Q M U N I C A T E
QMUNICATE ISSUE 146
PALMER SMITH SOPHIA ARCHONTIS
ARTS AND CULTURE EDITOR
AMY WHITNEY SCHOLES
VISUALS AMARA COELHO
EVA LOPEZ-LOPEZ TEXT GRAPHICS
CREATIVE WRITING EDITOR
POPPY NAOMI FRONT COVER
LUISA HAHN ADVERTISING AND FUNDRAISING
ROSIE BRUCE POPPY NAOMI
ROSIE BRUCE ONLINE EDITORS
MARIA KOSTOULIA BACK COVER
POPPY NAOMI CONTRIBUTORS COPY EDITORS EMANUELA FAZZIO
AMBER LARKIN CHRIS TIMMINS
BETH COOK CHIARA GENTILE
NEWS AND POLITICS EDITOR
EVA LOPEZ-LOPEZ GOOSE MASONDO
JADE AIMERS LILLIAN SALVATORE
MALCOLM TW KANE
/qmunicate/ @qmunicate @qmunicate
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A NOTE FROM THE
A massive welcome to Issue 146! Among the shortening of days, increasingly cold weather and never-ending new restrictions the qmunicate team has once again come together this autumn to produce an eclectic collection of articles, poems and short stories to warm you up and entertain you as the long months of Glaswegian winter approach. Whether you need a break from a long day of studying, a distraction from impending deadlines or are simply craving an interesting and engaging read, something within these pages is bound to capture your interest. Feel like keeping yourself up to date with current affairs? Head to our News and Politics section, where Chiara Gentile of Glasgow Students for Choice (look them up on Facebook and Instagram!) explains the importance of buffer zones for preserving the wellbeing of individuals getting abortions and fighting stigma around the matter. In our Film section, Lillian Salvatore reflects on the validity of film adaptation of novels and whether multiple adaptations of the same literary sources are needed or tend to be successful. If you could use a few feel-good film recommendations, you will also love Bea Crawford’s reflection on her favourite comfort films.
Over at Lifestyle, Jade Aimers addresses her younger self in a heartfelt contemplation of how circumstances have changed over the years, especially in recent months, and Beth Cook vouches for the importance of openly and shamelessly addressing sex as a topic. Additionally, Luisa Barclay muses on her struggles with adapting to the new routine brought about by these difficult times. In Features, Sophia Archontis studies the concept of happiness, memories and how the two relate to one another; while Bea Crawford explains how the great outdoors can often make us feel small and insignificant, and what it means for us. Eva Lopez-Lopez reflects on the meaning of growing up and reaching adulthood, and Goose Masondo follows the same line by arguing why we shouldn’t feel pressured to adhere to societal expectations of what adulthood should look like. Time to switch it up with some exciting album reviews in our Music section! Niamh MacPhail reviews IDLES’ new politically charged rock album Ultra Mono and Isla Scott shares her thoughts on Gus Dapperton’s Orca. To top it all off, Eva Lopez-Lopez stresses the social importance of musical projects within the prison system. Head to our Arts and Culture section to see Eva Lopez-Lopez reminisce about fanfiction as a starting point for reflection on literary stereotypes about young women, and to read Rhona Stewart’s argument in favour of recognising video games as an art form.
We certainly haven’t forgotten about all of you creative writing lovers: swipe through our pages to find an anthology of poems and prose centred around the theme of passion, instinct and rawness. This was also our visual theme for this issue: everything you see in our pages is a collection of raw memories, thoughts and feelings from local artists and photographs. Finally, in the first instalment of his historical column Aran PrinceTappe revisits and reflects on the troubled and complex process of nation-building of Macedonia. As usual, a warm big thank you to all our contributors for making this issue possible and keeping our publication always brimming with excellent and vibrant content: you are the heart of qmunicate and our team is endlessly grateful for your involvement. Want to get involved with us as well? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org and join our Facebook group ‘QMU Publications Committee’ for our editors’ weekly pitches: remember you don’t need any prior writing experience and writing for us is completely commitment-free. You can also follow us on Instagram and Twitter (@qmunicate), and find all of our published articles at qmunicatemagazine.com! A special mention to the qmunicate editorial team who has been working tirelessly: each of your individual creative input always shines through and makes this magazine what it is. You are all always a joy to work with!
Stay safe and warm everyone,
N O T E
F R O M
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DE-POLITICISING THE ABORTION CLINIC: A CALL FOR BUFFER ZONES MANDERLEY AGAIN… AND AGAIN… COMFORT FILMS FIRE EXIT POINTS A LIGHT READ I’M CALLING IT ___? ROUTINE IN CHAOS A LETTER TO MY YOUNGER SELF SEXT IDEAS HAPPINESS IS MEMORIES OF HAPPINESS THE GREAT OUTDOORS! (AND FEELING INSIGNIFICANT) TENANCY AGREEMENT CAUGHT IN ADULTHOOD HOW TO ADULT GOOD THIS IS THE WHOLE STORY OF THE FURBIES ALBUM REVIEW: IDLES - ULTRA MONO ALBUM REVIEW: GUS DAPPERTON - ORCA THE FORGOTTEN SHALL BE HEARD YOUR NAME EXTRACTS FROM A FEMINIST'S SUBCONSCIOUS CAN VIDEO GAMES COME UNDER ART HISTORY? NOW AND THEN
C O N T E N T S
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DE-POLITICISING ABORTION CLINIC:
CW: STRONG LANGUAGE, ABORTION-RELATED HARASSMENT, MENTION OF R*PE In this article, Chiara Gentile, the president of Glasgow Students for Choice, talks about how important buffer zones are to preserve the mental health and safety of women getting abortions. For more information, you can head over to @glasgowstudentchoice on Instagram or look up Glasgow Students for Choice on Facebook. Accessing an abortion service can feel like a daunting experience for most. Making a decision about the most divisive
overwhelming. That decision is made though, time and time again, because it is ultimately the right one for that person. Now, imagine the experience of going to your local hospital and being met with a torrent of harassment on your way in. Calling you all kinds of names, anything ranging from ‘bitch’, to ‘murderer’. Showing you graphic photos, most of them doctored, to emotionally manipulate you out of this decision. Saying that you need salvation, that they will pray for you, buy your baby, help you through every aspect of your pregnancy — as if that ever ultimately happens.
These anti-choice protests also have severe long-term
They’re there to shame you, bully you, and then leave
effects — they result in stigma. Stigma is feeling that
you on your own. No one should experience that when
you are devalued for not meeting societal expectations
of some kind. When it comes to abortion, that may be the “rejection of motherhood”. At Glasgow Students for mobilised
Choice, we are working to tackle this stigma through
themselves outside abortion clinics to spread lies and
our Instagram series ‘Myth Busting Monday’. One MBM
misconceptions about abortion, and to shame people
we have tackled is the anti-choice lie that your mental
accessing those services. A known period where this
health will be greatly damaged by having an abortion.
anti-choice harassment occurs yearly is during the ‘40
They claim abortion will cause long-term emotional
days for life’ ‘campaign’, where they target abortion-
and psychological trauma. This has proven to be
providing clinics in the run-up to Easter. They are even
untrue. In fact, negative feelings that arise from having
known to share leaflets stating that “an abortion is
an abortion are usually linked with external stigmas
harder to overcome than r*pe” (The Guardian, 2019).
(insert anti-choice harassment here). Many studies have
Sometimes they have cameras strapped to their chest,
shown that over 98% of people who access an abortion
or placed on tripods recording people going in and out.
do not regret it 5 years on and a study from the
They also state that abortion gives you breast cancer,
University of California stated that 84% of people had
makes you infertile, and will ruin your mental health for
either positive emotions or no emotions regarding their
life — all scientifically proven lies.
