T N T
Trinity News Two March 7th 2006
T N T
The Power List 2006
Mary Robinson Interview Pages 6-7
Those three scary little words Page 3
Trinity eco-fashion The indominitable Jeffrey Archer Page 9 show Pages 12-13
The Power List
The Power List 2006 Power - For all those of us who are happy to pass our days in college well aware that we possess precisely
zilch of it, it means nothing. But for a tiny few people in college, power is everything. They’re the ones who’ve climbed their way up the greasy pole of the Students’ Union, societies, sports or publications to get where they are today. They’re the movers and shakers around campus that others are drawn to. They’re the ones with access to the big funds, who know all the right people and all the right parties. They’re the people who’ve been ringing us up every second day subtly asking if they’re going to be on the list. They’re the people who tried to bribe certain TNT writers to find out what number they were. They’re the people who asked for their profile photos to be taken juuust right so they looked their best for their brief moment of glory. After weeks of preparation, we unveil this year’s twenty most powerful students in Trinity. It’s the list that every hack, power junkie and society member has been waiting for. For the second year in a row, it’s the Trinity Power List. Compiled by Christine Bohan Design by Richeal Carroll, Cian Kennedy and Gearoid O’Rourke Name: David Quinn Age: 20 Course: JS Business & Economics
If the recent SU election had been based on sheer determination alone then David would have won a lot easier than he actually did in the end - much of his activities in college these past two years have been seen as a run up to his (successful) bid for SU President. As President-elect he has the chance to plan to make real changes next year; however the calculated mass appeal of his manifesto meant little in the way of specific policies so it’s hard to tell what’s in store. Will he top next year’s Power List? Watch this space
Name: Philip Balbirnie Age: 21 Course: SS Geography
Name: Kate McKenna Age: 23 Course: SS Law
As Chair of Trinity Publications Kate becomes the first of just four women on the Power List. Overseeing the Pubs stable (including Trinity News, Icarus, Miscellany and Piranha) has proved somewhat of a rocky road this year as several editorial resignations have meant that Kate has had more to deal with than most former Chairs of Pubs. A former Fresher of the Year, this ambitious Law student also picked up the coveted Magazine of the Year at the Student Media Awards last year for her inspired editing of arts magazine Icarus.
The rumours about the Knights of the Campanile (bizarre initiation rituals and secret meetings for example) are a lot more interesting than the reality - a club made up of the elites of some of Trinity’s sports clubs which serves as a massively influential social network for its old boys. As Vice Captain of the 1st XI hockey team, all-round nice guy Philip is this year’s President of the Knights and as such, oversees the vast sums of money the club receives from former members and helps organise the lavish social events that the Knights run.
Name: Stephanie O’Brien Age: 23 Course: Graduated European Studies last year
Arguably the most active and high-profile SU Welfare Officer of the past four years, Stephanie has subtly distanced herself from the bickering and in-fighting of her fellow sabbats and Executive to focus on making sure that Trinty students are well looked after by their Union. Her feisty, hands-on approach to the potentially uninspiring brief of Welfare has seen her acquire a band of doggedly loyal supporters who have spoken up loudly on the (rare) occasions when she has been criticised at SU Council.
The Power List / Sex Column Name: Maisie Lee Age: 22 Course: SS Drama and Theatre
Being Chair of Players means having to deal with the budding thespians and minidivas that make up the insular and immensely popular world of amateur dramatics in TCD. With a grant of 10,500 euro this year (second only to the Phil), Maisie oversees the 50+ productions that Players run each year as one of the most active societies on campus, as well as initiatives like New Writer’s Week and ensuring that Trinity is well represented at the prestigious (and drunken) Irish Student Drama Awards (ISDAs).
Name: Tom Dillon Age: 22 Course: Graduated BESS last year
If you look up alpha male in the dictionary then you see a picture of Tom Dillon; so he tells us anyway. The eternally laidback and self-deprecating Deputy President of the SU has the unfortunate task of trying to put together a newspaper entirely uncritical of the SU or college itself. As editor of the University Record he has improved the paper substantially, sourcing more contributors and fixing up the layout, whilst still finding time to publicise all the work of the Union. Just don’t mention the website...
Name: Rory Treanor Age: 21 Course: SS Philosophy/ Politlcal Science
Self-confessed puppet of Joe O’Gorman (see below), Rory is the amiable Chair of the Central Societies Committee. As such he chairs meetings of the Executive and...well not a whole let else but he does it all in such a cheerful way that it’s hard to get too worked up about it. His role in overseeing the allocation of the 330,000 euro budget of the CSC however means that he earns a place on the list at number 14. One of the most stylish figures on campus, Rory is also co-Auditor of the Metaphysical Society.
Name: Ryan Sheridan Age: 31 Course: International Peace Studies
Ryan is the only person on the list to have made it in for the second year in a row; the President of the Graduate Students’ Union is now in his second term of serving the needs of TCD’s ever-expanding number of post-grad students. The outspoken American has never been shy about expressing his views on, well, anything really, ably assisted by GSU VicePresident Charles Larkin, together giving the GSU its highest profile on campus in a long time. As a capitated body it receives almost 50,000 euro each year.
The Sex Column Sorcha Lyons on the three most scary words in any relationship There are three horrific words that one person can say to another during sex. Three words that will immediately instil horror in many young women and men, three horrible little panic-inducing words that make you question yourself, your sexual prowess and your relationship. These three words are: Talk To Me. Let me set the scene; it’s Thursday evening, myself and himself have just returned home from the local box social and are a little bit tipsy. Lying on his single bed, we’re kissing and rolling around, grinding and tugging gently at one another’s clothes. We’re both feeling great and I have just labelled myself sex goddess of the century. I gently ease his t-shirt off and just as I am happily nibbling away on his left ear lobe, he utters those horrifying words… “talk to me”. I freeze. Oh god. What the hell am I going to say? What he wants here is for me to break into a filthy narrative of all the depraved things I want to do to him and that I want him to do to me. However, all I can think of is, “Mmm, you really turn me on…”, which inevitably sounds ridiculous.
The main problem is the fact that everything I say sounds like a cliche...”Oh you’re so hot”, “You’re so sexy...” Embarrassed, I turn away from him and mutter incoherently, throwing in a few ooohs and aaaahs here and there, hoping that he will forget all about this preposterous affair. He, on the other hand, has different ideas. “Do you like that?” he pants… I admit that yes, that isn’t too bad at all, when he continues, “What do you like about it?” This sentence is probably the most embarrassing thing anyone could say during sex. My problem is being put on the spot. Here I am lying down, having a perfectly nice time when all of a sudden, I am requested to compose and perform a monologue on the subject of sex with no warning and no time to prepare. The main problem is the fact that everything I say sounds like a cliché… “Oh you’re so hot”, “You’re so sexy”… the other problem is that I don’t find it particularly arousing to natter on during sex merely to appease and reassure the male ego that’s hammering away at me.
What I am referring to is filthy sex talk, not to be confused with love chatter that happens naturally before and during sex. There is nothing wrong with whispering sweet nothings to each other as you tumble around, little phrases telling the person that you’re with that you love them and that you think they are beautiful and sexy etc. I am talking about grimy, base, dirrrty sex utterances which are explicit, unsophisticated and just downright embarrassing. When men talk dirty, it is generally an aggressive, anonymous actthey are not concerned with making the girl feel good; in fact, the sentences serve to detach them from their partner. Sex talk is often aggressive. Phrases such as, “You love that” or “You want it harder don’t you” when taken out of context sound contrived, sleazy and violent, yet during sex they are commonplace in a lot of relationships. These phrases do not create a sense of intimacy but rather, a sense of distance between men and their partners, which numbs the senses and gears towards climax. When women talk dirty, they are expected to reassure the man. Stock female clichés include, “Your dick is so hard”, “You make me so wet” etc. The important thing is that they are all geared towards reassuring the male and submitting to him. So why is this sex talk so dominant in our sex lives? Perhaps it is a maturity issue, young men are over-compensating with aggressive language to cover insecurity over their performance. Young women go along with it, not wanting to hurt feelings or because they think they should. On the other hand, some couples do find it sexy to see their, otherwise reserved partner, letting themselves go and talking filth in the bedroom. However, if these utterances are to be truly sexy, they have to be natural and occur spontaneously… not at the demand of another partner. In any case, the next time someone asks me to ‘talk to them’, I’m going to keep my mouth firmly shut. Silence is better than embarrassing mutterings… let’s keep the emphasis on losing ourselves in passionate embraces and heated moments. I have one piece of advice for all you talkers out there; always make sure that your partner is as turned on as you are by dirty talk before you let slip any verbal ejaculations.
The Power List
Name: John Michell Age: 20 Course: SF Economics and Business
Name: Graham O’Maonaigh Age: 23 Course: SF Sociology & Economics
Trinity’s highest ranking student politician in a national party, Graham was recently elected National Chairperson of Labour Youth, the fastest growing youth movement in Ireland. Having ditched his trademark dreadlocks some weeks ago in favour of well, a haircut, Graham oversees the formulation of Labour Youth policy as well as liaising with the national party. With such a high profile role in the party, will he able to swing the youth vote that Labour needs for the next general election?
