Easter Eggs: The Oﬃcial Phoenix Guide
The Ndamase Choir Visit
Surf’s not so up at the new Hollister store
VAT: is 2.5% worth a fuss?
p.12 World trembles after Japanese Quake ISSUE 6 4th April 2011
50p T H E H I L L S R O A D S T U D E N T N E W S PA P E R
Back to the 90s, back to The Junction
>> Ritwika Sengupta reports on Tuesday’s ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ Ball
Ritwika Sengupta College News Reporter
The ’Fresh Prince of Bel-Air‘ ball was scheduled for Tuesday 29th March at 7:30pm. Being an avid fan of this show, I had been one of the first to buy a ticket. As usual I arrived relatively early, only to realise that it would be far too embarrassing to dance on a practically empty floor. The music was already booming from both rooms, and it wasn’t very long before the dance floor was packed.
(Photo by Natalie White)
Jemporium Fashion Shoot
The variety of music made this evening stand out. Fat Poppadaddys took over the main room for most of the evening. The songs ranged from more recent hits like Frisky to catchy nostalgic pop tunes like Stacy’s Mom (which almost everybody sang!) Sin Cru performed breakdancing at intervals, and in doing so inspired some new moves among those of us severely lacking in dancing skills. Comments about the DJ were wholly positive. “I liked how he didn’t stick to mainstream stuff,” said one student, “he really played the venue.” This was true throughout the night, as the tunes were never predictable but always enjoyable. The upstairs room had D&B and dubstep from Cambridge DJs such as Mathieson, Posh Totty, Chizzle and Stecky. So there was always something for everyone’s taste, which gave this event a really ’fresh’and ’enjoyable‘ atmosphere. Ms Dynamite took over at the end of the night and was immediately greeted by a horde of screaming teenagers. I unfortunately got stuck in the middle of the massive crowd that decided to chant “Dynamite! Dynamite!” while surging forward. By the time she started singing, I was desperately trying to avoid being trampled on by people clambering forward to get a better view. Even this late in the night, everybody seemed to have the same energy that they started out with. After being constantly elbowed during the iconic ’Dy-na-mi-tee‘ chorus, I eventually decided to give up. Navigating the ‘Ms Dynamite’ crazy crowd to safety was another challenge and has
Festival Guide: Summer 2011
p.27 p.40 Lessons from Auschwitz
Ms Dynamite on stage at The Junction permanently set me against heels. Other people seemed to have had more positive experiences. Having been a fan of her in the 00s, a student said that he “couldn’t think of a better way to end the evening”. However, a few people were also a little lukewarm towards Ms Dynamite and felt that perhaps that act had been slightly ‘disappointing‘ for the amount of money spent. The amount was apparently up to £2000, although the actual cost has not been confirmed. But if the general response of the crowd on the night was anything to judge by, most people thoroughly enjoyed her performance.
Many attendees took the 90s theme to heart. Denim was everywhere and that night saw the return of the slightly dreaded baseball cap. Some opted to dress as 90s icons. I definitely spotted Britney Spears and Michael Jackson at some point, as well as Lara Croft, and of course Will Smith. The fact that the 90s grunge look is most effective with trainers was also skilfully used by many girls to save themselves a lot of high-heelrelated pain. Overall, ‘Fresh Prince’ was a fun and nostalgic theme for all of us, and it served the purpose of making
(Photo by James McCann) the event safer, in accordance with the Junction’s wishes. The Student Council are to be congratulated for organising another brilliant event and for negotiating effectively to get this venue back. The Junction was particularly keen on this event as it was a fundraiser. They also felt that having a theme made the event safer, as it meant that gate crashers stood out. The partnership between the Junction and Hills Road has significantly improved and there have been talks of making events safer in the future. This venue has been sorely missed by the student body and hopefully future events may be held at the Junction again.
p.43 Is marriage a dead institution?
p.44 To airbrush or not to airbrush?
4 April 2011 | The Phoenix
College News Editorial
We hope you’ve all recovered from last Tuesday’s ball well enough to enjoy the new edition of The Phoenix. We’ve worked very hard to produce something well worth reading, as anyone who’s been in the vicinity of G133 this year, and hence had an ear-full of our shouts, swearing and hysterical laughter as we battled against Adobe InDesign and (only a few) unpunctual reporters, can testify to. We apologise sincerely, but hope it was all worth it. It’s been a busy term for everyone; in fact, we feel almost in the minority for not jetting off around the world for our various college subjects. Here at Hills, we’ve tried to cover the main events in college this term, from sports tournaments to dramatic productions to the aforementioned multitude of
where you can find some well- names!) may have possibly lost the informed and stimulating opinion original key. It has been, unfortunately, an pieces to challenge your views. Things have also gone well on the eventful and devastating few months on the international level. On page 35, you will find possibly advertising front. After spending The disasters that have shaken the the most self-indulgent newspaper seven months chasing the British world recently have resulted in the article ever written (or, as we School of Motoring over a payment least cheerful international news prefer to think of it, a creative way for an advert they placed with us section we’ve ever had. Hopefully to put our Phoenix-stress-related in the summer, they seem to have our coverage of some of the most comfort eating to good use). We now declared bankruptcy. Not the prominent news stories of the hope that you’ll find our advice best news for us (or the three other term can enlighten you on the on which Easter eggs to buy, and people we know they owed money global goings on, even if they don’t which to shun, helpful - if not, then to), but perhaps not surprising never mind, we still got to eat six given their less than fantastic brighten your day. organisational skills. chocolate eggs. The Fawkes magazine (a pullout from pages 15 to 34) is bigger On a financial note, funding this We’d like to thank the Student than ever this year, and includes edition has provided the usual fun Council, and everyone who voted interviews with college musicians - as anyone who has had to raise to support us, for the grant of and nationally-known artists £500 a term will tell you. However, £200 we received earlier this term. (the record of our meeting with we believe several of our friends Thank you also to Charlotte Morrin Chase&Status can be found on seriously enjoyed breaking into and Kara O’Callaghan-Latham for page 16), along with a wide variety the Phoenix cashbox to extract their excellent organising of a very of reviews, an expanded fashion the money from our Christmas successful (and delicious) cake sale, journalism section, and much sales, even managing somehow to as well as the recent Pyjama Day more. This edition we have also summon up a spanner and Allen the proceeds from which will be found ourselves with a very full and key to do the job with. One of shared with the charities Lupus UK lively comment and debate section, the editors (not mentioning any and WaterAid. exciting trips.
We hope you enjoy reading this edition, as a lot of work has been put into it by a great many people. It is the fourth paper that we have produced, and we are half-sorry, half-relieved to say that it will be the last one from us. The editorial team taking over next term will be Yenny Kang, Katherine Thomas, Kitty Underwood, Tom W Franklin, Jade Harley-Smith and Marina Carnwath, who we are sure will all do an excellent job. To the Upper Sixth who are leaving before the next paper is published, we hope we have provided you with a memorable last edition. If you have any suggestions, or would like to be involved with The Phoenix, you can always get in touch by emailing us at: firstname.lastname@example.org Happy Easter from Harriet, Jodie, Will and Alex (and the rest of the Phoenix team).
A Celebration of Talent and Friendship: the Ndamase Choir Visit performing the gospel version of ‘Hallellujah’, which entailed a collaboration between the College Choir, Jazz Choir, Chamber Choir and the Ndamase choir. It was recorded on the end of term CD, and performed in the culture concert at Hills Road and as part of the Great St Mary’s carol service.
The choir came in the last week During the week they of term, and stayed with host participated in rehearsals and families. concerts at Hills, visited local primary and secondary schools, The host families were Hills went ice skating, and visited Ely students and staff who had and London. offered to look after them. One host student said that They also had a tour of one the they “struggled a little bit with Cambridge colleges and had a understanding languages,” but look around Cambridge - the that it was a “really fantastic landscape, especially when snowweek.” covered, is very different from what they are used to in South It was a ‘major culture shock’ to Africa. both groups - most of the choir members had never been on a The big event of the week was
Unfortunately, the snow delayed their departure, and some worried they were not going to make it home for Christmas. However, it gave them more time to play in the snow and they got home safely three days later. As one host student said, it was “fantastic, incredible, a real celebration of talent and friendship.”
remembered for years to come. Hopefully it will lead to more events and exchanges between the two communities in the future.
the week will be remembered for years to come
Photo by James McCann
plane before and our food and general lifestyle is very different from theirs in South Africa. The snowy weather was also a new Christmas 2010 was a big event in experience. the Music Department. On top of the traditional carol service, carol On our side, their colourful singing, end of term concert and clothes and amazing musicality CD, we also hosted the Ndamase and dancing skills were a shock choir. to some.
Emily Cowling College News Editor
This was a great opportunity for Hills Road and Ndamase students alike, and the week will be The Ndamase choir at the Culture Evening last December
Editors: Harriet Allen · Jodie Baker · Will Simmons Deputy Editor: Alex Tyndall · Assistant Editor: Amaya Reik Section Editors: College News: Emily Cowling · Yenny Kang · Local News: Hannah Carr · Genna Morgan · National & International News: Tom w Franklin · Yee Rou Quah · Kitty Robertson · Katherine Thomas · Music Journalism: Marianne Lampon · Reviews: Lauren Goldie · Alice Schulz · Fashion: Sophia Christodoulou · Jade Harley-Smith · Molly Taylor · Politics: Cornelius Harding · Features: Lillie Davidson · Comment and Debate: Marina Carnwath · Kitty Underwood Reporters, photographers, and other contributors: Rupa Ahmed · Nadira Amrani · Shakira Artrey · Chloe Biscoe · Connie Burdge · Shona Clacher · Louisa Clack · Jemma Clark · Josef Clark · Nick Clarke · Reuben Cohn-Gordon · Kirsty Cooper · Ben Cork · Lucia Coulter · Frances Duhig · Yana Efimova · Hannah Ehrlich · Steph Emra · Pippa Bransfield-Garth · Peony Gent · Poppy Goldman · Felicity Goldsmith · Richard Gray · Charlotte Hobson · Georgia Hennessy Jackson · Ffion Jones · Polly Jones · Asher Kessler · Oli Kearon · Jack Kilker · Tom Maltas · Rachel May · James McCann · Roseanna McMahon · Charlotte Morrin · Kara O’Callaghan-Latham · Rachel Pearce · Charli Read · Emma Rice · Ritwika Sengupta · Ruth Slattery · Hettie Stephens · Hugh Stevenson · Alex Stewart · Harriet Stopher · Elliot Termote · Jack Turner · Kasheina Vencatasawmy · Natalie White · Fahmida Yasmin
The Phoenix | 4 April 2011
The French Exchange: Montpellier 2011
Curry for Charity
Photo by Katherine Thomas
Rupa Ahmed Charities Officer
A fantastic ten days visiting our host’s families in the stunning region surrounding Montpellier the youthful, vibrant city paralleled with renaissance French architecture on the south coast.
A language exchange is a chance to live with a family, where you can experience their way of life, culture and language. A disaster waiting to happen, or an interesting and exciting opportunity? Fortunately, our exchange was definitely worth it, with the majority of the group loving their time in France. All depends on your correspondent, and the class we joined were very welcoming. Apart from spending time with our host families, the teachers organised day trips and lessons within the lycée. Nîmes, Aigue-Morte and Montpellier were the three towns we visited, and it certainly felt like we had a chance to explore the region. Guided tours (all in French, of course), either under bright sunshine or cloudy skies, accompanied with free time to nibble our lunches and sip hot chocolates. Personally, one of the most memorable times was on our day trip to Montpellier, a day where it poured until the streets ran with rain. On finding a little French café we went in to chat with the owners in fragmented sentences, eat a lot of pizza and sing happy birthday to our good friend ‘Eddy’ the waiter.
apart from Hills Road; longer days, far more lessons, fewer free periods, and the entire atmosphere felt different. Each morning, leaving our adopted homes at 6:30 to start at 8:00 was a far cry from our comfortable 9:00 starts. Then once in college their days can continue until 4pm, 5pm and sometimes even 6pm. Admittedly, once you know they have 2 hour lunch breaks it seems a little more reasonable; however, many English correspondents decided that they preferred our system. Another difference was in the number of free periods. In Hills Road, depending on your subject choice, you could have 1 to 10 frees a week, which isn’t so common in France. While some correspondents did have Wednesday afternoon off, others worked solidly throughout the whole week. When we were in college, we had the opportunity to sit in a lesson - I sat in history. The teacher wrote upon the board ‘Totalitarianism.’ Initial reaction: panic! How was I going to understand anything? Pleased to report that I think I understood most, even if some escaped me. Apart from observing the more relaxed atmosphere of lessons, we were given talks on aspects of French life: cinema, politics and family life. Quick fact: in France, a film given a 12 rating can be an 18 in England.
Weekends were full of parties, trips to the beach, and concerts; as well as journeys to quaint markets or shopping in the busCollege life in France is miles tling city, ice skating in disco-
themed ice rinks, and relaxing afternoons at home, watching films and getting to know your partner. After a busy and exciting ten days attempting to understand, and get by, in a language certainly not our own, it was time to say goodbye to the friends we’d made. Hugs, photos and even tears from a few. Promises to meet again or a topic casually avoided? I missed my French correspondent and family the minute I left, even if it was nice to return to the country where I can understand all that is going on around me. I found that the exchange was indispensable, a vital part of learning French. Therefore, for all linguists I would say take part in an exchange, it is worth it. To take the most away from it, smile and enjoy yourself all the time, that way you will (hopefully) form a good friendship with your partner. Talk, listen and take part; your language will improve enormously and what better inspiration than to see your A level subject in reality? The French exchange 2011 was brilliant – and good luck to next year’s group!
photos by Rupa Ahmed
Katherine Thomas College News Reporter
As you may be aware, the two charities that the Charities Committee have been working very hard to raise money for recently are WaterAid and Lupus UK. The college voted for these two charities as our international and national charities to support this year. WaterAid works to save the 4,000 children that die from drinking dirty water everyday (information from WaterAid website); by giving those children the simple gift of water, you are giving them their lives back. Lupus UK is the only national registered charity that helps the sufferers of Lupus and provides support for their families. Lupus is not a very well known disease as it is not visually evident; however, those who are affected by it never forget.
at Taj Tandoori, Cherry Hinton Road, where students, their families and teachers enjoyed a 4 course Indian meal for as little as £12.50. The event not only had delicious food, but live singing from our very own talented Ellie Caddick. We also had a professional Hennah artist drawing tattoos for £1 (with all contributions going to the charities). Not only that, but we also had a raﬄe which continued in college for a few days. All together, we raised just over £600 – a great amount for one night, and all enjoyed an amazing ambiance. Don’t believe me? Have a look at the pictures.
I want to say thank you to everyone who had helped make that night possible. My Charities Committee filled with lovely energetic ladies; the manager of Taj Tandoori, Evidently, these two are worthy Julal Ahmed, without whose charities to raise funds for. generosity the night could not Along with many cake sales, the have been so successful; and, committee felt that something of course, to all those who extra was needed; hence the attended and made the night charity curry night. Last year, so special. when I was campaigning for my post in the council, I I hope to see everyone continue promised you all curry – and to support our charities and I did my best to fulfil that our main aim; let’s all make a promise. The event was held difference!
4 April 2011 | The Phoenix
Another Successful German Exchange to Hamburg Yenny Kang College News Editor There was everything: cheesecoated pretzels (Käsebretzel), strictly punctual buses, outdoor escalators and streets covered in snow – everything Cambridge is missing, all in the city of Hamburg, Germany. This was the 22nd German exchange Hills Road has held. The German exchange programme is unique as students are able to work in their place of interest in Hamburg. This way, students have a chance
to enhance their fluency and spontaneity in German, which is essential for the upcoming oral exams in early April. A total of 19 participants were sent to various workplaces, including primary schools, a lawyer’s office, an advertising agency, a radio station, an estate agents, and the city library. Working in a primary school (Gründschule) included helping to teach the children English, and students were asked to prepare a nursery rhyme beforehand for them to learn. “The children
Photo by Roseanna McMahon
Let’s go to Norfolk! Emily Cowling College News Editor It was cold It was raining It was Norfolk in February…
Walsham, a market town; Cromer, the famous seaside town; and Holt (which was decidedly posh). Students also visited up to 16 small villages and hamlets.
As predicted, it was rainy. It was also windy. But spirits were vaguely high And it was the AS geography field as students planned their routes and trip. methods of data collection.
Photo by Polly Jones
were so cute,” said one student, who worked in one of the primary schools in Bergedorf, the village part of Hamburg where most students stayed. “And because they spoke hardly any English, it made me concentrate on speaking German. I actually learned quite a lot from them,” she said. Working in the Bergedorf library involved checking books in/ out and helping people seeking information, all, obviously, in German. The citizens were very understanding of the foreign student, and waited patiently for the Praktikantin (trainee) to finish her job. The librarians said having a foreign student in their workplace was “aufregend (exciting).” The job also involved sorting out different books and related media, and it was interesting to see that the English author Enid Blyton was popular among German children, suggested by a shelf solely consisting of her books. One of her best-known series, Famous Five, was called Fünf Freunde (five friends). After the first week of work, on Saturday, all students and their exchange partners gathered in the train station to take a tour of inner Hamburg. Through the endless cold and wind, we explored HafenCity Hamburg
(literally Harbour-city), walking by the river Elbe and the historic warehouses. Being the largest in Europe, Hamburg’s harbour is a major tourist attraction – “it was nice to learn some history about Hamburg,” said one student. “Hamburg is so huge compared to Cambridge,” another student said, “and I think that’s what makes the city more interesting.”
in the beginning, having stayed and worked in the city for ten days students seemed to agree that they did not want to leave Hamburg: “it was much more relaxing and fun than college work – I don’t want to go back!” In the end, we stepped onto the plane toward Luton with tears, and with anticipation for our next meeting in late March.
Although scared and nervous
Photo by Richard Gray
Each AS geography class went to North Norfolk during the week of 31st of February. They spent two nights in a youth hostel near Sheringham.
However, by the end of the second day, most students just wanted to go home. As one student said, “We had been in and out of the mini bus all day and the sandwiches were horrible … I was tired The trip, which contributed to both and just wanted to sleep!” AS and A2 exams, involved lots of organisation and good map-reading But it was not just all work and no skills. It was “hard work,” said one play; once they had finished preparing geography student, “but it was for the next day, students could relax interesting and we had fun.” in the games room or TV room on the site. One pupil said, “It was really good One of the two days was spent looking to get to know the people in my class at development in the larger towns it turns out we have a lot in common.” in the area, and the other analysing the rural development of the small Apart from the sandwiches, the trip villages and hamlets. seems to have been a success, leaving the classes with plenty of data to write The larger towns were: North up in the weeks to come.
Photo by Roseanna McMahon
The Phoenix | 4 April 2011
Social sciences enrichment talks: What prisons in the UK are really like Chloe Biscoe College News Reporter
religious support to prisoners and someone to talk to.
bed for each prisoner and a toilet – just the basics.
On Wednesday 9th March, Reverend David Kinder gave a one-off talk to Sociology, Politics and Philosophy students about what prisons in the United Kingdom are really like.
The talk started at 12:45pm and carried on throughout the whole lunch hour. First, David gave a speech talking about the prison itself, and what life is like within it. He told us that the prisoners wear a basic uniform of a navy sweatshirt and jogging bottoms. The only form of customisation was in the trainers that they could wear. The prison provides a rehabilitation programme to prevent the prisoners from re-offending once released. When they attend all the lessons in a week they earn £5. £1 of this can then be spent for watching television. The remainder of this can be spent on other privileges. Prisoners, depending on the extent of their crime, share cells together. The cells consist of a
After David had finished his informative talk, he then opened the topic for discussion. Questions were being fired at him such as “What percentage of the prisoners re-offend once released?” and “Does everyone take part in the rehabilitation programmes?’”He was unable to answer the first question as it was hard to tell how many had re-offended, and after how long since being released. However, he could say that not everyone settles well in the rehabilitation programme, but a substantial amount do and the programmes do appear to be quite effective.
Congregating in the G009 Sociology classroom was a tight squeeze, with approximately 35 students attending the talk. The talk lasted an hour, but probably could have gone on for much longer due to the huge discussion going on. David Kinder works as a Christian prison chaplain at Littlehey Prison, situated next to Grafham Water, near Huntingdon. It is a category C prison that holds adult male criminals. David offers
Phoenix TV The College Newspaper Spreads its Wings as Phoenix TV Takes Oﬀ
Missed an event that happened at Hills recently? Wished you could have been there? Phoenix TV is a new podcast exploring and documenting the wonders that occur outside the classroom for all students to watch whenever they want. After developing as a newspaper, The Phoenix has decided to branch out into broadcasting. Hills Road Live Lounge II was the first event to be filmed and will air on The Innertube in the next couple of months. So if you weren’t able to attend the evening of art, music and all round entertainment, look out for the first instalment of Phoenix TV - coming soon! Emma Rice
The question which sparked most debate was “Do you think that prisoners should have the vote?” The question was very controversial, but David put his argument across well. Although I did not necessarily agree with him, he gave good points to back up what he was saying. David thought that prisoners should be allowed the vote, mainly because they are human beings and that just because they broke the law doesn’t mean they should lose all their rights. Overall, the talk was a huge success and got many people thinking about what people’s lives are like within the prisons. The social sciences department are aiming to make these special guest talks a regular event during lunchtimes, so please look out for any emails sent round about them.
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The tuition fee raise and its effects here at Hills Road Chloe Biscoe National News Reporter As a result of the ConDem coalition, and the huge amounts of debt that England has found itself in, the government has introduced huge cuts. More importantly for students, they have also introduced a huge rise in university tuition fees. Before the rise in fees was introduced, the maximum that a university could charge for a course was £3290. After the cuts, this will rise to £9000. This has sparked numerous protests within the city centre of Cambridge, as well as
various cities over the country. Charlotte Hobson, a lower-sixth student at Hills Road, finds herself in a position where she may be unable to afford to go to university: “I am worried about whether university is the best option considering the debts I will be left with.” The rise in fees is happening because the government is transferring a large proportion of tuition costs from the state to students. Sarah Deans, a lower-sixth student at Hills Road, feels that the rise in tuition fees will affect the way students view the concept of going to university: “It is going to have a negative effect on
students. There will be a lot more riots and protests. People won’t look forward to the future because most people won’t be able to go to university anymore.” Emily Garner, a lower-sixth student at Hills Road, says that: “It will be detrimental to our higher education plans and people are going to be less likely to fulfil their career plans because of an inability to afford the fees.” Already, plans for rallies to protest against the rise in tuition fees and the scrapping of EMA have been announced. The first was in Manchester on the 29th January.
4 April 2011 | The Phoenix
Never Fear, Careers Department is Here Yenny Kang College News Editor “What should I do after Hills Road?” This is a question which, undoubtedly, all students have had in mind at least once since the start of year 12. Higher education? Employment? If these sound daunting then no worries, the Careers Department is here to help you. At the far end of the College library is the Careers Department. The first thing you notice as you make your first step is the shelves fully stocked with information; university prospectuses (even separate shelves for law and medicine) to books containing up-to-date information on career choices and gap year planning – you name it. It is fair to say that, any query you have regarding universities, gap years and employment, the Careers library is the first place to go. Behind the shelves there are computers solely dedicated to careers purposes, with programmes such as Kudos and Pathfinder providing information on degree choices or career paths, depending on students’ current A-level courses and interests. The Careers Department is full of friendly (and funny) staff who emphasise their ‘openness’ to
students. The first person you may see when stepping into the department is Mrs Hodgkiss, the careers advisor, who is always there to help with students’ inquiries. Mr Ingham is the head of careers and higher education, and is responsible for anything and everything that goes around in the department. Most of the staff have their specialised subject areas which they give advice and information on; for example, Mrs Murphy provides career advice for students going into art, music, and law, Ms Martin for English, media, and drama and Madame Depiot is the one to speak to if you are thinking of going abroad
for higher education. Careers interviews are one of the main programmes the department runs. Two connexions advisors, Mr Summers and Mr Richards, are there to give students specific advice and information on areas they would like to talk about, e.g. choosing university courses. However, Mrs Hodgkiss stresses that interviews “do not tell you what to do” – they are there to make “suggestions” regarding students’ personal strengths and interests, then it is up to the students to make their choices. “Some students say that the interviews were not helpful at all because they didn’t tell them what to do, which is not what they should expect,” she says, “careers interviews are to help you make up your mind.” There have been 303 careers interviews since September, and 49 students are on the waiting list at the time of writing (early February). Students are able to make requests for this very popular programme by picking up and filling in a green careers interviews form, located near the main entrance of the department.
The department is also responsible for all the careers-related events taking place in the College, namely careers and university talks. Already, there have been guest talks from Oxbridge, Mills & Reeve law firm, the Army and many more. Work experience opportunities also must go through, and be approved by, the department; Mr Massey especially provides advice for work experience, as well as for careers in engineering and science. When UCAS goes live in June, the Careers staff really get busy. They help students all the way through their university application processes. The checking of UCAS applications is mostly organised by Mrs Hurrell, who is also responsible for organising work experience interviews. For students who are thinking of going straight into employment, there is the Employment Group, run by Mrs Hodgkiss. Through this group, students are provided with _mock interviews, practise writing job applications, etc. Those choosing to take a gap year (a third of Hills students) can go to Dr Hales for advice, as can those interesting
in medicine, dentistry and veterinary sciences. However, despite its friendliness, there will be some students still finding the careers scheme ‘scary’. “Don’t be frightened,” Mrs Hodgkiss says, “we always try to be friendly and open to all students – they can come anytime they want.” In order to make the department less office-like, they have already replaced the thick wall between the library and main department with blinds, making it more approachable for students. They dislike how students must navigate through the library to enter as it makes the department more distant, something which, they fear, might become another reason for students to be hesitant. Still, their front door is always open for informal queries, where students are greeted with a smile. So, if you do find yourself with the question “what should I do after Hills Road?”, why not just knock on their door today?
>> See page 10 for more careers (Leys Career Fair)
Philosophy Conference in Cambridge Charlotte Hobson College News Reporter After an excited bus journey into town, we arrived at the Guildhall in Cambridge and were presented with a booklet containing the ins and outs of the discussions that we would be experiencing that day. A quick-once over of the building
enabled us to find the toilets and refreshments. We settled in our seats, waiting in anticipation for the lectures to begin. We were greeted with a welcome talk outlining the speakers and the timings of the day. Dr. Peter Vardy was the headline speaker for the Matters of Life and Death conference; surrounded by fellow
A-level students, Vardy immersed us in Plato, Aristotle and Descartes. The talks included natural law, Kantian ethics, human rights and utilitarianism. A quick break separated the talks and we stocked up on Pringles and Maltesers before a new speaker, Bob Bowie, dived into the topic of human rights. Bowie had a differ-
ent speaking style to Vardy, which added a splash of variety to the proceedings.
died down and we were released to mull over the issue of euthanasia.
After lunch, the discussion began; it was centred around euthanasia and assisted suicide and asked questions such as: “Is the maintenance of life an absolute value which no other ‘good’ can outweigh?” The heated debate
The talk was a helpful revision tool and also covered information we hadn’t experienced, as well as giving the students a different viewpoint on some familiar topics.
