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Students Immobilised Conference guest deported after student sex attack Tom Smithard PROTECTION OF students on campus has once again become an issue after the latest assault on female undergraduates took place just after the end of last term. The assaults took place on July 20th, during daylight, and in possibly the busiest part of campus, Vanbrugh Paradise.

Disappointed campaigners, including various SU Officers, lobby for a new lift to be installed into Alcuin Brendan Spencelayh Students’ Union Education and saying they will be affected by this crisis DISABLED ALCUIN students are being let down by the university as they are deprived access to crucial areas of the college.

What used to be D-block has been rebuilt as Alcuin’s new “nucleus” building. Contained within are essential facilities such as the JCR, the computer room and the college offices. The bad news for students with mobility difficulties is that all of these vital services are situated above ground floor and University officials have decided not to install a lift in the building. Certain disabled students will be denied those basic facilities that every student here has a right to. They will not be able to get to the college secretary’s office, use the JCR or access PCs. In general, Alcuin’s accommodation for disabled students is excellent, however the five other colleges all have good access to these vital areas. Freshers with mobility problems will not be housed in Alcuin but returning disabled Alcuin students in their 2nd and 3rd years will be faced with big set backs. Discussion has taken place between student representatives and University officials with the angry students pushing for a swift solution.


Welfare Officer Lizzie Tate is outraged at the University’s decision not to include a lift in Alcuin D-block. “I don’t know whether the lift was too expensive or whether they just forgot. No-one from the University has given a satisfactory answer as to why the lift has not gone in. “The University states that its premises have a good level of accessibility for disabled students, yet this cannot be true if one of its colleges has no access to basic facilities.” Last year’s SU Service’s Officer, Aidhean Campbell, told Vision that all last year, ever since first being shown the plans, the SU have asked University Administration whether there would be disabled access to all parts of the building, specifically whether there would be a lift installed. The answer was always ‘yes’. Glen Dewsbury, Facilities Management and Liaisons Officer, said on behalf of the University: “This is an issue which we are treating with the utmost seriousness. “We propose the building of a link between accommodation blocks and the new central building which will enable disabled students to get to these important areas of the college. It will, however, take more than one academic year.” “Three students have come forward

and we will be giving all the support we possibly can to them. We are looking into the possibility of supplying PCs in their rooms to counter the computer problem.” Student representatives have pushed for the immediate building of a lift in the new building but according to Glen Dewsbury this would be costly as the lift would have to be demolished to make way for the new link. Alcuin JCRC Chair Nick Church told Vision of his disappointment: “I saw the plans for the new building last year and a lift was clearly there. When I visited York in September the building had been completed and no lift was installed.” “The best solution to the problem would be to build a lift now. I can’t understand why the University isn’t doing this.” SU Access Officer Cheryl Smith is responsible for making sure students can access all the areas they need to on campus. She is disappointed in the University. “The time it will take to build this new link is simply not good enough. We need a lift now as current disabled students from Alcuin returning for their second and third years here at York will be at an unfair disadvantage.” “What has been proposed by the University it is not a satisfactory solution. I will continue to put forward the students’ viewpoint and push for more help.”

Abdelkrim Elawid Abuzeid, 58, a visiting Sudanese teacher of English, had won a competition to come on a course for teachers of English at York, funded by the British Council, with the aim of passing on his knowledge to other teachers when he returned to Sudan. Arriving early for his course, Abuzeid wondered onto Vanbrugh Paradise, where, York Magistrates’ Court was told, he was astounded by all the women walking around in skimpy clothing, believing the standards to be different in the West and that his soon-to-be indecent behaviour would be tolerated. Abuzeid’s initial behaviour led his first victim to think that he might have learning difficulties. Then he put his hand on her thigh and put her hand high between his legs. When she pulled away and told him to stop, he fondled her breasts and ran his hand down her back onto her bottom. Next he approached a second student, pinched her bottom, pulled her face round so that he could kiss her on the mouth and grabbed her breasts. It was only after both these incidents that campus security managed to apprehend Abuzeid. He was remanded in custody and taken to York Magistrates Court, where he was sentenced to thirty days in jail and then deported from the country as an unwelcome guest, after pleading guilty to two counts of indecent assault. After hearing of the case, Leyla Ozkan, Students’ Union Women’s Officer said: “It is clearly very disturbing that we still have members of the world commu-

nity who still hold such unacceptable ideas. However, we must be careful not to act impulsively with a racist backlash – not all men from such countries hold such ideas, and there are a good many Western men who seem to have no respect for women’s rights. Perhaps we should also look realistically at the portrayal of women in our culture and ask ourselves what kind of example we are also setting for those countries less developed than us – is it really that liberating? “As for issues on campus, Women’s Campaign is very concerned about issues like security on campus – why it would be dangerous to remove, for instance, 24hr portering as points of contact. We must keep pressing for better lighting and security if we are to maintain a safe campus.”