Three years ago being President of the Junior Common Room (JCR) in Trinity Halls wouldn’t have meant much, but with its development to over 1,000 residential places comes a lot more clout for the JCR Committee. So much so in fact that John has been ambitiously lobbying the SU this year to allow the JCR much more freedom in running things out in Dartry (a breakaway republic of the SU perhaps?). He is also Film Editor for Trinity FM and is rumoured to have his sights on a sabbat position next year.
Name: Pamela Fitzgerald Age: 21 Course: SS MSISS
Name: Jon Bertram Age: 25 Course: 5th Year Medicine For students of health sciences who are stuck working out in St. James and other far away places each day, the SU can seem far away and remote. Jon is the missing link; as Health Sciences Convenor he is more recognisable to most students studying in medical fields than the current sabbatical team are. This unflappable Canadian (originally from Sri Lanka) fights hard for the 28% of the student body that he represents, but always maintains his laid-back exterior. A former Vincent dePaul Committee member, Jon is also an occasional soccer player.
As Secretary of DUCAC, the administrative body of Trinity’s 50 sports club, Pamela is not only the highest-ranking student involved in DUCAC but also the highest-ranked woman on the List this year. As the second-biggest of the five capitated bodies on campus, Pamela has a role in overseeing the allocation of DUCAC’s massive budget of over 400,000 euro to the sports clubs. Hailing from Newcastle Co. Limerick (home of Ballygowan), this talented MSISS student is also the captain of the Trinity Camogie Club.
Name: Andrew Campbell Age: 21 Course: JS Philosophy
Name: Bart Storan Age: 20 Course: JS History and Politics
An avid fan of hunting, shooting and fishing, you get the impression that if Andrew had lived 150 years ago he would have been landed gentry; instead it’s 2006 and he’s President of the Phil (so still some dealings with peasants anyway, hoho!). The second largest society in college (with 3697 members) is also one of its richest, turning in high levels of sponsorship and advertising; and whilst the guests may be somewhat more lowkey this year (more political debate than tabloid totty), it still boasts high levels of society activity each week.
This outgoing Wicklow man combines somewhat of a penchant for nudity (most recently seen in the Buttery during the VdeP Slave Auction) with being President of Vincent de Paul, the largest society in college. As well as fundraising throughout the year, Bart oversees the 18 activities that the society runs each week in the city centre, ranging from reading with primary school children to visiting the elderly in the local community and everything in between. The TCD VdeP branch is also the largest in Ireland, all of which make Bart our number 7.
Name: Cathal McCann Age: 22 Course: Human Genetics
Name: Donal McCormack Age: 21 Course: Civil Engineering
Did Cathal’s email to the Hist mailing list really scupper John McGuirk’s chances of getting elected President? Who knows, but the fact that it got so many people debating the issue shows the influence that Cathal has as Auditor of the Hist. His dedication to the society has seen him take this year off to focus solely on its running, and it appears to have paid off there have been whispers that the Hist victory in the Best Large Society category at the last Society of the Year Awards may have been somewhat premature. Membership of 1852 and a grant of 9,300 euro makes Cathal our number 6.
As the student representative on just about any college committee you care to mention, Education Officer Donal has probably the most work-intensive and yet reward-free of the five sabbatical positions. His role is extra important this year as the debate over the introduction of semesterisation/modularisation begins to gain pace and the option that’s best for students has yet to appear. Finally he is also responsible for managing the SU elections, as well as the rowdy SU Councils that take place every three weeks, making him our Number 5.
The Power List/ Fresher Column Name: Andrew Payne Age: 22 Course: Graduated Sociology and Politics last year
Andrew took over as Editor of Trinity News having been Sports Features editor for a year. As Editor he’s overseen a shift to the paper breaking news stories rather than just reporting them, as well as getting rid of all the worthy but dull pages that used to clog up TN. The News team headed by John Lavelle, in particular have come in for praise from many quarters. All round nice guy Andrew is the man who decides what ultimately goes in the 5,000 circulation TN, and as such makes number 4 on our list.
Name: Niall Hughes Age: 21 Course: Economics and Politics
For many students the SU Ents Officer is the only position that they care about within the Union - as long as the nights out and cheap booze keep appearing then all’s well. Niall has done well, with major successes including the two Mystery Trips, the Gigs and Giggles in the Ed Burke and negotiating with MCD to secure Ocean Colour Scene for the Trinity Ball (but let’s not mention RAG Week or the upping in price of Ball tickets). Based on his major role this year, the easy going Celbridge man is our No. 3
Name: John Mannion Age: 22 Course: Graduated History last year
In the year since becoming SU President it is not an exaggeration to say that John has radically transformed the role. Rather than being confined to his office in House 6 he’ll walk around campus, always ready for a chat. He’ll let you know EXACTLY what he thinks of Council and the hacks that dominate it. This outspokenness seems to carry through to meetings with college staff, which is no bad thing either - it underlines his dedication to the Union. However in the absence of any major results for the time being, he’ll have to settle for No. 2 on the list...
Name: Joe O’Gorman Age: 30something Course: PhD in Philosophy
True power isn’t about the position you hold but about how you wield it. Thus Joe O’Gorman may be ‘just’ the Honorary Treasurer of the CSC, in reality he is the head honcho of society life on campus. All major decisions go by him and in truth, nothing happens on campus that he doesn’t know about, planned in advance or else decided that he didn’t need to know about. Having divided his time in Trinity between Publications, CSC and even a (failed) bid for the SU Presidency, it’s no surpise that Joe is TCD’s Most Powerful Student.
The Fresher Column Jason Robinson is unimpressed by his first Student Union elections First up, for any Fresher, or indeed any student out there who reads this article, I have to apologise to you. The purpose (well it started out as such) of this column is to give a somewhat average account of one Freshers experience of college life. Not too much waffling about the gallons of booze he/she drank Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday etc, or indeed a list of all the guys/girls the columnist hooked up with. Just a mix of work and play, with waffle in between. However, it seems I am some kind of idiot who just doesn’t want to have fun. It’s bad enough not doing enough work (or good, whichever way you look at it), but no play just makes it that much worse.
The recent SU elections were riveting, weren’t they? What’s that? They were EXTREMELY boring? Recently I had the chance to go to a fancy dress 21st- didn’t go. The chance to go have a nice, competitive game of football with some friends- didn’t go. The chance to go to see The Strokes - I think you’ve guessed it - didn’t go…And all for some stupid essays and work. So to anybody who happens to read this and actually likes it, if you see me around college feel free to give me a dirty look or scornful glance, especially for the last crime. Dear God, giving away tickets for The Strokes…shameful…Anyway. Moving on. The recent S.U. elections were riveting, weren’t they? What’s that? They were EXTREMELY boring? Why yes. What else do I hear you say? By and large all the candidates seemed to sound as wooden as Enda Kenny (or Pat for that matter)? Why yes, yes they did. However, I’ll be honest with you all - I made a rather strange decision for my vote for S.U. president. Disregarding any respect I’d lose from my peers (that is, if I had any beforehand), and out of spite for the dire spectacle that was the S.U. elections, I decided not to “Quinn to Win”, not to choose the “top man”, but to go for the most controversial candidate of the lot, John McGuirk. Why the hell would a big leftie, Green Party member do this? Well, firstly I thought it’d be funny. Secondly, I thought he
might actually do a good job (despite the fact that most people seem to be of the opinion that he is the Antichrist and/or a serial killer), and thirdly, being far too bored for my own good, thought it might spice up college life that little bit. But alas, it seems pretty boys are in and controversy is out. Spoil my fun why don’t you… So should I start my campaign for the S.U. now? Get in ahead of the rest of the pack? Sure why not. “Let’s have fun with Robinson”- corny but okay. “Jason likes tight shorts and hot chicks”- doesn’t rhyme, but should get me the rugger bugger vote. “Jason’s a man and likes fake tan”- there’s the BESS girl vote…Somehow, I think I might have to work on those… And speaking of my last slogan, I also have to apologise to all the BESS girls (especially my die hard fans amongst them). I know by now, you “guise” probably think I’m constantly taking the piss out of you lot, but I’m not, I swear. It’s just, how will I put it…with that certain je ne sais quoi that you all bring to college life, I just can’t resist talking about you all. So, to cut a long story short, I’m really, really sorry I missed the BESS ball. I had planned to go (had my dress and fake tan all ready), but alas, there’s was an emergency at home and I couldn’t make it. Sorry. Maybe next time, if you all want me there? Maybe not…I’m sure it didn’t match the CRAZY History ball however…ahem…it wasn’t mediocre, I swear. Now, to further my misogynistic exploits, I recently saw a poster advertising an upcoming run of “The Vagina Monologues” in Spirit, being performed during the next few months. For all you ladies out there, I’d definitely recommend going (you know, for female empowerment and all that), but guys, I’d be wary. After attending a rather surreal Amnesty International Youth Conference last year, Eve Ensler and The Vagina Monologues scare me. In a room with around 50 or so girls, and being one of 3 or 4 guys, being told to become a “Vagina Warrior” and further the female cause just sounded like a form of perverted behaviour on my part. Being high on the sex offenders list wasn’t in my “to-do list” and isn’t now.
