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THE SAINT St Andrews’ Independent Student Newspaper Thursday 29 November 2012

ISSUE 168

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Capital expense: Union forks out for NUS’ damp squib Demo2012 Jonathan Bucks The St Andrews Students’ Association spent £1,700 of students’ money on transport for demonstrators taking part in Demo2012 in London, a NUS-led protest against increased tuition fees which has been widely seen as a failure, The Saint has learnt. Although the expenditure was within the budget of £2,000 ringfenced for National Representation and was approved by the Director of Representation, Amanda Litherland, she conceded that she had previously Liam

Burns

was

ushered off stage afer students pelted fruit at the NUS President

believed the protest would attract more interest, after only 30 St Andrews students made the trip. In contrast, Edinburgh University had organised fundraising events since their Freshers’ Week in September which helped fund five coaches carrying 260 students. Occurring only a week after St Andrews voted overwhelmingly against NUS membership, concerns have been voiced about supporting a march led by an organisation with which St Andrews students have decided they do not wish to be affiliated. The decision to spend

the money comes amid Union austerity at a time when the Students’ Association is forecasting financial losses as its redevelopment takes place. The budget for National Representation was halved this year from £4,000 to £2,000. Issy Folkes, a second year medic, told The Saint: “It’s ridiculous. If they felt that strongly about going along they should have spent the money themselves.” Claudia Davies, a third year Arts student, suggested that the recent NUS referendum drew a line under St Andrews’ involvement with NUS-led activities. She said: “It seems ludicrous [given] that we have just voted to be out of the NUS. It seems like this kind of expense isn’t exactly representing the mass St Andrews student opinion of the NUS. I don’t understand why people can’t pay for themselves. It’s hardly expensive to get a Megabus to London.” Meg Platt, Director of Student Development and Activities, defended the cost to the Union, telling The Saint that the final cost will actually be in the region of £1,300 once the seven students from Abertay University who used the bus service pay for their travel. She said: “Future losses to the Union have been factored in to all of our budgets already, hence why the National Representation budget has been halved from last year’s.” Continued on page 2

All arts subjects Dr William Singleton 01333 451 733

Photo: Helen Miller

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Worth the cost?: The Union was set back £1,700 after 30 students took part in an underwhelming demonstration in London


INSIDE

NEWS “Royalty and other tax avoiders”? Page 5 Are we employable? Page 6 VIEWPOINT BNOC Nonsense Page 9 Michael Torpey on Christmas Page 12 FEATURES Publishing merger Page 14 Keeping up with the Middletons Page 15 ARTS & CULTURE The Master and Silver Linings Playbook Page 25 Freshers’ Plays Page 26 SPORT Fans’ Christmas Wishlist Page 28 BUCS Roundup Pages 30 & 31

The Saint • Thursday 29 November 2012

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Editorial This is a Saint of lasts. The last issue of 2012, the last issue for some of our committee members and the last issue put together in our office. Yes, that unremarkable metal hut behind the recycling bins has seen many, many editions created over the years, the produce of the inspiration and suffering of countless editorial staff. Come 2013, that office will be no more. The wrecking ball labelled ‘Union redevelopment’ will have done its work and we will have moved. Next semester we’ll be putting the paper together inside the Union building itself as a temporary measure, although

Editorial Board

– fear not, free press fans – we will retain our traditional editorial and financial independence. This probably means very little to you, and I won’t ask you to mourn our old office’s passing. We do hope, however, that you will join us in getting into the Christmas spirit, even if I am usually a firm believer that Yuletide cheer should be kept under wraps until 1 December at the earliest. Exams loom ahead of the Christmas break, so festivities are likely to start before the revision period really kicks in. What’s on our Christmas menu? As well as reviews of 2012 – in the worlds of art and sport, for example

– we have some festive features, such as a guide to Edinburgh’s Winter Wonderland (page 17) and football fans’ Christmas wishlists (page 28). Arts & Culture have even gone and done your Christmas shopping for you, whether it’s woollies, jingles or DIY that fits the bill for you (page 27). Don’t think that’s all we have to offer, however: there’s the usual news, reviews and viewpoints on BNOCs, the British media and US politics for you, no matter whether you’re more like Santa or Scrooge. The Saint wishes you the best of luck with your exams, and then a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Tilly Rossetti, External Campaigns Officer for the SRC, defended her decision to organise the demonstration, telling The Saint: “My job is to facilitate involvement in external campaigns for all students. A group of students approached me wanting to take part in the biggest demonstration this year run by the biggest inter-university student union and I did my job by securing funding for them.” She explained that the poor attendance was a result of a delay in securing funding for the bus, as a result of which advertising went out later. She also suggested the shortened semester had a negative impact on attendance as students struggled with “tremendous workloads.” She said: “In my view it’s only fair therefore that the Union support these students considering these educational reforms affect so many students in St Andrews.” However, other British students’ unions were more cautious in their decision to support Demo2012. The controversial nature of the march after previous demos sparked violence, and the great expense to the student body led many students’ unions, the majority of which are NUS members, to hold student-wide referenda to decide if money should be spent attending the demonstration. Reading, Exeter, Huddersfield, Bath and many other student bodies were asked to vote for or against attending the NUS-led march. Manchester University’s Students’ Union, another member of the NUS, charged their students £8.50 for a ticket to attend the demo whilst Huddersfield and Bath both charged students £5. The demonstration itself has been regarded by most as a failure and concluded with NUS President, Liam Burns, being pelted with eggs. The NUS had hoped to attract around 10,000 students in the wake of 2010’s protest which evinced interest from

Editor

Richard Browne editor@thesaint-online.com Deputy Editor Craig Lye editor@thesaint-online.com Production Manager Camilla Henfrey production@thesaint-online.com Business Manager Ryan Cant business@thesaint-online.com Business Management Team Eleanor Huddart, Chris Young Web Editor Elliot Davies web@thesaint-online.com

Continued from page 1

News Editor Jonathan Bucks news@thesaint-online.com News Subeditors Sunniva Davies-Rommetveit, Erin Lyons, Freddy Pilkington, Ketsuda Phoutinane, Pim Ungphakorn, Raymond Wang Viewpoint Editor

Photo: Helen Miller

 News

Students protest against increased tuition fees outside the Houses of Parliament

Nick Cassella viewpoint@thesaint-online.com Viewpoint Subeditor David Earnshaw Features Editor Caitlin Hamilton features@thesaint-online.com

around 50,000 students. However, blustery conditions and a seemingly disillusioned number of students kept numbers low. Delivering a speech on stage in Kennington Park, Burns was drowned out by chants of “general strike” and “NUS shame on you, where the fuck have you brought us to” before Burns was hurriedly escorted offstage. Chloe Hill, Rector’s Assessor and one of the organisers of the St Andrews group at the demonstration, admitted that the protest was “disappointingly small.” She described the subdued atmosphere and antagonism shown towards the NUS, telling The Saint: “The route caused quite a lot of disquiet among groups of students who felt NUS had sold out by agreeing to one that barely passed by any ‘seats of power’ and ended with a rally in Kennington Park of all places, with poor Liam Burns experiencing the brunt of this disquiet in the form of a good egging,” she said. Yet despite the unimpressive turnout and reaction from students, Amanda Litherland defended St Andrews’ presence at the demonstration, stressing the importance of National Representation. She said: “I am glad that St Andrews was represented in London along with other student unions, campaigning on issues such as

undergraduate funding cuts, fee hikes and rising unemployment - all which are affecting students in Scotland as well as the UK in general.” Meg Platt added that: “While the NUS organised the demonstration, it was welcome to all students and students unions and included a wide variety of activists who campaigned on different platforms.” Chloe Hill disagreed with public opinion that the protest was a failure, lauding the demonstration. She commented: “The over-riding feeling was that everyone wanted to be more involved in student politics and student campaigns because of their experience at the demo.” Hill went on to defend the cost to the Union, saying: “I think we should be asking not whether this was a good use of money from the external campaigns budget, which paid for the bus, but rather, how do we take more students next time? “Demonstrations are not everyone’s cup of tea, but Demo2012 showed that despite its apathetic image, many St Andrews students do want to be more involved in student campaigns outside the B–ubble now and then, and I hope that we continue to support and encourage this.”

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Features Subeditors Alexandra Carson, Tamara Eberhard, Saeunn Gisladottir, Iben Merrild Arts & Culture Editor Stephen Jenkins arts@thesaint-online.com Arts& Culture Subeditors Lewis Camley, Vicky Clark, Tasha Cornall, Emily Hill, Polly Warrack Sport Editor James Gray sport@thesaint-online com Sport Subeditors Allen Farrington, Andrew McQuillan, Martin Saarinen Photography Chiefs Celeste Sloman, Jake Threadgould photography@thesaint-online.com The Saint is an entirely independent newspaper, run by students of the University of St Andrews. It is published fortnightly during term time and is free of charge. The Saint is not affiliated with the University or the Student Association. The text, graphics and photographs are under copyright of The Saint and its individual contributors. No parts of this newspaper may be reproduced without prior permission of the editor. Any views expressed in the newspaper’s Viewpoint section are those of the writer’s individual opinion, and not of The Saint.

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The Saint • Thursday 29 November 2012

News 

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Champagne and The Other Guys: the Principal’s recipe for surviving a desert island She’s energetic and optimistic but admits that her worst trait is her impatience. She’s fond of Mozart but makes no secret of her penchant for The Other Guys. On November 22, Professor Louise Richardson, Principal of St Andrews, was interviewed on the Desert Island Disc segment on STAR radio in which she discussed her life, her favourite records and her literary tastes. Professor Richardson described how she grew up in the small Irish town of Tramore and, being one of seven children, had a happy childhood. From there she went to Dublin to study at Trinity College, which she described as her biggest cultural shift. She then earned herself a scholarship to UCLA where she gained her masters in International Relations before moving to study for her PhD at Harvard. She began her academic career at Harvard and remained there for 20 years. After such a long time at Harvard, Richardson decided that it was appropriate to move on. It was a difficult decision to make, as she was “lucky” to get numerous job offers from all over the world but she

Photo: Jake Threadgould

Paige Martin

Presenter of Desert Island Discs, Will Land, and Professor Louise Richardson, said that St Andrews was the most appealing and challenging move, which is why she chose it. When asked if she misses being able to teach in her current position, Richardson replied that she “absolutely loves teaching” and believes people in her role “should teach”, but unfortunately she does not have enough control over her schedule to allow her to teach as much as she would like. She describes there being too much bureaucracy and not enough money as her greatest challenges when she took the on the role of

,

Principal and Vice-Chancellor. While being here she has tried to reduce the internal bureaucracy and bring a fundraising culture similar to that of education philanthropy in America. Richardson also described how, compared to other institutions at the same level, the University of St Andrews is “run on a shoe string.” She says that she would like the University to have progressed academically, and be recognised for doing so, in order for there to be renewed focus on research and teaching and confidence in the University as a global research

institution. On the subject of the controversial dismissal of Reading Week, Richardson described how this was an issue that had no consensus. The alternative solution would have been one set of exams at the end of the year and after wide consultation it was decided that dismissing Reading Week would be the better choice. Richardson believes that this issue is one felt more by those who have previously had Reading Week, and that we will not truly see how well the new timetable works until

after a couple of years. When asked her favourite motto she said that she had to say the University of St Andrews’ motto, “ever to excel”, but her personal motto would be “go for it.” Her advice to the young is to take risks, don’t be afraid to fail, go for it, value time more, and to take advantage of opportunities. She most admires intellect, integrity and creativity. She said that she feels “incredibly privileged” to live in this time, to be healthy and to have a wonderful family and job.

The Principal’s island

The Other Guys - Royal Romance

John Lennon - Imagine “It captures generation.”

the

spirit

Bruce Springsteen Born in the USA “Because of Springsteen’s role in the Obama campaign.”

James Taylor - Carolina

“It reminds me of my holidays in Martha’s Vineyard.”

of

a

“Well I had to pick them. They’ve been such a hit.”

Sebastian Barry Long Long Way

Novel given to all first year students this year

Champagne

Principal’s luxury item

Bruce Springsteen


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The Saint • Thursday 29 November 2012

Pim Ungphakorn Freddie Fforde, President of the Students’ Association, has hit back at a Scotsman article which used the low number of disadvantaged students at St Andrews to lambast the University for being “patronised by royalty and other opulent tax avoiders”. The rebuttal was made as the University warned that it “expects to face a considerable and continuing challenge to widen access, because so few young people from Scotland’s most deprived areas are achieving basic university grades.” The Scotsman article, written by Hugh Reilly and published on 24 April 2012, painted a scathing image of the University, saying it only “allowed its elite student population to be diluted with 15% of children born of lowly commoners.” Yet the Students’ Association President claimed “the real issue” was that rhetoric like Reilly’s discourages students from disadvantaged backgrounds from

applying to St Andrews. The Association President wrote in a letter to The Scotsman on 21 November 2012: “Faced with such ugly rhetoric, I’m not surprised that many students don’t apply. “If Reilly continues to paint a St Andrews ‘denial’ to those who deserve it, then he sadly perpetuates the very image which he and I both regret. The victims? Those who no longer feel comfortable applying.”

220

Number of Scots who achieved 3 As at Higher in 2011 He claimed that during his campaign for Association President, he had found that one of the “key issues” which St Andrews students wanted to tackle was “the task of widening access to an education here.” Fforde’s letter coincides with claims from the University that “it was time

to stop demonising higher education alone for poor progression rates”, and that, instead, more focus should be placed on “health, employment and a culture of attainment at all levels of Scottish education” in order for more Scottish youngsters to attain the required entry grades and be able to succeed at university. “We have a choice—we can continue to beat up our universities for failing to admit more kids from our most deprived areas, or we can start, without shame or blame, to ask if perhaps there is something going wrong throughout the whole equation,” said Stephen Magee, Vice-Principal with responsibility for admissions at St Andrews. “We could play the political game and change these figures overnight by lowering our entry grades, but experience tells us that we would simply be admitting these kids to fail, and that would be utterly dishonest,” he said. As part of its targets to widen access

Photo: The Scotsman

“Royalty and other opulent tax avoiders”: Fforde denies elitist image of St Andrews

The President hit back at claims from Hugh Reilly, above, that St Andrews is elitist for 2012/13, the University plans to increase the intake of Scottish students from the 20 most deprived Scottish postcode areas (SIMD20) by 45%. Reilly’s article in The Scotsman condemned Scottish universities in general for admitting “only a miserable 27.2 per cent” of students from lower social class groups last year, but he was particularly critical of St Andrews, which currently has

the lowest proportion of students from disadvantaged backgrounds in Scotland. “The appalling Scottish average figure hid the embarrassing variation between Scottish academic institutions,” Reilly wrote. According to the University, a Freedom of Information request to the Scottish government showed that, “of the 8,872 Scottish fifth year pupils from the country’s most deprived areas who sat Highers in 2011, only 220 achieved 3 A passes or better. “Of these 220, 55 included St Andrews as a choice on their UCAS applications. St Andrews made offers to 34 of these students, 14 of whom accepted,” a spokesman said. Robin Parker, President of NUS Scotland, criticised St Andrews’ targets. “It’s welcome that St Andrews are accepting that they can do more... However, their plans will see only an additional six students per year enter St Andrews University. That’s miniscule by any standard,” he said.

University leads fight against foot-and-mouth The University of St Andrews is leading the way in new research to find a vaccine to combat the spread of Foot and Mouth Disease. A new £5.6 million project has been set up to find new ways to prevent the foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV), which is extremely contagious amongst livestock. The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) has awarded the funding to the project, which will take five years. The project sees a number of institutions working together including the Universities of St Andrews, Dundee, Edinburgh and Leeds and the Pirbright Institute. The last major outbreak of FMDV in the UK was in 2001, when around 7 million sheep and cattle were killed to prevent the virus spreading. A smaller outbreak in 2007 also meant thousands of animals were killed. The new project aims to make the process for vaccination safer and easier and to prevent any future outbreaks on such a scale. This is particularly important in Africa as the current vaccination must be refrigerated

and requires several booster injections. By investigating how the virus grows in and interacts with cells, the project hopes to develop a new generation of more effective vaccines and to improve diagnosis. The study will be led by Professor Martin Ryan, Professor of Translational Virology in the School of Biology at the University of St Andrews. He said: “Success would stimulate the routine use of vaccine to control foot-and-mouth disease virus around the globe. This would reduce the global incidence of foot-and-mouth disease with enormous economic and social value worldwide. “One approach will be to alter the virus to make new strains that can infect animals without causing disease. These weakened viruses can prompt an immune response from the infected animal, giving it protection from subsequent infection.” The researchers will also attempt to use knowledge of how the virus grows in cells to make a new type of virus that could only grow in specially designed “helper” cells, meaning the virus couldn’t then grow in animals. This would make the use of existing conventional vaccines a

Q&A What is foot-and-mouth?

Photo: Lee Cannon

Laura Abernethy

7 million sheep and cattle were slaughtered in 2001, the last major outbreak of foot-and-mouth much safer process. FMDV is a highly contagious mammalian virus which is extremely difficult to control as it can infect more than 70 species of wildlife. The existence of seven distinct stereotypes and thousands of strains of the virus complicates the treatment of the disease even further. This project could be a major leap forward in combating the disease across the world. Following the devastating consequences of the outbreaks of FMDV in the UK, scientists have been working towards a solution

to prevent worries that it could happen again soon. Foot and Mouth disease is prevalent in a number of countries close to the EU and as it is highly contagious, it is important that this work is carried out now, as Dr Nicola Stonehouse from the University of Leeds’ school of molecular and cellular biology explained. She said: “Foot-and-mouth is an accident waiting to happen, because you have so much of this disease elsewhere in the world. Animals are trafficked across borders and viruses can blow across the Channel.”

Foot-and-mouth is a virus which affects animals - very few human cases have ever been recorded. The disease affects cloven-hoofed animals, in particular cattle, sheep, pigs, goats and deer. It has serious implications for animal health and for the economics of the livestock industry. How does it affect animals?

The disease causes fever followed by the appearance of blisters, mostly affecting the mouth and feet. It is rare for the disease to be fatal, but it can cause death in very young animals - which may not show any symptoms - or in older animals if the form of the disease is severe enough. How can it affect farmers’ trade? Export health certificates for animals and animal products will be withdrawn. The European Commission is likely to ban all British milk, meat and livestock exports until the disease is contained. International restrictions are likely to be imposed on exports to countries outside the EU.


The Saint • Thursday 29 November 2012

to

Campus University of Bedforshire

Strictly Come Dancing star, Colin Salmon, has received an honorary degree from the University of Bedfordshire. The actor, who is best known for his roles in Doctor Who and the James Bond films, left the ceremony at St Mary’s Church to the James Bond theme song. His Strictly-style high kick received loud cheers and applause from the audience. Salmon addressed the graduates saying: “I just want to say how humbled and honored I am to receive this award. As an actor, it is not my job to judge. There is nothing I turn my back on. You must face everything; learn from everything, because everything is an art form.” Salmon met graduates, posed for photos, and even danced with a few excited fans after the ceremony.

GCUC

Professor Steve Sobotie, President of Ghana’s Garden City University College, made an appeal to graduates to use their skills and knowledge to create their own jobs, saying that they should become more innovative to make an impact on the nation’s socio-economic growth. His appeal was made in an address at the fourth congregation of the College, the theme of which was ‘building the next generation of innovators’. He stressed that the graduates’ focus should now be on learning outcomes – “not just what students should know but what they could do with their knowledge and skills.”

University of Toronto

Medical artefacts from the 1800s are being showcased, thanks to donations in large part from Dr. Ann Cuddy. Cuddy found medical equipment from both her father’s time as a general physician and her grandfather’s days as a surgeon. At her medical school’s 50th class reunion, she noticed a call for donations. The items she offered date back to 1898, and are currently on display at the University of Toronto’s first conference, which is dedicated to health-care history in the Greater Toronto Area. Jonathan Fuller, the driving force behind the conference said: “It’s not only fascinating to see some of the really cool, surprising instruments that are just so different. It’s also interesting to see examples of technology that hasn’t really changed all that much. The fundamentals have been around for at least 100 years.”

