‘Doon Done Good’ Heather Doon elected to NUS LGBT
Demise of the NHS?
JT White discusses the future of the NHS
The Volume 3 Issue 6 3rd June 2013 theheythroplion.co.uk
Daniel Tripp reviews Daft Punk’s New Album
University of London Union To Be Shut Down Daniel Tripp Editor-in-Chief The University of London Student’s Union, often referred to as ‘ULU’ is to be shut down following the recommendations of a ULU Review Group. The results of the review were laid out in a statement by ULU President Michael Chessum, where he wrote, ‘The position can be summarised as follows: The ULU building will be turned into a ‘Student Services Centre’ run by the University, probably with a similar staff cohort. There is proposed a creation of a London-wide union of students in HE to cover representation only, with affiliation fees drawn from Sus [Student Unions]. Small and specialist colleges’ unions will be encouraged to seek clubs and societies provision from local neighbouring ‘big’ Colleges; a small number of “elite and famous” clubs and societies will be allowed to continue, presumably under the remit of the new student services centre. New representative infrastructures will be created for the School of Advanced Study and the
International Programme. There is no mention of the London Student newspaper In a Report to the Collegiate Council the ULU Review Group outlined the main issue with ULU within the first point, that being, ‘The University of London Union was established in 1955 in an era when the central University directly funded its institutions, the student population of the largest College was around 2,900 (18 of the 30 Colleges or medical schools had under 500 students each), the population of the University as a whole was about 24,000, and inter-collegiate study, based on physical coming together into central shared teaching spaces, was commonplace. Almost invariably, students studied full-time in one of the Colleges, and most of them expected to live in inter-collegiate or, less commonly, Collegeprovided halls for at least two years of their undergraduate programme. It was a very different world and a very different student experience.’ It would seem therefore that the Review Group is citing the shear size of the University of London as the reason for a re-think. Continued on page 2:
The document also made refernce to the possiblity of an NUS London, similar to NUS Scotland, near the end of the document, stating, ‘The University should consider providing some small start-up funding
to support the free-standing panLondon organisation outlined by the ULU sabbatical officers, or the development of pan-London coordination within NUS.’ Heythrop Students’ Union Presi-
dent, Ashley Doolan, made a statement regarding the dissolution, outlinging the origin of the situation: ‘The Funding Review, which was due to take place in September 2014, was brought forward due to a
Best Bar None: Plans in place for a Bar Faye West Comment Editor At the last OGM (Organised General Meeting) held in November, Alex Hackett, the Vice President of The Heythrop Student Union, proposed a motion to install a full bar into the common room. The proposal was supported almost unanimously by the student body. Mr Hackett put the proposal before the Estates Committee, where it was approved, and settled that the finer points of the function and use of the bar are to be under jurisdiction of the Sen-
ior Leadership Team and The Heythrop Student’s Union. Since the approval of the proposal to install a bar, Heythrop College employed a team of archetects to suggest the best placement for a bar and to draw up the plans. Mock ups have been created which are to be circulated. The plan is also designed to facilitate the need for disabled access for the common room area. This will be executed by knocking through the back wall of the common room, merging the “Quiet room” and the common room. The access to the quiet room is suitable for disabilities, as the current entrance to the
common room is not. As a part of this design, the bar would be sited at the far back of the quiet room. The loss of the quiet study area would be redeemed by turning what is now the “societies room”, also known as the “other room” into study area and an alcohol-free communal area in the evenings. The current, but as of yet unconfirmed plan, is for AMB to run the working of the bar. The college is to set the price of beverages served, and to underwrite the cost if necessary. The aim is to give the bar a stable foundation. It is also the aim for students to be employed to work behind the bar, which is at the
base of this model. The Heythrop Students’ Union would work with both AMB and the college to decide what would be served, the opening hours, and other details which need to be agreed. This construction of the running of the bar is to allow for future members and executives of The Heythrop Students’ Union to review aspects of the bar proposal, which they may want to alter. An initial review would take place a year after construction. Alex Hackett, the Vice President and the member of the Union Executive who has successfully pushed through the proposal and facilitat-
ed it, told The Lion, “I am very happy to see this happen. I’m certain that the bar will provide so much to students, societies and events over the next year and beyond. The union owe a great debt of gratitude to Martin Grundy (college director of finance and estates) for his support in getting this proposal off the ground and being so receptive to the idea.” The Lion will be holding a competition over the summer to name the bar. Details will be published online, we urge you all to come up with the best name befitting a bar in situated in a philosophy college.
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ULU’s Future Bleak The document also made refernce to the possiblity of an NUS London, similar to NUS Scotland, near the end of the document, stating, ‘The University should consider providing some small start-up funding to support the free-standing panLondon organisation outlined by the ULU sabbatical officers, or the development of pan-London coordination within NUS.’ Heythrop Students’ Union President, Ashley Doolan, made a statement regarding the dissolution, outlinging the origin of the situation: ‘The Funding Review, which was due to take place in September 2014, was brought forward due to a direct plea to the Vice Chancellor of ULU from the outgoing Presi-
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dents of five of the constituent students’ unions (Queen Mary, Kings College, Central School of Speech and Drama, Royal Veterinary College and Heythrop) in June of 2012, to look into the strategic direction, governance and finances of the University of London Union. This letter called for a review of ULU’s “services, processes and governance” and so in response the Collegiate council mandated the Funding Review team to carry out this investigation.’ However, it was also noted the facilities at the Malet Street site will not be shut down, it is purely the representative structure that is to be removed. It has been noted that many individual students’ unions
as Kings College London and University College London are already big enough to stand without the need of the University of London Union, and provisions have been made for smaller colleges such as Heythrop so that they will not lose out on the decision. Furthermore, remarks were made about the fact that the University of London Union does not fully represent all the Higher Education and Further Education institutions in London, as it is only available to University of London Higher Education colleges. Action is being taken to protect the Union, and several demomstrations have taken place, but the future of ULU seems bleak at best.
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Heather Doon elected to NUS LGBT Position Faye West Culture Editor Heythrop’s Heather Doon has been elected to a position within the LGBT movement within the National Student’ Union.The position is campaigns-orientated, Ms Doon will be organising various campaigns and drives throughout her tenure, putting into action much of what she has started as President of the Heythrop LGBT society. Ms Doon will also be giving workshops and talks to student unions around the country and to different LGBT societies across the UK. Ms Doon outlined some of her aims as further exploring the intersectionality between woman’s issues and LGBT issues while continuing to work on her ongoing projects of faith and sexuality. The series talks of different faiths and their stance on sexuality which have taken place throughout the term were arranged and organised by Ms Doon and the LGBT society. The talks highlighted many conflicting issues which many people face trying to reconcile the teachings of their religion and the sexual identity which they may associate with. Ms Doon’s work often incorporates reaching out to those struggling with such issues.
Ms Doon was asked by The Lion if she had any advice to give anyone else who aspires to take a national position. She told us, “I’d advise anyone who’s aspiring for a national position to get involved in societies and in the union, even if you’re not elected into a specific role. There are loads of ways to pitch in with events (especially around fresher’s week!) and find out how things work. In doing so you’ll figure out what aspect of unions/societies you’re most passionate about pursuing, what things you want changing and what you think you can do to help the change.” Heythrop Students’ Union President, Ashley Doolan told The Lion, “As a former LGBT society president and a long term member of the society, I have been amazed and inspired by the commitment and enthusiasm Heather brought to the role this year. I cannot think of anyone I’d rather see helping NUS LGBT move forward during a time of great tension being artificially created between the gay community and people of faith”. Ms Doon will be continuing her contribution to the Heythrop socities by taking the position of Vice President in the newly formed Heythrop feminist society.