The Phoenix | 4 April 2011
A Wild Winter for Addenbrooke’s • •
Genna Morgan Local News Editor It has been an extremely hectic winter for Cambridge’s local hospital, Addenbrooke’s. On the 4th of January the hospital was placed under “Black Alert” due to the return and intensification of the swine flu pandemic. With a sixty percent jump in patients admitted with the flu in a single week (according to Cambridge News), the hospital had to take precautionary measures to deal with the illness. This alert means that any visitors with flu-like symptoms were asked not to visit, and children were asked not to visit unless absolutely necessary. Additionally, local college students from Long Road Sixth Form College were asked not to go near/enter the hospital during their free time to prevent further spread of the virus. There has also been some exciting news in regard to a massive expansion and renovation of the hospital itself. Allies and Morrison and Devereux Architects unveiled their proposals for the development of the hospital, which have since been approved. They plan to double the size of the hospital, from 70 hectares to 140 hectares. This will give the facility a population similar to that of a small town and, according to the drafted plans, the area will resemble a town as well, with structures of streets, squares and gardens. They plan to include the following in the expansion:
• • • • • • • •
New children’s hospital Expanded services for maternity (Rosie Hospital) Neurosciences centre Relocated Papworth Hospital New Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology Comprehensive cancer centre Emergency department Critical care facilities Expanded theatres capacity Infectious diseases facility
This development is part of the council’s 2020 vision. Their objectives are to expand the hospital service so that it can meet the city’s population growth and the increase in proportion of population over 45 years of age, which has placed more demand on hospital services. They hope that by expanding the hospital they will significantly reduce waiting lists. Additionally, patients are expecting a higher standard of architecture on the sight. At the moment, the majority of buildings on the campus are over 40 years old. Included in this “vision” is the wish to develop special services that excel on both a regional and national level; one example is the inclusion space for the relocation of the Papworth Hospital to the Cambridge Biomedical Campus (as part of a greater plan to promote the existing biomedical research). There are also plans to promote and develop the NHS by developing existing links with commercial clinical research to investigate new treatment procedure and protocols for the long-terms benefit of patients in the Cambridge area.
Strawberry Fair ripens just in time for summer Tom Maltas Local News Reporter
Following the controversial decision to cancel Strawberry Fair back in 2010, the widely anticipated event is set to return this year on the 4th of June. Last year there was confusion and disappointment when the fruitful Fair was cancelled, resulting in many Facebook groups and events telling people to turn up anyway and bring all their friends. These unfortunately failed to draw large crowds generally due to the fact that there is a very big difference between clicking ‘attending’ on a Facebook event and actually travelling to Midsummer Common hoping that others were also motivated to turn up. The popular choice of who to blame for last year’s cancellation was unsurprisingly the police, who received a rather satisfying amount of abuse from the many angry Fair goers. The truth of the situation was that it was the Cambridge police’s fault that the fair was a no go. They understandably appealed the decision of the elected Council early in 2010 to grant a license for the fair to take place. This then put the Fair committee in a very difficult position; they would not be sure if the fair could take place until very close to when it scheduled to start. This meant that they felt they could not risk using all the money and effort of the
Strawberry Fair in 2007
people involved in organising the event if it was simply to be cancelled. However, all was not lost as this meant the Strawberry Fair committee could open conversations with the Police and the Council to ensure that the Strawberry Fair would take place in 2011. As a result of this, we have been promised that the Fair can go on this year as planned. This year is set to be an eventful one, with all the usual attractions and some added extras. Groups such as the Inner Terrestrials, a dub, ska mix band from South London and Dave Crowbarr, who plays many punk classics on the cello are set to be playing. But don’t worry if punk is not your thing as there will be many other stages, such as the ‘blaggers’ stage, where anyone can go up and sing, embarrassing or not. Not forgetting the main stage, on which the larger acts will be playing, as well as the winner of the band competition that took place at the Man on the Moon pub in Cambridge. People who want to trade, regardless of what, can fill out an application form for anyone wanting to make any extra money for the summer. However, whether anyone will buy what you are selling is another question as it is fairly hard to compete with the various ice cream vans and with the finest portable cuisine around parked close by.
Although many people will wish to make up for the absence of last year’s fair, the people organising the event have adopted an ‘It’s your Fair, play fair’ policy. This is basically a method of making sure things don’t get too out of hand and people don’t go too far within the fair. Various policies have been adopted, such as a total ban on alcohol on all trains coming to Cambridge on the day of the Fair and £80 on the spot fines will be issued for public urination. Although these seem fairly strict, and the toilets may have a long queue, it may save you a confrontation with the police if you simply follow the rules, which could in fact be a lot worse. A ‘greener and cleaner’ policy has also been undertook, encouraging Fair goers to make sure they use the bins and help out with litter picking after the fair is over. Again this sounds rather unappealing, but you may stumble across a phone or wallet and you can gain great satisfaction by handing it in to the police. Our local and pride-filled Fair is shaping up to be a great event and the fact it is free makes it even better. So bring all your friends and support local acts in the sun on midsummer common, June 4th. But remember, no public urination and no alcohol on trains, these are serious problems identified by the organisers that drastic steps must be taken to stop.
(photos from wikimedia commons)
4 April 2011 | The Phoenix
A windy future for Heydon: 11 Energy-Generating London Eyes Genna Morgan Local News Editor The company Volkswind UK Ltd. has appealed for planning permission to build a wind farm directly north of the village Heydon, approximately 5km east of Royston, and 20 minutes car journey from the centre of Cambridge. They propose to build 11 turbines (each with a generating capacity of up to 2.5 MW), and a temporary construction compound and meteorological mast. These turbines will be of maximum height 80m and 126.5m blade tip height (in effect 8.5 metres smaller than the London Eye), making them some of the highest in the country. Volkswind plans that this wind farm will have an operating life of about 25 years, after which time they would be “de-commissioned and removed from the site.” The turbines themselves will be 700 metres from the nearest house in Heydon and, as a result, the village of Heydon has reacted
enormously by launching a campaign to prevent the wind farm. Their main arguments ref lect those of the international debate about the disadvantages of wind farms. There is significant evidence, for example, that they are more efficient offshore, because there is more wind, and it is also cheaper (as there are fewer safety guidelines to overcome). Although they whole heartedly back the idea of a renewable energy source, they believe it will be more effective elsewhere, where they will both be more effective and safer. One major cause for concern is the nearby wildlife sanctum in Fowlmere village, where the animals could, according to the centre, possibly suffer as a result of the farm, especially in any cases of escape. The most obvious concern is the threat the turbines pose to bird, who can be killed or seriously injured by the spinning blades. Another issue concerning the villagers is that there may be a risk that the 11 turbines are just the
The proposed location for the turbines
start, and that once the company has permission for those, they will gradually expand their area to create a larger farm. In addition to the turbines, they would require infrastructure such as access tracks, transformers, a control building and under-
(photos by Genna Morgan)
The Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) guidelines predict that traffic flows will increase by more 30 per cent in highway links, and that other ‘sensitive’ areas will see a traffic increase of 10 per cent or
The following villages will be directly affected by the turbines: Heydon, Great Chishill, Little Chishill, Chrishall, Chrishall Grange, Elmdon, Duxford, Heathfield, Thriplow, Fowlmere, Melbourn and Barley.
I spoke to a Ms. Jaffray who lives in the village of Heydon, to ask her about her opinion about the possibility of a wind farm. How do you feel about the plans for the proposed wind farm? I’m completely behind the idea of renewable energy sources; especially nowadays with the revelations surrounding global warming. Having said that though, when we bought the house here we were planning on moving again later on, which might not be possible now, because who’s going to want to buy a house next to a wind farm? What are your main concerns? My main concerns are that it will ruin the countryside feel that I love about this village. I love being able to take walks with my dog, and know that is just fields over fields, and that gives me a sort of peaceful feeling. I’d hate to walk next to massive turbines. Could you think of any benefits? Well, yes obviously the benefits of renewable energy are enormous, and I’m completely behind the entire idea. I just think that they would be even more effective in places where they have been shown to conduct more energy, like off-shore. How long have you lived in the village? I’ve lived here almost two years now. How are the people of Heydon reacting- do any of them think it’s a good idea? The reaction has been enormous, as you can tell by all the signs outside everyone’s houses. I don’t personally know anyone who is fanatic about having a wind farm here, and I’d say it was safe to say that the majority of the village are against the idea. How much information have you been given about it from the company itself? There’s a website, and we’ve even set up our own site against it. We’ve had the opportunity to send letters in against it, so we’ve been pretty well informed. Most recently there was an exhibition in the Heydon Grange Golf Club, where we could ask them questions and fill out questionnaires with our views to their plans. Has the village already done anything actively to prevent it happening? Yes, about a month ago we held a dinner to raise money against the farm. It was a huge success - lots of people from Heydon and neighbouring villages attended and we raised a lot of money.
Since then, the village has launched a campaign to protest against the planned wind farm in which they raised a balloon (of the same height as one of the wind turbines). They did this over a period of a few days, to show how tall the turbines will actually be. The balloon could be seen from various places in the 30km impact zone of the turbine, for example from the north west of the village, from Chrishall Grange, and from near Duxford Imperial War Museum. In fact, according Cambridge local news, even local MP Andrew Lansley is against the Heydon Grange Wind Farm. He reportedly said “while I am not opposed to wind farms where they are built in an efficient and responsible manner, I am deeply opposed to these plans for Heydon,” arguing that the plans significantly lacked local support and that they would have a detrimental effect on the air shows held at the nearby Duxford Imperial War Museum. All in all, it doesn’t look like a promising future for Volkswind in Heydon, but they can still propose their plans to the county council and have them passed. For the villagers of Heydon, it is now a case of protesting and waiting for the verdict.
The Phoenix | 4 April 2011
The Misguided Busway We’ve all heard about the controversial guided busway plans over the past 11 years and been repeatedly told by the Council how this revolutionary idea will become the new, fast and reliable way of travelling around Cambridge. Now, several years later than planned and £45 million over budget, the guided busway is near completion. What started off as a brilliant idea has, over the years, become outdated and people are tired of the topic “when will the guided Busway be finished?” Yet in a recent article published on the Cambridge County Council website, it was revealed that the guided busway is planned to open this spring. However, this will be along with several drawbacks. Cambridgeshire County Council blame BAM Nuttall for the delays
and are now charging them £14,000 for every day they go over the due date in damages, something which has now cost the contractors in excess of £9.5 million. This is an ongoing problem for the County Council and they hope to rectify this issue soon.
the guided busway is planned to open this spring
So, what does the guided busway mean for you, when it does arrive? Firstly, it will only be helpful if you live in the surrounding villages. These will include Huntingdon, St Ives, Swavesey, Longstanton, Oakington and Histon, with a request stop for the nature reserve at Fen Drayton. It is also proposed that when the new town Northstowe is completed more stops will be added. Secondly, you’ll need to find out where it is located, as for some
this could be as much as 20 minutes walk away. Finally, it will have many benefits. The time taken to travel will be significantly reduced and it will run frequently from 7am to 7pm, Monday to Saturday.
photo from wikimedia commons
Shakira Artrey Kirsty Cooper Local News Reporters
The question now is, when the guided busway is completed, will it have been worth the wait? The head of delivery for the guided busway, Bob Menzies, believes so. ”People will see it in a very different light when it is finished,” he said. “It does what we said it would. I think people will realise the benefits of being able to get from Cambridge to St Ives in 16 minutes.” Mr. Menzies is confident that, once people have used the busway, it will become an important part of their daily travelling. So, until then, we will have to wait for the busway’s completion and hope that it will be finished in the near future - with all the benefits promised by the Cambridgeshire County Council.
Guided busway during trials, 2009
‘The Cambridge Gateway’ set to open in Spring
runs smoothly, they are hoping to have much of the building completed by summer 2012.
Hannah Carr Local News Editor The much anticipated construction of a new road connecting Cambridge’s railway station to Hills Road is currently underway, and the County Council hope that it will be ready to use sometime in the coming spring. Originally set to meet completion deadlines towards the end of February, work on the ‘The Cambridge Gateway’, linking up the junction of Hills Road and Brooklands Avenue to the station area, was begun in mid July. The road will create a new access point for pedestrians, cyclists and buses, creating both an easier and safer route for the town’s commuters. Over the past months it has become evident to those in Cambridge that the landscape occupying the CB1 district of the city is undergoing dramatic changes and improvements. ‘The Cam-
‘ The Cambridge Gateway’ under construction bridge Gateway’ is just a minor part of the Cambridge County Council’s plans on the expansion of this area, which is currently known as the CB1 Development Scheme.
an expansion around the Cambridge Station area in an attempt to make major improvements on the transport interchange around that part of the town. The redevelopment will also provide retail and leisure space, along with new Approved in October 2008, the apartments, and accommodation development scheme consists of for Anglia Ruskin University stu-
(photo hy Harriet Allen)
dents. The project is expected to provide a hotel, shops, 331 homes and 1,250 student rooms, whilst also providing a home for Microsoft Research. Construction of the first of these buildings has recently begun and the council says that, if all
Hills Road Bridge is one of the busiest interchange routes in Cambridge, with high amounts of pedestrians, cars, buses and bicycles crossing each day (studies have shown that at least 4000 bicycle journeys are made over the bridge every day). 2010 saw great amounts of work being carried out on Hills Road Bridge, in connection with the Guided Bus Route and to ensure that the road layout is safe for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers alike. But is all the work worth the hassle? These new constructions in the CB1 area have caused a great disturbance in the day-to-day running of traffic and very often are not finished on time. Only time will tell whether these ambitious developments meet completion deadlines and prove successful and worth the money, but in the meantime, travel safely!
4 April 2011 | The Phoenix
Surf is not so up at new Hollister store Jack Turner Local News Reporter
On the other hand, the store and company itself has received a lot of criticism from customers. When visiting the store they were overwhelmed by how dark the shop was. Both Hollister and Abercrombie use very dim spot lighting in their stores, and consequently many customers complained that they couldn’t see clearly what they were buying until they walked out of the shop. When asked about the store, one student said, “it was overcrowded, noisy, too dark and the staff looked like knobs.” According to Wikipedia, they are emulating the appearance of a ‘vintage beach shack’ that creates a unique shopping expe-
rience for their customers. I’ve certainly never shopped in darkness before. Amazingly, it is company policy for the music to be played at levels between 80 and 85 decibels. Consider that it is also employer policy to provide ear protection at 90 decibels. That’s pretty weird. One employee even gave their view on the store and Hollister’s image; “It’s an attempt at bringing the American style and ethos into the center of one of England’s most quintessential towns. After a greeting which, even when spoken in the clearest tone, is unrecognizable to the customer, they are then lost in the midst of cheesy American pop, overly perfumed clothes and bodies of almost absolute darkness. It’s a joke.”
photos by Harriet Allen
It’s been a few months now since the new Hollister store has been opened, yet it has already become one of the most popular clothes shops in the Grand Arcade. The beach-hut styled building is inspired by the Californian lifestyle, its unique design standing out from the rest of the shops in Cambridge. Hollister Co. is a spin-off brand from the Abercrombie & Fitch label, which is a noticeably more expensive and up-market store. Hollister are well known for their affordable, surf-style clothing aimed at the young generation. Consequently, it has taken the UK markets
Hollister in the Grand Arcade, Cambridge
All is not lost! For example, be flexible about which department an employer assigns you to: an option you may not have even considered Unsure about career pathways, may turn out to be surprisingly university courses or any of those interesting. It could generate other ominous decisions at the new ideas and open up further moment? It’s not the end of the opportunities for the future. world! Recently attending the Lower Sixth Careers Fair at The Similarly with university coursLeys disclosed the reassuring mes- es, uncertainty regarding exsage from all types of profession- actly what you want to do does als that no career path is straight not mean all is lost! The advice forward. The key idea to bear in from most of the employers was mind is simply to keep your op- to take a subject that truly intertions open. This can apply to ests you, that you will perform many impending decisions - work well in, and most importantly experience, different university one that you will enjoy studying; courses: be open to persuasion!
Georgia Hennessy Jackson Local News Reporter
In November 2010 a decision made by an assistant manager sparked major controversy. An employee of a Southampton branch, Harriet Phipps, was prevented from wearing the Red Poppy, which is worn in remembrance of the soldiers who risked their lives in the world war. Abercrombie & Fitch stated that this was not part of the “corporation’s approved uniform,” and was not allowed. Harriet Phipps appeared on many news programmes and in many newspapers, which finally made the company reconsider their strange policy. Putting those negatives aside, the clothes are decent enough, and with summer arriving shortly we should expect to see Hollister even busier than before.
>> See page 6 for more careers (Hills Road careers department) there is no ‘one way’ into most careers. At the careers fair there were lawyers who have been in advertising for 10 years, a journalist with a degree in social sciences and a landscape designer with a degree in law and philosophy… The main recommendation across the board was to be flexible, open minded and to develop transferable skills. These are vital qualities that employers will be looking for. This philosophy will continue to be relevant even when you have chosen a career hardly any occupations have a set progression route.
there is no ‘one way’ into most careers
According to one of the journalists, keeping your options open is far better than trying to specialise too early as this can limit later progression. For example, getting general training in a career before specialising will put you in a stronger position when applying for a wider range of jobs; at times it can be good to be an all rounder before focusing on a
more exclusive area. Overall, the key message was to maintain flexibility in mindset and apply this to work experience, university courses or career paths. It is also a must to develop skills that can be are widely transferable. The Careers Fair was both fascinating and enlightening with the positive ideas and messages it gave - I strongly recommend that it not be missed next year!
fascinating and enlightening
The Phoenix | 4 April 2011
VAT: Is 2.5% worth a fuss? Peony Gent National News Reporter
VAT. It’s something, mysterious (to most of us anyway), something which seems to rise and fall occasionally, but pretty much something baﬄing and inexplicable. But it is known that it makes things cost more, making it almost universally regarded as A Bad Thing. And as of last January, it’s been raised again, from 17.5% to 20%. This rise of ‘Value Added Tax’ (which is exactly what the name says: a tax added onto the original price of the item) has the aim of helping out Britain’s record-breaking deficit, which is estimated to be £180 billion this year. 7 out of the 27 countries in the EU have already had a VAT rise since the global economic crisis, leaving us Britons almost dead centre in the VAT percentage chart, with nine coun-
tries having a lower VAT rate and 10 having higher. There is also an even 5% gap on either side, with the lowest rate recorded being in Luxemburg and Cyprus (with 15%), and then Denmark, Sweden and Hungary leading the board with a 25% rate. According to George Osborne (Chancellor of the Exchequer), without this 2.5% change, other spending cuts on areas such as the NHS and public building work would have to be “£13 billion bigger.” However, he also promised the price hike will not affect any “essential items,” which include things such as children’s clothes, food, newspapers and magazines. Petrol will reach a minimum price of £1.20 a litre and, perhaps most distressingly, the average cost of a pint of beer will puncture the £3 mark for the first time. The cries of university students everywhere can be heard across the country.
The former Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer Alan Johnson calls the rise “a broken promise,” after Cameron admitted in his pre-election campaign that VAT rises were indeed unfair. The main criticism of VAT is that is it seen by many as a regressive tax, so it takes away a larger proportion of money from poorer people than from richer ones, but Osborne has countered this by saying that a higher income tax or a higher national insurance (which is Labour’s preferred option to tackle the debt) would cost
more jobs in the long term and have too great an impact on the “competitiveness of the British economy.” However, according to a study by the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development, the VAT rise will cost 250,000 jobs, while a national insurance increase would only cost 75,000.
Nevertheless, looking at the extra VAT added onto single items it sometimes does not seem so extreme: for example, something such as a £10 cuddly bear now costs £10.20, and, with the risk Country VAT % Country VAT %
SOURCE: EUROPEAN COMMISSION Austria Belgium Bulgaria Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Estonia Finland France
20 21 20 15 20 25 20 22 19.6
Germany Greece Hungary Ireland Italy Latvia Lithuania Luxembourg Malta
19 23 25 21 20 21 21 15 18
Netherlands Poland Portugal Romania Slovakia Slovenia Spain Sweden UK
19 22 20 19 19 20 16 25 20
of sounding patronising, more expensive items obviously have a higher increase - a £15,000 car will now be £15,319.15. To put it into a broader context, analysis Deloitte carried out for The Times showed that a family with a combined total income of £70,000 would have to pay an extra £10.80 per week in VAT, or about £561 for the year. However, the rate will probably not be tacked directly onto the price of items in the shops, and even if it is, the result will be far more disastrous for businesses than the average shopper. Small businesses especially are expected to suffer: large ones can absorb the damage and have little change in sales, but (according to the Federation of Small Businesses) over half of small companies are expecting to have to make customers pay the extra price, and are expecting to have to cut jobs to deal with it.
HMV closing down? Shakira Artrey Kirsty Cooper National News Reporters HMV, the music and books retailer is said to close 60 of its stores over the next 12 months due to declining sales, particularly over the Christmas period. The Christmas sales at HMV, including Waterstones which the firm owns, were said to have decreased by 10% and predicted that the profit made would be at the lower end of the spectrum. HMV’s shares decreased by 20% after the sales data had been revealed, and the firm also admitted that they faced trouble with meeting the terms of several bank loans. It is predicted that the end of year profits were likely to be in the band of £45 million, or “moderately below market expectations.” In the wider retail sector, £45 million is considered average; the real
issue for HMV is its debts, rather than the profits, as the retail firm borrowed several millions to a fund diversification plan for Fox. Due to this struggle, HMV has received many profit warnings, their chairman is standing down and they have stated that they are likely to fail loan covenant tests. As well as closing down both HMV and Waterstones stores, HMV is said to be implementing measures which will cut costs, therefore saving approximately £10 million per year. HMV is said to be considering selling its stores in other countries such as Canada and Hong Kong, however those that are familiar to this situation have played down this idea of selling overseas.
the last man standing in
the music and
Though profits are down, spirits are still high as the company has other factors in its favour, which could mean there is still life left in Nipper the dog, who has been the music chain’s mascot since its first store opened in 1921. Following the closure of Zavvi and Woolworths, HMV is the last man standing in the music and entertainment retail industry.
(Photo from Wikimedia Commons)
4 April 2011 | The Phoenix
International News World trembles after Japanese Quake Alex Tyndall Deputy Editor At 1446 local time on Friday 11th March, an earthquake of magnitude 8.9 struck, a few kilometres off the east Japanese coast. The quake produced a tsunami which ripped across eastern Japan and the Pacific basin. Tsunami waves were recorded as far away as New Zealand. The earthquake itself - the seventh largest ever recorded - would do enough damage, but it was the following tsunami which caused the most destruction. Entire coastal towns were swept away by the massive wave, which was measured in the town of Rikuzentakata to have reached the third storey of the city hall. Vehicles and buildings were picked up and forced along by the relentless flow of water. One look at any of the aerial images after the disaster tells you everything you need to know: debris strewn over fields, buildings on fire, floodwaters and dirt where there used to be houses. As I write this, the death toll is expected to exceed 10,000 from the wave alone. For the survivors of the quake there are two remaining threats; the first of these is the freezing weather. With winter only just coming to an end, temperatures are frequently below zero degrees and snow is falling on the ruined towns. With widespread power cuts and no fuel, the 400,000 homeless survivors still face a
massive struggle against the cold. The second threat is the damage caused to the nuclear plant at Fukushima. Explosions have taken place at reactors 1, 2 and 3 and there are fears of massive radiation leaks. Emergency measures are desperately struggling to keep coolant pools full of water to prevent radiation. Even so, there is a 20km evacuation zone and a 30km no-fly/stay indoors zone around the plant, with the US calling for this to be extended as far as 80km. Still, thus far there have been no catastrophic meltdowns in any of the reactors, or any nuclear explosions, and the central cores themselves have largely remained unscathed. International aid operations are now under way. A British team from the International Rescue Corps, despite being granted permission to help by the Japanese Embassy in London, didn’t receive the same permission from the British ambassador in Tokyo. The Foreign Secretary argued that this was because they didn’t have sufficient “logistical, transport or language support.” Clearly being registered with the UN and having their own translator and vehicles doesn’t count. In spite of this, there is a UK International Search and Rescue team working in the region, searching for survivors. The British Red Cross is running an appeal for the Japanese quake. To make donations visit www. redcross.org.uk/donate.
Disaster scenes in Japan after the tsunami hit
Tuscon shootings Tom w Franklin International News Editor On January 8th 2011 tragedy struck America when a gunman strolled into a Safeway supermarket in Tucson, Arizona, and opened fire on a crowd of people. Among those hit were Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford, Democrat representative of Arizona’s 8th District; Christina Green, age 9, who was born on 9/11 and was featured in the book Faces of Hope: Babies Born on 9/11 and Judge John Roll, Chief judge of the US District Court for Arizona. The shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, was charged with 1 count of attempted assassination of a member of Congress, 2 counts of killing a federal employee and 2 counts of attempting to kill a federal employee. Representatives of the State of Arizona also intend to prosecute murder and attempted murder charges on the behalf of those involved in the attack who were not part of the federal
(all images from wikimedia)
government, due to the fact that all Federal Judges from Arizona have been disqualified from the trial, because of their shared connection to the deceased John Roll. As such, the San Diego-based Judge Larry Burns will be presiding over the trial. Jared Lee Loughner had been diagnosed with a wide range of mental disorders, and had been arrested twice before the shooting - once for the possession of drug paraphernalia, and once for vandalism after defacing a street sign in the town of Marana, near the city of Tucson. He had also previously disclosed extremely negative views towards Gabrielle Gifford, after he felt that a question he asked her at a public meeting in 2007 was not sufficiently answered. A letter from Mrs. Gifford thanking Loughner for attending the event was found in a box in his apartment, along with notes reading “assassination plans have been made.” On the day of the shooting itself, Loughner purchased the bullets for his pistol at a local Walmart supermarket, having purchased the gun several weeks earlier from a sporting goods store. Gabrielle Giffords, miraculously, was not killed by the usually-fatal bullet to the brain. Whilst it has severely impacted on her mental functionality, doctors are hopeful for her recovery.
The Phoenix | 4 April 2011
New Zealand’s ‘darkest day’ Harriet Stopher International News Reporter On Tuesday 1st March many people throughout New Zealand paused for two minutes of silence as they reflected on the devastation caused one week previously. The 22nd February began just like any other day, but at 12:51pm a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck New Zealand’s second city, Christchurch: the country’s worst natural disaster for 80 years. At the time of writing, there have been 159 people confirmed dead, however it is feared that there could be up to 240 lives lost. Buildings were torn down and roads split apart, with New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Keys declaring that “we may be witnessing New Zealand’s darkest day.”
A second hazard has developed in the region as 70km/h winds have been slowing the recovery work and dust clouds circle the area. This has severely reduced the possibility of finding any more bodies beneath the rubble and building debris. Continuous aftershocks from the main earthquake are still having an effect on the country, causing additional harm to the infrastructure of Christchurch. The tremendous earthquake was caused by a frictional build up between the Pacific and IndoAustralian plates. With the epicentre being only 5km below the city’s surface, the consequences have been disastrous. There was a similar occurrence during September last year when a huge 7.1
earthquake hit Christchurch, however no-one was killed. That was largely because the epicentre was at a lower depth of 10km, and 40km away from the city centre, meaning that that there were high economic losses, yet no human losses. As a consequence of these two major natural disasters taking place in such a short space of time, New Zealand’s economy has been negatively affected. The nation’s currency has fallen in value by 1% and it is also thought that interest rates will have to be cut. Overall, the Prime Minister believes that the country has lost 20 billion New Zealand dollars through the destruction of businesses, services and the drastic repair work taking place.
