n The hard man e r i S of melancholy the
Interview: Siren - Page 6
Indian adventures Page 10
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The Difference is We’re Independent
Issue 7 | Volume 22 | 20th January 2009
BIKE BANDITS CHASED BY COP-TERS ■ Garda helicopter deployed to apprehend bike thief A youth was arrested after a number of two-wheeled thieves were involved in a not so high speed Garda chase across campus involving patrol cars and a Garda helicopter. One bike burglar was bungled into the back of a patrol car when he found his getaway to be somewhat inadequate. The arrest took place on the 8th of January outside the Veterinary Science Building. According to Sergeant Jim Molloy, a bicycle was recovered alongside the juvenile around 4.30 p.m. The male suspect was taken to Donnybrook Garda Station for questioning. The Garda Press Ofﬁce said that he was later released without charge and a ﬁle is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.
■ Karina Bracken According to a spokesperson for UCD, “Over the course of the past 4 to 5 weeks, there have been two incidents of bicycle thefts reported to the Gardai. The outcome of these particular incidents is still pending.” The incident occurred during UCD’s ﬁrst week back after the Christmas holidays as staff and students returned to business as usual. According a source within UCD, the average number of bike thefts on campus was up to four per week last year. However, this ﬁgure decreased during last semester.
» Continued on page four
College Tribune | January 20th 2009
As Gaeilge: A thousand UCD students to ditch English for a week ■ Jennifer Bray Over 1,000 students on campus are set to go ‘As Gaeilge’ for a week, in order to test the feasibility of the government’s 20-year plan for the Irish Language. The government has already outlined ambitions to have over one in twenty people speaking ﬂuent Irish by 2028, with the projected number averaging around 250,000 daily speakers. The event will coincide with the Seachtain Na Gaeilge which takes place on the campus from the 2nd until the 6th of February. The 20-year plan was originally devised in a 2006 statement on the Irish language by An Taoiseach, who then gave two years to devise a strategy for the preservation and promotion of the Irish language. Those who have been sponsored over 15 can expect a hoodie emblazoned with “No Bearla”, and to gain free access to the Irish week events including tickets to music acts the Coronas, Kila and comedian Des Bishop, but must not speak a word of English. President of the Students’ Union Aodhán Ó Deá has said “If the government believes that by 2028, 1 in 20 will be speaking Irish every day, we should have no problem getting 1 in 20 UCD students speaking Irish for a week.” At present, there are just over 21,000 students in the college. Irish Language Ofﬁcer Donal Hanratty, who believes the week will be an innovative success, also has high ambitions for the project exclaiming he would like to turn the college into the “most vibrant Gaeltacht in Ireland.” “The vast majority of students here have spent 14 years studying Irish in school, it is about time we heard cúpla focaI,” he added. All proceeds made from the week will go towards the charity Bóthar. The initiative for the spread of the Irish language is not the ﬁrst in UCD, with an accommodation already set up comprising Irish-only speaking dorms. Demand for places in these residences this year was at an all time high with previous tenants claiming over 100 applications were made for a mere 16 places.
No library lockdown in 2009 There will be no further cutbacks in library hours or services in either the James Joyce Library or the Blackrock library this semester, as has been previously proposed and anticipated. A source within the library has said there has been no immediate change, though a general staff meeting is due to take place at the end of January in which the subject may be breached.
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■ Jennifer Bray In 2008, The College Tribune received copies of conﬁdential documents outlining plans for a library lockdown, including a proposed budget cut of 12%, amounting to 1.3 million for the academic year. Suggested savings were due to be
achieved through axing library hours via routes such as reduced evening hours from January, a reduction in student shelver hours, and a reduction in Saturday opening hours from January. Further proposals to slash library hours centred on cutting the staff evening work hours which caused condemnation from sources within
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the library and the Students’ Union. This also included downgrading The James Joyce library evening opening hours from ﬁve nights to three nights, cutting evening hours from the Health Service from three nights to two, and most detrimentally reducing Blackrock Library staff hours by 50%. Extra cuts to Blackrock were ‘still to be conﬁrmed’.
College Tribune | January 20th 2009
What a cushy number ■ Butler and Brady empty pockets of €55,000 for Couches and Coffee Tables The Students’ Union has received over €55,000 in funding to invest in “chill-out areas” for Belﬁeld €35,000 of the money was sourced from the Student Capital Fund. It is understood President Hugh Brady matched the sum with a further €20,000 in a gesture of goodwill. Plans include a renovation of existing seating areas and the creation of new ones with leather couches and coffee tables. At present, it is the Agriculture and Science buildings which are set for an interior design makeover. The idea was a joint initiative of Paul Lynam and Dan O’Neill, SU Education and Campaigns Ofﬁcer respectively. Lynam and O’Neill were impressed when they visited other universities last September. “Of all the institutions we visited, DCU was one of the most exceptional.” The ﬁeldtrip involved research into DIT’s “large, vibrant student areas which include couches, tables, pool tables, computer games and TVs”. After the trip a presentation was compiled and presented to Martin Butler, Vice President for Students. Lynam and O’Neill believe that the areas of campus most need of improvement are Science and Ag. Based on quotes from UCD Buildings and Services, €15,000 has been allocated to Ag and €10,000 for the Science Block. The situation is so staid in Ag that the SU believes it merits an LCD TV. It will play music videos and cost somewhere in the region of €5,000. Similarly a lick of paint and much-needed general redecoration will come in at approximately €2,000. “The area in Ag has the potential to provide space for students to relax, chat, have lunch or even work on group projects.” Speaking about the current facilities in Science, the SU stated: “It is felt that the current seating in the Science Block is uncomfortable and too en-
■ Karina Bracken closed. We would like to remove it in exchange for softer seats.” Located at the periphery of campus, the Newstead building is in dire need of a recreational area according to Lynam and O’Neill. “We believe that four sturdy couches at a maximum cost of €2000 would sufﬁce.” Benches are planned for in front of the Engineering building “to improve campus outside areas for outdoor activities and to be more conducive to student on-campus living.” Some money will also go towards ﬁtting more water fountains in various buildings across campus. O’Neill commented that the enhancement of recreational areas “would both improve the community spirit in UCD and also students’ general well-being”. It seems that the SU are delighted with their success: “this shows students a tangible beneﬁt of having a Students' Union that’s able to negotiate on their behalf”. Speaking about the drive to secure funding for the project, Lynam said that “it is important for students to have well-resourced areas to relax in during those stressful exam periods. I'm particularly delighted as this was a key manifesto promise for both myself and Dan.” By revamping some of the recreational areas in Belﬁeld, the SU says its aim “is to improve both student welfare and a sense of community on campus. We also want to help UCD lead as a shining example of a third level institution who values students both academically and socially”. O’Neill and Lynam look forward to seeing the fruits of their labour providing a sanctuary and place of comfort in the form of a couch upon which many a UCD student can rest their weary head.
Repeat students refunded half registration fee According to the Fees & Grants section of the UCD website, ﬁnal year undergraduate students who successfully completed their degree at the end of the ﬁrst semester 2008/09 will be entitled to a refund of half their Registration Fee. The ‘Student Services Charge’ was cut by half for those who had returned to UCD for one semester to repeat any modules. This is because they are ofﬁcially only attending UCD for half the academic year but previously they had to pay for the full year. The website said that ﬁnal year undergraduate students who successfully ﬁnished their degrees last semester have been informed of a 50% reduc-
■ Karina Bracken tion in the Student Services charge of €450 following a recent decision by the University. Ofﬁcials say that the decision was reached after extensive discussions between college authorities. The Student Centre has also agreed to a 50% cut in the Student Levy of €75 for these students. The UCD Registry has emailed all students affected by the decision. Those who have paid their fees in full will receive a refund of €525 in the weeks following their degree result, provided all other outstanding fees have been fully paid.
■ Comfy: UCD president Hugh Brady helped to fund the introduction of new couches, and a DIT seating area (above)
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College Tribune | January 20th 2009
■ Katie Godwin Minister for Education Batt O’Keeffe is due to bring proposals relating to the re-introduction of fees to cabinet in April. These proposals will include student loans, graduate taxes and the minister’s own personal suggestions. Meanwhile, students are set to engage in another all-round antifees march and protest in early February. President of the Students’ Union Aodhán Ó Deá has outlined that the student’s stance has not altered. “Batt O’Keeffe’s proposals are once again short-sighted and unreasonable,” he said. According to Mr O’Keeffe, "at a time of difﬁcult choices for the public purse, there is a strong equity argument that those who beneﬁt from higher education - and who can afford to contribute to the costs of should be asked to do so." However Mr Ó Deá strongly disagrees with the minister’s reasoning. “We should no longer judge students on their parents’ income alone. The grants system has shown that this does not work and so many students are independent of their families. Access to third
Fees proposals to be brought to cabinet in April level should be accessed on ability, people should have limitless opportunity to pursue and fulﬁl their potential, regardless of their position in society.” A series of public meetings and rallies will be held in the lead up
to the national protest on the 4th of February. The march will take place in Dublin City Centre, with students from all over the country coming together to voice their opinions on the fees issue. It is being co-coor-
dinated by the Union of Students' in Ireland which has been involved in the organisation of regional protests all around the country since the threat of fees was raised by Minister for Education Batt O’Keefe.
■ Batt O’Keeffe: The fees issue is only just beginning
Bike bandits chased by cop-ters
Credits to be Awarded for Extra-Curricular Activities ■ Karina Bracken
» Continued from front page At present, approximately one third of students and staff cycle to UCD. A representative of the campus bike shop said that the number of people using the bikes as their principle mode of transport to UCD could be as high as 8,000. The representative advised students to spend extra on security for their bike, “Although there isn’t really a huge difference in the price.” Unicare have previously issued advice on preventing bike theft. “Firstly use quality bicycle locks and if necessary use two or more locks. Secondly lock your bicycle at the designated stands on campus. In order to make your bike a less attractive target for a would-be thief, Unicare suggests that you make it distinctive in some way using paints, stickers, etc.” A spokesperson for UCD has also said “Unfortunately, every year there are a number of reports of bicycle thefts on campus. In order to eliminate this problem, it is important that every member of the UCD community play their part by remaining vigilant at all times.” The spokesperson further advises students to ensure “bicycles are locked through the frame to a bicycle stand, removable bicycle parts are secured, a secure lock is used rather than ineffectual locks, and bicycle parking stands are used where provided.” To report a stolen bicycle contact the local Donnybrook Garda Station
» (01 6669200) and the First Response Room (01 716 1200).
Starting in September 2009, students will be rewarded academically for extracurricular participation in college life. The SU President Aodhan O’Dea has conﬁrmed that credits will be allocated to those involved in activities that contribute to the social aspect of UCD. The introduction of the award scheme was part of Education Ofﬁcer Paul Lynam’s manifesto and according to O’Dea, the SU has worked hard to convince college authorities of the merits of the scheme. O’Dea gave an example of what credits could be awarded for. “If someone writes for the student newspaper, or is involved in the running of a society, they could quality for credits under the new system. However, it wouldn’t just simply apply to everything. In order for students to obtain credits they would have to demonstrate the “learning outcomes” of their activity and how it has beneﬁted college life.” The idea was placed as a motion that was passed before the SU council. A proposal was then put to the Undergraduate and Postgraduate boards. The Registrar Philip Nolan approved the project and it was subsequently backed by President Hugh Brady. While there are plans
■ Join us: Students who get involved in society life will be rewarded to begin the scheme in September, the details of its implementation will need to be further reﬁned. Similarly with the introduction of UCD Horizons, problems may arise such as the conversion of activities to credits. The project will involve a
lot of communication and co-operation between societies, sports clubs and academic facilities. While the concept may seem like an American one, O’Dea and Lynam believe that student should be rewarded for their contribution in
the improvement of UCD’s nonacademic facilties. O’Dea explained that other universities such as DCU and D.I.T. already have this merit system for non-academic activities in place. Trinity are also trying to introduce a similar scheme.
College Tribune | January 20th 2009
Brierly: Students’ Union supportive of controversial security gates ■ “Showdown” between union and security ■ Union: Plans for checkpoint gates now on hold ■ UCD: The building of gates will continue Head of Residences Richard Brierly has claimed the Students’ Union were fully in support of a controversial plan for security I.D checkpoints on student residences. In a letter addressed to the authorities of UCD, Brierly said the union had given the thumbs-up to the initiative, which would shut down all entrances to residences replacing them with one security manned point. But President of the Students’ Union Aodhán Ó Deá has strongly refuted these claims, and now says there was no such exchanges whatsoever. After what he said was a “disastrous lack of consultation” between the student body and the college, the plans have been shelved until at least September 2009, and the union will now go into discussion with the relevant authorities. Last Semester, the wheels were put in motion to block all entrances to all student residences, leaving one security manned checkpoint in place. Students received a letter toward the end of term advising them that points would be put in place without further notice.
■ Jennifer Bray The union then counteracted with a letter of their own, saying they would oppose any such measures. In scenes of protest, students placed locks around the gates to keep them open, and refused to comply with guidelines set down by the security. One eyewitness claimed at one point there was a “show-down” between security and the union, with the union taking control of the situation. “There were massive queues of people unable to go in and get their cars, people unable to drive in to bring their stuff home for Christmas, and general chaos when they decided to begin this at the end of the semester,” says O Deá. “It is the issue which has got students the most riled up this year. I have received hundreds of e-mails and complaints from worried and angry students over this. We are actively seeking to remedy these problems”. It is believed the cost of the new security gates would be in the region of €200,000 a year. Checkpoints ensure
no visitors were in residences beyond 11 o’clock, and would ensure a general crackdown on all behaviour in the residences. A number of meetings were called at the end of last semester to address the issue, and the matter is now undergoing consultation for the following few weeks. According to a spokesperson for UCD, “For the safety and security of residents, the university is continuing the work required for the installation of the new gates. In line with this work, there will be increased direct consultation with the residents to ensure that the introduction of the new managed access system will enhance the on-campus living experience of the residents.”
College Tribune | January 20th 2009
News Investigation News
Karina Bracken looks at the struggle UCD graduates face to ﬁnd employment in current economic climate Students are generally shielded from the doom and gloom of economic forecasts during their college years. However, those that graduated this year are ﬁnding the realities of the current employment market in Ireland tougher than graduates of previous years. Adam Harvey writing The Irish Times explains, “graduates without experience will have to work harder than in previous years to ﬁnd a job.” AIB has been a good source of employment for recent graduates in the past. However last summer, it froze its graduate recruitment programmes due to the worsening crisis in the ﬁnancial sector. As a result of cost cutting measures, other companies such as KPMG have followed suit.