yorkVision In the recent shortlist of nominees for the Guardian Student Media Awards, the prestigious student journalism awards scheme, Vision was shortlisted for two awards. Tim Burroughs was shortlisted in the ‘Student Campaign of the Year’ category, for his series of articles constructively criticising the University’s sports facilities, and Tom Smithard was shortlisted in the ‘Student Reporter of the Year’ category for consistent and creative news reporting. Both nominations reflect the hard work the entire editorial team and journalists put into every edition of Vision, and confirm that Vision is one of the best student newspapers in the country.

9th October, 2000 Issue 122

02 NEWS : yorkVision

News in Brief BAR 1300

Bar 38, located just off Coney Street in the centre of York, has been the first bar or pub to be granted a license to serve alcohol until 1am Monday to Saturday in the region of York. The license has been granted on an experimental basis for one year.

FEE MASONS The Freemasons have sponsored the £400,000 restoration of the York Minster’s St William’s Window. The window was painted in about 1415 1420 and tells the life story of St William, the former Archbishop of York William Fitzherbert, who died in 1154. He was credited with miracously saving the lifes of hundreds of well-wishers who came out to applaud his entry into York, and were plunged into the River Ouse when the Ouse Bridge collapsed. So far, so admirable. However, for this £400,000 investment, the Freemasons will have their banner and insignia incorporated into the window. Let us be grateful.

MILITARY ON CAMPUS After the debacle of last year, when the military set up a stall on campus despite vociferous complaints from the Students’ Union, who objected to the military’s discrimination against lesbians, gays and bisexuals, the military have this year been forced by law to drop their predjudices, and so the SU can no longer object to their presence. However, because they still have policy against supporting the military, as there were no quorate UGMs after Christmas last year in order to overturn their policy, the military will not be allowed onto campus until after Wednesday Week One, when the SU Executive Committee will have decided what their position is.

UGM TRAINING The Students’ Union Training Officers are offering all freshers, and indeed anyone else who wants it, training in how to get involved within the Students’ Union, including details of what’s in a UGM for you? Sessions are held in Weeks One and Two 1:15pm Monday in G/020, Wednesday V/044 and Friday G/045. Email for details.

VISION THANKS Vision would like to say thanks (and sorry) to Adam Curran and Alex Cooley for their help at the Grad Ball, and also to Sarah Mort, since we missed their names out! Thanks to Wes, Gareth, Simon Keal and Mark Kember. Also special thanks to Helen, Pete, Aidhean, Ian and Ange for making last year so enjoyable. Finally, thanks to everyone who missed parts of their ‘holidays’ to create this issue...

9th October, 2000 Issue 122

Fears over safety after Grad Ball spiking -exclusive-

Tom Smithard

FEARS HAVE been expressed over the state of students’ safety at large events, after a possible spiking attack marred the Grad Ball, at the end of last term.

Vision, who were producing a Grad Ball special edition for those who attended the event during the night, were approached by a recent graduate, Sarah Mort, at around 3am in the morning. “I was chatting to this guy, who was smoking some weed, and I told him that I was tired. He offered me something to pick me up, I refused, but he kept pushing. After moving his hands over it, he pushed me hard into drinking my drink.” After reporting the matter to security, Sarah showed the Security Manager who the pusher was. “Security asked me to point him out, but they were very indiscreet, and his brother saw me pointing at him and must have told him to get rid of the pills.” The event organiser, and last year’s Services’ Officer (then called Deputy President Services), Aidhean Campbell, is not certain that the event described actually took place. “We followed up the complaint as best we could – we routed out the guy but he only had grass on him. We know him anyway and I thought it was incredibly unlikely he would be involved in any spiking incident. Although we were very concerned about the complaint, we had no