There’s Something About In a rare interview TCD Chancellor Mary Robinson spoke to TNT’s Gearoid O’Rourke at the Hist inaugural about her crusading human rights work and her pledge to change the world “Traditionally human rights have been about holding governments accountable when they violate rights and basically saying ‘you must not do this, that’s forbidden, don’t violate.’ We’re saying that we must make human rights part of the solution” If there was a singular impression that I came away with from my interview with Mary Robinson it was
She has no trace of cynicism, despite having spent her life working in a cynical system that years of campaigning for human rights across the world have not in any way diminished her passion and energy. While in her speech at the Historical Society’s inaugural meeting she eloquently informed her audience that it is our generation on which the burden to solve the worlds humanitarian problems has fallen, this message did not stem from any sense of defeat of her own. In talking to her there was no trace of cynicism from someone who has spent her life working in a cynical system. Rather her ever present passion and energy have been joined with a shrewdness gained from years of international experience. A perfect example of this is found in her newest endeavour called The Ethical Globalisation Initiative: Realising Rights (EGI:RR). In this proj-
ect she told me that “we’re being very innovative in making human rights part of the solution – in making human rights an economic and a social issue. By making human rights friendly to developing countries instead of their traditional view that human rights was a stick to beat them with what I’m saying is ‘No, human rights is on your side and can help you with your economic issues.’” Dr Robinson, as the driving force behind EGI:RR, is key in their strategy of linking human rights to economic issues. She is trying to present the concept of human rights, which she feels has for too long has been seen as luxury of richer nations, as a foundation stone for a successful society and economy. For many nations, especially in subSaharan Africa, creating a functioning economy which can support its citizens is often the first goal of a developing government. By linking human rights to this economic goal Robinson is in a way ensuring basic human rights are enshrined from the very beginning. She explained to me a practical example of how this strategy works in Tanzania. “We’re very focused on African nations. I’ll give you an example; next month we’re in Tanzania working with the Tanzanian government and other groups about how they can ensure that everybody’s right to health is realised. Now that doesn’t mean a right to be healthy, it means a right to access to actual basic healthcare. So we’re getting everyone
Provost John Hegarty contemplates Dr Robinson’s speech
Mary Robinson gets a laugh at the Hist inaugural there, government, NGO’s etc, to coordinate more around the basic health system because they must be the ones to implement the right to health.” This is a refreshing alternative to the often abstract discussion of rights. While academic debate on rights, their conflicts and convergences is useful in its own way, it is hard not to be drawn more to Dr Robinson’s hands-on approach to getting these rights actually implemented. In a way her thinking is like reverse engineering rights into a countries makeup. Instead of pushing for grand declarations on rights and reform Mrs. Robinson and EGI are targeting specific areas and helping governments put basic services in place that fulfil different rights. However Mrs Robinson is careful to avoid too narrow a focus. Again using the Tanzanian example she explained that “in the past a lot of interventions have just focused on their own area - immunising children, or looking after malaria patients or dealing with HIV/Aids. In Tanzania we’re trying to
coordinate more around the basic health system and its structure as a whole in providing broad services, so we feel that this adds something different.” However Mrs Robinson is not just involved at this very practical level.
“I’m not looking for a right to free health care [for people in Tanzania], merely a right to access actual basic healthcare” An impressive arsenal of highly ranked friends and admirers allow her to lobby and canvas at the highest level. This can be seen both in the support for EGI – from former US President Jimmy Carter and Archbishop Desmund Tutu to name but two – and in her ability to get access to top government officials across the globe. One example she gave me was on the trade front; “[here] similarly we are trying to bring home to trade ministers that the decisions they make in the World
Mary Trade Organisation in Hong Kong affect the poorest people in countries like Somalia, Mali, Mozambique and elsewhere. When we meet with them we try to make them aware that they can’t get away with being just trade ministers when the effects of their decisions are so far reaching.” While Irish people remember Mary Robinson’s campaigns for basic rights and civil liberties stretching back into the early seventies, for most people around the world her profile started with her appointment as High Commissioner
for Human Rights in the UN. At the time this was a newly created position which she took up following a nomination by Kofi Annan. I asked her whether she felt intimidated by having to blaze a new trail so to speak? Her answer, accompanied by a somewhat nostalgic smile, was typically humble; “I think it was a great honour to shape a new office and think it was a little like shaping the office of the President of Ireland – only very different, much broader. What I liked was being allowed to decide how to tell the story and a good deal of what I did was to be close to victims in the worse places like Grozny, or Sierra Leone” Nostalgia however has little place on Dr Robinson’s agenda and she was eager to move onto the topic of reform in the UN, specifically of the office she had held. She spoke about this animatedly, explaining how she thinks the reforms should work. “I think the reform for the UN and for a new human rights council is very important. It is vital that [the proposed Human Rights Council] is a body where no country has a guaranteed seat and that the voting system is such that there are more countries than there are positions allocated in a particular region. This is so that there will be a fair system of voting- and if they are to have the two thirds majority needed to get
Interview / Our Man Abroad elected it will mean that countries will have to show that they are committed to human rights and are improving them and I hope it will keep some of the worse offenders from getting elected. But even they must have an opportunity to go forward if that’s the democratic system”
“A good deal of what I did was to be close to victims in the worst places, like Grozny or Sierra Leone” Dr Robinson also hopes the links forged by her own office will be maintained, at the same time as taking into account the criticisms she often levelled at the way the office of Human Rights Commissioner was structured. She believes the new council “must also
take on the access of NGO’s that the HCR cultivated but maintain a degree of independence. The bad things [with the HCR] were a lot of the intergovernmental problems but the great thing was the international human rights systems we managed to ferment.” Coming away from interviewing Mary Robinson I felt I should be over-awed. I had met someone who had impacted on so many global initiatives and who had helped some of the world’s poorest people. Yet what I instead felt was a great warmth from a woman who selflessly devoted her life to a noble cause. It is a cause she is genuinely enthused about and manages to talk about without preaching or sounding patronising. Respect is central to her beliefs be it to a President, a refugee or a student journalist. She is inspirational through the things she has achieved yet having had the privilege to interview her I believe the greatest inspiration she gives is that she is a normal person, who has never lost that normality while achieving the extraordinary. It may sound clichéd but she is proof that it is ordinary people who really change the world.
All photographs by Mark Kearney
Our Man Abroad David Traynor is a man with a problem: he’s addicted to Bebo... It’s quite hard to believe there’s only three and a half months left of this Erasmus dream. The time has really flown. It feels like yesterday I was walking around town like a typical foreigner in shorts and a t-shirt looking for my faculty. Now, as the reality of final year looms, I’m just making the most of what little time I left. The last time I wrote my column, I was up to my eyes in study in the thick of exams. Thankfully, I passed all my exams and I’m enrolled for the second term. Because courses are semesterised here, I have a whole new set of courses this term bar one, which is annual. It’s quite good because it keeps things interesting and if you get bored with a course, it’s not the end of the world because you only have to do it for four months.
Every day I curse Bebo’s existence. It really can swallow up your whole life... Since the exams, not much has happened apart from getting a little routine in my life mainly because I have more courses this term and a lot more work to keep me on my toes. I’m glad of it because last term I drifted a lot and ended up being stressed out by having to majorly cram in January. In June, I’ll know what to expect from the exams and won’t be at sea as much as I was. Well, hopefully.. Lately, I’ve been heavily involved in the scouts, something I joined in October because I’m a leader back home. I’ve been away on two camps so far and have had a lot more to do with the organisation of events. It’s doing wonders for my Spanish. Scouts is a little different over here, though. For one, on the camps, girls and boys sleep in the same dorms, something which is against the regulations in Ireland. Also, apparently, part of “the scouting experience” is sex education, and I’m not talking about solely the biological side of it. Oh no.. Just think of every possible question a pubescent teenager could ask about sex and you have a fair idea of what the questions and answers session was like. I was uncomfortable with it at first but the Spanish are so open that none of them were even mildly embarrassed by the whole thing. I
guess I just can’t shake off the shackles of Catholic Ireland. Another big part of my life over here is Bebo. Yes. I’m addicted. It doesn’t help having a laptop with broadband in the corner of my room. Every day I curse its very existence. It really can swallow up your life. It’s a good way to keep in contact with my mates, though. Apart from college, scouts and Bebo, I’m going to be quite busy travelling this term. To start with, this weekend I’m going south to Cádiz for the Carnaval festival. Originally a hedonistic religious ritual to expel all one’s impurities before the 40 days of purity during Lent, it has become a week-long festival of religious processions, drinking, dressing up and general debauchery. Cádiz is the centre of the festivities in Spain. With a population of just under 630,000 people, 1 million more descend on the city for the festival. Luckily, one of my friends is on Erasmus down there so we have free accommodation which is like gold dust down there. Cádiz aside, I plan on going south again at Easter to Seville and I also have vague plans to go to Barcelona before I leave. In the mean time, however, I have a cavalcade of friends and family coming to visit me in March, most of them taking me up on my offer of free accommodation and a Spanish holiday. As for the infamous Salamancan nightlife, a recent discovery of ours over here has been the €3.50 all-you-candrink bar. Yes.. miracles do happen. There are a few bars like that here which do open bars but most only allow you to get beer, sangria or calimocho (a Spanish concoction of red wine and coke). This one allows you to have whatever you want including Long Island Ice Teas. However, it’s not the most reputable of bars. Rumour has it that the bar is owned by Columbians who use the outfit as a money-laundering façade for a cocaine empire. As long as the drink flows cheaply, though, we’re happy to drink there! Right, well, I’m off to pack my bag for Cádiz. Next time I write my column, I should have some interesting stories from my travels. Until then, ¡hasta luego!