Haiti: a year of disasters Katherine Thomas International News Editor On the 12th of January 2010 an earthquake shattered the foundations of Haiti, leaving 230,000 people dead. The aftermath of this life-changing experience has not finished in Haiti; thousands still live in torment and poverty. In one year Haiti has attempted to recover from a hurricane, floods, cholera and election violence. No one has felt safe in their lost communities and in many places even hope has not yet returned. Wandering around the streets you would see rubble lining the roads (much of it has not yet been cleared and is a source of frustration for the 1.2 million people who were left homeless) and drifting orphans. 5,058 children were separated from their parents; only 1,303 have been reunited with family. The most shocking statistic is that of the poverty: 72% live in poverty, each on less than $2 a day. Is this a place of hope or despair? Spray painted on to buildings are the words “Haiti pap peri” – Haiti will not perish. The warming strength of Christianity and prayer in their lives forms a backbone for society. Life is functioning; there is food in the colourful, Caribbean markets of Port–au–Prince and many are finding jobs in any way they can. Of course, even before the earthquake it was struggling so nobody would expect a rapid recovery. Saying that, shouldn’t the promises of the world one year ago have sorted out the economy, health and political life of Haiti? Why has it suffered so much
from the ripples created by the earthquake when they should’ve been quashed in the global attempt to support the country? Who is to blame for the slow pace of healing? The government has under-gone violent conflicts and, as in the earthquake 17% of civil servants died, they couldn’t be put under pressure to support their entire country. So was it the international community? They failed to keep their promises of support, help and generosity. We must take into account that it was one of the most complex humanitarian disasters of the modern age – it will take decades. Haiti has undergone a host of disasters and only by remembering today that people are still suffering can we hope this country will establish what it needs: stable leadership, infrastructure planned, homes built and jobs. On the night of the earthquake, dead and decaying bodies lined the streets, babies were left abandoned and children were left on hospital tables wrapped in bloody sheets. Everyone was fighting to stay alive. Why were there so many deaths from this earthquake, when the scale of others has been much larger with fewer casualties? 1 in every 15 were affected by the earthquake compared, to the Chinese earthquake of 2008 where it was 1 in every 595, even though the magnitude was larger (7.9). The magnitude of the earthquake in Haiti was 7.0. The high death toll came because Haiti is heavily urbanised with a high population density near to the epicentre.
Cholera spread quickly after the earthquake, in October it became a full epidemic. The deadly disease spread to all of Haiti’s 10 regions. In the earthquake, half the hospitals were affected and 8 were destroyed, so they weren’t able to cope with this emerging problem. So far Haiti has received $44 billion to stop cholera, but they need $174 million more to tackle the outbreak. One of the causes of the epidemic is the squalor they live in and, with 300,000 injured in the earthquake, this was another disaster they did not see coming.
In one year Haiti has attempted to recover from a hurricane, floods, cholera and election violence.
Why is it important to remember this? It was a huge event that sent global shockwaves and even today the state of Haiti must not be forgotten. Many inhabitants feel nothing has changed in their country; they cannot build and rubble, disease and lack of hope prevent growth. Many are still living in camps. Even with our busy lives, it is vital that the suffering in Haiti remains in the foreground of our minds and we continue to give our help and support, otherwise the unhappiness that dwells there will not be eradicated and, after all, an entire country must be rebuilt.
Tunisian Riots Jemma Clark International News Reporter Waiting at the airport anxiously as you wait to hear something, anything, that will tell you exactly when your loved ones are coming home. This has been the scene found in many British airports as British holidaymakers flee from Tunisia. 17th December saw the trigger for the mass riots that flooded the capital, Tunis. When one young man set himself on fire in desperation due to the lack of employment, protests regarding jobs in the country spread. During week of the 8th January, the demonstrations spread as far as the capital, at which point the country was declared to be in a state of emergency. The Tunisian government aimed to keep young people at home in order to try and dissolve the unrest, yet this plan backfired and when the situation spread to the capital, despite the curfew imposed, President Ben Ali and his family were forced to flee to Saudi Arabia (after having been rejected by the French). As for the Tunisian government, the constitution states that another election must be held within 60 days and, in the meantime, Foued Mebazaa has taken temporary leadership. It was up to Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi to form a government but some of his choices angered protestors even more. Such unrest caused many to resign or turn down the new positions given to them and riots continued to surge through the country in more force than before. The new government will only find acceptance with the public if it promises – and delivers – great economic and political change. The riots freed criminals all over the country as prisons were burnt to the ground. Wheelbarrows carrying essentials for bombs and weapons were carried across the cities in broad daylight and still petrified British travellers were stuck, many having to stay in their hotel lobby whilst they seek arrangement to travel home. A British tourist in Tunisia at the time – Ross Wiseman – stated “On the journey to the airport there were armed soldiers on the streets and that was intimidating. You could see the snipers on the top of buildings with their guns pointing down on us.” Such serious conditions have meant all flights to the country have been cancelled whilst major holiday operators such as Thomas Cook and Thomson have launched flights in order to bring as many Britons back home as possible. At the time of writing, approximately 1,000 Brits have been evacuated, yet the operation is still to continue. January 2011 saw similar events in Egypt – different cause, same consequences. Could this be considered a trend? Are more uprisings in other Arab countries to be expected?
14 INTERNATIONAL NEWS | The Phoenix Egypt: Gone from the headlines, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell but certainly not over 4 April 2011
Tom w Franklin International News Editor
Peony Gent International News Reporter What with the reports from Libya and the scenes of natural disaster from across the globe, it’s easy to forget the turbulence in the country which a month ago held the top headlines across the board – Egypt. However, whilst it may have drifted to the bottom of newspapers’ priorities, the situation in Egypt is in no way over. Even with President Hosni Mubarak’s resignation from his 30 year rule this February, troubles are far from over. The mass protests and demonstrations which lasted, over 18 days from January 25th, resulted in at least 365 deaths, and even this number is only a preliminary count of civilians killed and does not include police or prisoners. The calculation of the number of protesters is difficult to estimate, with the amount of separate events and protests, but the popular estimate varies from 200,000 to 2 million across the country. Despite the temporary internet ban put into place when Mubarak was still in administration, the Egyptian riots were to a large extent arranged by social media and networking sites such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, and proved to be vital tools in the protest organisation process. As one Egyptian protester posted on Twitter: “We use Facebook to schedule the protests, Twitter to coordinate,
and YouTube to tell the world.” The calls for democracy, which is now laboriously being put into place through a series of elections and debates from Egypt’s top politicians and citizens, have now given way to protests on a wide variety of different subjects, from poor wages to police corruption and brutality. As well as these calls for economic and political reform, a further cause for some of the unrest is due to religious reasons – tensions between Muslims and Christian Copts (the minority religion in Egypt) have resulted in some scenes of violence, leaving 13 dead and over 400 injured. This mass labour unrest has, however, sparked rumours that the present ruling military council, which took over from Mubarak, will place an outright ban on protests and strikes, an action which is almost guaranteed to fuel the fire of frustration which permeates the population, and raise the tension between the council and the protest move-
ment. However, the council are adamant that the strikes and unrest is preventing Egypt’s economy from recovering and sending it further into a downward spiral, which then causes further protest, which leads to a worse economy and so on. A main cause of the failing economy is the almost halt to tourism since the January riots: a vital source of income for the country.
At the very end of last year, in what had been termed a ‘Lame Duck’ session of the US congress, the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law’, was repealed - a law that prevented men from being openly gay in the military. When it was announced that the law had been repealed, my Twitter and Facebook feeds were absolutely flooded by comments by my American friends, all of whom were saying that it was a tremendous achievement for gay rights in America. My only thought on the matter was that it was about damn time. Finally, America had joined the list of countries that allow openly gay individuals in the military, a list that includes countries such as the Republic of China, the UK and Israel. Yes, even the Republic of China allows openly gay individuals in the Military, and has done so even before ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ was repealed.
And so this leaves Egypt in something of a Catch-22, for, whilst the economy is failing, there are more protests and outrage at poor working conditions and poor wages, but whilst there are protests going on, there the country slows to something of a standstill, preventing the economy from getting back on its feet.
The law was introduced in 1993 during the presidency of Bill Clinton, who had been promising a full repeal of the laws that prevented homosexuals from serving in the military. Being openly gay was still a dismissible offence, and they asked you whether or not you were before you signed up. Those who managed to lie well enough to get in were often murdered by fellow soldiers and servicemen. However, despite considerable support for the outright ban on the anti-gay laws, there was enough lobbying on the night of the vote that ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ was installed in place of an outright repeal of the anti-gay laws, thus showing that even when the intentions are good, people can still be ridiculously stupid.
However, despite the continuing protests and violence many see these events as a ‘new dawn’ in the Middle East. Egypt has always been a very stable presence; its new democracy is predicted to spark various other revolutions and anti-dictator rebellions across the region.
One weapon in the arsenal of those who supported the retention of DADT was a supposed letter that had been signed by various veterans of the US military. However, when an anti-DADT veteran’s group actually looked into the letter, they found that the majority of the supposed signatories were either too old to have served under DADT, hadn’t actually signed, or were dead, which somewhat showed up Senator John McCain, who had advised that the testimony of the letter be taken under consideration. Even now, after the act has been repealed, it may be quite a while before it actually takes effect, as not only do the Joint Chiefs of Staff have to state on record that it won’t affect military readiness, President Obama has to do the same, as does the Secretary of Defence. Then there is a 60 day waiting period, after which the legislation will finally have been repealed. As of writing, the legislation has not entered its final 60 days. Leave it to the Americans to come up with the most convoluted way of going about things.
Cameron: ‘Action in Libya Just and Necessary’ Fahmida Yasmin International News Reporter
tion allows ‘all necessary measures that eventuality would be, is not to protect civilians’ to be taken. part of the military mission.”
As the situation in Libya worsens, there is increasing concern within the government that air power alone will not be enough to help the rebels overthrow Libyan leader, Colonel Gaddafi.
While the rebels have gained control of cities Zawiya and Benghazi, the Pro-Gaddafi soldiers are advancing rapidly. Reports suggest that nearly 500 people have died but critics say that the number is far higher.
The recent introduction of a no-fly zone, first proposed by David Cameron in February, had been a subject of great discussion amongst the international community before being finally approved in mid-March, but there are fears that this will not be enough to prevent the rebels’ defeat, as a stalemate between the rebels and Pro-Gaddafi’s forces is beginning to appear. The purpose of the ‘no-fly’ zone is to prevent the Libyan army from launching air attacks on civilians, the biggest fear being that Gaddafi could use the mustard gas he has stockpiled against protesters. However, the UN resolu-
Gates refused to comment on reports that the government was backing covert CIA operations on the ground.
NATO, which took control of the air operation in LibThe UK and US have suggested the ya on Thursday, said it was UN resolution authorise permis- opposed to arming rebels. sion to supply arms to the Rebels; however, France, who publicly The protests began with middle backed the ‘no fly zone’ proposal, class, educated and courageous has made it clear they will not be youth rebelling against Gadarming the rebels, with French dafi’s 31 year tyranny, but there Defence Minister Gerard Longuet are fears that western involvesaying such assistance was “not ment could turn a fight for decompatible” with the resolution. mocracy by the Libyan people into another western invasion American Defence Secretary Rob- of the Middle East, and could ert Gates also stated that there weaken already fragile relations. would be “no US boots” on the ground, saying, “Deposing the A lot of countries were hoping Gaddafi regime, as welcome as the Libyan’s would overthrow
Gaddafi, similar to the protesters in Egypt, who successfully overthrew the then President Hosni Mubarak. However, the Egyptian army refused to fire at civilians, unlike in Libya. Gaddafi’s control of the army is as strong as ever, as most of them are either very loyal friends or close family members. There have also been reports suggesting that Gaddafi has hired the services of hundreds of Tuaregs from Mali and Niger as mercenaries. Many loyalists are dressed as civilians, making it difficult to tell soldiers apart, a practice which goes against the Geneva Convention. Officials say the US and the UK have fired more than 110 missiles, while French planes struck pro-Gaddafi forces
attacking rebel-held Benghazi. Recently, Gaddafi addressed Libya in a TV speech, where he criticised Britain and France. “Britain no longer exists. It is a trace of what it used to be. It has been promoting attacks on Libya. Is there a common border between us? Are you our guardian? By what right? … Idarethem(US, Britainand France) to give their people freedom like I have given the Libyan people.” The speech was projected onto a big screen in the main square of Benghazi, with spectators reporting that people threw shoes at the screen to show their contempt for Gaddafi. With the unexpected arrival of Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa in the UK last Wednesday, it seems the situation in Libya will only become more complicated.
The Phoenix Magazine
Festival Guide: Summer 2011
Chase & Status: interview
London Fashion Week
Jemporium Vintage: fashion shoot
Fawkes : Music Journalism
4 April 2011 | The Phoenix
Chase & Status bring their explosive live show to Cambridge
Asher Kessler Marianne Lampon Music Journalists Chase & Status are made up of artists/ producers Saul Milton and Will Kennard. They produce tracks ranging from drum and bass to breakbeat, from hip-hop to grime and dubstep. With impressive DJ sets under their belts and various big releases on major record labels, their first album ‘More Than A lot’, which was released in 2008, got heads turning as their reputation for creating epic drum and bass anthems began to grow. They even caught the attention of Pharrell Williams of N*E*R*D, who called Chase & Status, “The most exciting producers in the UK today.” Following the highly anticipated release of their new album, ‘No More Idols’, a live tour was announced, which was inevitably an instant sell out. They stopped off at the Cambridge Corn Exchange on Thursday 10th March 2011 for the tour, and we had the privilege of interviewing Will Kennard (i.e. Status) from the duo before the live show. What music influenced you? My first exposure to Electronic music was probably New Order, pretty 80s, pretty iconic. Very quickly I moved into early Prodigy, you know, the Prodigy experience. Living in London, I came across Pirate radio as well. It was like, what the hell, tuning into hardcore and weird ravey music, felt like I shouldn’t be listening to this. And then eventually I moved onto early Drum and Bass and Jungle. I was also a big hiphop fan, early 90’s hip-hop, I wanted to be a scratch DJ at one point. But there was loads of stuff, too much to write down. How long have you been making music for;
did you know that’s what you wanted to do? I’ve been making music since probably 2001. I always wanted to be a DJ. We were going into these raves and clubs and sneaking in underage. Just listening to it, dreaming of being up there, playing music. We were both bedroom DJs really, we practised and practised and thought we were the best in the world. But we soon found out it didn’t really matter how good you were, the DJ world is a pretty cliquey place and it’s more about who you know than what you can do. We realised quite early on that you had to make music to at least get a shot at DJ-ing. We didn’t really know it was going to go this far, but we sort of knew it was this or nothing. How has it been working with such big people? It was different. Each artist was completely different. With Cee-Lo we never actually met him, he sent us some vocals over which was great, he was the coolest guy actually. The track we were doing with him couldn’t be further from what he was doing. Tinie Tempah, well we became friends with him over the summer when he opened for us. He was such a gentleman, it was cool - very easy because we knew him already. That was the same with a lot of people from Dizzee to Plan B. All of them were really different but all of them were really cool people. You’ve got the American Tour coming up; it’s your first one in America. How do you reckon they are going to take it? It’s the first time with the band in America. I think the response is going to really vary, because we’ve DJed a lot over there over the past five or six years, and cities can be completely different. LA is massive; the West Coast is generally a bit bigger and better for that type of music. In LA we’re doing Coachella, which is an amazing festival. But then we’re doing places such as Vegas which are a bit
Asher Kessler and Marianne Lampon with Will Kennard (i.e. Status)
more commercial and don’t really have an underground scene. It’s really just very specific to different areas. We’re going to Denver and Texas, too - not really sure how that’s gonna go down! Could be a bit random! It’s great fun travelling around, though. What can people expect from the tour this time around? It’s harder to take all the vocalists abroad to America, but here it’ll be similar to what we’ve done before, just bigger production really. Obviously we’ve got a lot more new music to add to the set which is really exciting. Yeah, it’s
amazing; we’ve got five huge screens on stage – it just looks bonkers, just an hour and a half of complete mayhem! This Cambridge venue looks great, we’re really looking forward to it. We’re pleased to say that the live show didn’t disappoint. With MC Rage keeping the crowd excited, amazing visuals and the bass shaking the entire building, the overall production was faultless - not to mention the electric atmosphere and impressive set list. A member of the production team even tweeted that the show trumped the one in Nottingham that they played the night after Cambridge!
Joe Higgins: Hills Brother - the next big thing? Road’s rising talent
Asher Kessler Music Journalist
A band from Slough called Brother has been creating quite a buzz in the indie/alternative world, otherwise known as the NME. On 21st February they played a gig at Anglia Ruskin University. Since they were in Cambridge, we thought we might as well have a chat with them to see whether they really are the next big thing, or just a buzz over nothing. How did the band start? We have known each other for about five or six years and we all met going out and playing in the local area with local bands around Reading. We met and thought we should create our own band. Did you all appreciate the same sort of music? In a sense we shared the same love, and hatred, of some bands. We never started out to sound a particular way, we didn’t have a script. We all came from different backgrounds and shared a love of guitar bands from the late 80s and early 90s. How did you start off and get your record deal? Was it a lot of gigging? No, the opposite…we got signed after four gigs! What new music are you listening to at the moment?
We don’t really have that much time to listen to new music, but we like Tame Impala and the black keys, big fans of Tame Impala. How did you come up with the name ‘Brother’? Well I think it all came out of some gang mentality we carried with us, it’s part of our ethos. And also we don’t see ourselves as above or below anybody. What should people expect at your gigs? We are just ourselves, in your face and raw. We don’t have any selfindulgent 20 minute solos but we want to play well, we make it good. What have you got planned over the next year? We have an album coming out on July the 4th, but it doesn’t have a name yet. We did it with Stephen Street who is a big hero of ours. And we are going on tour with the Streets in a couple of weeks. Brother are ambitious and unashamedly arrogant. This showed in their gig, which tried to gain the rawness of an old Oasis but was slightly ruined by the poppy chorus, similar to what you would expect from bands such as The Kooks or The Cribs. Brother do, however, have a lot of big fans who are hoping for a Britpop revival. Whatever happens, you will be hearing a lot from Brother over the next year.
Marianne Lampon Music journalism editor Joe Higgins is a student here at Hills Road with a talented flair for making music under the name of Stikkman. From dubstep to jungle, drum and bass to Future Garage - Joe is Hills Road’s very own home-grown talent. With a track already released on iTunes, and an EP set to go on sale in 2011, his future prospects are looking extremely promising. I caught up with Joe to see how this whirlwind all began. How did you get started? I started making beats around March 2010, I got Reason (which is what I use to make my music) in February – I got my mum to get it for me! And yeah just, like, basically being a nerd and sitting around on it for hours and just trying things out. If people don’t know about you, what sort of things can they expect to hear from you? It sounds quite pretentious to say, oh, ‘I make anything,’ but I dunno, it’s anything that I think sounds good at the moment. A lot of it is influenced by other artists, like stuff that I’m listening to at the moment – sort of house and garage type of genres, it obviously has an effect on what kind of tunes you make because you want to recreate what they do, but in recreating what they do, you want to
make it something new and unique. Who are your main influences? All of the standard stuff like Breakage, Deadboy (who’s a house/garage artist), stuff like Loefah - kind of the early dubstep sound. I’m not really into the ‘generic filth’ – when I first started making tunes that’s all I really wanted to make! But now I want to make more sort of chilled stuff, something a bit different.
spending ages mixing tracks on my own, but it’s what I like to do and I enjoy it just the same as making tunes.
Just to end off, who do you tip to be big in 2011? Well, 2010 was a pretty big year for dubstep, obviously, because it really became popular. Nobody had really heard of it that much, but last year saw it getting into the charts with people like Magnetic Man and Benga with Katy B. But I dunno, with the kind of So, you’ve already had one of your stuff I listen to, I think Deadboy will do tunes signed! Can you tell us a bit about well this year. that? A lot of stuff happened in 2010 for We wish Joe the best of luck; we’re me – I got on iTunes in about October expecting new and exciting things with a remix of a track by a Cambridge from him in the future! Remember, band called Pocket Lips who I know. you heard it here first in The Phoenix! They offered me to remix one of their tunes! I then got a tune signed on my Look out for Stikkman’s “In My Life” mate Modepth’s label called Flaming EP, forthcoming on Flaming Idiot Idiot Audio. Now I’m signed for 2011 records in 2011. really, I’m kind of signed to ICU:Audio, which is pretty helpful because I just finish a tune and send it over and see And follow him on ... if it’s getting released or not which is Soundcloud: always a plus. Having to go through http://soundcloud.com/stikkman labels and sending stuff around before Facebook: actually releasing it takes a long time Just search for ‘Stikkman’ otherwise! Twitter http://twitter.com/StikkmanUK# Any chance we’ll get to hear you live Show your support for Joe by soon? downloading his remix here: http:// I do DJ, and I can mix so I’d like to play itunes.apple.com/gb/album/easy-tigerout during a live set, but I need to get ep/id401446708 some decks. I’m a bit of a geek; just
Fawkes : Music Journalism
The Phoenix | 4 April 2011
Festival Guide: Summer 2011
Asher Kessler Music Journalist
(photos from Wikimedia Commons)
Bestival Where: Isle of Wight Tickets: On sale now Cost: £160 (for students) Date: 8-11 September 2011 Confirmed acts: The Cure, Primal Scream, Brian Wilson (of the Beach Boys), A-Trak, Magnetic Man, DJ Shadow, Katy B, Crystal Castles, Boys Noize, Diplo, Grandmaster Flash
Download Festival Where: Donington Park Tickets: On sale now Cost: £145 Date: 10-12 June 2011 Confirmed Acts: Alice Cooper, System of a Down, Linkin Park, Pendulum, Bullet for my Valentine, Avenged Sevenfold, Korn
Isle of Wight Where: Newport, Isle of Wight Tickets: Viagogo tickets still on sale Cost: £175 Date: 10-12 June 2011 Confirmed Acts: Kings of Leon, Foo Fighters, Kasabian, Pulp, Iggy and the Stooges, Beady Eye, Plan B, Jeff Beck, Seasick Steve
Glastonbury Where: Worthy Farm, Pilton Tickets: Available 17th April (resale of cancelled tickets) Cost: £175 Date: 22-26 June 2011 Confirmed Acts: U2, Coldplay, Beyonce
Reading/Leeds Where: Richfield Avenue Reading Tickets: Available Spring 2011 Cost: £180 Date: 26-28 August 2011 Rumoured Acts: Muse, The Strokes, Pulp, My Chemical Romance, Magnetic Man, Linkin Park, Red Hot Chili Peppers
The Secret Garden Party Where: Mill Hill Field, Huntingdon Tickets: On sale now Cost: £160 Date: July 21-24 2011 Acts to be confirmed
(SGP photos by Nick Clarke)
Fawkes : Music Journalism and Reviews
Bands of 2011 Elliot Termote Fawkes Reporter
2010 proved to be a vibrant year for the music industry, as bands such as Everything Everything, Funeral Party, Two Door Cinema Club, Bombay Bicycle Club and Cage the Elephant burst onto our televisions and radios, and into our stores. But after such an exciting year for us music lovers, how is 2011 going to turn out? Rumours have been emerging for some time about the potential for the music scene in 2011. This year has already been kick-started by the prominent arrival of The Vaccines, whose upbeat and dreamy sound was perfectly captured in their debut single ‘Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra)’. Four-piece alternative rock band Mona are set to bring ‘a new sort of alternative rock’ to our ears this year.
Their debut TV performance on Later with Jools Holland was simply mindblowing, and left viewers feeling highly positive about the fresh music scene of 2011.
4 April 2011 | The Phoenix
>> Musical charity event raises over £450 for the CRY Foundation (who promote awareness of cardiac risk in the young)
Other bands to watch out for this year are: • • • • • • • • • • • •
Anna Calvi Clare Maguire Daley Esben & The Witch Jai Paul James Blake Jamie Woon Jessie Mona The Naked & Famous Wretch 32 Yuck
All photos by Ben Cork
The Oscars: an enchanting night Katherine Thomas Fawkes Reporter The 83rd Academy Awards took place on 27th February 2011, at Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre. One billion viewers tuned in to watch the glamorous awards.
Natalie Portman won best actress for her outstanding performance in Black Swan, the disturbing and terrifying – yet mesmerizing – film about a ballerina surrendering to her character. Unsurprisingly, best visual effects went to the confusing yet brilliant Inception. Best costume design went to the zany Alice in Wonderland. The Social Network, the tale of
I am happy to report that Toy Story 3, a childish, heart-warming film of our favourite Disney toys, won best animated feature. Overall, I believe the ceremony did excellently in rewarding the most exceptional films of the year, but at the same time, many feel that the awards have become clichéd, as there were a number of dazzling films which didn’t quite make it on to the coveted shortlist. The Oscars are also a chance for the high flyers of society to compete in a glamorous fashion. Allegedly, $10 billion worth of fashion made the terrifying walk down the red carpet: time to smile, pose and pout. The red carpet is there for the actors and actresses to make a statement of beauty and to get all the folks at home rooting for them. Anne Hathaway looked stunning in a floor-length red dress, although the look was remarkably similar to previous years, even though (allegedly) her stylist was paid a six-
figure sum to help out. James Franco and Anne Hathaway took to the stage to host the awards – charming, beautiful and ready to read lame gags off the prompter. They were the youngest stars ever to host; named as the ‘next generation’ of Hollywood and ‘fresh and exciting’. Though they performed admirably, many felt the lack of chemistry between them brought them down. A good effort, but a duo unlikely to be remembered. Every film has its bloopers and every ceremony has its mishaps. After winning the stunning 8lb statuette, Colin Firth was a tad dazed by the event and, while at a swanky champagne soirée, he managed to leave it in the toilets. And Elton John, poor thing: “I like going to bed after it’s over. It’s so stressful.” Quotes from the night were genius, here are a few picked out by The Mirror: “I just got a text message from Charlie Sheen.” - James Franco dressed in drag as Marilyn Monroe. “Bloody hell ... what the hell am I doing here?”
- The Fighter actor Christian Bale after winning Best Supporting Actor.
greeting the audience at the start of the show.
“My father always said I would be a late bloomer, I believe I am the oldest person to win this award.” - David Seidler of The King’s Speech after winning Best Screenplay. (He was born in 1937.)
“You’re much more beautiful than you were in The Fighter.” — Presenter Kirk Douglas to Best Supporting Actress Melissa Leo.