Who is being affected? Patrick graduated from UCD with a Bachelor of Arts degree this year. Unsure of what to do after university, he decided to work for a year or two to save for a Masters. Since returning from spending last summer in Spain, Patrick has been looking for a full-time job in Dublin. Despite his best efforts, his search is proving largely unsuccessful. “I haven’t found anything within the area of my degree. Before Christmas, I worked as a waiter in a hotel for a couple of months. But I eventually left because of the conditions. The hotel management’s treatment of staff was terrible and the pay was basic. Tips never really made up the difference.” During the job search, Patrick consulted with a job agency to ﬁnd temp work. While so far nothing has
been forthcoming, Patrick has taken a three-month unpaid internship in a publishing ofﬁce. With his effort to gain more work experience, he is hoping that his efforts to ﬁnd paid work to match his qualiﬁcations will more prove fruitful. “Otherwise, I can see myself going abroad when the internship ﬁnishes. I’ll probably do a TEFL course and teach English in Spain or Italy maybe.” Patrick reﬂects the attitude of other Irish graduates. Commentators on the future of graduate employment believe that present-day economic conditions will lead to another Irish diaspora, with students emigrating to ﬁnd jobs in other countries Another former UCD student Gemma graduated in 2008 with BA International in Italian and Art History. Upon graduating in December, Gemma quit her job as a waitress to concentrate full-time on her search for employment that better suits her qualiﬁcation. “The job search is so frustrating. Apart from temporary work in An Post over the Christmas, I have yet to ﬁnd anything suitable.” Like many graduates, Gemma is ﬂexible about where she works. However, employment and wages that reﬂect four years at university is scarce. Graduates of all disciplines have been advised to take minimum wage jobs and still search for something else. Graduates are particularly affected by the current crisis, as they are viewed over-skilled for minimum wage jobs. More often than not, employers seek
people for jobs with long term prospects at their company. On the other hand, graduates are often not experienced enough for jobs related to their ﬁeld of study. Many accept unpaid internships but competition for these positions is ﬁerce. Patrick agrees, “there is even a waiting list for the internship that I’m on.” Gemma would like to work in a gallery eventually but is hap-
“Ireland has the edge over others in the EU because it has an Anglophone, highly educated workforce as well as a free and open economy” py to take on a volunteer role at the moment until she gets enough experience. She is passionate about Art History, a ﬁeld that has always been hard to get into. Like some of her friends who are volunteering in galleries and museums, she may have to go on the dole until she gets enough experience to apply for a paid position. It is not just UCD graduates that are being affected by the current downturn in the Irish economy. Professor Brian Lucey who lectures in ﬁnance at Trinity College has prepared his students for the worst, according to an article in
The Sunday Tribune. In previous years, graduates from the course would have easily found employment in the banking, accountancy and corporate sectors. Lucey believes that educators need to prepare students for the bad news. “The jobs outlook is becoming gloomier by the day.” Mark Hutchinson, the co-director of the Centre for Investment Research at UCC, said that the university is anticipating student need in times of ﬁnancial crisis “by reshaping postgraduate business and ﬁnance courses”.
A Sign of Hope The outlook is not all bad. Booms and depressions represent the ﬂuctuating nature of any country’s economy. An article recently published in The Observer highlighted that Ireland will bounce back from the recession. One of the United States’ leading economists, a former adviser to the US government has given an upbeat assessment of Ireland’s economic prospects for the rest of the decade. Dr Robert E Kennedy, head of Business Administration at the University of Michigan has predicted that Ireland’s economy will be strengthened in the future by the amount and quality of its graduates. Kennedy predicted that more jobs will go from manufacturing in this country. “Ireland has very high labour costs compared to central and eastern Europe. In terms of low-skilled jobs involving physically assembling parts Ireland can’t compete.” Kennedy believes
that the key to our economic success will be down to its “highly skilled, educated workforce.” Using recent events to support this claim he explained, “What was interesting about the Dell decision was that it was its manufacturing arm being shifted to Poland. Dell is keeping most of its service and administrative base in Ireland.” Kennedy believes that advanced economies must shift their activities from manufacturing to services and specialist ﬁelds such as ﬁnancial expertise, biotechnology, innovation and design. Which is where graduates from Ireland’s universities come in. “Ireland has the edge over others in the EU because it has an Anglophone, highly educated workforce as well as a free and open economy.” Students must begin to prepare now for when they leave UCD. David from the Careers Ofﬁce in UCD says that some students have come to them worried about what they will do after graduating. He is optimistic and explains that the Careers Ofﬁce will be running a number of workshops and information sessions on issues such as volunteer work in the new term. “The new UCD Careers Ofﬁce website is launching on the 19th January, just in time for the start of term. It has advice for students such as “5 Top Tips for Troubles” for graduating and getting a job.”
» For further information visit www.ucd.ie/careers
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College Tribune | January 20th 2009
FAUSTUS Back Supping with the devils Welcome back, my fellow UCD minions. Welcome back to monotone grey, welcome back to the windswept wasteland that is Belﬁeld. In short, welcome back to hell. All well meaning New Year resolutions have long since been discarded, I trust. Of course, the hackish ones amongst the student populance have been going easy on the sherry over the festive time. You see, it’s election time, and there’s no need be afraid. It’s election time, where they let in hacks and they banish shame. In our world, of hackdom, they can spread a smile that’s false, they throw their arms around you voters at election time. Ahem. You see, it’s time for your well meaning members of the Student Union inner circle, who you just know and love, or rather loathe, to start their engines and toss their crude hats into the ring for the sabattical elections. Now Fautus is an old hand at this, and keeps his ear ﬁrmly pinned to the ground for these groundbreaking events (not a great place to be come to think about it). Your faithful correspondant learned that our dear Lord and Master, good ‘ol Aidy O’Dee
was thinking about running his smooth, well lubricated, PR machine into a second year at the helm of your SU. Faustus, for one is particularly loathed by such a concept. Memories abound of the last President who didn’t quite know when to quit, a two term colossus who extended a reign of terror across this concrete campus. ‘Fungus’ came to power at some stage in the black and white days, when times where simpler and the ladies would submit to his prickly charmless demeanour. He ﬁred Snobserver editors with gleeful abandon, threatened to take down the ents ofﬁce, and some say upon bumping into Marty Whelan outside the Nutley Mall, poor auld Marty was reduced to a jibbering wreck and his hair turned all snow white. You see ladies and gentlemen, such a notion should be dismissed at all costs. A second term, corrupts a once well meaning student servent into a hideous, ﬁre breathing dragon-like thing. Don’t do it Aidy, it’s not worth it. You’ll only transform into a dour-demeanoured dickhead of a man, and all the well polished Irish in the world won’t save you then. Perhaps, Faustus may get his wish for a good old fashion election scrap. Toss in Chris ‘Which boyband was I in again?’ Bond, maybe Paul ‘I got my face on a wall clock – it’s square!’ Lynam might have a lash as well. Let them run loose trading pointed barbs, give them ammunition, muskets perhaps, all for the good of the UCD populace. Yours optimistically
The rankings game In the Times Higher Education (THEQS) World University Rankings, some interesting results were thrown up for the Irish Universities. There has been a general move upwards by the Irish universities in the world rankings. In two cases, that of UCD and UCC, the climb upwards has been dramatic, with UCD improving its position by some 69 places on its previous year’s ranking and UCC improving its position by 60. However, all the universities rated, with the marginal exception of DCU, have improved. The world rankings were as follows: TCD 49th, UCD 108th, UCC 226th, DCU 302nd, DIT 328th, NUIG 366th and UL 394th. The survey was based on a number of inputs: academic peer review (40%), employer review (10%), staffstudent ratio (20%), citations per staff member (20%), international staff (5%) and international students (5%). TCD came out best on academic peer review, followed by UCD, with the rest of the Irish universities trailing by some distance. QUB did slightly better than TCD in citations per staff member and UCC narrowly outpointed UCD; however, none of the scores of the Irish universities in this category could honestly be described as spectacular. DIT came ﬁrst in the StaffStudent category, well ahead of every other institution, with NUIG bring up the rear. Most of the Irish universities did well in the International Staff category, except for DIT which this time came in last. The academic peer review category was itself composed of inputs from ﬁve dimensions: 1. arts/humanities; 2. social sciences, 3. natural sciences; 4. life sciences & biomedicine; and 5. technology. Here the results were very revealing and not particularly ﬂattering to the Irish institutions. Only 2 Irish universities made it into the top hundred in the academic peer review category: TCD in all categories except technology, and UCD in the Arts & Humanities and the Social Sciences. Neither TCD nor UCD made it into the top hundred in technology, and no Irish university other than TCD and UCD made it into the top 100 in any category.
Gerard Casey “Is any Irish university the best in the world? In so far as this question has any meaning, the answer is probably—no. But so what?” So much for what seem to be the facts. What do they mean? Well, surprisingly little. Take each of the categories. First, Academic Peer Review. This is just a fancy name for “What do you think of institutions other than your own?” a question which, while not completely meaningless, suffers from several limitations, including a positioning bias. Older institutions can be expected to do better than newer, bigger institutions better than smaller— after all, what do your average academic know of the University of Snake Bend, Missouri (not a real university!). Dividing this category into 5 components makes it slightly more relevant and focussed but still it comes down pretty much to a popularity contest where positioning (who is ﬁrst in the ﬁeld) is obviously important. The Employer Review is not entirely irrelevant but suffers again from an inherent bias towards the well-established and well-known and, even when corrected for geographical bias and limited knowledge, is more impressionistic than factual. The ratio of Staff to Students is gen-
uinely measurable (assuming the data submitted are correct) but in the end it is an unjustiﬁed assumption to suppose that an institution with a higher SS ratio must necessarily be inferior to one with a lower ratio. The “Citations per Staff Member” category is a classic instance of the fallacy of measuring the insigniﬁcant when the signiﬁcant is immeasurable. Once it becomes known that citation count matters in the rankings the possibility of corruption (“you cite me and I’ll cite you”) becomes very real, thus invalidating whatever signiﬁcance this process might have. It is also the case that such a measure overlooks the intrinsic value of the work cited. The International Factors (numbers of international staff and students) is a measurable quantity but not one that is hugely signiﬁcant. Provided such rankings are taken with several grains of salt, there really isn’t too much harm that they can do apart from inducing the sin of pride in the denizens of the common-rooms of the better-performing institutions. The problem arises when the universities take the rankings seriously and start making changes to enhance their ranking position. The mooted adoption of KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) by some of our universities would appear to be another instance of this mania for meaningless measurement. Is any Irish university the best in the world? In so far as this question has any meaning, the answer is probably— no. But so what? If not to be the best is to be worthless, then every institution except that in ﬁrst place stands condemned. How good, then, are our universities? This is a qualitative question and merits a qualitative answer. By the criteria that matter, the Irish universities are quite good. Is TCD, UCD, QUB, UCC, DCU, DIT, NUIG, UL 56th or 92nd or 101st in Europe or the world. Who can tell? Who, except the anally-retentive beancounter, cares?
» Gerard Casey is a senior lecturer in the UCD School of Philosophy
College Tribune | January 20th 2009
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So will Mr. Colm McCarthy, chairman of An Bord Snip, be recommending a pay cut for certain university presidents? Yours, Tom Colleran, 3rd Politics
YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO
There is very little that can surprise you at UCD, however every once in a while an outlandish idea with prompt a raised eyebrow. The notion that student’s living in on-campus accommodation will ﬁnd themselves in ‘gated accommodation’ is one such concept. With the annual bill for the gates approaching a staggering €200,000 covering guards and maintenance, one has to question the priorities of the University when the purchase of a single library book is a stretch. The students overwhelmingly do not want to see such measures to be enacted, and given that they are the ones who actually reside there, they need to a bigger part of this process. For the head of residences to claim student support to push his agenda forward is laughable. Some of the details in the proposal beggar belief. Student’s returning from a night out would have to walk a considerable distance in a dimlylit campus to return to their accommodation, and consideration for disabled students is notable for its absence. This plan ﬂies in the face of Brady’s grand plan of a 24/7 campus experience, and rarely has a proposal the ability to unite students in such a way.
In praise of Pete
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Last week saw the departure of Pete Mahon as manager of UCD’s soccer club. While the divorce of manager and club is no surprise following relegation, Mahon will be sorely missed by the Students, where he was an experienced head dealing mainly with a young, inexperienced set of players. Well thought of by his fellow managers in the League of Ireland, Mahon kept the club in the top division for the majority of his reign, working with the most meagre of ﬁnancial resources. Indeed, UCD FC’s insistence of balancing budgets and running the club in a sustainable fashion inevitably cost the team it’s place among the upper echelon of Irish football.
College Tribune | January 20th 2009
Looking for answers in India Many rural Indians are hindered by an inability to express themselves in English, Peter Lahiff talks about going there to set up a language course to get them talking. “Where do you play cricket?” I asked the ﬁrst of the ﬁve 10-14 year old Tamil boys in the group. “Where do you play cricket?” he repeated conﬁdently. I shook my head and looked to the next one who hesitated for a moment and then doubtfully repeated the question again. I shook my head once more. This wasn’t what I was looking for. We had practiced these phrases over the previous few days and now I wanted them to answer the question instead of repeating it. The game was simple a “goal” would be awarded to whoever answered correctly but it wasn’t going as well as I had hoped. Kevin Kelly and I, who work together in an English school in Dun Laoghaire, were giving classes in a children’s home in a rural part of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu about an hour and a half from the nearest big town Tiruchirapalli, that this has a population of over a million and is not considered a big city is a measure of the scale of things in this massive country. The home is run by a locally based NGO called the Society for Poor People’s Development, Indian’s don’t feel the need to use politically correct terminology when naming such organisations. SPPD was founded in 1995 by a man from the area, Mr. Raju, to support the education of rural children with after school programmes in the villages of these semi-arid plains. Many of the people in this area make a precarious living off the land as either tenant small-holders or landless coolies who graze their goats along the roadside or wherever they can ﬁnd greenery. Those who belong to the one of the regions indigenous tribes, known as Adi Dravida, are considered outcast by much of Hindu society and ﬁnd their employment prospects limited by discrimination, even though this has been outlawed for many years. Despite the fact that there is a largely state sponsored education system in India, it can prove very difﬁcult for some children to stay in school. This is due to the need for children to contribute to the household income, the cost of buying uniforms and books and the trouble they can have concentrating when undernourished. The fact that classes can contain up to sixty students makes it impossible for teachers to give extra attention to those who are struggling and if their parents can’t afford extra tuition they quickly get left behind. SPPD uses a combination of charity and state funding to reduce the drop-out rates of such children. They provide after-school programmes and a staffed live in centre for children whose families, for various reasons, are unable to support them. Here SPPD staff work to keep them in main-stream schooling,
at least up until they take the ﬁrst major state exam at 16 years of age. We got involved when SPPD fund raiser Paddy Doolin, a family friend of Kevin’s, approached him for advice on how to set up an effective English programme. Paddy had realised the need for the staff to be able to communicate better with visitors and fundraisers about the work of the organisation. He also saw beneﬁts in helping the children they were working with to get a good grasp of communicative English as it would enable them to hold their own in school, boost their self-conﬁdence, improve employment prospects in later life and equip them to resist discrimination at the hands of ofﬁcials. The most important element of an English programme is consistency. That means that we couldn’t just rely on the occasional visitor to give classes as had been the case in the past. I was aware of other programmes that sent out volunteers but without giving clear instructions on content or approach of their classes. The result is classes that are not relevant to the experience of the students or that are not taught in an appropriate way. If you send a student with a degree in
“We wanted to think of a way to bring something to the 700 children who took part in the after school programme in the surrounding villages”
geography out to India to teach English without adequate induction the chances are they will teach what they know in the way they are used to and mini-lectures on world geography for people mean nothing who may not be able to point out their own capital city on a map never mind identify Ireland. In order to decide what would work, however, it was necessary to talk to the students themselves as material designed for teaching English in Europe was likely to be way off the mark. This brought us to Tamil Nadu last December where we taught classes for ten days and interviewed all the people involved. We found that despite the years of study that they had put into learning the language in school, where it is introduced from a very young age, the staff and children alike struggled to make themselves understood. We asked to visit the schools and speak to the teachers in order to better understand what was happening. We were accompanied by Ms Manomani who looks after the children who live in SPPD. She introduced us and translated where necessary in the two schools we visited. The ﬁrst was a rural Adi Dravida Welfare School where most of the 1000 plus students were having their classes outdoors seated under the shade of trees, the boys on one side and the girls on the other while the teachers walked up and down between them supervising them as they did their exercises and learning off by heart. Many of the classrooms had holes in the corrugated roofs, which in the monsoon season must have leaked like sieves. There was no running water in the very inadequate toilet block. Yet
College Tribune | January 20th 2009
■ Students at the Adi Dravida welfare school where some of the residents of the children’s home also attend
■ Students from the surrounding villages involved in the after school on a day out all the students were hard at work, up to sixty of them to a teacher. Proudly displayed in the head mistress’ ofﬁce were the pass rates for the last ten years of the two major state exams the 10th and 12th standard, roughly equivalent of the junior and leaving certiﬁcates here. They are impressively high. After Manomani explained why we are here two of the school English teachers are called in and they explain to us the structure of the exam. The level required is high and they told us that as the standard of teaching is so poor in general, that by the time they get the students all they can do is coach them in tricks and tips and help them to learn off as many possible answers as they can. They concede that the students do not learn to communicate but insist that the students’ priority is to get through the exam. This reminds me of the worst kind of preparation for doing Irish in the past leaving certs, where essays were learnt off by heart and written regardless of the topic in the exam and the language was rapidly forgotten after.