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R E H / E H S - S E L O H C S Y E N TI W Y M A
The issues established from having these bullies outside abortion clinics are evident. According to BPAS, over 100,000 people a year are targeted by anti-choice protesters. This harassment needs to end, so what are buffer zones, and why do we need them? A buffer zone is a perimeter around a hospital or abortion provider which creates a bubble or buffer from those trying to harass people going in. Why are they necessary?
deserve the right to anonymity and dignity. This isnâ€™t about curbing a personâ€™s right to protest. This is about putting the people accessing their healthcare first. It is a call to de-politicise the abortion clinic. It does not matter whether the presence of anti-choice folk is passive, or actively intimidating - pregnant people should not be used as a pawn for you advancing your argument. There have been a few campaigns put in place to get Pregnancy Advisory started the campaign Back Off to get buffer zones implemented legally, meaning clinics would have the ability to remove protesters. This campaign has mushroomed with local groups telling their own anti-choice protesters to back off. One such example is Back Off Chalmers in Edinburgh. They are campaigning for Edinburgh City Council to create a 100m buffer zone around abortion clinics. The activists behind this campaign are hoping that once Scotlandâ€™s capital has established buffer zones, they will be able to
campaigns and sharing their work - it makes all the difference.
g r o. f f o - k c a b : S A P B
If you get the chance, do consider donating to these
: S N GI A P M A C O T S K NI L
get the rest of Scotland to follow suit.
s r e m l a h C f f O k c a B/ m o c. k o o b e c a f. w w w : S R E M L A H C F F O K C A B
buffer zones implemented in the UK. The British
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N D AGAIN... A
LILLIAN SALVATORE - SHE/HER
For as long as we and the film industry can remember,
All that being said, it’s not a bad film and on the whole
novels have been a fruitful source for storytelling, ripe
it is enjoyable. The acting is strong, and the story is
for filmmakers to pick from and adapt into cinematic
(unsurprisingly) suspenseful and exciting. However, the
masterpieces. With already established plot outlines,
odd decision to have Wheatley direct, who most
fully formed characters and ideas, novels make film
notably lounges in the filmic state of psychological
adaptation easier: if it’s possible to adapt a novel into a
horror in his career and has not incorporated some
film, why wouldn’t you, right?
semblance of unhinged terror into this film (which the plot is practically begging for), ensures that Rebecca
Multiple adaptations of the same novel are not a new
(2020) is wholly unmemorable.
thing for film, it’s been going on for years. How many times have we watched Peter Pan fly to Neverland, for
Adapting a renowned text can be easy money for
example, or Alice fall down the rabbit hole? It begs the
producers. Tossing together a story that’s already been
question though… How many times do we have to
tried, tested and approved multiple times with some
watch Pan in Neverland? We’ve seen and read it all
well-respected actors and showcasing it all in a
before, so why are the same texts being adapted over
glamourous, cinematic dreamscape is sure to bring in
and over again for the screen?
big audiences and lots of cash. In the case of Rebecca (2020), Netflix also gets to extend its own library of
Y E H T/ E H S - I M O A N Y P P O P
I don’t think this is a one-answer-fits-all situation.
Netflix’s recent adaptation of Rebecca (2020) isn’t the
On the other hand, there’s the notion of interpretation.
second film to have been adapted from Daphne du
In the same sense that songs can be covered multiple
Maurier’s classic novel but, given that the first was
times, just because a film of the same text has been
Hitchcock’s only Oscar winning best picture, it has been
made several times before shouldn’t mean that it
compared to that one most notably – and most cruelly.
cannot be done again. However, books aren’t usually
Director Ben Wheatley has defended it from critics by
written with the intent of being made into a film or
saying it is “not, in any sense, a remake of the Hitchcock
television show, so the transcription of text to screen is
film,” but instead a modern adaptation of du Maurier’s
always going to be a slippery one. There’s the obvious
book. While the film is certainly entertaining, it doesn’t
fact that Wuthering Heights has a lot more room in
exactly change the conversation.
book form to explore the nuances of Cathy and Heathcliff’s relationship than it does in a 90-minute
Shot in dramatic, beautiful locations and dripping with
film. But I think the argument “the book was better,”
colour and yellow suits, it does appeal to a younger,
falls flat shortly after this.
modern audience unfamiliar with the story. Bringing
her a little more into the 21st century, the new Mrs de
The determinator of meaning in a text is not solely the
Winter, played by Lily James, is given much more
author of that text, nor is it the reader or even the
agency in this film than in both Hitchcock’s adaptation
director who wishes to adapt it for the screen. The
and the novel. And while this isn’t a bad thing, the
“meaning” of a literary text is not definitive, and it’s
decision ensures that the important themes of class
different for every reader. So why then, do we often
and age divisions explored in the novel are almost
hold such high standards for a filmmaker to adapt a
text so accurately from the book to screen? If changing
adaptation of the text focuses more on the love story
the narrative structure and embellishing characters
between de Winter and his new wife, removing two of
lines in Little Women (2019) is how Greta Gerwig shows
the main points of contention for their relationship thus
her meta-interpretation of Alcott’s text, then who are
relegates this exploration of the human condition to
we to condemn her for that? Jan Švankmejer’s surreal
nothing more than flat and unremarkable.
film Alice (1988) highlights the darker elements of
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Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland but is ultimately a
haircut), said playboy falls in love with her but, *gasp*,
much closer adaptation of Carroll’s book than the more
so does his brother. It’s totally camp, it is thoroughly
popularly known fairy-tale and Disney interpretations.
unbelievable that any guy wouldn’t be enamoured by
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Audrey Hepburn even when she’s wearing her hair up These are examples of films that are as much
or spending her time washing cars, and I can't tell you
adaptations as they are extensions of the source text, in
how much I love it. Personally, I find it best paired with
which meaning is explored and conversations are
a cup of tea and a grain of salt for the slightly outdated
started. Yes, Rebecca (2020) is closer in plot to du
feel of it all. However, this also makes it a perfect piece
Maurier’s original novel than Hitchcock’s film – but it
of escapism from 2020.
doesn’t add anything to the conversation that the book and other adaptations haven’t already said. It is
I talk a lot about how I was “raised on romcoms”; I can
frustratingly pointless, but I don’t suspect filmmakers
quote practically every word of Ten Things I Hate
are going to stop adapting Little Women or Peter Pan
About You, Legally Blonde, How To Lose a Guy in 10
in the next twenty years or so. Everyone wants to share
Days. There's something comforting about them -
their interpretation, and we can only hope they are
perhaps it’s their predictability (you always know
different from all those that came before them.
they're going to get together in the end, even in their darkest moments), or the general simplicity of their lives (money is rarely an object for the protagonist, they have good jobs, good home lives). Whatever it is, there’s
ROSIE BRUCE - SHE/HER
COVID, or the general crappiness of daily life this year.
BEA CRAWFORD - SHE/HER
As a French student, it's pretty much my prerogative to
What’s your go-to film you watch whenever you've had the worst possible day, or you’ve had your heart broken, or you’ve failed an assignment? Whether you’re a stan
adaptations are the height of modern cinema, everyone needs a batch of comfort films to get them through their toughest times. Since the beginning of the pandemic, I’ve come to find myself reaching, again and again, for a select few movies that have had a special place in my heart for years in order to combat my own lockdown loneliness.
much of my personality stems from an early idolisation of Audrey Hepburn: her class, her poise, her innate ability to pull off white socks with an all-black outfit. During the summer of 2016, 14-year-old me had one overarching goal: to watch all of the Hollywood classics - The Godfather, Citizen Kane, Casablanca. However, the most impactful films I watched that summer by far were Hepburn’s, especially Billy Wilder’s Sabrina from 1954. Audrey is the naive chauffeur's daughter who is madly in love with the rich playboy-next-door, she goes culinary
have an Amélie obsession. For those unfamiliar with Jean-Pierre Jeunet's seminal 2001 film, it follows a quirky young woman who spent much of her childhood inside, on the direction of her well-meaning but overlyprotective parents. The titular Amélie moves to Paris to work in a café in Montmartre alongside an eccentric cast of staff and customers; she befriends her elderly neighbour; dedicates her life to doing anonymous good deeds; secretly pines for the guy she bumps into at the métro station. Though some of the topics are slightly heavy (I guess her parents are borderline mentally abusive in her childhood - or, at least, really terrible
Like every other brunette white girl on the planet,
and a cheesy romcom, especially when you want a distraction from the sheer difficulty of dating during
nothing quite like snuggling up with a load of junk food
unidentifiable (i.e. totally the same, with a different
parents), the whole film is a sepia-toned surrealist masterpiece that celebrates imagination and kindheartedness over all else. It’s exactly the kind of movie you need when you’re despairing at the state of the world and wondering if there are any truly good people left - Amélie is a shining example of remaining optimistic and considerate even after being dealt a bad hand in life.. In these unprecedented times (yes, that phrase has also been eternally ruined for me), I think we all could use a little bit of comfort. It doesn’t matter if it’s
something you watched religiously growing up or you’ve discovered lately.
Q M U N I C A T E
How would you improve How would you manage instant coffee Why do you think roses cream bakhtin’s The Grotesque Is like that weird bit at the beginning of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy? Three ideas proper good chocolate and honey. Why? Are Violent Acts Committed? Instead of all the love The memories and experiences That have gone into life here today, All I can think about is him The Greeks Didn’t Have Violence Onstage Did they have Succession Prince When Harry Met Sally Fight Club Good Time writing Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates & Lane’s very graphic suicide?
HIGHLY Problematic. Romanticism of Emotional and Physical Abuse In the narration, which further isolates us from the characters, just as they are isolated from society and each other, in The Heights and Thrushcross Grange.
When you left this morning, Why Is There Violence and Why Is It The Norm? Despite the mist, which is heavy and falls about the road, you can see that the hills had trees you can see the sl aug ht ered branches
I was up, I said goodbye But I went back to bed Back to sleep Hoping to stay in this dream world with you So I didn't have to wake up To a reality where you were gone
you can see the ground black and blue and sore.