Graduates’ career prospects plummet but St Andreans remain employable Erin Lyons A major report claims that the graduate wage premium has dramatically decreased over the past decade, with a steady decline of roughly 2% annually amounting to a fifth overall loss. The premium referred to is the added wage-earning benefit often cited to be as much as £200,000 over a working lifetime for those who gain a university degree, and was one of the key justifications for the Coalition Government’s rise in tuition fees to £9,000. However, despite the startling figures and a biting recession, the University is confident that St Andrews graduates are still finding their way in the world of work. The report was commissioned by the Higher Education Careers Services Unit (HESCU) as part of a report called

Behind the story News that the graduate job market in Britain is waning comes amid a study that reveals that more and more graduates are searching for work overseas (Raymond Wang writes). A report by the Higher Education Statistics Agency showed that graduates from the top universities in the UK are significantly more likely to go abroad for employment, especially under current economic conditions. British graduates from the University of St Andrews have one of the highest rates in the UK for pursuing overseas careers. The University had 12% of its British graduates pursuing overseas careers in 2011, while other universities like St Andreans turning their back on the UK

Futuretrack which follows students who entered university in 2006. The results found that 10% of graduates had suffered significant spells of unemployment and 40% were in nongraduate level jobs 18 to 30 months after graduation. A combination of this

40%

Proportion of graduates who were in non-graduate jobs 18-30 months after graduation and greatly increased levels of student debt, on average 60% higher than a comparative study in 1999, is thought to be the cause of this decreased wage premium.  Paul Brown, Director of the University’s Careers Centre, Cambridge, Oxford, Durham and Exeter had around 10%. Last year, 5,200 British graduates took up overseas jobs, 1,000 more than the previous year. It is causing what experts call the ‘brain drain’ phenomenon in the UK, where domestically-trained talent and expertise leaves the country after graduation. This is supported by a recent report by the Home Office, which states that almost half of all Britons who emigrate each year are professionals. A spokesman for St Andrews said: “Over a third of our students come to study in Scotland from overseas, and we probably punch above our weight in international job markets because of our student demographic and the recognised quality of a St Andrews degree.”

responding to these figures said: “The argument that an increase in fees could be justified by a graduate earnings premium, extrapolated from earnings distributions in the past, was always a specious one. Successive governments have obliged those selling investment products to highlight that past performance bears no direct correlation with future performance, yet that very extrapolation was used by ministers to sell the fees increase in the Commons.” He added that, aside from the current economic crisis, “The increase in proportions of graduates coming onto the labour market was enough [in] itself to make it probable that the graduate earnings premium would decline as it has done.” The results were also broken down on a subject-by-subject basis, with those taking Humanities subjects most likely to feel their degree had not been helpful in them gaining employment, with the lowest score coming from History and Philosophical Studies, with only 42.5 % viewing the degree as helpful. Not surprisingly, vocational and career-orientated degrees were seen to be the most useful, with 94.1% of those who studied Medicine or Dentistry stating it had helped them get a job. Overall, the wage premium for students dropped by 21.7% between May 2003 and November 2011, with Arts students seeing an even greater fall, with their average earnings down by 33%. Despite these alarming figures, Brown maintains St Andrews is doing better than most comparable universities and has stepped up its’ efforts in light of the more pressured employment market. “The Careers Centre has found Schools to be much more willing to enable and facilitate careers events within Schools and to encourage and enable students to gain useful work experience. The University has

Doing the right degree? Languages

60.2% rated their language studies as an advantage in looking for employment.

Computer Science

68.6% said this was an andvantage in their search for a job.

Biology

Only 54.3% of graduates reported their subject had been useful in finding work.

History and Philosphy

A lowly 42.5% of students with degrees in these subjects felt it had helped them secure a job. introduced both Research internships and a summer internship scheme within units in the last three years. Discussions are currently in progress to enable and pay for other summer internships within Scotland.” Figures from the DLHE survey, from which Futuretrack’s data was taken, show that St Andrews has the lowest assumed unemployment rate at 6.3% of its comparison group containing Durham, Edinburgh, Exeter, Oxford and York and also has more students going on to further studies at 33.3%, more than double the UK average. The overall ‘graduateness’ sees St Andrews come fourth overall out of the group of six, which Brown feels is respectable given the range of courses on offer. “Considering we have almost no explicitly vocational courses such as Clinical Medicine (where close to 100% will go into full time employment), Engineering or Law, unlike our comparators, we do very well; which isn’t the same as saying it’s not tough for many students after graduation. We know that, hence the ongoing support which we offer,” he said.

Greenpeace St Andrews come out of their Shell Richard Browne

On Saturday 24 November, the Management Society hosted a talk delivered by the oil and gas company Shell, with Greenpeace St Andrews making their presence felt outside the talk venue, the Golf Hotel. The speaker was Simon Daman Williams, Managing Director of Shell UK Expo. The event was billed as a talk on the steps Shell is undertaking towards alternative energies and sustainable futures.

Greenpeace protestors accuse Shell and other oil companies of taking advantage of melting polar ice, and they are seeking support for a global sanctuary in the region. Ines Cardoso (pictured, second left) of Greenpeace St Andrews told The Saint that it was “contradictory” for Shell to be giving a talk to Management students about leading the way to a greener future when their planned drilling activities endanger Arctic wildlife.

Photo: Richard Browne

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As the St Andrews Management Society welcomed the Managing Director of Shell UK Expo., Greenpeace St Andrews made their voice heard


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The Saint • Thursday 29 November 2012

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Are you interested in being part of The Saint? We are always looking for new writers, illustrators and photographers to join our team. Get in touch with the Editor at editor@thesaint-online.com or catch us at the Re-Freshers Fayre


The Saint • Thursday 29 November 2012

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InFocus

InFocus: Emily Griffiths, AU President The Saint’s Pim Ungphakorn sits down with Emily Griffiths to discuss the redevelopment and reflect on a first semester of sporting success Pim Ungphakorn: What are the best and worst things about being AU President? Emily Griffiths: The best thing is being able to interact with the students and getting to see all the great things that go on behind the scenes at the sports clubs. I’ve also enjoyed learning more about how the University runs—things are far more complex than you realise as a student. There hasn’t really been a “worst thing”, but the main difficulty is prioritising work. There’s so much to do which is exciting but it is a challenge. PU: In your campaign you mentioned how important it was for you to get people of all sporting levels involved. What have you done to achieve this? EG: This year we’ve got five Saints Sports Scholars who we’ve selected, who are all international athletes. We provide them with support, finance and academic flexibility. Performance sport is improving. We’ve brought in new head coaches this year for a number of teams and we’ve now got a new golf development

programme. Obviously, being St Andrews, we’re one of the top golf areas in the UK anyway. For those less confident in sport, we really tried to emphasise that beginners are welcome to all the clubs. As part of the “Healthy Body, Healthy Mind Award” which we are working towards, we have initiatives to encourage students to get involved in sport. We’ve collaborated with the Students’ Association to organise a Rev(ital)ise Week during revision week which will include fitness classes in Venue 1, and tips on healthy living and revision in Venue 2.

a number of different teams— Basketball, Lacrosse, Fencing— which is very encouraging. Pre-season this year was a huge success: we had more than 500 students and 23 clubs attend. Coming back and training earlier than other Scottish universities has given us an advantage over Scottish universities when it comes to the BUCS games.

PU: How is the Sports Centre redevelopment progressing? EG: It’s been a staged process. So far we’ve had the astro and tennis courts resurfaced, and the 3G pitch has been open for a week or so. The 3G pitch is a great step forward—it means training and matches can still take place in bad weather. The next stage will be constructing a new eightcourt building attached to the sports centre, and hopefully indoor tennis courts too. The Sports Centre building itself will also be renovated

PU: What are your hopes for our teams this year? EG: We’re really hoping to catch Stirling in the BUCS points. Edinburgh are a much bigger institution with nearly four times as many students as us so they’ve got much more competitive teams. But we aim to get closer and closer to them in the points each year. Just recently our water polo team beat Edinburgh who won the league last year. We are getting great results from

Photo: Sammi McKee

eventually. There is room for a swimming pool, if funding for it is secured. It is something that we definitely want. Redevelopment does not specifically fall under my remit. It is a University project and its funding comes from the University. PU: What can we look forward to next semester? EG: We have lots of exciting 600th anniversary events planned, such as the Your600th Challenge, in collaboration with the Your600th Campaign. Participants can do 600 of whatever they want to do over the year, such as run 600km, or walk 600 miles. In March we’re launching a Wellbeing Week which will culminate in a world record Strip the Willow (a kind of ceilidh) attempt, and we hope to encourage locals to join in. We are currently getting permission to close the road for it. We’re re-launching the Hall of Fame in April. In the past, those that have been inducted haven’t necessarily been tied into the University that much. Now they have to have been a matriculated student or a member of staff. I’m also looking to introduce a concept called “Friends of Saints Sport”, whereby clubs will gain some financial backing from alumni. I’d like to create an alumni community, where former students can donate to their former sports club.


C areers

 Careers

The Saint • Thursday 29 November 2012

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Is This A Market I See Before Me? Elliott Miskin

Photo: Wiki-Commons

Have you heard of Kweku Adoboli? You should have. He is a former employee of Swiss investment banking giant UBS, working for 5 years in their global synthetic equities division. He lost the bank £1.2 billion (equivalent to 100 Union redevelopments) and last week he was jailed for seven years for two counts of fraud. The prosecution described him as “a gamble or two away from destroying Switzerland’s largest bank”. But what exactly are synthetic equities, and how did he lose so much money? The GSE division of UBS trades financial instruments that serve to mirror the price of real equities. The equity markets have suffered from low trading volumes since the 2008 financial crises, making these instruments attractive to banks. They are easier and cheaper to trade than the real thing, without issues like voting rights to consider, and they aren’t subject to the same liquidity issues that affect the underlying stock. Yet the problem with these markets is that they rely on mathematical theory that real markets would never tolerate. If I were to buy 10% of Tesco, the market would respond with the result of a change in the share-price. However if I bought the same quantity of the corresponding synthetic equity, there would be no market pressure pushing back. Kweku

Classics graduate in Hong Kong: I came, I taught, I conquered Rebecca Austin graduated from St Andrews in 2009 with a degree in Classics. She spoke to The Saint about how her early career has taken her east, to Hong Kong, as an English teacher. Q) Tell us about the early days of your career – how did you come to be teaching in Hong Kong? I came to Hong Kong the summer after I graduated to work for the Chatteris Educational Foundation. This is a great option for getting a foot in the door – you can see if you like HK as a place and the schools here and gain some teaching experience without having all your qualifications first. The workload is not too heavy and the enjoyment factor is high (at least in the primary section) – lots of games, drama and speaking activities. One downside is that the Chatteris wage is low – I managed to live and travel on it just fine, but I’m yet to see another job here targeting foreign, native English speakers than pays as low as Chatteris. Q) And how did your degree help you?

Many people have the perception that classics is a bit impractical when it comes to job hunting. However, personally I found that classics was very relevant to teaching English, because it gave me practice in studying the grammar and structure of languages, and it helped me to understand English spelling and word meanings. In Hong Kong it’s no real advantage – I’m not sure people even know what my degree means – but it’s an ‘appearances matter’ type of deal and I think people have heard of my university. An English degree is preferable but it shouldn’t hold you back not having one. Without a degree you won’t be able to get a work visa. Q) So what did you do next? Moving on from there (there are opportunities to remain at or move up within Chatteris, but for most people it’s a year long programme), the advantage you have is that you have experience working in a real school in Hong Kong – this is definitely what got me my second job. The disadvantage is that most people come over without any teaching qualifications,

and they matter more here than in many of the Asian destinations people try when they want to spend a couple of years doing TEFL. I did the Cambridge CELTA right after I finished Chatteris and would highly recommend it – it gives you fantastic practical teaching skills and you owe it to both yourself and your students to have a certificate like this. However, go for the CELTA or CertTESOL; online only certificates and weekend courses don’t count for much on your CV. A degree with a CELTA, plus some teaching experience (even if short term and voluntary) is really the minimum I would recommend for trying to teach in HK. If you already know you want to make teaching your main career, definitely get your PGCE before you leave the UK (or whatever the official teaching qualification is in your country). A difficulty you can run into if you start your teaching career abroad is finding that the local equivalent of the British PGCE is not recognized in the UK/your home country - a problem if you expect to return there one day, as you will then have to redo a qualification you already have.

Q) Do you have any tips about choosing where to teach? Without personal connections who are familiar with where you’re applying, it can be hard to make a good choice of workplace. Kindergartens and language centres are especially risky – some may have a light workload and enjoyable teaching atmosphere, while others may involve working under the boss from hell who considers 10+ hours of evening overtime each week and holding ‘events’ on most Saturdays to be normal. The best kindergartens will expect you to have proper qualifications in teaching early years. For teaching in state schools, the ‘gold standard’ is the NET Scheme run by the EDB (Education Bureau). They recruit mostly native English speakers to teach at primary and secondary schools in HK. The salary and benefits are excellent, and being part of the scheme offers you some protection against less scrupulous principals and heads of English! Q) So where are you now? I am currently working in a govern-

Adoboli recorded fake trades to make it appear that his large positions on these markets were hedged, when in fact he left the Swiss bank incredibly vulnerable. His actions were criminal and he has rightly been punished, but UBS must assign part of the blame to themselves for their own failure to adequately monitor his actions and understand these complex markets. The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has slapped a £29.7 million fine on UBS for having inadequate control measures in place. This may seem a hefty fine, the third largest ever imposed by the FSA, but what fine is adequate for an investment bank that was bailed out by the Swiss taxpayer and makes billions of dollars every quarter? Perhaps it is necessary, in situations like this, for management themselves to take some personal, legal liability and be subject to fines. But the blame game does not stop there. These markets are plagued by a lack of understanding by both management and regulators alike. In constantly evolving financial world, with new markets being created on a regular basis, it is vital for regulatory agencies to themselves implement rules and procedures to prevent this reckless gambling from occurring. Maybe if these changes were made, public perception would shift away from investment banks being seen as merely financial casinos, full of gamblers like Mr. Adoboli.

ment-supported but private English medium school. The advantages of this are that the level of English is comparatively high and I have a lot of freedom when planning my lessons, so I can do a lot of fun, creative activities. I teach three classes across three year groups their entire English programme and see them every day. I also very much do the job of a ‘real’ teacher, so have gained a lot of experience with skills like classroom management and co-planning and a better understanding of child development. I may not have a teaching qualification yet, but if I want to go down that route in the future I have already learnt through practical experience the basics of being a teacher. The downside to this job is that I also have all the extra duties of a local teacher. Some of these are standard for teachers (e.g. having a home class, doing parents’ evenings, etc.) but others might seem very odd to British eyes (e.g. lunchtime supervision for my class – no dinner ladies here – or writing formal assessment papers for lower primary level twice a year).


V IEWPOINT

Editor: Nick Cassella

email: viewpoint@thesaint-online.com

BNOC nonsense David Earnshaw

The Stand’s publication of a shortlist of ‘Big Names On Campus’ last week attracted a lot of attention, most of it negative. One need only peruse the comments left by the many people perturbed by the article in question to see just how badly the whole exercise went down with the assumedly ‘Small Names On Campus’. Perhaps they have a point. Perhaps The Stand are reinforcing the current status quo in town where douche-bagging is revered, and the modest and inconspicuous are left to rot somewhere in the Badlands. Who knows? One certainly has to ask questions of those responsible for the competition. “What on earth were they thinking?” might be a suitable start. At the very kindest interpretation, the editors knew that a controversial piece like this would get their website plenty of hits, and plenty of hits mean more advertising revenue. But let us not get caught up in petty grievances with The Stand’s editorial policy. Instead let us learn just what is needed to become cool, through a closer look at the BNOCs themselves. For many of us, the art of being cool has been a complete mystery since childhood, known only to the select few. While we may have tried and failed at times to replicate their talents, never before have we had such an objective analysis from which to study and assimilate what it is to be cool. So let us thank The Stand for finally making it so easy and see what exactly makes us cool. 1) Double-barrelled names “James Calder-Smith”, “Patrick Leigh-Pemberton”, “Tarleton

looking, or rich. Once you’ve weasled your way into GIG’s upper echelons a glamorous life rubbing shoulders with “CEOs and Chief Execs” (are these not the same thing?) is yours to call your own. Congratulations, you are now one step closer to the cokefuelled asphyxi-wank suicide that awaits you. 3) Sports Don’t play them. Despite their (mostly) chiselled physiques,

Watkins-The-Third”. Is it a coincidence that three out of the four finalists have such longwinded names? Of course it isn’t, dear readers. To be a BNOC, one must have a BNOC. Unfortunately this means the delightful Amy Heather immediately falls behind in the race, but it is not too late for you to escape the same fate. Head to your nearest Post Office and immediately add an accoutrement of your choice to your surname. The more ridiculous, the cooler you will be. Nothing is off limits, as the “Baker-Bakers”

and “Wellesley-Wesleys” will very well tell you (both genuine surnames I have come across). Then get ready for fashion season baby because everybody will want to know what you’re wearing. 2) Commitments Whether its trying your hand as the amateur financier, strutting down a catwalk or maintaining a slightly too familiar relationship with Tesco’s biscuit aisle, all our BNOCs have serious commitments. It would seem

you can’t make it anywhere in this town without your diehard allegiance to one “charity event” or another plastered all over your Facebook page. If you’re going to take this advice on board then I strongly suggest you opt for the corporate route and follow in the footsteps of the hiring, firing and perspiring Ms Heather. Being an SNOC, chances are that you, like me, are far too ugly to pout your way into one of the many fashion shows knocking about town, and as we all know, to make it in this life you either have to be good

our BNOCs lead a far too exotic lifestyle to muddy themselves with the common man on the gritty playing fields of East Fife. Sport is for plebs, not for the avant-garde of modern day culture. If you’re going to adopt the life of a BNOC, the occasional cardio session at the gym (or tactical vom after dessert) will have to replace your once rigorous exercise regime. But fear not, your new diet of quinoa and red cabbage will keep you trim and wonderfully regular to boot. Unfortunately that means no more Wednesday night socials for you either. Last time I checked they don’t sell Moët & Chandon at Sinner ’s Sport, but maybe I’m wrong. Instead your Wednesday nights will consist of a couple of cocktails at No. 40, where you can chat amongst equals about literally fuck all of any interest. So there we are. Follow these three simple steps, throw in a pinch of narcissism and you will soon find yourself the talk of the town. It’s that easy. The BNOCs themselves might tell you there is much more to it but don’t listen to them. They are simply trying to maintain the illusion that being cool is something you cannot learn.

The views expressed in Viewpoint do not represent the views of The Saint, but are individual opinions.


10 Viewpoint

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­­ I’m looking at you, the British media; now pull your socks up. Several Saturdays ago, as I sat down to edit issue 167 of The Saint, the twittersphere began to buzz with rumours that George Entwhistle, then Director General of the BBC, was planning to resign. At 9pm, Entwhistle, accompanied by Chris Patten, Chairman of the BBC Trust, appeared before a media scrum. The 53 days of his imperfect tenure were etched across his ashen face and his speech possessed an eerie, dreamlike lucidity. He was not so

the saddest evenings of my public life,” Patten spat. Quiet indignant fury sharpened the corners of his flabby face. A smatter of applause broke out as Entwhistle trudged off, and that was it. 53 days on the job and it was over almost as quickly as it had begun, one of the shortest tenures the BBC has known. And as the curtain fell on the disgraced DG who once proclaimed he was “the right man for the job”, a carnival

“He was not so much awaiting the judge’s verdict, but rather feeling the coarse noose tighten around his neck.” much awaiting the judge’s verdict, but rather feeling the coarse noose tighten around his neck. As he gazed heavenwards, the irony of the blue halo that emits from the top of New Broadcasting House was lost on no-one; after a month of calamitous cover-ups and incomprehensible incompetence, the blue haze now hung like a dismal pall over the organisation. “This is undoubtedly one of

atmosphere of questioning and witch-hunting broke out: was Entwhistle incompetent? Was the BBC’s undoing a result of the dizzying and self-inflicted red tape? Can the BBC survive? Can we ever trust the BBC again? Can we ever trust journalists again? Doom-saying tabloids called for the heads of Newsnight and other top-end staff, while Roger Mosey, Director of Television at

the Beeb, rode to the defence of the organisation. Writing in the News Statesman, Mosey asserted: “As a journalistic culture, we should apply ourselves to the difference between what’s serious wrong­doing in the sense of being criminal or wicked – and what’s just a “good” story with fallible human beings at the centre of it.” But that’s precisely the point: impugning on Lord McAlpine’s reputation by falsely claiming he was a paedophile is serious wrongdoing. Failing to give him a right to reply (which would have coincidentally stopped the story in its tracks) is serious wrongdoing. Pulling an investigation into Jimmy Saville for fear it may conflict with mawkish and toadying Christmas tributes to the same man who terrified and abused young children is serious wrongdoing. George Entwhistle’s laidback approach to damning allegations against a Tory peer about which he knew so bafflingly little is serious wrongdoing. The list goes on and on. Investigations into both the McAlpine and Saville affairs, you can’t help but feel, will uncover deeper frailties within the Beeb. The flurry of

The Saint • Thursday 29 November 2012

Jonathan Bucks

resignations over the last month has stuck a knife into the heart of the BBC. The next few months will see how far it can be twisted. And as I sat there on that Saturday evening, editing The Saint, reflecting on the whole debacle, it wasn’t wide-eyed disbelief with which I greeted the affair, but choler, pure

This rotten core of British journalism is a poisoned chalice, ready to be bequeathed to my generation. and unparalleled. Newsnight has enjoyed somewhat of an apotheosis in recent years: a clutch of Royal Television Society awards cluttered the office and the eyes of thousands of student hacks gazed adoringly upwards at these stalwarts of British journalism. Yet the veneer of respectability and honest,

A reply to the ‘Mortal Complex’ Before I reply to last issue’s article, I am obliged to ensure I have not misrepresented anything. Tali Kord observed, if I understand her, a tendency amongst human beings to imagine our that individual lives each have a narrative - often one in which we are the protagonists - and that the tale will inevitably climax in the usual fashion (a belief which for brevity I shall call ‘ego narratives’). This, she assured us, is plainly untrue, but it is a human trait to invent narratives and purpose for itself, and a common means of doing so is ‘The Hero System’, by which we may contrive our own significance, and give man ‘the cosmic specialness he deserves’. Often I think these ego narratives are quite mistaken: at best they are wishful thinking, and at worst they are probably plain conceit. But this belief in them grows from a desire for meaning and significance. Tali and I are both

agreed that this expression of it - the incorrigible wish to be indispensable, to be the centre of the universe, and the constant hero of one’s own play - is very undesirable. But her remedy serves to kill where I would seek to amend. She notes the beliefs in these narratives are false, but to correct this naivety she observed: ‘This is - of course - complete nonsense. Life is a series of events and nothing more.’ I am not certain whether this is audacity or a mere inadvertence, for the implications of that sentence are rather grave for a university article. It signifies the abolition of objective meaning, and that is something with which the majority of history’s great luminaries, and almost all of common humanity, would strongly disagree. Quite possibly Tali did not intend any such implications, but anyone with a cursory knowledge of philosophy will not fail to see them. It would be

more forgiveable were it not for the two words ‘of course’, as if it were evident to all sensible people, and this is assuredly untrue. Now, her cure for indulgent ego narratives succeeds in its object. If life is a mere succession of events, then it is sophistry to think that we each have a linear narrative in which we are the most important person, and in which we shall triumph inexorably. But her cure also serves, if it is fully administered, to kill the desire for meaning of which the ‘ego narratives’ are the excess or perversion; in short, it serves to kill meaning altogether. I, however, think the desire for meaning a good thing; indeed, I believe it inseparable from our human dignity. We are left then with a problem. In my hypothesis, the desire for meaning in life is a good thing, yet it very easily becomes exaggerated and inflamed into conceit, narcissism, and those very

‘ego narratives’ which Tali and I agree are misguided. Tali’s remedy would mortify the desire altogether, but I think the proper cure is to amend the desire, or find its true fruition. The Hero System does not much mend matters. It conflates and encourages the tendency of ego narratives by telling them to invent significance for themselves, which is frequently very much greater or smaller than their actual significance. The facts of the universe themselves help us very little. The cosmic insignificance of man has been used to crush the ambition of humanity and also to call forth our defiance. The dreams are not dead which imagined humanity colonising other worlds, and by scientific and humanitarian progress becoming the demi-gods of the universe. The same scientific facts recall us to the knowledge that we are but

hardworking journalism has been denuded. When Eddie Mair signed off an edition of Newsnight a few Fridays ago with the words, “See you on Monday, maybe,” nobody was laughing. The BBC, Newsnight, Phillip Schofield on This Morning, the News of the World and all the other dastardly news outlets that have sullied the name of journalism, are now little more than empty shells, without credibility or the trust of their public. More importantly, they’ve lost the respect of their successors. Those who once had their sights set on the upper echelons of the media now see the business as a corrupt, uncontrolled beast where rogue reporters are welcomed, corners are cut and unverified facts are broadcast. And it’s all happening with such a frenetic zeal that there seems no end in sight. This rotten core of British journalism is a poisoned chalice, ready to be bequeathed to my generation. I think I speak for all student hacks when I say that it’s a business we don’t want to inherit. Consider this then a warning to the British media: it’s you who sets the example; give us one that’s worthy of following.