“I thought it would be nice to celebrate film rather than fashion.” – Helena Bonham Carter on the red carpet. “I have a feeling my career has just peaked.” - Colin Firth winning his first Oscar for The King’s Speech. “Just have fun and find the bar as quickly as you can.” - Kevin Spacey’s advice for tonight’s nominees. “I’ve got sort of a complex with my bum, so I sort of thought I’d make it even bigger.” — Helena Bonham Carter on her choice of dress for the evening.” “Oh my gosh, you’re all real!” — Oscars host Anne Hathaway,
“When I watched Kate [Winslet] two years ago, it looked so f*****g easy.” — Melissa Leo, dropping the F-Word while accepting her gong. The Oscars are a tradition. An enchanting night of beauty, tears and speeches of gratitude. The awards of 2011 were sensational, and lived up to all expectations.
(Photo from Wikimedia Commons)
When looking retrospectively at the recent films to hit Hollywood, there are a number of remarkable ones and the enjoyment of these was reflected in the ceremony. The King’s Speech strutted away with a wellearned host of awards: best picture, best actor and best director. It was a masterpiece of a film based on the true story of a monarch’s struggle to overcome his stutter.
the controversial beginnings of Facebook, which took the world by storm, was nominated for eight statuettes, and won three.
Fawkes : Film
The Phoenix | 4 April 2011
Paul: a feel-good film Connie Burdge Fawkes Reporter
Paul (voiced by Seth Rogen), an alien who has escaped from Area 51 and is looking to return to his home planet via a pick-up point all the way over on the East Coast. Paul hitches a ride in the boys’ RV as they make their way cross-country, while dodging FBI agents, religious fundamentalists and crazed hillbillies, as well as picking up Graeme Willy’s love interest, Ruth Buggs (Kristen Wiig), who the trio liberate from her devout and overbearing father.
Paul is the new creation by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost - the duo that brought us the amazing Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. It is the story of Graeme Willy (Simon Pegg) and Clive Gollings (Nick Frost), two ordinary British nerds who have made their first trip to Comic-Con in San Diego. They aren’t just there to soak up the cape-clad heroes and sci-fi stars they’ve idolised for so long, however, as the pair have also planned a road trip Now I must add that I am not interested taking in the most famous alien contact in science fiction. At all. I’ve never watched Star Wars, I’ve never read a sites in the US. comic book and I still have no idea what Whilst on their travels they encounter Area 51 is. Which is why I was shocked
that I enjoyed Paul so much. It was funny, light-hearted and had some hilarious jokes. Although it didn’t quite match up to the pair’s previous creations, Paul is, in my opinion, still a fantastic film. The protagonists were sweet and charming in their own awkward manner, and Rogan did an amazing job of bringing the animated Paul to life. One of the best bits, however, was the clever introduction of Sigourney Weaver at the end of the film who, let’s just say, played an unexpected role. I would definitely watch Paul again; it is a charming, feel-good film with arguably one of the cutest love stories ever.
Black Swan Genna Morgan Fawkes Reporter Darren Aronofsky’s psychological drama, Black Swan, takes the generic pretty and graceful ballerina to a new level. On the surface, a film about ballet, but twenty minutes in and it is clear that this is a film about perfection and insanity, delving into the genre of horror. The plot centres on Nina Sayers (Natalie Portman), a ballerina in a struggling New York dance company. When the director of the company, Thomas (Vincent Cassel) announces that they will be performing Swan Lake, it is obvious that she is without a doubt the perfect candidate for the part of the White Swan. Her character begins sweet, gentle and sexually naïve and the film follows her in her new challenge, to discover her dark side and play the Black Swan as well. Through some very ‘visual’ scenes we watch her transform into a new empowered woman. She defies her difficult mother, (Barbara Hershey) who had tried to control and infantilise her by filling her room with pink teddy
bears and a music box, which ironically plays the theme song of the very production (Swan Lake) that leads to her insanity. She also discovers her sexuality, thanks to the fun-loving Lily (Mila Kunis), and begins to allow herself to go out and escape from her claustrophobic life. These seemingly positive outcomes of the role are, however, undermined by her gradual self-destruction. The pressure she puts on herself, and her endless pursuit of perfection, mean that she struggles with weight issues, self-harming, and numerous vivid hallucinations. We are tossed between her two worlds, reality and insanity, resulting in a confusing yet thought provoking message: that the line between the two is very thin, and easily crossed. This is a film that will leave you sitting in your seat for a good fifteen minutes after it has ended, engrossed in one final question: “What was real?” The answer is unfortunately ambiguous, as every person will take a different view. This is perhaps the greatest strength of the film; its ability to provoke so much discussion and thought.
Aronofsky and Portman first discussed the film in 2000, but it wasn’t until July 2009 that Black Swan truly began development. This was because Aronofsky first made his film The Wrestler (a film about a man pushing his body to the limit) with the intention of making Black Swan to accompany it. During the intervening period, Portman began intensive ballet classes, sometimes working for five hours a day so that she could perform her character’s dance routines in the film. Since its release, the film has gone from success to success, winning awards including Academy Award: Best Actress, British Academy Film Award: Best Actress, Golden Globe Award: Best Actress, Venice Film Festival: Marcello Mastroianni Award. By the end of its opening weekend it grossed $1,443,809—$80,212 per theatre. A captivating, unique and original film to say the least, this film goes beyond all others, as is not one that you could sit through and then leave without being stunned at least for a moment.
Eastenders’ Scandal Storyline Felicity Goldsmith Fawkes Reporter It’s been labelled as the most shocking storyline in a soap ever. In this baby cot-death storyline, viewers have seen Ronnie Branning lose her son James and then swap him with Kat Moon’s baby, Tommy, who coincidentally was born on the same day. The episode showing the swap generated 8,400 complaints from fans of the show with another 374 going to media regulator Ofcom. This huge volume of complaints has surpassed those submitted for the sudden death of Ronnie’s first daughter in April 2009, which prompted just over 7,000 complaints. Although the plots’ endings are usually a heavily guarded secret, the
show’s executive producer, Bryan Kirkwood, revealed the ending in January. This was allegedly due to the numerous complaints, and the storyline was therefore changed for a happier ending where Kat Moon is reunited with her baby Tommy. It will be brought to a close in April. Kirkwood defended the episodes, claiming that the show had dealt with this difficult issue in a “powerful and dramatic way.” This controversial storyline has attracted more complaints than any other in East Enders’ history, which is incredible considering that the show has been running for 26 years. And it’s not just viewers who have been outraged by the tragic episodes: the most notable complainer has been Barbara Windsor, former EastEnder landlady Peggy Mitchell. She has
The Film Award Season Lillie Davidson Fawkes Reporter
The start of 2011 signals a new and vitally important period in the filming calendar -- the awards season has arrived. From January right up until May, during which time the Cannes Film Festival takes place, film stars from across the globe are being recognised for their successes at numerous ceremonies, in particular the Academy Awards. The period kicked off with the Sundance and the Golden Globes events, the latter of which recognised in particular the critically acclaimed The King’s Speech. Recognised at the Golden Globes, and having stolen the show at the British BAFTA’s on 13th February, it is still uncertain how it will be received at the Academy Awards, the most prestigious film awards around. (Ed: this article was written before the Oscars - see p.18 for more on the Awards) Both The Social Network and The King’s Speech are top runners for this year’s biggest prizes, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. However, the private feud between the producers behind the pictures is creating controversy behind the scenes. Harvey Weinstein is considered the most powerful man in Hollywood, having scooped 287 Academy Award nominations with 63 wins in the past two decades, and is the man behind production companies such as Miramax. This year, at the 83rd Oscars, he is expecting to add another few wins to his vast list of successes. However, his motives for winning may be more personal than professional. Scott Rudin, another bigtime producer with 13 Oscar wins out of 104 nominations, is also considered one of the most powerful producers in Hollywood. Although claiming they have now come to a truce, these two Hollywood powers
apparently been extremely upset that as she was crushed by a car – pretty the show has begun to sway from unlucky really.) what it does best, which is comedy and pathos. And Ronnie is also a fictional character. The writers invent the story and the Many of the complaints have claimed actress plays it as the role dictates. that the swap was ‘unrealistic’ and The fact that the actress, Samantha that the story suggested that mothers Womack, has been apparently who had suffered this tragedy would threatened by fans of the show makes be likely to steal someone else’s baby. the whole thing even more ridiculous Viewers said that they would never go than it was before. and take another’s child, leaving their deceased baby behind. There are plenty of problems with But Ronnie might. the portrayal of the baby-death swap: firstly, would Ronnie really give away The problem is that everyone is her newborn son? Secondly, and most different, and the EastEnders team importantly, would Kat and Alfie really have desperately tried to convince not realise that this was not actually viewers that Ronnie is a damaged their son? However, there have been a character (she’d already been forced multitude of different responses to this to give up her child by her evil father question; people have been outraged, and then, after finding out she was claiming that it is totally unbelievable alive and well, watch minutes later and that it would be impossible not to
have a rocky history. Having worked together on the critically acclaimed The Reader, they ended up clashing, both being allegedly demanding and difficult, their similarities perhaps being the last straw in pushing them apart for good. The film industry waits with bated breath to see whether the renowned controversy rises to the surface in one of the most heated clashes in the industry for years. However, these are not the only films causing a stir. The rather controversial Black Swan is scooping up key awards this season, particularly for actress Natalie Portman. The sensual, gruesome and vibrant film is considered Darren Aronofsky’s masterpiece, depicting the descent of a white swan into her darker alter-ego in order to achieve her ultimate goal of being ‘perfect’. Natalie Portman won best actress at the BAFTAs, along with the leads of the British phenomenon The King’s Speech claiming the three other major acting awards. There was a standing ovation for Colin Firth, and the writer also received generous applause for his win of Best Original Screenplay. The playwright had suffered from a speech impediment of his own in his youth, which spurred him to write the inspirational story of King George VI. The music for the film also won a BAFTA, with the composer sharing his experience of recording the music through the original microphones that the King himself stuttered through in the early 1940s. These speeches communicated how the film was a deeply personal and treasured project to the creators, and deserved the tremendous praise it received. With many other certain successes such as the Coen Brother’s ‘True Grit’, Danny Boyle’s ‘127 Hours’ and Christopher Nolan’s ‘Inception’,, these celebrated film award ceremonies are vital in the recognition of what has been an extraordinary year for filmmaking.
recognise your own son. Conversely, others have claimed that it seems completely valid, since the child would look so different once it had died that it is likely the mother may not recognise her own child. And then Samantha Womack announced that she was leaving the cast of EastEnders, although her agent assured us whole-heartedly that this was nothing to do with the response to the storyline but because of family issues. Overall, the storyline made one grim week of episodes in early January when people were trying to make their New Year’s Resolutions and diet off their turkey. Well, I hope you enjoyed it anyway.
20 Fawkes : Reviews
4 April 2011 | The Phoenix
Attempts on Her Life Louisa Clack Fawkes Reporter Before going to see the Upper Sixth production of Martin Crimp’s Attempts On Her Life, I was told that, no matter how hard I try, I would not understand. I was paying to be perplexed, bewildered and stunned – overall, I would definitely ‘not get it’. At the time this seemed a little over the top, but as I sat with my mouth agape, I can safely say I did not ‘get it’ one bit. If you look up the dictionary definition of ‘confusion’ alongside the synopsis of the play, it is basically the same. The plot circles around a central question mark figure, Anne, her life, her complications, and her brief experience in pornography. The play is famously an ‘open text’, assigning no lines to any one character, a director’s dream blueprint. For each snippet of scene shown, the cast manipulated a different style of theatre, ranging from intimate monologues to a tongue-incheek Broadway number. These bursts
of genre made the story impossible to connect. Forget attaching yourself to separate characters: one moment there is a small child in front of your eyes, wide eyed and innocent; and the next moment, the very same actor is a vicious border guard who you suddenly venomously hate. Hundreds of characters flashed before my eyes, each actor demonstrating excellent ‘multi-roleing’, and suddenly the collaged posters I had seen advertising the play make sense. So once I surrendered to confusion, things just became a lot easier. The visuals for the play were arresting. Several TV screens peeped out from beneath the seemingly blank canvas set of ramps and blocks; a playground for players. They flickered to life with live feed of the actors backstage, prerecorded footage of monologues, and, best of all, the band. In between transitions of each scene, the band played folk music in different settings, from the boys’ changing rooms to
driving down the M11. I had never seen this use of technology before; it was smart, funny, and I loved it. The lighting also created stories of its own; the stand out moment of the modelling agency scene, ‘Camera Loves You’, forming haunting towering shadows of the cast. Blood-red lighting flooded the harrowing physical sequence of a chaotic, broken society. I could not help but see a fine link between the tech and the story; are our lives becoming lived through a lens? But then again, I did not get it, so I am probably wrong. As expected, with each scene being so completely different, the audience was left feeling emotionally exhausted. I came out feeling like I had run a marathon, then upon guiltily seeing the panting cast members, kept my mouth shut. Moving, hilarious, disturbing and crazy, I would happily let Attempts On Her Life stun me into befuddled silence any day.
Dracula the Count, who dematerialise into dust afterwards, as well as seeing the Count climb down his high castle wall There are a lot of forms of vampire in an inhuman way. fiction around us today aimed at the young teenage girl market; The Meanwhile, back in England, a Russian Twilight Saga, The Vampire Diaries ship crashes at Whitby, with all the and True Blood. Although these crew missing, and there is a Captain’s may be very popular, and often not log that records a strange presence just amongst teenage girls, they are amongst them. A large black dog is not essentially true to real vampire seen to escape the ship and the cargo fiction. For instance, the addition of is found to be boxes of grave dirt. vampires ‘sparkling in sunlight’ has The Count then begins to prey on been a controversial one: some are Mina Murray (Harker’s fiancée) and smitten by it, whereas others laugh her friend Lucy Westenra. Lucy starts at the idea. to deteriorate, and Dr Van Helsing is summoned by one of her rejected The real foundation of the vampire lovers. The Doctor immediately legend, or at least in modern fiction, suspects she is the prey of a vampire, is Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula, as he has dealt in the supernatural which was adapted for cinema in before. Lucy and her mother are 1992. Though this is a less glamorous attacked and both die, though soon story, with far less sex appeal, it is a after her burial children from the more gripping and gothic story, and village begin to disappear, and Van one that had clearly lasted in the Helsing realises she has become thriller/horror culture, whereas some a vampire, eventually convincing her fiancé to drive a stake into her of today’s examples may not. heart, remove her head and end The novel is written in an interesting her afterlife. Harker and Mina then format, being presented in the form return, she having gone to assist his of diary entries and news-clippings recovery after his ordeal, where they relating to a succession of events. married. They then join the others in Jonathan Harker is the main character, the hunt for the Count … and he is a solicitor travelling to a remote castle in Transylvania to meet Though this may be a grimmer story with Count Dracula and organise than some of today’s versions, it’s a real estate transaction, along a true gothic novel, and vampire with the shipment of the Count’s fiction at its best, with an edge and a belongings to the London house he real, intense plotline. So, why not try is to purchase. Harker quickly realises a vampire novel with a bit of grit for he is Dracula’s prisoner, and suspects a change? the supernatural after almost falling prey to the three vampire wives of
Jack Kilker Fawkes Reporter
All photos by Nadira Amrani and Ben Cork
Love&Madness Lauren Goldie Fawkes Reporter On the sixteenth of February, I with five other drama students, made my way to the Mumford Theatre to see Love&Madness’ version of Accidental Death of an Anarchist. Despite never having heard of the group before, each one of us was full of anticipation, and the cast did not disappoint. The play, originally written by Dario Fo, is a satirical drama inspired by the bomb attacks in the Agricultural Bank of Milan on 12th December 1969. Anarchists were accused of causing this devastating attack, particularly Giovanni Pinelli who, after being interrogated by Italian police, mysteriously fell out of a fourth storey window at Police Headquarters. The piece itself investigates the corruption of the Police who claimed that this incident was attempted suicide rather than an
act of violence on their behalf. Love&Madness’ version of this play, directed by Neil Sheppeck (founder of the group), re-created this deeply compelling and farcical drama brilliantly, in a way that was entertaining for everyone. Formed in 2000, the theatre group itself is made up of ten actors from a variety of backgrounds. They are currently touring Britain with their innovative and stylistic interpretations of a wide range of plots. Recently the team have been wowing their audiences with plays including Richard III, The Picture of Dorian Grey and Dr Faustus. The most notable thing Love&Madness brought to the production was their enormous amount of energy and ability to interact so effortlessly with one another. While actors such as Will Harrison-Wallace and Gareth
Llewelyn entertained us with their slapstick interpretations of the play, it was Nick Kempsey, who played the role of the ‘Maniac’, that brought the piece to life. In a private meeting with the actor he revealed that a lot of his comic moments were created, ‘... through improvisation. Sometimes I will add lines in for comic effect and the other members of the group will bounce off them.’ For those of you who have an interest in theatre, particularly plays such as Gogol’s The Government Inspector or those of you who are simply after a night of light-hearted entertainment and fun, Love&Madness are definitely the company for you. For more information about the group, or to book tickets for upcoming performances visit their website www.loveandmadness.org
Fawkes : Creative Writing
The Phoenix | 4 April 2011
Creative Writing In June 2010, the Hills Road English department organised a creative writing competition. Entrants were asked to submit a short story on any topic. Students only had 1000 words and less than three weeks to complete their work, but each rose to the challenge. The 18 stories that were submitted took the reader to distant worlds; Malay culture, South Africa, Japan, the deepest reaches of space, and various other locations in between. The English team were very impressed by the quality of the stories submitted, and by the range of subjects, narrative voices and forms
employed. In many there was a compelling first person voice, and the experiences ranged from the wild and harrowing to the most poignant and delicate. There was use of allegory, homage, internal monologue, vibrant dramatic dialogue, still meditative passages and bold climax. There were stories that wanted to play with expectations, not only of what will happen next but the form itself. The English and Media Department enjoyed reading through the entries and after much deliberation arrived at a very worthy winner and runner up. (Information kindly provided by Iain Lee.)
Paper Lives Frances Duhig Runner-up in the Creative Writing Competion Have you ever thought that lives are like paper? As beautiful and fragile as origami, as emotional as letters, as personal as a diary. I hear the planes overhead. Their bombs burn our paper cities and paper lives burn with them. I sat with my little sister Chiharu, huddling in my arms, quivering as the low, rumbling growl of the approaching planes became a deafening roar overhead. “It’s all right,” I whispered, “They’re heading for Tokyo.” The rattle of machine guns grew louder. I heard Chiharu whimper and held her closer; I told her to be brave like father, who’s fighting for the emperor. I closed my eyes and waited for morning, praying under my breath that chichi was safe. The next morning mother went to get our next ration, leaving our maid Kasumi to look after us. My younger brother Hiroki enthralled us, describing what he witnessed last night. “I saw one of the planes crash near the beach,” he said. Chiharu looked excited and I went to find Kasumi. “Kasumi-san,” I said, trying to sound responsible, “we’re going for a short walk, neh? We’ll be back before mother gets home.” For a moment she seemed about to object, but seeing my look of determination, replied respectfully “I do not mind, Satoshi-sama, but be careful.” I beamed at her and promised we would. Eagerly I hurried back to my siblings. “Let’s go Haru,” I said, lifting my sister onto my back
as Hiroki led the way down to the beach. I stumbled over the dunes trying not to drop Chiharu. “Hurry up Sato!” called Hiroki. As we reached the beach, I spotted Hiroki; the sea lapping at his ankles. “Hiro!” I called. He didn’t move, just stood looking at something out of sight. A strange feeling of foreboding washed over me and, without thinking, I ran across the sands towards him. “Hiro,” I panted as I reached him. He looked up, ashen-faced. “What’s wrong, Hiroki?” I asked quietly. He gestured, face white as paper. In front of us, lying washed up on the sea-damp sands was a pilot, badly burned. My first thought was, “God, please don’t let it be chichi.” He wasn’t Japanese; he was a Yankee! A warm sense of relief filled me; it wasn’t my father. My relief was short lived, being replaced quickly by shock. This thing looked so helpless. It reminded me of when Chiharu had the fever, lying full of pain on her futon, unable even to open her eyes. Everyone always said Americans were ape-like and horned like demons, but …this one had no horns. “Chichi?” I heard a little voice in my ear. Chiharu, eyes brimming, slid off my back and approached the figure. Quickly, I grabbed her arm, “It’s not chichi!” I said urgently. I was terrified that the Yankee would hurt her. The three of us stood there like statues, staring at the hideous sight. After a while, Hiroki voiced what we were all thinking: “What do we do now?” I didn’t really want to think about it: we had found a Yankee, an enemy of Japan, injured but alive. It was our duty to kill it. Still, I couldn’t get Chiharu’s words out of my head: “Chichi?” Could this man be chichi to some children at home? If he died … would they cry as we would if our father didn’t return? (continued on page 22)
The Midway Lounge Hannah Ehrlich Winner of the Creative Writing Competion Woke up feeling drowsy and wrecked. Needed a piss, and needed a glass of water. The eternal paradox. Opened my eyes, and saw that I was in an airport departure lounge. Just ten minutes ago, I was on the train to Sevenoaks. The usual boys in black shaped their briefcased forms around me in a stifling huddle, singing of urbanities. I was so hot, so tired and so out of it that I didn’t see it happen at all. Only felt it – a trickle of smoke up my corduroy sleeve, and then nothing else. We were left with dull aches in our lungs and glimmers of nausea in our stomachs, so they set up a makeshift bar at the far end of the lounge, selling black coffee, laced with flimsy narcotics, and croissants. Fat, puffy croissants, with more air than body. They fit the location perfectly. I shifted against the porous fabric of my seat and locked eyes with the woman sat beside me, who had been watching me as I woke up. She smiled; a paper-thin, preoccupied smile that didn’t reach her eyes. “Can you believe it? Have a look outside.” She threw a hand out towards the panoramic window. For the first time, I could see the breaks between Earth and the skies; the thick, frantic fireplace of the world below and the decisive chimney where we’d landed. As I rose and approached the window, I almost expected a symphony to swell up out of the disinfected silence. The outdoor miasma was cut in coloured strata like a Victoria sponge. On top, a fine layer of clouds; below it, the vast landing pad, its creamcoloured base, the jammy breaking point of our two dreary realities, and below all of that, the empty troposphere, sagging with moisture. Way down below was London and the English countryside around it. The foliage down there was bizarre and fluffy, like the fungus on a plate of perishing food. I laughed piteously, feeling a spark of hopeless hysteria ignite and flourish in my chest as I thought of everything I’d been robbed of. But I wasn’t going to blow my top about it. Not yet at least. The woman beckoned me back, and I retreated. “Great, ain’t it?” “It’s pretty cool. I’ve never travelled this far on my own before.” “Which are you off to?” “I have no idea.”
“If you want to know who did it, it was the boy in the corner.” That was nice to know. I tilted my sightline discreetly over the row of heads in front of me and caught sight of him. Well, he definitely wasn’t your average terrorist, that’s for sure. He was just a kid, with all the nervous habits and adornments of a little boy. His hair was an awkward cherryade colour, glassy and faded, and he sat with his legs pulled up to his chest and a resigned hunch to his shoulders, as though consigned to detention. “I’m going to talk to him,” I said matter-offactly. “Suit yourself,” sniffed the woman, “But I tell you, if it were up to me, I’d have him dead a thousand times over.” “Thanks for pumping some life into my commute.” He looked up, petrified. His mouth hung open naïvely as I came to sit beside him, tucking my legs in just the same as him. “I mean it.” I did. It was hard to make the link between this scared little child and that horrendous six o’clock whiteout, in any case. Perhaps it was better that way. “You’re welcome?” he finally squeaked back. “I think I am,” I said, only understanding half of what I meant, “So, how was it for you?” I spent a few minutes listening (fairly well) to his side of the story, mostly studying his eyes. The sparkly caffeine tint that the spiked coffee had endowed him with flowed and seeped into his jaw as it gradually dawned on him that I was actually listening. The pencil-lead muscles in his upper arms gave an acidic sigh, and the rest of his body followed. The tannoy cut him just a little short. I think I caught the gist of it. “Flight 57821 is now ready for boarding. Flight 57821 is now ready for boarding. Please check your tickets twice before departing.” “Is that you?” he asked, a stain of apprehension on his brow. “I don’t think so.” “Check your Oyster.”
I rummaged around in my pocket for the little blue slip. It came out changed. New ink formations on the printed front dictated my new destination.
I rummaged in my pocket again. I was pretty sure it wasn’t, but it was worth a double-check, if only to give me something to do with my hands. I pulled out my Oyster card and cleared my throat in a businesslike manner. It came out changed. My heart leapt with queasy excitement.
“Flight 57821? Yeah, that’s me.”
“Check your Oyster.”
Photo from Wikimedia Commons, edited in Photoshop
The woman blanched slightly. Her eyebrows rose and she sucked in her lower lip. Skirting around any explanation, she leaned closer to whisper in my ear.
Fawkes : Creative Writing and Theatre
(continued from page 21) This thought made my stomach churn. This man was a pilot like him … “We should kill it,” muttered Hiroki. “Hiro,” I said glumly, “go and get some food and water and don’t let Kasumisan see you.” Hiroki looked doubtful but I was adamant, we would help him …then we would decide what to do. I was torn, I didn’t want to betray our country by helping our enemies, but I felt compelled to help him. I tried to communicate my intentions to the pilot by asking him to move, but he merely made some indistinguishable grunts. He clearly couldn’t understand Japanese and couldn’t see, so I tried a different approach. I gave him a gentle tap to get his attention, placed his feet flat on the floor and carefully tugged at his arm. He seemed to understand and, groaning wearily, rolled over and heaved himself onto all fours; guiding him with my hand, I led him to the relative safety of an empty hut. Hiroki hurried back with cooked rice and clean water. Meanwhile, Chiharu sat in the corner regarding us with a disapproving expression, as if she knew we were doing something we shouldn’t. “Come on Haru,” said Hiroki encouragingly, “we’re going to play doctors.” and before we knew it she was bustling
4 April 2011 | The Phoenix
around unhelpfully, clearly enjoying herself. When we saw a shaft of red light creep in through the dusty window we knew we were late and headed home. Mother scolded us for our lateness and promptly sent us to bed.
How naïve to imagine that the pilot could possibly recover from all his injuries. When we went to him the next day he was in a very bad way. Encrusted with blood, burned, blind, contorting with pain and spluttering, I could hear his laboured breath. I had to tell mother. Choking back tears I ran, the morning sunlight blinding as I tore up the hill. Mother heard my crashing and came running. “Satoshi? What on earth’s the matter?” I threw myself, sobbing, into her arms and told her everything. “I’m sorry mother,” I said weakly, “please help him!” Her face softened and she told me to lead the way.
Pete Postlethwaite, who was once heralded by director Steven Spielberg as ‘the greatest actor in the world’, has died aged 64 after battling cancer for the last two decades. Friends and family of the Oscoar-nominated actor said he passed away peacefully in Shropshire where he was being treated for both prostate and testicular cancer, with which he was diagnosed in 1990.
We were too late. We found Hiroki outside, comforting Chiharu, and I knew from their faces that he was dead. We sat together on the beach that night, a strange feeling of emptiness lapping at us like the tide at our feet. One more paper life …Over the gentle rush of the waves the low rumble of engines returned.
