Grey in the mornings. I’ve never even attempted to overIt was awful. Everything that could have gone wrong on a come my fear, I’ve never wanted to. I love Great Britain. holiday abroad did. They had weird spiders that jumped off And up until the last month or so, I never actually planned the ground and onto your skin. It was too hot. Some guy to leave. Except the thing is, I fell in love. I fell in love, I tell tired to buy me for €300,000 and a camel - apparently a you! With a Scotsman I went to school with back home in very good price! - and to top it all off, my Scottish skin was Edinburgh and who is now on a year abroad in Avignon, so badly sunburned I now have permanent scars. I hated it. which is in the deepest south of France - talk about inconFour hours on a plane to visit a country where they ate Brit- venient timing! And in order for us to spend time together, ish food, most people spoke English and where the pubs someone (i.e. me) was going to have to overcome their slight fear of travelling and get on the Eurostar and head to looked suspiciously like the Queen Vic...
Love conquers all; Disney, wars and now the Eurostar.
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the south of France. It would be an epic trip. On my own! It X Factor) due to her Native American roots and as she would involve crossing an ocean, crossing Paris on the un- becomes more popular, John Smith, who had only briefly encountered her in the new world, decided now would be derground, and somehow reaching Avignon in one piece. a good time for him to open his ugly trap and start spewing They say love is the word and that it can conquer anything. some bullshit about how they’d had this massive romance Turns out, they’re right. Even fears of travelling! I made in America. He tried to scam in on her celebrity, basically. it to Avignon and it was lovely. I got to spend an entire What a dickhead. Had they really had a relationship? Had weekend with my man and it was perfect. He’s perfect - he they fuck. And Pocahontas quickly squashed that rumour just doesn’t realise it. And on the way back, I got to thinking in London and went on to marry a young man called John about this article. I realised I didn’t give a shit about writing Rolfe. Take that, Disney! Love conquers all, but only when about the history of Avignon. I saw the Palace of the Popes it actually happened! and well, y’know... it was cool and everything but nowhere near as cool as love. Love is mega fucking cool. And so, in And then there’s the Greek story of desperation: Orpheus light of my lovey-dovey mood which, yes, I am aware is cur- and Eurydice. Now there are two lessons one can take rently making people sick, I have decided to drop my usual away from this story. Let’s see if anyone can guess the language of “fuck” and “bugger” in exchange for the his- first... Orpheus falls in love with Eurydice. Eurydice is martory of some of the greatest, and not so great, love stories ried. They love each other very much and one day, whilst in history, which beg the question: can love really conquer running with each other through the woods, Eurydice falls all? As the Plain White Ts say, Delilah, this one’s for you... in to a pit of snakes, and they bite her and long story short excluding a lot of crap - she dies. She’s now dead and goes You can’t begin to talk about the history of love without to the Underworld. Orpheus is so sad that he sits and plays talking about the world’s greatest lover; Mr Giacomo Casa- such sad music that the heads of the Underworld, Hades nova and his relationships with, well... everyone!?! Male? and Persephone decide its only right that he has Eurydice Female? Male with female parts stuck on? He didn’t care. back, but on one condition... As they travel back to the UpHe was easy. He went with the flow. He was down with all perworld and the land of the living, breathing and y’know that kinky shit. He was also a mathematician, a philosopher not dead, Orpheus must not look back at Eurydice until and a great writer. Had he have been alive today he would they are firmly back together in life. He fucks up. He looks have been a photographer as well... Know what I mean? behind himself to Eurydice and she dies again, forever, His list of lovers runs well in to the hundreds and he is never to return. The first lesson here is don’t get involved only perhaps rivalled by our own British equivalent, Lord with married people. The second lesson is, when you get Byron (he was bisexual too by the way) who coincidently, a second chance with love, don’t fuck it up, yeah? Because was also into males with female parts stuck on... like one sometimes, love doesn’t come with third chances. You get of my ex boyfriends... Anyways, so Casanova is the big two and that’s your lot. cheese when it comes to the history of lurrve. He shagged everything. However, it is wise to note here that Casanova But the greatest love story of all and the one we should spent most of his life on the run from the law and even had all take the time to remember is that of Odysseus and a couple of little stints in