Joseph Bell one occupant of a infinitesimal speck of matter, amongst the incalculable worlds and stars of the abyss of space; and thus, we are told, we are of no account. The answer to this paradox is a very old one. Religions of all kinds have recognised the necessity and the danger of the desire for significance. In my experience, Christianity crushes all hope of conceit and egotism from the outset: we are mortal, corrupted and in many senses quite unimportant. Yet it never quenches our thirst for meaning: to be a child of God, with a purpose. It is a beautiful cure, for my part, and though many may disagree with it, let us not believe that ‘life is a series of events and nothing more’. For if so, there is the danger aegrescit medendo: the cure is worse than the disease. To read Tali Kord’s article, ‘The Hero Complex’ visit www.thesaint-online.com.

The views expressed in Viewpoint do not represent the views of The Saint, but are individual opinions.


The Saint • Thursday 29 November 2012

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The death of the Federation Allen Farrington

I am not a Democrat, and I am definitely not a Republican. I am a dismayed Federalist, and the fact that this probably means nothing to you forms part of my dismay, but only a small part. It is easily described; I believe that the Constitution of the United States of America is the greatest political document ever drafted and that it ought to be followed by all occupants of Federal office, who incidentally take an oath to do so, and understood by the citizenry, who incidentally elect the officials who subsequently break their oaths. My dismay comes from the fact that nobody else anywhere appears to believe this; we may reasonably consider the Republicans and Democrats as the right and left wing limbs of the non-Federalist party. The entirety of the political establishment in America has abandoned their duty as officials to uphold the Constitution, or abandoned their duty as citizens to understand it. Let me explain. Ignorance of the principles of the Constitution is endemic. There are countless cases of liberals and conservatives ideologically vying with each other over who gets to understand it the least. One instantiation is that liberals think the Constitution doesn’t apply anymore, and conservatives think it applies everywhere. Both are wrong, and both are slightly ridiculous. Another example is that liberals think the States shouldn’t have any real power, and conservatives think the Federal government shouldn’t have any real power. Again, both are wrong, and both are slightly ridiculous. A more abstract instantiation is that liberals think you have a natural right to education and welfare, whereas conservatives think that government should not be involved in these things at all. Both are wrong, and both are extremely ridiculous. All betray ignorance of the designed differences in form and function of the Federal Government as opposed to every other level, and hence the meaning and purpose of the Constitution. In brief, the Constitution is a contract between the States to transfer certain enumerated powers to a Federal body. It was created to provide a mechanism of effective government in those areas in which the States were failing. I have italicised in this paragraph to emphasize the core Federalist thesis; the Federal Government’s mandate is specific and explicit, and its powers are limited solely to meeting these

responsibilities. The Framers also realised, however, that the Federal Government had the potential to protect citizens of the Union from the States themselves, and in exceptional cases, even from future Federal Governments. Article 1, Section 10 prohibits States from acting in those functions that are ceded to the Federal Government. The Amendments enumerate those rights of the people, the civil scopes of which are outside the Federal Government’s mandate, but which no level of Government in the Union may

violate. Let us clarify two principles; the States cede the right and the responsibility of specific governmental functions as made clear in Article 1, Section 10, but are otherwise constrained only by the Amendments. The Federal Government, however, is bound by the entirety of the Constitution. Now let us look at contemporary politics. That the Constitution prohibits socialist schemes is a commonplace meme wholly embraced by both conservatives and liberals, although for obviously different reasons. And yet it is nonsense. The Constitution prohibits the Federal Government from engaging in socialist schemes, but the States, quite frankly, can do whatever they like. What this means in practice is that were a communist autocracy to develop, when it descended into poverty and tyranny, as communist autocracies tend to, its citizens would be able to leave without hassle. Moreover, other States would look upon the Peoples’ Republic of California and take notes on how not to govern. The principle applies to social policy of any extremity; any State may adopt, for example, a variant of Medicare. If it is successful, citizens will flock to that State. If not, they will flock from it. At the same time, other States will keep a watchful eye on proceedings so as to mimic successes and avoid failures, minimizing the outflow of citizens and maximising the inflow.

So long as such minimizing and maximising is achieved not by authoritarian edict and therefore coercion, but by winning the choice of free citizens by successful example. Under one beautifully bipartisan interpretation, the Federal Government’s duty is to protect the consumer in the marketplace from socialism. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis famously captured this concept in judicial dissent; “It is one of the happy incidents of the federal system that a single courageous State may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.” We can appreciate in Brandeis’ maxim the reasoning against the Federal Government taking up such schemes; when they go wrong, they go wrong for everybody. This brings us to the second principle of Federalism; that, for this reason, the Federal Government is legally bound by the Constitution. It is absolutely not, practically, bound. The Departments of Energy, Education, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, the EPA, the TSA: violations of the Tenth Amendment. The PATRIOT Act and the NDAA: both the Second and Fifth Amendments and Article 1 Section 9. SOPA: the First Amendment. The Iraq War: Article 1, Section 8. The ‘War on Drugs’ and Obamacare et cetera, ad nauseam. Ninety nine per cent of what either party does is illegal. Since both are geared towards usurping power for the implementation of their authoritarian agendas, any ‘compromise’ can only be a euphemism for a novel variety of destruction. It is often cynically remarked that the two parties are essentially the same, but I would go further so as to properly capture the mire; they are competing wings of the single ‘Special Interest Party’, differing only in their preference of special interest. The Union was constructed such that it should be extremely difficult for any faction to gain total control, but such guards could never be absolute, and the Framers trusted, naively perhaps, that this rationale would be understood. But alas, it has not been. One instructive observation, an incisive criticism of the Framers, may be that the only difference between the potential for power and power itself is time. Time is up. The Federation is dead.

Viewpoint 11

Stirring the Pot Nick Cassella As we approach the holiday season, all is not calm, all is not bright. Bombs fly in the Middle East, the US faces a fiscal cliff, rebels have taken over Sudan and St Andrews students complain about not having a reading week. On a Thanksgiving a century after the pilgrims, Benjamin Franklin once pleaded that on such an occasion we sit down and ‘take a cool view of the general state of our affairs, and perhaps the prospect will appear less gloomy than has been imagined’. I can see no better time when such thoughts are warranted for mankind. I have always had a real hope that at some point in my life there will exist a drug that literally gives you a dose of perspective. Imagine. Whenever you could not handle that essay, the images of grieving mothers in Israel and Gaza, the petty hatred amidst the halls of Washington D.C., with a simple dose of this drug - your mind’s eye could witness the bigger picture. I wonder how people would use it. If there would be ‘dosers’ that perpetually kept taking the drug. What would this result in? A nihilism where they perceived our obscurity in the cosmic dark? Or perhaps it would lead to an aggressive hedonism, a ‘carpe diem’ complex of sorts. There would undoubtedly be those that thought using such a drug ‘cheated’ the mysterious nature of life. By being able to transcend past our prejudices, our fears, our contexts we would, in a sense, be able to perceive the world as a god must be able to. Man, they would argue, is not meant for such lofty thoughts. I would like to think that I would use it sporadically (though this must be said is the thought process of all future abusers of a drug). Taking the dose of perspective at times like now, where under the fluorescent lights of the library I need to see that there is more to life than tutorial hours, reading lists and this town. If this drug was available I highly doubt that people would be so caught up in this self-produced ‘bubble’ we so proudly live within. And I think that would be a good thing, because this town and the people within it, take themselves far too seriously. David Earnshaw’s article on the front page illustrates this. The concept of BNOCs is terrific fun, but ultimately quite sad. Allen Far-

rington’s article on the death of the constitution is a damning endictment of American politics. Are we really as bad off as he presumes? This Viewpoint, like many before it and many more to come, is littered with tangible pessimism, anger and frustration with the world. Young people expressing such sentiments is hardly unique. However, I think it is imperative that as we approach this season of love, happiness and family we recognise that there is still much to be happy with in this crazy, little world we inhabit. And this is not exclusive to opinionated writers yearning for self assurance. St Andrews this semester has very much been surrounded with negativity. We’ve seen the annoyance with no reading week, with how drawn out the 600 year anniversary charade is. This is a University whose idiosyncracies you only really appreciate when you leave. Thank God for Christmas break. I leave you with words from John Green in The Fault of Our Stars that have influenced me in my life, and allow for what Franklin called a ‘cool view’ of our existence. “There will come a time when all of us are dead. All of us. There will come a time when there are no human beings remaining to remember that anyone ever existed or that our species ever did anything. There will be no one left to remember Aristotle or Cleopatra, let alone you. Everything that we did and built and wrote and thought and discovered will be forgotten, and all of this will have been for naught. Maybe that time is coming soon and maybe it is millions of years away, but even if we survive the collapse of our sun, we will not survive forever. There was time before organisms experienced consciousness, and there will be time after. And if the inevitability of human oblivion worries you, I encourage you to ignore it. God knows that’s what everyone else does.” Happy Holidays St Andrews. Take a dose of perspective.

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12 Viewpoint

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The Saint • Thursday 29 November 2012

Primo Levi and the elements of literature Tali Kord

I’ve always been ambivalent towards Holocaust writings. As a kid I learnt a lot in school about the Holocaust and WWII; indeed I feel that it has a prominent place in culture still today, almost 80 years after it took place, whether you have a personal and family connections to it or not. I think the reason lies in its uniqueness. No, the Nazis did not invent genocide, and neither was Hitler a pioneer in the field of racism; and yet the unparalleled magnitude – the cold-hearted execution of the ideology – the sheer evil – has no match in human history. That’s why movies are still being made and watched and books are still being written and read about it. Nazism’s specific style of evil is so pure that it makes the subject of the Holocaust somehow very readable and easy to connect to. It is human suffering at its extreme, and nothing could be more emotional. Which is exactly the cause for my ambivalence. I am automatically suspicious of anything that makes

people so emotional, and in this case so emotional so easily. Make no mistake: I strongly support the notion that discussing the Holocaust is of great human importance, that there are endless lessons to be learned, and that sharing one’s story as a survivor is an amazing way to deal with one’s experience. At the same time, for the reader, sometimes there’s something almost ‘too easy’ about it. You are guaranteed an emotional turmoil without any effort on your side. What’s more, our automatic classification of Holocaust writers as nothing but that assigned role leaves little room to appreciate the writing itself. That is not to say that books about the Holocaust are bad – not at all – just that even when they are excellent, it is sometimes hard to see past their classification and understand the other qualities of the text. Primo Levi had first hand experience with the Holocaust. He was in Auschwitz for eleven months during 1944. He went on to write

several books on the subject, most notably If This is a Man, which is indeed a very well written book with a very deep discussion of the human (or rather, inhuman) condition. Here’s what I like about Levi: his strong insistence on being more than just a Holocaust survivor, or a Holocaust writer. In the way he describes himself, he is first and foremost a chemist. His most famous book, The Periodic Table, is an autobiography told through elements of Mendeleev’s chart, each chosen element relating to a different part of his life: from childhood, school, study of chemistry – and then, suddenly, adulthood and the financial difficulties of post-war Italy. The story skips entirely his time in Auschwitz without so much as a reference. For first time Levi readers this might sound like the secondgeneration syndrome: growing up with parents who went through the Holocaust meant, for many people, not uttering a single word about it.

A complete silence from mothers, fathers, uncles and aunts who were so traumatized and scarred that they could not even bring themselves to explain their feelings to their confused children. However, this is not the case here. Levi has told his story many times and in great detail, and is in no way being scared into silence in the matter. Instead, it is a brave statement: there is more in me than a Holocaust survivor. It represents a strong need for individualism – ever present in us as people, and even more so for those who were classified to death, quite literally. Every chapter in The Periodic Table is named after a certain element, which connects to the chapter’s themes. Levi sees and responds to the world through his fascination with chemistry and his belief that it is the best tool at our disposal for understanding life and reaching the Ultimate Truth. Levi’s is a very poetic interpretation of a scientific process, one which brings back the romantic notions of learning which society

held before this modern cost-andeffect ideology killed our curiosity. It is science for the sake of science, which happens to correspond very well with my annoyingly childish and naive world view. Personally I am more into the humanities and the liberal arts, but any learning for the sake of learning is to be admired in my eyes. True, we need income, we need economy and profit-makers, we need money (as a student I know that only too well! there is not much money to be made with my upcoming diploma). But if we want to stay human, if we want to stay mentally alive, we need learners too. And we could definitely use more people that can write things like “there is beauty in distillation [...] it involves metamorphosis: from liquid to (invisible) fume, and back to liquid; but in this double journey, upwards and downwards, we achieve purity, a charming, ambiguous state [...] you produce out of an imperfect matter its essence, its spirit” (“Potassium”).

Eight Tips on Buying Christmas Presents Michael Torpey Firstly I’d like to thank anyone who’s read any of my articles this semester. I’ve greatly enjoyed writing them, and I think at least one or two people have enjoyed reading them. In fact, one anonymous reviewer recently called me “potentially as good as” Jamie Ross of The Stand. I think there’s a compliment in there somewhere. Either way I look forward to writing more next semester. Anyway, it’s getting to that time of year when we’re all starting to look forward to Christmas. Even the combined fresh hell of early exams and not having had a break all semester surely cannot dampen our spirits as we look forward to the happiest time of the year. As students, most of us are at that glorious time in life, in limbo between childhood and adulthood, when we have the independence of adults, but are treated like children when we go home for Christmas. Although I try to be grown-up about it, there’s something about your mother asking you for your “Christmas list” that makes you

feel a bit like a seven-year-old, making his demands and hoping for this year ’s latest toy, rather than this year ’s latest socks. Obviously, Christmas commercialism is unhealthy and damaging to everything that makes us human beings. But if we can’t change that, let’s at least try to get it right. So if you’re buying presents for friends or family this year, here are eight tips I offer you, as a fellow capitalist, to get it right. Tip #1: Don’t give people gift vouchers under any circumstances. If you want to give them a present, give them a present. If you want to let them choose their own present, give them the money. Just because you exchange your real money for restricted money that can only be used in WHSmith, doesn’t mean you’re being thoughtful. It just means your present to them this year is likely to end up being stationery. Tip #2: Don’t force responsibility on people. While you may think brewing your own ginger beer would be the most exciting hobby

in the world for your friend or loved one, there’s a good chance it won’t be their thing, and social norm dictates that they will then have to take up the hobby and appear to love it. Make sure you’re giving someone a present, not an obligatory timesink. This

Tip #6: Don’t buy me shower gel. I can buy my own fucking shower gel. especially goes for things like sports gear and huge novels. Tip #3: If you have to recycle last year ’s presents, at least take the tag off first. Also try to ask yourself, given that you didn’t want it, whether anyone else will. Tip #4: Don’t give them something that can only be used at Christmas. There was a time in my life when

I was unable to wear about a third of the clothes I owned for eleven months of the year. I don’t care how cute you think that Christmas jumper/hat looks, if I can’t wear it in February when it’s even colder, I don’t want it. Tip #5: Don’t give them something stupid. If you can’t think of anything good to give someone, give them a Mars bar, not a novelty dancing pen or a holepunch shaped like Homer Simpson. If in doubt, imagine what would happen if someone gave it to you. Would you cherish this hilarious novelty item for years to come, or would you put it in a cupboard in January and throw it out in June when the giver has forgotten about it? Tip #6: Don’t buy me shower gel. I can buy my own fucking shower gel. Tip #7: Be very careful indeed that you don’t buy a present for yourself. Don’t go buying something “for the house”, because we all know what that means. And wait at least six months before asking to borrow any CDs

you give, or, if you’re sneaky like me, rip them to your computer before you even wrap them. Tip #8: Try not to wrap your presents over-zealously. I’m okay with prudent amounts of paper, especially if the present is coming in the post, but when I have to get a knife from the kitchen just to open the thing, it feels a bit like you’re trying to deny me access. And when there are precious and delicate wires inside, I worry I’m about to stab the no-doubt lovely gift you’ve given me. I hope you’ve found some of these tips helpful, or I at least hope you pass them onto someone who will. And most importantly you need to remember all of these for when you’re a real-life grown-up with your own children coming home from university. If I’ve stopped just one child’s auntie giving them Calvin Klein boxers for Christmas in the distant future, it will all have been worth it. Merry revision week, and a happy new exam season!


F EATURES Editor: Caitlin Hamilton

email: features@thesaint-online.com

SARA FORTE, a food blogger

behind

The

Sprouted Kitchen, talks to

The Saint about how she

decided to leave her windowless cubicle to pursue an entrepreneurial

career,and, together with

her husband Hugh, turn

her hobby into her first cookbook, The Sprouted Kitchen: A Tastier Take on Whole Foods.

More people are starting to realise that cooking is much more than preparing food and are beginning to think of it as a matter of health, creative process, sustainability and food politics. What does cooking mean to you? We live in a time where convenience has trumped health. If something is quick and easy, the nutritional aspect becomes overlooked. Cooking

Sara Forte, author of The Sprouted Kitchen, a blog which explores the culinary possibilities of the world of whole foods. is a basic skill, you don’t have to be a professional to make food that is fussy or incredibly creative, but you should feel responsible to prepare food that will nourish you and your family’s bodies. This is something people should at least understand how to do. For me it is creative, it is peaceful, it is how I know what is going into my body, it is how I give to people that I love...it communicates something. I get that not everyone enjoys it, but the process, where and what I buy, the mess, the eating, the talking, it is fulfilling for me in a way I can’t exactly explain. What are some misconceptions people have about whole foods? I think people think it’s boring or tasteless. They imagine a simple green salad or diet foods. When you dig deeper into it, you find that vegetables, grains and legumes have so much potential. It takes practice, finding the right resources and caring about your wellbeing, but it becomes a habit and a preferred way to eat. I’m not perfect, every now and then I eat a protein bar in a hurry, but the point is to skew your eating towards the natural sources. You have been to Scotland and there is even a post about Edinburgh on your blog. As an advocate of in-

corporating seasonal and locally grown produce, what suggestions would you offer to us in Scotland? I didn’t totally get a grasp on what was available because I didn’t have

Sara Forte and her husband, Hugh.