Why Vote For... Green Party - Liam Connors Were it not for the existence of the Green Party, Irish politics would be undoubtedly dull. The reasons to vote for them are numerous. First and foremost, there is Trevor Sargent. What is refreshing about Sargent is that the party under him has no allegiance to any other political party or figure. It was decided by the party not to enter in to a pre-election pact with Fine Gael & Labour and this shows that their support cannot be taken for granted by either of the two groups. Enda Kenny says jump and Pat Rabbitte says how high? Sargent in the same situation considers the demand ands asks himself; ‘Well what effect would my jumping have on the environment and the people of this island as a whole?’ I want a party that in government remains the same as the one I voted for doesn’t bow to the larger coalition partners demands on key issues. The second reason to vote green is consistency, the word that I would most associate with the Green party and Green party members – well some of the time anyway. When it came to the war in Iraq it was the Green Party that was the real voice of opposition. Their opposition to the route to be taken the M3 has also been constantly strong. As a history student, this opposition is one my main reasons for voting green. The decision taken by the government is a complete disgrace and shows that the Wood Quay incident has taught us nothing. The attitude of the current government reflects that of Homer Simpson with his comment “You can’t stop progress because of some moldy old bones. Bones Schmones.” Finally there is something important which needs to be addressed – economic policies. The Greens get much stick, especially from the PDs, about their economic policies. I would suspect McDowell, like many others, knows little of these policies and is still just bitter about John Gormley having gained a Dáil seat at his expense back in 1997. Just a thought.
Small Parties justify their existence.
Sinn Fein - Sinead Pembroke My decision to vote for Sinn Fein came after careful consideration of what the parties in the political spectrum offered. I had lived in England for a number of years, where the three main political parties, Labour, Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats have similar political views. So when I moved over to Ireland I wanted to vote for a party that was different to those I had already been used to in England. When I looked at the political system in Ireland I saw a system similar to England, one that is dominated by two right wing parties – Fianna Fail and Fine Gael. The political parties in Ireland lean so much to the right there is a desperate need for a strong left wing party to balance the excesses of the right wing and Sinn Fein fills that void. A well-funded public health service, free education for all and an end to the two-tier system of social inequality are some of the issues I am concerned with. This should be provided for in a thirty-two county Ireland with an end to any form of British occupation and political interference. The other political parties in Ireland do not fulfil my criteria fully. The nearest would be the Labour party, but for some time with their slide to the right they have clearly abandoned their socialist roots and their policy on re-unification leaves a lot to be desired. Sinn Fein has made it clear that when they enter into government they will provide a public health system, continue free education as well as improving the education system in general, and stop selling Ireland off to the highest bidder such as what has happened with Shell and the Corrib gas field. Sinn Fein is a party that is in touch with the people; their TD’s, councillors and local activists pay careful attention to their constituency, in particular supporting them in all of their local campaigns. Sinn Fein has not diluted their socialist agenda, as their All Ireland Agenda has demonstrated. They have also been the only party actively supporting the Good Friday Agreement and sticking to their commitments. The party keeps its voters informed of what is going on in Europe and domestically in Ireland, which I find important. Sinn Fein also forges links with other sections of the international left particularly in countries where the same struggle for equality and liberation from foreign occupation exist. Sinn Fein has strong links with the ANC in South Africa, the Palestinians in Palestine and the Basques in Euskadi, to name but a few. It is a revolutionary party and their zest for radical change makes them unique to other parties that only pay lip service to making a few small changes to the current system.
Progressive Democrats - Cormac O’Sullivan Three principles guide my thinking when it comes to voting for a political party: the history of the party, the party’s ideological stance, and what that party promises to do (and whether I believe them or not). The Progressive Democrats was founded just over twenty years ago for three main reasons. 1. Years of economic mismanagement by successive governments had brought Ireland to its knees. Unemployment in 1986 was at 17%, forcing Ireland’s best and brightest to emigrate. Policies of high taxation, runaway public spending, and making up the difference by borrowing was stifling the country. The PDs promised to cut tax levels in order to encourage employment. 2. The country
was dominated by conservative political parties. The founders of the Progressive Democrats were in favour of decriminalising homosexuality, legalising the sale of condoms, and introducing divorce. 3. The authoritarian style of the then leader of Fianna Fáil, Charles Haughey, prevented change from within that party, while his personal excess encouraged a culture of corruption. The PDs are a modern, liberal party, promoting the twin virtues of enterprise and personal freedom. So, what have the PDs ever done for me that
would make me want to vote for them? During the height of the economic madness that existed during the eighties, the highest rate of income tax was close to 70%. Did this lead to socialist utopia? Certainly not. Today, the highest rate of tax I will have to pay is 42% on i n c o m e above €32,000, and public services are improving all the time. The PDs’ record in government is impressive. They have overseen the elimination of smog in Dublin, the setting up of the Environmental Protection Agency, the transformation to a full employment economy, the brokering of the Good Friday Agreement, a major expansion in oversees development aid, and an increase in revenue from Capital Gains Tax and corporation tax.
A Comic Disgrace “You’ve disgraced yourselves again!” Yeats’ reaction to rioting Dubliners watching a Synge play in 1907 must surely have been echoed by some bespectacled mullah in the past fortnight. Muslim extremists have shamed not just themselves but their religion as a whole… and they really don’t do things in half measures anymore do they? What is wrong with these people? Seriously, they reacted with violence, lunacy and outright stupidity to a couple of cartoons- CARTOONS! Dilbert is a cartoon, so was Garfield. Ok, it’s a political cartoon. But to use it as an excuse to go on a rampage of violent destruction and vandalism? What the hell were they thinking?! There’s now a six hundred thousand euro price on the head of a cartoonist. Why do people keep talking about this sheer stupidity as being part of a “clash of civilisations” and “symptomatic” of greater rifts and problems. Why aren’t these people in jail? Why, why why? It makes no sense that a Danish citizen can have a very public bounty put on his head by lunatics and nothing to happen to the lunatics.
I mean, a cartoonist is now in hiding. Why is no one else really angry about this? No, I have not seen the cartoons. From what I hear about them, they sound pretty silly. Do you know why they sound silly? BECAUSE THEY ARE CARTOONS! Even if your religion forbids pictures of your prophet, and even if you can maybe interpret your religion as saying they are not only forbidden but should not be tolerated, even then, get over it! It’s a cartoon! And then angry people went on the offensive. They burned down buildings. People were killed. Why? Because a ‘sacred belief’ or whatever was offended. What about people’s sacred belief in not dying? I’m very, very atheist but nevertheless I know the difference (due to something called common sense) between a good reason to riot and rampage and no reason at all. Extreme Muslims in Europe claim they are prejudiced against and segregated, yet we have clearly seen in the past few weeks that authorities in EU- London being the case in point- will bend over backwards to appease angry lunatics who
Stalking Jeffrey “Can I ask the two at the back - Are you journalists?” “Ummm…” This was not the first impression Trinity News had hoped to create. “Are you recording this? “Yes, if that’s alright” “Are you a journalist?” Andrew Campbell, President of the Phil (who had politely but firmly told me earlier of Archer’s strict ‘no press’ rule – including college scribblers) spun into action: “No.” It’s funny how quickly righteous indignation subsides when a slight on your professional ego saves you from being turfed out of an event. “Alright,” says Jeffrey, one eye still on the Dictaphone, “I was hoping this was a private society… I just want to say what I want to say. Otherwise it would be a boring lecture.” The novelist, former politician, and alumnus of Belmarsh prison, has rarely been accused of giving a boring lecture; still less of refusing to speak his mind. Jeffrey Archer has rarely backed away from making a valid point when he has one; a year’s experience inside prison has given him plenty. Seemingly, he’s given Home Secretaries his humble opinion on the “madness” of prison conditions, and seems happy to keep offering it here. Take the allocation of £12.5 an hour to ‘working’ prisoners, compared to £8 for those who pursue education, quite rightly described as ‘disgraceful.’ He even floats the notion of granting reduced sentences to high-achieving prisoners. Had these ideas come from Tony Blair lips, the
Daily Mail and the Tory old guard would scream bloody murder. Whether due to his newfound freedom from the tabloidappeasing, confrontational realities of modern politics, or experience of a life few parliamentarians would wish to contemplate, he now emerges preaching
progressivist gospel: “Perhaps we shouldn’t be looking at the end of a case, where someone is murdered. Perhaps we should be looking at the beginning of a case.. and the things that go wrong.” That he does so with occasional lapses into Tory dinosaur-speak (using the phrase ‘wicked’
Hugh Roche Kelly lets fly at anti-cartoon protests represent the worst of the worst of extreme fundamentalism. The hypocrisy is unbelievable and glaring. While the leader of the BNP - another complete lunatic - is rightly on trial for hate crime, lunatics paraded - no, they rioted - around
People were killed. Why? Because a ‘sacred belief’ or whatever was offended. What about people’s sacred belief in not dying? London promising to decapitate people in the name of their religion. The police admitted that they were afraid to arrest certain lunatics because they thought more lunatics would pop up. Who has condemned the lunatics? What’s that you say? Not really anyone? Oh, so leaders must surely have maintained a dignified silence on the whole issue, just calling for law and order to be respected or somethinglike that? No. My gods, they apologised. They said sorry.