Grad Ball revellers enjoying the Lightning Seeds, but others were not so fortunate. Insert: Vision’s Special Edition proof against him.” Responding to the allegation of indiscreet security, Aidhean stated that: “I have no idea whether his brother saw Sarah as I was not there at the time, but I think that that was quite unlikely as we had a good security team.” There were a few other cases of revellers being treated by an on-site ambulance team or taken into hospital during the night with drugs related complaints, which Bruno Araujo, the current Services’ Officer, puts down to an “Over-reactive ambulance team.” Looking back on the event, Sarah feels that the incident “Put a dampener on

the night, but looking back on it, overall, I enjoyed myself.” According to Bruno, “The event went alright on the night, there were a few complaints, but they were only to be expected, and were along the lines of ruined dresses and sprained ankles. Generally, the event went down really well – Bill Bailey and the Lightening Seeds were both excellent, and there were 650 people for the Survivors’ Photo at 6am.” Aidhean also believes the event was successful. “Looking back on it, the Grad Ball went really well, although it was a lot of hard work. There were two problems – first the cigarette distributors we booked

didn’t turn up, meaning that there were no cigarettes available, and secondly, it rained really badly and did not stop, which ruined a few people’s nights. But other than that, I feel it went quite successfully, although it lost a bit of money.” In his handover, Aidhean recommended to Bruno that he start organising this year’s event earlier than May when he started, preferably in January. As it is, Bruno has already started planning, so this year’s event is already shaping up to be the biggest in York’s history. Vision’s Grad Ball Special is available to read in the JB Morrell Library.

New library plans to disrupt campus Tom Smithard AFTER YEARS of investment in the sciences, the University is finally pumping some money back into the arts and humanities.

The plans for the new £3 million humanities library, the Raymond Burton Humanities Research Library, to complement the existing JB Morrell Library, have finally been unveiled, with the building due for completion for the start of the 2002 – 3 academic year. The new library will house special collections at thermostatically controlled conditions, microform, electronic and paper forms of research references, as well as providing special facilities for researchers into the humanities. The University are hoping that this extension of library facilities will catapult the University into the top league of research institutions, which will then allow York to become a member of the Russell Group, an influential collective of the top British universities. The University has also won funds to redesign and refurbish the ground floor of the JB Morrell. This will include extending the ground floor out to the rear on the north side, incorporating Blackwell’s Bookshop, and a new entrance which will serve both the J B Morrell and the new

The new humanities library, to be built on the site of Blackwells, as seen from Alcuin, and insert, from Vanbrugh Humanities Research Library. Yet not everyone is happy with the plans. There are rumours that some of the librarians at the Borthwick Institute, currently situated in the centre of town, are unhappy with their likely move into the new humanities library. They are said to be slightly apprehensive about an increase in interference from University administration that would inevitably result from a move. Another problem with the extension that will inevitably result from the decision to situate the humanities library next door to the JB Morrell, will be the con-

stant disruption to students trying to study in peace over the next two academic years. According to Glen Dewsbury, Facilities Liaison Officer, “When there’s a building site next to the library, some noise disturbance is inevitable. We will try to provide alternative space elsewhere on campus but it will be difficult to find anywhere untainted with building works.” One disgruntled finalist stated: “I think it is disgusting that the University would contemplate putting our studies under threat. The whole point of having a library, after all, is for it to be a peaceful,

productive place of study.” Many students are also querying the University’s decision to close the separate college libraries from the beginning of this academic year, which, when combined with the building works next door to the JB Morrell, will mean that there are virtually no places on campus that are available for quiet study. Yet despite the inevitable problems that will occur during the construction period, it is clear that these building works do need to take place in order to build upon the University’s already high reputation for teaching and research.


Editors: Ben Hulme-Cross, Alex Watson  Deputy Editor: Tim Burroughs, Vicky Kennedy  Managing Editor: Gareth Walker  News Editor: Tom Smithard Deputy News Editors: Tim Dean, Brendan Spencelayh  Politics Editor: Danny Goldup  Deputy Politics Editor: Fraser Kennedy  Features Editor: Ann Smith Deputy Features Editors: Victoria Cole-Jones, Barbara Stainer  Books Editor: Kasia Brzozowska  Wired Editor: Mark Kember Arts Editor: Post Open  Acting Arts Editor: Matt Goddard  Films Editor: Philip Diamond  Deputy Films Editor: Christian Bunyan Music Editor: Tom Nall  Deputy Music Editor: Post Open  Sports Editors: Adam Curran, Sam Macrory Photo Editor: Alex Cooley  Sub Editors: Natalie Brabin, Lisa Forrest  Artist: Helen Dempsey Webmaster: Jonathan Carr  Deputy Webmaster: Post Open  Advertising Manager: Becca Smith Grimston House, Room V/X/009, University of York,Heslington, York, YO10 5DD. Tel/Fax: 01904 43 3720 Email: Opinions expressed in Vision are not necessarily those of the Editors, Senior Editorial Team, membership or advertisers. Every effort is made to ensure all articles are as factually correct as possible at the time of going to press, given the information available. Copyright Vision Newspapers, 2000