Photo: James Moes

Coming from a family which served frozen taquitos for dinner, you became passionate about food once you started cooking for yourself at university. How did you first became interested in healthy eating, and what inspired you to turn your passion into a career? I think I would say cooking started out of motivation for weight management. All my girlfriends were concerned about their weight and staying in shape, and eating well is a large part of that cycle. I was learning how to cook so I wouldn’t eat junk. The more I cooked, the more I learned, and it morphed over years into being more concerned about overall health. Cooking and eating for overall health helps one to manage weight. I worked at an organic farm and fell in love with vegetables and the variety that was there. I was just drawn in and never outgrew the desire to want to know more and be better about making food. I found it connected me to people. I would have friends over for dinner and it was a way for me to give back to my family or roommates. There is much to cooking; I couldn’t not love it.

Photo: Hugh Forte

Danica Vulic

a kitchen and wasn’t cooking. I did notice that in restaurants and pubs everything was very starchy and pretty heavy. I know I am spoiled in Southern California with the produce, but there have to be seasonal items in Scotland, even if they’re not as prevalent as here. Don’t worry so much about what you don’t have,

and focus on making the best of what you do. Let’s say you have lot of dark green leafy veg in the winter, sauté them up and try them in a frittata or underneath a nice piece of roasted chicken with some raisins and garlic and nuts. Find what tastes good and use pantry staples, like dried fruits, nuts, olive oil and good vinegars to bring out some flavour. There is always a way. As an English major at university, your career is now very different. What advice would you give to students who are struggling to figure out their life after university? I went to university thinking I knew what I wanted and it changed so much throughout the four years that I finished still not really knowing what to do next. I don’t think I have settled in a career by any means; I still don’t know what’s going on! But I’ve had a lot of jobs, lived in a few places, and I have narrowed down what I like and don’t like. By taking on different jobs and trying new things, I figured that out by doing [them]. So what if I’m almost 30 and still paving my way; at least I am enjoying it. I’d pick taking the long way over settling into something I don’t enjoy any day.

You share pieces of your life with your readers through Sprouted Kitchen as you don’t only write about food, but touch on subjects such as cancer, injustices in US tomato fields, and your marriage. What drives you to to live wholeheartedly and be authentic? I am motivated by other writers who allow me into their head. In moments of hurt, pain, and insecurity, we think it’s just us, but everyone has those moments. The more vulnerable I am, the more people connect with me; it adds the human element to Sprouted Kitchen. I have never been a person with secrets, so my blog didn’t seem the place to start. You share a birthday with your blog and it’s been over three and a half years since Sprouted Kitchen was born. What are the most valuable lessons you learned by taking a leap of faith into cooking? Taking a risk, whether you do well or not, ends up being the greatest learning experience in the long run. I am not rich or have a thriving business, but Sprouted Kitchen has been exponentially more successful than I could have ever dreamed of, because we are taking action on doing what we love. If you authentically pursue something, good things will come.


14 Features

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The Saint • Thursday 29 September 2012

Strangers on a Train Caitlin Hamilton tells you about life Katie Marston as a fourth year.

student at Edinburgh, deeply sarcastic and fresh meat for my jokes, what wasn’t to love? At the beginning of this semester I travelled down to London for an assessment day. In classic turn of events, the East Coast line was closed, and we were due to be diverted via Carlisle – yes, Carlisle. Chaos ensued as it then emerged that somewhere north of Carlisle a fuse had blown. Cue a five hour delay somewhere in the Borders. A group of sixty-something year old women, on realising the situation, sat on their suitcase in the aisle, and whipped out some wine, offering the bottles and nibbles around the carriage. And the woman next to me not only charged my phone but volunteered to be my Teach First lesson’s guinea pig. Like any good romantic comedy or great film, as the camera stops rolling and the train doors slam shut, the lives of strangers on a train inevitably diverge. Whilst I may be jaded about the prospect of getting anywhere on time, even my most cynical of attitudes can’t help but be chipped away by the soul at the heart of travel. Perhaps we owe those strangers a debt of thanks, whether for allowing us to vent our frustration or just charging our dying phones. Each journey has potential. We may never want to relive that train ride, or that awkward power cut conversation again, but it’s one hell of an anecdote and eye opener – the truth is, we’re not all that different.

Penguin and Random House merger Holly Hardy

Despite once being rivals, Penguin and Random House have announced their intention to merge and create what will be the world’s largest book publisher. The merger is expected to close in late 2013. Penguin is most fondly known for its Classics collection and the colour-coded covers of secondhand novels now found tucked away in charity shops (or nonchalantly displayed on hipsters’ coffee tables). Orange for fiction, green for crime, navy for biographies, all very quaint. Random House doesn’t occupy the same place of affection in the hearts of bookworms. Its most recent best-selling publication is the Fifty Shades of Grey series, which it has to thank for its current status as the UK’s biggest book publisher. However, thrifty students know, perhaps better than anyone, that Amazon is typically the first port of call when it comes to book-buying. Less thrifty students know that the increasing popularity of Kindles and other ebook readers has sent the digital market soaring. The resulting diminished power of publishers like Penguin and Random House mean that today, rather than battling, it is wiser for them to join together against a mutual threat. For anyone about to mourn Pen-

guin’s loss of identity, the two publishers will retain editorial independence and both will continue to publish books under their individual imprints, or rather, the names of brands under which publishers release books. For example, if you look on the spines of the Fifty Shades series, you’ll find the name of a Random House imprint called Arrow, and Jamie Oliver’s cookbooks are published under the Penguin imprint Michael Joseph. Each

Illustrator: Ruairidh Bowen

210. As of today it is exactly 210 days until I graduate from the University of St Andrews. June 26 will mark the end of what has been, undeniably, the best chapter of my life so far. A chapter that I am very much dreading having to close behind me. The only thought consoling me right now is the faintest glimmer of hope I have that, perhaps, it may be the ridiculously beautiful Kate who hands me my transcript. Oh ok then, I’d settle for Wills too…If anyone wants my opinion, I think that their presence at Graduation would make for a rather sweet cherry on the top of our 600th Anniversary celebrations. Last week marked Thanksgiving, and I spent it in the company of great friends. As a Scot, these past years in St Andrews have truly converted me into a Thanksgiving enthusiast – what’s not to love? Good food, good company, and an intimacy caused by way too many friends crammed into a small living room. This year has been especially enjoyable, and I can honestly say that I have thus reflected about all I have to be grateful for. It’s the old cliché that states that you don’t always appreciate what you have until it is gone from you. Or in my case, for something that will be whipped out from under my feet in 210 days’ time. I was so lucky to meet my best friends during the first few days of my life at university, and four years later we are still united as the affectionately termed ‘New Hall gang’. It is with this gang (and a few delightful additions) that we congregated to stuff our faces over the Thanksgiving table. I know that these friendships will last a lifetime, but I can’t help but feel pangs of sadness at various points throughout this year, as I remember that everything we undertake together will mark our ‘last’. For example, as much as I enjoyed our group effort with the Britney Spears costumes this Halloween, I was eager to implement my suggestion for us to dress up as One Direction next year. Until it dawned on me that by next autumn, my wannabe boy band candidates will be distributed across the globe, undertaking the next chapter of their young lives. And I can’t exactly walk about a party dressed as Niall all by myself – that would just be sad and a little weird.

I guess the one obvious advantage to celebrating events as a fourth year, is that everybody makes such a great effort to make everything that little bit more special. All of my friends braced the horrendous online race to purchase Christmas Ball tickets, ensuring that we shall all be there to share in the wonders that Kinkell Farm and The Black Sheep have to offer us. I’m also sure that our annual Christmas dinner will be bigger and more extravagant than ever, and that our loyal Argos tree (which has lasted us all three years in the flat) will most likely be assembled just a bit earlier than usual, perhaps with a little additional tinsel just for kicks. There is no doubt that the end of our final Martinmas semester will be the most sparkly of all. After clearing the Thanksgiving hurdle in all of its turkey glory, the next obvious date for the diary is the Christmas holidays. For the first time in my university career, I can enjoy all that the festivities have to offer without having the constant reminder of the ever encroaching exams looming in the back of mind, guilt-tripping me into abandoning my brussel sprouts in favour of my books. But wait! Instead, I can now relish in the prospect of having to scramble together a dissertation review essay, which just so happens to be due the first day back to term. Bah, humbug! I guess those brussels will have to go cold after all. The next few weeks of term are horrendous in terms of deadlines, yet I can’t really complain as I have no exams this semester during the allocated exam weeks. Thus, I intend to pack myself off down to our nation’s capital and spend time with my grandparents before heading home for the holidays. Edinburgh at Christmas time is simply magical, and hands down my favourite city at this time of year. Princes Street is the embodiment of Christmas; the big wheel, Europe’s largest open air ice rink, the German market huts, and the beautiful Castle in the background all make for a most spellbinding view. My most favourite thing to do is grab a hot coffee and a delicious treat from one of the market vendors and walk around at my leisure, soaking up the vibrant atmosphere amongst the quaint wooden stalls, which are full to the brim with hand-made crafts and quirky gift ideas. As much as I value every day left here at University, I am just as ready to value the extended break spent with my family. Who knows, it may be the longest time I have off to celebrate Christmas for many more years to come, and so what better way to spend it then with my nearest and dearest? Oh, by the way, mum and dad, did I tell you about the trip to Bruges I’m planning to take in January...?

From Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train to Wes Anderson’s The Darjeeling Limited, Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express to Brad Anderson’s Transsiberian, there’s something about trains. Secret agents; Belgian detectives; screaming babies; charming psychopaths; less charming stag nights; students – the life blood of trains. Love them or hate them, they pulp through the pages of fiction and reality. A mundane commute has the capacity to either bore you into a drooling comatose victim slumped across your unfortunate neighbour’s shoulder, or rather be the backdrop for great literature and even greater banter. Backdrop is the operative word. They say that it’s not the destination; it’s the journey that counts. I take issue with that generalisation. There’s the constant – the final destination – whether it be the warming promise of going home for Christmas after 14 weeks of relentless formative assessments, or the thrill of the unknown and foreign. That constant is more or less independent of the journey itself. Then there is travelling– a process, not a final product. Trains, more than any other form of travel, allow you to tap the pulse of the nation. Whether fictional or factual, with such a confluence of stories there is no surer way to find and pull together a social tapestry than step onto a train.

In that confined metal tube on rails, disparate characters, motives and histories, and a plethora of final destinations come together for anything between ten minutes and, if you’re really unlucky, ten hours. And it’s then that the human condition really comes to the fore. The best journeys, for the conversation collectors and people watchers out there, are of the overcrowded, delayed variety. I’m talking sitting on the floor situations and anything over half an hour – anything under half an hour being neither long enough to qualify as either conversation starter or the more than welcome delay-repay form. My baptism of fire into the British Rail system came in early in my first year. Naive, quite ill and tired, a six hour journey developed a four hour delay, as somebody stole some of the cable outside Newcastle. Awkward. Fortuitously, thanks to the joys of delay-repay, that wee oversight in track security financed the rest of my years’ travel. Finances aside, it was at that moment that I came to realise that the Tenessee William’s Stella Dubois had it right about the kindness of strangers. Since then, I like her, have come to rely on it; two incidents come to mind. At Easter I got onto an overcrowded train. My neighbour, and apparent new best mate, promptly introduced himself, and in the flowing five hour conversation that followed, we bonded. Such as cliché. Prospective PhD

imprint specialises in different areas, and as Pearson PLC chief financial officer Robin Freestone told BBC News, ‘The consumer has no real affinity with imprints - they buy books because of the author.’ In all seriousness, Mr Freestone makes a point worth noting. For true book lovers, it is the publishing of the book itself that takes utmost importance, not who publishes it. Penguin Books was already saved from financial trouble in 1970 by Pearson’s takeover, and the Penguin that is now taking the decision to merge is Penguin Group, of which Penguin Books is simply the company’s British division. Furthermore, the impact of Amazon on the book market perhaps shouldn’t be seen as something completely poisonous. After all, it is the idea of wide access to inexpensive books that originally gave Sir Allen Lane a reason to launch Penguin Books in 1935 and, to use his words, turn “book-borrowers into book-buyers”. Nevertheless, if the creation of Penguin Random House means it will take a little longer for hard copies of books to become a thing of the past (we’ve already had to wave goodbye to Borders) regardless of whether it’s Orwell or Grisham you’re after, surely the business deal at hand is an opportunity to rejoice.


The Saint • Thursday 29 September 2012

Friends who can cook a turkey - All you have to do is mash the sweet potatoes, and you look like a hero too Deliberately selecting your friends based on their multicultural origins, so that you can enjoy all of the eating holidays of the year - Hello turkey dinners three months in a row Having

extended Christmas holidays - Giving you a month-long chance to finally get the wear out of your all-in-Christmasthemed-onesie. Fraping Features editor, Caitlin - It’s funny, and she never finds out… Listening to Christmas music un-ironically - Setting the Pussycat Doll’s ‘Santa Baby’ as your flatmate’s early morning alarm tone will only ever gain you brownie points. Blind Mirth’s new video advert - Now aren’t they the hottest stand-up comedians about town?

Trivia Pursuit from the ‘70s - Who says that some of TV’s best loved characters aren’t timeless? Too many turkey dinners - Suffering from the gravy sweats is not attractive in any country... Having

extended Christmas holidays - The first three days back home were blissful, but now all the attention is too much. Rescue me from my parents, please! 24 hour library grandmas - You heard right, grandmas. They look sweet and cuddly, but underneath those woolly knits, there is a less squidgy side. They will hunt you down if you forget to return that short loan book. Drafting up your Christmas list before thanksgiving - Woah there! Take on one holiday at a time. Missing out on St Andrews Day celebrations - It’s a real holiday!

Melissa Steel

Poor Kim Kardashian does not seem to be very good at making friends. First there was Beyonce’s apparent snub, and now Kate Middleton is said to have rejected the offer of afternoon tea with the reality star. Not only that, it is rumoured Kate was not even interested in some free samples of the Kardashians’ latest clothing line. Though it might be hard to imagine our future Queen and former St Andrews student Kate in the leopard print and pleather that is the Kardashian uniform, is her family that different from America’s infectious exports, Kim and Kompany?

Katie’ was given to her by the British press as she seemed to wait like an obedient Golden Retriever at its master’s side as the on-off romance wore on. Only in this situation she wouldn’t be rewarded with a bone, but a shiny engagement ring. Though Kim is known for going through men like Bridget Jones went through chocolates, it has been insinuated that both have less than wholesome motives for conducting their romantic lives the way

they do.

• Bums: Kim’s big behind is often at the forefront of most red-blooded males’ minds. When she walks, her cheeks look like the warring, conjoined twin offspring of a pumpkin and a water balloon. Gossip sites have new pictures of it plastered across their pages every day, the computer screen and Kim’s tight trousers barely able to contain the bountiful booty.

Here are some of the similarities: • “I ain’t sayin’ she a gold digger…” isn’t just a lyric from a song by Kim’s latest beau, Kanye West. Kim has been accused of staging a wedding to the last poor unfortunate soul to be entranced by her ever-expanding derriere, Kris Humphries. The reward for such a ruse, you ask? A reported $20million plus in endorsements. Critics allege that her current romance is a publicity stunt, too. On the other hand, maybe Kim just can’t resist the letter ‘K’, like some alphabet-crazed Sesame Street character? During Kate’s courtship with William, she too was the target of snide remarks about her motivations for dating one of the most prominent members of the Royal Family. The nickname ‘Waity

Glamorous Kate apparently turned down free clothes from the Kardashian’s line

.

Photo: Celeste Sloman

Thanksgiving party at 11a South Street

Keeping up with the Middletons

Cast your mind back to the Royal Wedding in 2011. Blushing bride Kate was arguably upstaged by her bridesmaid and sister Pippa’s pert posterior. Reporters all over the world went crazy for her bottom. Some would say Pippa’s new-found fame was a catalyst for securing a subsequent £400,000 book deal. So, both the Kardashians and Middletons owe some of their celebrity to their gluteus maximi. • Scandal: Like any modern socialite worth her hair extensions, Kim rose to fame in a sex tape. According to The Hollywood Gossip, Ms Kardashian said she felt ‘very betrayed’ by the release of the intimate performance. Hopefully the $5 million settlement she reached with the distribution company softened the blow (excuse the pun). In September, Kate was the subject of a spread of photos in France’s Closer magazine, cataloguing various stages of undress as she changed bikinis whilst on holiday. The Palace described the publication of the pictures as “grotesque and totally unjustifiable”. Again, we have a woman suffering an invasion of privacy at the hands of those looking for profit. Despite the whispers that Kim’s nude antics were yet another publicity stunt, it remains that she and the Middleton sisters, though very different, have gone through remarkably similar experiences. Perhaps next time Kim visits London, Kate will be waiting with some tea and sympathy.

Intersemester mini-break: Morocco Cyprien Pearson

With this year’s longer Christmas and Intersemester break, many students are eagerly scoping out travel destinations. For most, this mystical location must be both exciting and affordable; yet what if you don’t want to see another European city? Look no further than Marrakech, Morocco. Just south of Spain, this North African country is accessible and cheap enough to entice anyone in Europe to its exotic shores. From flights to hostels, excursions to food, here is the low-down on the cultural high that is Morocco.

life, and traditional housing. A bed in old town’s top-rated hostels will cost roughly £5 per night. The old town is a short walk away and is home to the central Europeanstyle shopping centre. With designer shops like Louis Vuitton and Gucci as well as swanky five star restaurants, the old town is where you want to be to experience luxury at a fraction of the price you would find in Europe. A stay in an up-scale hotel in new town costs between £70-£150 per night. What to do: There is no better

way to take in Marrakech than by simply walking around. In the new town, you will be entranced by the prices of opulent clothes and food, the classy European cafés and bookstores and the palm tree-lined walkways. In the old town, you are guaranteed to get lost in the maze of souks but it is all part of Marrakech’s charm. Eventually, you’ll resurface from the covered market place with scarves, jewellery, and genie lamps. You’ll have no clue why you bought them but they were so inexpensive (if you

Flights: Round trip flights to Marrakech from Edinburgh will cost roughly £200; however, if you can get to Manchester Airport, Easy Jet can fly you out for less that £100 roundtrip. Hostels: Once in the city of Marrakech, you have two immediate options: old or new town. Old town Marrakech is home to most of the major tourist attractions like Djemaa el Fna, winding alleys of colorful open bazaars, and the Bahia Palace. The old town is where you should stay if you want to experience mosques calling people to prayer, the bustle of local

Photo: Celeste Sloman

What’s hot, and what’s not?

Features 15

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bargained right), you’ll hardly think twice. Spend some time in the Djemma al Fna after dark, having dinner at open dining stalls and trying local specialties like (prepare yourself) sheep’s head and lamb tagine. After dinner, see the snake charmers and musicians that crowd into the square, competing for the evening crowd. Of course, if you have the time, why not sign up for a two day camel excursion through the Sahara Desert? You’ll see it advertised everywhere and it is definitely worth the £50. Tips and Things to Remember: The prevalent languages in Morocco are Arabic and French but you can get by with English. The currency is the Dirham and one pound is worth roughly six Dirham. Morocco is an Islamic country so try to be respectful of the more conservative culture by keeping knees, shoulders, and cleavage covered—this will also keep you from being harassed by shopkeepers and locals alike. Lastly, Marrakech is one of the craziest places you may ever see. You may be overwhelmed by the pace and intensity of it at first, but believe me when I say it grows on you.


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Different artists, same sounds: is our modern music losing its diversity?

The Saint • Thursday 29 September 2012

Tamara Eberhard

The next time your grandmother complains about how modern music all sounds the same, you should be hard-pressed to argue with her. She is now, officially, correct. Researchers at the Spanish National Research Council, led by artificial intelligence expert Joan Serrà, have used an archive known as the Million Song Dataset to analyse pop, rock, electronic, metal and hip-hop music from 1955 to 2010. The team discovered that music over the period has gradually lost diversity in terms of chords, melodies and note combinations as well as become louder, and resulted in what they’ve termed “the homogenisation of the timbral palette”. Timbre is essentially the characteristic of sound which allows the human ear to distinguish sounds which have the same pitch and loudness. Simply put, the same note played on a guitar and a piano is easily distinguishable to the ear – they have a different timbre. Serrà continues to say that modern music’s melodies have become more and more similar, that the numerical indicators they’ve acquired show that “the

diversity of transitions between note combinations – roughly speaking chords plus melodies – has consistently diminished in the last 50 years”. Whereas in the 50s and 60s you’d be likely to hear a variety of (often unusual) instruments and note combinations in popular songs, in the last few decades, the unusual is frequently discarded for the fashionable.

The limited variety of sounds present in pop music is attributed in part to digital processing and synthesising. As previously mentioned, the timbre of a guitar is different to the timbre of a piano, but through digital processing, often the instruments begin to lose some of their characteristic tone, making the variety of sounds far more limited. The combination of a lack of instrumental variety and

Has our music lost the diversity it once had?