Why? And how dare our President apologise over a bunch of cartoons. She should have condemned the violence that extreme Muslims instigated over the past while, she should have called for law and order to be followed and respected, not destroyed and mocked. Yes, I know that analysts will look back on these riots and say something ‘well, the cartoons were only part of the problem, it’s a wider chasm between Islam and Europe, it’s going to happen as long as Muslims aren’t integrated into society.’ Waffle! How can someone not understand that the way to get more equality and fairness or whatever it is they are looking for is NOT by promising to behead people, or by burning down buildings. Just after Valentine’s Day a headline in an English paper read; “40% of British Muslims want Shyria law in UK.” The fact is that Muslims are angry, and a very sizable proportion of them seem to think they can live in Europe but as a separate entity, a separate nation in all European states. Well in my view, they can’t. And it’s about time someone told them.
Derek Owens flaunts Lord Archer’s press embargo to describe one murderer, or ‘buggered’ as a choice word for early sexual abuse, probably precludes him from Lib-Dem cocktail parties) makes watching him in full flight that bit more surreal. Accusing him of perfect candour and spontaneity though, may be going a little far. Some of the anecdotes, descriptions and phrases he uses here sound painfully familiar from his books and an interview given to Roy Hattersley that appeared in print two days before this lecture. It’s telling that he almost instinctively keeps one hand barred across his chest. Though pledging to answer the questions flung his way as frankly as possible, h e
jinks past one or two. A question on whether he distrusts the press more than most politicians, and asking if the experi-
ence that sent him to prison (Archer’s conviction for perjury came as a result of a libel action against the Daily Star) causes him to be more defensive, elicits an anodyne “I think the press largely do their job, and you have to be cautious…” answer, harsh words for journalists who misrepresent him, before a fairly generous endorsement: “If the choice was between a free press and an unfree press, let’s have a free press and let them all say what they like.” By and large though, Archer is perfectly forthright about everything ranging from his work (“I’m not a writer, I’m a storyteller,”) the “Farcical” jailing of holocaust denier David Irving, present politics, and the future. He tells the chamber, without a hint of hysteria, that we’re living through “World War Three”. He admits to serious doubts about the Tories’ chances of winning the next election, and that “when a man as good as Malcolm Rifkind can’t win back his Edinburgh seat” the prospects for his party are still bleak. He talks with the zest of a politician rediscovering the joy of a receptive audience, firing points, problems, and solutions at us like a man eager to see all his ideas not just politely listened to but embraced and implemented. Archer’s made a fair few comebacks before; will he be angling for a return to frontline politics (say, Shadow Home Secretary) anytime soon? “No.” No, I don’t believe him either.
Cartoons by Michael Church
And the Beat Goes On... This year marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of ‘Beat’ poet Allen Ginsberg’s hugely controversial Howl; Padraic Ryan looks back on the poem which was not only a massive landmark in American literature, but also had unprecedented social and legal repercussions The reading was to be ‘charming’, according to its flyers. Among the six poets who read at the Gallery Six in San Francisco that night (October 7th, 1955), second to last was a twenty-eight year old from New Jersey called Allen Ginsberg. He read the first part of a poem called Howl; starting, “I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked/ Dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix”. And he changed poetry completely. Descriptions of that first public reading of the poem tell of how Ginsberg swayed from side to side as he read his poem; how the audience, led by his friend and fellow ‘beat’ writer Jack Kerouac, shouted, ‘Go! Go!’ at the end of every line to urge him on; and how the poet ended reading, in tears. The collection Howl and other poems was subsequently published in 1956 by City Lights Books in San Francisco. Controversy was to follow when five hundred and twenty copies of the collection were seized by U.S. Customs in March 1957. Ginsberg’s frank portrayal of homosexual love, use
of “obscenities”, and description of drugtaking were deemed unacceptable. Lawrence Ferlinghetti, poet and proprietor of City Lights and Shigeyoshi Murao, the manager of the book store were both eventually arrested, and charged with selling obscene material. The trial was a landmark with regard to free speech and obscenity in America. Ferlinghetti and Murao were cleared, and a ruling was made that the poem was not without “the slightest
redeeming social importance”. This was a crucial legal precedent with regard to publishing; later works such as Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer, William Burroughs’ Junkie, and many more besides would not have been published in America without it. In one respect Howl is simply what it says it is: it is a cry out, by a person battered by what society has thrown at him. Ginsberg and the other authors of the Beat Generation were writing from the
fringes of society. They were writing about experiences mainstream society did not want to confront. The poem was like a wreckingball to contemporary notions of what was poetic. Ginsberg harked back to the poetry of Walt Whitman, and the American Bardic tradition. Within this tradition however, his use of imagism, surrealist juxtaposition, and everyday speech meant that the poem was like nothing seen before. This was a rejection of the poetry of The Academy – such poetry simply could not deal with the content of Howl. It would be difficult to overstate the importance of Howl in the history of American poetry, and not too much to claim for the poem great significance in the history of 20th century America itself. It is that important. Ginsberg’s poem is startling, horrific, and disconcerting. It is exhausting, and will certainly leave you drained. Howl is also incredibly moving, haunting,and beautiful. This article has purposely avoided extensive quotation from the poem: to do so would be to dilute its effect. It must simply be read.
New Book for Old Tory Yarn Jeffrey Archer tries to make a good impression on Trinity but Chloe Sanderson is less than impressed has topped the Sunday Times bestseller list eleven times. Furthermore, it would be foolish to pretend that the life of an author was easy. One minute you’re dealing with paper cuts and the next you’re in prison. Although true to form his two year stint in the clinker quickly turned
Strolling into the debating chamber, Sir Jeffrey Archer, honoured guest of the Phil, made up for what he lacked a little in stature with an impressive flow of rhetoric and a convoluted sense of his own self importance. As Sir Archer waxed lyrical regarding his campaigning for prison reform, this journalist found herself musing on the fact that Sir Jeffrey remains a public figure whom it was a little harder to dislike than she felt she ought. It had to be admitted the man has much to be egotistical about. With over 120million copies of his books sold worldwide, this globally successful author of Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less, Kane & Abel and Sons of Fortune,
Jeffrey asserts that ‘I am only a story teller’ - Yes Jeffrey, that’s why they put you in prison itself into a nice little money spinner, seeming if anything to improve Archer’s artistic repertoire, adding, whilst still confined, to his bibliography a couple of non fiction titles: A Prison Diary and Pergatory: A Prison Diary 2. Sir Jeffrey stands today, accused, tried convicted, sentence passed and endured, by his assertion that “I am only a story teller” which begs the response – Yes Jeffrey that’s why they put you in prison. However, it must be admitted, and proved by his staggering book sales thus far, that Sir Archer’s tal-
ents most definitively lie in his ability to capture the reader and hold them locked into the narrative until the story’s conclusion. Similar in style to fellow gargantuan selling author Dan Brown, Archer’s detective crime thrillers address the airport purchase novel shaped hole in all of us. Archer’s narratives address our need for plot satisfaction, with just enough twists and turns thrown in to prevent distraction. Last week saw the release of Archer’s latest book, False Impressions (€26.44, Macmillan). Proclaimed to be a ‘breath-taking journey of twists and turns from New York to London to Bucharest and onto Tokyo and finally to a sleepy English village where the mystery of Van Gogh’s last painting will be resolved.’ This latest crime thriller seems set to play upon Archer’s own publicised interest in the art market, whilst sticking to his preferred and highly lucrative narrative style. Thus it is that once again we have the chance to judge Archer’s authorial merit, and decide whether this Archer will once again hit the mark.