jail, just for good measure. Love Penelope. It’s kinda not really real, it’s a Greek fairytale I guess... Basically, they are the greatest illustrations of does conquer all, just not jail, okies? waiting for your true love no matter what. The two lovers, Then there’s the story of Pocahontas and John Smith. Any Odysseus and Penelope are torn apart by war not long after fans of Disney should probably look away now because I’m they get hitched. Odysseus has to go away to fight. But about to smack Mickey in the face with his mouse ears... Penelope waits... and waits... and waits... and waits for his It put it bluntly. Disney told the story of the young Native return. She turns down over a hundred men because they American princess, Pocahontas, who develops a crush on are nowhere near as perfect or as great a man as Odysnew world explorer, John Smith. Then this thing happens seus. No man can compare to him because she loves him where John Smith is captured and tortured and then Poca- so much... and then finally he reappears and they get the hontas steps in and persuades her father, the Chief, not happily ever after part. The morale of their story? True love to kill him. They fall madly in love and then John Smith, is worth waiting for. No matter how long it takes, no matter being the prick he actually was in real life, ditches her and how many oceans you must cross, no matter how many goes back home to England. Then Pocahontas, who was an fears you must overcome, no matter how many Eurostars incredible woman in her own right - she did not need John you must board and no matter how many times you have Smith, or Disney for that matter, thank you very much! She to eat crisps that taste like macaroni cheese, it’s worth it. eventually travelled to England, where she became a bit of True love conquers all, even the Eurostar. a novelty celebrity figure (a bit like John and Edward from
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HIV UK infected needles, syringes or other injecting drug equipment, and from an HIV-positive mother (to her child) during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding (but with effective treatment and care the risk of transmission can be greatly reduced). Do you know what the difference is between HIV and AIDS? HIV is when you have the HIV virus in your body, whereas a person can develop AIDS when the immune system is so weak it cannot fight reguSo, if I start by informing you that over 80,000 people are lar infections the body could normally deal with. living with HIV in the UK, how would you respond? Or if I said that over a quarter of people with HIV in the UK are HIV has, for a long time been seen as a “gay disease”, undiagnosed, again how would that make you feel? More and yet, most recent statistics have proven that this is worryingly, is the fact that more and more heterosexual not entirely the case. And with recent demonstrations men and women are contracting the virus. In 2007, statis- for ‘Donation not Discrimination’ that call for an end to tics were published that stated: heterosexual HIV trans- the ban of all gay and bisexual men not being allowed mission accounted for 55% of those diagnosed in the UK. to donate blood because of the supposed ‘dangers’, HIV Now we do have to take into account that this was more awareness is all around us. This year, the LGBT Society likely a result of having unprotected sex overseas and be- will be launching RED Week, which will also run alongside ing exposed to the virus. And just another fact for you all, the QMSU Welfare Campaign for Sexual Health Awarejust to be absolutely sure you take this seriously, there are ness Week (30th November – 4th December) which will 900 children under the age of 15 living with HIV in the UK, see a wide variety of activities, reaching out to the diverse student population at Queen Mary. So if you do see the majority of who are of school age. We hear so many myths surrounding HIV and AIDS. How cheerleaders on campus with collection buckets, pop in do you actually contract it? Well, just to clarify, the follow- a few coins, if you see people selling red ribbons, again ing actions are complete un-educated myths: you cannot pop in a few coins. Or maybe you can even get involved get HIV from holding hands, kissing, drinking water from with these campaigns. We may be living in an economic a water fountain, sharing cutlery, sharing a mobile phone recession, doubled with the failure of so many students at the hands of Student Finance England, but let’s count or someone spitting or sneezing. ourselves somewhat lucky; there are many people whose The only ways you can contract HIV are by having sex lives are affected by HIV. without a condom with someone living with HIV, sharing The 1st of December is World AIDS Day. This is a fact. You can tell just by looking at someone that they have HIV. FALSE! There are so many myths surrounding the HIV and AIDS virus, that people are still not properly educated on the facts and real issues. This article is aiming to educate you all, at least to some degree, in HIV and how it relates to you.