Ashley Doolan’s Statement On ULU Ashley Doolan HSU President Outgoing The following is a statement from Ashley Doolan regarding the proposed Closure of the University of London Union and how it maye or may not affect Heythrop Students. Many people are stating that the University of London are destroying democracy and removing the rights of students to have their say. I would say that this isn’t precisely the case, as stated above the University of London Union was established at a time when individual colleges had little to no representative structures of their own; furthermore the University was far more centralised and students had a more direct interaction with it as a body. The contemporary University is not the same institu-
tion, many students only interact with the University as a stamp on their degree certificates or as users of the Senate House Library and the representative structures at ULU have little to no positive impact on their daily lives. To use Heythrop as a case in point, we are the highest voting percentage in ULU elections, last year 5.1% of our students voted. To put that in perspective, in our own elections 29.6% of the student population voted. Even in a college such as Heythrop, where students feasibly stand to gain the most out of the services ULU provides, there is a high level of disenfranchisement and disconnection. Now take IoE, one of the larger UoL colleges, last year only 0.23% of their students voted in the ULU elections. For those of you not aware of the IoE, it sits in the shadow of the Senate House, in the heart of Bloomsbury, when a college this close to ULU is not feeling the impact of the representation provided and voluntarily disenfranchises itself to such a de-
gree I think it is clear that the representative structures simply did not work. My main concern during this review process was that the services, bars, the gym, the pool and sports provision, the things that have the biggest impact on the experience of the vast majority of our students, were protected and this is the case. If anything we will now be getting a better deal from ULU, and the promise to safeguard the Small & Specialist network only furthers my optimism. Further to this I have received assurances from College management that the c£3000 we currently give to ULU as a subscription will be coming directly to the Heythrop Students’ Union. As a body with an operational budget of only £44,000 a year this amount of money will make a huge difference to the quality of provision we can offer. Finally I feel that this provides the opportunity to form a truly representative pan-London student organisation that involves all
students of London, be they FE or HE, and will grant them with a platform. I feel that ULU always stood in the way of this becoming a reality, members of other London unions looked at us as an elitist Sabb club with no legitimate mandate, obsessed with issues that did not affect or benefit our own students and was simply a soapbox for those with political opinions not popular on their own campuses. I have always been against the idea that ULU was the correct vessel through which to form this panLondon organisation, it felt like just expanding an existing problem to more Unions rather than solving the problems within the existing institution and I feel that this break with the name is the fresh start necessary. So in conclusion, though I am sad to see the loss of the University of London Union and all the history connected to it, I am excited to see the start of the process to endeavour to create something even better, both in the sense of providing
services to students and also in relation to a better more representative platform for the students of London. If you have any queries or questions do not hesitate to get in touch with me either via this email, by phone or by coming into the HSU Office.’
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The Great Debate Debate Drives Society
Should we be proud of Thatcher’s legacy?
Peter O’Neil HSU President Incoming Am I proud of Thatcher’s legacy? Yes, of course I am. I may have only just been alive when she was in power, but I grew up in her legacy, and the lasting impact of her policy has influenced my country tremendously. No more are people, by mere accident of birth, thrust into the tyranny of syndicalism, we are bound only to the organs of the state – and not to the pulchritudes of unelected demagogues. We are not defined by the clutches of the underachiever, shackling the dignity and persecuting the hard working and the prosperous. We live in a state that respects our right to earn, and appreciates that we are not owed a living. We do not need spoon-feeding. Citizens of the realm are festooned with the education, necessities, health-care and with the opportunity to be masters of their own destiny. We do not need (and democracy has ensured that we do not want) our private enterprise to be mastered and directed by cronies with consideration for themselves and not for the consumer. We have put the product back in the hands of the purchaser. So, if asked am I proud to live in this country, the country where the armchair socialists and the mediocrity of the enemies of freedom have been crushed not only from above, but totally disowned by the very workers these charlatans purport to represent, the only answer can be yes. I am proud to live in a country where old labour is dead, where reform and discussion is conducted rationally and amicably by our major parties. Where we are treated like adults. I am proud, and we should all be proud, for we perpetuate the state of freedom in both the ballot box and the market. Thatcher’s greatest victory was in the 1983 Election. Despite a rocky start in her first period in office, Thatcher was able to defeat Michael Foot’s radical programme, which included withdrawal from Europe, the abolition of the Lords and the re-nationalisation of many industries. This was the end of hard-left politics in the UK. Following a loss
of three million voters, Foot resigned as head of the Labour, and the party modernised eight or nine decades within the short span of only one. Thatcher had successfully banished the threat of socialism from the halls of power at Westminster, a threat which has not reared its ugly head in any formidable manner since, despite two successful new-Labour elections. Another key success of Thatcher was her victory over the National Union of Mineworkers. Meticulously planned, the execution by the state against this union, probably the most powerful of the time, was a triumph for the consumer. The issue here is not one of economics, but one of justice. This industry was not an essential organ of the state, and had no place making demands against modernisation, mechanization and privatisation of the mines. Opponents to this cite the effects on societies and towns which were left without jobs. This is clear nonsense, emotive claptrap that robs the workers from the dignity they deserve in being left to their own devices. Those left jobless are adults, and no more entitled to a job as you or I. It shows a patronising, humiliating and degrading attitude to any worker to insinuate that his joblessness is anything but his own doing. Another important success of Thatcher was the defence of the realm against foreign invaders. Scoundrels, ruling in a failing junta in Argentina, sought, without reason or respect for the dignity of its population, without a claim, to seize by force the Falklands. The British response, under Thatcher’s government, illustrates the unequivocal force needed to address any injustice against our citizens. It shows Thatcher’s commitment to provide the necessary obligations of the state – justice, defence and order, rather than an obsession with employing the lazy, the workshy and the greedy. What can we object too? We may not see eye-to-eye on very issue Thatcher addressed. I, for example, am more for a centralized Europe. Nevertheless, no one should deny her commitment to a fair and just society, and her opposition to the villainy of socialism. We should be proud to live in Thatcher’s Legacy.
“I may have only just been alive when she was in power, but I grew up in her legacy, and the lasting impact of her policy has influenced my country tremendously. No more are people, by mere accident of birth, thrust into the tyranny of syndicalism, we are bound only to the organs of the state – and not to the pulchritudes of unelected demagogues.”
“What was created was a system of large companies trying to run as cost effectively as possible, all the while raising their prices to fleece ordinary families for basic amenities such as water and electricity. Rather than growing the economy with the profits from these sales, she used them to pay for a tax cut for the rich. ”
Andy Coghill Male Welfare Officer The phrase ‘divisive character’ is one which has been thrown around a lot by the media in the wake of Thatcher’s death. While I personally think this is little more than an indictment on the sycophantic media who seem unwilling to offer any criticism of the former Prime Minister, it is certainly not untrue. She was both loved and hated by many, and as such her legacy is still up for debate. Throughout the discussion concerning her legacy I’ve been told by several people that as I was born three years after she stepped down, that I’m in no position to comment on her achievements. But the fact is, her legacy is still very much alive today. What Thatcher will be most remembered for, in my view, is privatisation. It was said that by selling off public assets such as the railways and utilities, a competitive market would be created, whereby services would have to be as good as possible in order to beat their opponents. In fact, what was created was a system of large companies trying to run as cost effectively as possible, all the while raising their prices to fleece ordinary families for basic amenities such as water and electricity. Rather than growing the economy with the profits from these sales, she used them to pay for a tax cut for the rich. The high unemployment figures we see at the moment also stem from
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her. Many of the miners who were thrown out of work with nowhere else to go were in the industry because that’s what their fathers did, and their fathers before them. The closure of the manufacturing industries lead to serial unemployment, and made it all the more difficult for those out of work to find jobs. When Thatcher came to power, the UK had near full employment. When she left, unemployment was at over 12%. In the UK today, we also have a housing crisis. Approximately one million people in Britain are homeless, a figure which would undoubtedly be considerably lower were it not for Thatcher. When she allowed people to buy their council houses for a fraction of their value, she didn’t replace them. Her supporters will say that by allowing this to happen, she increased home ownership. The reality is that she drastically lowered the number of council houses available, presenting real problems for those who needed them. This also lead to a grossly inflated housing market, making it even harder for people to get onto the property ladder. It’s not just in the UK where her legacy is still causing problems; while she denounced Nelson Mandela as a ‘common terrorist’ and threw over 7,000 Irishmen in prison without a trial, she was a great supporter of Augusto Pinochet and the so-called ‘freedom fighters’ in Afghanistan who would go on to become the Taliban. When she gave her support to them, George Galloway MP said to her, “You have opened the gates for the barbarians….and a long dark night will now descend upon the people of Afghanistan.” That long dark night has indeed fallen, and British troops have been fighting over there for twelve years. So that is what I believe to be her legacy, what I believe she should be judged on. Misery and suffering, death and destruction. Personally, I believe a society should be judged on how it treats its least fortunate. We should, therefore, feel anything but proud of the legacy she left. The woman herself, of course, didn’t believe in society, so I imagine her near destruction of it would be a legacy she would have been very proud of indeed.