Illustrator: Monica Burns

the increasing similarity of tones through processing results in this uniformity of sound. There have also long been accusations that the music industry is engaged in a “loudness war”, a disparaging term for an apparent competition to see who can produce the loudest recordings. Well, this claim has also been proven by the team, who measured the integrated loudness of recordings to discover that music today is indeed literally louder than several decades ago, to the point where softly recorded music is interpreted as old-fashioned. For those discouraged by this apparent diminishing of creativity, music psychologists offer comfort in the prediction that, as artists continue to compete for listeners, innovation in music is inevitable. This also isn’t to say that all music produced nowadays follows this trend, as the study certainly had limits, analysing a collection of chart hits rather than samples from across all genres and levels of popularity. But for those of you who can’t tell your Katy Perry’s from your Rihanna’s, you can take comfort in the fact that science is on your side.

Anti-austerity strikes sweep across Europe as result of economic reforms

Clarice Knowles

A wide outbreak of anti-austerity strikes swept across cities in Europe, such as Madrid and Lisbon, on Wednesday 14 November, as the result of a growing intolerance against tax rises and spending cuts. Protesters are angry at painful economic reforms to be implemented, which, in Spain, involve spending cuts and tax rises of €40bn next year. Tens of thousands of people swarmed the Plaza de Colón square in Madrid, holding banners with the message emblazoned upon them: “They are taking away our future.” Protesters also jammed cash machines with glue and coins as riot police fought to disperse crowds with rubber bullets. The situation was echoed in Lisbon where public transport was beset by problems, as the metro closed and buses and trains ground to a halt in the rest of the country. Candido Mendez, head of

Spain’s second-biggest labour federation, the General Workers’ Union, explained, “We’re on strike to stop these suicidal policies.” Protesters view reforms as excessive and failing to improve the current economic situation, which they feel would be stimulated through policies that promote growth and wider employment opportunities instead. Angela Merkel, Germany’s Chancellor, maintains that fiscal

In Portugal the centre-left Socialists, the main opposition party, are demanding that the government renegotiates its most recent rescue package, which would see an increase in income tax by an average of about 30 per cent. This is as the country struggles to deal with a €78bn bailout from the EU and International Monetary Fund, which means that, in return, Portugal must freeze wages, increase sales tax on items

Tens of thousands of people swarmed the Plaza de Colón square in Madrid, holding banners with the message emblazoned upon them: “They are taking away our future.” discipline offers the only route out of recession, arguing that establishing “sound budgets” first and foremost is crucial for creating jobs. However, on a recent visit to Lisbon, Merkel’s message of “tough love” may have fallen flat as she was greeted with burning effigies by hostile crowds.

such as cars and tobacco and reduce its most generous state pensions. It is suspected that Spain could be the next country in the eurozone to request an emergency bailout, making it the fourth to do so following Greece, Ireland and Portugal. Economists hope this

will not be the case however and that the domino effect will stop following Portugal’s bailout. Depressing figures cast doubt on this assumption though. Spain’s economy, the fourth largest in the euro zone, is expected to shrink by 1.5 percent this year. Unemployment currently stands at 25%, the highest rate in Europe. In October El Pais, Spain’s leading newspaper, announced it would lay off a third of its staff, reducing the salary of those remaining by 15% after reporting hundreds of millions of euros in losses. Although the austerity strikes gained global press coverage they are unlikely to make sweeping changes, if any at all, to painful reforms aimed at cutting the deficit. This was exemplified when the Spanish Economy Minister, Luis de Guindos, reiterated on Wednesday that the government would stick to the trajectory it had carved out regardless of strikes.

Petraeus affair Emma Freer

General Petraeus was not terribly popular with the international media until recently. Even though he was in charge of revamping the United States’ war effort in Iraq and then brought in to do the same in Afghanistan as a mark of his success (which led to his appointment as the head of the Central Intelligence Agency) he was no tabloid darling. Before his affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell, he held a high-profile job while keeping a low personal profile. But now that he has been outed as a philanderer, his career is suffering. He resigned from the CIA, and his enduring legacy as an American serviceman has been tarnished by news of his infidelity. Like many other American officials before him (Bill Clinton, John Edwards, J.F.K., etc.), General Petraeus is suffering the consequences of his choice to cheat. However, in keeping with tradition, it is less his act of adultery than the circumstances surrounding it that have trapped him in a PR nightmare and that cost him his job. President Clinton’s impeachment trial, the gold standard for high-office scandal, revolved around counts of perjury after he lied about having an affair with his intern, Monica Lewinsky; the affair itself was hardly grounds for legal action. News of Petraeus’ affair has been coupled with allegations that Petraeus shared classified information with Broadwell. His act of adultery is not punishable or grounds for dismissal alone. Charges of leaking information are much more serious. In today’s political and military cultures, leaders are recruited to lead (whether and how efficiently they do lead is another question). Adultery does not necessarily disqualify leadership potential. Bill Clinton is widely hailed as an efficient and admirable president despite his sketchy take on ‘til death do us part’. Petraeus’ affair is a reminder to consider where fidelity ranks on the list of qualities desired in a leader, if a quality desired at all. His affair also brings to light the collateral damage of a highranking official choosing to take on a mistress. His relationship with Broadwell was revealed in the week after President Obama’s re-election, and his resignation from the CIA tasks Obama with finding a new head immediately. Petraeus’ affair and subsequent resignation caused many Americans to believe he was trying to escape accountability for the attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Not to mention his own wife and Broadwell’s husband, who have been relegated to the clichéd positions of the scorned wife and the cuckold respectively. Perhaps this affair is just another reminder of the breakdown of modern monogamy. Or maybe it is indicative of our own preoccupation with the personal lives of public figures. Regardless, it is proof positive of the destructive capacity of infidelity and the continuing public scorn of those who commit it. When will these guys learn?


Confusing accolades with aspirations

Alexandra Carson

Nowadays, getting into university is like training for an Olympic event. In high school, students are loaded with AP and Honours level classes, suffer nervous breakdowns preparing for the SAT, and are encouraged to be as “well-rounded” as possible, participating in a myriad of sports, music, and volunteer work. The idea of a “Renaissance Student” seems rational: let them try a little of everything, and they’re sure to latch onto something! However, the process has started to become a little too mechanic, to the point students are merely “checking off boxes” in order to gain a coveted place at a “prestigious” university; whether it’s what they want matters not. Most students don’t know if it’s what they want, or if it’s just the path they have been set to follow. Take me, for instance. I’m in the process of applying to university for the third time in three years. Basically, I’m every parent’s nightmare. However, all throughout high school I was the ideal student: straight As in all my AP level classes, captain of the cross country team, and veteran Girl Scout of nine years. Yes, I love

learning, I’m an ardent runner, and I’ve made some of my best friends through Girl Scouting, but when it came time to write up my university applications, all of my accomplishments began to feel like they were made of plastic. Suddenly, the “wellroundedness” that is so desperately desired felt a bit one-dimensional. And that name-brand Ivy League school I’d dreamed about since freshman year? Yeah, it denied me. Clearly, I survived, but I felt a bit shell-shocked. What was it that I was actually working for those four years in high school? I consider myself a motivated and curious person, interested in books, film, and the occasional bout of politics (although I’m by no means an expert!), but I wondered if my desires were selfmotivated or urged on by some societal force that claimed a professional reputation is only garnered with a fancy university degree. I’m not slamming top universities, or any institution of learning. I don’t believe higher education is the right path for all, but I do think it should be accessible to all. What I worry about are the societal and cultural pressures that force students to “name brand” their education,

forgoing the desires that may be buried beneath the surface. Maybe you really do want to be a doctor, and that’s fantastic, but perhaps it was a route that was always “part of the plan.” I recently read an article about a Brown alumna who went through her school career “checking off boxes” and came out with a degree…and not much else. I want so much more from my university experience than a piece of paper. I want be allowed to make mistakes, to explore my options and build my passions with no outside influence. I don’t want my appetite for Literature and Film Studies to turn into the grown-up equivalent of my high school transcript. I don’t want my aspirations to become laminated and glossy to the point where I’ve lost sight of why I love them. What I’m saying is, live your life. Take a class in a subject you’ve never studied. Join a club—not so you can put it on a CV—but because it would be an opportunity to make new friends and try new things. In a world that is becoming more and more concerned with a formula for success, don’t forget that sometimes the best recipes come from spontaneity, innovation, and instinct.

German Market: The German market is the next stop of your day. Walk around and enjoy soaking up the vibrant atmosphere amongst the wooden stalls which are crammed full with hand-made items. Presents of all shapes, sizes and prices can be found here, and will add that little bit of originality to your gift for a loved one. The food stalls are not to be missed; mulled wine and continental fruit cakes are a must as they embody the taste of Christmas itself, and you need not doubt their authenticity as you walk amid the welcoming cho-

ruses of several distant languages (and, if you’re lucky, a rather lovely Christmas choir).

Edinburgh Winter Wonderland Caitlin Hamilton

Perhaps you are beginning to feel slightly lethargic as the first semester in the Bubble draws to a close, you feel you require a much-needed break from pre-exam stress, or maybe even you have time to kill before your early flight home - whatever the reason, launch yourself into the festivities by spending a few days in our beautiful capital. Edinburgh at Christmas time is like a winter wonderland with a month-long programme crammed as full as your bedside stocking, with a delightful mix of local and continental treats which are guaranteed to bring festive warmth upon the beholder. The Gardens: The Gardens are an excellent start to a day in the city. Leave Waverly train station and begin with a few laps of one of Europe’s largest ice rink, which is situated under the city’s breath-taking skyline. This cannot help but place you right amidst the best of festive moods. Skating in the morning not only ensures that you avoid the lengthy queues of the mid-afternoon rush, but it also prevents you attempting to to enter the rink laden with your day’s purchases – skating with seventeen shopping bags is not as easy as it looks, and walking around soggy for the rest of the day can rather put a downer on your festive fun.

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Photo: Sammi McKee

The Dome: To refuel, stop by The Dome on George Street to marvel at the technologically-aided snow fall outside, and to indulge in a delicious mid-afternoon tea and cake. The building, built in 1775 by New-Town favourite James Craig, is one of imposing grandeur, and the annual decorations never fail to impress. The Corinthian portico exterior is lavishly decorated with lush twirling wreaths, and positioned underneath the interior dome is a spectacular live Christmas tree, intoxicatingly decorated from top to bottom. However for a more contemporary twist to seasonal decoration, opt to wander through the department store of Harvey Nichols, which always excites with its extravagant store-wide, winter displays. Princes Street: Sprinkle a dusting of Christmas shopping along Princes and George Street to your afternoon, and then finish your exhausting day with a well-earned sit down as the evening draws in. Grab a hot drink and hop onto the Edinburgh wheel for spellbinding views over the city and its castle, as the town sparkles under a mass of fairy lights. Wrap up warm for this one though, it can get bitterly cold!

Where are they now? Olly Lennard continues his hilarious cartoon character autobiographies in The Saint.

This week: Taz the Tazmanian Devil Timothy Andrew Zachary Devil, affectionately known by audiences as ‘Taz’, was a Tasmanian Devil famous for his voracious nature, omnivorous appetite and severe speech impediment. Today he is the third most famous Tasmanian in the world after Errol Flynn and Dara O’Briain. Born on the island of Tasmania off the southern coast of Australia, Taz spent his early years foraging for food, rummaging through rainforest undergrowth and attending the local comprehensive. Despite skipping classes and mauling local children, Taz’s ability to move at great speed within a self-generated dust devil earned him a rugby scholarship to the University of Sydney, where he played for the Sydney Vegemites in every single position. He graduated from SU in 1959 and entered the Australian Military with a bachelor’s degree in growling. In 1966 Taz was deployed to Vietnam to support American forces, where he killed seven Vietcong with a boomerang and earned himself the Australian Medal for Bonza Fightmanship. Taz left the army after Vietnam and enrolled at the Canberra Drama School for young marsupials. After graduating, his unique method of speech and movement limited the roles that directors were willing to offer him, which greatly frustrated Taz. He auditioned for the role of Mr. Wickham in a televised Australian production of Pride and Prejudice, entitled Crikey! That Mr. Darcy’s a Right Donger!, but was rejected. His big break came when Taz was offered a role in a nature documentary about Tasmanian wildlife by Australian celebrity and minor

deity Steve Irwin. The project itself fell through after it was realised that most of the Tasmanian wildlife had been extinct for years, but Taz used his newfound media connections to obtain an audition for Warner Bros. studios in America. Seeing Taz’s obvious potential, the Warner brothers gave Taz a role alongside America’s fastest rising celebrity, Bugs Bunny, and he appeared before American audiences for the first time in 1986. The timing could not have been better, as the patronising and stereotype-heavy feature film Crocodile Dundee was released that same year. Taz’s popularity grew as Australian culture enjoyed a short vogue with American consumers in the late 80s: sales of didgeridoos and crocodile plushies shot up, and soon Taz became a household name. But in the 1990s the world realised that Australian history had not begun in 1788, as had commonly been assumed by white people everywhere, but had actually begun some fifty thousand years previously with the arrival of Aboriginal peoples in helicopters built by aliens. The Australian fad was dropped like a koala from a balcony and ‘didgeridoo’ became ‘didgeri-don’t-be-soracist’. Taz’s popularity plummeted: he retired from acting with dignity and returned home to Tasmania in 1993. Tragically, he went swimming off the coast of southern Australia in 1999 and was immediately eaten by everything within a twenty-mile radius. A commemorative plaque was erected outside Canberra town hall bearing the epitaph: “RabrabAbluablupzzzztttthhht!!” Olly Lennard is a second year comedian and actor. You can follow him on Twitter, @OllyLennard.

Illustrator: Ruairidh Bowen

The Saint • Thursday 29 September 2012


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Week in Pictures

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Photos from: The Reeling Ball, Malcolm Middleton, and The Wine Fair We would like to thank everyone who has submitted photos this semester, and we look forward to seeing your new work in the new year! Good luck with your exams and happy holidays!

The Saint • Thursday 29 September 2012

Chief of Photography:

Photo: Maria Faciolince

Photos of the Reeling Ball: Amy Thompson

Photo: Toby Renouf

Jake Threadgould, Celeste Sloman


Photo: Oscar Swedrup

Photo: Maria Faciolince

Photo: Jessica Biggs

Photo: Jake Threadgould

Photo: Ali Duncan-Young

Photo: Sammi Mckee The Saint • Thursday 29 September 2012

Editor’s Pics: Frozen

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The Events of the Week HIV/AIDS Workshop

Thursday 29 November The Saint Cross is running a free workshop for students to raise awareness about the facts and impacts of HIV/AIDS. This stems from the British Red Cross’ humanitarian education programs, which aim to educate children and young adults about the key issues surrounding HIV/AIDS, child soldiers, and the impacts of natural disasters. World AIDS Day ribbons will also be sold. Mansfield Chaplaincy, 19:00

Czech and Slovak Christmas Dinner

Friday 30 November The Czech and Slovak Society invite you to join them for Kofola (a soft drink originating in the Czechoslovak circa 1959) and traditional fare to celebrate Christmas. Fish, potato salad and home baking can be expected to appear on the menu, as well as a few vegetarian alternatives. For planning purposes, please email czsksoc@ by 12 noon on 29 November. Tickets are £3 for nonmembers, £1 for members. Mansfield Chaplaincy, 19:00

THE SAINT Thursday 29 November

Friday 30 November

Saturday 1 December

Sunday 2 December

Sunday 2 December

Enjoy free entry to the Christmas Emporium at the Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa, where the award-winning resort is transformed into a sparkling Winter Wonderland with a multitude of festivities including 20+ Christmas stalls, Cookery demonstrations, and Cocktail and Canapé Master classes. The Old Course Hotel, 11:00-17:00

Monday 3 December

Tuesday 4 December

Annual Christmas Lantern Launch Monday 3 December

STAND: A Student Anti-Genocide Coalition are launching biodegradable lanterns, so join them for hot mulled cider, mince pies, carolling with the Accidentals and Alleycats, and light a lantern to get yourself into a Christmas mood! The Pier, 19:00-20:30

A Bite of China Charity Food Fayre

Thursday 29 November

Do you really know what the Chinese usually eat? Here comes a great opportunity for you to try the authentic homemade Chinese buffet cooked by the Chinese Hongpao Society members! Profits will be donated to Childreach International, so you can contribute to a charity while enjoying delicious, authentic Chinese food! Tickets are £11 on the door. Nisbet Room (DRA), 19:00

St Andrew’s Day Ball

Friday 30 November Organised by the Postgraduate Committee, the St Andrew’s Day Ball begins with a wine reception and a ceilidh, followed by two DJ acts, Moodroom Collective and Tom Burns. Black tie dress and added surprises as the night draws to a close ensure an evening for the graduates to remember long after they leave St Andrews. Hall of Champions (The Old Course Hotel), 19:30

I See a Star

The Old Course Hotel’s Christmas Emporium

The Saint • Thursday 29 November 2012

Wednesday 5 December

Saturday 1 December The St Andrews University Madrigal Group will be performing choral music for Advent and Christmas. The festive songs will include Away in a Manger and Ave Maria, in addition to a full performance of Advent Antiphons by Bob Chilcott. Tickets on the door are £5 full, £3 concessions, and £2 for students. St Salvator’s Chapel, 18:00-19:00

Mermaids’ Christmas Ball

Sunday 2 December

Every year, the Mermaids’ Christmas Ball is a sell-out event. Instead of celebrating the end of the semester, this year’s ball marks the final night of copious drinking and dancing before all students start settling in for the exam period. Janetta’s ice cream, a glass of cava, photos with Santa, and all-night music with performances from The Alleycats, The Blueswater, The Black Sheep and A-C-B from Alex Bryson are all included in your ticket. Kinkell Byre, 20:00-2:00

If you have any events you would like to be considered, please contact Caralina Wonnacott (cpw25@) and Devini Pabari (dp27@).


Photo: Nefeli Pire Iliou

Arts & Culture


22 Arts & Culture

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A R T & D E S I G N

Blockbuster year for art

The Saint • Thursday 29 November 2012

2012 will surely be a year that people remember. The Olympics and Paralympics, the Diamond Jubilee, the re-election of Obama, a new James Bond film, Pussy Riot challenging Putin, a global glimpse at the Royal cleavage and not to mention the modern royalty that is Kim and Kanye. It has been a spectacular year for the art world too, with blockbuster exhibitions and record-breaking sales what feels like every other week. Some people regard 2012 as the end-date of a 5,125-yearlong cycle in the Mesoamerican Long Count Calendar. However, if we make it through 21 December then 2013 holds plenty of exciting events to indulge your inner art connoisseur. Do you get the feeling that you see The Scream everywhere you go? This isn’t just the effect of back-to-back event and deadline hangovers without a Reading Week. It’s been a big year for the legacy of Edward Munch. Not only did the Tate Modern hold a successful exhibition over the summer called Edvard Munch: The Modern Eye, but the Norwegian artist broke records for the most expensive work sold at auction at Sotheby’s New York in May, selling The Scream for $119.9 million (£74 million).

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If you found a love for symbolist art work with Munch this summer then you should start getting ready for The Portrait in Vienna 1867 – 1918, which will be held at the National Gallery in London in the autumn of next year. The Scream wasn’t the only record breaker this year. In addition to

records set by individual artists, Christie’s broke the record this month for the highest total for a Contemporary Art auction, bringing in $412.2 million. If you caught the auction bug this year then stay up to date in semester 2 with Christie’s online where you can watch live auctions, or download the new

Sotheby’s app for iPad where you can browse what’s currently at auction and predict what will break the records next. Did you fall in love with the sense of beauty and nostalgia offered by Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian AvantGarde at the Tate Britain (still on to 13 January), and want to know more

about the women behind the red hair? Effie (pictured) will be released in cinemas in March next year and takes a look at the relationship between John Ruskin, his wife Effie and John Everett Millais. A dose of culture and history in period drama form with a selection of gorgeous and famous stars…perfection. Finally, if the major London exhibitions of David Hockney, Lucien Freud and Damien Hirst made you want to take the next step in celebrity artists and exhibitions as the place to see and be seen, then book your flights for the Venice Biennale. The 55th International Art Exhibition will take place in Venice from 1 June to 24 November 2013. Whether or not you love art, an allnight party or a combination of the two then this is the event for you (warning: cheque book mandatory). 2012 has been a difficult year as well as an amazing one. There have been headlines both distressing and delightful. Sometimes it’s easy to dismiss auctions as mercenary and ridiculous, exhibitions as attention grabbing and lacking integrity, and the right to view and own masterpieces is the privilege of the highest bidder. However, the best of art in 2012 is just the beginning of 2013 and with so much in store it isn’t time to jump ship just yet.

Spitting rhymes from the terraces

Music and football have an uncanny relationship which, more often than not, results in some absurdly hilarious moments both off and on the pitch. David Hershaw recalls some of the best...