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A wobbly table appeared outside King’s College last week. Behind it was a woman and front of it was a man. The man was shouting things whilst holding a megaphone by his side. The table wobbled as he shouted, leaflets fell. Everyone walked by, bemused or unaffected. I was not one of them though, because, as usual, their sign caught my eye. “BASH THE FAR RIGHT BNP”, it suggested. It was not the rubbish scansion that caused me to stop in my tracks (BASH THE BNP, surely?), or the ironically fascist overtones (more on those later), but rather the total absence of research that had gone into making the sign. As most of you will know, it isn’t just this sign either. Every single anti-BNP rally sports these stupid placards. They are the flora and fauna of any gathering of people who do so for the purpose of letting you know that they do not support the BNP and you shouldn’t either, as if that were necessary. I wouldn’t mind so much if they knew their politics, because it only takes five minutes and some of the internet to work out that the BNP are not far right but far left. Political views do not exist on a spectrum with Hitler at one end and Stalin at the other. The horseshoe theory is only a theory but, take it from me, it’s correct. In front of you is a horseshoe with the gap at the top. You can debate who goes exactly where but by and large, opposite the gap you have the dead centre of politics. Let’s put the Labour Party just to the left of it and the Tories slightly further to the right. Just less than half way round on the right you might want to put Thatcher, and opposite her on the left you could put Helen Clarke maybe. Further round from her on the left we’ll pop in Hugo Chavez, and jumping across to the right, George Bush Jnr. These can all be debated. What is not debatable is what happens at the top of the horseshoe where the two sides almost meet. Here you have the far right, far left and the whole point of the horseshoe theory, which is, obviously, that they are not so far apart and not particularly different. Conventionally you’d have Hitler and Mussolini cosying up on the right, because they were fascists, with Stalin, Kim Jong Il and Pol Pot only a peasant’s throw from them on the communist left. Personally I would chuck them all in the gap, so similar are they in policy, but no matter. I said the
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BNP were left-wing, so I’d better make my case. Here is the evidence. They are ethno-nationalists who call for, unsurprisingly, the nationalisation of industry and economic protectionism as well as subsistence farming. This would mean trade tariffs, import substitution and probably starvation, if history is anything to go by, which it is. Essentially they espouse a command and control centralised economy, a favourite of
both fascism and communism. Going back to the ethno part of their nationalism, they are an a-historical and very confused bunch of closet racists, some of whom have fallen out of the closet because it isn’t big enough. They hate Islam, gays, foreigners and would clearly suppress a great deal of individual freedoms given half a chance, not least because that’s the only way national centralisation could ever work. Nick Griffin might appear to muddy the waters by saying that they
Column- -Clark Article Anastasia Hogan-Taylor Beaumont-Bott
like Jews, don’t mind Hindus and want the economy to work for the people rather than the other way round; take absolutely no notice. If you want to organise your economy from the centre, nationalise the means of production, control the distribution of resources and do so for the purposes of your nation at the expense of others, you are a national socialist, or Nazi, if you prefer. Tweak that slightly – emphasise a classless society and take away the overtness of the racism – and you find yourself a communist.
But the Nazi’s were right-wing. We were taught it at school! Well, school lied. There really was very little policy difference between, say, Hitler and Stalin, hence the horseshoe. History does point out some differences between totalitarian regimes of the left and right. The far left have often claimed not to be racist but turn out to be just that, whereas the right tend to shout about it. In this sense one could argue the BNP, through Nick Griffin’s rhetoric, are trying to cross over from far right to far left. Also the extreme left have often pretended to be tolerant of ideas and difference whilst in fact being entirely intolerant and really pretty nasty towards any political dissenters. Again the right have been
more overt. There is maybe a case for saying the far-right are more likely to initiate war, but really, I’m clutching at straws. Communists and fascists have always been cut from the same cloth. If you want a rock solid label for them it is that they both hate liberalism. Given the superficial differences, maybe I’m wrong to say they’re not far-right. Going on the above, does it even matter? Can’t we just say we don’t like them? I suppose if I’m honest, yes. I do genuinely think they are more far left than right, but that’s not really what makes me angry about them being called far right. My problem actually lies with the people at the wobbly table. The reason they call the BNP far right and not far left is because they are socialists. Look carefully at every wobbly table and what do you find? Patchouli oil, yes, but more importantly, hundreds of copies of the Socialist Worker, piled up in the corner. It is this that I cannot stand. The horrendous, hubristic and supremely arrogant assertion that to hate the BNP you have to be a socialist. In fact I hate them even more than that, because they can hardly be bothered to disguise the fact that the BNP give them purpose. They receive publicity and support only because they serve as a counter-weight, as if politics were a ruler balancing on a rubber, socialists vs. fascists. It just isn’t, and the sooner they step aside and let people who have read enough books to understand this the sooner the BNP will be accurately identified for what they are. Why is this labelling important? Because only once you have identified what you’re up against can you begin to defeat it. Nick Griffin is used to fielding questions about immigration. He has his answers prepared (I know it doesn’t sound like it sometimes, but that’s because re-writing history and ignoring the ice age does make for quite a difficult argument.) If people were made more aware of what he wants to do to our food supply, our economy, our rights and freedoms, and what he would have to do to democracy in order to achieve any of these aims, the BNP would have no support. And here, therefore, is your takeaway for this evening: you will never hear these arguments from the people behind the wobbly table, because, whether they realise it or not, on those issues they are right behind him.