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The Coming Demise of the NHS Josh White Senior Editor Last week the BBC finally opened the floor to ‘discuss’ the health-care reforms that have been passed and are well under way. The Health & Social Care act of 2012 was passed by the House of Lords on April 25th this year. The mainstream media, whether right or left, failed to give any coverage to this bill passed and yet it concerns us all. Even still, it was nice to hear a bit of ‘discussion’ once the bill had been passed and, effectively, the public was powerless to do anything about legislation already passed. You would have been lucky to have uncovered these proposals via the splutters of outrage on Twitter, or on the blogosphere, or indeed at the outerreaches of the press. Instead of the crusading press we’re told we have, we actually have a cowardly press that let these health reforms pass them by. The British commentariat might be best understood as a herd of independent minds. Even when we hear talk of the plans there are only banal platitudes about ‘reform’. When at the best of times ‘reform’ is a word to be suspicious of, especially when it is deployed with ease by the incompetent and duplicitous political class of this country. The Health & Social Care act will radically transform the way the NHS works, in fact, it will open the floodgates to private companies and enforces competitive bidding for contracts. That’s on top of the hundreds of contracts on health services already sold in 2012. The act will require that all sectors of the NHS which can’t be provably delivered by one provider (the state) will be opened up to competition. From now on the only hope of the NHS will be the commissioners, for they are now on the frontline of decisions about privatisation. Yet only if the commissioners can be make the case that this or that service has to be provided by the state. That’s assuming the case will even be accepted, your guess is as good as mine. Once rejected the services will be opened up to the full brunt of market forces. There is also the possibility that the real decisions will not be made by commissioners but by the courts. As Lord Philip Hunt has acknowledged, the regulations will “promote and permit privatisation and extend competition into every quarter of the NHS regardless of patients interests. The Lords reported that many NHS professional institutions believe that the
regulations make competition the default approach, whilst imposing a burden of proof on commissioners wishing to restrict competition.” So it’s fair to say that the doctors won’t have a say in these decisions for the most part. If the doctors don’t have a say then the patients certainly have no say in the matter at all. The Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners has said “The new reforms of which these regulations are a key part remove the legal framework for a universal, publically provided, publically managed, publically planned, democratically accountable health service.” The Conservatives can claim that this isn’t privatisation because the NHS will still exist. Though the NHS will only exist as a hollowed out shell where public money is funnelled into the private sector to raise the profits of private healthproviders in this country. If there are private companies eating into the public services then surely that is privatisation, it is just in-
cremental as a means to the same end. The state bureaucracy will only be supplanted with a private bureaucracy, which will be run on the basis of profit at the expense of the tax-payer and almost certainly the quality of service. Decisionmakers at the local level will be at the mercy of changes out of their control as funds are redirected from local services. The decline in services will be sped up, as it has already, to justify further ‘reform’. Gradually the whole edifice built in the aftermath of WWII will be reduced to a mere memory. A lot has already lost, as it was the Major government and its Blairite successors who introduced markets into the NHS by way of ‘performance targets’. Unfortunately, none of this should be a surprise. The Coalition has cut NHS funding effectively by only increasing spending by 1% while health-costs soared at a rate far higher than inflation. The press would rather whinge about the coming collapse of A & Es. But not
about the mass closures of these services and the cuts in funding for those not closed. There is plenty of angry talk to be heard about the European ‘super-state’ that has been imposed on us without referenda, yet how much talk has there been over these changes to the NHS? No one in the public sphere of discourse and politics seems to care. On the horizon there is a free-trade deal with the US that will open the NHS to the full force of American multinationals. The phoney democrats in Parliament are adept at calling for referenda when it suits their purposes. There wasn’t any talk of a referendum on the invasion of Iraq, only a couple of million people marched through London and Blair reacted with pieties: we live in a democracy so you can have your protest, but it means nothing. It is the unfortunate combination of a constitutional monarchy with a flawed form of Parliamentary democracy that failed to stop these measures being passed. Why? Be-
cause there are systemic interests shaping the legislative process. As the Daily Mail reported in 2012 Lord Carter, the head of the NHS regulator, as well as the Cooperation and Competition panel, received almost £800,000 from just one of the health firms to which he is entangled. Andrew Robertson has compiled a list of 140 Lords and 65 MPs with what may be direct interests in private health-care. From the list Robertson gauged that this amounts to one out of every four Conservative peers, one in six Labour peers and one in ten Liberal Democratic peers. This is a problem across the board, endemic to the political class and system. According to Dr Eoin Clarke, since 2001 the Conservative Party has received over £8 million in donations from private health firms. We may not know the full extent of this until the political class opens itself up to a transparent accounting. But it should be obvious that this is only a part of the problem here.
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The Spirit of the ANZACS Chloe May First Year Undergraduate DanielDa
When people ask me what ANZAC day is all about, I start with the stories of Gallipoli and Kokoda. I realise now that it’s very difficult to explain why it’s an important day to us Aussies, and the best I can do is write what the memorial day means to me. On ANZAC day we remember the stories of Australian spirit in the early years of our nation’s history. We remember those who wore our nation’s uniform and died and those who still fight under our flag today. It is not a glorification of war, but of mateship in wartime. In 1915 Australian and New Zealand troops were defeated in what is now perceived as one of the greatest military disasters of the First World War. As Britain’s ally it was decided that the ANZACS (Australian and New Zealand Army Corp) would help the British invade Turkey and ‘knock them out of the war’. It was Winston Churchill’s initiative to conduct a naval invasion on the shores of Gallipoli, and, when the Turks displayed more resistance then originally predicted, it was decided that a land invasion would have to follow. The ANZACs first landed at Gallipoli at dawn, on the 25th of April 1915. The Turkish soldiers were waiting on the cliffs of the beach, shooting down all enemies in sight. Those that survived built shelters in the cliff face, living amongst sand bags and careful not to venture out too far into the beach. Letters were later found in the trenches, which the ANZACs had attached to watches and photographs to be found after they died. An unknown soldier recounts: ‘They were short of both bombs & ammunition, but were sticking it out, cursing & swearing, as I believe, only Australians can…’ In December the surviving ANZACs were evacuated, by which time over 8,000 Australian men had lost their lives. The Gallipoli campaign had little to no effect on the outcome of the First World War; Churchill maintained however, that the plan was a success.
News soon spread around Australia about the tragedy, but it was not only the deaths and body count of Gallipoli that captured the hearts of our nation. Mateship and courage were ascribed as the distinguishing philosophy of the soldiers at Gallipoli, and became known as ‘the spirit of the ANZACs’. It became a symbol of hope for all soldiers still fighting in the war, and a defining notion of our national identity. This spirit remained with Aus-
tralians during World War Two, and become more than just an ethos for soldiers, but for anyone who showed human kindness and warm spirit in tough times. When the Japanese forces landed in Papua New Guinea in July 1942, my great-grandfather was sent with Australian forces to prevent the Japanese from venturing past Kokoda to the shore, where they could more easily invade Australia. The battle is now famously remem-
bered for the friendship and courage shared between the Australian and New Guinea troops (aka the ‘Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels’) who carried thousands of wounded soldiers through the jungle to safety. My father always told me it was important to remember these stories. Each year on ANZAC day we would wake at dawn and go the service at our local beach. I used to marvel at the soldiers’ uniforms and the way the entire
crowd remained silent in respect as the sun rose above the ocean. This year I’ll be waking at dawn in London to attend the service at the Australian War Memorial, with other Aussies far away from home. I’ll remember my great-grandfather, the men at Gallipoli, and the tragedy of war. But most importantly, I’ll remember the ANZAC spirit, to carry on their tradition of mateship wherever I go, and what it means to be Australian.
A big thank you to everyone who submitted an article this year! See you next year for more of The Heythrop Lion!