yorkVision : NEWS

Issue 122 9th October, 2000


Row over racism spills onto campus Tim Burroughs YORK CITY Football Club have been prevented from having a stall at the Freshers’ Fair on the grounds that they are not in support of the national ‘Kick Racism Out Of Football’ campaign. The incident comes at a time when there has been renewed interest in the Club’s stance on racism. The Maltings Pub on Tanner’s Moat recently stopped advertising in the match day programme in public protest at the Board’s refusal to support the campaign, while over five hundred people signed a petition at York City’s pre-season friendly match with Manchester United, lobbying chairman Douglas Craig to reconsider the Club’s stance. “York City is the only football club in the League not signed up to the campaign,” said SU Services Officer Bruno Araujo. “They should sign up as an act of good faith.” York City’s Public Relations Officer Sophie MacGill is quick to explain the reasoning behind the Club’s decision. “At the time it was felt that clubs were signing up for the campaign and doing nothing to enforce it,” she explains. “So it was decided that the club would launch it’s own campaign. To this end a statement is

printed in every match programme prohibiting racist activity.” She is also keen to point out the work the Club does in the community: “Our Football in the Community Officer works with the York Racial Equality Network, and we recently held a free training day for children from both under-privileged and ethnic minority backgrounds,” she told Vision. SU Black Rights Officer Sanjeev Vadhera appreciates the fact that the campaign has not always been implemented successfully. “From personal experience in Newcastle, I have seen that the campaign is not always productive,” he said. “If York City’s own anti-racism policy is implemented effectively, then the fact that they have not supported the national campaign would not be a problem.” However, some believe that the Club’s anti-racism policy is ineffective. “They neither attempt to combat racism or symbolically acknowledge the campaign,” claims Parah Powar, national co-ordinator of the ‘Kick Racism Out Of Football’ campaign. “York City is institutionally racist. They have wilfully refused to deliver any meaningful activity. If it was women or disabled people who were being prejudiced against then the matter would be approached, but York City are treating racism as a joke.” He sees the publication of Football League Ground Regulations outlawing racism as only part of what should be a

“York City is institutionally racist. They have wilfully refused to deliver any meaningful activity. If it was women or disabled people who were being prejudiced against comprehensive process, and is also sceptical about the Club’s claim that they print a similar statement in the match programme. “That’s absolute rubbish. I have the last five match programmes on my desk and there is no such statement.” Nevertheless, the Club is adamant that they are not racist. “The club doesn’t believe there is a racism problem. I am disappointed with the way the Students’ Union has judged us when they have never come to a match,” argues Sophie MacGill. “York has a small ethnic minority population. I have only ever seen two supporters here of ethnic minority origin but I think that is a fair breakdown of the population.” Bruno Araujo feels that it is unproductive to ignore Yorkshire’s problems with

racism in football. “If clubs as professional and successful as Leeds United can admit that there is a racism problem then York City should re-assess that claim,” he says. Parah Powar supports the SU’s actions with regard to the matter: “I think the actions of the Students’ Union are applaudable and we have to encourage similar gestures. It doesn’t matter what the ethnic breakdown of the supporters is. Many white people who watch matches are offended by the stance the Club is taking,” he claims. “It’s a personal stance on the part of Douglas Craig. I met with him over the summer to try and get him to engage with us but the Club just isolated themselves from us. If Craig were to go, the Club may well change their position.”

The Kick Racism out of football poster: John Barnes with banana

Debating Society SU plagued by printing problems thief punished “Personally, I Wesley Johnson

PROBLEMS, CONTROVERSY and anger surround this year’s copy of York Students’ Direct, delivered across campus today.