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Malcom & My boyfriend really wants us to have a sex swing but as students we really dont have much cash. My parents are usually really generous at Christmas in terms of presents and this is the one thing I really want. Shall I suck up the embarrassment and mortification of asking for one or just save up over the next year or so?
half clothed. Even if your crush isn’t returned, you can always sue for sexual harassment and get him fired so you don’t have any awkward standing by the photocopier moments. And you should really learn to stop putting familiar phrases in inverted commas, it’s lame.
There’s a guy at work who I’ve liked for ages and yes, you’ve guessed it, I want to tell him how I feel at the Christmas party. The problem is I’m not sure he knows who I am, and I think he’s more likely to be less freaked out at a love declaration from someone who he has actually talked to before. I know that him and some mates are planning to do the age-old get drunk and photocopy your bum jaunt and I was wondering if you thought it would be a good idea for me to join in on the fun and for him to know me as “up for anything”!
As long as she can still sit on Santa’s knee with her feet off the ground, it’s OK. As soon as he starts looking a bit nervous at carrying her on his knee without having a coronary (especially considering he does no exercise and spends his whole year eating) then this the time to worry.
I need some money for Christmas this year and am considering doing some temp work. Picture the scene: Nan has just opened a multipack What are your thoughts on what would be of Werther’s Originals and it is your turn to open the least-busy and least-awful shops to your first present. The huge box has been causing work in at this time of year? great excitement in the household and your dad keeps avoiding your eye and going red when asked Come on, where’s your Christmas spirit?! It’s all what he thinks it is. You open the box and out comes about fighting over the last Lynx gift set in Boots and the free whip that came with any purchase over 200 being barraged by Slade every time you leave the pounds. Granddad doesn’t quite understand what is house. It wouldn’t be Christmas without migrainegoing on and demands what you are going to do inducing music and suffocating crowds, so apply for with a badger trap in a flat in Central London. Every that Saturday job in Selfridges and suck it up. time you use the swing, you will be reminded of its embarrassing origins and to be honest I don’t think My little sister is 8 and still believes in Fathe memory of your Grandma sucking on toffees is ther Christmas. Do you think this is too old to still be under the illusion or is it OK? going to excite you into a sexual fervour.
Yes, I think it would be a great idea for you and 10 blokes to cavort around the office half drunk and
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Mindy I’ve recently moved in with some new flatmates and every things going fantastic; parties, laughs, nights in, but I’ve got a bit of an awkward problem. The guy who lives next to me never seems to stop having sex. Loud sex. It’s every night, seven days a week and it’s all the time. I don’t mind him having so much sex - I’m not a prude! But it is keeping me awake!! He’s a good friend and I don’t want to cause any tension between us, so how can I bring this up in a subtle but effective way? Ok, so you live next to QMULs answer to Casanova, or at very least QMULs very cheap answer to John Travolta. Sucks to be you! But you’re right, this is a bit awkward for you, especially if you haven’t had any yourself for a while and this is a common known fact amongst your new flatmates, because then it’s just going to look like you’re jealous. Here’s what you need to do... Facebook rape him. When he’s not looking, or popped out to the shops for more condoms, just change all his Facebook settings. Interested in women, is he? Not no more he isn’t!! Why? Because Facebook quite clearly now says he’s interested in only men and likes Cher. And there you go! Goodbye sex life! If this fails, just go to his door, loudly knock and begin calling out various girls names through the door with an inquisitive tone. (Bonus points if you actually guess which girl it is!) This ought to slow him down a bit, or if not, at the very least limit his sexual partners.