The second school was the State Boys School in the nearby town of Musri which was much better equipped in terms of buildings and facilities. The posts in town schools are considered more desirable and the more qualiﬁed teachers compete for them. The brighter students from the countryside tend to come into the city for the 12th standard. This school had an English medium stream, where all subjects are taught through the language. These students are at a signiﬁcant advantage but as entry to this is by results at an early stage the students from a rural background are unlikely to get access to it. This explained why we were having trouble getting the students to use the language communicatively. All their schooling trained them to repeat exactly what the teacher said and memorise it. This meant that although you could get them to correctly pronounce and write anything down, they had no idea what the difference was between a question and an answer or how you
“We couldn’t just rely on the occasional visitor to give classes as had been the case in the past”
could use the language to talk about yourself. They were only being taught how to learn off and reproduce chunks of English but not how to communicate. I was starting to wonder if any of my ﬁve students were going to give me a valid answer to my question. I pointed repeatedly to the pictures that they had drawn for me the day before of the place where the sport, which is a national passion in India, is played. The next boy with an almost physical effort formed the phrase “Where do you play a cricket ground?” closer, but no goal. The next boy could barely restrain himself, he thought he had it, and when I asked him he blurted out “In a cricket ground”. Prompted with “I play...” he triumphantly responded, “I play cricket in a cricket ground” and won the ﬁrst of many goals in that
game. There were further breakthroughs for Kevin who was using Simon Says to teach actions and body parts. “Simon says put your ﬁnger on your nose” he said putting his hand on his head. They began to realise that they had to listen to what he said, not just copy what he did. He also banned them from speaking Tamil in his class which the students were enthusiastic about enforcing by telling on each other. We taught some adult classes too and it caused much amusement in the centre when the staff moved from saying the obligatory “I’m ﬁne” to saying “I’m not too bad” and “I’m great” when asked “How are you”. In addition to teaching 25 children and 10 staff in the community centre we wanted to think of a way to bring something to the 700 children who took part in the after school programme in the surrounding villages. We took the opportunity of a meeting of the tutors on that programme to take some of them for classes. The communicative ability of the group was mixed but we reckoned that if we could raise their level of communicative English that it would trickle down to beneﬁt their students. We also showed them some communicative games which they could use with large groups. We were satisﬁed that we had a clear outline for a programme that had the potential to reach a large number of children in the area and just needed to staff it on a consistent basis. There had to be a regular supply of teachers to run the programme for at least eight
More information Applications are now being accepted for the Annalivia / SPPD scholarships to train this year and go to teach in Tamil Nadu from August to December 2009. ■ Contact email@example.com for more information ■ www.annaliviaschool.com/annaliviaschool/Main/TEFL.htm ■ www.sppdonline.org/mission.aspx
months a year, outside the exam season and school holidays, if it was to succeed. We decided to offer scholarships on the teacher training programme that we run in our school in Dun Laoghaire. This means a free place on the course, which normally costs €1050, for two people per year, each committing to a separate four month spell teaching in Tamil Nadu. SPPD have agreed to fully support them, providing full bed and board, a dedicated teaching space and nominal pocket money to cover the teacher’s other expenses. It also gives these newly qualiﬁed teachers experience for their CV of teaching across a range of ages and levels in a position that requires a good bit of initiative and responsibility. Kevin’s breakthrough moment came when the Simon Says group came back to him the next day and were eager to show him something. Taking his pen one of the boys gestured him to look, “the pen is on the chair” he said excitedly, Kevin nodded and tried to move them on to what he wanted to teach that day, but the student again gestured insistently and changing the position of the pen said, “the pen is under the chair”. He went on to do the same with “over”, “behind” and “in front of”. This was an impressive display of understanding and Kevin wondered where they had picked up the new language. Then he remembered that he had done the same thing in a class with the staff which included Mekala who supervises the children’s homework time. It turned out that they had asked her for English tips to give them an advantage in the games they were playing in our classes. We felt sure when we left that this trickle down effect would continue to be felt by students that we had never taught directly ourselves.
» Peter Lahiff is a former editor to the College Tribune and Director of Teacher Training for Annalivia School of Languages
College Tribune | January 20th 2009
Above the cityscape a dirty blue sky is pierced by a ball of light that descends slowly to earth. With the distinct appearance of an unexploded ﬁrework, it ﬂickers from side to side and leaves a trail of smoke in its wake. It is a Hamas rocket that inﬁltrates the Israeli skyline. A few miles away screaming Palestinian children are carried into overcrowded hospitals by their parents. They have been injured by Israeli shelling of the Gaza Strip in retaliation for Hamas’ rockets. In recent weeks you have probably been confronted by these images on the evening news or on the front page of a newspaper. They show the ongoing conﬂict between Israel and Palestine in the Gaza strip. Those with any exposure to the media will be aware of the renewal of ﬁghting between these two states. Since the last weekend in December Israel has responded with overwhelming force to Hamas, causing many to question whether this is an offensive rather than a defensive reaction. Israel has launched a war from the air and initiated a ground invasion. After three weeks of ﬁghting, the current Palestinian death toll stands at over 1,000, one third of which are children. At the time of writing the number of Israelis killed by Hamas rockets is 13, including 3 civilians (an added four Israeli soldiers were killed accidentally by their own forces). Angry protests against Israeli and the number of Palestine deaths have since broken out in Arab nations and across the wider world, including a rally in Dublin attended by eight-hundred people. Pro- and anti-Israel protesters have clashed violently outside Israeli embassies. The conﬂict is centred in the Palestine territory of the Gaza Strip, which is separated from the West Bank by Israel. The Israelis are led by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Mahmoud Abbas is the leader of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) and he is recognised by both Israel and the Americans. He is open to negotiation with Israel and has called for Hamas to halt ﬁring. However, popular support in the Strip is for the Palestinian Liberation Authority (PLA) which is fronted by Hamas. Hamas controls Gaza and is considered a terrorist organisation for the suicide bombings it has carried out in Israel. Professor Scott Lucas lectures in American Studies at the University of Birmingham and is adjunct professor at UCD’s Clinton Institute. Lucas has been blogging on his website EnduringAmerica.com with rolling updates since Day One of the conﬂict. He explains that the ceaseﬁre between Israel and Hamas ended on the 27th of December 2008. Hamas began ﬁring rockets into Israel and the Israelis responded immediately with aggressive force. What does Lucas think caused the failure to renew the ceaseﬁre? “There are a number of reasons. Israel does not recognise the right of Hamas to exist in a political sphere; they are considered a terrorist organisation that is not to be negotiated with. Even though Hamas were legally elected to power in the Gaza Strip. Similarly, Hamas does not recognise
Trouble in the Middle East The Israel-Palestine Conflict Explained
Professor Scott Lucas speaks to Karina Bracken about the current situation in the Middle East, and how culture and politics can never be divided Israel’s right to exist and would like to see the obliteration of the state of Israel. So the question is: who broke their side of the agreement made in June 2008? Well, under the term of the ceaseﬁre, Israel was supposed to lift the economic blockade on Gaza but they never did. Additionally in November of last year, a group of Israeli soldiers went into Gaza and killed six Hamas activists. This incident triggered an increase in the number of rockets ﬁred into Southern Israel by Hamas and an escalation of hostility between the regions. Under these circumstances, the ceaseﬁre was unlikely to be renewed.” During the recent election campaign in the U.S., “Joe the Plumber” proclaimed that “Obama’s election would mean death for Israel”. While Obama may be more empathetic to Palestine than previous administrations, he is not anti-Israel. Since President Truman, America has always been a supporter of Israel. Professor Lucas hails from Georgia, Alabama. Why does he think America espouses Israel?
“It’s because of what I call the notion of “political culture”. Israel was created in 1948 when the Holocaust was fresh in people’s minds. During the war, American culture had been decidedly anti-Semitic at the time. In fact they initially refused to accept Jewish refugees from Europe.
tinians were displaced in 1948 they had no where to go. Therefore, there has been an on going cycle of conﬂict ever since. But in 1967 the U.S. backed Israel against the Arab states, which also meant that they supported the Israeli occupation of the West Bank. The Americans subsequently moved military personnel and equipment there. Israel had become a strategic ally for the U.S. in the Middle East. However, this political strategy can never really be divorced from culture and the American afﬁnity for Jewish people.” Israeli forces have defended their actions in Gaza by informing the world media that whenever they plan to bomb an area the inhabitants are forewarned by leaﬂets that are dropped from the sky. Is this a humanitarian consideration or a clever propaganda ploy? “It is complete psychological warfare, intended to scare people into turning away from Hamas. It is similar to Israeli claims that Hamas are using civilian structures to ﬁre rockets from, effectively using their own people as human shields. Palestinian
“It’s like my son said the other day. It’s like two persistent children ﬁghting over a toy. My opinion, and it is controversial, it that it was never just about the rockets”
Instead they sent them elsewhere like Palestine and Britain. After the war, America felt guilty for its treatment of the Jewish people so Truman recognised Israel. When Pales-
civilians are certainly not willingly protecting Hamas military structures. The Israeli authorities have so far neglected to provide evidence that Hamas is using civilian buildings. A video was released by the Israelis after the bombing of a UN school in Jabliya showing Hamas allegedly ﬁring rockets from the building. Yet it turned out that this tape was from ’07 and there is no proof that it was the same building.” According to Lucas, what is the solution to the conﬂict in Gaza? “It’s like my son said the other day. It’s like two persistent children ﬁghting over a toy. My opinion, and it is controversial, it that it was never just about the rockets. Israel wants regime change in Gaza by ousting Hamas. Whether this will happen or not is impossible to comment on. For now though, the bottom line is for Israel to end the siege and cease the economic blockade of Gaza while Hamas must agree to desist from ﬁring rockets.”
» For further detailed information, updates and comment on the conﬂict and see Lucas’s website EnduringAmerica.com.
Thursday Jan 28th
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Wednesday Feb 4th
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Digitalism Friday 27th Feb
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Thursday Feb 26th (Gangsters Paradise & I'll See You When You Get Here)
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College Tribune | January 20th 2009
M O D N REAVIEW
When the fearsome Cuchulainn was transformed by the rage of battle into a Celtic Incredible Hulk, according to Irish mythology, the warrior’s intensity melted snow for 30 feet around him. Similar, wondrous acts can be found on a typical weekend out in Dundalk town centre. Dundalk, or ‘the touwn’, as the locals affectionately refer to it, is a designated ecotown. A great big turbine sits proudly in the midst of Dundalk IT, but oddly, in ﬁrst few months, it’s great Goliath-like blades stayed idle. Did the winds of the weather gods not blow? Was their a bizzare technical fault the good people of the IT couldn’t solve. Yes, actually, they forgot to plug the thing in. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the concept, the roadmap from which we must follow. This is a look into our future, the way we must live when the oil stops ﬂowing. It is a town of architecture, something that is enjoyed by the inhabitants. Indeed a bronze statue on the Main Street has been labelled ‘the Ovaries’, such that normal conversation can now include - “where will I meet ya?” “oh, at the ovaries”. Dundalk has a long and varied
list of favourite sons and daughters. One of it’s main bonus’ is it’s the birthplace of those beautiful Corrs Sisters. Sadly, all this is ruined, since it is also the place of birth of that world government fearing, bizarrely be speckled James Steven Ignatius Corr, or Jim. He’s a prat. Dundalk also gave us Ireland’s last home grown manager, Steve ‘I’m da gaphpher’, Staunton. Now Staunton was a good, if inconsistent defender. His reputation, and sadly the reputation of his fellow Dundalkians was sullied somewhat after his disastrous tenure in charge of the national team. Perhaps it is harsh to blame the town as well, well tough. Dundalk does have its unusual, but endearing quirks. Take Amber nightclub on a given night. The ladies, following a couple of drinks may meet that special someone on the dance ﬂoor. Naturally, after some special moments of spontaneous scorage, they will shift away for a split second, look deeply into their partners eyes, produce two ﬁngers from either hand to help produce an ear shatteringly, window wobblingly loud whistle. Now there’s something to make you Louth and Proud.
VOLUME XXII ISSUE VII
ALL THE NEWS THAT’S FIT TO SATIRISE - ONLY 47P!
LEAVES OFFICE CALLING FOR MORE FEET ON THE GROUND This week ASTROLOGERS DEEMED TO HAVE THEIR HEADS IN THE STARS NEW TENNIS RACQUETS TO COME WITH SERVING SUGGESTION AUDITOR OF SHY SOCIETY GETS VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE GEOGRAPHERS DETERMINE ‘NOT REALLY A LONG WAY’ TO TIPPERARY UCD PRESIDENT’S DEATH ATTRIBUTED TO ‘DESPERATE’ NEWSPAPER EDITOR
KAKA IS SH*T HOT Following Man City’s outlandish £500,000 a week offer for Kaka, the man himself has just discovered how marketable he really is and has begun selling is own excrement at what can only be described as inﬁnite proﬁt. A quick search on eBay will uncover a mountain of shit which the Brazilian is attempting to peddle, not to be confused with his Christian beliefs. At time of print one particular gem was ready to go for £2,500. The shit comes in a commemorative jar signed by the soccer wizard himself as well as a copy of Marketing for Dummies, presumably as in inside joke. But wait there’s more! If, however, Kaka was to move to Manchester City and end up receiving half a million pounds a week., the price of the shit is likely to sky rocket. With the Brazilian expected to earn an estimated £49 a minute and the average time needed to take a shit being 7 minutes, the price of poo is expected to increase by up to 12 times the current amount, which means that some sick bastards are probably going to buy
crusty shit at £30,000 a jar. A leading economist had this to add, “He is a good player but he does shovel quite an amount of shit.” Indeed. In the wake of the media storm surrounding this shit scandal, the biggest shit stirrer of the lot has added his two (Portuguese) cents. In a press conference over the weekend José Mourinho made this statement, “Kaka, shampion. Inter, shampion. I see…this… shit ehm, shit on the… television. Aaaaand I, shampion, think that….the peeeople need the speshial ones shit in them, yesh. Shampion.” As confusing as this statement may be his intentions were made clear, in the form little José shits being presented to the assembled media. With the Kaka transfer story gaining weight it seems these days people will believe any old shite. Also, for those of you who don’t know Kaka or Caca is derived from a Latin word meaning shit, from this the Turbine will let you draw your own conclusions.