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Camus > Sartre Chloe May First Year UndergraduBefore the Sartre Figjam Fanboy Brigade get too up their own arses about the title of this article, I would like to request that they read The Rebel in its entirety and tell me that it’s not the personification of existential perfection. It is quite possibly one of the most underrated texts of modern philosophy, and was rejected by French intellectuals at the time because it refused to flirt with communism. Like Marx, Camus viewed philosophy as a hammer with which to shatter societal paradigms. Growing up impoverished in the French colony of Algeria, he spent his later life fighting for peace in his home country, begging that ‘on a single spot of the globe a handful of innocent victims be spared.’ Camus identified himself in his younger years as primarily a journalist. As a member of the French Resistance during World War Two, he founded and edited the Resistance Newspaper Combat. He subsequently wrote, directed, and acted in plays in Paris whilst simultaneously contributing immensely to the intellectual sphere. Sartre and Camus became friends also immediately upon meeting, having already praised one another’s work in various publications. Simon de Beauvoir, Sartre’s lover, said that if Camus wanted her he could have her, to which he politely refused. One drunken evening Sartre
declared to Camus that he was the smartest of the two, which both were willing to admit. But it is arguable that Albert Camus felt compelled to achieve more through intellectualism, as opposed to just discussing philosophy with those elite enough to have an understanding of it. His humble origins made him the people’s philosopher, writing not for his own egotistic ambitions, but for the betterment of humanity. Camus did not declare existence empty and meaningless, and then put down his pen. Rather he considered, if the universe is shattered, how are we to live in it? In The Rebel he states that ‘the first step for a mind so overwhelmed by the strangeness of things is to realize that this strangeness is shared with all men and that the entire human race suffers from the division between itself and the rest of the world’. Nihilism is not the end, but the beginning of enlightenment. Meaninglessness is not an excuse to be selfish or decadent, but an opportunity to achieve. He writes in one essay: ‘Accepting the absurdity of everything around us is one step, a necessary experience: it should not become a dead end. It arouses a revolt that can become fruitful.’ Every act of rebellion against the conditions of this existence comes from a universal ‘nostalgia for innocence and an appeal to the essence of being’. This is what The Rebel strived to achieve, but it is only remem-
bered for the criticism of Sartre and his minions. Camus’ negative interpretation of Stalin and the Soviet Union was received by Sartre as a personal attack on his communist beliefs. He subsequently strived to destroy Camus’ reputation in the philosophy world through utilizing his popular philosophy publications, ending a life-long friendship in the process. This is why when I hear about the ‘grandness’ of Sartre’s philosophy, I scoff. Nausea was quite possibly the least thought-provoking philosophical novel that I have ever read. Apart from his mildly original philosophical writings, there is little to distinguish him from other French intellectuals of the time. Camus on the other hand, had sass. In addition to his handsomeness and charm, he showed bravery in the face of the Nazis and integrity in thought. He urged society not to follow him, or lead him, but walk beside him as a friend. On the 4th January 1960, the world lost Albert Camus in a tragic car accident. He was 46. Meeting him years later through the words he left the world with, I learnt what it meant to live to the point of tears. If Sartre was a philosopher, Camus was a philosopher. If Sartre contributed ideas to the world, then Camus did so with more bravery and integrity than his contemporaries could have dreamed of. If Sartre deserves to be remembered by intellectuals, then Camus deserves to be commemorated as a hero by all.
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The Wonderful World Of Grooming Matt Peach 1st Year Undergraduate This article shall cover the wonderful world of grooming. There’s no point having the perfect outfit if you smell awful, your hair is a mess and your skin is as dry as a bone. This will be the start of a series of posts addressing the subject of grooming, fragrance: morning routine and a host of products you should take a gander at! Let us begin. This post is all about fragrance, aftershave to be specific. Picking the right aftershave to fit the occasion is a difficult skill to master and to have just the one fragrance for all occasions is like owning one pair of shoes or a single shirt – ridiculous, I know! You should have a host of different fragrances to match the specific occasion or season you attend. Personally, I buy my fragrances in seasons. Throughout the winter, I opt for a heavy
woody scent. This reminds me of the winter period. This is usually undercut with rich fruits. A good example is the BVLGARI Men eau de toilette that I’ve used for the majority of A/W 2012. A good rich scent with great longevity. Whilst it gets into the warmer months, you might want to consider something a lot lighter. A personal favourite of mine is a scent that holds citrus tones and is light and airy compared to the winter fragrance. Read on to see what the spring season holds for me… Now for those of us on a budget, you shouldn’t really be looking past Joop! Jump. This is a wonderful fragrance, coming in at under 35£ at Boots, probably cheaper if you have a look on the web, it is well worth the price. The heart of this fragrance is frozen vodka that has been infused with grapefruit and finally with tonka beans. Because of this, the smell is extremely fresh and clean. Another option in a slightly cheaper price bracket is Marc Jacobs Men. This smells
slightly more luxurious and would be greatly paired with Jump to suit all occasions. Jump during the day and Marc Jacobs Men at night. This smell has a base of figs infused with spices and patchouli. This gives the fragrance a more woody tone, which is great for those warm nights in the sun! And from only 41£ at theperfumeshop, can you go wrong?! The last of the cheaper fragrances is Hermes, Terre d’Hermes. This again, is a strong smelling fragrance. It has excellent longevity and a few sprays will last you a considerable amount of time. There is a use of orange and cedar to provide a woody and almost vegetal fragrance. This is not a fragrance for the light-hearted! The addition of grapefruit gives the fragrance a real vigour. At only 43£ from Amazon it would be a great addition to your collection. If you don’t mind spending a little more than the aforementioned fragrances, then you should look no further than Eros by Versace. Their first fragrance for around 5
years, this new smell was only released in March of 2013. The fragrance is made with fresh tones of mint, apple and lemon. As well as having vanilla and tonka beans, this fragrance is not to be missed. I imagine this will be my Spring/ Summer fragrance this year! It also comes in at a fairly moderate 46£ from Selfridges. If you have even more money to spend, then you ought to be looking at fragrances such as Creed Green Irish Tweed, their most popular fragrance, it definitely suits this spring with its fresh grassy smells. Another option, coming from the parfum house Le Labo, is Le Labo Rose 31. This, as the name may suggest, has rose overtones which provide for a fresher smell, similar to the Creed aftershave but more flowery. I hope you have found something to match your budget and taste!
MONDAY 3RD JUNE | THE LION
Handley Handles: Democracy Elliott Handley First Year Undergraduate DanielDa
As many may be aware, recently the historian Dominique Venner shot himself in the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris, ostensibly in protest at the implementation of Gay Marriage in Francia. Broadly, the reaction to this has been twofold: Pity for the suicide, or triumphalist celebration at the death of a “homophobe”. But one shouldn’t chafe to observe that ‘Bigotry’ is a sufficient explanation for someone’s motivation, about as much as saying “Because the Big Bang!” accounts for the nature of the Universe; more insight is required regarding what drives people to such measures. I would contend that the cause of such choleric and lugubrious despair at the world which leads to acts of this ilk is, ultimately, Democracy. This is not to comment on the particulars of Venner’s motivation, because I’m sure he had a lot going through his head (ahem) at the time; rather, it is to make a more general observation on the sense of powerlessness which comes part and parcel with Democracy. Democracy is the system of misery. It creates turmoil and antipathy, destroying the good will of the people, and robs the nation of its prospects. – This was the attitude expressed by the saddened majority in Bhutan, after His Majesty King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck unprecedentedly established a Parliamentary structure in Asia’s Happiest Country (Although admittedly, the damnable Red Menace did much to nobble the competition for that title). The people had seen what Democracy brought to nearby Nepal: Peasant revolts, which facilitated the rise of squabbling, semi-Communist parties, who rebelled against His Majesty King Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev. The Bhutanese saw how, although branded an “Enlightened” system, Democracy had left Nepal facing deadlocked uncertainty, with a people divided and despair-
ing. They did not wish the same bleak future for their little country. For a large part of the desolation brought by Democracy stems from how it, having plunged a previously united populace into dissent, seeks concordance again. Public discussion, though heralded as the highest form of problem solving, manages only to take what may have been a marginal feud and make it the concern of the entire nation; accordingly, the entire nation finds itself torn and in strife. This means division by ideology is unavoidable (“But are you a Catholic Atheist or a Protestant Atheist?”), and every citizen comes to be partisan. There are no longer fellow countrymen, only members of the same political tribe: Are you a Tory, or a Labourvoting pinko? Are you pro this, or anti that? With every layman a political entity, it becomes impos-
sible to detach oneself from the endless conflict of political sects which plague a nation (Thank you very much, universal suffrage). Here, then, is the crux of the matter: You have everybody split into competing factions, with discourse the means of securing control, so to whom does victory belong? Not to the rational, but to the ochlocratic, of course, – to the persuasive. Triumph is the trophy of the sect which best imposes its perspective onto the public: Those who appeal to the mobile vulgus, through flashyphrasing, rampant moralising (How many revolutionary movements have strengthened their perfidy through claims of “Rights” and entitlement?), and bold promises for the future. What happens, then, when you find yourself in a faction opposing the tide of public sentiment, as Venner did? Well, you’re
buggered, frankly, aren’t you? It is futile to try and resist such a force of nature as media-attentive political rhetoric. No insight of Lucius Sergius Catilina could weather the assault of Marcus Tullius Cicero’s oratory, and there is no hope for contrarian positions. So, people like Venner are the byproducts of a system where everything is mandated by the mob-rule of parochial cliques; for ostracised minority beliefs, such as those held by Venner, have effectively zero political control. Democracy is, in essence, one of the least tolerant systems of government. Without the confidence that Democracy could give his beliefs any substantive influence, Venner must have found himself somewhat wanting for optimism about the future. This sense of helplessness, then, would account for the drastic action he took.