Shakira Artrey Kirsty Cooper Fawkes Reporters
In response to Spielberg, Postlethwaite laughed off the remark about him being the ‘greatest actor’, saying: ‘I’m sure what Spielberg actually said was, “The thing about Pete is that he thinks he’s the best actor in the world.” Postelthwaite’s former girlfriend Julie Walters said: ‘He was quite simply the most exciting, exhilarating actor of his generation. Spielberg was right.’ Postlethwaite was highly renowned for his roles in: In the Name of the
Charlie Sheen’s fall from the top
Father, Brassed Off, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, and, most recently, Inception. Starting his career at Everyman Theatre in Liverpool, he met fellow actors Julie Walters and Bill Nighy, which prompted his television career in the BBC TV black comedy, The Muscle Market. Bill Nighy paid tribute to Postlethwaite remarking that he was ‘a rare and remarkable man’, deeming him ‘irreplaceable’. Postlethwaite’s first film success began in 1988 with the film Distant Voices, Still Lives and soon led on to other successes such as Alien 3 and The Constant Gardener. Throughout his long career, in spite of all the publicity he received, he remained to the end a humble, private family man who was beloved by everyone who knew him. Stephen Fry posted on Twitter: ‘The loss of the great Pete Postlethwaite is a very sad way to begin a year.’
Rise of the Super-Brit
Tom Maltas Fawkes Reporter
Kitty Robertson Fawkes Reporter
Once the highest paid man on television, Charlie Sheen has been fired from his hit show Two and a Half Men. As the son of Hollywood legend Martin Sheen, it seemed he was destined for fame and riches after getting his first big break in 1986, appearing in Oliver Stone’s movie Platoon, about the Vietnam War. However, while Warner Bros saw it fit for him to act as a heavydrinking womaniser on the set, they felt that he had taken the party lifestyle too far when the cameras were turned off. Sheen has been notorious for his ‘sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll’ lifestyle for quite some time, having been arrested multiple times for various offences, including cocaine use.
It has been announced that the British actor Henry Cavill, best known for his role as Charles Brandon in the BBC series The Tudors, has been chosen to play Superman in the upcoming film about the revered Man of Steel.
His downward spiral of partying and drug use seemed to begin in the mid-90s, when he first hit the headlines and had his initial stint in rehab. In 1995 he was arrested and put in hospital for cocaine use, later in the year admitting to spending around $50,000 in his favourite brothel. Having only been out of rehab for two years, Sheen was sent back after being hospitalised from a near fatal overdose, a far cry from the mischievous yet harmless adventures of his character on television. One of Sheen’s most shocking convictions was in December 2009, when he was arrested for assaulting and threatening the life of his third wife, and mother of his twin sons. Sheen was also forced to take a three month break from the show, which was quickly increasing in fame, due to being sent into rehab for the third time. Soon after leaving, he hinted that he would leave the show if he was not paid more. The actor voluntarily went into a psychiatric evaluation after being reported for violently damaging a New York hotel room. However, this incident was played down greatly be his publicist, who claimed that he went to hospital simply because he had an ‘allergic reaction to some
Photo from Wikimedia Commons
medication’. Although you might expect that someone, particularly someone watched by the press, would stop at this point, Sheen carried on with his destructive lifestyle, resulting in him being admitted to hospital in January this year due to ‘abdominal pains’. The pains were later found out to be the result of a two day ‘marathon party’. Just the next day, Warner Bros shut down production of Sheen’s show, ordering him to admit himself back into rehab. The show was by then, and is still, the most watched sitcom on television, averaging around a staggering 15 million viewers each week. Two weeks later, after a period of self healing, Sheen claimed he was ready to restart filming. However, production was halted once again when the actor phoned into a US radio show, criticising the creator of the show, Chuck Lorre. This was when Sheen’s largest media boom began as he made unusual appearances on a number of US talkshows attacking Lorre. In a widely known interview with ABC News, Sheen claimed he didn’t remember the last time he used drugs and dismissed suggestions that he was
bi-polar by claiming he was simply ‘bi-winning’. This interview resulted in many parodies on YouTube and did not help Sheen prove he was clean from drugs and ready to restart filming of his hit show. With production stopped, Warner Bros have not yet stated whether filming will continue without Sheen, or even whether the show will continue at all. Within weeks of being kicked off the sitcom, Sheen filed a $100m law suit against the creators of Two and a Half Men. Filed in court papers, Sheen stated that Lorre had been ‘harassing and disparaging’ him, and that he was only fired from the show after he began publicly criticising Warner Bros and Lorre. Charlie Sheen is in a complicated situation: while raising two children he is in a heated feud with a multimillion dollar company and what seems to be a personal battle with the creator of the show he once starred in. While all of this is going on, the actor is also trying to prove to the world that he is free from drugs and is committed to stopping his often dangerous party lifestyle. We can only wait and see where the one of a kind star will go next.
This casting choice sees Cavill as the latest addition to the increasingly popular trend of British actors selected to star as some of America’s biggest superheroes – Cavill joins the ranks of Andrew Garfield, who has replaced Tobey Maguire in the role of Spiderman, and Christian Bale, who has portrayed dark hero Bruce Wayne in the two previous Batman films, and is set to reprise his role in a third instalment. This is a clear movement away from the tradition of the British supervillain – Terence Stamp as General Zod in Superman, Alfred Molina as Doctor Octopus, Sir Ian McKellen as X-Men’s dastardly Magneto – as the three most prestigious, all-American superheroes are now being played by British actors. All of this is an indication of the growing talent among British actors – the strong performances of British actors in recent years, such as Colin Firth’s in A Single Man and The King’s Speech, have led to an increased respect for British actors in America, and a movement away from the stereotypical cackling villain with a crisp British accent. Cavill’s casting as Superman sees the first time the famous hero will be played by a non-US actor, and while for some Americans this may be a crime against patriotism, it has been argued that they may not notice the difference. All three actors will be adopting an American accent for their respective
roles, and it seems that many Britons were unaware that Christian Bale even had an English accent. It appears that the casting decision for the role, rather than being based on accent or origin, is a genuine indication of acting talent: Bale, Garfield and others are all gifted actors, and this, one would assume, is the main reason they landed these prestigious roles. While the adoption of the American accent may blur the distinction, this, clearly, is a significant development in the relationship between British and American film. Andrew Garfield, when offered the title role, was a relatively unknown actor, while Henry Cavill is best known for appearing in a supporting role in a British television series. Their acceptance into the world of American blockbusters suggests a broadening attitude towards littleknown actors, casting aside national assumptions and instead opening doors to genuinely talented actors. The news of Cavill’s performance as one of the most famous and iconic superheroes of all time marks a change of attitude; a new tolerance towards British actors on America’s part. British actors are now being taken seriously across the Atlantic. Perhaps now, having discovered British talent, American producers will overcome some of their inhibitions against casting British actors as Britons in American television shows, signalling an end to the poor British accents adopted by American actors. Nonetheless, the most patriotic of superheroes, Captain America, remains a role destined for an American actor – US national Chris Evans will take on the title role in the film due for release this year.
Fawkes : Features
The Phoenix | 4 April 2011
Aida? I ‘ardly know ‘er!
>> Music Department opera trip (17th March) to Aida at the Royal Opera House Pippa Bransfield-Garth Fawkes Reporter Aida (or Aïda) is a four-act opera by Verdi, first performed in 1871. Its namesake Aida, an Ethiopian princess, has been captured and enslaved in Egypt. The newly-appointed head of the Egyptian army, Radames, struggles to choose between his love for her and his loyalty to the Pharaoh, as Egypt is still fighting Ethiopia. Radames is also favoured by Amneris, the Pharaoh’s daughter, who adores him, though he does not return her feelings.
However, the performance was not entirely austere and sinister, with interjections of humour and excitement, such as the playful fertility ballet performed by a horde of nearly-nude dancers in the second act. This display (hopelessly titillating for an audience of giggling sixthformers) veered towards camp almost as much as the erotic ritual sacrifice of the previous act, in which six-packed men, strung up by their wrists, were stabbed repeatedly and smeared in blood by writhing, topless slave-girls in hope of bringing victory for Egypt. The choreography for this was notably individualistic, at times inducing a sense of chaotic mime rather than impressive ballet, but it couldn’t be argued that there wasn’t
The Royal Opera House (photo from Wikimedia Commons)
McVicar’s take on the four-act opera famously removes the typical ‘desert and elephants’ indicators of Ancient
Egypt, and in doing so makes the performance more about theme, and less about story. The costuming bears little or no resemblance to the traditional sandals-and-robes of Ancient Egypt; for example, Radames (Roberto Alagna), the leader of the Egyptian army, is dressed in a uniform more befitting of Genghis Khan than an Egyptian warrior. The scenery (for the first two acts, no more than a rotating wall) could have been mistaken for the reused set of a lowbudget West Side Story (exposed plumbing and all), in stark contrast to the stereotypical backdrop of pyramids and sunrises that would compensate for some of the glamour McVicar has otherwise stripped Aida of.
always something to watch. The vocals were, unfortunately, not as expressive as the dancing. Not known for its catchy tunes at the best of times, Aida struggled under the prowess of the protagonists’ fullforce vibrato for much of the show. Most light and shade was provided by Amneris (played by Olga Borodina), arch nemesis to the supposedly besotted couple, who, even when faced with incredibly touching and sensitive points of the plot, still managed to bellow in each other’s faces with no indication of affection up until the very end, when they were buried alive together for being traitors to their country. The lack of obvious emotion between them (the highlight being a hand-holding in the final scene) contrasted wildly with the abundance of sexuality, anger and ferocity experienced in other areas of the opera, and Radames’ incessant fortissimo implied that he was far more interested in himself than in the two women willing to kill or die for him. However, the portrayal of the horrors of war, and the treatment of those who are traitorous to their countries, emphasises the ongoing struggle between patriotism and individual morality which runs throughout the work. The portrayal of such a gritty, bleak battle that divides families and is fuelled by human sacrifice and secrecy, contrasts wildly with the purity of Radames’ love for Aida (and
Geeks’ Corner: Dungeons and Dragons Tom W Franklin Resident Geek I have never played down or denied the fact that I am a tremendous Geek. In fact, I revel in my geekery, and I enjoy few things more than talking to my fellow geeks, which is why TableTop Role-Playing Games are one of my favourite activities to take part in. And of course, when TTRPGs (as they are often referred to) are mentioned, one in particular will always be at the forefront of people’s mind: the first ever published role-playing game, Dungeons and Dragons (D&D). Created in 1972 by Gary Gygax and David Arneson, Dungeons and Dragons was the first real role-playing game. Drawing on much from the works of Tolkein, Jack Vance and Fritz Lieber, Dungeons and Dragons quickly found itself with quite the fanbase. As a result, Gygax, along with two others, proceeded to found Tactical Studies Rules, which would publish and sell the rules for Dungeons and Dragons across the country. Nowadays, however, Dungeons and Dragons is owned by Wizards of the Coast,
the same company that created and produces need the books. While the current edition of D&D, 4th Edition, is on sale, the books for the Magic: The Gathering. previous edition are available for free online. Many people nowadays are familiar with D&D Then, one of the players, usually the person who in its various computer game forms, such as the put the group together and has the best grasp award winning Baldur’s Gate series by critically of the rules, takes the role of the DM, or the acclaimed game developers Bioware, Dungeon Master. This person is essentially the the Neverwinter Nights series by the same storyteller, playing the various characters and developers, and the Temple of Elemental Evil enemies that help create the story that the other game by Trokia studios. There have also been players are the centre of. The other players roll various board game iterations of the game, up characters, deciding what race they are, what usually with less of an emphasis on the role- they are good at, what their aims are. Some will playing and more on learning the mechanics, write a few lines, others will write pages upon which to many serve as a gateway game, pages, detailing every aspect of their character’s fostering interest in the game. It has also life. Newer DMs will usually work from a module, appeared in various TV shows, such as The a pre-made adventure written by professional Simpsons and Futurama, the latter of which writers in the employ of Wizards of the Coast. made an entire movie in honour of the late Gary More experienced DMs will often make their Gygax, namely Bender’s Game. Gygax has also own adventures, tailored to their players. These made ‘appearances’ in popular webcomics – are usually the adventures that are most enjoyed havens of geekery – such as Order of the Stick, a by the players themselves. webcomic about D&D, and XKCD.
That’s all for this issue, and for anyone who’s Dungeons and Dragons is pretty simple, albeit now interested, go download the old books, get expensive, to play. First off, you need to get some friends together and have a go. You never several friends who are willing; second, you know, you might like it.
the harshness of his punishment for it); McVicar’s direction leads us to a sense that patriotism is often unjustified. In Radames’ case, his country is fighting to kill those his lover holds dear, and destroying any chance of her living, let alone in happiness, or taking her rightful place as their queen. The famed Triumphant March scene is so gritty and lacking in the promised grandeur that one couldn’t be blamed for mistaking it as only the set-up for the climax of the performance, where Radames is rewarded for his great victory amongst a sea of on-looking cast, all celebrating his victory beneath the dangling cadavers of previous sacrifices. In modern eyes, the hero of the piece is made so by his rejection of the pressures of the bloodlust of his country in favour of a sweeter love for Aida (Liudmyla Monastyrska) and peace. Embracing the man who fights for a personal morality over the success of his nation is a theme the modern world celebrates, and is more relevant today than ever. From the Abolitionists, to Tank Man, to the rebels in Libya, there are always those who disagree with stating the party-line over their own beliefs and, as in Radames’ case, will die for it. As such, Aida could be seen as poignant a contemporary piece of today as it was a glorious spectacle when first performed.
A game in progress (photo from Wikimedia Commons)
24 Fawkes : Fashion London Fashion Week
>> Photos by Molly Taylor
Molly Taylor Fashion Editor London fashion week is THE place to be if you want to get noticed by the fashion industry. Twice a year, the fashion world’s most prominent players collide to witness the new season’s trends come alive on a catwalk at Somerset House in London. However, as the event is not open to the general public, certain myths arise about what really happens at London Fashion Week, and as I discover throughout my day at the elusive event, it isn’t always as glamorous as it’s expected to be. 06.00 I leave my house. It’s freezing and walking in heels to the train station isn’t exactly the start to my day I’d imagined. I take with me my gigantic camera (fashion week protocol), a notepad, invites, and my press pass, which is my fast track entry to the event. It starts at nine o’clock, and I want to be there as early as possible to avoid queues at the entry desk. 08.45 I’ve finally arrived at Somerset House after a brisk jog to the tube from King’s Cross. My feet are already blistered, but luckily no queues to get registered because I’ve skipped the first show of the day, Paul Costello. I hand in my pass and get my Fashion Week bag, as designed by Mulberry, and my map of the event, aswell as my badge to enter the main fashion hall. 09.00 Stop off at the MAC booth - as a member of press I’m treated to a complimentary makeover as part of the Sponsor’s deal with fashion week - and see Gok’s Fashion Fix presenter Brix Smith-Start! I come out with luminous pink lips and glowing skin. Not to mention the free goodie bag filled with full size MAC products - it was worth skipping the first show! I pop over to the press lounge and receive my breakfast of a scone and a cup of tea while I check my emails on the ‘blogger’s bar’ of Apple Mac computers.
10.45 I make my way over to Freemasons’ Hall to catch the Jena Thea show- not an easy walk if you’re in eight inch heels and it’s uphill all the way there. Upon arrival, I queue for half an hour before being told that they’re full capacity. I leave, disheartened, especially considering I’d got an invite. 15.00 After a lunch of vitamin water and salad, compliments of the Press Lounge staff, I head over to the ON:OFF venue for the ‘Ones to Watch’ show, which features five new designers that are sponsored by Blow PR. Before I queue, I check out the exhibition, and fall in love with a pair of BodyArmr heels. I then head over to the show, and stand in front of Diana Vickers while waiting for the show to start. The show was brilliant, featuring high octane music, sheer fabrics, smart tailoring, and cut-outs. I leave feeling inspired. 17.45 Having received directions from a stroppy secretary at ON:OFF, I head to Northumberland House, still in my heels, and already quite blistered, for the Felder Felder show. This venue has no refreshments, and on the fashion diet of salads and soft drinks I’m starving. The collection, however, was wonderful, and having had second row seats, I can’t really complain. 18.30 Back at Somerset House, I check out the exhibition for the ‘Happy Hour’, which consists of glasses of champagne on the backdrop of all that the newest designers have to offer - in the flesh. Feeling better now that I’ve at least had a liquid snack, I head back to the showspace to watch the Bora Aksu show - the final show of the day. All of the top fashion editors are sitting front row, and the designer pulls out a fantastic show, even if I was seated so far away that I could hardly see it. After finally leaving ten minutes after the show had ended, I head back home; starving, blistered, but completely inspired.
4 April 2011 | The Phoenix
Your Spring/ Summer Wardrobe Jade Harley-Smith Fashion Editor As seasons change and the wintry months pass, the excitement of spring/summer fashion sets in and a new wardrobe is essential. Sartorial colour clash has been forever considered a fashion faux pas. However, this season there has been a considerable clash gracing the catwalks of London, Paris, New York and Milan. Tangerine and fuchsia, or orange and pink, has dominated collections by MaxMara, Paul & Joe and Hermes. High street versions are available from Karen Millen and Coast. If colour clashing isn’t your thing, how about bright statement pieces such as neon jewellery, coloured chinos or vibrant blazers? Another way of showing your style this spring/ summer is to wear a colour that has been sweeping this season’s collections: royal blue. Most notably worn by Kate Middleton when announcing her engagement, her blue Issa dress perfectly complimented that sapphire ring. From lavish haute couture dresses to simple trousers and accessories, blue is the perfect transitional colour from the workplace or college to a night out. If colour really isn’t your thing, ballet neutrals offer an alternative. Don’t expect tutus and pointe shoes to suddenly appear in Topshop, but those nude tones are making their way back to the high street. Leotards and bodies have slowly crept back from the 80s, and on the catwalks Chloe, Lanvin and Marc by Marc Jacobs really use neutral shades effectively. A lot of the fabrics used are figure hugging and flowing, allowing for a perfect feminine figure to develop, as well as being full of textures, from chiffon to leather. For a more playful look, animal prints are the way to go. Be it the face of a panda in the style of Louis Vuitton, or cheeky monkeys rollicking over loosely cut tops by Prada: animals are in. On the high street, the best place to look for animalistic items would be H! by Henry Holland at Debenhams. H! has incorporated giraffes, dogs and cats into his collection, which is both affordable and easy to wear. Who’d have thought that those bohemian tassels and feathers from the 1970 would ever re-emerge? But Gucci has given them a new ounce of cool. Paired with chic sunglasses, tasselled items are clear winners for this summer as they cover almost every surface; home crafts such as macramé, crochet and appliqué add texture to simple shift dresses. However, it is essential not to over-do this look – you could end up looking like a girl from the prairie – so keep pieces simple; for example a leather tasselled bag, or feather earrings to complete your summer outfit.
Fawkes : Fashion
The Phoenix | 4 April 2011
Bright Young Things Jade Harley-Smith Fashion Editor
Minogue. His current collection is out of this world, featuring a star and galaxy theme.
The Bright Young Things of the 1920s and 1930s introduced a playful and extravagant androgynous look that has appeared on runways ever since. They helped pioneer the idea of dressing for fun, and wearing clothes that were thought to be avant garde. Within the fashion world, there are new ‘Bright Young Things’ who bring their ideas to an ever-expanding British fashion scene. From models to new designers, Britain is firmly securing its place alongside France, Italy and America as a fashion metropolis.
Originally from Scotland, Jonathan Saunders graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2002 and has been successful in creating fresh new prints for Alexander McQueen as well as consulting for big fashion houses such as Pucci and Chloé. Saunders made his debut at LFW in 2003, and Harrods and Harvey Nichols subsequently placed orders with this clearly talented designer.
Christopher Kane is already collaborating with Versace after graduating only five years ago from Central Saint Martins. He set up his own brand in 2006, along with his sister, and has helped introduce many new ideas into the fashion world. It is claimed that Kane influenced the fluorescent trend of summer 07 in his debut collection – only a year into his life as a fully-fledged designer. Kane has collaborated with Beth Ditto and Kylie
Alice Temperley brings femininity to the catwalk, with soft curves and flattering shapes. She studied at Central Saint Martins and gained her master’s degree at the Royal College of Art. She has won a multitude of awards, from an Award of Innovation from Saint Martins to Young Designer of the Year from Elle magazine. Her collections noticeably involve attention to detail and she has been inspired from trips to Mexico, to strolls around vintage markets in the heart of London. This season, Temperley has created a ‘cruise’ inspired collection, perfect for that spring/ summer getaway or just for everyday wear.
Soon to be a household name, Henry Holland is famous for his quirky slogan tees and his friendships with Agyness Deyn and Pixie Geldof; he has introduced playful ideas such as head-to-toe tartan to the ever expanding British fashion scene. Holland graduated from Central Saint Martins and was catapulted into the limelight by his highly anticipated designs. His current collection for House of Holland incorporates pastel colours and paisley floral prints, along with tassels and neat even pleats.
Fashion summed up in one sentence. It turns out that not only did Coco Chanel have one of the most artistic and courageous minds ever to grace the runway, but she could also see the future. Sort of. Chanel described the importance of individuality and taking chances in fashion, a concept which has almost become law for designers in 2011. No longer is it acceptable for clothes to be ‘pretty’, but now they have to create an impact; in other words, the crazier, the better. Gaga would be proud. Catwalks across the globe have all embraced this new attitude towards fashion, with some of the best up-and-coming designers of the year springing from international waters. Their clever use of colour and shape, and their willingness to take risks, has resulted in these designers becoming the hottest international stars of the fashion world. Creatures of the Wind: Shane Gabier and Christopher Peters, the Chicago designers that form Creatures of the Wind, have already gained recognition for their clever take on urban style. Think conservative, but edgier. Look out for taffeta pants and geometric prints this season. Felicity Brown: A personal favourite, the 32 year old London designer draws inspiration from paintings. Her dresses are all about that one statement that sets you
apart from the crowd. Big frocks and complementary colours are essential for this look. Dion Lee: 24 year old Australian, Dion Lee, has caused a stir in the fashion world with his architectural designs. Lee focuses on simplicity: simple colours, simple shapes but big impact. His designs thrive on body shape and bring a modern twist to formal attire. Key trend: a crisp, white shirt goes along way.
body con back, adding a little Spanish flavour along the way. Body con, literally short for body conscious, is any type of clothing, which, well is skin tight (tight high-waisted trousers, skin tight mini-dresses etc.) and clings to your body. Although they look great, a word of warning is necessary; this type of clothing is only for the brave because when I say skin tight, I mean it. De la Morena introduces his own twist to the body con by adding splashes of colour.
Michael Van Der Ham: The Dutch designer, 24, brings colour back to the catwalk. His collaged pieces focus on all that is bold and bright and his dresses scream summer. The style is a cross between bohemian dress and statement colours. After a long and cold start to the year, it’s time to get some colour back into our lives. Emilio de la Morena: The 38 year old Spanish wonder has brought the
Part of Gareth Pugh’s collection (photo from Wikimedia Commons)
Gareth Pugh’s debut collection mixed theatricality with fashion as this one-time costume designer integrated extravagant designs into his runway creations. From balloons to accentuate joints, to inflatable dresses, Pugh has revolutionised the runway. Pugh started out as a costume designer for the National Youth theatre, aged 14, then went on to study fashion education at City of Sunderland College and completed his degree at Central St. Martins. His first collection graced the catwalk at London Fashion Week in 2006, just three years after he graduated. His current collection boasts white tailored armour, monochrome garments and even metalwork - which gives substance to the idea that Pugh creates wearable sculptures for the avant garde dresser.
Up-and-coming international designers Fahmida Yasmin Fawkes Reporter
Creatures of the Wind (photo from Wikimedia Commons)
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26 Fawkes : Fashion
4 April2010 2011 | The Phoenix 13 December
Hills Road’s Got Style Sophia Christodoulou Fawkes Reporter
Being a college with over 2000 pupils all wearing our own clothes and show-casing our own individual style, it can sometimes be hard to remember that we are all part of the same institution. So, what is the style that defines our college? In order to answer this, we took to the halls of Hills to discover what our style is truly like and what really influences our wardrobe decisions. Cardigan and Shirt: All Saints Skinny Carrot Chinos: Topman Boat Shoes: Lee Cooper
“I dress according to trends; this season I have been influenced by the floaty dresses and floral prints! I also like to wear mid-heel shoes as they give me that extra bit of height, but are still casual enough for everyday wear.”
“I dress for how I feel on the day.”
“... I like to dress for the weather and the occasion, for example if it’s sunny then I’ll wear bright colours but if it was cloudy, just neutral earthy colours.” Cream detailed lacy top: H&M White boob tube: Topshop Burnt orange skinny trousers: Topshop Cream ballet pumps: Topshop
Cardigan: Next Dress: Lipsy Shoes: Zara
Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair Rachel May Fawkes Reporter Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair promised ‘the most eclectic yet affordable mix of vintage that the UK has ever known’. On Saturday 13th March, at what was practically dawn to our lazy teenage selves, we set off to the fair. I had comfortable shoes on my size four feet and concentrated energy in the form of seven chocolate bars in my bag: it was business time. Just a little after the doors opened to the world at 10:30am, we found that the queues were minimal, and my friends and I ascended the stairs with ease and a sense of excitement.
Entering a side room, we discovered that many items weren’t priced, but a vendor with a smile explained that a malfunctioning price stamp had proved troublesome earlier in the morning. My friends snapped up purchases almost immediately, which were bought from other incredibly polite and helpful vendors. We then continued into the main hall, to find a smorgasbord of vintage talent, and a room bursting with crowds searching for secondhand bargains. Despite the crowds, the people of Cambridge truly excelled themselves in their calm, collected and controlled vintage lust: I was surprised to see no cheeky scuffles at all. The fair was accompanied by a small tea room in a side room, which proved to be a much-
needed pit stop for many of the rummaging revellers, ourselves included (the chocolate bars had been fervently consumed before even getting off the train). Following a round of tea in the best kind of bone china teacups, we inspected the fair’s vinyl offerings – an eclectic and interesting mix was available for purchase. Next up: a perusal of the Guildhall stage. This not only presented more vintage clothing opportunities, there was also a wide variety of jewellery and a haberdashery. Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair was created in Leeds in 2006, by Judy Berger, and has
expanded nationally. Since ‘embracing’ Cambridge in 2009, the fair has been held in the Guildhall, whose beautiful interiors provided a beautiful setting for rummaging. What sets Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair apart from others, is that it offers good quality vintage clothing, which is a commendable triumph over the high street’s cult of disposable fast fashion. However, the fair itself puts its nationwide success down to the ‘savoir-faire of Judy and her troupe that ensure that The Affordable Vintage Fair rolls on’. And here’s to the rolling continuing – we’ll see you there next time, because, as the quasi-gospel of YouTube says: being a (vintage) d*ckhead’s cool.