‘STEWARDESS, I ORDERED WATER’
Door to door salesmen, ‘Bloody Annoying’ say Jehovah’s Witnesses Jehovah’s Witnesses, have issued a statement to condemn a recent explosion in aggressive door to door sales techniques. A spokesman was quoted as saying “You just can’t sit down for ﬁve minutes without a well dressed salseman knocking on your door. It seems the notion that ‘your home is your castle’
no longer exists. Basically we’re sick and we’re tired and tired and we’re not going to take it any more”. The spokeman for the group explained that persistent door knocking had reached a tipping point and something ‘had to be done’. “It’s as if they’re trying to ﬂog
you religion or something. Who the Hell do they think they are, Scientologists?. Peace and tranquility will only return when this malarkey is banned for good”. A spokesman was unavailable for comment, apparently he was door-to-door selling at the time of going to press.
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College Tribune | January 20th 2009
Basketball UCD U20’s go for third time lucky Page 18
End of the road Pete Mahon leaves UCD Page 18
DOWN THE LINE
Fantasy football With a record breaking signing now on the horizon for Manchester City, Eoghan Glynn discusses the “Kakanomics” of the Brazilian’s potential move and what it could do to the football economy Thirty years ago, the football world was shocked by the signing of Trevor Francis from Birmingham City to Nottingham Forest. Despite Brian Clough's best efforts to sign him for £999,999, Francis would become the ﬁrst 'million pound man' in English football with an eventual transfer fee of £1.18m, almost doubling the previous British transfer record in the process. Thirty years and eighteen British record transfer fees later, Manchester City are seemingly on the verge of completing perhaps the most destructive transfer in the history of the game, as they seek to make AC Milan's Kaka the ﬁrst 'one-hundred million pound man' in British football. For those of you who've been living in a cave for the last week or so, here are a few of the bafﬂing details of this potential transfer. Reports have suggested that the initial transfer fee for Kaka could be anything between £95m (€105.3m) and £107m (€118.6m), which would lead to a four-year deal where Kaka would earn £500,000 a week. All of this means that Man City seem to be prepared to pay over £200m for Kaka's services for four years. This transfer fee wll also smash the previous record when Zinedine Zidane went from Juventus to Real Madrid for £46m (€76m in 2001). The fact that these obscene amounts of money are even being talked about shows just how far football has declined as a sport. In a time where the global ﬁnancial crisis is affecting the vast majority of football supporters, the moral corruption that seems to have enveloped many of the clubs in the premier league will only be put in the spotlight even further. Take the “big four” teams in the premier league as an example. In the last decade, Roman Abramovich has pumped over £600m into Chelsea, Man United have spent outrageous amounts of money on the likes of Rooney, Ferdinand and Veron. Liverpool have been spending slightly
less outrageous amounts of money, but spending it as regularly as both Chelsea and United. All this time, the less ﬁnancially well off Arsenal have been forced to sell players who've come up through the ranks, leaving them constantly rebuilding their team. Clubs have successfully bought trophies and football's credibility as a sport has taken a real hammering in the last decade. However, with this latest transfer saga, we may be facing the pinnacle of moral corruption in football. There are several elements of this saga which make it a particularly troubling one. Firstly, it is obvious that Kaka does not want to leave Milan, even saying last week that he wants “to grow old at Milan”. He is a dying breed of footballer who has displayed a signiﬁcant amount of loyalty towards his club in the past. In normal circumstances, the thought of him moving to Man City would seem completely absurd, yet because of the current money-obsessed football culture, its absurdity has been lost. Worse again, the transfer almost seems unavoidable from a Milan perspective, as £100m would easily rebuild their team with several worldclass footballers With every transfer nowadays, one must also look at the role of the agents in the transfer. So far in Italy, it has been reported that the agents involved in this deal could net up to anything in the regions of £35m for the hard task of convincing Kaka to move to the City of Manchester Stadium. Several of Kaka's current sponsorship deals could be thrown into some jeapordy with this move due to the marketing problems that would be faced from such an unpopular move. No matter how hard their task might be, it is sickening to think that the potential fee being earned by the agents in this deal could surpass the current British transfer record fee paid for Robinho of £32.5m last August. Even more disturbing is the effect
Kaka is likely to have at Man City should he join. Somewhere in this media frenzy, everyone has seemingly forgotten that Man City are still struggling in the Premier League as they continue to ﬂirt with the idea of getting fully involved in the relegation battle. Although they currently lie in eleventh place, they are still only four points ahead of the relegation zone. Of course, Kaka would obviously add a lot to their attacking threat, this isn't the problem with the Eastlands club at all. Only Chelsea have scored more goals than City's total of 39 so far this season. With thirty goals conceded this season, it is their defence which has been letting them down and bringing so much inconsistency to their performances. No matter how world-class they are, it is not attacking players that City need. Do the owners honestly believe that a defence consisting of Richards, Dunne, Onuoha and Bridge will be capable to make them the football superpowers
they aspire to be? It's delusional to think they can. All of this leads us to the inevitably unlikely, but still possible thought of Kaka, Robinho and Co. playing the likes of Plymouth and Blackpool this time next year. The pressure that would be placed on Kaka should this transfer go through will be immense. It's simply impossible for a player to
justify £100m being spent on them. When Trevor Francis signed for Nottingham Forest, a series of transfers which broke the one-million pound mark followed that year. It's hard to imagine many transfers breaking the one-hundred million pound mark this time round, thus Kaka is likely to carry the constant burden of being the only 'one-hundred million pound man'. Francis went onto win the European Cup just a few months after his transfer, even scoring the crucial goal against Malmo in the ﬁnal. There are so many perturbing details in this potential transfer that should Kaka go to Man City, it is almost impossible to see him having such a happy ending in Eastlands.
College Tribune | January 20th 2009
■ Colman Hanley
Third time’s a charm…hopefully UCD Marian are through to the U20 Mens National Cup Final in the National Basketball Arena on Saturday 24th January. Jordan Daly caught up with Coach Niall Meany and Captain Paddy Young On the tenth of January, UCD Marian defeated Dart Killester 65-56 in Castle Island Community Centre thanks to solid scoring from Conor and Daniel James as well as Captain Paddy Long. This victory followed a string of convincing wins including a quarter ﬁnal against St.Brendans and a tough game in UCD against Quenns University Belfast. This is the third ﬁnal in a row, will it be the ﬁrst win? Coach Niall Meany highlighted the inﬂuential players and gave an insight into his tactics for the Final; “The Galway team, Maree, have a really excellent player called Liam Conroy, his brother Jack is actually in UCD, everything that Maree does goes through Liam so our tactics will be to limit Liam’s opportunities throughout the game. They have another enormous player, Hansberry and we will have to keep him off the boards because any rebounds he gets are going to be difﬁcult to stop him from scoring inside.” An explosive start to their semiﬁnal contest against Belfast Star paved the way to Tallaght for the Galway men and Meany is keen to stamp out this blitzkrieg tactic; “They really do dominate teams from the buzzer so the lads have to react and keep the head, the game won’t be won in the ﬁrst quarter but it could certainly be lost so we really need early discipline.” “I think Daniel James will have
a battle with Liam Conroy, while David Hansberry is a lot bigger than any of our players so the lads on the bench are going to be needed to help out Conor James with that one but we feel we have an advantage in offense because Conor is a lot quicker than Hansberry.” Thesea are surely the personal battles that will decide the winner of this year’s U20 National Cup. It really is in the hands of these four men. As well as speed UCD are counting on their three point sharp shooters to rack up the points but won’t limit themselves to long range asserts Coach Meany; “The James brothers have been shooting really well but lately we have been concentrating on making it to the rim more instead of relying on long range shooting and three pointers. Captain Paddy Young is an U20 veteran but humbly acknowledges that the Scholarship brothers, the dynamic James duo of Daniel and Conor are central to their game plan. “Conor James is struggling with an injury at the moment but he should be back early next week hopefully. There is a league game this weekend that he is not playing in but he was at the physio today with a back injury and he is saying that he should be back by next Wednesday. He is a big player for us so we really need him ﬁt.” “This is my third year in a row
in an U20 National Cup Final, we lost the last two but it’s a completely new team, only three players back from last year and a new coach. Everybody is feeling good about the game, we’re conﬁdent. The two semi-ﬁnals were on in Kerry on the same day so we saw them play. They are a very strong side so it’s going to be the toughest test this year.” There is a real belief in his voice and he even jokes about getting one over the Superleague team. Meanwhile the local pub will be packed with the avid supporters as they lubricate their vocal chords pre-match. “There is a huge crowd expected. There are a good few people from UCD going out to see the game. They can make a lot of noise and really get behind the team, you see them at every Superleague game. They will be hard to play against.” Young is conﬁdent in his team and his supporters but as he says, it’s all about the win, “Personally I just want to win the game, I don’t care if I have the worst game of my life. It’s all about lifting the Cup really. They have two very good players so we will be matching up with them. My job is to get the James lads involved, to get them on the ball and get their thirty points on the board.” “It would be a huge win for the club. We haven’t won it in ten or eleven years.”
UCD soccer was dealt a major blow after senior manager Pete Mahon left the club. 2009 was already set to be a tough year for UCD as a result of relegation to the First Division and a 30% budget cut being implemented. However, the departure of Mahon has left the club in an unstable position as the side begin their pre-season training under the guidance of caretaker manager Martin Russell. Announcing Mahon’s departure, UCD club secretary Shakespeare commented: “Pete has made an enormous contribution to the development and stability of this club over the last ﬁve years or so. We were unable to agree with Pete’s plans for this season and regrettably we agreed to part company. We thank him for his contribution and we are very sorry that he will no longer be with us. We also respect Pete’s decision and will continue to have an excellent relationship with him.” For his part, Mahon said “I’m disappointed to leave UCD as it’s a club with great foundations and I’m happy to have played my role in the development of young players at the club. I wish them every success for the future.” Mahon took over the reins on September 15, 2003 following Paul Doolin’s sudden exit to Drogheda United. With UCD bottom of the league on 12 points from 20 games, Pete needed to act quickly if the Students were to stand any chance of survival. To his credit, the impact was swift and decisive. The team went on to add 22 points to their overall tally which saw them record 5 victories, 7 draws and suffer only 4 defeats from their ﬁnal 16 games. The impossible task of saving the Students from relegation was very nearly achieved as UCD in the end were relegated by only a mere 2 points. However disappointment was shortlived as UCD won promotion the following year by ﬁnishing runners-up to Finn Harps in the 2004 First Division campaign. Mahon would go on to guide the side to a League Cup Final against Derry City in 2005 that ended in a cruel 2-1 defeat for the Students. While in 2007, UCD were edged out 1-0 in a home FAI Cup semi-ﬁnal by Longford Town. Mahon also oversaw the development of some of UCD’s most recent talents. Ireland B International Dar-
UCD le Mahon ren Quigley; Gary Dicker of Stockport County; Conor Sammon of Kilmarnock; Shane McFaul (formerly of Leeds United and Brighton); Pat Kavanagh (formerly of Birmingham City); and current Ireland Under-21 international Ian Bermingham were all given their chance by Mahon. Mahon’s experience and contacts in senior, junior and youth football in Ireland will be a massive loss to the club. Indeed, whoever is appointed as Mahon’s permanent successor has a tough job of ﬁlling the void which the 61-year-old Dubliner has left. A recent U.E.F.A. survey on 30 of the 56 sides in Europe indicated that UCD had the youngest panel within the League of Ireland and the 7th youngest panel in all of Europe with an average age of
Lyrical Genius: Pete’s Golden Quotes ■ “People say these things cancel themselves out over a season. They do on me arse” ■ “An opinion on football is like an arse, everyone has one” ■ “I’m six years at UCD now and that’s a long time to be at the club. I don’t know if I have one kick left in me, but we’ll see. The players are shattered. I’m tired myself! “ ■ “Cobh have been given a lot of questionable penalties at home so we need a strong referee next week. In my opinion, if it’s a penalty in Cork, it’s a penalty in Dublin” ■ “But then again, how could it change because these people never played football. They never kicked a ball in anger, they wouldn’t know whether it was pumped or stuffed” ■ “Roy Keane was right. Football isall about suits. There’s so many people in there and so many different blazers, they don’t know which one to wear”
College Tribune | January 20th 2009
ft reeling as departs
Late late show, as UCD topple table toppers ‘Tarf Clontarf
UCD 22.78 years. These glowing statistics demonstrate the good job that Mahon carried out. Mahon continued the tradition of developing young players at the club that Dr. Tony O’Neill established many years ago while also rubber stamping UCD AFC’s reputation of being the league’s leading club for giving young players the opportunity of senior football. A major factor in Mahon’s exit is likely to have been the budget restrictions in place for the coming 2009 season. This problem has now been placed on the shoulders of Mahon’s former assistant, and former Manchester United youth player, Martin Russell. The departures of Shane McFaul to Sporting Fingal and Darren Meenan to Shelbourne have already been conﬁrmed, while the futures of many others is still far from clear. This all contributes to UCD’s woes and add to a massive workload that has suddenly been placed on the shoulders of caretaker manager Russell. Elsewhere, UCD’s Under 20 side lost to Cork City in the quarter-ﬁnals of the U20 League. Having qualiﬁed for the knockout phase by ﬁnishing runners up of their group, the U-20 side lost to the rebels 5-3 after extra-time. Despite leading 3-0 at one point thanks to two goals from John Dineen, the Students were
stunned as Cork fought back to score ﬁve goals without reply and advance to the semi-ﬁnals.
■ In happier times: Mahon before the FAI Cup ﬁnal
Castle Avenue ■ Simon Ward UCD snafﬂed the points against highﬂying Clontarf at Castle Avenue on Saturday with a last-gasp try, marking an impressive way to display their survival credentials. Clontarf, who headed the table going into Saturdays ﬁxture, had an unblemished home record this season, while College visited more with hope than expectation, having gone down to the northsiders in every one of their last eight meetings in the AIL. The weather, as always, acts as a ﬁne leveler and UCD made the most of the scrawly, windswept conditions early on. Utilizing the wind to full effect, Leinster wing, Kevin McLaughlin, crashed over to move the students ahead. As a spectacle, the conditions were to be the only winner, with large spells of the game spent around the half way line. Knock-on after knockon was traded as both teams tried to ply their trade with a seemingly oval shaped bar of soap. Clearly, this was a day for the forwards to shove the ball up the jumpers and do some serious donkey work. Clontarf, clearly were in no mood for such a game-plan, and attempted to not just get the backs involved, but to attempt reverse passes in the driving rain. While Clontarf had the better of the visitors at the end of the ﬁrst half, their over-reliance on intricacy resulted in their squandering of many promising positions. College were not complaining, they went into the break seven points in the lead.
The second half saw the home team attempt a more basic approach, and now confronted by a stiffening breeze, UCD could only muster the occasional foray into opposition territory. Clontarf’s persistence paid off, a cheeky kick through released winger Phil Howard to breach the visitor’s line in the corner. The home team, sensing a turning point continued to apply the pressure, still happy to employ the back line and the entire width of the pitch. The UCD defence however was equal to the task, and manfully repelled wave after wave of ‘Tarf attacks. However a penalty, cooly slotted by captain Darragh
O’Shea, shifted Clontarf into the lead for the ﬁrst time in the game. As the game wore to a conclusion, College came back into the contest, impressively rucking and mauling into attacking positions. Posing new questions for a weary ‘Tarf defense, UCD Flanker Kevin Croke, almost indistinguishable beneath numerous layers of mud drove over. With the clock moving into injury time, Fergus McFadden added the conversation to pinch a vital victory, UCD’s third of the campaign. The result will have implications at both end of the AIL table, with College moving upwards to thirteenth in the standings, fourth from bottom.