LILLIAN SALVATORE - SHE/HER
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AMARA COELHO - SHE/HER
R E H/ E H S - H T I M S R E M L A P
CW: CAR ACCIDENT & DEATH
Shaking fingers at you invisibly, shaking one at myself mirrored. Yesterday half hanging body curling kissing the rooftop fence Down down deep down the taxis swirling, not colliding yet, Big plastic Dice twisted reflected in the windshield, no destination.
Last Monday bathing lavender bubbles soaking my skin. Hours Hours in the hours sleeping, dreaming of purple Nightmares, turning brain off, on, off, on. Accepting static sounds.
I heard the brain continues to hear for minutes after.
Tomorrow corner of 86th and Madison a traveler crosses. No patience for the electronic go, Body struck and flying in dark-hell pants and worn-rotted loafers. One loafer hits opposite side of sidewalk.
Rain. Rain. Rain.
Weeks later many signs: Did you see the car that killed our mother?
(And didnâ€™t kill me.)
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R E H / E H S - N N U D AI L U J
I'M CALLING IT ___? Doing it, fucking, the deed, the dirty, say it like it is -
CW: SEX & STRONG LANGUAGE
SEX! Why does one miniscule, tiny wee word make so many of us cringe? Why does this unspeakable thing
Films glorify it, musicians are always singing about
force our grannies to smack our bums if we say it in
getting some, and most books have steamy parts.
front of them, whether we’re a cheeky 10-year-old or a
There’s no getting away from it. Notably, this external
mother of 40 with 4 kids? Most of us have done it, most
pressure from media, cinema and so on can actually
skew our perception of sex and influence how we speak
embarrassment and, dare I say, sense of shame
about the act. In fact, our vision can become so skewed
attached to this word seems ridiculous. Like it, love it,
that this can actually endanger us.
hate it, loathe it, there’s no denying the importance of sex when it comes to our continuation as a species. Till
How many of us were fed silly names for our “private
the day when a stork flies out the sky carrying a wee
parts” growing up? I think you’ll find it’s yet to be
screaming bundle of joy, we’ll need to keep having and
scientifically proven that a flower grows between a
talking about sex.
woman’s legs, and last time I checked, “Willy” is short for William or the first name of everyone’s favourite
R E H/ E H S - K O O C H T E B
I’m forever lucky and grateful to have been raised by
fictional chocolatier. We are constantly encouraged to
parents who don’t shy away from tricky topics. My
grow and to learn about what we like and don’t like,
questions were always answered honestly, unlucky for
what we want and who we are. Why should our
my mum as I was a very inquisitive child. Having a
relationship with sex and our individual expression of
liberal upbringing has left me with less of a sense of
sexuality not be encouraged as a natural part of
shame when it comes to thinking and talking about
growing up? I challenge you to open discussions
around sex, using all the proper words of course.
Unfortunately, that’s not the case for everyone.
And, if you ask me, this shying away from sex is rather ironic, because look around you; our culture is made of sex!
A spade’s a spade. Sex is sex. Say it like it is.
I S S U E
I’m starting to think my dissertation supervisor hates
I always made the deadline by the skin of my teeth. I
always scraped a B or a C on the essay I worked on all
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night. I always got good grades for participation. I was I’m a ghost to him. I’m a chaotic, absent ghost. I blink
raised by parents who could be described as strict at
out of his Zoom seminars as my Wi-Fi cuts out for the
best and tyrannical at worst. The chaos that came with
tenth time that day. I stammer through any answers to
my life at university was a breath of fresh air after a
his questions. I preface everything with phrases like
lifetime of trying so hard to be perfect.
“I’m so sorry. I didn’t quite catch that. My wifi just went out again.” Or, “Can you hear me now?” I didn’t email
I don’t think I’m handling this chaos well at all.
him for months. I’m not even sure why. Maybe it’s because those months felt like days to me. Maybe it’s
My hair is less windblown now. My eyeliner doesn’t
because there just didn’t seem to be a point to
smudge from the rain on my way to class. The new Doc
emailing him when everything was so disastrous.
Martens I got for my birthday a few months ago are far
Maybe it's because I’m just not the same kind of
less scuffed than my last pair ever were. There are no
student I was in the earlier months of this year.
long, wasted hours in the pub. There are no late nights online classes had worn off by the second week of the
would be right now if things were the way they were
semester. It turns out that I hate this new chaos. It
before. Before, I would race out of the subway in the
turns out that I actually hate the feeling of laziness that
mornings, music blaring in my cheap headphones and
comes with a destroyed routine. It turns out that I hate
Doc Martens stomping a steady rhythm along the
not being able to chat to people after class. It turns out
pavement. My eyeliner would slowly smudge if it were
that I hate perfectly done eyeliner and unscuffed Doc
raining. My windblown hair would bounce free from
Martens and hair that doesn’t try to escape from bobby
bobby pins and hair ties. My boots would crunch leaves
pins and hair ties as I’m racing out of a stuffy,
underfoot if it were dry. I’d burst into class, hands
overcrowded subway. I don’t have my shit together at
burning around the overpriced latte that made me late
all anymore. This article itself is a week late. My
in the first place. I’d whisper out a quick, apologetic
dissertation supervisor is still anxiously awaiting a
“Sorry I’m late” before taking a seat next to whoever
response to his emails. The pretty, pastel highlighters I
seemed to be the most organised that day.
bought before my exams last semester sit unused in a corner of my childhood bedroom.
I’ve always been chaotic. I’ve always had messy hair and smudged eyeliner. I’ve always had an overpriced
I’m starting to wonder if I’ll ever race out of Hillhead
latte in my hand and scuffed Doc Martens on my feet.
subway station on my way to a class that started 10
It was a good kind of chaotic. It was late nights and
minutes ago again. I never thought that scenario
daydreams. It was skipping class to go to the pub. It
would ever be a recurring daydream. I never, ever
was booking last minute plane tickets that I couldn’t
realistically afford just because Ryanair had a sale on
mundane as a Monday morning seminar. My old
and SAAS had just pulled me out of my overdraft. I
routine was chaotic and disorganised, but it was mine.
didn’t mind the chaos. I liked being the impulsive,
I made it work. I know I’ll eventually find a way to
messy foil to my perfectionist friends. I always got my
adapt to his new chaotic, disorganised routine
shit together in the end anyway.
R E H/ E H S - Y A L C R A B A S I U L
with friends. There are no plane tickets. The novelty of Sometimes, I daydream about the kind of student I
Q M U N I C A T E
LETTER TO MY YOUNGER SELF Dear Jade, I’m looking at you, Fresher. From my point in your future, I don’t think we could have imagined where we are now. Aside from the obvious personality, relationship, and mental health changes, we’ve been isolating for 10 days because of a global pandemic. I’m writing to let you know, however, that we’re in a better place now than we have been in years. We’re much happier and less stressed – you, you little neurotic idiot, tracked every penny you spent in a notepad. You also despised alcohol, didn’t exercise, and you changed your degree because you were too scared of doing a year abroad. Fourth year Jade — me — just spent £200 as a helper in Freshers’ Week: mostly on bev (which I’m not saying is a viable life strategy). I’m on a sports committee. I have a newfound love for two-hour-long walks. I’m on track for a first. And I’ve got an internship sorted for next summer in Boston. If this were a T.V. sitcom, the character development from series one to four would be so unbelievable that the writers would be fired. It’s just not realistic. But hey, I promise you, things change. Even if the result is a person you don't think you'd ever become. I can’t really give you any advice or ask you to do things differently. I
R E H/ E H S - S R E M I A E D A J
couldn’t have told you to go out more – you’d hate it. I can’t tell you to relax— you’re anxious. I’ve come to terms with the fact that my first two years of Uni were spent depressed, refusing to go out, sweating over every penny I spent. I must come to terms with it. That was me. I can’t beat myself up asking you to do anything differently. If I was to give you some advice – which really means reflecting on something I regret – you should probably go to Croatia with your mates at the end of second year. You don’t need to work that badly. It would have been fun. This letter is just to let you know that I’m happy. I’m so vibrantly, stupidly happy. In isolation, all I can dream about is having a pint with mates you haven’t met yet, and won’t, for a few years. I’m gagging for a 10k walk. Then more pints. I know. Doesn’t sound like you, does it? Rest easy Jade. Catch you in the pandemic.