Models: Oli Kearon and Hettie Stephens
Assistant: Jade Harley-Smith
Photographers: Molly Taylor and Sophia Christodoulou
Jemporium Vintage is hidden away in the Grafton Centre in Cambridge. This cute, small premises is bursting with vintage bargains to suit any budget. It is bang on trend, and is a spectacular stockist of the popular Levi 501 cut-off jeans, perfect for the upcoming summer weather.They are affordable, and have just taken part in ‘Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair’ that travels across the country for those savvy shoppers in search of vintage bargains. Here are a few shots of loaned items. The beauty of vintage is its uniqueness, so look in store for the perfect buy!
Oli: Checked Shirt: £12 Jeans: Model’s own
Oli: Velvet jacket: £30 Knitted tie: £3 Checked shirt: £12 Shoes and jeans: model's own Hettie: White blouse: £15 Levi cut-off shorts: £20 Headscarf: £4 Sunglasses: £5
Hettie: Babydoll dress: £18 Sunglasses: £5 Shoes: model’s own
Oli: Velvet jacket: £30, Sunglasses £5
Hettie: Checked shirt: £12 Levi cut-off shorts: £20 Leather belt: £10 Oli: US T-shirt: £8 Levi 501 jeans: £20 Oversized cardigan: £18
Hettie: Halterneck dress: ÂŁ22 Shoes: model's own
Oli: US T-shirt: £8 Jeans: model’s own
Fawkes : Take a Break
4 April 2011 | The Phoenix Stephanie Emra Ruth Slattery
Aries: 21st March - 19th April
Your extra-terrestrial business partners, whose offices hover 58 miles above Hull, are no longer willing to finance your proposed new perfume range. They think it stinks. But have no fear, your company will remain afloat, thanks to the catastrophic flood that wiped out all your rivals.
Taurus: 20th April -
Venus is turning to the left. A knighthood is in order for whoever finds one of the Queen’s corgis that will go missing next week. We think you have a chance. Hint: Check your bread-bin.
Gemini: 21st May – 20th June
The moon has decided to orbit elsewhere. The Twilight fan uprising is nigh. Stock up on body glitter and ‘team Edward’ T-shirts or risk not blending in and being hacked to death by sparkling pre-teens.
Cancer: 21st June – 22nd July
The brother of a man named Cuthbert is currently waiting on your doorstop to beat you up. However, the stars assure us that once you explain the situation to him, the pair of you will become great friends. However, his large dog will continue to distrust you and bite you at any opportunity
(answers to be emailed round later this week)
1. Son of Mufasa (5) 5. Cloak (4) 6. Voice box (6) 8. A geographical region; Final Countdown (6) 10. One who rebels and becomes an outlaw (7) 12. Right side of a compass (4) 13. Owner of a scythe (4,6) 15. Scratchy (5) 16. Bobbies (4) 18. Has shiny golden balls… (7) 21. Deficiency of iron (7) 22. Fib on a bed (3) 23. To ostracize (8) 26. None (3) 27. Danger (8) 28. …murder; a murder committed on behalf of someone else (5)
1. Country famed for mining blood diamonds (6,5) 2. 2009 film starring Sam Rockwell (4) 3. A creation of Sacha Baron Cohen (3,1) 4. The instrument of Apollo (4) 5. Pooch guards the underworld (8) 7. One who fears foreigners (9) 9. Tempt (6) 11. Colin’s got a wet shirt (5) 13. A female Japanese entertainer (6) 14. Nurture in favourable conditions (8) 17. Mythical rejuvenating creature (7) 18. Bundle of hay; Batman (4) 19. ‘Num est rex, sed…’ (6) 20. Syrup (5) 24. Zodiac King of the jungle (3) 25. Sent to countries in times of need (3)
Compiled by Marina Carnwath
Leo: 23rd July – 22nd August
France, the French and the French language are an elaborate sham devised by an eccentric, rich, seventeenth-century, bearded Russian. It started out as a cunning tax-evasion scheme that got a little out of hand. As such, your magical weekend in Paris was nothing more than two days in a white room with cleverly placed projectors. Good luck with that French A-level!
Virgo: 21st August – 22nd September
Saturn is hosting a small get-together for some other planets and Pluto hasn’t been invited. That spark between you and that special lady will escalate this week. This may be due to her kinky tendencies (RE: fireworks). Back out now or risk having both metaphorical and literal heartache.
Libra: 23rd September – 22nd October
Your fabled trick of pulling a rabbit out of a top hat will fail to impress at your university interview, due to you forgetting your glasses and pulling out a baby tiger shark instead. But look on the bright side, a tiger shark sitting on your shoulder is a great conversation starter.
Scorpio: 23rd October – 21st November
Now is the opportune moment to perform the tried and tested examsuccess ritual. You will need: catnip; three identical elastic bands; a spork; a small child’s paddling pool; a bowl of raspberries; and a duck. Be outside college at midnight with these items the night before your exam. Preferably wearing a wedding dress.
Agnes: 22nd Ceasber - 21st Lindiber
Sagittarius: 22nd November – 21st December
Neptune’s movements indicate you are in great peril. There are mice chewing through the wires of your computer. Don’t worry: though you will be electrocuted, the mice will be just fine.
Capricorn: 22nd December – 19th January
We know you’ll want to stop your friend getting in trouble for skipping school, but shaving a monkey and putting it in the seat next to you won’t fool anyone. Except perhaps his girlfriend. But her suspicions will be raised by his unusually sophisticated conversation skills.
Aquarius: 20th January – 18th February
You may feel as though you’re being hit around the head with a large lemon, your eye-sockets are being filled with minty-fresh toothpaste and your brain is being poked with smurfs bearing straighteners. But don’t worry; this is all part of the student experience and you will come out a better person for it. But on a brighter note, your hair looks lovely.
Pisces: 19th February – 20th March
That to-do list. You haven’t done anything about it in a while, have you? Well, exams aren’t going to pass themselves. Nor will the world dominate itself. The stars recommend you stop procrastinating, start revising and expand your loyal army of mindless minions before it’s too late.
101 other uses for friends
‘Duffle-coats for all’ as your election slogan will only gain you a minority vote. If you are serious about getting into power, try slandering your opponent. The tactic also works in other day-to-day activities.
The Phoenix | 4 April 2011
Easter eggs: the official Phoenix Guide
Here at The Phoenix, there are some editorial duties that we just have to grin and bear. Easter egg tasting is one of them. The newspaper team searched high and low for this year’s tastiest chocolate treats (by which we mean we wandered over to Tesco one afternoon), and have compiled a selection of the good, the bad and the ugly for your delectation. There should be something for every taste and budget. What are you waiting for? It’s time to get munching! (all photos from Wikimedia Commons, or by Harriet Allen)
Green and Black’s
One of our favourites; it tasted smooth and caramel-y, but wasn’t sickly. Alex (self-appointed chocolate connoisseur) commented on the fact that it broke cleanly without crumbling. It came with two mini Mars Bars, both of which disappeared in seconds. An all-round winner, and much more impressive than many of the other (more expensive) eggs we tried.
£1 (reduced from £2.50) - egg = 100g, 2x 36.5g Mars Bars
This egg split the group of testers. Dark-chocolate aficionados were taken by the thick, rich-tasting chocolate shell. Everybody else complained that it was bitter, had a weird aftertaste, and price-wise was a bit of a rip off. There was a disappointing lack of bonus sweets and treats, and we felt it was pushing it to charge £6 for a single egg (although we did approve of its ‘organic’ status). The nays therefore carried the day, hence the rather poor overall score of 5/10.
The most important thing about this Mini Eggs Easter offering is that it comes with a free mug. Will was particularly excited by this, and immediately insisted that the mug alone should be awarded 10/10. We pointed out that you can buy much nicer mugs for £6, but to no avail. The egg itself was a bit thinner than the others, and Alex suggested that the chocolate was too milky; it certainly tasted cheap in comparison to the Green and Black’s. The generous packet of Mini Eggs more than made up for these slight shortcomings, however, so this one comes in at 6/10.
This chocolate treat set us back just £1. Sadly, that was about all it had going for it. We struggled to get into the packet, it tasted cheap rather than chocolate-y, and had a distinct Plasticine flavour. The small tube of accompanying Smarties went some way towards making up for these failings, but the overall result was still disappointing.
£1 - £158g total
£6 - £197g total
£6 - £180g
£3 (half price at Tesco) - 325g total
This poor egg had broken in half at some point in its short life between factory and supermarket. We concluded that the packaging was not particularly protective, but decided that the fact that it was green (environmentally … in real life it was very much purple) more than made up for this. We could forget about the effect that all this chocolate-eating was having on our physiques, and feel pleased that, even if it was too late for our nutritionally-mistreated bodies, we still stood a chance of saving the planet. Having assuaged our guilt in this way, we took a bite of the egg itself. It had the much-loved Cadbury Twirl flavour, with an additional hint of soap. We therefore ate very little; darn soapiness, spoiling all our calorific fun. Full marks for lack of guilt (environmental and dietary). Subtracting six for the soap leaves the Twirl on 4/10.
The Galaxy egg was the triumphant winner of our tasting sessions. As Amaya observed, the three packets of Minstrels that it came with pretty much guaranteed an ‘instant win’. The packaging was attractive, and the egg itself was generously thick. It was basic Galaxy chocolate, but Alex was quick to point out that there’s ‘nothing wrong with that’! At the time of writing, it was only £3 in Tesco, and worth every single one of those 300 pennies.
£3 (half price at Tesco) - 324g total
This egg earned our immediate respect, simply because it looked ‘as if a Hungarian Horntail had laid it’. The chocolate shell was generously thick, satisfactorily creamy, and surprisingly tough (Harriet ended up punching it to break it up). It came with half a dozen creme eggs, and a free four-in-a-row splatter game that kept the new editors busy for quite some time. Although Will bemoaned the lack of free mug, there was really very little not to like about this one. We gave it a respectable 8/10.
£10 - 532g
Lindt - Lindor This egg was in a league of its own; the packaging was classy, and Will rapidly pronounced it to be ‘the best tasting one’ of them all. We noted that the egg itself was smaller than the others, and fairly thin, meaning that the ‘amount of chocolate: money spent’ ratio wasn’t fabulous. Despite Will complaining that there was ‘still no mug’, we felt that the quantity of mini Lindor eggs more than made up for the lack of crockery. One of our favourites: 9/10.
£6.19 - 215g
Politics& Education 4 April 2011 | The Phoenix
POLITICS & EDUCATION
EMA: Unfair scrapping of an unfair system? Emily Cowling Yenny Kang Politics writers
At the same time, thousands of students gathered at Westminster in an attempt to save it.
On 19th January, MPs gathered in the House of Commons to vote on the removal of the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA).
The EMA is a fortnightly payment for students aged 16-19 in full-time education or training, and with a household income of £33,950 or less. Depending on their parents’ income, students receive up to £60, and taxpayers pay £500 million a year for them to receive this.
Julian Huppert (MP for Cambridge): EMA “not a fair system”
Along with other cuts in public spending, the coalition government voted to scrap EMA as part of their plans to reduce government debt. Labour, and the Labour education spokesman, Andy Burnam, voted against the change. They believed that the EMA gives opportunities to students from lower income families, and that by scrapping it, social mobility would be prevented. However, the ‘Condems’ won by a majority of 59 votes, and now EMA is set to be scrapped.
Approximately 1 in 5 Hills Road students receive EMA, of which 85% find the payment “very useful”, according to a survey we carried out. The scrapping of EMA will affect 50% of these students’ spending habits. In addition, 30% of the students think the scrapping of the payment will affect their future plans, with 10% thinking it will prevent them from continuing further education. Out of the 100 people we asked, 70% disagree with the removal of the payment.
Throughout the college, there are concerns about who receives the EMA; for example, students who live with one parent, but with another parent earning more than enough to support them, are not seen as “genuine” candidates to receive it. Many rely on their EMA payment for bus or train fares to college, or to buy school supplies, although undoubtedly there are students
who do not necessarily need the money and spend it on socialising and shopping instead.
The scrapping of EMA will negatively affect many students, and although the system itself is not very efficient, another method of support should be made available. Some students have suggested monitoring who receives the payment, so that only those who are in genuine need will receive it. Another suggestion was that the payment could be given out in the form of vouchers for transport or school supplies, so that the money goes towards the right things, or that subsidies could be given out instead. Julian Huppert, the Liberal Democrats’ MP for Cambridge, says that although EMA is being scrapped, it is, “Being replaced with an enhanced learner support fund,” which will be “targeted at those who need it most.” He believes that the EMA was, “Not a
Is politics the new X Factor? Marina Carnwath Politics writer In 1066, politics was gloriously simple. The leader with the largest number of men beat up the other competitors for the throne and claimed the crown. It seems brute force and a dictator from Normandy was just the ticket to get England on course for greatness.
In the 2005 elections, 38.7% of citizens failed to vote. It was claimed that the flagging numbers of voters was due to inaccessibility. Particularly among women, the 60+ voters were most conscientious and the 1825s were especially sporadic. One might suppose that this trend is a result of personal experience. The older generation may have been around when women were jumping in front of horses and starving themselves in prison so as to gain the right to vote. Therefore, when women
were granted equal voting rights in 1928, it would have been a great privilege that the majority of women would have seized immediately.
be an educated guess to assume they would give an answer about the colour of the leader’s tie, the pleasantness of their demeanour, or the quantity of hair they have.
However, half a century down the line and young voters are few and far between. Consequently, politicians are now attempting to connect with their younger voters through media besides promising manifestos and posters proclaiming their brilliance. As a result of the declining concentration span of the population (a study conducted earlier in the year stated this is down to extended use of the internet) party leaders are now attempting to speak in soundbites. They are diluting their policies down to the bare outline so as to be able to get their message across to the exhausted student, flicking through the channels after a long day of reading newspapers dedicated to Gordon Brown’s most recent attempt to dig himself out of yet another hole. In fact, if one were to enquire about the political views of the non-voters, I believe it would
It cannot be generalised that politics is all about showmanship though. It really depends on the individuals. For every person that votes because they like Nick Clegg’s speaking voice, there is a
Concerning Hills Road students, he said, “Hills students facing financial disadvantage will continue to be helped under the new learner support fund, which will be administered directly by the college,” and that “no-one will be forced to refuse a place or give up on their studies because of his or her financial situation.” He also mentioned that “the Labour Government, even before the financial crisis, was planning to abolish EMA by 2013.” So was the abolition of the EMA wrong? Are students justified to be enraged? One thing for sure is, there are still some of us out there who are in need of financial support. As students, we hope the end of EMA is not the end of support for those who really need it.
voter who makes a decision based on the policies they believe will be most effective. Politicians have branched out and started to communicate with the public through television because that’s how they’ll be able to get their policies across to the voters. Furthermore, any party leader unintelligent enough to spurn television and showmanship as a medium will certainly not remain a party leader for a great deal longer. Photo from Wikimedia Commons
Jumping to 2011, in our last elections we caused our party leaders to battle it out, X Factor style, for our votes on live TV. It was reported that, besides Gordon Brown who was permanently assigned to stand on the left because of his glass eye situation, Clegg and Cameron had to toss a coin to see who had to stand in the middle. The middle, being the dreaded spot where the politician has to twist and turn to see each of his competitors make a point, is apparently the reason for the failure of any candidate unlucky enough to stand there. In the first live debate, held on the 15th April, Nick Clegg,
who in opinion polls emerged as the clear victor, was fortunate enough to be stood on the right. However, in the further two debates, he was placed in the middle and his popularity nose-dived to the extent that the Liberal Democrats actually lost seats come the election on 6th May. So, the question that we have to ask, is whether the British public are actually voting in politicians because they get to stand on the end of the line and therefore get to present themselves in a solid manner.
fair system,” and that to fund this system, the government spends “£560 million a year, including £36 million just for administration.”
The Tories’ last election campaign made extensive use of current PM David Cameron’s huge shiny face
The Phoenix | 4 April 2011
POLITICS & EDUCATION
How low can you go? Should you be able to vote at 16? lack of under-25s going out to vote, widening the bracket may not actually alter the turn-out The debate is still ongoing as to figures. whether or not the voting age should be lowered to give the vote That is one of the arguments to 16-year-olds. Up until now, this against lowering the voting age has been either rejected or pushed – how many 16 year olds really back to be reviewed at a later want the vote? Of course, you date. will find some who are very politically knowledgeable and who would feel the huge responsiPoliticians might bility behind their new right, be pushed to direct but how many would be the their policies to the opposite? Class ditching, regular nights out and homework younger generations done at the beginning of lessons
Charli Read Politics writer
some ... [16-
16-year-olds having the vote could year-olds] are have a major impact on our society. Politicians might be pushed to very politically direct their policies to the younger knowledgeable, and generations, with the under-25s would feel the huge eligible for the vote now being greater in number. Laws that the responsibility behind middle-aged generations want their new right may come in to contend with those desired by the younger generations. But then again, with a hardly scream out organisation,
a sensible attitude or a great deal of responsibility. In my opinion, we have enough on our plates without stress being added by granting us a brand-new responsibility.
On the other hand, by law, 16year-olds can legally consent to sex and have a baby. Is it right that you can legally bring a child into the world but then be unable to have a say in how that world is run? Also, at present, 16 year olds can leave school and enter full time employment, meaning that some can have to pay tax on their earnings and yet have no say in how that percentage of their earnings is spent by the government. Using these same arguments, however, one could also argue that 12-yearolds should have the vote because the government’s decisions over school policies affect them too. 16 year olds have not been given
Is it right that you can legally bring a child into the world but then be unable to have a say in how that world is run?
the vote yet and the cry to change this is not very loud. Instead some people are suggesting that focus should be put on increasing the number of 18-year-olds and above who go out to vote. An idea of how this could be done is that schools should look to educate their pupils and boost their interest in politics. I think that this decision is the wisest, and who knows? Perhaps in the future year 11s will be out on the streets campaigning for the vote in their masses. Then again, perhaps the majority of us will still be okay with leaving it another two years.
Photo from Wikimedia Commons
Why our libraries should be saved from the spending cuts Shona Clacher Politics writer Libraries have always been important to society. Once private, owned and haunted by the rich and powerful, over thousands of years they have become more accessible to people of all classes, housing vast collections of knowledge and imagination for people to experience and enjoy. In recent years, new technologies such as videos, DVDs, audio books and computer facilities have become available, giving us a wider scope of information than ever before. However, in the UK, many of these facilities all across the country are under threat from the new policies being put across by the government and their ideas of a Big Society.
Photo from Wikimedia Commons
As part of the ‘Big Society’ being introduced by the coalition government, there has been a great amount of spending cuts in many different areas, including charity organisations and education, with libraries included. According to the coalition, this is in order to reduce public debt and stabilise the economy. However, there have been criticisms of these cuts.
David Robinson, co-founder of Community Links, a charity helping disadvantaged people in east London, sent an open letter to the PM, saying how these cuts are a threat to the ‘Big Society’. He called them ‘a barrage of uncoordinated cuts’ and went on to talk about how these cuts will affect the poorer parts of communities, including the elderly and poorer families. This includes cuts to the libraries.
vast collections of knowledge and imagination for people to experience and enjoy
This opinion seems to be shared with a great number of people: numerous protests have been staged across the country in over one hundred libraries, many people staging organised ‘readins’ in order to raise awareness of the importance of public libraries. February 5th was declared ‘Save Our Libraries Day’,
and hundreds flocked to these events, willing to fight for their local libraries. Many famous authors are involved in the campaign, including famous authors Philip Pullman and Mark Haddon. Pullman led the campaign at Botley Library in Oxfordshire, where the council were planning to close 20 of the public libraries. When asked by children’s news show ‘Newsround’ about what message he would send to Parliament concerning the cuts, Pullman replied, “I’d tell them all about books, and how important they are.”
Although the Cambridge Central Library - located in the Grand Arcade - is not directly under threat from such cuts, a flash mob was held there on February 5th, in order to show support for the smaller libraries that are under threat in the Cambridge area and further
away. One Cambridge protester, Katie Birkwood, said, “I wanted to help communicate the message that libraries are an immensely valuable intellectual and social resource, and that we can all help to preserve them by using them as much as we can.” Many smaller areas are also at risk from the closures, including the greater Cambridgeshire area which is made up of many smaller towns and villages, many with libraries already run by volunteers only. Areas such as this are more vulnerable to the spending cuts. Local libraries are often a key part of the community: they give a place for elderly people living in the village to gather and chat, and give children a place to learn and enjoy for themselves. Libraries are valuable for those who can’t travel far, and these cuts would be a powerful blow to many people.
Features The Age of Social Networking Fahmida Yasmin Features writer WUU2? LOL! WT… (Forgot this is a school paper…) err SOZ?! I’m meant to be writing an article on how the age of social networking has affected our lives or, more specifically, our people skills. Then, as I was writing, I got a Facebook notification, and spent an hour doing long, hard, focused … Facebooking. Yep. I was so bored I stared at a wall – a virtual Facebook wall. That’s when I realised how crazy the world of social networking is. Texting, MSN, BBM, Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Bebo (yeah, don’t deny it), Twitter, it goes on. It has reached a point where even our thoughts are on show. I mean
no offence to Twitter lovers, but if I don’t care about what Britney Spears is having for breakfast, I sure as hell don’t care what you’re eating.
‘But when did all this social networking begin?’ I hear you tweet. Well, imagine a world very different from today’s, a place where the only tweeting that was going down was by birds, where flared trousers and tie-dye were considered high fashion; yes, boys and girls, I’m talking about the seventies. See, back in 1973, Dr Martin Cooper, a former general manager for the systems division at Motorola, invented the first modern portable handset. I’ve got to say this guy was a legend, not only because he invented the mobile phone but because the first phone call he made using it
was to the company’s biggest rival, Joel Engel – head of research at Bell Laboratories -- where he said “Hi Joel, guess where I’m calling from?” That is sarcasm at its best.
As the years went by, phones went from talking to texting and they lost a lot of weight along the way. During this time, MySpace and YouTube burst on the scene, and gave an opportunity for all those Justin Bieber’s in the world to strut their stuff. Then in 2005, Mark Zuckerburg met Justin Timberlake, and BAM! Facebook – and like fools, we fell in love. In the phones section, Blackberry strolled in with all the BBM-ing business and well, now I’m thinking how cool I am because I don’t have one. Yeah it’s a choice. One that my bank made for me.
4 April 2011 | The Phoenix
So, that’s the history, but I haven’t actually answered the question. Has this era of technology made us more antisocial than ever before? The answer, in a nutshell, is yes. The phrase ‘say it to my face’ comes to mind. We probably spend more time liking statuses than actually doing something we like ourselves. In an attempt to avoid turning this into a rant, I should mention the positives. It would be wrong to say social networking is all bad, because there are so many advantages I’d lose count. Businesses have got on the bandwagon and social networking is now a vital part of marketing. Probably the biggest proof of the power of social networking would be the student protests back in November. Regardless of the politics, it was a big mile-
stone; by simply using social networking sites like Facebook (blimey how many times have I mentioned that!) and Twitter, the NUS (National Union of Students) managed to bring 50,000 students together. It was a pretty big accomplishment and just goes to show don’t underestimate the power of the internet. Social networking has become a part of our society regardless of what anyone thinks. As long as we all venture outside once in a while we’ll be fine, and I’m sure that as I’m writing this some genius somewhere is sitting in his or her university dorm creating the next internet phenomenon. By the way, if anyone was wondering, Britney spears had a Starbucks for breakfast.
Facebook bigger than Google Elliot Termote Features writer For the few of you who are unfamiliar, Facebook is a social network service and website launched in February 2004. As of January 2011, Facebook has more than 600 million active users. Users may create a personal profile, add other users as friends and exchange messages,
including automatic notifications when they update their profile. Relationships between the world’s leading search engines such as Google and the social networking site have been souring recently. The main reason for this is that Facebook’s ‘internet traffic’ has now officially eclipsed that of Google in the US in March this year.
Now the social network frenzy has spread to the UK. People are visiting social network sites more often, with Facebook dominating the current crop of social networks, accounting for a huge 55% of all social network visits. When compared on the world wide web, Google totals around 9.3% of all web traffic, with Facebook trail-
ing at 7%. Both websites were launched in 2004, with Google rapidly growing from the get-go. However, Facebook remained fairly quiet until the company became public later in the year. So, will Facebook become bigger than Google in the UK? It seems most likely. Facebook is currently
growing at a rate of 541%, completely dominating its competition (MySpace 20%). If the situation happened in the US, and with UK statistics now larger than that of the States, it seems pretty certain that within a couple of years, Facebook will be bigger than Google.
Think of a headline, a 56 point bold headline Peony Gent Features Writer Headlines are always the stickiest bit of a newspaper, as any reporter will tell you. Too silly, they decrease the possibility of your article being taken seriously. Too serious, they become boring and no one will even look at your article. However, despite their importance they are inevitably the bit left until last – and more likely than not the part thought up by the editor in a last minute decision as they scramble to meet that impending deadline. This can lead to unintentionally hilarious headlines, often due to a lack of attention paid by said journalist/editor to subtle points such as appropriate grammar/word order etc. After all, you know the old problem of what a couple of misplaced capital letters can make to simple sentences such as “Tommy helping his Uncle Jack off a horse”. And here, for your delightful delectation, is a number of headlines I’ve found myself over the past couple of weeks, along with a few old classics you may or may not have seen before.
Photo from Wikimedia Commons
The ones where Microsoft Word having a better ‘correct grammar’ button would really have been helpful … Policeman Help Dog Bite Victim
Lawyers Give Poor Free Legal Advice Teacher Strikes Idle Kids Life Means Caring For Hospital Director The ones where those pesky double entendres just can’t be escaped … Prostitutes Appeal to Pope Tiger Woods plays with own balls, Nike says Queen Mary having bottom scraped Child’s Stool Great For Use In Garden
Drunk Gets Nine Months in Violin Case Blind Woman Gets Kidney from Dad She Hasn’t Seen In Years One Armed Man Applauds the Kindness Of Strangers Child’s Death Ruins Couples’ Holiday And, finally, the ones where you just know that worker is quitting in three months and just doesn’t care anymore … Robber’s Description: Man, Possibly A Woman, Definitely Ugly Four Battered In Fish and Chip Shop
Panda Mating Fails, Veterinarian Takes Over
Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers
Is There A Ring Of Debris Around Uranus?
Chick Accuses Some of Her Male Colleagues Of Sexism
Those ones where you know you shouldn’t laugh, but you just can’t help it … Police Arrest Over Buttock Attack
Anna Nicole Smith’s Boobs Explode Think of a headline, a 56 point bold headline
The Phoenix | 4 April 2011
Violence in the media:
force for evil or a victim of ignorance? Shona Clacher Features Writer It is a fact that violence in media is ever-growing and has been spreading for years into many mediums, such as computer games, films and television. Limbs fly and blood splatters the screen as the hero hacks or shoots their way to victory and gets the girl or guy of their dreams. People often berate it, saying it causes real-life violence, especially in younger children who are supposedly easily influenced, but is this true? Are our minds becoming warped by what we see, making us into a violent society, or is it merely a number of over-concerned parents who can’t care properly for their children and people who are too concerned about other’s business? One major contributor to the negative feelings surrounding media violence is mature-rated video games, particularly games such as the ‘Grand Theft Auto’ series, ‘Call of Duty’ and various
other games displaying ultra-gore and gratuitous amounts of blood. Parents blame the developers of the games for the effect they can potentially have on children and young adults. The question that we should be asking here is: ‘Why are we allowing our child to play these violent games in the first place?’ It’s unreasonable to blame the faults of society on something as simple as a game. The games themselves are not causing any harm; the vast majority of people who play them are unaffected - it is only the minority who reacts violently.