Kakanomics The freakonomics of football Down the Line Page 17
Conquering the Castle UCD beat Clontarf at the death Page 19
Issue 7 | Volume 22 | 20th January 2009
AFTER FIVE YEARS, PETE MAHON AND UCD PART WAYS
SO LONG PETE ■ BOARD “UNABLE TO AGREE WITH PETE’S PLANS FOR THE COMING SEASON” ■ MAHON: ’I’M SAD TO BE GOING BECAUSE I’VE ENJOYED MY TIME AT THE CLUB” COVERAGE: PAGE 18
ASTON ‘FAMILYMAN’ BARRET
LEIGH ARNOLD FIGHTING WITH WIRE
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH THE HARDEST MAN IN POP PAGE 6
n e r i S the
College Tribune Arts & Culture Supplement | 20.01.09
Siren MUSIC the
College Tribune | January 20th 2009
REVIEW: ANIMAL COLLECTIVE
Pushin’ it forward Merriweather Post Pavilion is without doubt the most anticipated album of this year. It’s been a unusual road for Animal Collective, who developed out of strange lo-ﬁ recordings which blended folk, noise and ambience in ways that either ﬂoated towards a sense of tribal bliss or explosive energy. However, with this, their ninth album, the collective have entered the mainstream music world; with this record the critical acclaim AC have always won should convert to public attention. Oddly, for a group seemingly devoted to growth, this album shows a very catalogue-conscious band. For example, the release of Person Pitch by member Panda Bear in 2005 is probably the most obvious inﬂuence on this record. The band now have a more rounded sound, and a warmth and depth to their sonic palette which was lacking on previous album Strawberry Jam. The album also shows a much more ‘collective’ sound. What made 2003’s Sung Tongs a fan-boy favourite was the play-off between Avey Tare and Panda Bear which has been largely absent from the last two albums due to Panda Bear’s relocation from NYC to Portugal. One reviewer went so far as to describe the overall result as Strawberry Jam + Person Pitch = Merriweather Post Pavilion. The most noticeable change with this record in comparison to AC’s early career is the song-focused nature of the record. Albums like Campﬁre Songs and Sung Tongs relied on a sustained tone and completeness, whereas on Merriweather Post Pavilion we see four songs which immediately stand out as career high points; My
Girls, Daily Routines, Taste and Brothersport. Both Taste and Brothersport appeared last year on internet videos. Taste began life as an ambient trolley ride around Paris and is now a ponderous moment of clarity as intersecting vocal lines and electronic glitches play off one another until we are left a beautiful mantra asking probably one of the most pertinent questions of the media age, “Am I really things that are outside of me?” Brothersport is the most commercial song released by AC, as African rhythms play out under electronic bleeps and tribal sounding chants to create one of the catchiest and most enjoyable tracks released by an indie band. This is the most accomplished and focused record that AC have released and yet the depth of range, the ability to experiment with sounds, the improved levels of production and genuine desire to progress as a band both artistically and commercially mean that AC will continue to improve. The brilliance of most of this album is let down by a couple of tracks, Guys Eyes and No More Running, while both contain some of the more overt attempts to reference the more distinctively Animal Collective approaches to song writing tend to weigh down the pacing of the album. Also, the focus on electronic noodling takes away from the sense of organic progression, which was so loved on earlier records. Nonetheless, these are small points in the face of what will deﬁnitely be the obvious choice for album of the year. JOHN FLYNN
ANIMAL COLLECTIVE MERRIWEATHER POST PAVILION
ANTONY AND THE JOHNSONS
FALL OUT BOY
FOLIE A DEUX THE CRYING LIGHT
Your ﬁrst thoughts when you start listening to Women by Women, after you’ve got past the thoroughly original titles, will be that there might be something wrong with your mp3/cd player; there’s a constant white noise effect in the background that puts you in mind of listening to an audio cassette. Perhaps this was the band trying to be retro but in the long run it merely ends up being irritating. After the opener, Cameras – in which the vocals sound like they’re coming out of a World War II era gramophone – the second track Lawn Care is simply background noise for a whopping three minutes and 38 seconds. As an introduction to one of Pink Floyd’s efforts it would be ﬁne, but as an entire song in its own right? You may be looking for that time back. Black Rice has a circa 1960 sound to it which
is symptomatic of the rest of the album. Ultimately, if you’re still listening, Women is quite mellow and suited to a quiet bar or café for ambience. This record is full of potential that never goes anywhere; halfdeveloped songs ﬁll a whole album. To sum up, the album is somewhere between edgyprogressive and half-baked bluesey guitar riffs that never climax, all accompanied by more of the same gramaphone lyrics. KEV DOYLE
It’s almost four years now since Antony Hegarty and his orchestral-baroque-pop act the Johnsons released their second album, I am a Bird Now. From the evidence of this follow-up, the group have lost none of the sparkling melodies, haunting vocals, marvellous arrangements and all-round adorable compositions that won them a Mercury prize for that record. Antony’s voice is simply entrancing – it is the ﬁrst thing that immediately hooks the listener and maintains its unrelenting appeal throughout the record – and with the brilliant support from the orchestral talents of the other six members of the act, it has the perfect atmosphere within which to show off its remarkable qualities. Both Daylight and the Sun and Dust and Water have a soulful nuance that provides a slightly more optimistic tone for Antony – and he excels with it. The arrangements are in-
credible all the way through the album, particularly evident on Epilepsy is Dancing, where the opening piano and acoustic guitar accompaniment is gradually joined by strings and, ultimately, horns as the song reaches its conclusion. Indeed, the simply beautiful Everglade, which sees out the record, is also marked by these swirling strings and horns, put together to jaw-dropping effect. The Crying Light is an awe-inspiring affair, bereft of the self-indulgence and pretentiousness that damages so many other efforts in this genre. Genuinely brilliant. SEBASTIAN CLARE
Folie a Deux has this really familiar sound to it. Perhaps it is inevitable that with the amount of music created over the last century, and given that there are only seven musical notes with a ﬁnite number of ways in which they can be pitched and arranged, things will begin to sound familiar. The thing about Folie a Deux is that each track has this really familiar beat, for example sounding like Pink Floyd in the case of the opener - the creatively named Disloyal Order of the Water Buffaloes. Then there’s I Don’t Care, a track that deﬁnitely doesn’t care that it sounds like a Pink track from two years ago. All other criticisms aside, it is perfectly understandable why Fall Out Boy have appeal. They’re not terrible, and neither is their latest album. They’re just not good. However, this is a world where anything above-average receives the accolades of the Gods and standards are slipping everywhere. To reﬂect on the
positive parts of the album; the riffs are good, there is a melody and the lead vocals don’t become annoying - as long as you don’t actually listen to the lyrics. While you’re listening to the album it may prove a fun game to count how many times the words “I don’t” are uttered. The kids this album is aimed at would be much happier and less vamp/emo if they turned “I don’t” into “I do”. Bland-o-rama. KEV DOYLE
College Tribune | January 20th 2009
Right down to the Wire Cahir O’Doherty of Fighting With Wire chats to Simon Ward, about hitting the big time on both sides of the Atlantic and solving the energy crisis. Just don’t call them emo… “How goes it?” He sounds remarkably chirpy for a man who spent his morning waiting for an American visa. But why not? Cahir O’Doherty and his band, Fighting With Wire, are about to take on the homeland in their most non-threatening, musical
of ways. It’s a magical place for these three lads from Derry – their last visit earned them a major deal with Atlantic Records. “We’re just preparing for the onslaught. We head over in March. We’re really looking forward to it. 2008 was pretty good, it worked out well. We did the whole Atlantic thing, the video got number one on MTV”. “It’s all good. We’ve got the support of Kerrang, Zane Lowe, this deal, so we’re still in shock, still trying to get over it. Ah fuck this shit.” Fighting With Wire signed off on a successful year with a homecoming gig at Derry’s Nerve Centre, the place where it all began. A perfect laboratory then, to air off some new material.
“We tried it out on the home crowd and they booed us. They burst our bubble, brought us back down to earth. No, it was really good, we had good fun that night. They were drinking, they were locked, they started a mosh pit, we had to stop a song and say ‘stop kicking the shit out of each other’, and they were saying ‘Fuck you O’Doherty, you’re dead outside’. And we were like, ‘ohhh fuck’”. Zane Lowe had been ﬁghting the band’s corner since their formative days, labeling their ﬁrst single, Everyone Needs a Nemesis, the hottest record in the world today some twelve months ago. Having a decent nemesis, according to O’Doherty is an absolute necessity.
“If you don’t have a nemesis, what’s the point in living? It drives you on, it makes you better. You need that opposite, that drive, that push to beat your nemesis, to be better than you are. Everyone has one! If you don’t it’s just pathetic. Once you beat your nemesis, then you move on, someone then will pick you up as your nemesis, it’s the circle of life. You just keep going.” “Sometimes, your nemesis can be your best friends, your girlfriend, pushing each other on. Especially the lads in the band, we were like ‘arghhhh’ looking at each other, ‘can’t believe I’m driving around Europe in my pants – with you!’” Driving around Europe in just underwear may not sound like particularly normal behaviour, however Fighting With Wire don’t conform to normality as we know it. Indeed, showing off some pasty-white skin can have its advantages. “I believe Jamie is the palest in the band, and it works to his advantage. When it snows he can kind of disappear, and he can reﬂect the sun back off of himself. We could also sort out all this solar energy thing! We are the answer. Just plug us into a hilltop and we’ll soak up all the sun.” O’Doherty is not afraid to let slip an occasional expletive, however the one-word-which-shall-not-be-mentioned in order to describe his band is ‘emo’, which sits descriptively on the bands Wikipedia page. “Whoever wrote that is some bastard. I fucking
“We had to stop a song and say ‘stop kicking the shit out of each other’, and they were saying ‘Fuck you O’Doherty, you’re dead outside’. And we were like, ‘ohhh fuck’” hate people who say we’re an emo band ‘cos we’re not. The fact of the matter is that emo is just a tag. Emotive music back in the day came from that DC hardcore scene, and to me, that was emo. And now it’s just been bastardised.” He points to My Chemical Romance and Panic At The Disco as bastardisersin-chief. “My Chemical Romance are about as emo as a fucking shit! Have you listened to some of your Queen rip-offs boys? And have you listened to Panic At The Disco try to rip off the Beatles, and they’re all shite at it. It’s like, give it a fucking rest. Let me at them, I would rip them to pieces.”
» Fighting With Wire play the Think Tank (formerly the Hub) this Saturday, 24th January. Tickets €12.00
TONIGHT The Glaswegian indie lads have returned with their third studio album, and frankly it’s more of the same fare from the art school rock foursome. Tonight: Franz Ferdinand has a funkedelic energy to it and there’s certainly no question that it maintains the disco-beat guitar-rock that brought the group such staggering success with their self-titled debut and subsequent sophomore effort, You Could Have It So Much Better. The ﬁrst single, Ulysses kicks things off with a bang and is one of the highlights of the album; its warped synths and aggressive vocals perfectly representing what Franz Ferdinand are best at – crafting a head-noddingly addictive song. The major problem being that every track on this record is that song – there is not a the slightest hint of originality in anything on Tonight. Overlooking the uncanny similarity of most of the songs, this is nonetheless a fairly entertaining romp. Send Him Away has a
sparky, effervescent charm to its staccato ﬂow, while there’s a fairly epic, albeit self-indulgent, aura to Lucid Dreams. Arguably, after all the trademark bombast and bassdriven, synth-laden material that has preceded them, Dream Again and Katherine Kiss Me turn out to be the most memorable tracks of the lot, ﬁnishing the record on a sweetly low-key note. It’s simple really. If you loved all that Franz Ferdinand did before, then you’ll lap this up. If, on the other hand, you feel that they should be offering something more at this point, then you’re likely to be disappointed. SEBASTIAN CLARE
An immediately intriguing mix of rock, pop-punk and new wave, the Pretenders’ self-titled debut album almost never happened. The group’s charismatic front-woman Chrissie Hynde had been struggling to form a band for the larger part of a decade, with a devastating lack of success. Even when the Pretenders eventually came together and recorded a demo tape, under the auspices of Real Records, they were still fairly unconvincing. So much so that, after producing their ﬁrst single, Stop Your Sobbing, Nick Lowe declined to produce the album on the grounds that he felt the band “weren’t going to get anywhere”. Boy, was he mistaken. Released twenty-nine years ago this week, The Pretenders shot straight to number one upon its release and is today regarded as one of the best albums of the 1980s, if not of all time. Not bad for a debut. Marked by its confrontational attitude, guitarist James Honeyman-Scott’s grittily terse accompaniment, Hynde’s conﬁdent vocals and aggressive lyrics, the record announced the band’s arrival with style. With their fusion of diverse genres, it was instantly apparent that the Pretenders could not be pigeonholed into any convenient
THE PRETENDERS JANUARY 19TH 1980 music stereotype. Opening with the abrasive Precious, the Pretenders show off taunting vocals ably supported by racing guitars, and it kicks off six tracks in which the group’s pop-punk angst is rivetingly palpable. Through the buzzing anger of The Phone Call and the ominous bass-lines of instrumental Space Invader to the jangling, screeching guitars of The Wait, it is abundantly clear that the Pretenders can craft energetic songs at will. The lyrics are razor-sharp too, emphasised by this on Tattooed Love Boys; “Stop snivelling, you’re gonna make some plastic surgeon a rich man”. Ouch. The latter half of the album is considerably mellower and textured, featuring the group’s reworking of Ray Davies’ Stop Your Stobbing into a pure and sweet pop song. Likewise the country-esque Kid and the tender Lover of Today revealed an emotional depth to Hynde’s songwriting that still
impresses. Then there’s Brass in Pocket, perhaps the best-known of the singles from the album, a jaunty-yet-strong track that never gets old. It should be noted that just because the tone takes a turn towards a more layered, melodious sound doesn’t mean that the momentum provided by the punk opening is wasted – the Pretenders take to the more measured pop sound with consummate ease. The emotional range of The Pretenders, as broad as the mix of genres that inﬂuence it, is one of the primary reasons why the record is such a rewarding listen. Add to that an infectious energy, forceful attitude and one of the most inimitably cool singer-songwriters in music history at her peak, and you have an astonishingly addictive album.