Many reading this will, I’m sure, be thinking: “Ah, but this chap opposed homosexual marriage – what does it matter that such minorities are subjugated by the tide of popular sentiment?” And to that I reference Martin Niemöller’s poem “First they came…”: For one may well endorse the contemporary trend of revolutionary liberalism, but one should still be aware that a system which enables tyranny of the majority in one case, may easily do so in another. It is essential that we recognised how Democracy is simply demagoguery of the majority, shored up by media totalitarianism, so that we may strive to combat such evils. And, might I add, perhaps we shouldn’t be so blasé about the soul-destroying effects it has on political minorities, lest we one day find ourselves among them?
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MONDAY 3RD JUNE | THE LION
Culture Music: Random Access Memories Daniel Tripp Acting Editor-in-Chief While it is difficult to give an interesting opinion on something so subjective as music, there’s definitely something to be said for trying. As an avid fan of electronic music I’ve been listening to Daft Punk for quite a long time. Though, to be fair, I came to them through a strange angle, after listening to LCD Soundsystem’s Daft Punk is Playing in My House on an second hand Ipod that I got for my birthday a while back that still had all the past owners old music on it. From that I went on to buying Discovery from HMV, and only later came to listen to two of their other albums Homework and Human After All. Discovery is by far their most accessible album, and is the only Daft Punk album, apart from their live set, that I really enjoy putting on and playing all the way through. I’ve always thought that Human After All and Homework are great, but it was almost as if they were made to be mixed as they are in on the Alive 2007 live album. I give this insight so that you can
understand where I’m coming from in my opinion of Random Access Memories. By understanding the way I feel about the other albums Daft Punk have brought out you might be able to work out whether you’re going to judge it the same way I did. So, with all that of the way, let’s talk about the damn album. First of all, this is no Discovery. It is stand-out pop-single lite, and with the ubiquitous Get Lucky already getting played to death we’re left with, in my opinion, only one other strong single which is Lose Yourself to Dance. That said, it’s a belter, the bass and guitar track really gets you going and you’ll be finger clicking through the whole six minute funkfest. Funk is the name of the game here with this album, it plays like a swan song for a forgotten way of making dance music that has died and been replaced by the sonic engineering we get today. The Daft Punk staple auto-toned robot voice keeps coming through, but it ends up serving as more of a reminder of whose album you’re listening to rather than adding anything in particular to the tracks. However, it’s
a different story completely when an actual vocalist takes the mike, and it is actually quite refreshing. That said, it can’t save a bad song, and the winner of the most disappointing song on the album is sadly slap bang in the middle on the set, that being Touch. It starts off with a weird vibe to it which personally just didn’t click, but then pulls it back massively when Paul Williams voice comes through the crap intro and suddenly it seems like we’ve got a proper tune coming up. His voice is brilliant, and when the drum kicks in it’s almost perfect. Then they threw it away. What appears to be some kind of brass band with a bloody honky-tonk piano walks in and ruins what could have been one of the best songs on the album. Just skip the first two minutes then press next track once it starts to get weird. Don’t worry though, Get Lucky is the next track and the album version actually improves a lot on the radio edit, breathing new life into what is already becoming quite a worn out track. Another stand out track is Fragments of Time, which plays like a drive home classic rock track
with an electro-vibe, it is actually a very nice classic rock sounding track and helps keep the album going. Doin’ It Right follows this which sounds a lot more like a Daft Punk song, with a nice repetitive lyric and simple backing synth that builds up in a satisfying way. This leads on to Contact which is a great end track, though they draw it out a bit near the end of the song. Going back to the beginning of the album, Georgio by Moroder is a beautiful track, and despite being the longest track on the album doesn’t slow things down at all. When the bass switches up to the synth click it just works perfectly, with Georgio’s spoken monologue a fine example of how you can make a speaking voice work alongside music. Instant Crush leads into Lose yourself to Dance well, it’s a nice slow, meloncholic song similar to Digital Love in Discovery. Finally, the first track on the album sets the tone in an odd way. It had a great big fan fare opening, but soon the guitar/ bass standard, that never really leaves us throughout the whole album, kicks in, and we know what to expect in the next seventy five
minutes. It’s not a perfect album, and it takes a couple of listens to really appreciate. Touch is an annoying track that really ruins the mood just that little bit too much and is too long a song to just suffer through. I haven’t mentioned every track and that says a lot too, they just didn’t strike me in any particular way. That said, it is a damn sight better than most electronic music coming out at the moment, and you really can hear the effort that has gone into this album. Lose Yourself to Dance, Georgio, and the album version of Get Lucky are good enough to justify the £20 I spent on the vinyl. Furthermore, their anti-piracy strategy, streaming the entire album for free a full week before release, should be applauded for it’s respect of the consumer over the producer, and is commendable in and of itself. All of this aside though, this is an album for people who like electronic music. If you really liked Discovery, then don’t expect to really like this. They have gone for a completely different stance on this LP, one that you might not like. Give it a go though, it might surprise you.
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MONDAY 3RD JUNE | THE LION
Culture Television: Suits Matt Peach 1st Year Undergraduate Created by Aaron Korsh, Suits is a fictional law based tv drama series set in New York City. Harvey Spector, played by Gabriel Macht, works at HardmanPearson, a prestigious law firm that only hires from Harvard. Due to his promotion to senior partner, he is required to hire an associate attorney. Mike Ross, played by Patrick J. Adams, is a college drop out with an eidetic memory. In an attempt to fund his grandmothers private health bills, he takes a job from his room-mate Trevor who asks him to help him deliver drugs. While on the job, Mike realises what is happening and stumbles into Harvey’s room where he is interviewing candidates for the position. After proving himself to Harvey and promising to give up the weed, he is hired as the
new associate attorney due to his uncanny ability to pass the LSAT and the bar for various class mates after dropping out. As well as being able to quote large sections of US law from memory. Each episode revolves around a particular case, in an CSI-eqsue manner, whereby Harvey must find a way to either help his particular client or to get his opponent to settle in his favour. Harvey almost always requires help from Mike, but it usually down to a combination of Harvey’s experience and Mike’s knowledge that gets the job done. Whilst working at the firm, Mike begins to date his former room-mate’s girlfriend, Jenny. This relationship is complicated due to his increasing feelings for one of the paralegals in the office, Rachel. Their mutual attraction builds due to Mike’s inexperience at anything ad-
min related and he persistently asks her for help. Meanwhile, Harvey’s office rival, Louis Litt, portrayed by Rick Hoffman, begins to become to suspicious of Mike’s Harvard credentials after speaking to one of Mike’s supposed former class mates who cannot recall who he is. In season two, Daniel Hardman, the former Managing Partner of the firm after a long hiatus whilst his wife had cancer. Upon her death, he decides that he wishes to rejoin the firm. Harvey and Jessica Pearson, Harvey’s boss and the current Managing Partner, are concerned about his decision and fear he will want his former title back. Hardman attempts to create a situation whereby he is voted back in as Managing Partner through manipulating Harvey’s assistant Donna. Meanwhile, Rachel is encouraged by Mike to take the LSAT
so that she can go to Harvard to also become and attorney at the firm. This is complicated by her relationship with her father, Robert Zane. Due to the little resources present at the firm, Jessica must take on several cases in partnership with another firm and is presented with the opportunity to merge with Zane’s own law firm. The series presents a whole host of potential outcomes in order to keep the viewer on tender hooks. The chemistry of the potential relationship between Mike and Rachel is ongoing as well as being further complicated when one of them is ready to take the jump whereas the other has other ideas. Harvey and Jessica’s work-relationship is brought to the edge due to Hardman’s attempts to take back his firm. Suits is one of the best drama’s to come out of American TV for
a very long time. The relationship between Harvey and Mike is engaging and you long to see them on screen more. Despite being a drama, Suits has elements of humour which bring a light hearted tone to what could be monotonous show. The production and writing team do an excellent job of taking what is generally perceived to be a boring profession to new heights and I imagine the interest in becoming an attorney will subsequently sky-rocket. Luckily, the show has been renewed for another 16 episode season hopefully starting in the fall. The performance of Adams is definitely worth watching the show for in itself, and indeed, the clothes that Harvey wears will certainly endear you further still. Suits is shown on Dave in the United Kingdom.
Seasons_Festivals/Nt_Live/ 12 May: 4.00 Romeo and Juliet from the Bolshoi ballet In June and July, six relays of operas from Glyndebourne and three plays from the National Theatre The House,
The Audience and Othello. The Audience starring Helen Mirren as the Queen has been this season’s hot ticket. All these films: Concessions £15 (bring proof). Have a great summer!