Many teens choose to play these games because they know that the people they are ‘killing’ aren’t real, and they feel they need a change from their daily lives: for many, it’s merely a form of escapism. It’s unlikely that the person who played the game will go out and commit violent acts. A more likely reason for a violent personality is the environment in which the person grew up. If the person has a poor socio-economic background, or lived in a violent area, they may have learnt to deal
Are Books Dead? are the days of having to sacrifice the amount of shoes you can take on holiday because your latest read For hundreds of years the power is a chunky hardback; now you can of books has shaped and changed take an entire library, with next to no weight added to your luggage. society.
Charli Read Features Writer
Novelists such as Charles Dickens and Elizabeth Gaskell used it to reveal to their peers the true circumstances endured by the poor in England’s cities. During the Reformation and many years later in Nazi Germany books were burned and banned by the thousands because of fear of the power held in them. The Bible was the first book to be put into print and still today offers comfort and security to millions of people world wide. Charles Darwin was able to spread his theories of evolution to a wider audience through the publication of his book The Origin of Species which still causes controversy today. But now a new and greater threat is sweeping through the book population! Okay, maybe this turn of events is a bit less dramatic. Don’t panic: the world’s population is not losing the freedom of speech and your favourite novelists have not all become dentists. A new invention called the E-book has hit the shops. This new device will allow all your favourite books to be uploaded and viewed on one lightweight, hand-held screen. Gone
Kindle bought via Amazon will cost you just over £100 at the moment. This will buy you the Kindle with the promise of never heating up, being able to hold 3500 books, a search tool, a battery life of up to one month and so many other things that I will not attempt to list them all here. The Kindle is not only more convenient but will also be able to help less competent readers. An easy to use inbuilt dictionary will improve variety of language and terminology, and the ability to adjust font size will make reading easier for the visually impaired. While the complete demise of books would be sad for reasons of nostalgia, E-books seem more sensible to me, especially when looking at the state of the books on my bookshelf (‘well-loved’ is the kindest way to describe them, ‘abused’ is another). And although the many laminated bookmarks I made many years ago must bite the dust, the idea that my bag would weigh about two tons less is more than enough of an argument to have me completely convinced. Books: I’m afraid now is the time to move on and enjoy retirement!
with problems in violent ways. Blaming violence in society on a violent game is like blaming a ‘Looney Tunes’ cartoon for a murder involving someone being crushed by an anvil: the media on its own is harming no-one, it is the people acting on it.
On the other side of this argument, it has been shown in many experiments and studies that those who watch violent television and media are more likely to respond aggressively to situations. Reasons have been suggested for this, such as
children justifying their actions through developing ‘cognitive scripts’ in their minds, which use violence as an appropriate method of problem solving.
doll displayed more aggressive behaviour when left alone in a playroom with the same doll for ten to twenty minutes than those who had not viewed the model acting aggressively. However, it was thought the children could normally make the distinction between ‘fantasy’ violence (hitting a doll) and actual violence towards a person.
There have been numerous studies in the past researching the effect
of violent media on children. Some of the earliest research was conducted in the 1950s by Dr. Albert Bandura, which happened in the form of the ‘Bobo dolls’ studies. This research showed that children who had watched a man hitting, kicking and punching a
It would be impossible to ban all violent media: there is too much of it around, and we as humans still have an in-built tendency towards violence or watching violent actions. However, if we as a society wish to prevent violence caused by media, we need to teach our children from a young age about the differences between real and ‘fantasy’ violence, and the consequences of the violence that we see on television and in movies. This way, we can teach youngsters why these are not always the best methods to take in life. Maybe then we can stop blindly using violent media as a scapegoat, and focus on the real causes of violence in our society.
Binge Drinking: A National Issue Lillie Davidson Kasheina Vencatasawmy Ffion Jones Features Writers In recent years, binge drinking has become a more prevalent problem on our streets and the approach to binge drinking has become more casual. Shockingly, alcohol is a contributing factor in one in three burglaries and sexual offences, and one in two street crimes. Yet, with all the drink awareness campaigns, horror stories about asphyxiation after a night out and the bad experiences that many teenagers will inevitably have before they’re legally allowed to buy alcohol, we still accept it. Binge drinking is most common in 16-24-year-olds, and we have all heard stories or had experiences involving drinking. But although underage drinking at a party has become acceptable in society, and we now accept it as ‘just another one of those things’, should we be worried? We spoke to several willing victims around college who offered their views on the controversial subject. One 17-year-old said, ‘I think it’s always been a bit of a problem, but I guess recently it’s become viewed as more of an acceptable thing to do by people our age.’ From
looking at our society, it would seem that this is true. There appears to be an endless stream of television, radio and internet coverage on the subject, as well as dramatised interpretations of the issue in television shows; everything from The Inbetweeners and Skins to Gossip Girl and 90210. A lot of these shows do not condone binge drinking, and often contain a moral message condemning it (although such implausible story lines as drinking from a bottle of vodka whilst driving, and running over a man in the road, leave us doubtful as to the validity of their messages). Some media, however, does show teenage bingeing in a casual light; as a regular occurrence, coming second in shock factor to hard drugs. Which is the true portrayal? We feel obliged to say that each plot involving reckless behaviour should be shown as having a negative impact, because of the possible influence on impressionable younger children. However, in some cases, such as Skins, more controversial storylines, the drinking and drug use is so exaggerated that it gives a negative view of teenagers. It is, however an indisputable part of many teenagers’ lives. The question is: is binge drinking really that bad a problem? Do drastic measures need to be
taken? The government seems to be at a loss; there are constantly changing rumours about lowering or raising the drinking age and changing drinking laws. A recent idea was to lower the drinking age – so that instead of drinking cheap alcohol in a park or on the streets, you could sit and relax in the safety of your neighbourhood pub. Yet this was dismissed for fear of the widened availability encouraging more people to drink at a younger age. In some ways we disagree with this response, because from looking at the drinking culture in European countries like France, it can be seen that a relaxed attitude towards drinking could be beneficial. Is it realistic to assume that a mature, responsible approach to alcohol could exist in Britain? It seems that there is no ‘quick fix’ to the problem at hand. Regardless of what policies the government puts in place, excessive alcohol consumption has always been a problem and it seems as though it will continue to be. One can only hope that the unknown, long-term consequences of drinking are not too dire, and do not worsen over the coming years. Underage binge drinking is inevitable, and participating in it has almost become a recognised stage in teenager’s lives. We believe that it is important for people to learn through experience, and that drinking in moderation is not necessarily a bad thing.
40 FEATURES ‘Self-conscious people with a frosty climate’
4 April 2011 | The Phoenix
Felicity Goldsmith Features Writer As you can probably guess from the freezing weather we seem to constantly get here, Britain is relatively close to the North Pole, and therefore has a very cold climate. Especially during the winter, we are plagued by icy winds, bitter rains and even snow. This of course causes us to cover up our bodies in order to protect ourselves from the weather, and we wear thick scarves, coats, hats, gloves and boots on a daily basis; we consider this to be perfectly normal, but of course in other cultures it would be seen as highly unusual.
In countries with far hotter climates, people often go around semi-naked; for example, women go around completely topless, simply wearing a grass skirt to cover themselves up. However, in Britain, if someone goes out naked, you can only imagine that we would be completely shocked, and someone could even be put in prison for indecent exposure.
with incredible bodies that we envy. There is a high rate of anorexia due to these body stresses, and people become nervous and embarrassed at the idea of showing off their bodies. It is interesting that in places such as African and the Mediterranean, people who are larger do not seem to take notice of this and would still go around less covered up.
In Britain, many people do have concerns about their body size because it is something talked about on a daily basis, with everyone constantly seeing celebrities and role models all the time in magazines or on the television
Swedish people are well-known for having mixed-sex saunas and not being concerned about what they are wearing in front of others; however, their climate is just as cold as ours. This shows that the cold weather is not the only reason, and that culture
and different people’s beliefs also public, we consider it to be play a part. an act of effeminacy which is embarrassing. Our culture However, the question to answer is means that we may have whether the British have so many hang ups about our bodies, hang ups about their bodies simply which we find embarrassing because of the cold weather, or and would explain why people does it just happen that we are do not want to show them self-conscious people with a frosty off. We therefore build these hang ups and, often incorrect, climate? perceptions of ourselves to be more than they are. Perhaps if I think that it is the latter of these: everyone did walk around in Britain has a very reserved culture the nude, then we would see where we do not appreciate that someone else has that sharing our emotions and wrinkly toenail that you had feelings. For example, whereas in been worried about for years. some cultures it is seen as a very manly act to cry and mourn in
Lessons from Auschwitz Kitty Underwood Features Writer “There is only one thing worse than Auschwitz itself, and that is if the world forgets there was such a place” - Henry Appel, Auschwitz survivor Since 1999, over 10,000 teachers and students have participated in the “Lessons from Auschwitz” projects, run by The Holocaust Educational Trust. The scheme, which consists of a day-long visit to the Nazi concentration and extermination camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau preceded and followed by seminars to prepare and debrief participants, aims not only to ensure the horrors of the Holocaust are never forgotten, but to increase awareness and understanding of the Holocaust in teenagers, and to help them to draw historical and contemporary lessons from the tragedy. Two students from each Sixth Form college from the UK are invited to participate, and I was lucky enough to be one of the two from Hills Road, along with John Beesley in the Upper Sixth. ‘There is no right or wrong way to respond,’ our plane full of Sixth Formers, teachers and guides was told by Rabbi Barry Marcus, who accompanied the visit. As we began the descent into Krakow airport, he prepared us for the day ahead by telling us that everyone responded differently to a visit to the concentration and death camps. This rang true at least for the group of about 20 students I was allocated to spend the day with; when asked afterwards what struck us most about our visit, everyone offered a unique and different answer. Our ‘educator’, Jeremy Quartermain, who accompanied our group throughout, told us that every time he takes a new group to Auschwitz he takes something different from it. Having recently started his own
family, it was the tales of children and babies being separated from their parents and sent to the gas chambers which held most significance for him this time.
Another thing I found surprising was the range of reasons people had for wanting to visit. While the majority of people were studying history, with a significant proportion of those hoping to take it on to further education, I met several students who weren’t. A few came with stories of relatives caught up in the tragedy, a few with no personal connections, but with Jewish heritage. Many more, however, came with the sole motivation of interest, and a desire to learn more about an area of history so often skirted around and never properly explored. Auschwitz I, the concentration camp – originally a Polish army barracks – has been semi-converted into a memorial museum. There, efforts have been made to preserve and reconstruct areas like the prison cells where Zyklon B was first experimented with as a method of extermination, and the small improvised gas chamber there. There are also reconstructions of living conditions and exhibitions detailing the lives of the people sent there.
One of the buildings is given over entirely to installations containing piles of the belongings of the prisoners at Auschwitz, similar to many of the famous photos seen in textbooks or internet articles – many people were told they were headed for a new life, and therefore brought kitchen utensils, pots, pans, hairbrushes, shoe polish and similarly mundane yet personal objects with them. In one room, we were shown suitcases on which people had written their names, date of birth and social status, as instructed. We were told all these suitcases were taken in 1940, so could work out the age of the owners; a Polish girl: 1922, a German Jewish boy: 1927, a Polish orphan: 1938. Perhaps most haunting was a display of nearly two tonnes of human hair, from the heads of women who had their hair shaved on admission – among the bundles were a few locks still in formed curls, and in places hair pins or little bows which had not been touched. The day itself was both physically and emotionally draining; we spent around 5 hours on our feet, touring the two sites – mostly outside and in sub-zero temperatures. While a lot of what we saw was harrowing and disturbing, one thing that struck me was how ordinary the sites
were – Birkenau, sometimes referred to as Auschwitz II, has been entirely untouched by officials and visitors alike. In an effort to preserve it perfectly, even the rubble of blown-out ruins of gas chambers has been left where it fell about 65 years ago. The drafty wooden buildings there just look like spacious stables, and it was hard – even standing right within them, being told how thousands of people would be crammed into each to sleep in temperatures well below freezing – to begin to believe or envisage what we were being told. While it’s not something I can describe as a ‘fun’ or necessarily ‘good’ experience, the day I spent at Auschwitz was incredibly moving, interesting and informative. The visit highlighted a sense that every person in the holocaust was an ordinary individual, with a name, a face and a life before reduced to a number on a list of statistics; a thought that was very powerful. The experience is not one I could fully describe in words, but I am incredibly glad I took part in it and would encourage anyone to visit themselves.
(Photo from Wikimedia Commons)
Comment& Debate The Phoenix | 4 April 2011
COMMENT & DEBATE
History boys? History girls? Alice Schulz Comments Writer “History is a commentary on the various and continuing incapabilities of men. What is history? History is women following behind with the bucket.”
This is a famous quote from the play The History Boys by Alan Bennett that really raises the question of where women have stood throughout history and makes me consider just how different things really are or could ever be. This quote, spoken by
Mrs. Lintott – a character in play – is very poignant, and draws attention to the fact that, with the odd exceptions such as Elizabeth I, there is little space for women in our history books. From Alexander the Great, to the 16th Century under a king who infamously exploited women, right up until the turn of the century, the female role had barely changed. Women were the cleaners, the cooks, the maids, the nurses, the ‘baby-makers’, while the men were busy making the decisions – coincidently some of which have led to the most gruesome punishments, the bloodiest battles and the greatest death tolls ever recorded.
To be sure to avoid taking a feminist view on the matter, I do recognise that there have been vast improvements in the past century and women are now perfectly eligible to work, vote and make important decisions. The extension of franchise in the 1920s and liberation in 1960s has undoubtedly greatly changed attitudes to the twentyfirst century woman. However, despite today’s apparent freedom and equality, it is still men who run our country, it is men who fight and command our wars, it is men who have the highest income, it is men who run our businesses – the list goes
and in a society as class-obsessed as Britain, opens old wounds in the dialogue between the private and public sectors.
that restricts freedom of style of education is one step closer to abolishing religious schools, schools with strong or controversial teaching or disciplinary methods – in other words, reducing the choice that has been the hallmark of mainstream education policy in the United Kingdom. What is perhaps undeniable is that the quality of education is vastly aided by money – smaller class sizes and better equipment will aid any school, as well as the power to make very good offers to excellent teachers.
on. But why is this the case? I know there are arguments that women are in these important roles and that in some cases men are stronger and therefore more suited to a particular job. However, have the rational, methodical workings of male decision-making proved to work so well in the past? Considering the quote from The History Boys, the study of history is a study of the many miscalculations and mistakes of men. It has become so entrenched in our lives that we cannot know if the business-led, logical minds of men are any
better in decision-making than the more emotional and empathetic approach of women. There is no doubt relations would be better, war would practically be unheard of and certainly the number of people dead unnecessarily would be less. Let there be no mistake that there have been male achievements throughout history and that men are probably stronger in positions such as on the front-line. Although it is an almost impossible idea to comprehend, with our social and historical conventions so deeply secured in our minds, I am sure the study of history would be a very different thing had women played a greater role.
Are private schools bad for society? Alex Stewart Comments Writer In 2006, a new Charities Act was drafted, aimed at dealing with the assignment of charitable status to bodies wishing to acquire the numerous tax perks that come along with being an official ‘charity’. In the wording of the Act itself, British organisations hoping to become charities have to prove that their purpose ‘lies entirely in the promotion’ of a long list of services for the public good. Up until 2008, the provision of education (which private schools are, after all, entirely involved in) was considered to be automatically in the public interest – in other words, any school, even independent, received the same tax exclusions as a charity. However, under significant pressure from the Act and from the Government, private schools are now threatened with a revoking of their charity status if they fail to show that their school presents a ‘significant public benefit’. Suddenly, private schools all over the country had to open their gym halls, classrooms, grounds and computer labs if they hoped to avoid taking a significant hit to their finances – but the whole situation begs the question, why didn’t private schools do this beforehand? The debate over whether private schools are really a force for societal good rages on,
When you use Google to search for ‘anti-private school’ and ‘proprivate school’, you find a fascinating glimpse into the class tension that still exists in the UK. The groups who oppose private school education claim that it is ‘elitist’, and that it encourages a small section of society to retain power through improved access to education and subsequent job prospects. They point out that it is no coincidence that 50% of top University places go to the paltry 7% who attend private schools. If private schools were banned, surely it would become in the rich’s best interests to ensure state education improved? Furthermore, competition does not die in a state-exclusive system; just look at the two-tier or three-tier state education systems in much of continental Europe, in the vein of grammar schools – Germany’s gymnasiums are no socialist paradise. Predictably, the response is equally forthright. Private schools act as a reward for society, part of a free market – a parent earns the right to send their child there by working hard and making money (apparently ignoring hereditary wealth, but nothing is perfect). More than that, a government
Perhaps, then, the answer lies in the Government’s emphasis on private school contribution to the public good. Private schools might be made engines for social cohesion, like privately invested community centres or sports arenas. I attended a private school where the gym was open for business – where the sports fields were used by several other schools; these schools, rather less impressively, were also private. I find it difficult to define ‘public good’ in the context of this debate – does a private school have to contribute money? Facilities? And to what extent? In my opinion, the answers lie in the route that I myself was lucky enough to take – scholarships. I think it is somewhat inevitable that private school students will dominate the upper universities – no government is willing to
(Photo from Wikimedia Commons)
Eton College: symbol of an elitist society? problem is that the private and public education sectors are seen as two irreconcilable beasts – private school kids and state school kids staring across at each other over a massive divide. It need not be so. It is possible to provide a private-school level education to every child in Britain – but that will never happen in a country which still divides itself so willingly over class. How do we expect our schools to form a contiguous, streamlined education system, when our politics is concerned only with their division? It will take a much more mature approach to class politics in Westminster for private schools to see the social reform Perhaps the most fundamental that many on the left desire. remove private schools. However, if we can’t or won’t change the overpopulation of private school students, let’s change the private school student – offer more bursaries, more scholarships and utilise the private school system’s potential for social mobility. Perhaps bizarrely, a good example of this comes from the traditional symbol of elitist Britain, Eton – which for years has run a scheme inviting unusually talented inner-city children to study over the summer at the school. This, of course, doesn’t go nearly far enough – but it is in that vein that I believe social responsibility should be pursued.
COMMENT & DEBATE
4 April 2011
| The Phoenix
‘Designer babies’: the debate continues Charlotte Morrin Comments Writer
This all seems above board and acceptable, however there have been many circumstances in recent times where such reproductive technologies have been utilised to serve a mere cosmetic purpose, such as choosing a baby’s eye or hair colour; this is where problems liand reservations lie.
In recent times, scientists have made substantial progress in the field of human genetics. One of the more contested of these developments is the ability to select an embryo’s genetic makeup prior to insemination; a child born in such a way is contemporarily How far is too far when known as a ‘designer baby’. manipulating something that many believe to be in the hands The topic of genetically modified of God alone? Is it right for us embryos is a currently debated to play God? Where will the line issue within the realms of science be drawn? What can be deemed and ethics alike. The current ethical and what cannot? authorised method of geneticselection is Pre-implantation In the UK, Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD), whereby Genetic Diagnosis, along with sex an egg is fertilised outside of selection, is perfectly legal as long the womb (IVF), tested for as it is for medical reasons and not genetic disorders and the chosen social ‘family-balancing’ reasons. ‘healthy’ embryos are implanted The council who decides such laws into the uterus – free from any is The Human Fertilisation and deviations. The procedure is, for Embryology Authority (HFEA), instance, commonly being used who are “dedicated to licensing to eliminate the chances of a child and monitoring UK fertility clinics carrying Huntington’s disease. and all UK research involving human embryos, and providing
impartial and authoritative information to the public.” They monitor, guide and regulate the use of genetic engineering in reference to embryos in the UK – maintaining high standards in reference to safety and ethical (in the eyes of the council) factors surrounding the topic. Considering the presence and prominence of the HFEA, you would think there would be less controversy over the issue of ‘designer babies’, as a ruling board might tend to conform to the views of the majority; however, as always with a sensitive subject such as this, there will be disagreement, whether it be from a small minority or not. Furthermore, we must consider the health risk of such genetic advancements. Genetic engineering is still within the early experimental stage of its life; it is therefore unpredictable and may not be wholly safe. The
mutation of genes is dangerous as many produce more than one effect – alterations at the embryonic stage of life may hold unknown risks for the future.
those who simply select a diseasefree embryo at the eight-cell stage to avoid having a disabled child in a family where diseases, such as Cystic Fibrosis, run throughout and have affected families for Additionally, we must consider the generations. rights of the possible ‘donor child’ who has to act as a ‘spare-part’ Even though this use of Presibling to his or her brother or sister. implantation Genetic Diagnosis A child may be exploited by their seems much less controversial parents for their entire childhood than generating ‘donor-siblings’, without even understanding what it has come under severe scrutiny they are being made to do. To originating from particular many, this would seem morally religious sects of the community. and ethically wrong. Josephine For example, members of the Quintavalle, of the group Comment Roman Catholic Church believe on Reproductive Ethics, takes that Pre-implantation Genetic this line of opinion in criticising Diagnosis “constitutes an act of such methods of genetic science, abortion” since embryos deemed likening said ‘saviour-siblings’ to to be unhealthy or genetically “guinea pigs in a social experiment.” deviant are destroyed – this could Depending on your stance on the be conceived as destruction of topic, it is undeniable that modern human life. genetics definitely has the potential to deviate from the generally and Ultimately, deciding for yourself officially accepted lines of morality if such a process is justifiable and ethics in science today. depends on your belief of whether Nevertheless, this use of such human life begins at fertilisation, technologies is much rarer than implantation or birth.
Is the cult of rock music dying out? Harriet Stopher Comments Writer In 2010 only three rock tracks made an appearance in the 100 best selling singles, according to research by Music Week. Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believin’’ became a well known hit again after being broadcasted on the US show Glee, even though it has been 29 years since the track’s original release. Journey was joined in the top 100 by Florence and the Machine’s ‘Dog Days Are Over’ and Anthony
Newley’s ‘Why’. Rock used to regularly fill up most of the charts, but 2010 has shown the genre’s worst showing since the 1960s. This has raised questions as to whether the genre of rock music has been taken over by more modern bands. Despite obvious worries by rock fans, it is not surprising that the number of singles sold last year was so low. Many people buying singles are more interested in modernised music which is high
up in the charts. It is also evident that recent bands and artists which are more visual in their performances are becoming more popular among those buying singles. Not too long ago, hardly anyone had either a television or a computer, but everyone owned a radio. Groups that wanted to be successful had to be able to play their instruments and were judged on what they sounded like instead of what they looked like. However, when television and
MTV became increasingly popular, people began to judge music more on its appearance. Therefore the boundaries between dance, music and even theatre have gradually become harder to distinguish. However, the decrease in bestselling singles should not be a concern because rock bands make more money from concert ticket sales and merchandise than they do from sales of albums or singles alone. Similarly, getting into the charts is next to impossible
nowadays due to the control that the X-Factor, Glee and Disney have over the media. Although rock bands do not seem to be making an appearance in the charts these days, it is generally because they do not tend to release singles by themselves. However, popularity of their albums is a completely different story. During 2010 Iron Maiden’s ‘The Final Frontier’ reached Number 1 in the Album Charts of 40 different countries!
Christianity vs. homosexuality: whose rights come first? bound by their faith; they could not offer hospitality to the homosexual couple. Shocked, the couple left, but did not forget. They went on to take the It was a normal day; business at proprietors to court. the Chymorvah Private Hotel in Marazion near Penzance was More than two years later, Hall running smoothly. Martin Hall and Preddy have finally won their and Steven Preddy walked up to case and the Bulls have been the front desk to ask for the double forced to pay £1,800 to each of room they had booked. Little did them in order to help the ‘hurt they realise that in this hotel, that and embarrassment’ they caused. that would be impossible. The judge stated that he came to this decision because ‘it is not so The owners, Peter and Hazelmary very long ago that these beliefs Bull, were devout Christians of the defendants would have
Felicity Goldsmith Charli Read Comments Writers
been those accepted as normal because of their sexual orientation by society at large. Now it is the but rather their insufficient marital other way around’. status. However, in a world where they are unable to get ‘married’ in After the couple was forced to pay the eyes of God, this seems a hollow this amount, lawyers for Hall and explanation. Preddy submitted documents asking for the damages to be But did the judge really make the increased. However by the 11th right choice? Many Christians of March of this year they had have been upset by the decision, been withdrawn, claiming that claiming that their faith is being the cross appeal was an ‘error of put aside and ignored. It raises judgement’. the vital question: which is more important, the right to be gay and The Bulls have claimed that free of persecution for that, or the they rejected Hall and Preddy’s right to hold your beliefs and have application for a double room not a say about who you allow into your
hotel and your own home? Christian Institute spokesman Mike Judge said that ‘a great deal of damage has been done’, referring to the growing feeling among Christians that the government’s approach to these equality cases is damaging the confidence of Christians and is fundamentally flawed. With increasingly more Christian cases being dismissed under new social expectations and regulations, is society beginning to persecute Christianity?
The Phoenix | 4 April 2011
Are pets a waste of money? history, going back thousands of years and is taken by many as a truth of life.
Cornelius Harding Politics Editor
In Britain over £500 million is spent on pets every year and millions more is given to pets’ charities. £27 million was spent on pets’ presents alone last Christmas and many animal charities are building up large reserves. So is it all worth it or is this just a tremendous waste of money? Pet lovers abound in Britain with over 25 million pets; that’s far more pets than children! In fact, pets outnumber children by more than 2 to 1 in the UK. And according to Maggie O’Haire, from The University of Queensland’s Centre for Companion Animal Health and School of Psychology, this is in no way a waste of money but a very good thing as some studies have suggested that the “health benefits of animals can include a reduction in blood pressure, reduced risk of heart disease, increased sense of well-being and an increased feeling of connectedness to their community.” Indeed, talk of dogs being man’s best friend has a long
But is high pet ownership, especially of cats and dogs, really all it is made out to be? Or are the reasons that dog ownership in particular is so high more to do with lacking a sense of community and love in British society? Dog lovers say that their affection for dogs comes from their “loyalty, unconditional love, companionship and laughs” which are undeniably all qualities we would look for in others, the basis of friendships and healthy relationships in communities. But why do we in Britain look to animals rather than colleagues, children and partners for companionship in a way other countries do not? The amount of pets is much higher in this country than others whilst community cohesion and community events have been on the decline in the UK. It is a nice idea that pets have huge health and social benefits but not one which correlates with the reality Britain is faced with.
There are other reasons why animals are not a waste of money. Although pets may not be an answer to the social and health problems of the UK, they bring happiness to many people’s lives; happiness cannot be a waste of money. The question should not be “are pets a waste of money?”, but rather “do we waste money on pets?”