I S S U E
It is so h
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A IS C HA
T ER Y -
S H E /H E
R E H/ E H S - O H L E O C A R A M A
JULIA DUNN - SHE/HER
Q M U N I C A T E
HAPPINESS IS OF HAPPINESS
SOPHIA ARCHONTIS - SHE/HER Memory is subjective. That phrase is thrown around a lot, but what does it actually mean? As Ed Yong mentions
Remembered, They Can Be Rewritten', “[e]very time we bring back an old memory, we run the risk of changing it.” Every time you remember memories they become slightly rewired and, as a result, every time you think of something that previously occurred – either that you did, or that happened to you, or that you were a part of – that experience is filtered through your current mood. As a result, it can be said that memories are malleable. To bring happiness into the picture, how many times have you realised you were happy only in retrospect? Hyman, in her essay, 'Happiness and Memory: Some Sociological Reflections', introduces the idea that people “articulate and make sense of their happiness through reflection on past memories”. Understanding of one’s experience takes place in the future. The living-
Remembering is a process of interpretation and, if to
self that is experiencing the narrative through a
remember is also to construct, then memory is the
“succession of moments” (Kahneman) is not the
thread that binds experiences into a life. The ways in
memory-self that is writing the narrative. As a result,
which we remember are intimately connected to the
happiness and memory become interrelated. To live, to
ways in which we fabricate our own selves, and so we
exist, is to construct narratives which in the future you
shift our narrative and rewrite our own stories using
will be able to reflect upon in order to decide whether
memory in order to better support the idea we have of
or not you were happy then.
This gives happiness a temporal dimension: to be
The performance of living is thus filtered through the
happy, to remember, and to remember to be happy
transcript of our memories: we are constructed selves
exist within the frameworks of time itself. It is difficult,
and idea-beings. This is just to say that our memories
when you are happy, to think “I am happy now”, as you
are essential to who and how we are, and if I am happy
are living through a series of experience-moments.
is in fact I remember that I have been happy, or I realise
Thus, happiness felt in the past manifests itself in the
that I am happy, then memory and happiness are two
present, and vice versa – happiness felt in the past can
essential sides of the same coin.
be overwritten by negative emotions felt in the future.
R E H / E H S - E C U R B EI S O R 1 4
Thus, as Hyman argues, reconnecting with the past can
If memory is subjective, then, the relationship between
be regarded as a ‘technology of the self’ – a technique
memory and truth is slippery. If happiness can be found
that people often use on themselves, their own minds,
through being objective about our experience (and,
in order to allow themselves to feel happier in the
thus, virtuous in the way that we seek the truth rather
present and feel happier about the past.
than the narrative) then perhaps, the relationship between memory and happiness is tenuous. But if the lives we lead and the relationships we have – and, most importantly, the relationship we have with ourselves – is often based on a sort of wilful self-deception, then maybe the relationship between memory, happiness, and subjectivity, is crucial.
I S S U E
CHRIS TIMMINS - HE/HIM
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POPPY NAOMI - SHE/THEY
Q M U N I C A T E
BEA CRAWFORD - SHE/HER The
since my first reading of Pride and Prejudice at age 12:
universality: how it could still resonate so profoundly
“What are men to rocks and mountains?” It resides in
with this eighteen-year-old Scottish university student,
my phone’s Notes app under a collection entitled “Lines
over two centuries years after it was originally written.
That Haunt Me”, which is reserved solely for those
Perhaps everyone, or very nearly everyone, has felt that
quotes that you find yourself repeating in your head at
feeling Austen described, even if they’re unable to
specific moments. I peel an orange and I think of
phrase it so nicely: that feeling of looking out over the
Wendy Cope’s poem ‘The Orange’; I feel my own
landscape, maybe atop of a big hill, camping under the
heartbeat and I envision the famous line in Sylvia
pitch-black sky or sitting on a bench overlooking a loch,
Plath’s The Bell Jar (“I listened to the old brag of my
and feeling so incredibly small. In one moment, you
heart: I am, I am, I am”). I stand silently under the night
realise the scope of the universal; how inconceivably
sky or on top of a Munro and I think: “What are men to
colossal and ancient the world is. You realise that these
rocks and mountains?”
trees and hills and stars have been here long before you, and will be here long after.
At the beginning of September, my family and I went on our first “holiday” since COVID struck: a five-day stay
There is, of course, a subjectivity to this universal
at a relative’s caravan in the Highlands that has become
sensation - some will indubitably find this sense of
a favourite spot of ours over the past few years. The
insignificance distressing. But, sitting on that bench on
little village sits at the head of a loch, and is surrounded
that chilly September morning, all I could feel was a
on all sides by mountains that dwarf everything in
calming sensation running through my bones. There,
sight. It’s the kind of place that feels completely, and
lying beneath the surface, was some shred of a
wonderfully, isolated from everything: it’s accessible by
connection to the surrounding world; I simultaneously
only one road, and it’s a two-hour drive from Glasgow
realised and came to terms with the fact that I was
or, alternatively, two trains and a ferry.
merely a tiny cog in a much larger machine. For a single instant
evaporated, like a weight being lifted off of my R E H / E H S - S E L O H C S Y E N TI W Y M A 1 6
shoulders, and my momentary connection to the wider world dominated every worry I had about university, or my personal life, or all of the expectations I felt were weighing me down at the start of a new academic year. Because, at the end of the day, what are we, as humans, compared to nature? The answer, whether we like it or On my last day there, I explored the village for an hour
not, is nothing - or, at least, very little. With this fact
or so, armed with my camera and a notebook, walking
along the little pathways and marvelling at the
inconsequentiality. Or, perhaps more optimistically, we
mountains that climbed up far beyond the tops of the
can find a sense of comfort in the idea that we are just
houses. Once I had exhausted every inch of the few
specks in the eye of the world; our “end of the world”
winding streets, I settled down on a bench overlooking
problems are trivial in the face of the universe. So, the
the loch, in the shadow of the hills. The other side of the
next time you feel bogged down by the stresses of
loch was virtually a mirror image of mine; rows of
everyday life, find your nearest hill overlooking the city,
caravans and little houses dwarfed by Herculean
or a loch, or the greenery of the Scottish countryside.
mountains. Looking over it all from a distance, that old
And stop. Just for one moment, it seems that simply to
phrase popped unexpectedly into my head: “What are
exist, in Earth’s expanse of trees and hills and buildings
men to rocks and mountains?”
and stars, is a miracle in its own right.
R E H / E H S - R E G N A R G H M AI N
There’s a Jane Austen quote that has stuck with me
I S S U E
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Date: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Property Address: _________________________________________________________________________________________ New Tenant(s): ___________________________________________________________________________________________ Landlord: ________________________________________________________________________________________________ Landlord agrees to house tenant(s) for the to the leased period of _______ to _______ for the property identified above. Landlord has provided new tenant(s) with the results of a recent DBS Criminal Record Check before the Lease Agreement was signed. Landlord has read the Lease Agreement and all other documents pertaining to the leasing of the property to new tenant(s) and agrees to fully adhere to all rules and regulations therein. LANDLORD MUST ANSWER ALL OF THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS:
R E H/ E H S - Y R E T H G U A D A H C S I A
Where were you born? Can you provide tenant(s) with a scanned copy of your passport? ____________________________ Do you have children? _____________________________________________________________________________________ Do you have a job? ________________________________________________________________________________________ What do you do, then?_____________________________________________________________________________________ Why did you become a landlord? Do you enjoy what you do? Are you serious about it? ______________________________ Why are you looking for a new tenant(s)? _____________________________________________________________________ What is your monthly income? Could it keep tenant(s) alive five times over per month? _____________________________ Can you provide tenant(s) with bank statements for the past three months? How much tax do you pay? Do you have an offshore savings account? __________________________________________________________________________________ How many times have you kept a previous tenant’s security deposit? ____________________________________________ How many units do you own? Why Glasgow? _________________________________________________________________ What is your employment history? __________________________________________________________________________ Do you think you had any kind of an advantage in being offered and maintaining jobs? _____________________________ Where did you go to school? _______________________________________________________________________________ What are your thoughts on public health and safety? __________________________________________________________ Do you consider yourself to be a caring person? Do you have an opinion on what homeless people spend their money on? _____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Have you ever filed for bankruptcy? How would your finances be impacted if there was another national lockdown? _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ What is your average response time to maintenance issues raised by current tenant(s)? _____________________________ What is your address? Have you ever been scared walking home? Had to change your locks? ________________________ Do you smoke? Have you ever seen a mouse? _________________________________________________________________ Do you believe that three meals a day and a mobile phone are essential to a person’s survival in today’s climate? _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Do you eat three meals a day and use a mobile phone? Is this essential to your survival? _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Have you ever been convicted of a crime? ____________________________________________________________________ Do you like women? Do you like violence? Do you wear a poppy? Do you consider yourself to be Scottish or British? ____ _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Who did you vote for in December of last year? Do you consider that a crime? _____________________________________ Have you visited Dubai recently? Japan? How many holidays do you go on per year? _______________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Would you lose sleep over hurting a stranger? ________________________________________________________________ Do you donate to any charities? Do you care about single mothers? Queer kids? Migrants? __________________________ Where were you on 19th June this year? ______________________________________________________________________ How do you feel about gentrification? _______________________________________________________________________ How do you feel about J.K. Rowling? ________________________________________________________________________ How often do you sit in your lounge with the big light on? ______________________________________________________ Would you house an individual(s) who receives Government benefits? ___________________________________________ How much space do you have in your fridge? How often do you replace your fridge? _______________________________ Do you believe that free time is essential for a happy existence? _________________________________________________ Do you like the police? Have you ever called them on a previous tenant(s)? What were the circumstances? _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Did you evict the tenant(s) on this occasion? Can you confirm that you won’t evict new tenant(s) in the next three years? _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ How many tenants have you evicted? ________________________________________________________________________ Did they look/love like new tenant(s)? What did they look/love like? ______________________________________________ How close are you to being a billionaire? _____________________________________________________________________ How close are you to being in poverty? _______________________________________________________________________ Do you trust the government? ______________________________________________________________________________ How do you feel about unions? _____________________________________________________________________________ Can you provide references from previous tenant(s)? ___________________________________________________________
For a lot of people who helped me find answers, the matter was essentially economic. My mother, after pondering on the question for a while, declared that the moment when she had to pay her first bills, was when she felt like a real adult: she was independent not only in spirit but also financially. A friend who went to study abroad told me that when the responsibilities started to pile up (like paying with your own credit card
and doing the weekly trip to the supermarket) was when she started to acknowledge that she was an adult. Additionally, a few Twitter acquaintances told me that having to work while studying to be able to afford new things like a computer, a small vacation or a
EVA LOPEZ-LOPEZ - SHE/HER
driving licence was also a breakthrough.