Siren MUSIC the
College Tribune | January 20th 2009
The goal is soul Wailers legend Aston ‘Familyman’ Barrett takes time out to speak to Simon Ward about the ‘mission’, some thirty years on after Exodus His voice is warm, but crackled. Omnipresent Jamaican twang sill articulating. A sound both worldly-wise but young at heart. Some 31 years after the release of Exodus, Aston ‘Familyman’ Barrett, captain of the legendary Wailers, is ready to hit the road, bass guitar swinging, one more time. “I have good feeling, but I am voluntary chosen for the mission. I play the reggae music, and spread the message, keeping a global consciousness, to keep them all in line so they don’t walk on the wild side.” Barrett was always a man of fervent creativity. An electrical welder became a mechanic, that mechanic became a welder, the welder turned into a blacksmith. It’s a career path our own Seamus Heaney would approve of, and like that old Irish master, lyric and rhyme won out. “I love the music. I bond with music. Listening to all type of music, we listen to soul and funk, rhythm and blues, and our own culture of music, which comes from Africa. We take all of that to create the reggae, we come to the conclusion that we’ve created jazz, that jazz is a free form music. And so we came up with this new concept – the drum and the bass!” Throughout the seventies, the engine room of the Wailers was occupied by Aston Barrett and his brother Carlton. Together, they created a rhythm section that was almost organic, a combination as vital as the heart and spin of any man, “The drum is the heartbeat, the bass is the backbone. If the drum isn’t right, the music is going to have bad heart, and if bass is not right, the music is going to have a bad back. The music will be crippled”. That understanding, combined with Bob Marley’s immortal vocals, was to create an record described by Time magazine as the album of the 20th century. “When we were working on Exodus, we were working on two albums at the same time; Exodus and Kaya. We recorded the tracks, and we tried to get the rhythm with the
strongest lyrics, and we put them together. And by doing that, we produced the music ourselves”. A world away from the plastic pop of the modern age, the Wailers had only one simple request, to work with musical conductor and producer extraordinaire, Quincy Jones. “We would never work with a producer. Quincy Jones. If we can’t get Quincy Jones to produce us, then we’ll have to produce ourselves.” They did. Such a sound was to give the Wailers their break in the early seventies. Having arrived from Jamaica, the band earned their ﬁrst appearance on Top of the Pops. It was an experience that was otherworldly. “The ﬁrst time on the Top of the Pops in the early seventies, BBC studios, and it was fun. And they put us in a club called the Speakeasy - we did two shows a night for two weeks, and for the two weeks, the ﬁrst song we played it was silent, it was like casting a spell upon them, and after that, there was nothing but redemption, it was like magic.” Bob Marley may have died almost thirty years ago, but his soul, sound and spirit lives on. “We try to keep the spirit of Bob alive through the reggae music. He is like me; we are ordinary people, who do extraordinary work, and also we are work-addicts, and we love working. All these beautiful things came from the Caribbean, a little dot on the map. It was so little, but the talents of the people there are so affective.” Barrett ends with his customary chuckle and smile, and issues a typical laid-back Jamaican manifesto: “Familyman and the Wailers and come out. Come out with songs of freedom and redemption. It’s what do, we put them out together, songs of freedom and youth consciousness. It’s music for all ages and all time. The past, present and future. We are like the moon, the older the moon, the brighter it shines.”
» The Wailers play the Academy on February 11th
Science ﬁc God Is An Astronaut frontman Torsten Kinsella talks to Eoin Boyle about touring, musical experimentation, and what it’s like being more successful abroad than in Ireland God Is An Astronaut are a surprisingly successful band around the world, and they’re from Wicklow. They embarked on their ﬁrst major tour of Europe and the U.S. a year ago, and recovered from having a lot of equipment stolen in America to release their forth, self-titled, album at the end of 2008. “It’s kind of like ambience, rock, electronic, instrumental. People call it different things; post-rock, shoegaze meets metal, but post-rock would normally be what people call us.” This seems to have developed through their own efforts as much as their inﬂuences, “It probably did in its own way, we got into Metallica, Nine Inch Nails and I know Lloyd was listening to stuff like Pink Floyd and The Police. Then there was sort of weird electronic-rock like Prodigy and Leftﬁeld and things like that we were listening to. Obviously your inﬂuences come into the music somehow, it’s just how you feel and I’m a big fan of Sci-Fi so I love anything that is a little weird and a little bit away from the mainstream so we were deﬁnitely inﬂuenced by that as well. To express yourself emotionally through your music is very important, that you can exorcise your demons or whatever.” It is a reﬂection of the fact that the group are more popular internationally that the group chose not to aggressively promote the November release of God is an Astronaut in their homeland. “We didn’t do any press in Ireland, we just kind of stuck it out and promoted it outside the country... We deﬁnitely approached the recording
very differently, we went more for a modern sounding record, some of the other ones were kind of a lo-ﬁ inﬂuenced a lot by early Pink Floyd and we didn’t make it that loud but with this record we deﬁnitely pushed the level to the max and made a very post-modern record, it’s deﬁnitely slightly on the hi-ﬁ side rather than the lo-ﬁ side. It’s a little bit longer, sixty minutes is long for us and we meshed the structures a bit. We have the usual songs that are quiet and go to loud and one or two that started off loud and went to quiet. We experimented on this record.” Live shows are hugely important to the band, “We kind of started in December I suppose, I think our ﬁrst date was in Greece. We had this idea that we’d go over and bring 300 CDs with us and sell them, and it worked. Once it’s out there it’s gonna be illegally downloaded anyway. But we’ve got Greystones coming up, then a week later we’re ﬂying out for a show in London which is almost sold out at this point so I’m looking forward to that... We’ve sold out Belgium, sold out Spain and a fair few other places. This tour seems to be promising, our European booking agent is very happy with the ticket sales. Holland was really good before and we’re doing a festival in Holland with This Will Destroy You, another post-rock band from America. So there’s a lot of interest for our kind of music in Europe, we sold out London twice before, Leeds and also Norwich so we’re getting a good draw and we’re attracting a lot of interest and I think a lot
College Tribune | January 20th 2009
A sideways look at...
tion sounds “I would take the live shows that bit more serious than the records because people need to be entertained and we try very hard to do that” more of it seems to be in Europe rather than the States.” God Is An Astronaut strive to make their live shows as interesting and interactive as possible, adding a visual aspect to
each of the songs they perform, “Niels does all the visuals... I mean it was just another way of trying to broaden the appeal to instrumental music live, there’s a lot of people who would ﬁnd it boring, not that we’re too worried about them, but if you’re playing eighty minutes for example it’s nice to have some visual accompaniment just to keep things interesting. We do take our time and we do sync all the visuals, it deﬁnitely makes it all more interesting an d it gives the whole venue a much bigger appeal rather than just looking at all the standard lights and the rest of it. For our headline shows it’s something that we always like to put on, it gives people a broader view of
what the band is all about. I think live is probably more important than the records, it is probably the only way to make money. The records are obviously extremely important though, because without it they probably wouldn’t check you out in the ﬁrst place. I would take the live shows that bit more serious than the records because people need to be entertained and we try very hard to do that.” The band are all go at the moment, “I’ll leave collaborations for some time when I’m not so busy,” and they’re only beneﬁtting from their positive attitude, “Our listenership is growing all the time and the fact that we’re getting out there and playing now is opening doors and people are beginning to take us that bit more serious now. I think we’re slowly conﬁrming our position as one of the top ﬁve instrumental bands in the world so I think this year’ll conﬁrm it. It was really only last year that we could get to tour Europe properly and the States as well, so it’s taken the time for the word to spread to the industry and for people to take us serious. You don’t really get to hear how well we’re doing because a lot of Ireland just aren’t interested in our achievements abroad which is a bit annoying.”
» God Is An Astronaut play the Academy on February 7th
Lisa ‘Lefteye’ Lopes’ posthumous album Eye Legacy is due out next week. Let’s face it, it’ll probably be only the ﬁrst of many posthumous releases for the late rapper in what will inevitably turn out to be a bountiful postdeath career. You’d think that having passed on and all would be somewhat of a hindrance but, as experience has shown, there are legions of artists who carry on warbling from beyond the grave. You just can’t seem to shut these crooners up! Leaving aside the bucketloads of Tupac Shakur records that have ﬂooded the charts since his demise in 1996, the list of albums from musicians who are dead and loving it include John Lennon’s Menlove Ave., Notorious B.I.G.’s Born Again, and Jimi Hendrix’s Burning Desire. So, what’s the problem? The problem is that there are reasons why the artists neglected to publish these works while they were alive. The work in question was either too raw and unﬁnished or, frankly, crap. Imagine someone taking some halfwritten essay of yours and submitting it to your tutor; a) you’d be pretty pissed off, and b) you would probably get a pretty shoddy grade. Releasing work that an artist may not have approved of is a fairly obscene form of disrespect for the dead. Also, most of the releases smack
Wednesday 21st January: Dick Gaughan, Whelan’s, €20, doors at 8pm Thursday 22nd January: Theo and the Redbeats, Whelan’s, €15, doors at 8pm James Yorkston, Crawdaddy, €14, doors at 8pm Friday 23rd November: The Zombies, Whelan’s, €28.50, doors at 8pm Padraig Rushe, Crawdaddy, €15, doors at 8pm Saturday 24th November: Primordial, Button Factory, €20, doors at 7pm Fighting With Wire, ThinkTank, €12, doors at 7.30pm Sunday 25th January: The Streets, Olympia, €33, doors at 7.30pm Anais Mitchell, Crawdaddy, €12, doors at 7.30pm Monday 26th January: After The Explosions, Whelan’s, €10, doors at 8pm Tuesday 27th January: Akon, RDS, €49.50, doors at 7.30pm
of a fairly blatant cashing-in exercise. To that end they are remarkably successful, as death is often a lucrative career move – Elvis’ estate is worth a fortune today, yet had he lived it is estimated that he would have been destitute within six months, leaving the unsettling impression that Priscilla and Lisa-Marie probably thank their lucky stars that he kicked the bucket when he did. Of course, there are exceptions – posthumous releases that escape disapproval. Eva Cassidy, for example, was entirely unsuccessful in life, and it was only when an album of her work was put together after she died that she received deserved mainstream attention. It would be churlish to advocate denying the world her music simply because it was put together without her say-so. Mic Christopher’s Skylarkin’ also stands out. Then there’s Brainwashed by George Harrison, who died while recording it but left behind a guide to completing it in the capable hands of his son Dhani and producer Jeff Lynne. Nevertheless, there is something inherently unsettling about the whole business. Everyone protests that it’s all about keeping the artist’s memory alive, but if you really wanted to do that then you’d listen to the albums they made while living. SEBASTIAN CLARE
Judy Collins, Whelan’s, €30, doors at 8pm Wednesday 28th January: Of Montreal, Button Factory, €17, doors at 8pm Ebo, Crawdaddy, €7, doors at 8pm Thursday 29th January: Amusement Parks On Fire, Whelan’s, €15, doors at 8pm Friday 30th January: zZz, Upstairs in Whelan’s, €14, doors at 8pm Hamlet Sweeny, Whelan’s, €10, doors at 8pm Saturday 31st January: Chris Brown, O2, €56, doors at 8pm Angel Pier, Whelan’s, €10, doors at 8pm Sunday 1st Feburary: Ray LaMontagne, Olympia, €49, doors at 7.30pm Monday 2nd February: Crystal Antlers, Upstairs at Whelan’s, €14, doors at 8pm
ANGEL PIER WHELAN’S , SATURDAY
Siren MUSIC the
College Tribune | January 20th 2009
Meet the council estate Justin Timberlake:
James Morrison James Morrison chats frankly to Jennifer Bray, about being compared to Elvis Presley, how he died as a baby, Nelly Furtado, and the whooping cough that gave him his voice
James Morrison: the hard man of rock and roll, the Elvis Presley of today, the mammy’s boy. Just some of the descriptions that have been ﬂoated for the husky-voiced star. Which one is it? Morrison holds no bars, and he can not truly be described as timid or softly spoken. After issuing a half laughed out set of expletives, he assures that he is not some “hard man, or any kind of ﬁghter”. Sure he can look after himself, but one famous tabloid interview painted him as a hardened and dark moody miscreant. “Those words never came out of my mouth!” says Morrison exasperatedly. “If there’s gonna be a hard man it’s not gonna be me. There’s a mixed opinion of me. I get people saying, oh you’re nice, so nice, it’s a shame no one knows the shit I’ve gone through to get to this nice cushy place.” Getting to know exactly what has happened to Morrison in the past is something which will take a while to ascertain. Before truths of a dark past are revealed, another twinning must be breached; the comparisons with the legendary Elvis Presley and pop icon Justin Timberlake, because all are “good looking white males who have a black man’s voice”. This draws a similar spluttered but good humoured reaction. Morrison is delighted by the comparison, but claims he would be the “councilestate version of Justin Timberlake”. Once again, it does seem that there is no getting away from the past for Morrison; it is something which has shaped his very attitude and career in a way more far-reaching than that of the average artist. The past appears to be the main proponent to keep this man grounded. From word go, Morrison was chased by misfortune and evaded by luck. “I technically died when I was a baby. I stopped breathing and had to be resuscitated four times. The lack of oxygen to my brain meant that I was likely to be brain-damaged. My parents had the choice to let me go,
as this was really a possibility. They might have thought, ‘I don’t want a disabled child’, but luckily my mother prayed for the best and here I am. Though really, I am not the sharpest tool in the box,” he adds, in the distinctive harsh laugh. Of course, this is not the only experience worthy of mention in his beleaguered past, what with the severe dose of whooping cough he attained, something which has made his voice the hallmark that it is now. Family are the key for Morrison now, not surprising given his youth was spent “basically more or less an adult” to his alcoholic parents “who found it tough to keep any one particular house at a time”. “I never knew which mother I was going to wake up to in the morning, the cold, twisted one or the warm and kind one. It’s not really my place to say what she went through, it’s really her business, but it’s all part and parcel of my life.” Today, Morrison is with his longterm girlfriend Gill, something sure to upset most generations of women who plague his MySpace with loving messages of adulation and pleading. He deals with this with a shrug of the shoulders and a casual “ah I treat it like I’d treat any compliment. Gill used to get jealous, but she’s cool with the way it is. If I were in her shoes, I sure would be jealous.” This couple may be just like any other, but which woman can boast that smash hits such as “You Give Me Something” and “The Pieces Don’t Fit Here Anymore” were written for the highs and low of their relationship? His girlfriend certainly holds an enviable position, but collective hearts may not shatter just yet: he has no immediate plans to marry. Musically, Morrison has gone from strength to strength, and has outshone the likes of James Blunt with a more affable music style and general impression. His ﬁrst album was a runaway success, and he tentatively stepped forward to record what is commonly known in music circles as
“If there’s gonna be a hard man it’s not gonna be me. There’s a mixed opinion of me...it’s a shame no one knows the shit I’ve gone through to get to this nice cushy place.”
■ I caught a ﬁsh this big: James Morrison at the ofﬁce
one of toughest tasks: the infamous second album. “It was very, very tough”, and make no mistake, for a perfectionist like him the second album was a frustrating experience. “I was always aware that this is what would go out to the public, I found it
tough to get the stuff down, to deﬁne my style and I knew that once it was out there, it was out there, and there was no taking it back. I’m a perfectionist like that.” But he has been rewarded.” Songs For You, Truths for Me” has rocket-
ed up the charts. The album is titled because that is exactly how Morrison sees the work. “They may be merely songs for those around me, but everything on the album is real to me, they are
College Tribune | January 20th 2009
my truths”. His duet with Nelly Furtado, Broken Strings, was last week frustratingly kept from the top spot by Lady GaGa’s Just Dance. “I’m not angry about that, I’m really just delighted to have got to number two, that’s good enough
Perhaps Lady GaGa is a delicate subject for someone so close to the elusive number one. Morrison has toured extensively, and he admits that touring can be a combination of some of the best and worst times and experiences for an artist, though he has prominent memories of walking through Tokyo dressed as a dog. “We decided to dress as dogs at the end of a show in Tokyo. I just remember them all shouting that they loved our rabbit costumes, we couldn’t seem to get through that we were in fact dogs. There are literally so many experiences from touring that will always stay with me.” The road behind may be murky but the road ahead is clear and Morrison knows where he is going. “I’m hoping to get closer to what my real sound and style is a kind of old school style. My next album will be more me. What I have learnt that I need to just put down what I’m feeling and think-
“I technically died when I was a baby. I stopped breathing and had to be resuscitated four times. The lack of oxygen to my brain meant that I was likely to be brain-damaged” for me. You’ve got to let room for new artists”, he concedes though in a mildly affronted tone. It’s at this point you might expect Morrison to light up for his 40-a-day cigarette habit.
ing and not dwell on the bits and pieces so much. It will always happen for me that I will hear my tracks and pick out the little bits that I could have changed for the better, I’ll have to accept this. “For me the future will hopefully hold more successful material, but apart from that, I really don’t know what might be ahead. Working with artists such as Nelly Furtado has been great so far though. I’m trying to think of artists here who have been an absolute nightmare. I’d like to dig you up some dirt like that before I go” He never quite digs up the anticipated dirt, his mind is clearly elsewhere. And with that, the cheerful and not-so-timid James Morrison is off.