the pricks from the rival society works behind the bar and just point blank refuses to serve me. I haven’t done anything to anyone and he is only doing this because he knows I’m friends with a bunch of people who has God knows what against us. Surely this is unprofessional? It’s more than unprofessional, it’s pathetic. Drapers need to make sure their employees aren’t letting their silly school yard vendettas get in the way of everyone else having a good time. Although I guess the younger they are, the less wages they have to pay them right? It could be a good economic move. Rest assured though, Auntie Mindy thinks she knows who you are talking about and agrees he is a class A tosser with a haircut most boys stopped asking for when they hit puberty. Which probably explains why he’s still got it! He also has small... feet. Now who’s laughing? Dickhead.
I’m a keen cyclist and since coming to university I have enjoyed cycling to uni every morning. However, I am becoming increasingly annoyed with the bike parking situation. QMUL have made this campus cyclist friendly – there’s bike rails and security everywhere. However, every day the same bikes are parked in the exact same spaces that they were in when I joined this university two years ago! They take up space. They are clearly not being used, as nobody has ever moved them. Any I’m part of a society on campus which for suggestions on how real cyclists can get to one reason or another seems to have a bit them? of rivalry with another. It was the other society that started it; they lie about us, stir I share your pain! I too cycle and I too am getting stories and generally just keep the rivalry hacked off with the mass collection of rust buckets going. Usually I ignore them but recently that seem to be harbouring in our bike racks day things have gone too far: because I can’t even after day after day after day. They have been abanget served at Drapers! I stand at the bar, pa- doned. It’s about time someone moved them on. tiently in the queue like everyone else but end Dear Bike Abandoners, are you listening? Move up waiting for like 15 minutes because one of them or lose them...
problems you want solved - email them to email@example.com
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I see you in Ground most days, you’re friends with my best mates girlfriend. Am I imagining it or do we just click? Maybe next time I see you, I’ll be brave enough to say something. Alexandre.
I know there’s only one thing you want in stockings this Christmas Haz, but the question is, have you been a good enough boy this year to get a treat? Debbie.
Love You’ve been helping me loads with uni work, but now I’ve got the theory down, how about we put in some practice? Yours, Emi.
“I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus Underneath the mistletoe last night” you can be my santa. Mommy
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On the 11th day of Christmas my true love gave to me.. 11 little digits. Only I went and lost my phone - maybe you could write them down again in my Christmas card? Kat.
You helped me pick up all my dropped books outside the library and we laughed over my embarrassing dissertation reading. If you fancy leafing through The History Of Sexuality again, let me buy you a drink next week? A.
Lost Iâ€™ve bought the mistletoe, you just bring yourself. Dav.
Su, will you make mine a very merry Christmas by sitting on my knee this festive season? Ghaaz.
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Reviews Section The Flaming Lips The Troxy. Review By Darius Eduljee
There’s not much else quite like a Flaming Lips gig. Over the last 10 years since they’ve turned their live shows into giant parties, their stage show has grown increasingly elaborate and colourful. Easily the most bizarre new feature of the show is the entrance. Fans have long been accustomed to Wayne entering the stage in a giant bubble before walking over the crowd, but now the other members of the band, in reference to the title of the new album Embryonic, enter the stage from between the legs of a luminous orange woman projected onto the screen. It’s bizarre, grotesque, and maybe slightly hilarious. The big question music-wise for this gig was how well the new, darker sound of Embryonic was going to gel with the party atmosphere of the bands live show, as well as their more poppy material. Overall, it was a relief to find that these tracks generally
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work quite well (although slow droning numbers sung to looped footage of animal experimentation does kill the party vibe a little bit). In fact, some of these tracks, including the stunning ‘Convinced of the Hex’, would rank amongst the highlights of the show whilst old favourites such as ‘Fight Test’ felt limp and worn out from the constant use. This is not to completely dismiss the previous albums though. ‘Race for the Prize’ is still untouchable as a set opening and ‘Do You Realize??’ has an unmatched power to bring many of the unlikeliest of listeners to tears. Through all the theatrics, stage lights and balloons (...so many balloons...) The Flaming Lips still have the tunes and the passion to hold a room in the palm of their hands, enraptured, awestruck and giddy with childlike excitement.