COMMENT & DEBATE
(Photo from Wikimedia Commons)
Animal charities now build up large reserves whilst other charities, who seek to help the poor, give shelter to the homeless and heal those who are sick, struggle to make ends meet; is this really the order of priorities that we should have in Britain? Some families sacrifice holidays for vet bills, and so their children miss out on time they could have spent with their parents having a good time on holiday. Pets aren’t necessarily a waste of money, but this does not change the fact that in Britain we have misplaced priorities by which pets are put before fellow humans. So it’s time we stop wasting money and put humans before pets.
Is marriage a dead institution? Positive Kitty Underwood Comment & Debate Editor Across the globe, alarming statistics have arisen indicating a worldwide decrease in successful marriages. Over half of American women are currently living without a spouse, and can expect to live an average of half their adult lives unmarried. In the UK, 4 out of 10 marriages end in divorce, while in Russia, the figure is up to 80%. It is fairly safe to say that marriage no longer assumes its old position as the main institution driving and organising people’s lives; an end point. Some would take the view that, as a consequence of the reduced sanctity of marriage children growing up in broken homes gain the wrong idea of married life. Once a marriage goes wrong, the majority of cases do not end peacefully – at least not to start with. With parents either divorcing or remaining together unhappily for the sake of children, many children end up with the view that marriage is not, and cannot be, the happy ending it is in fairytales. With divorce rates soaring, many people argue that divorce is becoming too easy. Now that divorce is a socially viable op-
tion for couples going through troubles, there is no reason or incentive to work at marriage, leading to a higher rate of couples just giving up. The media promoting and holding up divorces of celebrity couples adds to this image that divorce is not only acceptable, but is the norm. The media also produces polarised views about marriage. In holding up ‘gold-digging’ marriages, the media inspires people to respond in one of two ways. Either people advocate the idea, which leads to unhealthy ideals and attitude towards marriage, or they harbour cynicism about marriage,
Once a marriage goes wrong, the majority of cases do not end peacefully
responding to ‘gold-digging’ marriages with disgust, and the association between love and marriage becomes more and more blurred. I believe that while marriage is a much abused and misused institution, it is not yet a dead one, and consequently its sanctity can be recovered. As a society, we need to remember the traditional, true significance of marriage; the church
discrimination: a positive thing? Jack Kilker Comments Writer
states its purpose as two becoming one, and a means of organising life with a higher level of morality and fidelity. I think that the way forward - especially considering the sharp increase in young adults becoming married and divorcing within relatively short periods of time – is through making marriage harder, with a more rigorous preparation process – like in the Catholic Church – and a more difficult divorce process; couples will be forced to think harder about each step they take in their relationship, and its significance.
Discrimination has unfortunately been a part of society for many hundreds of years. It can take many forms; racial, sexual, age-based - but the bottom line is it excludes a person or group and can have detrimental effects on how they view themselves and feel they fit into society. Recently, a new form of discrimination has become an issue in the western world: positive discrimination. Positive discrimination is in fact the reverse of normal discrimination, as here someone might be chosen for a role or given specific privileges because they are of a specific area of society. For example, a woman may be hired for a job over male candidates purely because she is a woman, and hiring her will technically avoid discriminating against women in this situation. Positive discrimination manages to avoid the negative effects on the esteem of those involved, but however good that may be, it doesn’t make it right. Some people may argue that it eradicates the inequal-
ity in society by which someone may not receive certain privileges or may be treated in an unfair way based on race, sexuality or disability, and that this is therefore a good thing. However, this means that people will now be given certain privileges or be treated in a specific way simply because they are a certain race, sexuality or have a disability. To some people who are of a minority in society, this may also be incredibly insulting, as they will eventually be able to recognise that one of the reasons they are being treated in this way is because they are part of a minority, which could have equally damaging affects on their selfesteem. Of course, most of us will never intentionally discriminate against a person or group, either positively or negatively, as we would not expect someone to treat us in such a way. Nevertheless, there will be instances even in the essentially equal society of Britain today where we may come across discrimination, and, be it negative or positive, it’s still discrimination, and ultimately discrimination is ethically wrong.
COMMENT & DEBATE
4 April 2011
| The Phoenix
Does science outweigh the arts?
Kitty Robertson Comments Writer With recent speculation as to potential cuts to arts funding, and Education Secretary Michael Gove’s emphasis on the importance of subjects such as maths and science, it seems an increasing possibility that sciences will soon overshadow arts subjects in schools. While it is certainly understandable, especially in such pressing economic times as these, for a greater focus to be placed on subjects such as maths and science, for which there is a wider job market allowing for clear-cut career choices, it seems unjust to suggest that these are therefore superior to subjects such as history. Within this attitude there is an implication that students should be studying purely with the thought of a voca-
tion in mind; exploring subjects which will ensure them a steady income and comfortable living. Yet surely there should be some allowance simply for enjoyment? The idea that it would be encouraged for a student to deliberately avoid taking a subject for which they have a real interest simply because it might not promise anything specific for the future seems to be contradicting one of the principle aims of education. Of course, I am not saying that the arts are superior to sciences: it cannot be denied that sciencebased subjects are of great importance both inside and outside of the academic system. Indeed, the crux of my argument is that there shouldn’t have to be debate as to which subjects are more important - there are people who favour the sciences, just as there are those who prefer the arts. Surely we should aim to maintain a bal-
ance between the two? After all, are we not oppressing those members of society who find it harder to succeed in science if the arts are removed? We claim to live in a very tolerant, accepting society, and any possible hint of something that could perhaps be inferred to be oppressive or insulting is immediately leapt on and
Young people are increasingly pressured to excel in sciences
condemned - is it not somewhat hypocritical, then, to enforce an academic lifestyle on students? I am not arguing that maths and science should not be treated as important subjects: it is perfectly reasonable to argue their superiority; certainly they are clear indicators of intelligence,
when approaching an anonymous job or university application. However, it seems that the great value and prestige piled on science subjects devalues the worth of arts-based subjects: students with a genuine passion for history may instead take physics, so as to accommodate the perceived expectations of a prospective employer or university professor. Furthermore, it is also expected that students will possess a cultural understanding: no matter how intelligent an A* in maths will make you appear, if you can’t maintain an educated, mature conversation, the interview stage of any university or job application is going to be a serious stumbling block. As much as some would like them to, maths and science alone will not make gifted speakers out of every student. However, history, however, and English can even art, to a certain extent, could be viewed as a confidence-booster.
So, young people are increasingly pressured to excel in sciences while at the same time to prove proficient in social and cultural communication. Yet sciences are favoured over arts. How far will this preference for science go? Will those who do better in arts or humanities be condemned for not excelling in science? Or will arts subjects just be scrapped, abandoning any students who can only succeed in these areas? Yes, maths and science are important: but so too are history and English - why should there have to be a separation? Why can they not be of equal worth? Surely the goal of education is to enrich and encourage students; to claim that one subject is inferior will alienate students, and contradicts this fundamental aim.
To airbrush or not to airbrush? as good in the clothes. This begs the question as to how much money companies have lost due to people refusing to shop for this reason…
Yana Efimova Comments Writer
According to popular opinion and tabloids such as the Daily Mail, who frequently post articles regarding this problem, it is in fact natural beauty and a healthy weight which we should be striving for. In some ways it is understandable why airbrushing is used, particularly in advertising, but surely it doesn’t qualify as justification for misleading the public? For instance, about a year ago, Ralph Lauren was severely frowned upon for making their already thin model Valentina
In recent years there have been numerous rows regarding the use of Photoshop on photographs of models. This tool is now being used to an unreasonable extent, making the models look much thinner than they should and removing imperfections, making it impossible to recognise the person’s face. Even after recent uproars, magazines and advertising campaigns continue to airbrush photos under the slogan: “Perfection is beauty”. But is it? Especially if such impossible perfection is something that we ordinary people are supposed to strive for.
Zelyaeva look incredibly unnatural. If the public believes this is the human ideal and consequently attempt to emulate such models, women could easily develop eating disorders under the pressure and as a result their health could deteriorate, merely because an advert informed them that being thin is best.
Another major issue with airbrushed advertising is that people larger than a UK size eight can feel discriminated against. Recently, some companies started using ‘plus size’ models, but that does not mean that the issue has been resolved. People who are not as thin as the models might feel some aversion to brands that specifically show airbrushed women modelling the clothes, because they understand that they wouldn’t look
It is understandable that advertisers choose to airbrush celebrities, but the public seem to find this particularly irritating. Icons like Jennifer Aniston and Britney Spears are admired by many and would obviously like to be seen looking perfect at all times, hence why most of their photo shoots are severely airbrushed. However there have been recent examples of celebrities drawing attention to the practice by having unairbrushed photos published in magazines. Kara Tointon, for instance, went on a photo shoot without make up and with no airbrush added. Pictures of Britney Spears before and after being airbrushed were also shown in The Daily Mail.
According to popular opinion, it is natural beauty we should be striving for.
Collectively, these arguments make us wonder if there is in fact a wider issue to be aware of - that of the media dictating to us what we ought to think, and not necessarily solely regarding the definition of beauty.
COMMENT & DEBATE
The Phoenix | 4 April 2011
Alex Tyndall Deputy Editor “I’m bringing sexy back. Them other boys don’t know how to act. I think it’s special what’s behind your back. So turn around and I’ll pick up the slack.” If this is true, sexy is taking a serious downturn in standards. The bloke whose phone was blaring these lyrics out had about five teeth. He’d made up for this, though, because for every tooth he’d lost he’d put on a stone in weight. The Lonsdale logo on his chest was stretched so large I could have read it from France. He and his similarly chunky friends were huddled around four seats on the bus, slurping on Coke and throwing fistfuls of McDonald’s finest fries into their mouths. Now, I’m all for feeling relaxed and making the
most of public transport, but this was ridiculous. All I could hear was Justin Timberlake going on about how I should get my sexy on. I just don’t understand how it is that people think that on the bus we suddenly become interested in their musical taste. How many people do you see walking around Cambridge with their phones chucking out music? Not many. So I can’t see how anything becomes different once you pay your £3.50 for a Dayrider. Maybe that’s why public transport is so ridiculously expensive; we’re paying for other people to provide us with a musical accompaniment. Another thing I don’t get is that suddenly headphones aren’t good enough. I know not everyone can listen at once with headphones, but why then listen to it anyway? Talking can be nice too, you know.
It’s also weird that these people feel obliged to make up for the awful sound quality from the squiddy little speaker by making it as loud as they can. Honestly, the only way it could sound any worse would be if you actually got the original artist and told them to sing whilst setting a pack of bears on them. But this doesn’t seem just to be confined to listening to music. Any sense of doing stuff quietly simply evaporates as soon as you get on the Citi 7. Phone calls have to be made at a yell; a couple of weeks ago I sat in front of a girl who was screaming down the phone, “I CHUCKED YOUR STUFF OUT THE HOUSE SO YOU’D ****ING WELL BETTER NOT BE THERE WHEN I GET BACK!” Erm, I actually can hear you, love. Your voice can carry more than two feet, surprisingly enough. Even when people aren’t on the phone, they seem to have no problem discussing the most intimate details of their private lives in
Photo from Wikimedia Commons
How hard is it to put in a pair of headphones?
booming voices when chatting with their friends. This isn’t a pub, no matter what’s in the bottles you’re badly concealing in those shopping bags. The end result of all this is that when I get old and have free bus travel it just won’t be worth
the annoyance. I don’t want to have to sit down and listen to what sounds like a nightclub at the back of a bus. You’re not the only people in the world. Not everyone likes Eminem. A pair of headphones will cost you as little as £4 from HMV. It’s not that difficult.
‘Everything is average nowadays’ It’s quite a rare thing to hear an entirely original song in the charts these days - they all just remind you of another tune that was, arguably, better. The Black Eyed Peas, for ,example, recently released a re-imagining of Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes’ theme to ‘Dirty Dancing’. Maybe noone’s to blame for this reuse of melody - there are only twelve different notes after all. By now enough songs have been written to nullify any lawsuit against another artist for stealing a tune: if such claims were to become the norm, the entire industry would grind to a halt for fear of incurring the wrath of a lawyer across the pond. The music industry used to be based around music, but, sadly, this is no longer the case. We have entered the age of computers; computers that can make a cat sound tuneful and eliminate the need for any actual instruments. The
product of these computers then proceeds to be overproduced, relentlessly marketed and shoved straight into the playlists of the prepubescent individuals who are speedy with their iTunes accounts. So, what makes a successful record today? Well, now that we’ve removed the need for someone who can sing, all it takes is someone marketable; someone attractive, someone who can become a Youtube sensation, or someone willing to be as controversial as it takes to sell a song. Consider – if Britney Spears were to put out a record, sung all the way through on the same note, would it be spurned and forgotten? No. As her last six singles have demonstrated, using only one note of the twelve available does not prevent her from sitting happily at number one for weeks on end: we only have ourselves to blame. But who is to say what makes quality music? If these mo-
Photos from Wikimedia commons
Marina Carnwath Comments writer
notonous tracks are being purchased by millions, then surely there must be something to recommend them? It cannot be denied, however, that the number of people paying for music is rapidly decreasing. Whether this is because of the introduction of Spotify and Youtube, or simply because people are growing tired of hearing the same music over and over, a report from market research firm NPD shows that between 2007 and 2009, the
number of Americans paying for music in any form dwindled by about 24 million. Outside the charts, however, there is just as much original music as there has always been. Until the invention of Napster in 1997, music could only be heard on the radio and on Top of the Pops. Nowadays, there is nothing to dictate the music one listens to. Fans of the apparently dying rock genre can find themselves 50 new bands to enjoy with a Google search and newer fields of music such
as dubstep can break through to the mainstream. In the midst of nostalgia for the good old days of 80s classics, it’s easy to forget that they produced a lot of poor music too; it’s just that three decades later, nobody remembers the bad records they didn’t carry with them into later life. Great music is still being written and you can guarantee that, come 2030, we’ll be mourning the good old days of noughties classics.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
4 April 2011 | The Phoenix
Is modern technology Why Isn’t Malaria Being Cured? improving our lives? Lucia Coulter Science Reporter
Marina Carnwath Science Reporter It is a fact that cannot be denied; in the western world, people rely on technology to sustain life as much as they rely on food, end of. Wake up, get dressed, have breakfast. There we have the usual start to any day, the same as centuries ago. Nothing special there, no gadgets or technology. Simple(s). However, if we continue along the modern teenager’s daily timeline, technology swiftly begins to dominate. Fish mobile out of bag, plug in iPod and meander to college, taking care not to be run over by a hybrid car. Such a chapter tells of a new way of life, where parents can keep tabs on their children at all times and a favourite playlist is never further away than your school bag. But is it a better way of life? Is it an easier way? Is it a happier way? Less than twenty years ago, if you had family on the other side of the world, keeping in touch involved heart-felt letters, outrageously expensive phone calls and saving up for years to be able to visit them. This was not altogether ideal. Enter Skype. The Luxembourg -based company founded by Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis in 2003 brought your far-flung loved ones right back into your living room, for better or worse. Now grown men in England find themselves being nagged daily once more by mothers currently enjoying retirement shearing sheep in New Zealand. From such a perspective, modern technology has made life a great deal more convenient. As well as that, the grown men in England can sleep soundly in the knowledge that their sheep shearing mothers will probably live to pester them for a further twenty
years, as a result of medical technology. Whether or not the prolonged life of one’s mother is ‘convenient’, it is certainly a pronounced aspect of the advances in modern technology. Now let’s consider the darker side of technology. Sexual predators lurking in the dark corners of Facebook seem to be a primary concern for most parents. It can’t be denied that modern technology has certainly made life easier for stalkers who can so easily hide behind a false identity. Another concern is that modern technology makes us stay home more. With online shopping, social networking and online gaming, all our needs can be met with our bums on the sofa. A more sinister consequence of modern technology is the effect it is having on concentration. A survey conducted earlier this year to examine the internet’s impact on the brain asked one hundred 12 to 18 year-olds a series of questions requiring some sort of research. They discovered that the majority of participants turned in their answers after perusing less than half the number of web pages that older people inspected. Dr Aleks Krotoski, a social psychologist, stated that, “There is empirical evidence now that information overload and associative thinking may be reshaping how [teenagers] think.” From this research, we might infer that perhaps having information so conveniently available, thanks to technology, causes more damage than we realise. I don’t think we can be in any doubt that technology has made life more convenient. Food and information are never more than a click away, music is never more than a shuﬄe away and one’s friends require just a speed dial to speak to. The real question is, has it made life better, or were our forebears happier when carrier pigeon was the optimum mail distributor, Monday was wash day and Sunday lunch depended on killing a chicken? Who can say? But it is clear that technology is the dominant force shaping our age, and it’s certainly not going to stop now.
Currently, there is a significant pressure on private manufacturers to bring the cost of artesunate and artemisinin combination therapy (ACT) down, and a big push (funded mainly by international donors) to make cheap ACTs available across malarialendemic countries. The Affordable Medicines Facility, part of The Global Fund, is acting to expand access to ACT by negotiating with and subsidising the manufactures of the drug. This should help to reduce costs for importers, first line buyers, and in turn, it should reduce costs for patients as well.
Malaria is a preventable and curable disease, and yet it causes nearly one million deaths each year, mostly among children. The disease is caused by plasmodium parasites, which are transmitted through the bites of infected Anopheles mosquitoes. Once the plasmodium parasite has infected a human, it can spend between two weeks and several months in the liver, before multiplying within the red blood cells. Symptoms such as fevers, shivering, arthralgia, vomiting, anemia, hemoglobunuria, retinal damage and convulsions can develop. In severe cases, the disease can go on to Unfortunately, even a reduced cause hallucinations, coma and cost will be too much for many malaria patients who death. have nothing. What’s more, Although, according to a study in many malarial-endemic published in the Lancet, the countries, the reduction in drug artesunate is by far the cost being passed on to the most effective treatment for patients depends on the drug malaria, quinine is used in shops and intermediaries in the vast majority of cases. The the supply chain. Often, cuts study showed “an enormous will be taken and the price for reduction in mortality” where the patients will not be nearly artesunate was used instead as low as it should be. of quinine. In a trial carried out in Asia in 2005, there were The resistance to adopting 39% fewer deaths among adults artesunate and ACT as prigiven artesunate than among those treated with quinine. In a similar trial, which took place in eleven hospitals in Africa, child deaths were shown to be reduced by 22.5% where artesunate was used in place of quinine. Artesunate is also safer, as it is injected rather than administered by an intravenous drip, and it has fewer unpleasant side effects. The case for artesunate seems to be indisputable. It is thought that hundreds of thousands of lives could be saved if artesunate were to replace quinine.
mary treatments for malaria is not only due to cost. Changing old habits seems to be one of the hardest challenges to overcome. Many British doctors are still convinced that quinine is the better treatment option, and these reservations make African doctors more reluctant to switch to the use of ACT and artesunate. There has also been some doubt over the quality of the newer drug, which is produced by a Chinese pharmaceutical company. However, this concern can reasonably be dismissed since the World Health Organisation (WHO) has recently given artesunate pre-qualified status, meaning its safety is approved. WHO will soon be revisiting its advice on malaria treatment, and a complete switch to artesunate will be discussed. With hundreds of thousands of lives resting on the decision of drug manufacturers and international health authorities, global inequalities have never been more apparent. We need to now turn our attention to those in power and hope that they have the interests of the powerless at heart.
Five years on from these studies, quinine is still universally used. According to the scientists who carried out the study published in the Lancet, it is “cost, convention, tradition and suspicion of drugs that do not originate from large, western pharmaceutical companies” that prevent artesunate from being used more A child suﬀering from malaria (photo from wiki commons) widely.
The Phoenix | 4 April 2011
The girls net their own tournament For the past 9 years, the boys have teamed up to play 5-a-side football in the infamous annual Copa tournament. But this year there’s also something for the girls to enjoy, all in the name of charity! Alice Bentley and Olivia Attwood have organised the 5-a-side netball tournament as part of their PE coursework, with all the proceeds going towards fighting breast cancer. Tuesday lunch times in the sports centre have now been taken over by
To make the competition fair, each team is allowed a maximum of only 2 collegenetball players. NatalieEddison is taking part in the competition and is finding competing in it completely different to how she’s used to playing. “It’s nice to play in games that aren’t Since arriving at Hills Road, many girls taken too seriously, it’s nothing like have found participating in sport has representing the college”. become less of a priority as PE lessons are no longer compulsory. Many have found the tournament to be a great There’s no room for seriousness in this way to team up with their friends and competition, as netball skirts and tops take part in exercise while having fun are replaced by pink tutus and short shorts, although participating boys and socialising at the same time.
14 teams battling against each other for tournament, says, “everyone is doing the top spot. really well and is really focused on winning while having fun at the same With some people picking up a time, which is certainly interesting to netball for the first time in over 2 watch.” years, the competitive streak inside everyone is beginning to show. With teams competing in intense 5 minute matches, the sound of the whistle every now and again between the fast rate of play is needed to remind everyone that it is in fact a non-contact sport. Bianca Ho, who is on the college netball team and is acting as a referee for the
have kept to wearing more reserved clothing. So yes, even the boys who were knocked out of Copa could have nursed their disappointment by getting stuck into something new. This week marks the end of the group stages, and the level of competition will be stepping up considerably in the next few weeks. Teams will go into either the championship or the plate depending on their final positions in the groups, and the fast speed of play is promising to be something you won’t want to miss.
Come watch the action and support your friends - every Tuesday lunchtime
The rugby highs and lows of the term even more pleased that the weather temporarily improved to almost sunny conditions, so we weren’t shivering on the side This term, the Hills Road Men’s lines. Rugby team have been busy. They came an impressive third in the This term also gave our favourite Regional 10-a-side finals, losing out Lower Sixth players a chance to at the semi-finals due to atrocious play more often as the Upper pitch conditions and, dare we Sixth had to concentrate on admit it, being just a little tired after exams. This meant the division a whole day of highly competitive between the first and second rugby. They also competed in the teams wavered a bit as the whole British Colleges East Performance of Lower Sixth pulled together League and the British Colleges to secure Hills Road wins. The Cup. We were proud to see our match against Peterborough players out there competing and
Connie Burge Poppy Goldman Sports Reporters
Regional College ended in a 17 - 17 draw, putting the team 3rd in the British Colleges East Performance League. Next, we saw impressive moves from Dan Fordham and Sam Miller in the Match against the College of West Anglia, where Hills won by an impressive 34 points, keeping the Hills Road rugby team unbeaten since New Year. Once the Upper Sixth players returned, however, the team really began to improve with an amazing, almost embarrassingly good, win against the age old rivals Long Road – Hills Road 43, Long Road 0.
Their luck continued in the match against Easton College where the excellent rugby conditions helped them beat their Norfolk rivals 75 - 12. Then followed two less successful matches by the second team, none disastrous, but it’s fair to say Hills Road never really got started. And so your rugby researchers reach the end of their journey to the pitches of Luard Road. We’ve handled the quizzical looks, the freezing weather and the mud-soaked pitches to bring you our first hand experience of where no girls have gone before.
Men’s Rugby results this term: Hills Road 43 - 0 Long Road (British College’s Cup Round 3) Regional 10s finals: Hills Road 33 - 0 Havering Hills Road 15 - 0 COLVIC Hills Road 0 - 27 SEEVIC Hills Road 29 - 0 CoWA Hills Road 24 - 5 East Norfolk Hills Road 7 - 14 West Suffolk College (Hills Road finish 3rd) Hills Road 75 - 12 Easton College Hills Road 17 - 50 West Suffolk College Hills Road 39 - 24 Oaklands College
It’s back! Don’t miss out on HR4.5 - Wednesday 27th April!
The Phoenix | 4 April 2011
Copa del Hills: 5-a-side football >> Tournament organiser Rachel Pearce gives the low-down on this year’s competion Rachel Pearce Tournament Organiser The planning for this year’s Copa del Hills tournament began back in December of last year, with entries opening in late January. As with previous years, there was no struggle in finding teams to enter the tournament, with some having to be turned away once the 32-team maximum was reached. Copa is the biggest internal sports tournament at Hills Road with vast numbers of spectators turning up every Thursday and Friday lunchtime, creating a buzzing atmosphere that adds to the excitement of this 6-week annual event. The opening day even saw the appearance of a couple of vuvuzelas, as made famous by last year’s World Cup in South Africa. The tournament is organised in the same structure as the UEFA Champions League, with 8 groups of 4 teams in the preliminary stages. The top two teams in each group then qualify for the knockout stages of the cup, whilst the bottom two enter into the shield, therefore guaranteeing each team a minimum of 4 matches. In order to add more pace and intensity to the games, it was decided that a bonus point
would be awarded to any team scoring 3 goals or more in any one group game in order to encourage an attacking style of play. There are then 3 knockout stages (last 16, quarter finals and semi finals), followed by the finals. In order to add further drama to the tournament (and also to allow us to keep to the tight schedule) it was decided that any games that ended in a draw would go straight to sudden death penalties. A restriction of 3 college players per team was also imposed in order to create close, competitive games which would improve the spectators’ experience. However, before the tournament could begin, the groups had to be decided. This was done via a live draw to which all team captains were invited. The draw was conducted by the tournament organisers and Mr Hansgate and the anticipation in the room was evident right from the start. The groups were then posted onto the Copa Del 2011 Facebook page, where the banter between the teams really began, with various competitors offering their predictions of who would walk away with the trophies this time around. As with any cup competition there have been some surprising results. Paul Scott’s team, who many saw as favourites with 3 college players, were eliminated in the first knockout stage of
the cup whilst Jonny Toft’s team managed to hold on for a draw against cup finalists Sam Lee in week one of the tournament. The Final of the shield saw Dom Richardson take on Kennedy Durrant, whilst Joe Heap faced Sam Lee in the Cup final. Both games saw clear victories with Dom Richardson winning by 5 goals to 1 and Joe Heap by 6 goals to 1, meaning that spectators were entertained with plenty of impressive goals. The race for the prestigious ‘Copa Del King’ top goal-scorer award was also decided on the final day of the tournament. Before play it appeared as though Laurie McGeoghan was going to be the likely victor with 11 goals from 5 games. However, with Laurie’s team having been knocked out in the quarter finals, there was always a chance his crown could be taken from him. The next highest scorer who remained in the competition was Tom Moffat who had 7 goals to his name after the semi finals. Moffat proceeded to knock in an impressive 5 goals in a fantastic final performance, therefore stealing the crown away from Laurie at the last moment.
for best kit has to go to Sam Lee’s team of ‘Thai brides’. Overall, the tournament was very exciting with players of varying abilities and from various sports competing. The crowd created a great atmosphere throughout, with plenty of interesting chants being bellowed from the spectator areas. Personally, I have enjoyed organising the tournament and watching some good football being played. However, it is important to remember that behind all of the good fun of Copa and the competitive atmosphere, the tournament has also helped to raise funds for a very worthwhile cause - the Bobby Moore Fund for Bowel Cancer.
Of course, no report on Copa would be complete without some mention of the kits. Most teams this year opted for quite sensible football strips, which reflected their serious attitude towards the competition. However, many teams opted for bright colours, with various shades of orange, yellow and a more feminine pink being sported throughout the competition. However, surely the prize
(Clockwise from top right) A player tries to round his opponent in the semi-final of the shield; runners-up Sam Lee sporting their fetching outfit; eventual winners Joe Heap pose for their victory photo