Last week, the contrasting communities of music and football were rocked by the news that American rapper Snoop Dogg is planning to put some of his millions into Celtic Football Club. It has now become very fashionable for famous musicians to start investing in British football. Rumour has it that Jay Z this week decided to buy all of the turf at Wembley Stadium; apparently he now has “99 Problems but a Pitch Ain’t One.” Shirley Bassey then got in on the act and announced plans to start a jewellery chain with Manchester United’s left back. It’s going to be called “Diamonds Are For Evra.” However, as much fun as it would be to see Snoop partying with fellow celebrity Celtic fans such as Rod Stewart and Billy Connolly in the director’s box, with kit-man John Clark standing bemused in a corner wondering why his brownie tastes weird, the sad truth is that its probably not going to work. Like all good showbiz relationships, any marriage between music and football has traditionally ended disastrously. For example, look at the efforts of footballers when they have tried to

Photo: theMatthewBlack

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Photo: Sovereign Films

Polly Warrack takes a look back at what the art-world offered us in 2012 and looks forward to the year to come in 2013...

make it into the pop-charts: Glenn Hoddle and Chris Waddle’s 1987 hit “Diamond Lights” was awful, Gazza’s version of “Fog on the Tyne” left me in tears and the only thing that was more unconvincing

than John Barnes’ attempt at being a rapper was, ironically, his attempt at being Celtic manager. Football’s fans aren’t any better at embracing music than their players are to be honest. Although those on

the terraces should be given plaudits for their creativity, they have never been a social group famed for their good taste. An example of this would be the reaction of the Scottish fans to goalkeeper Andy Goram being

diagnosed with mild schizophrenia. At every ground he played at in the country the fans would sing: “Two Andy Gorams, there’s only two Andy Gorams!” Perhaps even more distasteful, if not impressively imaginative, was the football community’s reaction to Graham Rix becoming the manager of Heart of Midlothian. Bringing up the fact that Rix had previously been convicted as a sex offender, some Manic Street Preachers fans in the crowd started singing: “If You Tolerate Rix Then Your Children Will Be Next.” I mean, what ever happened to good manners and the Corinthian spirit in sport? It seems then that football and music should stay clear of each other, especially if you take a look at that bizarre statue of Michael Jackson outside Craven Cottage (pictured). But maybe I’m being too pessimistic. Maybe pop-stars buying into football clubs can lead to success. For example, Robbie Williams has been the majority share holder of Port Vale FC for a while now and they’re doing all right. Oh wait, they are in administration for the second time in the last ten years. Never mind.


The Saint • Thursday 29 November 2012

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Fashion fur pas?

The global fur industry is booming: during the first decade of this millennium sales increased by 70%. Mark Oaten, executive of the International Fur Trade Federation, attributed this increase to “a younger generation... motivated on environmental issues, more than on animal rights issues”. But is real fur environmentally-friendly? And are we right to dismiss animal rights issues? In recent years the fur industry has been reinventing itself as an environmentally-friendly option. The British Fur Trade Association claims that farmed fur - which makes up around 80% of the global fur trade, the remaining 20% coming from animals trapped in the wild - uses up one million tonnes of animal by-products in the EU alone, thus recycling products that would otherwise go to waste. However, what they fail to mention is the further waste that fur production creates: energy used to create animal feed, to house them and to kill them; the energy used to prepare the pelts, treat the fur and create the garment; the waste produced by the animal both whilst alive and when dead. A report published in January 2011 on the environmental impact of mink fur production by CE Delft, an independentnon-profitenvironmental consultancy organisation based in the Netherlands, found that the impact on climate change of producing 1kg of mink fur was five times higher than

Photo: Joeldinda

Like it or not, the fur trade is on the rise. Producers would have us believe that it’s either the animals, or the environment, but rights activists say otherwise. Tasha Cornall looks at the facts...

that of the next highest-scoring textile, wool. The textile found to have the lowest impact on climate change was polyester, a man-made fibre used to create faux fur. Furthermore, the British Fur Trade Association claims that the wild animals used by the fur trade are mostly taken as part of “wild life management programmes”, which help maintain biodiversity and control population. However, this fails to take into account the fact that, without human interference, wild animals will control

their own population levels. In fact, trapping wild animals could result in more disruption to local eco-systems: every species of animal is part of a food chain, and if a link in that chain is broken by, say, a significant number of one particular species being taken away, then it could have a serious detrimental effect on the rest of the species in that eco-system.  In the EU, all fur farmers must follow a series of European and national laws and regulations, which aim to establish standards for the protection of animals at the time

of slaughter and the protection of animals kept for farming purposes. These standards are the same for all animals, whether they are being farmed for food, leather or fur (there are exceptions for animals which need to be slaughtered in a particular way due for religious reasons). The extent to which you could call these standards ‘humane’ is, of course, subjective.  An animal’s movement must not be restricted so much that it is caused “unnecessary suffering or injury”, although it may be kept tethered or confined continuously.

Dramatic return for ex-student

An animal must be stunned before it can be slaughtered although there are a variety of methods of stunning, including using a bolt gun, applying electrodes to the mouth and rectum, or by anoxia from carbon dioxide (Regulation EC 1099/2009 Annex I, Chapter I). These are just the standards for animals farmed in the EU; according to the European Fur Breeder’s Association 2011 report, just under 60% of the total animal skins in the global industry came from European farms. Just fewer than 24% came from Chinese farms, where there is a lack of animal welfare legislation.  Karl Lagerfeld once said: “in a meat-eating world, wearing leather for shoes and clothes and even handbags, the discussion of fur is childish.” PETA, predictably, called the Kaiser childish in response, and said that his statement “means he is being overtaken in the style stakes by an increasing number of designers who believe that cruelty has no place in fashion.” This was almost four years ago. Times have changed since then: in the past few years more and more designers have been sending fur-clad models down the catwalk - big designers, mind you, fashion stalwarts like Yves Saint Laurent and Alexander McQueen - and seeing their furry threads spread across the pages of Vogue. The truth is that the fur industry seems set to thrive whether we like it or not.

The traditional Christmas panto returns to the Byre, this time taking on the classic tale of Snow White. I sat down with Lindsey Miller, a St Andrews graduate who is now a professional musical director and arranger, and programmer of this show, to discuss the fresh take on a classic tale. “It’s really a brilliant show. Panto is great because you can enjoy the fun side of songs and the fun side of theatre, particularly in scenes which might otherwise be quite serious.” Miller was particularly proud of the way in which the show incorporates two casts of children who play supporting roles, all from the St Andrews area, many of them affiliated with the Byre Youth Theatre and other drama societies in town, feeling that this maintains the fun philosophy of pantomime.”There are twenty-four children in all, so we are certainly kept on our toes. It is very exciting for the children to be involved in such a big show and they seem to be getting a lot out of the experience.” The principal cast has been rehearsing in Glasgow for the past fortnight, and relocated to St Andrews

Photo: terriseesthings

Emmy Moore goes behind the scenes of this year’s Byre pantomine and meets musical director and former St Andrews student, Lindsey Miller...

for the two weeks leading up to opening night, integrating with the young cast. Miller praised her six-part cast, and she is relishing her role in this production. “Composing the score and being involved since the very

beginning is a great job because you are present for the birth of the concept and are involved in every aspect of the creative process, particularly the casting. I’ve been at every rehearsal, working with the actors, having a chat

with the writers and so on.” Being present at every rehearsal involved returning to St Andrews after three years and, unsurprisingly, she has found the Bubble almost entirely unchanged. “I love it. I spent four years

here, not to mention summers, so it is great to be back. I’ve been to a few of my old haunts, the Rule and the Union and such.” When I asked her what the first thing she did upon arrival was, she replied: “Fisher and Donaldson. I’ve been deprived of their carrot cake for too long.” Labelled as ‘one of the future writers of British Musical Theatre’, Miller has inarguably been busy since her graduation, with new material recently performed at London’s Battersea Barge. Working on Snow White has been full of new experiences. “Composing for a show can take all sorts of different forms. Usually I’m with a band and live musicians; I’ve not worked on a show that’s been recorded before. Productions can range from having a massive orchestra to what we have here with me composing and recording directly onto a track.” Snow White runs from tonight until 30 December and attendance is highly recommended, not only to support one of our own, but to experience what promises to be a charming and dynamic show.


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The Saint • Thursday 29 November 2012

The Saint Playlist

Pale Fire El Perro del Mar

Johnny Marr – ‘The Messenger’ After moonlighting with almost every band under the sun, Mr. Marr finally goes it alone. This first taste of his album to be released in Spring 2013 isn’t overly exciting though. Get back in the corner, John-boy.

Memphis Industries 6/10

Rare Chandeliers Action Bronson & The Alchemist Vice Records 3/10 Start with: one enormously fat New Yorker.  Add: Albanian parentage, a shaved head, and a fluffy red beard.  Season with: a colossal spliff, and a dame on each arm.  If you’re lucky, you’ve just mixed yourself an Action Bronson.  The Flushing Queens chef-cumrapper has had a big year. Following his 2011 debut, the well-received ‘Dr Lecter’, and ‘Well Done’, a decent outing with veteran producer Statik Selektah, Bronson’s remarkable 2012 mixtape Blue Chips had many wondering whether New York rap had a new kingpin. Bronson’s is an inimitable style. A one-time gourmet chef in New York, and a celebrated one at that, Bronson frequently talks food in his raps, meshing culinary lines like “Just let me sharpen my knives, thrown on the apron; X’s mark the steak, and the salad crumbled with bacon…” with vulgar, nonsensical witticisms; “…and bleu cheese, caramel complexions on two knees; or two skis, carving up the Alps is what this dude needs”. In a posturing, egotistical industry, there is a refreshing irony to Bronson’s words, claiming that “facially, I’m like a young John Kennedy”, despite fairly robust evidence to the contrary. His cartoonish persona, ludicrous persona, and remarkable lyricism meant that Rare Chandeliers was a mixtape that I was looking forward to an awful lot. I realised fairly early on, however, that I was not listening

to Bronson’s finest work. Produced by the legendary producer The Alchemist, Rare Chandeliers is an unimaginative and ultimately underwhelming release. Assuring us that “All I wanna do is buy loot, ride coupe, hide loot”, Bronson seems out of ideas, and out of his element, as he struggles with The Alchemist’s clumsy, plodding beats. Like his sound-sake, Wu Tang Clan’s Ghostface Killah, Bronson is best served in small portions, as his furious, high-paced delivery rarely sustains a song for longer than a couple of minutes. Despite having 17 tracks, none of which are skits, Blue Chips lasts under 45 minutes, shorter than fellow New Yorker Nas’ famously terse 10-track Illmatic. Bronson seems most comfortable when the tracks chop and change, allowing him to mix-up his delivery and stay fresh. Rare Chandelier’s stand-out track, ‘Randy the Musical’, demonstrates how this formula can bring out the best in both the rapper and the producer. Over an inventive three-part backing, Bronson is able to hold your attention for the full 4:24 duration with hilarious quips and remarkable lyrical dexterity.  Elsewhere, ‘The Symbol and Modern Day Revelations’ are fun, and lines like “just tell that bitch I need a scrubbin’; and don’t forget the chicken in the oven” remind you of AB’s credentials as one of the funniest emcees out there. Guest appearances from the likes of Roc Marciano and Schoolboy Q, meanwhile, show that Bronson is now a big player in the New York rap scene. There is enough here to make it worth a listen, but this rather clumsy collaboration and underwhelming end product shows that, perhaps, rather than a kingpin, Bronson is still something of a rough diamond.  Calum Colley

With the Tallest Man on Earth being a leading figure in the folk scene and singer Faye returning from hiatus to provide emotional pop ballads, it seems that recently Sweden has been dominating the music industry. Continuing this trend, El Perro del Mar returns with a fifth album entitled Pale Fire, which arrives as a well written piece of electronica. As the only permanent member of this musical project, Sarah Assbring provides both the main and the backing vocals and the majority of the creative direction. Packed with synthesisers and electronic beats, this album is definitely a bit different to her previous works, which were laced with so much acoustic instrumentation. The album as a whole has a lot of variety and some songs, like ‘Walk On By’ sound very much like something off a 90s dance album, maybe even similar the sound of Ace of Base. Although there are a lot of repeated lyrics, the

continuous layering over the top of them makes the album very easy to listen to when compared with the works of other artists in this the genre.  Overall, the album is rather quiet and distant, much like the sophisticated beauty that can be heard on last year’s Youth Lagoon album. Every song features different sounds from the last, with the keyboards switching from being bright and mystical to being more blunt and closer to the tone of a real piano. The sound of El Perro del Mar reveals that Assbring is a musician prepared to switch her musical styling dramatically to keep things interesting. Christian Manley

Dels – ‘Bird Milk’ From his new EP Black Salad, this song cements Dels further in place as one the most intriguing hip-hop artists in Britain today. With witty lyrics and a musical backbone that smacks gloriously of krautrock.

Massive Attack – ‘Unfinished Sympathy’ The pioneers of Trip-Hop celebrated their debut LP Blue Lines’ 21st birthday last week with a nice shiny reissue.

A Wrenched Virile Lore Mogwai 7/10 Mogwai’s 2011 album, Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will, saw the Glaswegian post-rock veterans at one of their finest moments. The band’s staple set up of textured noise-fuzz strewn over melodic interplays of guitar and bass, with the odd moment of thuderous heavy-riffage was, this time round, executed to near perfection. Even the song titles were taken to new levels of acerbic absurdity - ‘George Square Thatcher Death Party’ and ‘You’re Lionel Ritchie’ being prime examples. A Wrenched Virile Lore sees the band edge once again into the risky territory of the ‘remix album’ as with the compilation of remixes that made up their 1998 release, Kicking a Dead Pig, which was more a practise in adding UK Garage shuffle beats onto the originals than offering a lucrative reinterpretation. This time round however, there is a far more creative gamut of remixing on offer. On the electronica side, the Klad Hest Mogwai Is My Dick RMX of ‘Rano Pano’ takes the moody original and hurls it through a breakneck vortex of flittering beats and jarring cyber pulses. This remix is vibrant, if a bit garish, but the Cylob mix of ‘White Noise’ offers a more subtle affair of discordant electro which has a clinky

Mogwai – ‘Mexican Gran Prix (Reworked by RM Hubbert)’ This revised version of the Glasgow post-rock band’s hurtling synthheavy romp is wonderfully slowed down by RM Hubbert’s chilling vocals and acoustic guitar-work.

The Flaming Lips – ‘Race For The Prize’ This week Flaming Lips frontman, Wayne Coyne, managed to put an airport in Oklahoma on lockdown for being in possession of a grenade. Oh Wayne.

clarity as opposed to the hazy original. On the flip side, some remixes focus on intensifying the levels of fuzziness. The Soft Moon’s take on ‘San Pedro’ submerges the sledgehammer riff under waves of heavy bass and guitar pedal effects and Tim Vecker blankets his version of ‘Rano Pano’ under soft pulses of warm synth. If one thing was notable about HWNDBYW, it was the use of vocals, more so than on previous albums. This allows for a human presence to emerge on the album, as in RM Hubbert’s ‘rework’ of ‘Mexican Grand Prix’, a chilling acoustic cover of the electrically charged original. It’s in this organic mixture of styles that this record succeeds. Where remix albums often feel hollow and impenetrable, A Wrenched Virile Lore offers us a set of imaginative reworkings, the successes of which are indebted to the malleability of Mogwai’s original style. Stephen Jenkins

Stubborn Heart - ‘Starting Block’ This electro-soul outfit are making big waves with their fidgety synth pop. Likened to The xx, SBTRKT and James Blake. Kilo Kish - ‘Navy’ Part of the KoolKatsKlub collective, Kilo Kish has her hands in a number of artistic pies - fashion, acting, modeling etc. On ‘Navy’ she takes on cosmology over some smooth lounge jazz. Stellar.


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Has the master of film lost the plot?

The Master Dir. Paul Thomas Anderson

The Master is one of those works seemingly designed to call the collective bluff of film critics: that we know what the hell we’re talking about. I want to call it a masterpiece, but to do so would take a lot on faith. There are elements which seem ungainly, out of place, unnecessary – but at the same time, they almost certainly contribute to some greater ‘art’ nestled just out of reach of the masses like us. Praising it unreservedly feels dishonest; criticising it feels insolent. Written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson (Magnolia, Punch-Drunk Love, There Will Be Blood), The Master is crafted like a cathedral. Anderson is a genius of shot construction, a cinematic Joyce: here, his visual themes are isolation, dualism, enclosure and imprisonment, all wrapped in a raw, thoroughly de-romanticised, animal sexuality. He shows us Joaquin Phoenix’s directionless veteran falling in with I-Can’t-Believe-It’s-NotScientology leader Philip Seymour Hoffman in post-WWII America, but the plot is irrelevant; nothing more

Photo: Weinstein Company

9/10

than a backdrop for an in-depth exploration of power and the limits and depths of humanity. The Master is suitably foreboding, pervaded by a sense of lurking menace, yet brimming with breathtaking, beautiful compositions. It may be difficult to grasp thematically on first viewing, but Anderson’s direction is, as ever, magnificent. Phoenix is a sure-fire Oscar nominee. His performance as Freddie Quell is, in a word,

complete: slouched, furious, violently aggressive, hypertactile and oozing with a frantic, churning sexuality – a modernday Neanderthal, as much ape as man. Hoffman’s Lancaster Dodd is another master class in acting, perfectly realising the fraudulent would-be Great Man complete with all his very human foibles, flaws and weaknesses. The relationship between the two (influenced and watched by

Dodd’s wife, powerfully played by Amy Adams) is complex, playing with master-apprentice, masterservant and master-dog tropes in equal measure, never quite spelling out just which dichotomy – or even which character – the title refers to. Anderson has gone on record comparing Phoenix’s commitment to his role to that of Daniel Day Lewis in There Will Be Blood, and undoubtedly it’s Phoenix’s film rather than Hoffman’s. There is

simply nothing to criticise about his performance. It is flawless. Similarities to There Will Be Blood abound elsewhere: both share the (excellent) ominous, eerie music of Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood; The Master draws from early drafts of its predecessor; both have paternal relationships at their hearts; and the two are ultimately thematic companion pieces, explorations of the savagery at the core of humanity and the thinness of the notion of civilisation. (Compare as well the depiction of sex shorn of all eroticism to that of Boogie Nights; evidently, Anderson just doesn’t particularly like sex.) Is The Master as good as There Will Be Blood? I can’t honestly tell – I need to watch both at least five more times to even begin to say – but right now my gut says ‘no’. And here’s the rub: it has to be the gut feeling, because I can’t truthfully say that The Master is a film I fundamentally get, or at least one I’m certain I get. All my criticisms feel like potential faux pas, and I’m sure most of the stuff I was unsure about was actually ‘deep’, ‘meaningful’ and ‘essential to understanding the work’ – so take it for what it’s worth. It’s not an easy film, but easy is boring. Alex Harrison

Silver linings for a difficult cloud Silver Linings Playbook Dir. David O. Russell

I’ll admit to feeling a little uneasy before viewing Silver Linings Playbook. Depicting mental health on-screen is hardly commonplace and setting it within a rom-com seemed like a recipe for oversimplification or cheap humour. Fortunately, there’s less ‘rom’ than the film’s trailer would lead you to believe and only a sparing quantity of well-executed ‘com’. Instead, director David O. Russell’s screenplay keeps its characters well-rounded and produces some inventive twists. Bradley Cooper puts everything into his portrayal of Pat, a man recovering from a stint in a mental institution for an outbreak of violence on discovering that his wife was having an affair. Pat struggles to return to his old life, waking up the neighbourhood when he can’t find his wedding video and ignoring the reality that his job and his wife are now part of his past. One of the film’s finest aspects is how it conveys (what I imagine to be) many of

Photo: Weinstein Company

8/10

the struggles of mental ill health without stigmatising them. Pat discovers that some of his ex-colleagues are scared of him, avoids taking his medication because he hates the side-effects, sees his therapy sessions as a chore and finds social interaction difficult to manage. He is such

a forthright and well-drawn character that instead of becoming a social commentary, these really feel like his own struggles, and as such we connect to them. Since we’re shown his failures as well as his successes, a genuine sense of tension pervades in many scenes. Much of the film’s pathos comes

from Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver as Pat’s parents, who show a great deal of patience as he lives with them. They obviously feel the strain of Pat at his most challenging; but you also get a real sense that they’re looking out for him. De Niro gives his most committed and serious role for years, generating

some Oscar buzz in the process, and the scene in which he admits that he’s struggled to know how to parent Pat is one of the most affective in recent years. Only in the second half of the film does the romance element kick in as Pat meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), who knows what spending time on medication is like after the recent trauma of her husband’s death. However, this relationship is still framed in the context of Pat’s wider recovery, as she challenges him to be her partner in an upcoming dance competition in exchange for secretly passing letters to his wife. This is a smart move as it allows the film to progress beyond boy-meetsgirl genre clichés and present the ballsy Tiffany as a character in her own right. The dance contest also provides a nice finale as the film’s emotion comes to a climax. You can ignore the twee ‘everything has a silver lining/try your hardest and things will work out’ heart-warming Oscar-season theme of the film’s title. There’s a strong and honest story beneath the surface that will win you over if you give it a chance. Matt Wakeling


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Fresh talent in St Andrews

This week, Mermaids have been busy keeping us entertained with their 2012 Freshers’ Plays programme. Here’s the lowdown on what they had to offer...