Photograph by Jago Tennant
Webster’s ‘Duchess’ splits opinion once more Is it ever possible to make a Renaissance drama appeal to a modern audience? Based on The Duchess of Malfi in the Project Arts Theatre Tara Robinson doesn’t think so... It is always a risk to make Renaissance drama appeal to a modern audience. A risk vastly multiplied when the play is Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi. In this masterpiece a young widowed Duchess is under the control of her two draconian brothers who forbid her to remarry. She secretly marries her steward in spite of them, the results of which are torture and eventual death. Drowned in all the usual Jacobean themes of love, sex, death, madness, anti-Catholicism, justice, social status and corruption in every facet of society, it is fascinatingly painful and invigoratingly complex for an audience. Jason Byrne’s production reduces the risk of confusion by stripping the original five act play down to ninety minutes, ridding it of many subsidiary characters and subsequently minimising themes and in some cases completely altering Webster’s characters. And he does it tragically so. With the removal of any kind of reciprocated affection – or even smiling – from the newly chosen husband, our young Duchess (usually eager for intimacy and affection) fully becomes the ‘lusty widow’ she is accused of being. The
Duchess (played by Deidre Roycroft) resembles a seventeenth century Sex and the City character, desperate both to defy her brothers’ control and to get laid, even if it is with her lowly steward who appears to be terrified by her advances and her huge dress. Webster’s loyal maid is axed from the script and the devious malcontent/spy/enemy Bosola bizarrely assumes the role of the Duchess’ confidante and even provides a comforting shoulder for a dance (…a dance?). Bosola’s character is so simplified he becomes approachable, pitiable and, Webster forbid, relatable to. A series of gruesome deaths are completely left out and even more sacrilegious, Webster’s fantastically grotesque language is either lost or manipulated into conversation with the ‘wrong’ characters: Bosola switches from likening the Duchess to ‘an abortive hedgehog’ to giving her apricots as a present. Apparently forgetting these insults or in any way suspecting him, she then merrily accepts the gift. All this said, an audience unfamiliar with the play is still treated to a little humour, a little shock, a little moral
Win tickets to Fiddler on the Roof! The renowned Rathmines & Rathgar Musical Society are putting on their production of the classic musical Fiddler on the Roof at the Gaiety Theatre starting from the 28th March. TNT has a pair of tickets to give away to one lucky reader. To be in with a chance of winning, just answer this simple question: Which actor recently starred in the Gate’s production of Faith Healer? Answers to email@example.com. The first person to send in the correct answer will win the tickets. Good luck!
dilemma and a little sympathy which are, we are taught, all undoubtedly marks of good entertainment. Bosola (Jack Walsh) at least, convincingly portrays what is left of his once complicated character; evoking some sort of pity in the audience at the end even if the last sequence is completely drained of energy by a torrent of ‘dramatic pauses’ from his co-actors. If only a little appropriate sound had been used, the ‘eerie silences’ might have been less boring and matched the successfully malleable set design, simple but
effective lighting and thankfully swift scene changes. However, the biggest question that remains after this torrent of negative criticism is: what is an audience supposed to gain from this production? When fascinating character dimensions are lost through poor editing and lifeless acting then we are left with almost nothing but a distant whiff of depressing, moralistic ideas: ‘lusty widows’ will be strangled, no-one is trustworthy, secrets are better kept and money causes problems. It is no wonder that musicals and celebrities attract the full houses when straight drama is being manipulated in this tedious manner.
Introducing: The Mercer Island Rodeo Isabelle Murphy on the new comedy sketch group in Players As part of Players’ New Writers week, a brand new comedy sketch group performed their debut show on Monday 27th February. This group, going by the name of The Mercer Island Rodeo, were comprised of Players regulars Rob Crowley, Dave McEngtart, Paddy McKeating, Dan Herd, Bri FitzPatrick and Brian Roche, and was the culmination of hours of rehearsals and writing sessions. The Mercer Island Rodeo is the first new sketch show to perform in Players in three and a half years, and were the first group since the wildly successful H-BAM to put on a show, so expectation was high. Keeping in the tradition of Players Monday night events, alcohol (and much of it) was provided, so by the time the show began the crowd were more than willing to show their support, often as vocally as possible. Whether this helped or hindered the show was unclear, but one suspects that the actors would have appreciated their hard work to not be interrupted by over-enthusiastic and often obtrusive laughing. The show opened with a set piece featuring two German stand-up comics, which was both well scripted and rehearsed. What followed were several shorter sketches and voiceovers,
which were all well received by the audience. However, one couldn’t help wondering how the show would have fared when performed in front of an unbiased audience who didn’t know those involved, as many of the biggest laughs were due to the incongruity of seeing friends in ridiculous get-ups and finding themselves in hilarious situations. That said, you can only perform to the audience that you have and the Rodeo did just that, riding the laughter well and timing their entrances perfectly. The best example of this was Brian Roche’s brilliant cameo as a ten year-old competing in a spelling bee, where a voiceover was used to excellent effect. The only significant shortcoming with the show was that whilst the acting and direction of the show was snappy and professional, the script often let the performance down. This was best illustrated in the show’s musical finale, where the script (a song about the merits of moustaches) did not do justice to the acting that accompanied it. In short, the comic potential of this show was clear for all to see, and with a few more sketches and musical numbers to support the body of work they have already created, they could be the next big thing.
Saving the World The TCD ‘Future Fashion’ show that took place in Temple Bar’s Cultivate showed that fashion and eco-politics can be both sexy and stylish. By Carmen Bryce. Photographs by Richeal Carroll and Cian Kennedy. Unique from the high budget, high fashion college shows of the past, organisers Sarah- Jane Cunningham and Rebecca Headon prided themselves on producing an eco-friendly fashion event promoting sustainable growth, recyclable resources and fair-trade, issues typically remote from the catwalk. The team promised and delivered a spectacular show, categorised by its ‘Fairtrade,’ ‘Vintage,’ Eco’ and
‘Recyclable’ sections, made all the more poignant by its inspirational suggestion; the creation of fashion without the destruction of natural resources or the profit of wealth. Material without materialism, so to speak. What started of as merely a conversation from the environmentally aware team just before Christmas, snow-balled into this huge venture in barely two months, involving 30 models, a rake of top Irish designers, spectacular creations from Trinity’s own student fashion squad, an extremly curious audience, a team of professional dancers and gymnasts and most importantly, a very good cause. The Showcase of environmentally aware contributors included among many, fair-trade based Loomstate and Eden (owned by U2 Bono’s other half, the talented Allie Huston), Vintage designers, Ilene Hacker, Enable Ireland and Ecofriendly Kate O’Brien, Enamore and Bryony Dunne. What started of with simply sophisticated plain coloured T.shirts and long-sleeved shirts from ‘Fair-trade’ section, developed into a demonstration of all the biggest trends from this year and last; glittery 80’s glam, 50’s prep, Sailor sex appeal, burlesque beauty, luxurious lingerie, military symmetry, pencil skirts and peasant dresses, something for the office, the weekend, the Oscars. The over-all effect was nothing if not varied with the list of reputable designers bringing their personal stamp to the catwalk. The androgonous designs from Kate O’Brien in the shape of Top hat and tails, school boy blazers and symmetrical ruffles contrasted beautifully with Lainey Keogh’s feminine pastal colours and soft, flowing shapes. Both Loomstate and Sophie Rieu brought sassy, summer, sex appeal to the runway with barely buttock Daring creation from Trinity designer Kerrie covering hotpants, cropped Julia Forde made chiefly from paper and tops and over-sized 50’s sunplastic glasses. Something for the
Sultry model strikes a pose with this year’s must have block belt in oriental silk and open collar checked shirt, both from Urban Outfitters men, Isa and Chantilly showed off fitted blazers and taiilored trousers in smoky shades while Kate O’Brien brought to the floor, vibrant yellows, pinks and oranges in the shape of cardigans and floor-length coats for the more adventurous male customer. Mens-wear ranged from serious gangster styles with pin-stripes and fitted garments, the sensitive poet type with softer colours and loose fitting shapes and getting down to basics, designer under-garments anough to distract the most devoted of nuns. A favourite for me were the edgy and incredibly sexy designs by AJ in the shape of backless black dresses, ribbed corsets and ripped trousers, tailored smoking jackets for the men and slinky white silks. The fabrics and designs paraded in ‘The Eastern Influence’ section, chiefly taken from Market Arcade’s Om Diva, lit up the stage with lively colours and sensual styles in burnt orange and bright yellow silks, electric pinks and blues, and
Oriental jewels and accessories. Many contributors are not only friends of the environment but also to the student’s pocket, with vintage stores such as Harlequinn, Enable Ireland and Urban Outfitters, located centrally, not a stonethrow from Trinity. It was not just professional outside contributors that made the show truly spectacular, but also our very own students, co-ordinated by Trinity’s Emma Sykes, who shone, holding their own in the fashion stakes with original and inspirational ideas. With their ingenious creations, the up and coming designers made good use of a range of recyclable material; everything from aluminium foil, old CDs, plastic bags, copper wire, Wall Street journals and Luas tickets. These students were out to prove that fashion can be created from anything as long as there is an ample supply of imagination and dedication, with eye catching designs such as; Millie Davidson’s two dresses,