Taylor Swift sings “Our coming of age has come and
Being an adult (apparently) also means that you can
gone” in her song ‘peace’. And I believe she is right.
literally have the world at your feet: for example, you
There is a moment when we realise that we are well
can take a plane to wherever you want without anyone
past our youthful days. But what exactly marks that
stopping you. One of my friends had this thought when
moment? And is it a singular instant that forges the
visiting a town not even 200 km from her hometown: “I
transition into adulthood or is it more of a process? I
could also go even as far as Japan, because I’m an adult
have tried to get some answers: I have asked many of
now and I don’t need my parents’ permission anymore”.
my Internet friends, because, after all, I am still a 19-
Another friend had an identical revelation: “I travelled
year- old and I can’t consider myself an adult without
with a friend to Finland after buying some plane tickets
stifling a small laugh in the bottom of my throat.
on an impulse and I thought: I’m independent now”.
Some of them have mentioned that they had stopped
An answer that I found especially enlightening was this
feeling portrayed by media. A friend told me: “I think I
one: a girl told me that she was very conscious that her
realised the other day, reading a book where the
life now depended on how she organised her time and
protagonists were 16 years old, that they were having
her day-to-day actions. Similarly, my father told me
teenager-like experiences, something I hadn’t done to
something along those lines: there was a moment
the fullest and which I will never get to experience now
when he suddenly realised that his actions had a
that I am 20-years-old”. Another friend told me: “I was
considerable impact on other people because of the
watching this movie (Dating Amber) and I got suddenly
interpersonal and work relations that we all come to
very sad because I realised that they are teenagers, and
have. Likewise, a guy my age realised that he could
I am not one anymore. I’m no longer the responsibility
choose to do whatever he wanted with his life for the
of anyone: I am completely alone”. These statements
next few years when he retook for the third time the
ring true to me, but at the same time I couldn’t help
exams to access the Medicine degree in University. And,
but try to dig deeper, what other things are the real
frankly, I liked all of these answers, which paint us as
stepping stone into being an adult?
the captains of our lives and our destinies.
Starting to do alone something that you used to do
Basically, observing how time passes is also a moment
with your parents or family was also a very common
of “coming of age”. A girl confessed that watching how
answer. Taking the first passport photo, completing the
her family was growing older made her feel older as
University’s paperwork, creating a loyalty card in your
well: seeing time go by on others makes you reflect on
how this time isn’t lenient on yourself either. For many,
psychologist or gynaecologist on your own. Likewise,
the end of high school years and the beginning of
learning to cook and making food for yourself is a part
university is what marks the difference from the
of survival, but also growing up, some of my friends
teenage rebellion stage and the “I guess now I’m an
As far as I’m concerned, although I feel like I’m still
themselves that I want (I’m 20, I don’t want to get
faking adulthood, I first started realising that I’ve
married any time soon thanks), those friends have
become a grown up when I got sick in my first year of
moved on. When we used to make a small community
University. I was living with eleven other people in a
of idiots floundering our way through life, they seem to
UofG residence, but I still felt very alone. I had to wake
be leaving me behind, making drowning in capitalist
up extremely early to call my GP and then walked in
grind culture hellscape a little lonelier.
the early hours of the morning to get some antibiotics. I had to shop for basic food and texted a few of my
Of course, this is all an anxious babble — I know for a
friends for things that I forgot. I called my parents more
fact none of those people feel any surer of themselves
than I had in the past weeks. It was hell. But I survived.
than I do, and there will surely be others that look to me and feel the same. In fact, it seems to be a fairly
HOW TO GOOD
common experience for people our age — perhaps due to the fact that we now have a constant (digital) IV drip of everyone else’s achievements in the form of social media, but no such IV drip for our own. And yet, this
GOOSE MASONDO - THEY/THEM
particular anxiety functions thanks to a deadline — the
Last week, I spent a good two hours sorting out my
unnerved by the achievements of people my dad’s age;
invoices. Over the past two years or so I’ve been doing
I’m unnerved by some guy I knew in middle school
freelance work here and there, and have racked up a
graduating Columbia a year early and getting an
hefty number of invoices that are scattered around
internship at the UN.
age of 25 for some, 30 for others. I’m not necessarily
different folders in my computer with zero organisation (sorry to any freelancers out there that just shuddered).
Up until uni, there were significant social and cultural
With every invoice I dated and dragged into the folder I
barriers between us and adults and we’ve clinged to
had labelled “ONGOING”, a shadow of a smile crossed
those barriers desperately. Even after turning eighteen,
my face, dreaming of the day I would move it into the
we’re convinced that there’s a difference between us
folder labelled “PAID”. With every invoice that went into
and “real” adults, who have their shit together and act
“PAID”, I revelled in the things I had accomplished,
responsible and have already carved out the path
excited by the blank space left behind. As I sat in a new
they’re going to pursue for the rest of their lives. But
Byres Road cafe drinking my oat flat white, I wondered;
now, the lines between being a child and a grown-up
is this it? Have I made it? Is this what it means to be an
are porous. As we’re pulled into this new realm, we
search for guidelines, some sort of instructional book. Not because we’re “snowflakes” or need everything
I certainly didn’t feel like one. Just the day before I had
handed to us, but because the world and its
played Hades until 3am (which, by the way, kicks ass).
machinations have changed drastically since our
That morning, I had leftover pasta and cheese for
parents were our age, and any guidance they have
breakfast. I’ve been putting off fixing my bedframe after
given or would be able to give is dated to the point of
one of the screws came loose for about two weeks. I’ve
been putting off fixing the shelves in my cupboard-which have been broken since I moved in. Up until that
Instead, we look to the “real” adults in our lives — an
afternoon, I had had two years’ worth of invoices spread
older co-worker, a uni friend that’s since graduated or a
throughout my computer, and those invoices were for a
family friend you haven’t seen in years and didn’t realise
whole range of different jobs; acting gigs, light teching,
was your age — and ask how we can be more like them.
tutoring. I’m in my last year of uni and I still have no
The truth is, they’re on the same boat as us, only looking
clue where I want to go afterwards, or where I should
at someone more successful and asking how they can
be going, or if I even have a chance of going anywhere
be more like them. And there isn’t really a good answer
— hard work is only a fraction of the equation. I know that I wouldn’t have gotten any of the things I have if it
Even worse, friends a few years ahead of me seem to
hadn’t been for an immense amount of luck. And that’s
have life figured out. Some have bought their own
just it. Some people get lucky early. Some people get
house, some have gotten married, some are moving
lucky later. That’s all. We’re gonna be okay eventually.
countries for work. And while it’s not the achievements
Q M U N I C A T E
THIS IS THE WHOLE STORY OF THE FURBIES: CW: DEATH
MALCOLM TW KANE - HE/HIM EMILIA RUBENSSON - SHE/HER
I had your funeral at 10am.
baby, sobbing right from my gut up through my lungs to my shoulders and out my face, from there until I
The stream buffered so hard I lost the chance to put
passed the same house on my way back.
the final details of how you died in chronological order.
The dog ran away by not following me. I chased him and held him by the collar. I listened to the same song
The stream cut out entirely around 10.43.
over and over and over again. I listened to it at 9.46am
At 11.22 I realised I don't know how to know that your
today. I didn't steal the lion backpack in case it had
funeral is over,
belonged to a child that was now dead.
or if it will ever end. I went back to work.