Yellow Moon Dir. Fraser Craig Barron Theatre, Nov 20th *** Part of Mermaids’ Freshers’ extravaganza, Yellow Moon (pictured, above) by David Greig follows two teenagers on the run in wake of committing a crime of passion. Finding themselves lost in the Scottish

Just as it is

Claxton’s sex-addicted, promiscuous Lisa (who garnered more than her fair share of laughs), Craig the typically egotistic player who could be Lisa���s male equivalent (Mark Tomlinson), and the secretly intelligent slacker James (Ben Bonci), never left the audience without bubbling laughter. Unfortunately, at points the script betrayed a cheesiness that made it a little cringing to watch. Certain directions were also unnecessary and slightly confusing (what was the purpose of pointing out the different accents between Amy and Neil? The audience does have some discernment). However, the comedic power and obvious closeness of the cast far surpasses any weaknesses, if the audience’s constant laughter was any indication. Farah Bogani

Dir. Alexandra Koronkai-Kiss Barron Theatre, Nov 22nd **** Despite its awkward opening, Just As It Is keeps the audience in uproarious laughter with a running reel of jokes familiar to St Andrews students such as the horrors of realising you’ve ended up at the Bop on a Friday night, the awesomeness of having a ‘hot’ academic mum, and the classic “oh, you were rejected from Cambridge too?”. Amy (Lauren MacLellan), visiting her brother Neil (Stephen Quinn) at St Andrews, meets his quirky flatmates and through them learns what university is really about. Alice Shearon (also the writer)

Flatmates

to convey wit to incite humour which gets old and flat quickly, garnering no more than occasional titters from the audience. Whilst there are points of potential development between characters such as between Steve and Mallini Kannan’s Coralie, it falls short in favour of an overarching lack of character development, making it difficult to keep interest. Director Greg Pitts’ sometimes awkward and shaky direction didn’t help either. There were indeed humorous points, but the only true saving grace of Ellen Dryden’s predictable and dull Flatmates was the actors. Kannan commanded the stage well with a comic projection of the snobby, uptight Coralie. Mark Paul’s Tony as her love-struck boyfriend (though he seems more like an assistant) is a

quiet character, but still managed to be comically scathing about others. English’s Lyn was monotonous at times but when she was not she became one of the more dynamic characters. Shepherd was perfect as the rich and arrogant Steve and male equivalent of Coralie. Alex Carr’s characterisation of the neurotic Tom was flat though whether this should be attributed to the acting or the script was difficult to say. He does get marginally better as the play progresses. Overall this was just another lacklustre script with poor characterisation, development (even for a comedy), and faltering direction that did not do justice to the abilities of the actors. Farah Bogani

Dir. Greg Pitts Barron Theatre, Nov 22nd ** If there is nothing worse than someone stealing your milk, it’s watching a play about a milk-stealer trying to kick out one flatmate for another, reaching a climax of one character pouring milk over perfectly good food. Shock. Horror. There was a promising, comedic opening to Flatmates with Luke Shepherd’s Steve and Natalie English’s Lyn swapping biting remarks though one soon realises though that is all the play consists of — a constant antagonistic verbal sparring intending

Universal Language Dir. Hannah Risser Nov 23rd ***** Universal Language (pictured, below) tells the story of a language teacher, Dawn (Sandra Koronkai-Kiss), who welcomes a naïve man, Don (Vincent Forster), into her fraudulent language-learning course. For the first half of the play only Dawn speaks the invented language, Unamunda, while in the second half the roles reverse and Don now decides to forget English and speak the newly-learnt language. Quite surprisingly for both him and the audience, the invented language is easy to grasp, allowing the feeling of universalism onto the stage. For the record – I am generally not a fan of comedies, as I tend to find

them full of clichés and stereotypical situations. So if I can choose between a comedy and a drama, I’ll go with the latter. Yet The Universal Language really moved me; it was one of the best, if not the best, comedies I’ve seen in the Barron throughout the years. The decision to swap roles (in the original play we see a male character as a teacher and a female student) deserves applause for the director Hannah Risser, as I could not imagine the play being even half as entertaining the other way round – both Sandra and Vincent seemed made for their roles. “Language is the opposite of loneliness,” states Vincent, and it is exactly the language in its most universal form that makes the audience laugh non-stop for an hour. This plays clearly feel the pulse of words. Five stars from me. Une Kaunaite

Photo: Une Kaunaite

and Alexandra Koronkai-Kiss directed well, especially in employing flashback techniques that drew the audience into the play and broke up the usual monotony of dialogue with action. The audience was extremely enthused throughout by the characters, most notably by Fredrik Svensson’s Rudy, who garnered well-deserved applause twice for his hilarious portrayal of Rudy’s seemingly permanent existential crisis. MacLellan made a charmingly awkward yet witty Amy, typifying a classic North American comedy that the audience really took to. Combined with the geeky, girlawkward Neil, they portrayed a realistic and genuine sibling relationship dynamic. Supporting characters’ traits and antics like Coco

Photo: Radhaika Kapur Highlands, the heroes are subjected to a brutal coming of age tale as past and present intertwine, unearthing painful revelations and driving the two to breaking point. The choice of such a powerful, emotionally charged script raises some problems for director Fraser Craig: the entire cast needed to have been utterly absorbed in their characters, but this is executed with mixed success. Some supporting characters betrayed a lack of stage experience, clearly focusing

more on the correct delivery of their lines than on the characterisation. This was highlighted by an infuriating amount of awkward shuffling and diction issues which detracted from the dialogue. In this case, though, inexperience may be forgiven, to an extent. Why, then, even mention it? I could have let this slide if it weren’t for the incredible performance of Charlotte Kelley as ‘Stag’ Lee, the laddish but vulnerable boy struggling to make sense of his life. Everything about her portrayal was mind-blowing and totally convincing. The dynamic between Lee and Leila – sensitively played by Shelby Nelson – was engrossing, but occasionally Nelson’s performance drifted a bit far into ‘on shrooms’ territory. This is a minor issue with what is, on the whole, a very strong offering. The direction, too, was predominantly strong, save for some ‘hectic’ moments, which came across as aimless. Craig makes his vision clear and achieves his purpose: to dismiss the errors with the words ‘Freshers’ play’ would be to demean his talented work, which does not need this excuse. Joseph Cunningham

Green Eyes Dir. Lillie Arnott Nov 23rd *** Although I have never seen Green Eyes by Tennessee Williams before, I am certain that this is an extremely difficult play to produce – even for professionals. The plot focuses on a newlywed couple on their honeymoon, and from the beginning throws the audience into the very centre of their relationship issues. Mr. Claude Dunphy (Mark Tomlinson) has taken leave from his deployment in Vietnam, and the morning after their night out on Bourbon Street, he tries to elicit his wife (Isabelle Thibault) to tell him what happened the night before. As the plot progresses the audience witnesses their marriage falling to pieces. Unfortunately, I felt that the

roles played were just too mature for actors: the uneasiness of actors could be felt even in their unsecured steps. They speak about bruises on her body, but we see none – a little make-up would have helped to keep the tension in the air. Instead of being at least slightly menacing, Mr. Claude seemed simply weak and it was hard to believe he could actually hurt his wife. You could hardly see his lust for Mrs. Claude either – they simply felt uncomfortable together. However the actors did do a credible job, but the play was simply too challenging for the inexperienced team. Green Eyes is more of a radio drama, with not much to be seen, unless there is an extremely well performed physical attraction. While the use of green light was praiseworthy, I don’t think it’s enough to set this play on stage instead of simply reading it on St Andrews Radio. Une Kaunaite


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of your generosity is far too busy to change for Christmas soirees, give her a sparkling brooch from Jewel, which once pinned, will dress up any outfit instantly.

Struggling to find the perfect present for your loved ones this christmastime? Don’t have time to think about anything other than looming deadlines? Too busy preparing your panic room for the end of the Mesoamerican Calendar? Well, ‘tis the season and all that, so we’ve done the hard work for you. Check out our artsy gift guide...

Winter Woollies

Arts & Crafts

Photo: Mr. T in DC

It’s pretty nippy out there and without the risk of sounding like your gran - you best wrap up warm else you’ll catch a cold. Holly Hardy digs around the St Andrews’ shops for some festive woollies

Christmastime often means either wrapping up to face the icy weather outside, dressing up for an evening of festivities or avoiding both altogether and taking advantage of the Christmas rom-com repeats. Whoever you’re buying for and whatever their winter schedule looks like, St Andrews is abundant with great additions for any outfit. For Women If the girl you’re buying for tends to mix and match her ensembles, a pair of knitted leggings from Jack Wills will make the perfect addition to her

Photo: iamRW

The Saint Arts & Culture gift guide

pyjama collection. If, on the other hand, she’s a lover of all things co-ordinated, a brilliantly garish fleece pyjama set from M&Co. will go down a festive treat, and for a proper winter night spent indoors, Fil de Joie socks from Pretty Things are guaranteed to keep feet warm during commercial break trips between lounge and pantry. To brighten up miserable days when enduring the weather is necessary, the umbrellas at Fred’s Emporium offer cheery prints and colours. Superdry mittens come in a range of colours and could withstand even the most aggressive snowball fight. For post-mitten removal compliments, though, a statement ring from Matthew M. Henderson is the perfect gift, and might even match one of the glittering party dresses on display at Shmooz. As for footwear, the ballet flats from Elisabeth May are both pretty and practical, especially if mulled wine is on the menu. However, if the recipient

Christmas Jingles

For Men A White Stuff flannel shirt should keep any man warm on a winter outing, and paired with a James Pringle patterned scarf from The Edinburgh Woollen Mill, will almost guarantee that he’ll steer clear of catching a winter cold Unfortunately, as most of us know, this is sometimes impossible but while a set of three Barbour handkerchiefs from Manifesto doesn’t offer a cure, it certainly offers a stylish disguise. For making cosiness look manly, a chunky knit P. G. Field jumper from Pitlochry is in order, but for moments of boyish fun, Jack Wills’s brightly-coloured bobble hats are ideal for snowman-building and later, snowman-decorating. Further, the Duchamp socks sold at Manifesto are fantastic if your aim is to make a much-groaned about present actually quite exciting, and although the lining of the slippers from D. E. Shoes is so thick that no socks are required, the two together would surely make for a delightful combination. For a man of the world, a passport holder from Paperchase makes an excellent gift and could be used on any January getaways, but for those who plan on staying in the UK at least until the Boxing Day sales, a tweed wallet from Joules will come in very handy (and if he’s a real tweed enthusiast, Lara Platman’s Harris Tweed: From Land to Street is currently waiting on the Waterstones bookshelves).

Whether you’re buying for an Xmas Scrooge or an Feel that you’re friends and family need that creative spark back in their life? Here’s some crafty tips from Tasha Cornall Xmas junkie, Jonny Elswood offers some charm and some cynicism with a round up of yuletide albums Want to know the absolute worst thing about this year’s academic calendar reforms? No, it’s not the heartless obliteration of Reading Week. It’s the fact that, for many of us, exams are finishing ridiculously close to Christmas this year. Many of us will be forced to face the prospect of fighting through terrifying hordes of last-minute shoppers to get to the last pair of slippers in John Lewis - the ones your Mum’s been hinting about ever since the first time she saw that weepy snowman advert. But never fear - I’m here to save your elbows from pushing through the crowds with my DIY gift guide.  There’s no better way to relax after a long day of revision in the Library than settling down in front of the telly to watch Miracle on 34th Street for the 600th time, embroidery thread in hand, knotting and looping your way to a handmade friendship bracelet. Grab a couple of skeins of thread in coordinating colours from In Stitches on Bell Street, adding some curb chain from the hardware store next to Jannetta’s, some ribbon from Bonkers, or some charms from one of the jewellery shops if you’re feeling more adventurous.

If paper crafts are more your thing, head over to Darling, Bonkers, or the newly-opened Paperchase and pick up some pretty patterned wrapping paper to fold up some origami treats. You could make a mobile by stringing some origami cranes onto fishing wire, or tie lots of multi-coloured little lucky stars onto a garland to hang across the fire place - you could even make some origami ornaments for hanging straight onto the Christmas tree! You can never have enough food at Christmas time, and people love to receive edible gifts. Instead of going down the predictable Thorntons box of chocolates route, why not whip up a batch of cupcakes in Christmassy flavours such as cranberry, ginger or cinnamon - head to Bibi’s bakery for some inspiration (a taste test is highly recommended). For something more substantial, bake the recipient’s favourite pie, or for a really festive treat on a cold winter’s night, make a selection of hot chocolate spoons simply melt some chocolate and dip a wooden spoon in. Cover with delicious combinations such as marshmallows, chopped-up nuts or fudge, and when stirred into warm milk, the chocolate will melt into the best hot drink ever.

Whether you’re the kind of person who starts wearing reindeer cardigans and drafting their Christmas list in early August, or a totally anti-festive Scrooge about the whole affair, the crimbo tunes are inescapable. Like it or not, as December approaches, the ugly commercialism of this otherwise lovely holiday invades our lives once more. By mid November, the Christmas restaurant offers are already coming through the letterbox. Soon December hits, and the shops all explode in unison with paroxysms of tinsel, snowmen, and unnecessarily Christmas-themed snacks. Religious or nay, Christmas for the vast majority of us is a period for relaxing and spending time with those close to us - i.e. not working unless we have to. So why on Earth would somebody spend time and energy making a Christmas album? We all know the answer. Money. Big fat piles of cash. I’d be happy to bet my Christmas lunch that not one of the big names out there pumped out their Christmas album out of festive cheer or as a ‘gift’ to their fans, or even for charity.  So what’s the industry coughing up this year, in its inevitable bout

of crippling flu? Out already is John Travolta’s unsettling collaboration with fellow Grease star Olivia Newton-John. Cee Lo Green is releasing his take on the seasonal classics in Magic Moment, and Sufjan Stevens has given birth to a fifty-eighttrack belter, including all the big numbers. His is the most original of the lot, offering genuine charm as well as talent to the pile, which almost disguises the fact that it’s all a bit too much. These projects always reek of fraud however; behind the forced jolly smile on James Taylor’s face on the cover of James Taylor At Christmas lies the decaying lust for wonga, and there’s no way Bob Dylan’s producers OK’d his Christmas In The Heart abomination without serious turnover in mind. Christmas In The Heart is Dylan’s worst album, and far from being jolly or fun, each song seems to push his voice further away from the state of acceptability. It’s impossible to take seriously.

Of course, some artists make no attempt to hide their intentions and there’s bound to be a couple of joke releases each winter. Up there with the best of them is We Wish You A Metal Xmas And A Headbanging New Year by various heavy metal artists, headed by Alice Cooper, Ronnie Dio of Black Sabbath, and Dave Grohl. It’s wicked listening, but the whole project is clearly in jest. If you’re not into long greasy hair and thrash guitar, perhaps Christmas Dubstep might take your fancy. Nothing improves the postgorge Boxing Day afternoon more than some heavy wub-wub-wub over Silent Night. 


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The Saint • Thursday 29 November 2012

Fans’ Christmas Wishlist Jonathan Weitzmann

Calum Robertson

Harry Chamberlain

Arsenal

Newcastle United

Man City

Wenger is said to have around £40m for the upcoming January window.  I would like to see another striker, as there still is a void left by the loss of Van Persie.  We have been linked with Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Alessandro Matri, both of whom I think would be positive additions.  I think that we also need another holding midfielder to support Wilshire and Carzorla. I feel it’s attack, not defence, where we need to strengthen, so I want Wenger to do something he hasn’t done in a long time... spend his cash; particularly if we seriously intend on ending the wait for a trophy.  

After 3 straight defeats to West Ham, Swansea and Southampton I am fighting against the urge to say a new team. We could do with several things though, starting with Demba Ba suddenly realising he likes playing on the wing and Papiss Cisse working out how to score again. The change in formation this season appears not to be particularly effective, although injuries and suspensions have not helped, and going back to the formula from last year could do the trick. Also a goal from a corner would be a nice present, I have forgotten how it feels to see one of them live.

Elliott Miskin

All I want for Christmas is Philip Lahm. We need strength in depth to challenge for the title with an ailing Man United side, and Lahm could be part of that. With the money available, I’d love to see us get Neymar as well. He’s unbelievable and he would definitely do well at City. And we need James Milner to leave and never come back. Ever.

Ryan Cant

Tottenham Hotspur

Wigan Athletic

All Spurs want for Christmas is Champions League football. I feel that even with the signing of Clint, Moussa and Gylfi in the summer we never properly replaced the talent of VDV and Modric. Spurs have fantastic wing play, Bale and Lennon are the best pairing in the league, but this season we lack that creative brilliance when playing through the middle. In January perhaps AVB can look to Europe to strengthen in this area as we battle out for that coveted 4th spot (again). And please Santa, no more goalkeepers.

All I want for Wigan this Christmas is points. Simply put we seem to be involved in fantastically entertaining games, and come away without points, usually from a winning position. We need to be more ruthless. We’ve got a mix of games over the Christmas spell and I’d be happy with seven out of 15 points. The squad is good enough for a comfortable mid-table finish this year, if we can keep it fit, but a bit of defensive strength in depth could be a nice addition when the transfer window opens; after all, we aren’t famed for our back-line capabilities.

James Gray

Pete Hoggan

Liverpool

Rangers

It’s difficult to know where to begin with a wishlist for Liverpool. I think in a parallel universe I’d like a fully fit Michael Owen from about 1999 playing up front with Andy Carroll, with delivery into the box from the player Stewart Downing could have been, Christian Ziege, and Steven Gerrard’s fitter, older brother. However, apparently, this isn’t Football Manager with Editor mode. Everyone else wants Demba Ba. I’d like Clint Dempsey, although that will need to be Santa not Rodgers, Klaas Jan Huntelaar, and Daniel Sturridge. And Rafa Benitez back so that Chelsea can stop being mean to him. Just not Paul Konchesky. Please.

The most important thing for Rangers is to keep their stability. After what I believe was the initial shock of having to play in the Third Division, they appear to have come to grips with the teams that they have to compete against. They have a more than capable team to seal their promotion and surprisingly have the depth after the clear-out of most of their star players. Their youngsters from the youth system have a great chance to gain some maturity from the grim situation and I would like to see Rangers save the money they have this Christmas for, God forbid it, more depressing times.

Christy White-Spunner

Adrian O’Neill

Nathan Watson-Fargie

Fulham

West Ham United

Manchester United

We want Dempsey back. And John Pantsil. It’s just that simple. Berbatov’s form can’t hold and without his goals it’s difficult to see how many times John Arne Riise can hammer the ball from 30 yards to get us out of jail.

It’s difficult to want much more as a West Ham fan this Christmas. Our return to the Premier League has been pretty successful; we’re sitting in eighth, above Swansea, Fulham and Liverpool, and just a point behind Spurs and Arsenal. Defensively we’ve been really strong, so even though we’ve not scored many goals, we haven’t had to. Kevin Nolan knows what he’s doing, and Mark Noble goes from strength to strength, but if Andy Carroll gets injured up front, then I worry we have got anything depth. A veteran striker, please, Santa. What’s Kanu doing these days? Hiding in Santa’s sleigh?

The biggest area of concern for Manchester United has been in the centre of defence. A long term addition isnt necessary though, and so the only possibility here is a short term transfer to assist until more players return from injury, someone akin to Mikael Silvestre, an exUnited player with vast experience currently without a club. I would like to see another young right back give some more competition and cover for Rafael.  With Young out of form and Nani possibly on his way out, another winger is a necessity.  Tom Ince seems a perfect fit and is a young, relatively inexpensive option.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Sir Alex hasn’t already tested the water with a bid for Walcott, but in all honesty I just can’t see a deal materializing.