Siren FASHION the
College Tribune | January 20th 2009
The Silhouette of Regret Jessica Whyte gets philosophical about fashion, and argues that recessional times may very well be the saviour for style January 2009 marks the beginning of the end of the noughties, rounding off yet another ten years in our world’s history. The noughties will be remembered for many things, including the explosion of the fashion industry and in some people’s opinions the extinction of style. Nowadays it is on the top of most women’s agendas to be fashionable, not stylish. Believe it or not there is a veritable ocean between these two words. To speak of fashion is to speak of a change or alteration to an existing idea or concept. Style on the other hand refers to the manner in which something is worn. Over the course of the last century the fashion silhouette (which is deﬁned by the way that clothes hang on the body) has been continuously reinvented. From the bustles and corsets of the Victorian 1910 silhouette to the mini skirts of the liberating sixties to the gargantuan shoulder pads of the corporate eighties, every decade in the 20th century has a fashion movement to celebrate it. Since the mid nineties however this silhouette pattern began to diminish and in the noughties now ceases to exist. Two main factors can be attributed to this transformation: money and modernity. Looking at the ﬁnancial compo-
nent, the nineties and in particular the noughties, saw a dramatic increase of wealth within the western sphere leading to a great inﬂux of product choice and consumerism. Suddenly the luxurious creations of Prada and Chanel that were once only accessible to the richest of the rich now featured in the wardrobes of “nouveau riche” Naomi and “Celtic tiger” Carla. These new customers walking through the doors of Harvey Nic’s and Brown Thomas wanted luxury in the form of labels. By simply wearing a t-shirt branded with the letters D&G a person was immediately labelled as “wealthy and fabulous.” Sporting a pair of jeans with a crown stitched onto the back pocket instantly transformed you and your derriere into royalty. The label craze came into its own with the “It” bag obsession, a global phenomenon that has only recently been laid to rest. Those who could not keep up with the demands of “dressing designer,” turned in desperation to the back streets of their shopping districts to haggle for a fake Vuitton. The nineties/noughties also saw great advancements in social liberation. Never before have people had the freedom to chose how to live their lives. Ironically the abundance of choice and freedom that was spawned from the dawn of the new millennium has resulted in a world full of highly insecure individuals desperately seeking social acceptance. This collective fear within western societies has
assisted greatly in the transformation of the fashion industry. Magazines quickly became the modern day scripture, providing the key to alleviating the fears of the insecure bourgeoisi; “Purchase this turquoise trophy jacket in Topshop to be a trendsetter” (i.e. to avoid social scrutiny and isolation.) And so, in what can only be described as a sad and sorry state, “fashionistas” worldwide are now on the verge of spontaneous combustion as they are forced to face the realisation of a severe, global, economic downturn. Recession means less money to buy clothes and cosmetics to conquer inner demons that gnaw away at their self conﬁdence. Putting all of this into perspective, this recession could not come at a better time for the fashion industry and fashion lovers alike. Vogue UK editor Alexander Schulman wrote in her editor’s letter for the January issue that “lean years often produce great ideas and creativity.” Creative industries such as fashion tend to thrive in economic downturns primarily because they have a tendency to rise to the challenge. Perhaps one should take a leaf from that school of thought. Let this be the year that we detoxify our bodies of the noughties image complex, resurrect our true appreciation of fashion and begin a new decade with conﬁdence. Hopefully by attempting this, the “noughteens” will go down in fashion history as the decade that style made a comeback.
One moment in time Aoife Ryan reviews the connection between fashion and photography Fashion photographer Edward Steichen described photography as a tool for “penetrating beneath the surface of things”. The art of capturing a still image of life and the world of high fashion have been intertwined since the turn of the twentieth century. The overt expressiveness of one picture has proved to perfectly suit fashion’s need to make a visual statement to the rest of society. Both crafts seek to explore the extremes of life without always remaining totally loyal to reality. The word image really stands for what both arts are based on - a beautiful concept of the subject rather than the whole truth. Fashion and photography want the surreal, the edgy, the graceful, the ethereal and the original and provide for their consumers a mix of escapism and exoticism. As the British photographer Nick Knight said, “if you want reality, why don’t you look out your window?” It was in the ﬁrst decade of the
1900s with the development of printing that fashion-based photographs were included in magazines. The ﬁrst fashion model was Tuscan Countess Virginia Oldoini, whose shots in 1856 of her in ofﬁcial robes set in motionor rather still- what would lead to an altogether different world of model mania and branding. Europe was centre-stage with the newly- emerging art with countries such as Germany and France taking notice of the potential in the form to be both an art and a business. The French magazines Bazaar and Vogue, great rivals in their heyday, were leaders in fashion photography throughout the 1920s and 1930s. Once Europe was plunged into war, their competition was moved to the US. Photographers such as Irving Penn took the reins- a photographer whose use of detail and clarity ensured an impact in the fashion industry. Unlike many of the leading fashion photographers of today, photographers such as Lillian Bassman, Edward Ste-
ichen and Irving Penn had experience in painting and straight photography before reverting to the fashion end. Whether the loss of this experience in modern photography entails a loss in the fashion photography industry as a whole is the question. A large amount of fashion images do capture the brilliance of the entire industry. Equally, many of the photos are too catalogue-likepacked of text and simply dull. Others appear to tryhard in their shock-tactic efforts with psycho-sexual, fetish or masochistic intent. You only have to look at pictures such as a past cover of Italian Vogue depicting a model wearing a horse bridle to understand this. In saying that, a lot of the greatest snaps have been taken in modern years in areas outside of editorial spreads such as the Lanvin Paris campaign- which looks eerily like a painting with its deep colours and willowy movement- and Miu Miu’s strong
and gothic edge. The success of photography and fashion is best seen with photos by artists such as Bassman. The clothes are seen but not simply thrown on the model like a hanger. The charcoal black and white contrasts are vivid, and bound to catch attention. Her images show a furthering of older visual, aesthetic arts instead of a move away from them. Photographers such as Testino and Gilles Bensimon, who worked on America’s next Top Model and has shot Naomi Campbell, Tyra Banks,
Turlington, Schiffer, Crawford and Snowdon among others, impress the celebrity craze of today and the importance of a known face in fashion. Whether it’s avant-garde or a more direct sales-shot, the camera is critical in tapping the psyche of modern society. Through both symbolism and open presentation, fashion photography creates cravings, and fuels consumerism, with the power of the visual.
College Tribune | January 20th 2009
Aoife Smyth goes in search of the London look, and discovers that there’s never been a better time to ﬁnd it With ﬂights to London that come as cheap as the DART and the rate of the pound being almost equal to the Euro, you have two perfectly valid excuses for a shopping trip to London in the near future. If you’re looking for department stores, then head for Oxford Street, the most fruitful shopping spot in London for high street stores and home to the largest Top Shop you could imagine. If you are looking for brand stores then make a beeline for Regent Street and if you are lucky enough to be after designer goods then Bond and Sloane Street are the places for you. Alexander McQueen, a Bond street designer emporium is worth visiting, even for those who can’t really afford designer attire. It showcases Mc-
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Queen’s current lines of all that is theatrical, provocative and ﬂattering, often all at once! Also, Anya Hindmarch, most famously known for her canvas ‘I’m not a plastic bag’, has a shop in Pont Street which is solely dedicated to, surpisingly enough, bags. Her range moves from totally off the wall bags to more subtle carriers suitable for the weekly shop. Some are less affordable than others, but there are
no doubts that one would deﬁnitely stand out from the crowd with one of these babies on her arm. Beyond Retro, located
at Tower Hamlets near the trendy Brick Lane, is the vintage lovers’ haven. This big, yellow and very distinctive warehouse holds hundreds and thousands of unique, handpicked retro garments and accessories. From jeans to jackets to ﬁfties ball gowns, this place takes patience and plenty of rummage power. Interestingly enough, every Saturday at three o’clock, local bands play to give you something to tap your foot along to while you shop. The Dresser is a stylish second hand Westminster boutique specialises in used designer goods, at a fraction of the price. The purpose of this store is that when somebody tires of their Jimmy Choos or Hermes bag they can simply donate it here. This concept may seem alien to most of us, but in London this appears to be quite a common occurrence as the shelves of The Dresser are often occupied with names such as Prada, Chanel, Gu-
cci, Hermes, Fendi, Chloe and Jimmy Choo. Maison Bertaux is a delightful Soho spot which stocks labels such as A.P.C, Sonia Rykiel, Obey and Vivienne Westwood, and also serves as a lovely tea room. You walk through a beautifully decorated, old-fashioned tea room, which stocks old fashioned pastries and croissants, to get to the clothes. You and I both know that we shall not touch the clothes until we allow a pain au chocolat to touch our lips. Pop Boutique, which started out as a boutique, could now be considered more of a chain store with shops throughout the U.K. In London there are shops in Covent Garden and Oxford Circus. Pop specialise in Retro clothing from the sixties, seventies and eighties. Think Adidas sweatshirts and vintage t-shirts. Pop also stock their very popular own branded clothes label which replicates vintage trends with new material. Tatty Devine jewellery commonly graces the pages of fashion magazines and is known for its notorious ‘bad girl’ attitude. This Westminster boutique is bursting at the seams with trashy necklaces, record shaped earrings and moustached shaped rings! Kitsch is an understatement when describing these unique pieces, and while it may be pricey, these pieces are timeless and scream for attention.
Leigh Tucker - fashion slave Fiona Redmond asks Leigh Tucker the secret to design success January is a month which can simultaneously excite, confuse and intimidate. It seems that as soon as you have said goodbye to 2008 and hello new years’ resolutions you are ejected into a media fashion frenzy. Already the magazine racks are packed with glossies predicting new trends fresh off the runways, Not only is this a time for a new outlook but also a new wardrobe. Furthermore the awards season is also upon us, with frenzied reports of what and who Hollywood stars are wearing. Yet while we’re swept up into this whirlpool, Leigh Tucker, a notable fashion designer, explains that designers have to work at an even quicker pace. “The nature of fashion is fast paced,” she explains. “You are always working a season or two ahead. It’s an on going cycle, once you have ﬁnished designing and selling one collection you are already half way through designing the next one.” So it appears that the world of fashion is not just all runways and appearances, but that it is quite a demanding environment. Although she confesses that “fashion is a family business” she still had to work hard to get where she is. She studied fashion in Dublin’s prestigious NCAD, but it was not as easy as it may seem. “There were good days and bad days.” she explains “Fashion design has a really heavy course load and it could be difﬁcult to keep up with everything. With fashion, you have to re-
ally love what you are doing and for me there was nothing else I wanted to do, with both my father being a designer and my mother working in the retail business I could never see myself being anything else. If you don’t really love what you do, it’s reﬂected in the work you produce.” Tucker’s label Leighlee is expanding steadily with her most recent designs appearing in Dunnes Stores before Christmas, a welcome move for those of us with a bigger wardrobe than bank balance. “I have recently collaborated with Dunnes Stores and it made me realize that there is amazing quality to be found at a lower price points without jeopardizing your ethics. A lot of the high street accessories are great and so affordable and can really update and change looks and you would never know that they were from the high street. You can get some great pieces in Savida,” she continues in perhaps a shameless plug “and they don’t have the same sort of saturation as other high street stores so you don’t need to worry about too many people wearing the same thing as you.” Shameless promotion or not, with the addition of designers like Tucker we really cannot afford to overlook department store rails. Clearly, January need not be a panic stricken lust-ﬁlled month. Rather than worrying about the daunt-
ing task of restocking your wardrobe with the spring/summer trends, head down to your local department store where not only are the clothes cheaper with great designs, but each purchase will add points to your club card-helping evaporate that familiar spending spree guilt. And each time you see a fabulous new Chanel piece on the red carpet, don’t get jealous! Just enjoy picturing the designers in a ProjectCatwalk type situation-unable to admire the new season creations as they are already slaving away on the next. With Tucker’s designs in Dunnes Stores, and Comme des Garcon’s collaboration with cheap as chips H&M, hopefully more designers follow suit.
Siren MUSIC the
College Tribune | January 20th 2009
IFI FILM OF THE WEEK
Cathy Buckmaster caught up with Irish actress Leigh Arnold to chat abo ing on The Clinic and the difﬁculty of relationships in the media spotligh
Wrestlemania! Plot: Randy ‘The Ram’ Robinson, played by the eccentric Mickey Rourke, is a washed up, battered, retired professional wrestler whose 1980s glory days are long behind him. The thrill of the show was his only desire and now, unsuited to any other profession, this beat-up character is portrayed in a pitiful manner, making his way through the independent wrestling circuit, working in a grocery store to help him pay the rent and trying to repair relationship with his estranged daughter.
THE WRESTLER ★★★★★ old man which provides a hugely endearing character. The documentary style used makes use of shaky, grainy and handheld shots which really adds to the realism of the portrayal. The ﬁlm has something for everyone with plenty of wrestling as well as the more sinister and phony side to the sport and a thorough examination of the individual, their mistakes and their triumphs.