When I rescued the tiger ears, they belonged to a McDonald's Happy Meal novelty mini-Furby from the
Everyone else in the house at the time had an
year 2000, on top of a pile of other Furbies.
interconnected (but unrelated) meltdown. That is the story of The Furbies. When I tell it to people, I watched the Louis Theroux documentary about Joe
I will try and make it a Fun Anecdote.
Exotic with my partner. They like tigers. It was sad but we laughed at it a lot. I felt fine. I felt like I couldn't
A stranger told me a fun anecdote you'd told them, in
your Zoom memorial group chat, after your funeral.
I went for a walk to be cold in the night air. Everyone
They don't know me, so they didn't know it was a story
had put out piles of trash objects in cardboard boxes. I
felt like a secret night ritual of the local area was happening and I was interrupting. I saw tiger ears sticking out of a box and thought - I'll rescue that on my way home. I saw a pile of children's things outside a house where me and my partner overheard a screaming argument had stopped and Not discussed if we ought to do something (could we do anything, outside a house?) I walked past the pile of things and thought about dead children and couldn't stop wondering if the child in that house was dead. I checked my phone at 10.45pm and saw that my new colleagueâ€™s baby had been born at 4.39pm. I sobbed uncontrollably in batches, like a
R E H / E H S - NI K R A L R E B M A
and a baby crying, so bad (the crying so panicked) we
I S S U E
ALBUM REVIEW: ID NIAMH MACPHAIL - SHE/HER
Following the glowing success of 2018’s Joy as an Act
By the second half of the album, it feels like IDLES have
of Resistance, the band’s latest offering grew into one
lost sight of whatever vision they are trying to share
of the most highly anticipated rock albums of 2020.
with us. Simply put: by the conclusion of the
Having overcome the ‘cursed’ sophomore record - and
forgettable ninth track, I’m bored. While the content of
off the back of one of the most politically charged
these tracks remains relevant, in light of recent media
years in recent memory - there seemed to be no reason
faux pas and a generally unfocused ethos throughout
to doubt IDLES’s trademark anecdotal renderings of
the album, something rings slightly hollow in these
social issues through the lens of their *neu-post-post-
“IDLES-by-numbers” messages. They also highlight
punk* anthems. And we were right not to worry.
lyrical clumsiness elsewhere in the record, with a questionable
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Motivator’, and an alienating anger in the sixth track, which directs its vitriol wholly at those living in the
Ultra Mono is a masterclass in defiance. Throughout the
“Model Village” without really addressing the structures
42 minutes (as per all their studio albums) we are made
that enable these discriminatory pockets.
privy to a band that is as politically resolute as ever – vocally championing the oppressed whilst snarling
It’s a genuine shame, because sonically, Ultra Mono
smugly at their dissenters. The record finds its bearings
offers some of the band’s most interesting work to date,
in the leftist themes that IDLES are so comfortable with
and it is truly unfortunate that what could have been
by this point: ‘Carcinogenic’ demonstrates the politically
their strongest studio album is muddled by these
endorsed “cancer” of income equality; ‘Anxiety’ offers a
pacing issues and occasional rhetorical blunders. These
frank depiction of mental illness; and ‘Ne Touche Pas
are, of course, the dangers that come with the self-
Moi’ (elevated by the inimitable Jehnny Beth) poses a
awareness brought on by a third record, and when
scathingly direct denunciation of misogyny, and sexual
IDLES stop thinking about what IDLES should be, they
assault at gigs more specifically.
strike gold. The penultimate track of Ultra Mono, ‘A Hymn’, is a haunting exploration of the mundane
The album is further aided by some of the band’s most
sprawl as Talbot desperately broods over the refrain of
sonically brilliant moments thus far, bolstered by its all-
“We made it / Shame”. ‘A Hymn’ brings a melancholic
poignancy to the album as we see vignette flashes of
musicians. Ultra Mono boasts particular strength in its
humdrum town life, that poetically come together to
low end, with an expansive – almost cinematic – sound,
convey feeling, rather than the band’s trademark
and glowering bass that acts as a vital anchor for
“sloganeering”. This poignancy is carried through into
melodies throughout the track list. The tightness
the tender lyricism of ‘Danke’, the outro of which
granted to the drums and rhythm on this album is
matches ‘War’’s intro in terms of sheer stimulated
another welcome maturation of the band’s prior sound.
brilliance (and it is indeed these bookends that redeem
Jon Beavis is (as always) a powerhouse, and the
Ultra Mono, for all its sins).
outrageously precise intro to the onomatopoeic War exemplifies his and the band’s full capabilities. The
While the execution of this album is less than perfect, in
rhythmic pacing of the album’s A-side is generally a
a year that has been defined by political turbulence,
triumph: the band pendulums between tempos with
escalated police violence, and an alarming trend of
ease, and tracks like the funky Grounds act as a perfect
individualist responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, its
foil for ‘Kill Them With Kindness’’s gorgeously unhurried
central message of unity remains pertinent. When we
piano solo, before its transition into an erratic, urgent
cannot rely on the government, we have to rely on each
romp (akin to XTC’s ‘No Thugs In Our House’). And it is
other, and if we can “be the house that allows [others]
elements like these that make Ultra Mono’s later
to fail”, maybe we’ll make it through 2020 after all.
undoing all the more surprising.
Q M U N I C A T E
Gus Dapperton and his achingly trendy bowl-cut’s second album, Orca, follows his 2019 debut Where Polly People Go To Read, which earned him a European cult following, as well as his vocal feature on BENEE’s track ‘Supalonely’, a wildly successful TikTok earworm which was catapulted to the top-end of the charts earlier this year. Gus has already earned himself a reputation as the frontman of sad-boy bedroom grooves with his previous self-produced collection of lo-fi and effortless alt-pop, but Orca is a demonstration of something more personally exposing and introspective. Although arguably the steady up-and-down of the
xylophone on ‘My Say So’ verge on tedious, and Chela’s guest vocals seem out of place and almost intrusive – perhaps because Gus is so established as a one-man production machine. However, it is really his lyrics that set it apart from his
R E H/ E H S - T T O C S A L S I
- NOTREPPAD :WEIVER MUBLA
earlier album: there is a raw vulnerability to his song writing. The album was written during and directly after touring with his first album and the extreme high lows he experienced around that time. Gus tells us he’ll be releasing his bottled up emotions in the aptly named opening track ‘Bottle Opener’, singing “I don’t know if I’ll last until tomorrow, it’s such an arduous task to always bottle it up”. The overarching theme is healing, made clear in the song titles ‘First Aid’, ‘Medicine’ and ‘Antidote’. ‘First Aid’ is a song about feeling in a rut, feeling despair and trying to make out signs of light, he sings “Sorry ‘bout my head, it’s in space, I’m still learning how to pace, I’m too atheist to pray for my life.” A lot of his song writing on this album is about finding this kind of hope or solace, particularly LUISA HAHN - SHE/HER
in friends and family who can help you to heal. ‘Medicine’ is about that process of healing and
In a recent interview he listed Hatful of Hollow as a
favourite album and at times that influence of The
comparing himself in his youth to himself now, and the
Smiths makes itself known – the jangly, upbeat and
feelings of resentment that brings up – soul-searching
poppy guitar licks contrast with the darker content of
and poetic lyrics which are accompanied by hypnotic
the vocals. On ‘Post Humourous’, the second single from
and upbeat piano and bassy guitar.
the album, upbeat chords and melodies blend to form
one of the immeasurably captivating hooks of the
Orca disguises melancholy lyrics with layers of growling
vocals and upbeat melodies, showcasing the sound
howling vocals sing about pessimism and losing faith
rather than the content, but effortlessly giving the
after childhood experiences of death. The song builds
listener an insight into Gus’s newfound vulnerability
to a beautifully nihilistic chorus that you can’t help but
and honesty. He uses his uniquely floral lyrics to address
want to dance to. The crashing drums and guitar on
our shared anxieties in a way that’s relatable and turns
‘Grim’ elevate the simplistic lyrics, and the hypnotic
them into these infectious songs. Gus is asking us to
rhythm of ‘Palms’ is the backdrop to his new
dance with him – and who could turn down an offer
experimentation with reverb and catchy guitar.
I S S U E
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THE FORGOTTEN SHALL CW: PRISON SYSTEM Jill Brown, a soul singer and former TV presenter, launched her own media/PR consultancy in 2007, as a way to pursue music. One of her passions is making live music broadly accessible to those who live on the fringes of society: the
It is even based locally and nationally. Even when they are
prison inmates, the homeless, or those struggling with
out of sight, these parasites are still contributing to the
system. And even better for them: they will do it quietly and without an option to back out of their (prison) jobs.