Art: Exhibition Roundup John Woodhouse 2nd year Postgraduate At the Royal Academy until 9 June there is George Bellows: Modern American Life. Students £8. He is famous for his boxing scenes but there are also some fine pictures of New York life and portraits. A major retrospective of Roy Lichtenstein the pop artist is at Tate Modern until 27 May. Students £12.20 and book in advance! If you are visiting Tate Modern (nearest underground is Southwark and easily walkable from Waterloo or St Paul’s cathedral) do not miss The Tanks – all free. At Tate Britain, Schwitters in Britain is the first major exhibition to examine the work of the late Kurt Schwitters, one of the most important artists of European modernism. Students £9.50. Near the end of this exhibition there are some stunning portraits. It finishes on 12 May. Looking at the view is a free exhibition until 2 June. The National Portrait Gallery is always a free treasure trove of interest and you can see the controversial first portrait of the Duchess of Cambridge. There are currently exhibitions about American poets and presidents, Man Ray portraits (students £12 advance booking required) until 27 May and George Cat-
lin: American Indian portraits (free!) Next door is the wonderful free National Gallery in Trafalgar Square. Barocci: Brilliance and Grace (students £6) until 19 May and Through American Eyes: Frederic Church and the Landscape Oil Sketch (free) are the current exhibitions. The advance publicity for Treasures of the Royal Court: Tudors, Stuarts and the Russian Tsars (students £6) at the Victoria and Albert museum until 14 July suggests that this will be full of opulent items celebrating 500 years of exchange between Britain and Russia. David Bowie Is opens on 23 March and runs until 28 July. The Courtauld Gallery at Somerset House, The Strand, is free for students (with a student card) and Becoming Picasso Paris 1901 is on until 26 May and there is also an exhibition of Picasso, Matisse, Malliol: the Female Model. The room on the ground floor has some lovely mediaeval paintings. A No. 9 bus will take you nearly all the way there! If you are visiting Covent Garden, which is always a fun place to be, do not miss the London Transport Museum (students £7.50). There is an exhibition of Poster Art 150: London Underground’s Greatest Designs. A delightful gallery which is always worth a visit is the Wal-
lace collection and it’s free! The must see exhibition is sure to be Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum at the British Museum until 29 September! Advance booking definitely needed – students £12.50. It is a fascinating insight into the Roman world and there are some wonderful frescoes, mosaics and sculptures. Make sure to get the audio guide! While there explore the Egyptian and Asian collections which are among the finest in the world and free. Looking ahead to the summer, the highlight is often the Royal Academy summer exhibition opening 10 June. Tate Britain will have exhibitions of Gary Hume and Patrick Caulfield opening 4 June and L.S.Lowry from 25 June. The Proms feature a lot of splendid Wagner this year! You can turn up on the day and Prom for only £5 which is amazing value. www.roh.org.uk/cinema has details of performances showing in local cinemas which are relays from the Royal Opera House. 27 May: La Donna del Lago 24 June: Gloriana This year sees the centenary of the birth of Benjamin Britten. Check the Gate cinema in Notting Hill for relays from the opera and the National Theatre http://www.picturehouses.co.uk/cinema/Gate_ Picturehouse/Whats_On/
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MONDAY 3RD JUNE | THE LION
Culture Video Games: Bioshock Infinite Robert Leftwich Culture Editor A couple of months back, the Lion took a trip to BAFTA to listen to Ken Levine, creative director and co-founder of game studio Irrational Games, talk about his latest release Bioshock Infinite. Of course, much of the event ended up being a look at the life and times of Ken Levine, but what information there was on the game intrigued me enough to buy it. There was a lot of information about how much effort went into designing, animating and voicing Elizabeth, the game’s support character. Things like how detailed her AI was, how much time and money went into motion capture, and also facial motion capture to give her realistic expressions to go with the impressive vocal performance of Courntee Draper. These details looked good enough to me to make me interested in the game after the disappointment of Bioshock 2, which despite having some improvements to the gameplay over Bioshock 1 was completely forgettable story-wise, and, unlike the original, had no replay value whatsoever. This, coupled with what I’d seen of the game so far, just made it look to me like Bioshock 1 again but in the sky and with an AI partner. After playing the last few Resident Evil games, support characters weren’t exactly exciting to me. But after attending the event, seeing some gameplay footage, and hearing about the fine detailing that went into Elizabeth, such as her interacting with her environment in cute or interesting ways when you stop and
watch her, her being genuinely useful to gameplay rather than just a helpless damsel, and the effort that went into making her anengaging character, it was a game that I simply had to check out. Now the game is to an extent Bioshock 1 in the sky, but this wasn’t a point against the game for me when I actually played it. It re-used the same basic path as the original, but did interesting, different things with it, it took some risks which we don’t often see in big budget games, and managed to tie the obvious similarities to the first game into the story in a way that was very clever and that I won’t spoil here. Now the story of the game is a sticking point, it is very cleverly written, to the extent that it gets hard to follow sometimes. Without ruining the details, it’s one of the best, and certainly one of the most ambitious, game stories of the last decade, surpassed in my opinion only by the story of the original Bioshock. It improves on some of the few weaknesses of the original game’s story, telling as well by eliminating the binary good or evil moral choice mechanic and including some genuinely engaging choices. The developers seem to have realised that labelling choices in games as “good” or “evil” devalues them and leaving the moral values up to the player creates genuine thought over the decisions the player thinks the character should take. You play as Booker De’Witt, a jaded detective who is likeable enough with his dialogue to be interesting, but still undeveloped enough to be a protagonist that
we can relate and project ourselves onto, and this helps in the choices the game presents, because you have an idea of what Booker would do, but your also projecting what you would do on to Booker, and this makes for effective immersion into the story. Of course there are some things story-wise that lets Bioshock Infinite down somewhat. For example, if you don’t find all of the audio logs there are some important plot elements that are just missed, and that’s not good design. The audio logs in Bioshock 1 fleshed out the world that the game was building and that made the player want to find them, but they were never relied upon to deliver essential plot points. This isn’t the case with Bioshock Infinite, and I’ll admit that I had to play the game a couple of times for all of the plot points to present themselves to me, and that’s a shame, because with some more effort applied to weaving exposition into the narrative, the story could have fulfilled all of its potential, and been a masterpiece rather than simply a great story. But, small problems aside, the characters are interesting, Elizabeth is a shining example of a well written female character, and I thoroughly enjoyed the story despite some failure at good delivery. Gameplay wise, Infinite is both similar and different to Bioshock, the plasmids from the original are back in the form of “vigors” which give you the pre-requisite biological superpowers after which the game is named. They’re still fun to use, although there’s much less
variety in them than there was in previous games, and you do wonder why Booker seems to be the only one who thinks to pack more than one of them. Variety is reduced all around actually, some of the RPG elements from previous games (hacking and gene tonics) have been removed and you can only carry two guns at a time in this game, but all of this felt right, it made the game a bit more balanced and streamlined, and it made the game more challenging than its predecessor. It requires you to actually think along the lines of “okay, which weapons do I actually want to use, and therefore need to upgrade”, and “this next section might be easier or more fun if I used a specific weapon” as opposed to having a somewhat overstuffed, and slightly over-powered arsenal in the first game. The game seems to have decided to focus on doing more with less, rather than trying to cram too many features in, which is a lesson sorely needed in some games, and I was very glad this game series seems to have learned it. The tone of the gameplay is also very different, I was concerned before buying the game that they would ruin the survival horror feel of Bioshock by including an AI partner, and the developers it seems, knew this. That’s why this game isn’t a survival horror, it’s more of a rollicking adventure through an evil cloud city, ala the adventures of a 1912 Han Solo (there is a Star Wars easter egg in the game, watch out for a cinema sign) and it really works. You can use a mechanic that lets you ride sky rail-tracks which makes the