One Outfit at a Time one made entirely out of Luas tickets, the other out of used CDs and Aoife Lucey’s inventive, burlesque design in the shape of a wire and foil based corset. Both designers used material that created a strikingly dramatic effect with the reflection of the studio lights. Sinead O’Sullivan’s ingenious use of photograph negatives and old fabric and Kerrie Julia Forde’s funky dress inspired no less by a pint of Guiness, featured below, made a lasting impression while Sarah-Jane Shields feminine, floral gown made chiefly of tracing paper and reused brown paper bags graced the catwalk beautifully. The two newspaper dresses designed independently by Kathleen McCarron and Carol Mulligan proved that a bit of intuition and some every day material can be transformed into a piece of beautiful fashion fit for a walk down the red carpet. For final year English student Carol Mulligan it was the utility, resourcefulness and inexpensiveness of such a basic material as newspaper compared to other more pricey fabrics that inspired her design. It was difficult to imagine the source of material used by the students could have been found in the nearest wastepaper bin or local dump when the overall effect was more Prada than park-bench and more Couture than car-yard. The show skyrocketed towards a close, with breathtaking, larger than
life creations, such as Polly Minnett’s ‘The Faery Queen’ made entirely of recyclable material, and ‘Childsplay’ and ‘Entamonitor’, designs that experimented with the fusion of shape and material, capturing the imagination and fantasy of childhood dreams. In the last year, the fashion world has witnessed a revolution in the shape of Eco-politics, premiering at last year’s New York Fashion Week and spreading to fashion capitals London, Paris and Milan. Along-side top designers show casing American capital’s fashion week last year, suchas Dolce and Gabbana, Oscar de la Renta and Proenza Shouler, paraded models dressed head to toe in fabrics spun from bamboo, corn and organic organic cotton.The show was sponsed by Earth Pledge, a NewYork based nonprofit organisation that promotes environmental programs, challenging designers to create fashion using only fabrics that could be renewed and recycled and generated less pollution than conventional material. Fashion vetrans are optimistic that this new direction up the catwalk is more than just a flash in the pan gimmick and that the survival of the planet’s resources rely on the survival of eco-fashion as more than merely a current trend with a short shelf life. Marci Zaroff, founder of Under the Canopy, a line of clothing and
Gracing the cat-walk with fitted corset and ripped pantalons, a unique design by Irish company AJ home furnishings made from organic cotton and other natural fabrics, commented, “We’re taking the market from hippie to hip. Green is the new black.” Leading designer at New York fashion week, Heatherette’s Richie Rich remarked “ People often perceive the fashion world as superfical, so its great
A design fit for royalty, ‘The Faery Queen of the Demesne’ by Polly Minnett
to work with materials that are actually good for the environment. I had my doubts, but when we actually saw the fashion swatches we were blown away." Sustainable Technology Education Project (STEP) defines eco-fashions as clothes “that take into account the environment, the health of the consumerand the working conditions of people inthe fashion industry.” The fashion world is beginning to take this idea on board and while we can’t imagine the beauty market without products from companies such as The Body Shop, a £15 million business, in a few years, the fashion market may be flooded with eco-friendly clothing which have already began to cross into the mainstream. This year’s Trinity fashion show proved that good fashion doesn’t have to involve glamorous designers who have been on the sun-bed too long, cocaine fuelled models with pocket-sized pets, and expensive fabrics and that are worn once on the red carpet and then thrown away. If I’m honest, when I heard the words, ‘reusable, ‘recyclable’ and ‘eco-friendly’ I found it difficult to make the connection to the sophisticated world of fashion. What I witnessed, however, was an array of stunning fabrics, unique shapes and daring designs led by a team of people who set out to show that a love for fashion and a concern for our planet’s future can go hand and hand down the catwalk. After all, Eco-fashion need not be be an oxymoron.
For any queries regarding photographs email: Charliephotography@gmail. com.
Irish Channels shuffle around a Lost in Lost bit as new station is announced Hannah Scally The lay of the land is about to change for Irish television (and we don’t just mean the sexy new opening credits for Fair City). New license fee allocation, shareholding shake-up and the announcement of a new Irish channel means that Irish TV as we know it could be gone. Forever. Dublin-based Channel 6 (also,
The new Channel 6’s logo. Bubbly. apparently, to be known as ‘Six’ in a ‘Bond, James Bond’ kind of way) is to launch on 30 March. It will be available on cable and satellite (but not Sky Digital, due to a disagreement over ‘brand image’). It promises us up to 16 hours of locally produced programming, with the rest being made up of shows
from Australia, Europe and the U.S. However, given its deal with CBS Paramount in America, and the explicit promises/threats of Sex and the City, Frasier, and Seventh Heaven, endless reruns look more likely. It seems that the new station is aiming itself at the ITV/Channel 4 market in Ireland. With a new contender for ratings, questions have been raised about the direction of Ireland’s other major stations, RTE, TV3 and TG4. More specifically, Channel Six looks set to be in direct competition with TV3, whose programming also relies heavily on imported shows and re-runs. A change in the allocation of money from the television license fee to support the development of more homegrown shows, has added to the issue. €10.5 million from the fee has just been allocated by the Broadcasting Commision of Ireland (BCI) to support new programming by public and private sector broadcasters. 37 TV projects are to be funded. Eight of these are RTE projects, two are from the privately owned Setanta, while TG4 is to receive funding for some 27 new projects. The big losers are TV3 who, despite having submitted several proposals to the BCI, are not to receive any funding. TV3 responded with a threat to withdraw from the scheme; a spokesperson said that "the station had serious reservations about entering the scheme its continuing involvement in light of this development is debatable."
These developments have focused more attention on the station, who recently announced their intention to produce more Irish (‘home-grown’) shows. TV3 has frequently been criticised for their reliance on imports from the U.S. and the U.K. Viewers are currently treated to a healthy diet of lower-quality American dramas, soaps set in the North of England, and reality TV shows. It looks like the new direction is towards more native Irish shows and increased competition as companies turn their attention to the relatively undeveloped Irish market.
Lost is successful for the same reason that you end up watching all of some obscure Bollywood movie at three in the morning, that you only paused on to laugh at. It's as if once we get into any plot, no matter how appalling it is, we're trapped, zombie-like until the thing is unsatisfactorily resolved. The makers of Lost have realised this, and have created a show with no resolution, EVER, JUST ENDLESS COMPLICATION AS THEY GO DEEPER INTO THE ISLAND. So, yes, Lost is entertaining. The people are nice to look at. But is it worth the lost time? And, to quote (from memory) a friend, "What did we learn from the two-hour season premire of Lost? That you only have to watch the one-hour summary of the first season to know everything that's going on.”
Oooooh, very mysterious. We’re on to you
And you thought TV3 was rubbish... Deirdre Kelly and Andrew Barry take a look at some of the highlights (ahem) of TV3’s programming and pay tribute to the amazing Judge Judy In September 1998 TV3 burst onto our screens, promising (we think) a mix of chat, light entertainment, hard-hitting news and true-to-life dramas. What it actually gave us was the much-loved Judge Judy, ITV cast-offs and Martin King. Judge Judy may not be on a par with other courtroom dramas such as Judging Amy, but what makes this show different is that "the cases are real, the people are real, the rulings are final." In this courtroom presided over by Judge Judith Scheinlin (Judy to friends) many of the greatest legal battles of our time have been settled. Without Judge Judy, how would Darlene Hich settle her dispute with her former lover Joe Gonzalez after he broke her windscreen wipers in a jealous rage, and refused to pay for them? Judy may not get the respect and admiration of Oprah and Ricki, but don't let the woman's comparatively small
stature fool you, she means business! Now let us cast our minds back to a time when the occasionally surreal, but always topical Sunset Beach figured prominently in the TV3 schedule. Sunset Beach was set in a world where a fragmented Jewel controlled the fate of mankind. A world where a witchdoctor
TV3 offers low budget, softly-lit, straight-to-TV movies and anything which contains the slightest trace of J-Lo can be asked to create a fictitious disiease, that would be inflicted on a former lover's current girlfriend, which would make her and doctors believe that she was dying so that the jilted woman could win back her man. Sunset Beach
for the intellectually challenged? I think not. Nevertheless in the case of any confusion all loose ends can be tied up through the magic of the interior monologue, the far-off-distant stare. Earthquakes, interspecies communication, and impregnation by turkey basters; nothing was beyond the reach/scope/range of this talented cast. Perhaps TV3 doesn't offer the star-studded blockbuster, but instead we, the viewers, are rewarded with low budget, softly-lit, straight-to-TV movies, and anything which contains the slightest trace of J-Lo. There is a simple science to these "my mother loves them" movies. To create them, simply weave together a selection of the following: - a strong yet vulnerable woman - a life-threatning illness - a life-long friendship - a family in turmoil - an unruly teen
- a separation/reunion - drug abuse and drag it out for as long as possible.