One of her latest projects originated after conducting a few song-writing workshops in HM Prison Barlinnie (the biggest
We know who is seen as a parasite by the system: the
prison in Scotland) earlier this year, just before lockdown.
homeless, the mentally ill, the drug addicts and, especially:
This experience unchained the idea to set up Criminal
the poor, the working class, the dispossessed… But is it
Records, and as the name describes, it’s a musical label for
surprising that it coincides with the definition of the system
prison inmates. With the support of American music
of who criminals are? Pardon the joke but, as Pam Beesley
manager Eric McLellan (who has signed artists like The
from The Office would say “They’re the same picture”. At
Pretenders and Madonna), the label plans on recording and
least to the powerful ones.
releasing records with those who are still inside the prison system, something that worked for rappers such as 2Pac
From the beginnings of wage work, laws were set
and Lil Wayne. But for the moment, they will start working
asymmetrically towards employers and workers. Law
with ex-criminals once they are released from prison. Derek
enforcement, with crimes such as tax evasion from
McGill, governor of Barlinnie Prison has said “Jill has been
company CEOs is more lenient than with robbery to a local
working with us on a sessional basis to improve their
shop. And even if these powerful and affluent people are
musical skills, develop their performing skills and enhance
caught in the act, there is nothing a few thousands can’t fix.
other factors that will benefit them on release and help them desist from criminal activity. These other factors
What I’m trying to argue here is not an abstract defence of
include self-esteem, self-awareness, empathy and social
criminals or of crime. Simply, I believe people should not be
interaction. This has been a very positive partnership so far
labelled as inherently good or bad. We, as humans, are
and has been making a real difference.”
complex and ever changing. We evolve and shift our ways with experience and most probable many mishaps and
To understand why prisons need and welcome projects like
Criminal Records, we need to rethink why prisons exist in the first place. Revisiting Angela Davis’ work concerning the
The problem is not only that prisons work as smokescreens
prison industrial complex, we come to learn a few things…
for bigger unsolved problems — society turns its back to forget their adjective “criminal” even when they get out.
an increasing number of social problems…Maybe the saying
However, the problem is that prisons are seen as places of
“out of sight, out of mind” is not that far from the truth.
punishment, not rehabilitation. Although I do not believe
Prisons perform magic. But let’s not fool ourselves by
that rehabilitation is a completely successful project (so far),
thinking that prisons are the panacea to all these issues:
I must point out our hypocrisy as a society when we say
they just make “problematic” humans disappear. To
that we believe that anyone can change, but somehow we
don’t allow this statement to apply to prisoners.
homelessness, unemployment, and drug addiction vanish into thin air (or into prisons, if we’re being honest).
Do you believe in giving people second chances? Jill Brown does. And so many people should start to think likewise
Also, we must observe how the capitalist economic system
about this issue as well. We should give prison inmates a
is always on the lookout for cheap labor… And what is
second chance and give their music (and therefore their
cheaper than prison labor?
feelings) a listen.
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prison inmates as soon as they step in the prison and won’t Imprisonment has become the predetermined response to
Q M U N I C A T E
“Wake up, Y/N!” my mother yelled from the kitchen. I was going to be late for high school. I jumped out of bed and looked at myself at the mirror. Brown hair, blue eyes and the palest skin you have ever seen. I got dressed in some jeans and a sweater, I didn’t care much for fashion. Have I mentioned that I’m not popular or liked by any of the other girls of my high school? I get along with guys so much more, they almost see me like their sister. As I had my breakfast, I pondered on what a horrible day it was going to be: I had a Maths exam and then my worst class: History. And the worst thing was that I had Biology and I would have to sit down next to the proclaimed “bad boy” of my year: Zayn Malik. Ugh, Mondays. Sound familiar? If you had Wattpad during the 2010s you definitely have read a novel that starts like this. Although I have no complaints about the entertainment aspect (this type of novels surely occupied much of my free time), I do have to ask: why is this archetype of adolescent girl so repeated? Even as we move on to more mainstream literature, we encounter this girl time and again. Now, if you were an avid Wattpad reader like me, you probably progressed to (or picked up on the way) reading novels in the genre of Young Adult. Now what does this genre include? It is a vast genre since it contains all novels that are written for readers from 12 to 18 years of age. So, basically, any book targeted towards a teenager audience.
I have read all my life since I was five or six years old and during my teenage years (in which I still consider myself half-immersed) this love for books intensified. And this one-dimensional girl would appear to haunt me even in my sleep, encountering this type of character on each and every book that fell into my lap helped to create an unrealistic idea of what a woman, well, a girl of 16 would have to be: intelligent, but not too bright; beautiful but not gorgeous; naïve but not innocent; funny but not funnier than her male love-interest. Because there was always a male love-interest. And he himself would also be a walking stereotype, but thankfully for boys, these novels were not targeting them as the main readers. The teenage girl would also be boy-crazy, and this love and obsession would bring her to do crazy things: it would drive her life like it was its only purpose. Now, I’m not saying that love is not a legitimate preoccupation, but c’mon! We’re not as onedimensional as the rest of the world wants us to be, we have hopes and fears and aspirations that go much further than getting “the man of our dreams”. And who said it had to be a man? One of the sagas that I read from cover to cover was Twilight by Stephanie Meyer and I must confess, it is a really entertaining read. But the thing that most people complained about is that Bella Swan, the female protagonist, is too plain, too boring. She falls in love with Edward Cullen (and who could blame her?) and she suddenly wants to become a vampire, and that appears to be her one and only objective in life.
EVA LOPEZ-LOPEZ - SHE/HER
And she’s a teenager! Where are her aspirations and dreams? Do they suddenly turn to dust when she meets this handsome vampire? I would think not. As society advances past certain stereotypes that casually only apply to women (the hopeless romantic, the fool in love, etcetera) we want to see a development of characters in Young Adult fiction as well. I recently encountered this on the novel Tell Me How You Really Feel by Aminah Mae Safi, in which we meet Rachel Recht and Sana Khan who slowly fall for each other throughout the narrative. What I like about them is that, regardless of starting this relationship and being oblivious about it, they have ambitions and struggles of their own that don’t involve each other. With medical school and indiemovie festivals in mind, this novel paces through their lives and also their love affairs. They have to face their families and their high expectations and have to let go of their own mental barriers to get where they want to go. And its not heteronormative! The idea of who women are is very commonly linked to who the men in her life are. Women have been for centuries defined by this role, and ignored if they didn't fit this narrative. In literature we can observe the same thing, we were swept under the rug for so long. It’s time to change this: as we demand for representation across visual media (TV shows, movies, advertisement and so much more) we must not forget about who we are on paper.
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EXTRACTS FROM A FEMINIST’S SUBCONSCIOUS
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ROSIE BRUCE - SHE/HER
Crafted from a rib I was set up to be inferior from the beginning
I watched a documentary two nights ago about a cheating man who killed his pregnant wife and two daughters. They showed social media posts from women on Facebook saying that the wife pushed her husband to murder her because she was ‘controlling’ and a ‘narcissist’. I hope you got laid for bringing her down. I hope those two and a half minutes were worth it. And when you fail to cum on his limp dick, I hope you remember that other women aren’t the enemy. Dad said men don’t like women who try to be the man of the house I hit ‘send’ on the bank transfer to his account and smirk behind my glass of truth
He can live in whatever fantasies he wants because it is only women who rule this roost
He has a pretty handsome smile I like his eyes they are weary from the burden they hold hazel His voice is buried under the screams rough Hopefully he can write his woes secrets down I pray one day his voice peace is found It is very freeing manly to say what you think I promise I’m always listening
I only have crushes on Zoom because the boys are unavailable spatially SUSANNA ZARLI - SHE/HER
R E H. E H S - T A S A B N A A M E
R E H/ E H S - I L R A Z A N N A S U S
CW: SEX, MURDER & STRONG LANGUAGE
Q M U N I C A T E
CAN VIDEO GAMES COME UNDER ART HISTORY?