Maida Vale 75th Anniversary: BBC Radio 2 Session - Sarika Unadkat
Britain’s greatest jazz-pop export Jamie Cullum has returned with his fifth album The Pursuit. After his success working with Clint Eastwood on the ‘Gran Torino’ soundtrack it is good to have Jamie back in the UK. This gig was part of the BBC Radio 2 live celebrations marking the 75th anniversary of the legendary Maida Vale studios. The venue is definitely iconic, having seen the likes of Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Coldplay, and many more. The location for this particular session, Studio 3, is renowned for being the last place where Bing Crosby recorded. It is a cosy, intimate venue which unquestionably carries a special ambience. Unsurprisingly, you could certainly feel that the day’s significance created an exceptional atmosphere. Jamie Cullum was a perfect choice of artist to live up to the venue, providing some cool jazz perfect for the intimate setting. The acoustics were fantastic for Cullum, he wasted no time as he went straight to tinkle his ivories as he opened the night with his latest single, ‘I’m All over It’. This is unquestionably a fun track with its lively chorus, whilst Jamie gives it his all on the piano. He then provided us with another track from the new album, except this was one of his Cullum-esque renditions of a pop song, on this occasion, Rihanna’s ‘Don’t stop the music’. He never disappoints with his covers, his version noticeably jazzier and darker, whilst also encompassing a fabulous piano solo which proved so infectious that you can’t help but
find yourself nodding along. There was a very special moment when he played a version of Johnny Mercer’s ‘Come Rain or Shine’. This was the very same song that he had sung at his first time at Maida Vale, making it fitting for the occasion. It is a really beautiful song packed full of solos, perfect for the whole band to show off their talents. He also played one of his classics ‘All at sea’ which he joked about reaching ‘the heady heights of number 72 in the charts’ in 2003. It is a lovely song with a brilliant rising climax, gorgeous vocals and a cracking piano solo; with an added mixture of some of Lady Gaga’s ‘Poker Face’ towards the end. The show on air was a mere half an hour long, but once that finished Jamie treated us with two more gems. He performed one more new song called ‘Wheels’, a track which has a fantastic piano riff, a great driving chorus, and definitely gets your feet tapping. He ended the night with his classic hit ‘Get your way’; one of my favourite tracks of his due to its clever use of the Thad Jones riff and funky rhythm. It certainly got the crowd going, and even in the restricted space, he managed to provide a majestic jump from off the top of the piano even throwing in a little beat-boxing. His versatility was impressive and a live performance from him was a brilliant experience. The gig was short, but sweet allowing you to leave satisfied. The special location and its occasion added to the ambience and making the gig even more of a treat.
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Rhythm Factory CONVERGE.