Judge Judy: Rocks our socks off
Top 5 things to do in Trinity this week
Catch the second leg of Chelsea v Barcelona in the Buttery tonight at 7.30pm. Barcelona are in the stronger position going into the match but Chelsea aren’t going to go down easily
Head down to the Buttery on Thursday and catch three rather excellent up and coming bands playing for free: Porn Truama, Stone Ocean, and The Internet are all on the bill, starting from around 8pm
Get out your pom-poms and jockstraps (depending on what you’re dressing up as...). There’s a Jocks and Cheerleaders Party in XXI on Thursday night, tickets €5 from the SU shop
Make sure to check out the bottom of your cans of Bavaria in the Pav on Friday night - whoever finds the golden ticket on their can wins two tickets to this year’s Trinity Ball, courtesy of those nice people in Ents
If you’re getting your Easter holidays on Friday then celebrate! Go out for a few drinks, ignore the library and enjoy the first taste of freedom. Only one term left to go...
The Club Review: Redz O’Connell Bridge Claire Keaveny and Donal Carey A new drinks phenomenon has hit Dublin’s student population. As the tagline for Redz says ‘Six drinks and entry for €20!’ Scrap that, make it €20 for 7 drinks, entry and a spare euro to throw at someone, thanks to a special Barry Murphy- induced Trinity concession. The question is...is it worth going to? Well, the first thing you notice about Monday nights is the queue. It’s long and cold. It shows that students are willing to queue for the good drinks deals. No need for the cheap naggin in this queue as drinks are ridiculously cheap inside. When you finally make it to the front of the queue, you’re met with the small, cramped, bouncer-filled doorway. There’s only one entrance, which is seriously small, especially when there’s only one entrance and exit for everyone even the smokers; get ready to use all your rugby experience to get through the scrum of people. The bouncers have a good reputation as being some of the better ones in town but on this occasion they seemed a tad aggressive. The door policy does not favour those who embrace the bright red tracksuit bottom ‘trend’, but very student friendly nonetheless especially if you’re blatantly a Fresher. Once inside, there’s a small enough cocktail bar. This is where the people in the know stay to avoid the crampedness that €2 drinks bring downstairs. This bar is rumoured to have 2for-1 cocktails but we got distracted by shiny €2 drinks downstairs. Past this, you’re met with a very steep stairs, very fall downable, especially for girls with stairs issues. But seriously, what’ s with Dublin clubs and all the stairs?! Unusually, the bouncers don’t force you to take off your warm coat and they seem freely aware that you’re just gonna throw it behind the couch.
One drink is cheaper than a can in the Pav, a Luas fair or a cup of tea... They’ve made a special gap for that type of thing. But be warned, people do read these articles and realise that there are free coats to be stolen and so I’ve taken to using cloakrooms. €2 a coat could be worse, especially in this cold snap - you need a coat for the taxi wait. The layout downstairs works for its size. It’s dominated by a large island shaped bar in the middle, with lots of varied seating for stocking up on booze, having a chat and of course for those Hamilton students to leer at the passing camogie players. The unusually shaped bar proves effective though as it is rather easy to get served which is quite impressive considering you can get 2 double Jaegerbombs for €10. The biggest/smallest problem with the place is the extraordinarily low ceiling. Anyone over 6ft is running the risk of serious head damage and for all the smaller folk you can have the joy of touching the ceiling. The main selling point of Redz is €2 a drink. We need to put this in perspective for everyone; you just don’t realise how good it is. It’s cheaper than a can in the Pav. So that’s probably half the price of a pint in the Buttery but who drinks there? It’s 6 chicken nuggets in the Mickie D’s eurosaver menu. It’s less
than a Luas fare to Sandyford. Getting the picture? We’ll continue just in case. It’s cheaper than a cup of tea in Starbucks. Oh and it’s ANY drink for €2 not just a questionable beer like Fosters. Except they sell the cheap imitation Smirnoff Ice and WKD, which however, are widely advertised around the club. Currently, it’s full of chumps. It’s all DCU Freshers footballers (fact), IT Tallaght (what a shame they changed it from TIT as it was back in the day, it was a great day) and UC double D. There’s little Trinners folk there in every respect – that’s quantity, size and age. Although Sibo was there, J Clo from the Knock was nowhere to be seen, thus it does lack an older Arts Block crowd. We like the music. It’s a nice mix of TJ style and incredibly danceable €2 a drink music. The DJ seems fully aware that everyone will let their hair down and dance like it’s 1999. Also the DJ likes to talk, talk a lot. There’s many a mention of the long queue (with a possible hint of pride in his voice at making 18-year-olds wait in the cold) and we think he may be a proud past member of the previously mentioned DCU football team.
Entry: 3/5 Long queue; bit pricey but good value if the Trinity concession is permanent. Bouncers: 2/5 We didn’t have great dealings with them but have heard better reports Bar Service: 4/5 All things considered, they were very prompt Crowd: 1/5 It’s young, and lacking in Trinity representation Scoring Ability: 4/5 With that much drink, you’d wanna be hard pushed not to score Music: 4/5 Fun, but not everyone’s cup of tea; you need to be nicely drunk for it Toilets: 4/5 Clean, and effort made with the design Bar Prices: 5/5 €2 - no more needs to be said. RANDOM SCORES Smoking Area: 0/5 – None really and clogs entrance Ceiling height: 0/5 – Because that’s the amount of inches between your head and the ceiling OVERALL SCORE = 27/50: Cracking offer but really should be availed of by Trinity students. It really makes you tempted to leave the comfy couch on a Monday night.
Bits and Pieces
What’s burning up the TNT Office this issue... Kanye West with Jamie Foxx - Golddigger In the wake of Kanye’s knock-out performance in the Point we’ve been kicking it old school this week (well, 6 months ago-school anyway), and blaring this all week. Madonna - Sorry Although we do actually like this song (of course - this disco phase of Maddie’s is fabulous), it’s included here mainly because of the video. Yes we know she probably hasn’t eaten in about eight years and has to work out for hours every day, but my God, the woman looks incredible. Sunblock - I’ll be Ready It takes a certain kind of genius to put a dance beat on to the Baywatch theme tune and market it to kids who probably never saw an episode of Baywatch in their lives. Sunblock, we salute your audacity and your ridiculous music.
Separated at Birth
It’s time for... Utterly Useless Facts of the Week! 1. The student population of TCD is 61% female and 39% male 2. The Trinity library gets over 100,000 new books each year
Trusted and respected Minister for Defence Willie O’Dea TD
Crazed SU President John Mannion
3. More people are killed by donkeys annually than are killed in plane crashes
One is a respected but slightly volatile minor politician, intent on preserving his Average Joe image on his route to the top but with an unfortunate tendency towards blundering mistakes... and the other is Willie O’Dea! (Thanks folks, we’re here all week). Yes it’s probably the only two men in the country to whom the question ‘Is that a gun in your pocket or are you just happy to see me’ may actually receive the reply ‘Why yes, it is in fact a gun’. In cock-ups of epic proportions, both men made the rather regretful decisions to take aim at their photographers, cock their rifles and smile cheerfully for the camera, blissfully unaware of the consequences. While Willie is clearly acting out some Reservoir Dogs-esque fantasy, we still haven’t figured out who it is John wishes was at the business end of that rifle...Suggestions to the usual address
4. In a lifetime the average person will walk the equivalent of around the globe three times
8. Venus is the only planet that rotates clockwise
Which SU candidate ‘allegedly’ spent €80 (the budget for the University Record for an entire year) on a hair-cut during their campaign? Clue: You wouldn’t guess it by looking at them.... Who on the Power List rang/texted at least 3 times the day before we went to print to check that they looked okay in their picture?... Which failed SU candidate has taken to referring to the victor in his race as ‘C***face’ when talking about the election? He’s not bitter at all...
5. No piece of paper can be folded in half more than seven times 6. It is actually possible to lick your elbow. It’s just not many people can do it 7. Catholics were first admitted to TCD in 1793
9. The king of hearts is the only king without a moustache 10. Lecturers are apparently the missing link between humans and apes 11. The electric chair was invented by a dentist
Hot hot heat Holidays next week Whoo-hoo! TCD being added to Bebo Now we can see the other 2,960 students from Trinity and understand why queues for the computers have tripled this year Lillian Smith on RTE Radio 1 Midnight - 2am The most sultry and seductive show you’ll ever hear on the radio LoveUlster.com For the best laugh we’ve had in ages, check out the forums and find out how RTE are part of the papist plot Piranha being banned Boo-urns, bring it back Oxygen selling out Did you get your ticket in time? People giving out about how cold they are We’re all cold! Stop whinging! The TNT office is so cold that in comparison it’s actually warm outside! SU Elections Yawn. The talking phone charger in House 6 Has anyone else been freaked out by it yet? What exactly is it saying?
Ice ice baby