Verdict: A wonderful ﬁlm all in all with the main merit being Rourke’s thoroughly moving performance as a lonely
Out of the dog house Plot: Bolt (voiced by John Travolta) tells the story a dog that is the star in a hit TV show in which he has superpowers. Having been raised on the set, Bolt does not realise that there is a real world apart from the show and that he doesn’t actually have superpowers. This becomes signiﬁcant when he escapes and is accidentally shipped from Hollywood to New York City. Verdict: Available in impressive but restrained 3D this John Lasseter produced ﬁlm from
BOLT 3D ★★★★★ Disney Animation (not Pixar!) shows great promise for a studio that in recent years has been devoid of quality stories. Without overtly aping the ﬁlms of Pixar, Bolt reveals itself as an inventive and layered entertainment with a masterful creation in the form of a hamster called Rhino. An excess of forced schmaltz in the ﬁnale proves the only major misjudgment. NICHOLAS BROADSTOCK
Arthritis to Oscars Plot: It begins in a hospital on the day Hurricane Katrina hits New Orleans with a woman reading a diary to her dying mother. The diary recounts the very unusual tale of Benjamin Button (Brad Pitt) who, born an old man, ages backwards. After the wrinkled baby’s mother dies during childbirth, he is abandoned at a nursing home. We follow Benjamin’s extraordinary story from his exploits around the world to his childhood years as an old man where he ﬁrst meets Daisy, a friend’s granddaughter, who he remains in contact with all his life. Verdict: This is a charming and altogether heart-warming ﬁlm which uses the extraordinary plot to present many of life’s ordinary lessons such as love, loss, power of choice
THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON ★★★★★ and making the most of what you’ve got. Benjamin’s tender persona is impossible not to love and conﬁrms the premise that Pitt can do no wrong. An astonishing technical effect is seen when you will be convinced that you’re looking at a Thelma and Louise era Pitt. The sometimes overriding negative factor is the over two and a half hour length which often feels a little long winded and drawn out. Although never boring, it may have you feeling exhausted by the end. CATHY BUCKMASTER
Irish actress Leigh Arnold is never too far from our radar. With her regular role as Dr. Clodagh Delaney in The Clinic and the frequent media coverage about her and her relationship. However, Arnold is seemingly uninterested in becoming a member of the Irish glitterati due to her obvious passion and ambition concerning her acting career. “I didn’t have any other career aspirations. I was always involved with the plays and even when I was a toddler I was putting on my own little performances and charging the neighbours 50p. I was forever living in a fantasy land and that’s probably where I wanted to remain for the rest of my life.” She admits laughingly. “I’ve been very lucky though and I’ve got a couple of good breaks but it really is a tough career.” Never one to shy away from a challenge and always eager to ﬂex her acting skills, she happily embraced a transgender role at a very young age. “My ﬁrst performance was when I played baby Jesus at the age of seven months during a Montessori school play of my brothers.” She laughs, putting extra emphasis on the word performance. Arnold exploded on the Irish acting scene when she secured her part
in The Clinic. “My big break was obviously The Clinic. I trained as an actress in New York and I’d done a lot of plays off Broadway and I was making a career out of acting but it wasn’t paying the bills adequately enough so I was part-time bar tending and wait-
ressing as well.” “Then I heard about this TV series that had taken Ireland by storm which I didn’t really believe because at the time when I left, there was nothing really going on. I was coming back to Ireland on a holiday and I heard they were auditioning for The Clinic so I said I’d go along. Then I just got a phone call saying move your life back to Ireland, you’ve been given the part.” Arnold claims her experience on the show has been wonderful despite some difﬁcult story lines. “I’ve always enjoyed it and there’s never a moment where I haven’t but there’s been tough story lines that can be emo-
tionally quite tough to get through. I do love that and that’s what acting is about; pushing yourself to your emotional limits, but it tough work and it can be difﬁcult to leave it in the studio. I’ve had problems before taking my character home and not leaving her where she should be when he her costume’s off but that’s just pa part of learning and growing as an actor.” As for relating to Dr. Clo Clodagh Delaney, Arnold feels she does despite their differences. “We’re completely different peo people. I mean she’s grown and kind of like to think I created her to aan extent so therefore I love her very much and I care deeply for her. I’d like to think that if I ever met Clodagh on the street that w we’d be good friends. I mean we are poles apart but I do admire her strength and thinks she’s a fantastic young woman.” Before embarking on acting, Arnold completed a degree in Psychology and Psychoanalysis and feels this helped her career hugely. “I think for any young aspiring actor, I’d honestly have to say that having a background in something else has helped me an awful lot. Acting is a lot tougher than people make it out to be. It’s important to be mature and grounded. I often think if you’re going into it at about seventeen, you’re a little bit young.” “I think you need a little bit of life
Splendid neurotic nonsense WITHNAIL AND I 1987 The ﬁlm is based on two unemployed and unemployable actors; Withnail (Richard E. Grant) and Marwood (Paul McGann) who grow tired of their cold city apartment and the poverty they face there and decide to spend some time in the country, courtesy of Withnail’s uncle Monty. The character of Withnail is strikingly similar to Bernard Black from the TV sitcom Blackbooks; an intellectual alcoholic who lives in a ﬁlthy slum (reminiscent of Bernard Black’s place). “I am an actor, reduced to the states of a bum” is how Withnail describes his ﬁnancial situation. To ease the pain of this realisation and to warm his freezing insides he tries to get drunk on lighter ﬂuid, despite warnings from Marwood. Then he goes looking for anti freeze to cool himself down. It is clear that Marwood
is the sensible one in their relationship and that he looks out for the deranged Withnail but that doesn’t prevent Withnail playing a humiliating trick on him in order to have a pleasant break in the countryside. Once in the countryside, Withnail and Marwood realise that they are unable to fend for themselves there. They receive a live chicken from a sympathetic farmer and accuse it of trying to befriend them in order to avoid being eaten for dinner. They shoot at the river, trying to catch ﬁsh. They wake
at night, afraid that local man is waiting outside the window with a gun. This all changes however, after the arrival of Monty (Richard Grifﬁths) who is an old eager homosexual and had his eye on Marwood. Monty is more than helpful to the young men, but it is soon clear that there is a motive behind his warm hospitality. The Blackbooks of the eighties, this ﬁlm is hilarious, funnier every time you watch it. KATIE GODWIN
College Tribune | January 20th 2009
5 ﬁlms to get you in the mood for... POLITICAL DISCUSSION
ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN
out working in New York, actht. experience behind you. You could be broken down very easily as a lot of doors are slammed in your face and I think you need to be a little bit more grown up and able for that. Also the psychology background has been brilliant for my character.” Being a regular on one of Ireland’s most successful soaps and appearing often in the society pages has given Arnold a very recognisable face which she ﬁnds odd to deal with. “I think in the beginning it was very strange but I don’t really think about it to be honest. I forget sometimes that I’m well known and then people would come up to me.” “In Ireland, people are so supportive and absolutely love the clinic. Often people tell me not to go near that person so I might have to remind them my names Leigh and I’m an actress and that person doesn’t exist but we’ve got the greatest compliments and it’s wonderful to be an actress in Ireland.” Her relationship with Marcus Sweeny, well known for being the late Katy French’s ex, thrust her personal life in the spotlight in the last year which she
This is the deﬁnitive ﬁlm concerning the uncovering of the Watergate scandal. It follows two crusading journalists, Woodward and Bernstein, as they slowly unravel the labyrinth dealings in Washington and eventually cause the resignation of Nixon as President. The ﬁlm carefully builds tension as the pair come into contact with paranoid government staff and the legendary source, Deep Throat, who urges on Woodward to consider the u n i m ag i n ab l e , that the rot in government goes all the way to the top. America’s belief in their government would never be the same again.
found very disquieting. “Media attention and an acting career are certainly not hand in hand and it’s not what I believed happened to me, it was just circumstances. I’ve been a well known actress in Ireland for a number of years and suddenly when my private life was thrust out there, it was very off putting. It was very strange for me, my family and my good friends and continues to be.” “It was a frightening place to be but the fact of the matter is people are going to talk about you; if your relationship is of interest to people, you can’t stop that, you can only hope to goodness that you keep it as private as you possibly can. You have to understand though that it’s not going to go away so to try and deal with it and have as normal a life as possible and stay as grounded as possible which is the most important thing.”
PICK OF THE WEEK
Matrimonial bliss RACHEL GETTING MARRIED ★★★★★ Plot: Released from a drug rehabilitation centre to attend her sister’s wedding, Kym makes several implicit attempts to hijack the event in order to work out her dwindling relationships with her family. Staying in the family home with their doting father, Rachel and Kym both reconnect and come to blows as the role of bridesmaid and the rehearsal dinner instigate arguments which ultimately uncover the past tragedy which haunts the characters. Verdict: Coming in a long line of attempts by actresses to be taken seriously by playing dysfunctional addicts (SherryBaby with Maggie Gyllenhaal being a recent example) Rachel Getting Married doesn’t initially look promising. It is a welcome surprise then to ﬁnd that Jonathan Demme’s ﬁlm is an oddly gripping
Oliver Stone’s much debated treatise on the conspiracies surrounding the assassination of President Kennedy. It’s based on the true story of a New Orleans District Attorney who rejects the ﬁndings of the Warren commission, in particular its indication that a lone gunman was the killer. Stone’s masterfully edited ﬁlm crushes together every rumour and inconsistently that has ever be banded around about JFK’s assassination into a tense three hours. The ﬁlm’s detractors claim the ﬁlm is irresponsible due to its many (deliberate?) factual errors and pessimistic view of the great institutions of America. All this however plays into the hands of those who believe a cover-up is still going on.
drama about a family’s fragile relationships as experienced over an important weekend. With her need to be the centre of attention and the allied ability to create an awkward atmosphere at every gathering, Anne Hathaway’s Kym is an excruciating yet sympathetic creation. Despite the domineering Kym, the ﬁlm still takes the shape of an ensemble piece with the bride’s father a standout. His dishwasher staking
competition surely ranks as one of the more bizarre action sequences of recent times. It is scenes like this which mark the ﬁlm out from other worthy attempts at the story. On the downside the constant use of handheld camera work to give a documentary feel does become wearing and the ﬁnal scenes of the wedding celebrations could be shorter. NICHOLAS BROADSTOCK
Touted as featuring Barack Obama’s favourite screen President in the shape of Jeff Bridges, this thriller from 2000 is more about the tension generated by Machiavellian character assassination than the more visceral kind generally shown in movies. The story centres on the President’s nomination of a woman, Laine Hanson as vice-President. Trouble ensues however, not because of comedy skits and
disastrous interviews as reality would have it, but instead due to the more conventional allegations of illicit photographs from her past. Gripping for much of its running time it also features Gary Oldman as a rather sadistic political big shot.
MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON Frank Capra’s ﬁlms have picked up the reputation as soppy American fairy tales; this classic has however only gained in relevancy. Mr. Smith, played by James Stewart, is a naïve Boy Rangers leader who is installed by the state’s governor as a U.S. Senator as he believes that he will be easy to manipulate. Smith’s lack of experience becomes a virtue however when he comes into conﬂict with the state’s political boss, Jim Taylor. Mr. Smith’s ﬁnale ﬁlibuster has become an iconic example of the American political process while the media magnet that alters the headlines in an attempt to destroy Smith may sadly be the reality.
THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE This Cold War era thriller (which was remade in 2004) centres around the then enormous fear of Soviet brainwashing. Korean War veteran Raymond Shaw is recommended for the Medal of Honor by the other members of his platoon despite the fact they can’t accurately remember what he did. Suspicious that the memories have been implanted by the Soviets, a fellow soldier played by Frank Sinatra, works to uncover the conspiracy before Raymond carries out the communists’ plan to assassinate a member of the government. A prescient work (Sinatra pulled it from screens after JFK’s assassination) it can also be said to contain cinema’s most evil mother.
Siren MUSIC the
College Tribune | January 20th 2009
SOCIAL ENDEAVOUR OF THE FORTNIGHT
Buddah-Bag Dublin Located just behind the Jervis St. Shopping Centre, the Buddha-Bag shop is the perfect hide-out to go if you’re ﬁnancially challenged, bored and happen to be on that side of the city. It’s a funky and comfy quarter which sells the infamous Buddha bags. For anyone unaware of the term, Buddha bags are like bean bags only far more comfortable and unfortunately about ﬁve times the price. They range from one to eleven square metres of ﬂoor space and can anywhere between 100 to 950 Euros. If you happen to be in possession of extra cash, a Buddha bag is deﬁnitely worth the buy. Each one comes vacuum packed so when you take it home you have to let it sit for a while and watch it slowly grow, you also must massage your bag and ﬂip it over every so often to achieve maximum comfort. Fortunately, for poor students like us, you don’t have to make a purchase to spend some time in this store. The staff are friendly and happy to let you sit around and chill in the extreme comfort zone for a while. The ﬂoor is littered with Buddha bags ranging in size and freshly massaged by the staff, just waiting for you to sit on them. However, a warning must be issued: once you experience the Buddha bag, you may be compelled to buy one.
A question of innocence Caitrina Cody blushed her way through a unique and unsettling performance of La Dispute at the Peacock Theatre First off, you should know that La Dispute is probably not a play that you should go to with your boyfriend’s parents, or your own parents, or for that matter anyone who is a bit of a prude. While an entertaining and skilful production, the short play has a few awkward moments for the audience, like when you’re at home watching television with your mother and suddenly the nice people in the ﬁlm start going at it like rabbits. Based on a play by 18th century playwright Pierre de Marivaux, the description sounds promising - four orphans are reared in isolation and then released into a manmade Garden of Eden in order to ﬁnd out who is more faithful in love, man or woman. It opens with a discussion between two aristocrats, played by Karen Ardiff and Bosco Hogan who are debating the foibles of men and women and which gender is more
treacherous to the other. It emerges that there is a way for this dilemma to be solved for once and for all, and the aristocrats retire to ﬁnd out what happens when four naïve innocents are suddenly introduced to each other and allowed to express themselves sexually. And boy, do they express themselves. When boy (Barry Ward) meets girl (Kate Nic Chonaonaigh) for the ﬁrst time, they are understandably excited and because they are innocents, they are not ashamed to show it. There is much running around and shrieking, clasping of hands, expressions of ardour and the odd hint of masturbation and oral sex thrown in for good measures. As the boy devotes himself, body and soul, to his female counterpart, she is overjoyed to ﬁnd herself placed upon a pedestal and worshipped. So overjoyed that when she is introduced to another female orphan, sparks ﬂy, as the
evil snakes of jealousy and pride begin to worm their way into the garden of paradise. The play is amusing and the young actors are brilliantly expressive but despite the drama’s intriguing premise, it remains relatively simplistic. It doesn’t so much as answer any questions as simply portray the questions in an amusing and controversial light and audiences will probably not go home particularly enlightened about the vagaries of men and women. However, that said, the play is a lot of fun and well worth seeing, as long as you discreetly pretend to ignore the obscene bits, by looking straight ahead of you and trying not to blush.
» La Dispute is showing everyday until the 7th of February at the Peacock Theatre, tickets are €15 for students.
Haphazardly humourous As You Do is the latest installment of Richard Hammond’s series of books. Some of you may know the author as the little guy from Top Gear, or the old presenter of Brainiac. This book however shows us what happens behind the scenes and delves into Richards’s life. Documenting his life following a 300mph accident which almost killed him, Hammond’s job description isn’t your average nine-to-ﬁve. Unlike his colleague Jeremy Clarkson, Hammond isn’t as loud mouth about his ideas. His comedy carries more ﬁnesse and makes for a unique way of telling his story.
Parts of which include his race to the North Pole, racing across the spine of Africa and meeting the legend Evel Kenievel before he died. As You Do is truly fantastic, offering an interesting read without being too opinionative. The book is based around one busy year full of stunts, vast journeys and the amusing situations that Hammond takes part in. His inﬁnite amount of optimism, even when things are on the brink of fail-
AS YOU DO RICHARD HAMMOND
ure make for an amusing theme throughout. This book is therefore perfect for tackling the mid-semester blues, with its sporadic topics offering bizarre but always nice, light reading. The collection of random thoughts is told as we follow a man who is driven by the idea of being the hero through his different journeys around the world. If you want a book that will enlighten you and change your life, maybe give it a miss. However, the author does his job, by making you laugh and is always sincere in depicting an honest portrayal of the great time he has while doing it. MAX HARDING
The Beat goes on Written in the 1950’s, Bob Dylan claimed this autobiography ‘changed his life along with everyone else who has read it.’ So what is it about this novel that has labelled it the book that shaped a generation? The generation in question is the Beat Generation, a generation inspired by jazz, poetry and drugs. This is exactly what occupies Kerouac’s mind throughout his travels; sex, music, alcohol and the search for more. Written over a period of three weeks, Kerouac takes a spontaneous trip across 1950’s America armed with as little as ﬁfty dollars and writing materials. The events in the book are inspired by those of real people, in particular Kerouac and his friend Neal Cassidy, who takes the name of Dean in the story with Kerouac taking the name Sal Paradise. As you immerse yourself in the book you come across what is a series of mini revelations as you accompany Sal, a young man with the ambition to ﬁnd a greater truth
ON THE ROAD JACK KEROUAC
to life. We witness him falling in love, losing all sense of self and meeting people who all share one common philosophy; they have searched for something wider than materialism in their life. While reading this book during the rainy January days, On the Road will make the reader want to seize the day and live life, with its beat philosophy being held throughout, alongside the dream and romance of the road. On the Road is ultimately an explosion of precise creativity which still has not lost it appeal in this pro American age. HELEN O’SULLIVAN