The Saint • Thursday 29 November 2012

The year that was 2012 Andrew McQuillan

To quote lifestyle guru, Daily Mail reader and eminent sportscaster Alan Partridge, “what a year it’s been for sport”.  Although thoroughly disagreeable generally, one cannot disagree with the king of early morning radio in this instance. Casting our beverage-ridden minds back through the sands of 2012, one would agree that it has been an excellent year for enthusiastic athletic endeavours across the world. In football we managed to recover from that dark night in Munich when the evil Roman Empire triumphed after Spain performed the most comprehensive rout in Kiev since the Mongols paid a visit in the bygone days of yore. The round ball served up some truly exceptional moments this year; the duel between Messi and Ronaldo, the drama at the Etihad when Manchester City showed once again that cash is king and who could possibly forget, discovering via the medium of a Channel 5 documentary that Brendan Rodgers isn’t actually the messiah but David Brent in a costume.  Amid the drama and the banter the seedy underbelly of football has been flashing itself with all too much regularity this year. The damning Hillsborough report reminded supporters of the game in Britain that there is still a stigma attached to you in some quarters simply because you wear a scarf and sing the occasional bawdy anthem. The trouble surrounding a proud club like Portsmouth reminded supporters that the must always be vigilant, while

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the saga which unfolded at Rangers showed quite patently that “the best wee country in the world” is riddled with incompetence and agenda, with the innocent being pronounced as guilty before the facts had been considered. People in press rooms, boardrooms and tax offices across the land should hang their heads in shame at what they helped to perpetrate on a true titan of the world game. However, we have much cause to celebrate, particularly in this bunting clad sceptered isle. (And what a year it was for the bunting industry; the double whammy of Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympic and Paralympic Games would have given even the most wizened party shop owner palpitations.) The Games were a triumph, a majestic triumph. Britannia seemed to rule the waves, tennis courts, velodrome and tracks. Anyone who was fortunate enough to be in London when the Games were on will cherish those memories for years to come. In tennis a man after my own heart, the dour, awkward, gnarling and similarly named Mr Murray was the toast of all Andrews across the globe. After having washed Centre Court with enough tears to merit the roof being closed, Murray rallied to Olympic and US glory. Great things await our Roy of the Rovers as he seeks to cement his growing reputation as a player of true class.  Bradley Wiggins did what the English love best, aggravate the French by doing it on their patch. His Tour De France win was a British first and will hopefully spark an interest in a pretty

dormant sport. Amidst all the exciting stuff that was going on, the usual happened. Cricket continued at its glacial and boring pace, exciting soft southerners and bemusing those north of Carlisle. Rugby’s Six Nations saw Wales do alright, England enter another transitional phase and Scotland, well, they were Scotland and you can’t be fairer than that.   Some things it would seem are constant. Motor racing passed me by, literally as well as metaphorically once again. Golf however, that was genuinely exciting with the Ryder Cup drawing in even the most dispassionate neutral. The good walk spoiled stirred briefly.   So, as the sportingly aware of us gather around log fires, gorge on mince pies and roar with renewed approval as Colin Firth gets the girl in Love Actually despite having seen it every year since 2004, we can be content that it was a good show that was put on this year.  Yet, as sure as exams will cause us undue pain and my tartan troos will inevitably be splattered with mud and mulled wine at Christmas Ball, there will be more sport next year, unless the Mayans carry out their pledge. The ups and downs of the title race, the Six Nations, Formula One, Wimbledon and the West of Scotland Bowling Club Mixed Championship Over 65’s Section will all keep us enthralled or plunge us into a slumber depending on your point of view.  Yet, for all the fun that awaits, it will take some amount of stupendous circumstances to come together to better 2012, a year that was truly vintage in so many ways.

is no mean feat, the men in blue conceded the gain line far too often and leaked six tries. Against South Africa, a 10-21 loss, Scotland had 63 percent of the possession but rarely threatened the gain line in a game where the home side were left to rue their unforced errors. Finally, Scotland faced Tonga at Pittodrie, where they went down 15-21. The Scots were unable to capitalise on the three yellow cards shown to Tongan players and the 20 penalties that the South Sea Islanders gave up. Instead they butchered try scoring opportunities and conceded 17 turnovers to the team in red. Despite claims they are taking each game as it comes, most international sides are targeting the next Rugby World Cup already. Looking forward to 2015, anyone placing bets on a Scotland win should be paid a visit by the men in white coats. The aim will be merely to escape what will be a difficult pool, and, even if this

is achieved, progression into the semi-finals is even less likely. Instead of this long-term view, Scotland should concentrate on short term, achievable goals. The focus, under a new coach, must now be on achievement and accountability. Andy Robinson has

50 Shades of Gray Sports Editor James Gray is pretending to hate Christmas I’m sorry for the Christmassy feel to this issue. I really am. Due to exams this year, our Christmas issue comes out in November. Now I personally hate Christmas itself, but as far as sport goes, it’s pretty epic. December is chock full of Premier League football, foreign Test series, and the back end of the NFL regular season. It’s exciting. Exciting enough that I might even subscribe to Rupert Murdoch’s sports network just so that I can completely and utterly distract myself from my family when Boxing Day inevitably hauls it’s enormous rear end into view, and I can’t bring myself to watch any more Taggart. We have done our best to round up some of the University sport, and although in the BUCS table we are currently down on previous years, the reports coming in from almost all the clubs are that membership numbers are up significantly, which can only be a good thing, following off the back of the best attending preseason training camp ever. The rugby club’s big night comes tomorrow in London, and I wish them the very best. A friend played last year and broke his wrist very early on; I hope no-one else befalls a similar fate, and that we can improve on the 32-0 drubbing of last year. On a personal level it is the end of my first semester serving

the students of St Andrews with sports coverage, both in and outside of the Bubble. I have made some incredible discoveries, learnt more about obscure sports, and am watching more live football than I can ever remember. I couldn’t of course do any of this without the rest of the sports team, and Andrew McQuillan’s sporting review of 2012 is as ever, excellent and incredibly funny. Martin Saarinen’s new blog, Hot Wheels, is also receiving deserved attention, and in the wake of yet another incredibly dramatic F1 season, he has two fascinating new posts over at The Saint Online on the result itself and Lewis Hamilton’s imminent move to Mercedes. Our other back page story is something of a rarity in university sport: a fight. It is a story that has been known to us for some time, but as I’m sure you can appreciate, we have been reluctant to report until all the facts are known and all the relevant investigations had been completed. This should not detract from the 1st XI’s excellent start to the season, and the very watchable football which they play. To all our readers then, to exam markers, to the Green Bay Packers, and most importantly, to Luis Suarez’s agent, I wish you all a very happy Christmas, and a restful January.

Murrayfield. This is not to say that four losses is acceptable, but that, given the current state of Scottish rugby, and the time it will take for the new coach to bed in, it is not realistic to expect more. In order to achieve these shortterm goals Scotland must start to execute the basics properly. The current failure to do so starves them of quality possession and the ability to carry out their game plans. Against Tonga, it wasn’t even evident that there was a game plan at all, this needs to be fixed urgently. As South Africa have done, the men in blue need to develop a plan that they are capable of playing to, given the players they have in the squad. Lock Richie Gray, No. 8 Dave Denton and speedster Tim Visser must be at the centre of a strategy which focuses on a solid set piece, intelligent kicking and hard running. All of which would be greatly aided by consistency in selection of the half-

back combination. The constant chopping and changing does not aid team cohesion; the new coach needs to decide what his best 9 and 10 combination is and stick with them. This will at least provide stability among the team’s key decision makers, without the fear of being subbed or dropped for one mistake - Mike Blair ’s early bath against the Springboks comes to mind. When set out on paper the problems appear obvious and the solutions simple for whomever picks up the reigns of Scottish rugby. However, this is far from the case. 2013 offers little respite from the gruelling intensity of test match rugby, but Scotland must go back to basics to give themselves a chance of progressing. At the very least they must make themselves difficult to beat instead of gifting the opposition scoring opportunities. International rugby would be all the better with a competitive Scotland team.

Robinson gone: where next for Scotland? Nathaniel Breakwell

Scotland in 2012 have won three and lost eight, picking up the inglorious honour of the Six Nations ‘wooden spoon’ along the way. Sounds bad? It gets worse. A win against Fiji is nothing to write home about, and equally uninspiring is the onepoint victory over Samoa, and the 9-6 victory over Australia in a game of underwater rugby was a meteorological anomaly. More worrying are the losses against Italy and Tonga, with the latter confirming that Scotland will now face an uphill battle at the Rugby World Cup in 2015, where they will face two of the top eight nations in the pool stages. The recent autumn internationals have clearly demonstrated the problems that are plaguing Scottish rugby; chiefly, an inability to get over the gain line, an unimaginative backline and poor execution of basic skills. Despite scoring three tries against New Zealand, which

13%

Andy Robinson’s 6 Nations win percentage as Scotland’s head coach fallen on his sword - the question of why he was allowed to carry on for so long despite poor results remains unanswered by the SRU. The minimum requirement for this year ’s Six Nations must be to beat Italy. The stretch target will be to challenge England at Twickenham and Ireland when they visit


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The Saint • Thursday 29 November 2012

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BUCS Semester 1: The best of the rest Table Tennis Once again the club attained great success in the SSS Premier Division, winning the league and becoming Scottish National Champions for a third consecutive year. Despite winning the previous two years with ease, this year was a much harder league and included an Edinburgh team containing a professional Scottish National Team player and another former Scottish International. Michael Hahn and Prab Leelayudth provided the backbone of the team, remaining undefeated until their final fixture against Edinburgh, with both being able to give credible performances and win one set against Edinburgh’s international player. Jon Wong was also a strong player throughout the season and managed to secure one win against Edinburgh which proved crucial to winning the title.  The team also benefited from strong performances from Bjoern Meyer and Ben Robinson. The team is now looking forward to the British Cup with the hope

of reaching the semi-finals which would qualify the team for the European University’s Championships - an aim which was narrowly missed last year; the play-offs near the end of the season will be the key to earning promotion to the British Premier league for next season. Badminton The team have had a solid start to the year. With strength in depth on the men’s side and some enthusiastic new women to bolster the team, the side have already wrapped up a Scottish Conference Cup pool win and are through to the next round. In a very tight SSS division, the team have pulled out some fantastic away draws and are looking forward to improving upon these results at home. Most recently, we played a match against Heriot Watt with St Andrews winning that match 11-1. St Andrews also recently held a hugely successful men’s and women’s singles championships in aid of Disability Sport Fife, raising

Stretch your way to success

the shoulder and arm region. Chin tucks may be carried out to correct this posture; this exercise strengthens the muscles that pull the head back into alignment over the shoulders.

It is that time of year where deadlines are fast approaching and many students will find themselves increasing the time spent sitting at their desks. Prolonged sitting, even while maintaining a good posture, can result in muscle and joint stiffness which can lead to aches and pain and eventual injury. It is important to take frequent short breaks to encourage movement of joints and stretching of muscles to preserve normal range and prevent potential complications. The following are some chair exercises to incorporate into your breaks. Chin Tuck - Many people sit slouched with their chin poked forward; this position can lead not only to neck pain but also headache and even referred symptoms in

£150, and hope to hold a similar charity doubles tournament in the second semester. With a trip to the upcoming Scottish International Badminton Championships and plans for a mid-season training week in January, Badminton remain a very driven and active club and have set themselves up extremely well for a strong run-in to the end of the season. Basketball Saints Basketball got off to an amazing start this semester with a great bunch of new, keen recruits and captains Andy McIndoo and Hannah Rogers taking over the coaching helm. The men’s team saw a huge number graduate in May, meaning that this year ’s line-up is mostly made up from new faces. Unfortunately, this inexperience has shown through in the BUCS away fixtures, though a nail-biting victory against Strathclyde at home (with Chris Nigh producing a heroic buzzer beater) revealed the potential waiting to be exploited.

A few home crowds and the game-time experience from the local fixtures could be all this team needs to shine. In the BUCS 2A league the young women’s team chalked up some solid victories, far outmatching Stirling, Abertay, Heriot-Watt and Glasgow 2nds.   The away fixtures against Edinburgh 2nds and Queen Margaret were hard-fought matches and frustratingly close losses for the team that had entered the season with such high hopes. The women have been training hard for the return fixtures and are looking forward to next semester which promises to be a busy one with the Fife and Tayside League getting into full swing and the next round of the BUCS Conference Cup to be played.  Cricket Despite difficult training times and a damp summer season, the men’s Cricket Club has truly gone from strength to strength over the past few months. Although the BUCS season does not start until April, attendance at

head and nose toward your armpit. Hold stretch for about 30 seconds each side. Pelvic Tilt - This exercise strengthens the muscles of your lower back and abdomen which promotes back stabilization and reduces the chance of back injury while promoting improved posture. Starting in a good, seated position, engage the abdominals and slowly arch and flatten the lower back.

In a good sitting position with your chin parallel to the floor, slowly draw your chin and head straight back so your ears line up with your shoulders. You will feel

and down and hold for 5 seconds. Repeat about 10 times. a stretch in the back of your neck. Repeat about 10 times. Scapular Retraction - When you hunch forward over your desk, strain is placed on your upper back. This exercise will strengthen the muscles responsible for squeezing your shoulder blades together and pulling your shoulders back into an improved position. Draw your shoulder blades back

training has been exemplary and the boys have been working hard under the tutelage of new coach and Scotland ‘A’ player Fraser Burnett. Furthermore, indoor fixtures have been part of our preparations, as the Seagulls qualified for the SSS Indoor 6s finals with two thumping victories in the Aberdeen qualifiers, meaning the side will go to finals day next year full of optimism. During the inter-semester break, the team will go on their bi-annual tour; this year ’s destination is Barbados which should provide a fantastic environment in which to play some top quality opposition and test ourselves in conditions far removed from the damp, cold fields of Scotland. St Andrews currently sit 36th in the BUCS overall championship, which collates results from every participating sport to give each university an overall score, and 3rd in Scotland, behind leaders Edinburgh and close rivals Stirling. The Saint will be keeping a close eye on the battle for second in Scotland when fixtures resume in February.

Levator Scapula Stretch - The levator scapula muscle runs between the shoulder blade and the upper neck and, when tight can be the culprit of stiff neck. It is important to stretch this muscle to eliminate and prevent neck pain. Sit upright in a chair and hold onto the underside of the seat with one hand. Rotate your head to the opposite side of the hand that is under your chair. Take your opposite hand and pull your

Complete 10 repetitions. Hip Flexor Stretch - Tightness of the hip flexors is also a common mechanism for developing low back pain as the back attempts to compensate for hip joints loss of mobility. Tight hip flexors cause the pelvis to tilt forward, flattening the natural curve of the lower spine which also increases risk of back

injury. Slide to one side of your chair where one leg is off the seat. Reach the free leg as far back as possible while bringing the shoulders back as well. You should feel the stretch at the front of the hip. Hold for 30 seconds and switch sides. If you experience pain in any area persisting for more than a day, it is advisable to seek treatment. To arrange an appointment with START, please call 01334 462 190 or visit www.startclinic.co.uk


The Saint • Thursday 29 November 2012

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BUCS ROUND UP

Rugby The men’s 1st XV are in the middle of both their BUCS league and their amateur league (see back page). The 2nd XV have not fared so well, having lost all their BUCS fixtures this semester. The women’s team sit atop the Scottish division, having lost none of their five games this year (one draw), and having scored a remarkable 211 points: their unbeaten run extends back to February!

Water Polo This semester has been a successful one for the Saints Water Polo Club. The women’s 1st team won two of their three games this season, while the men’s 1st team continued their winning streak with two wins against Glasgow (12-5) and Dundee (13-8). The pressure was then on to secure the Student Sport Scottish Water Polo Championship. On 21 November, the team faced Edinburgh to decide the championship title. Both teams went into the match unbeaten with the first match in Edinburgh ending as a 7-7 tie, meaning this would effectively determine the title for 2012/13. The game resulted in a narrow victory for the Saints with a 14-13 win, to give the mens’s team an oustanding chance to secure the Scottish Championship in their next two games, as St Andrews continue their domination of Scottish water polo.

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R

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Archery The club were thrilled to see over 100 people turn up to our first beginner ’s session. In terms of results Saints Archery sits in the middle of the Scottish University league tables following solid performances in the first two league matches of the season. Our experienced and novice teams have left us well placed for 2013.

Netball The 1st VII took on the challenge of creating a new team to compete against the other top university teams, including a completely new defensive line-up who have more than risen to the challenge. Hard work at training has paid off, with the team winning five out of six games and sitting in second place in BUCS Scottish 1A. Three players have also been selected for the SSS squad. The 2nd VII are currently topping the table in Scottish 3A and are well on track to push for promotion again at the end of the season. The 3rd VII have bounced back from a difficult season last year. Really hard work as a team has paid off and given rise to some great results. Victories against Heriot Watt and Strathclyde have meant they are now second in Scottish 4A.

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Tennis The Saints particularly enjoy the sport of kings, but sometimes that isn’t enough. Some very valiant efforts this semester have been in vain, although the Women’s team secured a very creditable draw with Stirling 1sts to give them much hope for the coming semester. The Men too have struggled in a strong division, and are still searching for their first BUCS victory of the year.

2012

Hockey The men’s 1st XI are one of the University’s most successful teams, as they currently top a very strong Scottish division with five wins from five. For the women’s side, it would appear to be a very different story, as they are bottom of the league with just one win this year, but a regular spectator of the team will know that one or two bits of luck here and there and it could be so very different.

Football The 1st XI are top of the local Fife League Division 1, sit second in their BUCS table, while the 2nd XI are second in their own division, with four wins from four games. The women’s 1st XI however are eight points clear at the top of the Scottish division and were unbeaten until mid-November, and will be hunting for trophies in 2013.

Ultimate Frisbee The Open squad, after disposing of the eventual winners and the eventual third place finishers in Saturday pool play, had a difficult Sunday to drop down to fifth. Three games played, three single-point defeats, and while the teams we beat head down to Nationals, we have to settle for division 2. The Mixed team suffered an even more painful reverse, losing to a team we’d already beaten on the Sunday to miss out on Nationals. The Women’s team finally put things right last weekend, having qualified for the semi-final, put a tough loss behind them to thrash Glasgow and book their place at the top table. Relief all round, and they’ll be off to Cardiff next week to take on the rest of the UK.


SAINT

2012 Review

Sport

Andrew McQuillan’s whimsical take on this year’s biggest sport stories p29

1st XV seek revenge in capital Varsity Match Stuart Harlow

On Friday, Scotland’s two most historic Universities will take an age-old rivalry to London on St Andrew’s Day this year, when they meet for the annual Scottish Varsity game. The unique fixture between the University of St Andrews and the University of Edinburgh dates back more than 150 years and predates the annual Oxford versus Cambridge Varsity played at Twickenham. Crowds predicted in the thousands are expected to turn out to see the top men’s rugby sides in action at the event which will be hosted by London Scottish FC in West London.  After an excellent start to the season, The Saints have slipped to fourth in the RBS Caledonia Regional Division 1, to which they were promoted last year, while they sit third in BUCS Scottish Division 1. Their form has been distinctly inconsistent, and they travel to London off the back of a 35-16 defeat away to league leaders Aberdeen. They will be hoping to raise their game for the big occasion, and please the crowd. Last season’s event saw more than 1,500 spectators attend, including former Scotland winger and London Scottish Director Kenny Logan and Strictly Come Dancing judge Alesha Dixon, when Edinburgh took home the trophy with a 32-0 victory.  Both Universities are leading

the way in Scottish Rugby by each employing full time members of staff to focus on their Rugby programmes. Director of Rugby at St Andrews, David Ross, has more than four years of experience working as one of Scottish Rugby’s Performance Development Managers and David Adamson, Edinburgh’s Rugby Development Officer, has risen quickly through Scottish Rugby’s Coach Education System. Director of Rugby at the University of St Andrews David Ross said: “This event shows the vision and professional attitude that both rugby programmes are delivering in their Universities, the potential to make this event one of the major rugby dates in the calendar is huge.  “For alumni living in the South East of England in particular, the game provides a great opportunity to celebrate St Andrews Day and have the chance to cheer on their old University’s current rugby squad against their ‘arch’ enemies. “So grab your friends, your former class mates or former rivals and get down to Richmond to watch the game.” Admission to the game, which kicks off at Richmond Athletic Ground at 7:30pm tomorrow nigt, is priced at £10 per ticket for adults, U16’s free, and includes post match entertainment until 2am. Tickets can be purchased online at www.londonscottish.com

Photos: University of St Andrews

Saints given points decision after punch-up James Gray

The University’s 1st XI Football team were last week handed three points fron a game on 8 September against Queensferry Albert after the referee was forced to abandon the match when both sides were drawn into a full-scale brawl. The decision comes after the Fife Amateur Football Association had originally ruled to have the game replayed. The Football club however, who denied any wrong-doing in the incident and were leading the game at the time, decided to appeal the decision and took the hearing to Hampden before the Scottish Amateur Football Association (SAFA), where they were awarded the three points. The incident took place on 8

September, at the very beginning of the Saints’ Fife League Division 1 campaign. In a bad-tempered game, after a late challenge, emotions overflowed and a fight broke out between the two teams, which, although it lasted no more than a minute, involved several members of both teams, and saw punches thrown. While no one was seriously injured, players sustained cuts and bruises, causing the referee to abandon the game as he felt he no longer had control of the fixture. The Saint was keen to report the incident immediately, but we were advised against it on the grounds that the incident would be subject to league, and potentially criminal, investigation. The police did not get involved however; but the FAFA did.

A war of words developed on the league’s online forums, causing the club to ask its players to refrain from comment until the investigation had run its course. After last week’s result, captain and goalkeeper Alistair Cummings spoke to us about the whole affair. “I feel that the SAFA made the right decision to grant us the three points in the end and I don’t think we could have expected a much better outcome from them. It’s a shame it had to go all the way to an appeal at Hampden, but I’m happy the team’s effort in that game has finally been rewarded with a win that we fully deserved. I think those three points will prove to be very important in our title push.” First team manager Stuart Milne, who was unable to attend the

hearing at Hampden due to family commitments, also spoke to us about the result: “The incident itself was one of those that will happen once in a blue moon. Sometimes you come up against teams when these things can spill over. In terms of that game it was a one-off. It did spiral out of control a wee bit. The referee did the right thing [in abandoning the game]. You don’t want to see that sort of stuff on a football pitch and you don’t want to have players put in a position where that might become a part of the game. However physical the Saturday games might get, I’ve never seen it get to the level it got to in that game. It won’t happen again.” Milne went on to say that he was not worried about the appeal. “The SAFA looked at the same evidence as

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the FAFA and decided that we should be awarded the points. Having spoken to the SAFA before we put the appeal in I was quietly confident that we would get the points. Everything pointed towards that. We are delighted to get the three points from it and hopefully that’s an end to the matter.” The Saints face a potentially fiery return trip to Queensferry Albert after Christmas, but Milne did not seem worried about a repeat result. “They’ll still be that little bit of friction, but we’re just happy that we’ve handled the situation relatively well and I think we’ll learn from it.” The matter may not yet be closed, as the FAFA have a right of appeal against the SAFA’s decision to overrule them.


Issue 168