As the crowd goes absolutely wild, members of the audience closest to the stage jostle and compete to touch Pete Doherty on stage at the Rhythm Factory in Whitechapel. Where? Yes, you read it right! Whitechapel! Boring, run-down, grimy Whitechapel. Formerly a bastion of the white working class and yet paradoxically always a hub of poor immigrant communities cast aside by mainstream society; most would regard the area as a ghetto and a cultural desert. But that’s where they would be wrong. Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, along with the Whitechapel Gallery, it forms one of the pillars of artistic pursuits in the area. Having started out as a match factory, it is now one of London’s premier music venues. It has been described by The Guardian as “the barometer of London’s musical trends” and by One Week To Live as “possibly London’s most rock ’n’ roll venue”. So why does Pete Doherty, with all his fame and wealth, who has played in front of thousands at the Royal Albert Hall and other such illustrious venues, decide to come here to perform? Doherty and his former band The Libertines, consider The Rhythm Factory to be their spiritual home. “Bernie, the owner, nurtured the Libertines in the beginning and gave them a lot of chances and a lot of help and a lot of gigs, and I think Bernie and Pete developed that relationship from then,” says Head Promoter Stuart Campbell. “They’re like symbiotic creatures, the way they survive together – Pete and our boss, Bernie.” Pete Doherty’s love affair with The Rhythm Factory has continued ever since and he has
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performed there about 20 times. “It’s the intimacy,” adds Mr Campbell. “People can get right up close to the stage and they can almost touch you. Now in a venue like the Albert Hall, it’s the complete opposite – he’s like a little dot in the distance somewhere. He gets a vibe off the intimacy of the crowd and vice versa.” Performances and events at The Rhythm Factory encompass a wide variety of genres: “We’ve had anyone from the Suga Hill Gang, to Razorlight, to Kate Nash, to some of the biggest names in drum n bass, techno, and house,” says the 37-year-old Mr Campbell. “Just about anything you can imagine.” The venue attracts a diverse audience: “Some of the Pete Doherty gigs we just had – the ranges of ages were underage, which didn’t get in but they tried, and I saw people in their fifties and sixties,” adds the Leyton native. “So it’s extremely vast really, depending upon what’s going on. We have had a lot of urban nights. That attracts a more urban crowd with more of a mix of races. The rock attracts that type of crowd. “It’s gritty. It’s rough. It’s pretty much like a warehouse feel which suits techno clubbers, drum n bass heads and urban heads.” Despite this diverse audience, there is one group’s presence which is rarely found in The Rhythm Factory, and that is the East End locals of Bangladeshi origin. Symbolised by the local landmarks, the area is decidedly Bangladeshi. Altab Ali Park, which lies directly to the west, is named after a victim of a racist murder who was of Bangladeshi origin. This park also contains the Shaheed Minar, which is a monument commemorating martyrs in
Bangladesh’s independence from Pakistan. Less than one hundred yards to the east is the East London Mosque, one of the main hubs of the local community. Finally, immediately north is the area which is now officially been renamed Banglatown, which is where the first Bangladeshi émigrés settled and is the home of the famous curry houses. As a result, the Rhythm Factory does not fit in with the surrounding area as Mr Campbell is very aware: “The culture of this area is very Bangladeshi Asian and we haven’t done much on that side of things. I don’t know why that is. I don’t know why we haven’t been approached by Asian promoters.” The venue is at the bottom of Brick Lane, just a short walk from the trendy bars and clubs around the site of the old Truman’s Brewery. While it is beneficial to be so close to one of the big hubs of artistic and musical activity, The Rhythm Factory is quite separate from the trendiness of Shoreditch and Hoxton, and so has created its own niche and maintained its cultural autonomy. As Pete Doherty performs in the Rhythm Factory, he feels as if he is back at home and the vibe he gets from the crowd is one of appreciation and love. Mid-way through a song he gets a member of the audience to light his cigarette which he grips in his mouth, indicating he most certainly agrees with the Head Promoter’s description of his hallowed homecoming turf: “No Frills. No Nonsense. Good Music.”
ones to watch New Bands
‘Girls’ Girls are a four man band hailing from San Francisco, who call heavily, but efficaciously, on the sounds of The Beach Boys and Elvis Costello. The band replicates a similar jangly sense of frivolity through melody, but produce lyrics which are lugubriously engaged with love, heartbreak and squalor. Front man Christopher Owen’s incomprehensibly strange and unremittingly sad past seeps into the music. This is not just angsty lovesick pop, it is wounded, reverby, perpetual hurt. But the music is not without its moments of acidic humour - in the song ‘Lust For Life’ Owen reflects, “I wish I had a father”, which is quickly followed by “I wish I had a suntan”.
Neon Indian Neon Indian may not win any awards for best stage name, but his effervescent, dazed and trippy electronic sound is winning the hearts of many of the MGMT sceptics. Texas-based producer and songwriter Alan Palomo (perhaps best recognised as the more hi-fi VEGA) makes satisfyingly hazy synth-pop which is best expressed on his most recent hit ‘Deadbeat Summer’. It seems Neon Indian is single-handedly taking it upon himself to warm up those dark winter nights.
Girls - www.myspace.com/girls
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neon indian - www.myspace.com/neonindian
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A year in phone photos - Luke Ngakane
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