world feel big, and adds a speed and fun to the combat and the overall play style that I don’t often see. The game still manages to be threatening when it needs to be, but the overall feel of the game is fresh and is a style of first person shooter unto itself, it takes some of the cartoonish fun of 90’s shooters and mixes it up with the elements that made Bioshock 1 so exciting as well as setting it in a world, which although it’s not as believable as the world of the original, lends itself well to the kind of game the Infinite is, and it never restricts you to the kinds boring samey shooting galleries you get in so called “realistic” shooters like Call of Duty or Battlefield. To sum up, Bioshock Infinite is amongst the most unique big name games I’ve played, and whilst it does have issues here and there, none of them brought me out of the experience. The fact that a video game can garner so much discussion and I could quite happily write another 2000 odd words about it really makes me optimistic that games can become an artistic medium on a par with film or literature. The gameplay is fun and challenging, the story, whilst a little bit up-its-ownarse, is great, and if I could make every gamer play one game released this year it would definitely be this one. If Ken Levine is going to keep releasing games comparable to this, then he’s definitely a big name game industry guy to watch. Bioshock Infinite is available on PC, Mac OS X, PS3 and Xbox 360
If You Have A Passion For FILM, LITERATURE, THEATRE, MUSIC, OPERA, PHOTOGRAPHY, FOOD, SHAMPOO, ANYTHING AT ALL, Let Us Know! We Want To Hear Your Opinions! Contact Robert Leftwich at firstname.lastname@example.org
MONDAY 3RD JUNE | THE LION
Culture Youtube: Tales of Tales of Mere Existence Faye West Managing Editor DanielDa
To those of you who are aware of the popular series on Youtube called “Tales of Mere Existence”, then you can see I stole the name for this article. If you are not aware of the series, then please carry on thinking that I have named this article creatively and thoughtfully. I happen to think the name of the series is very good- insightful, open, concise and a tad satirical, therefore a piece about it couldn’t be named any better. Each episode is comprised of a narration set to a collection of animated pictures drawn on tracing paper above the cam-
era. The narration and images are done by the creator and sole contributor to the series, Levni Yilmaz. The series, currently 44 episodes long, are his perception of both the present world around him and experiences throughout his life. Re-occuring themes covered in different episodes convey quite a fundamental alientation that from others that he has felt throughout his life. He often talks about people he met once and his close family with the same tone, more fascination than intimacy. Yilmaz frequently bases his episodes on attempts to “fit in” with society in general and a swathe of different subcultures. Each episode has a title, some being
“Who the hell am I?” “The times I tried to be a womanizer” or “My successful friends”. Each episode is bolted to the title, there is rarely any deviation from them. They are, however, sporadic in when they are posted, sometimes consecutive days or weeks, or occasionally not for a couple of months. Although the posting apathy is obvious, I appreciate that he only makes videos when he feels like he has something to say, although he does mention that he doesn’t know why his opinions are so popular. As the title alludes, Yilmaz’s “Tales of Mere Existence” are not particularly merry videos. He posted one called “My Nice,
Nice Day” in response to repeated messages he received by people telling him to “cheer up”. The video was a toe curling work of quiet sarcasm under shrieking satire, or vice versa. Many of his videos are about depression or not feeling fulfilled or searching for reason. Sombre in topic and never conveyed in a voice that deviates from a droning tone, I wouldn’t call his videos unhappy. His gimmick is “unhappiness”, but his videos are often very funny either by scripting or irony. Yilmaz released a miniseries of three videos called “The Arena” about politics during the presidential campaigns in America. These are the closest thing he has to
global commentary, his videos focus on whimsical insights into the people he meets or curiosities in his own head. His “Arena” videos aren’t thoughts about politics, but rather how people think about politics. His acute observations are humorous and often slightly warped, as though he looks through eyes that don’t belong to him. I recommend the series as a whole, to go through episode by episode or to watch at random. The particular episode “Times I Tried to be a Hipster” reminds me of Heythrop, both belonging to a subculture and wanting to belong to a subculture. Consider this an overwritten passing comment from a friend of “You should watch this”.
Film: The 85th Academy Awards Sartaj Singh 3rd year Undergraduate More than any other time in the past, the Academy Awards felt extra special to me this year, perhaps this was because it was the 85th, the primary theme of film music being celebrated, or the fact that I have actually seen most of nominated pictures- 6/9 and still counting. Keeping with their new tradition of appealing to a younger audience, this year the Academy chose Seth McFarlane of Family Guy and American Dad fame to host the award show. Unlike colossal failures in the past, particularly the complete misfire of James Franco and Anne Hathaway hosting together, McFarlane proves that he is more than up to the task. I firmly believe that out of all the hosting gigs that one can get in life that the Oscars are definitely the most difficult to oversee. This is because a careful balance has to be struck between reverence to the past, which has to reflect in the host`s attitude and approach as well as something contemporary in order to show that the Awards are not stuck in the past, this is particularly important in our information age. In his hosting I think McFarlane really keeps this balance quite well, like a lot of the actors of old, he is a man of many trades which he shows of in spades, be it setting up old dance tunes, or coming of like a modern day Frank Sinatra with his own twist of course. Perhaps the most
criticized point of his whole hosting was his jokes which managed to fire and offend at nearly anyone you can think of. I personally did not mind his humour as I am a fan of Family Guy and its quirky and random comic interludes that can be red in the face funny at best and swear inducing at worst. His best moment was his opening monologue where he teamed up with Captain James T Kirk himself in a hilarious and self deprecating sketch which set the tone for the whole evening. As I remarked upon earlier one of the primary themes of this year`s awards was the celebration of music in film. This gave way to some interesting and spectacular live performances which ranged from Shirley Bassey belting out the show stopping “Goldfinger” to Catherine Zeta Jones performing the famous “And all that Jazz” from “Chicago” Furthermore, a funny gimmick was utilised with the theme from Jaws which started playing if a speech was going on too long. This rule was broken by Quentin Tarantino when accepting his award, who proceeded to walk off when hearing the theme to run back seconds later with more to say, the result was quite funny. In terms of music showcased while the near three hour show hit possibly every classic theme in film that one can think about, possibly the most glaring omission of the show was the Star Wars theme, this was a most a gross oversight considering that
back in ‘78, the score for “A New Hope” won “Best Original Score” The presenters of awards they varied from George Clooney to Paul Rudd. Perhaps the most disappointing presenters were the cast of Avengers, which seemed like a great idea on paper but in execution it came across as awkward and not to mention quite time wasting as their jokes mostly fell flat. The best presenter by far was Christopher Plummer who came out with a twinkle in his eye and his usual humour that brought a sense of old time class to the show. As for the winners of the night, this was quite a fair as awards shows go. Most if not all the major films mentioned in the “Best Picture” category got major awards. As for the predictable awards, Daniel Day Lewis won “Best Actor” for his superb performance as Lincoln and the public`s favourite “Argo” won “Best Film” However the most surprising awards came in the next big categories. The first was “Best Actress” going to Jennifer Lawrence which no one was betting on and “Best Director” went to Ang Lee for Life of Pi which was my personal favourite to win. The film went on to win 4 awards. Overall the 85th Academy Awards were quite spectacular, quite possibly the best in years. This was because of the host who got the right balance between being reverent to having his own style comedic ally, the celebration of film music which was a nice personal touch as well as an eclec-
tic array of award presenters. Perhaps the only real problem of the show aside from pitfalls that usually bring down a show like this was the tribute to James Bond 50th anniversary. While it was nice hearing Adele and Shirley singing their respective themes for two great
films in the cannon, the rest of it came across as quite amateurish with a clip reel that anyone with good editing skills could put together. In this case, the rumour of all the five actors being on stage together sounded better than the actual reality.