EVA LOPEZ-LOPEZ - SHE/HER
RHONA STEWART - SHE/HER When one is given the term “art history”, Rembrandt, Da Vinci, and Monet come to mind. Miyamoto, Nogami, and Iwatani do not. But why? Maybe that is because the creators behind Mario, Animal Crossing and Pac-Man, respectively, are not deemed credential enough. Not enough style and “artistic impression” to be ranked amongst some of the greatest painters of all time. But why?This debate was famously brought up by Roger Ebert who has taken the blunt of the argument in that video games cannot be considered art, a stance that has both been agreed upon and critiqued by those in the video game industry. The core of Ebert’s argument is that video games are, essentially, too low brow when compared to other art forms. If they are art at all, in his view, they are low art, not high art. In his 2010 response to his original argument Ebert stated “Let me just say that no video gamer now living will survive long enough to experience the medium as an art form”. But I’m afraid, Ebert, we already have. Much like paintings themselves, video games have seen a progression in their forms. The same way that cubism led to surrealism, the art and style of video games is one that has changed, and changed fast. In the golden age of video games, the appearance of
Even if they do not play and experience it in the same way
arcades increased globally. During this period of the 1980s
as when they were younger, the response to seeing the
consumers of video games had coin-operated cabinet
8bit cabinet arcade Mario of their childhood to his
boxes of 8bit Pac-Man and Donkey Kong they could play
improved HD appearance on a portable Switch screen is a
for a quarter in the USA. This was followed shortly by the
credit to its art. Yet, if one is to argue that this is simply
home console of the Atari 2600 in 1982 and the NES in
due to technical improvements, then the genre of video
1983. This is not even to include the earlier and less lauded
games can also let you see that this is an art form. When
version in the 1970s of the Magnavox Odyssey, the original
thinking of art history, the traditional mediums of art are
home console. Examining the 40-year period from then to
what are thought of, such as paintings and statues, yet
now, one cannot argue that there has not been the similar
these two mediums are not the sole types that are
progression in art style that there has been in ‘traditional’
studied. Photography, pottery and other handmade art is
included in studies. Therefore, mediums of art in the traditional sense, are akin to genres in video games. The
Assessing the graphics improvement alone is enough to
same style of graphics and gameplay are not being used
see that gamers have seen the medium grow as an art
in the social genre of Animal Crossing that are being used
form. The same gamers who were 14 in 1983 playing on an
in the action role-play genre of the Witcher and Fallout
NES would be 51 now, and gaming, as all art, has no age
series. Genre is a large part of what makes the video
games appreciated by some and not by others.
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This is what makes art art, in some sense. The genre, medium traditionally, draws in the player (viewer) to play (admire) and connect to the game (painting). And the two do not counteract each other. A more mature gamer can play and enjoy both PokĂŠmon and Fallout, and an art connoisseur can view and admire both Warhol and Michelangelo. Both the visual timeline and increase in genre can make the argument that video games can be regarded as art. Though the argument is not whether video games are art, even if Ebert argues they are not, but if they should be a part of art history. Their cultural impact alone proves they resonate with, and are appreciated by, a large audience showing that they are the period of art of the time. The Smithsonian in 2012 held an exhibit called â€œthe art of video gamesâ€? that showed the chronological progression of video games and what has been able to have been achieved. This exhibit itself proves the esteem video games are held to and why they should be included within the category of art history.
Video games have also been placed into other art forms with Ready Player One by Ernest Cline portraying a future where video games are a whole world in themselves. Similarly, the book series The Witcher was turned into the well-received video game series of the same name. This connection between the art forms and the cultural impact they have shown proves that video games have a place in the history of art. The love of video games has not died down since the consumption by new consoles, new games and a wider market has only made their appeal increase. This new art form is still evolving, but its impact onto our culture already shows that it tells the history of the moment. It is not just social and cultural history, but one that belongs to be in art history too.
R E H / E H S - N N U D AI L U J
golden age of video games in the 1980s. The increased
Q M U N I C A T E
I want to do something a little different in this column. The brief I took on in this column was to look at how we got where we are; to point to the stories we tell ourselves about the past, and how they shape the present. But of course, someone needs to be the first to tell a story, and sometimes you can hear it being written in real time. The narrative I’m talking about is the battle currently unfolding over how the 2020 US presidential election will be remembered. Increasingly, there are two parallel worlds emerging in America. In the first, Joe Biden won the election over a week ago. A combination of the unprecedented level of postal voting, and state officials’ general unpreparedness to deal with that fact, dragged the result out for four excruciating days. But eventually the news networks, falling like dominos, called the race for Biden, their various statistical models predicting an
It is not an argument meant to convince anyone who isn’t
already totally bought into the MAGA lifestyle brand.
Democrats, most Americans, and nearly all foreign governments.
My worry is that it doesn’t have to be. These sorts of narratives can radicalise people and corrode democracy,
But layered across that reality is a parallel dimension. It’s
even if no Biden voter ever believes them. To illustrate
easy to cross over into it if you check the right Twitter
that, let me tell you a story.
accounts, or watch the right TV. Here, the network calls
M I H/ E H - E P P A T - E C N I R P N A R A 2 8
are irrelevant, and the election is entering its third
Following the country’s declaration of independence from
agonising week. The official position of the Trump
Dutch colonial rule in 1945, Indonesian politics comprised
administration and its various media stooges is that
a delicate balancing act. The first president, Sukarno, had
Democrat-controlled city administrations orchestrated
to manage tensions between three competing factions:
widespread voter fraud to swing their states to Biden.
the military, political Islam, and the Communist Party
Numerous ongoing court cases show it’s all to play for.
(PKI). The PKI, a pro-democracy, reformist group, was
Biden’s win, therefore, is, or at least could be, as illusory as
never seriously invested in overthrowing the political or
Trump’s lead the morning after the election.
economic order of the country. And yet, the other factions were never fully reconciled to the PKI’s inclusion in
metastasizing. The truth is that the court cases have been
Sukarno’s political system, and tensions built throughout the 1960s.
stonewalled by a lack of any credible evidence of systemic voter fraud. Independent observers, both international
The flashpoint came in September 30th, 1965, when a pro-
organisations and the federal government, concluded the
Sukarno, militant faction captured and executed six top
race was free and fair. Republican state elections officials
Indonesian generals. The remaining army leadership,
have rejected the allegations. Of course, you can, if you
however, retaliated quickly: a coup was immediately
want, argue that this is proof that all these institutions are
initiated, with Sukarno remaining president in name only.
in on the conspiracy— but that’s a faith-based claim only
sustainable if you accept the prior assumption that there
government, acting on flimsy evidence, blamed the PKI
was fraud regardless of reliable, empirical evidence.
for the killings, and, with the consent and support of US
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CW: MASS KILLINGS & POLITICAL VIOLENCE
Communists, their sympathisers and ethnic minorities. The earth of Indonesian politics was scorched and salted. The PKI, once a robust, integral part of national public life, were annihilated in their entirety. But the myth lived on. The events of 1965 became essential to the new military dictatorship’s
been R E H / E H S - N N U D AI L U J
necessary, the propaganda assured citizens, because the leftists were traitors, forcing the military’s hand. I am not saying Donald Trump is going to stage a violent coup. That is the stuff of hysterical liberals on Twitter, stress-posting
illustrates, however, is how political movements radicalise into authoritarianism.
right to exhaust all legal options. It may be that Trump The belief that the other side are traitors, undermining
fades away, and American politics returns to its pre-2016
democracy, is a dangerous drug. If that’s the case, then
state: dysfunctional and often cruel, but fairly sedate
the normal rules of democratic politics no longer apply.
compared to the pitch of the last four years.
The other side’s opposition is suddenly inherently illegitimate, and you are permitted to pursue all kinds of
But what if, as there is every reason to suspect, Trump
anti-democratic actions in the name of, paradoxically,
doesn’t go away? He clearly finds the idea of leaving the
spotlight existentially horrifying, and nothing about his personality or career suggests he’ll ever concede the
For now, the situation appears relatively stable. The
election. In that scenario, it’s even easier to imagine that
Republican party is not yet willing to press the nuclear
the legend of “the stolen election of 2020” will live eternal,
button— having Republican-controlled legislatures in
as proof of the Democrats’ inherent treachery and
states that voted for Biden appoint pro-Trump members
of the electoral college. But the trend is not encouraging.
American right, will demand revenge, and facing pressure
The Republican party is already increasingly authoritarian
from a radicalised base, it will be ever harder for
in its language, far closer in outlook to Turkey’s AKP or
Republican politicians to resist pushing that nuclear
Hungary’s Fidesz than other centre-right parties like the
button, and simply reversing inconvenient election
UK Conservatives or Germany’s CDU. And Trump, still
wildly popular with Republican voters and with an enormous platform even in the dying days of his
Democracy rests on the principle that, as one Trump ally
presidency, is enthusiastically pushing the conspiracy and
put it, “sometimes you own the libs, sometimes the libs
refusing to concede.
own you.” If, to one team, losing an election becomes a priori proof of the other side’s villainy, there’s no telling
It’s possible to see all this dissipating. The traditional
what they’ll do. In 20 years, this analysis could read as
gatekeepers of the American right— Fox News and the
hysterical as Trump’s tweets. But someone will need to
majority of elected Republicans— are so far humouring
start telling a story of 2020 that contradicts Trump’s, and
Trump rather than aiding him, simply arguing he has a
PHOTOS BY ROSIE BRUCE - SHE/HER BACKGROUND BY ISABEL FERRARI - SHE/HER
Y E H T/ E H S - I M O A N Y P P O P
Issue 146 is qmunicate's autumnal issue for the year 2020/21.