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edited by Robert “Culture” LeftWich Film: Oz: The Great and Powerful John C. Ross Masters Student I think that the MGM classic The Wizard of Oz (1939) is arguably one of the best films in history. Since first seeing it I was, and remain, hooked on the Land of Oz. That includes reading the Oz books – though I’ve not for some time – watching over and over the cult classic Disney sequel Return to Oz (1985, starring Fairuza Balk and Jean Marsh), holding a special place in my heart for the Motown adaptation The Wiz (1978), and most recently reading Gregory Maguire’s books based in Oz – most notably Wicked: the Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, since adapted into a musical and theatrical masterpiece Wicked, showing at the Apollo Victoria Theatre (and if you have yet to see it, please do as soon as you can). So when I heard that Disney were going for a second jump onto the Oz bandwagon I was incredibly interested to see what they were going to offer. Ttheir previous attempt, Return to Oz, was an initial flop, however it remains a cult classic for its sinister undertones and dark characters – the hyperactive wheel-footed Wheelers, the wicked Queen Mombi and her gallery of severed heads, and the callous new owner of the Ruby Slippers, the Nome King. I read the synopsis of Oz: the Great and Powerful with a slight concern – the story is about the Wizard (James Franco) and his initial landing in Oz, however it features three other familiar protagonists, the three witches: Glinda the Good (Michelle Williams), Theodora (Mila Kunis), who is to become the Wicked Witch of the West, and Evanora (Rachel Weisz), cruel owner of flying baboons and steward to the Emerald City. They are familiar to lovers of Wicked as that is essentially what that story is also about; so my initial suspicion was that Disney were making an attempt to pull focus. I won’t beat around the bush however: it is a pleasant enough
watch. Franco makes for a roguish protagonist – the kind with a hard exterior but soft heart – though he is a complete womaniser and there are times where you wonder the film isn’t setting feminism back a few decades as essentially everything revolves around the three witch’s relationships with him – Theodora’s doting, Glinda’s acceptance and Evanora’s manipulation. I think the relationships could have been a little deeper and more interesting, but I suppose we are working with Disney and I suppose they are integral to the plot. It was also nice to see a great deal of African-American cast members - no mains mind, but noticeable secondaries (including for die-hard fans like me, creators of the Scarecrow and Tinman). However, I question Disney’s motives behind using African-American actors; I hope they didn’t just ‘plop them in’ because they feel that we as audience members are much more sensitive to the omission of African-Americans in Disney films ever since they did the ‘black-princess-for-thesake-of-black-princess’ in The Princess and the Frog whilst omitting black characters in almost every single other film ever (except, of course, for racial commentary – see Sebastian the crab). I want them to have done it for the sake of the story, the sake of Oz, of comparable American history, but also, and importantly, the sake of humanity and our future. The special effects are breathtaking on an Avatar-like scale: this was a film made for 3D, not having 3D imposed upon it. Though, as always, I feel that the art departments were not truly inventive enough and more recreated our natural world, just ‘bigger, better and more beautiful’ and not necessarily more interesting nor creative. Over all, I feel that – as is often the case with Disney, and especially in the modern day, that the emphasis on the special effects took precedence over the storyline, which was overall
quite poor (even introducing a Snow White-like scene in which one of the sisters presents a poisoned apple to the other(!)). There was a lot of clunkiness and clumsy story-telling, and too much expositional dialogue, which, though informative, then left the frustrated audience asking questions about things like characters’ motives and
how certain things fit in to the overarching storyline, and also wondering about gaping plot holes. They could have done so much more, though perhaps I was naughty and compared it quite a lot to Wicked, which is, I think, a far superior story, especially if one wants to link it back to the original Wizard of Oz effectively, which Wicked does.
Though Oz: the Great & Powerful does too, it doesn’t quite do it in a way that enhances either of the stories – instead I feel like it’s Disney cashing in on what could be a really interesting and dynamic story – but, unfortunately, ultimately failing at even delivering that.
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Remember, articles can be submitted over the Summer and will be included on our website! Contact Robert Leftwich at email@example.com
Culture Music: Heights: Dead Ends Rory Phillips News Editor This album doesn’t like happiness. It wants you to be sad. It manages to accomplish it very well actually. The first track ‘We Live Alone’ sets the tone with the downtuned guitars that are a staple across the whole album (and in fact everything the band has done), and lyrics that remind you of the hopelessness of it all, ‘we live alone, and that’s how we die’. Each word is delivered with passion and emotion which doesn’t quite feel like anger at any one particular thing; more like disillusionment, then. A nice fade-out into some piano work is a nice touch on a hardcore album like this. The next song ‘Eye for an Eye’ which was the lead single off the album, with a music video released as well, carries on the setup for approximately five minutes. A nice intro riff accompanied by the vocalist’s screams carry the song into the chorus. Where the song really gets good is the breakdown, which comes a little after half way. The scream of ‘I put my heart in these words I scream, I hope you hear my voice and know that I mean every fucking word’ has especially good
delivery. A standout feature of this is it’s a heavy breakdown that does not become a repetitive chug-fest. Good effort all round. What is also nice is the guitars which tend toward the higher pitches, and oscillate quickly between two notes. This is an effect which the band uses a lot throughout the album as well. ‘Oceans’ is not one of my favourite tracks, but in this it does become apparent that the vocalist has a very good range, so is able to move between the low and high ends of the screaming spectrum, so as not to become samey. Many bands are let down by a vocalist that can only do one type of scream! Not this one. ‘Letting Go’ has some powerful intro lyrics: ‘I hope you realise that you meant everything’. What I thought was very interesting about this song in particular was that when there is swearing it stands out as noticeable. Clearly this is because it is not overused, which is another tendency in hardcore and metal records. To return to my first comment about it not being a happy album; thus far, with regards lyricism and themes – all rain, no rainbows. A nice piano solo at the end provides a nice transition to the next song, ‘The Lost and Alone’ which is one of the standouts. A hardcore
staple, gang chants, makes its appearance here for the second time on this record. A nice mixture of the two, and then a brilliant line: ‘Lungs collapse under the weight, cries fall on deafened ears. My cries fall on deafened ears’, after which the pace of the song, increases to faster than normal. A good time for moshing! Some guest vocals from The Ghost Inside (not a hardcore band I am that familiar with, although I have it on good authority they are pretty rad), show just how unique Heights’ vocalist is. ‘Forget’, the next track, is my favourite on this album. The lyrics ‘The sun will rise and the time will pass, and I’ll forget you, I will forget you’ are perhaps the finest example of the emotion this vocalist can bring. The higher-pitched guitars really do work very well in this band. Toward the end the instruments fade out, and the vocalist is on his own, screaming the lyrics to the chorus. Excellent stuff. Now the shortest track on the album, at just about a minute and a half, ‘Beneath the Skin’ offers some hope to the rather depressing themes offered in the previous tracks. ‘There’s good in this world, and I’ll find it to start anew, to start anew’. A glimmer of rainbow amongst all the rain? Not really. ‘Dead Ends’ starts up, famil-
iar guitarwork, another nice lyric ‘I sit back and I sit alone, and watch you change with the seasons’. This album really is brilliant. A nice use of gang chants to repeat what the vocalist says about the title of the track and the album ‘the people we used to be are dead to you and me, the people we used to be are dead ends, are dead ends’. The hope put forward on the last track is all gone, especially with ‘we are dead ends, and that’s all we’ll ever be’. More piano to bring this song to a close. ‘Endings’ brings nothing new to the table, but is all familiar by now. Not a standout track, but not a bad one either. Everything that made the album and band so distinctive is still here. To bring the album to a close ‘…And that’s how we die’ uses the same lyrics as in the first song, just in case you thought the album might end up happy. The guitars take centre stage about two minutes in, after a short break the song begins again, setting itself apart from the intro song. More piano - nothing too complex, then … nothing. That’s it. Remember, ‘We live alone, and that’s how we die’.
Thank you to everyone who submitted an article to culture this year!
Societies Sports and
What is DnD? James Leighton DND Society President A warm welcome to Dungeons and Dragons society! By reading this article your well on your way to being a D&D Soc fanatic. A lot of people seem to ask me, “are there a lot of rules?” Sure, inside of our oversized picture books there are a few rules, but they aren’t scary at all. Just sit at a game table, join in, and you will be in on the fun in no time! TV has given the game a bad image when it shows D&D players in whacky costumes and speaking in Ye Old English, but don’t worry there is no dress like and elf qualification required to play. Once you sit down you will see the story teller
- or dungeon master as they like to be called – with a pile of snacks as the little feat of crisps and biscuits starts so does the game. As you begin, you’ll find a whole range of storylines to keep you hooked, from hordes of orcs that have burned and pillaged your villages, to dragons that rain fire from the sky and dark underground forces stealing away friends during the night there is always something to do. The only chance the world has is if the hero you make runs through the world acting his many opportunities to rescue the weak, while thankful towns people erect castles in your name and then ending demons and dragons reign of terror for them with a fly kick to the face. You can do this all while quoting your favorite Monty Python sketch. This
may sound like it takes a while, and that’s right, fortunately the pizza break half way through gives a better opportunity for good humor and great conversation between people your playing with before getting back to the fantasy world sliding on the boots of flaming fly kicks you won off that dragon and preparing to take down the bigger tougher necromancer and his army of zombies that wants your shiny castle. If this sounds like some of the adventure games you’ve played in the past, it is, but rather than ATTACK, SPELL, BLOCK, RUN being your only options you get BEFIEND, MELT, CONVERT, GET DRUNK, DANCE, STAB ANNOYING CHARACTER IN THE FACE, STOP TO RECITE JOKES FOR EIGHT MINUETS, ect
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MONDAY 3RD JUNE | THE LION
The Lion Wordsearch
1. Who put the bar proposal before the estates commitee? 2. Which company will most likely be involved in the running of the bar? 3. Heather Doon will be taking a national position supporting the ____ movement 4. Ms Doon told The Lion “There are a lot of ways to pitch in with events (especially around____) 5. “By mere accident of birth, thrust into the tyranny of ____” 6. ____ Said to Thatcher, “You have opened the gates for barbarians” 7. Who is the head of the NHS regulator? 8. Which Australian day of rememberence has been written about? 9. What were the New Guinea troops also known as? 10. “The last of the cheaper fragrances is ____”
EACH OF THE ANSWERS CAN BE FOUND IN THIS EDITON OF THE LION!