Simon Keal MARCUS STEELE, the former York student, has pleaded guilty to stealing money from the Debating Society’s account. Steele appeared at York Magistrates Court on the 29th June. He admitted taking money on six separate occasions from June to September 1999, and was ordered to pay the society back in full. He also received 100 hours community service. Problems first arose when it was noticed that nearly £600 had gone missing at the start of the Autumn term last year. Steele, the former co-Chair of the society, had written cheques to himself and signed them. These cheques were also apparently signed by the other co-chair at the time, Jonathan Isaby. However, on seeing the cheques Isaby stated that his signature had been forged. Steele claimed that he was ‘borrowing’ the money. In the Autumn term new co-Chairs Johnny Williams and Phil Witcherley attempted to get the money back from Steele but were unsuccessful and so contacted the police, who charged Steele with theft. He is paying the money back at a rate of £60 per month. Current Vice-Chair of the Debating Society, Duncan Flynn, explained the problems caused by Marcus Steele’s misdemeanours. “Last year was terrible for the Debating Society due to the missing money. We were forced to restrict our activities to a great extent. The matter was particularly difficult for Phil Witcherley, who had been good friends with Marcus, but the whole society felt the impact of his actions throughout the year.” However, he was keen to point out that the society should now put last year’s events behind them. “This went on a long time ago. It is time for the society to look forward and the stolen money is coming back into the account so we should not

Marcus Steele in happier times face the problems we had last year. This year will be much better.” Jonathan Isaby, ex co-chair of the society and former friend of Marcus Steele, commented to Vision, “Ultimately we cannot stop people doing this kind of thing. I found it particularly upsetting that he refused to admit to me that he had done it as I regarded him to be one of my best friends. Had he told me earlier and admitted his mistake I would have been able to forgive him, but that was not the case.” Though he has now left the University, Isaby was optimistic about the society’s future. “Now that they will get the money back, they will do great things again.” Matt Maher, Societies officer and former co-Chair of the Debating Society, told Vision that Steele’s actions should not be able to happen again in any YUSU society. “Marcus Steele deserves everything he gets and I hope that with this punishment he gets the message. As Societies’ Officers we need to keep a close eye on situations like this and we will obviously do everything we can to prevent anything like this taking place again. The Students’ Union offers financial advice to societies if they have any

The design and content of the directory, which was produced by The Evening Press, York’s daily newspaper, in conjunction with most of York’s students’ unions, have angered the University’s SU Services Officer, Bruno Araujo. “Personally, I think they are in breach of contract,” he told Vision. “At the very least it’s very poor service and they weren’t very helpful.” “We’re not tremendously delighted with the service that has been provided.” Problems covered everything from the advertisements featured to discount vouchers – for everything from food and drink to stage shows - being printed on double-sided paper, rendering almost half of them useless. The biggest controversy surrounds the chocolate firm Nestlé. Although there is no current Union policy against the company, its business practices are believed to be immoral by many York students. Nestlé and its slogan, “Good Food, Good Life”, appear in a half page advert in the directory. Bruno explained: “We weren’t provided with an advertisers’ list, despite being promised one, which meant we couldn’t use our right of veto. “On the other issues, the problem with the vouchers was a big problem last year, and one which we asked them to sort out for this. “There was also an insert on York College which we weren’t told about.” The double-sided advert for the college offers potential student representatives for its Executive committee the chance to find out more information on the work which they do. But York SU were disappointed that the first time they knew anything about the advert was when they received their delivery of the directories. “Part of the problem is that it all has to be done in time for other colleges’ dates,

The offending document and they go back a long time before us,” said Bruno. “It means we’re still doing the handover [from last year’s officers] when we’re putting it together, but the Evening Press have not been very flexible all the same.” But the University Students’ Union is not the only organisation aggrieved by the final presentation of the directory. Victoria Brown, President of the College of Ripon & York St John Students’ Union, told Vision: “We’ve had a few problems with it but not as many as Bruno. We’re quite happy with most of it – but York College had been put in without us knowing anything about it. “We had quite a few opportunities to check through and clear up any problems with them. We finished it earlier than the SU at the University so we were given a copy to proof read. There were lots of things which we didn’t like but most of them were changed. We then had a second chance to check it. “We didn’t like the cover and did tell them but we weren’t given any opportunity to change this.” Despite all the controversy, though, it is still believed that the directory will be useful for students arriving at York.

think The Evening Press are in breach of contract. At the very least it’s pretty poor service and they

In a new initiative for this year, YUSU has arranged a “huge delivery” of over 4000 copies to enable one to be put in each room as students arrive. Ben Youdan, York’s SU President, said he thought the directory was still very useful for freshers who were living in York for the first time. On behalf of the York Students’ Direct consortium – which includes the University, the College of Ripon & York St John, the College of Law and York College – Bruno explained that its original aim will still be achieved: we “intended to let you know of some good places to shop, eat, drink, have dental surgery, and anything else you may care to do while here at York.” When pressed on whether Bruno will recommend that his successor again uses The Evening Press in producing next year’s handbook, he refused to commit, but said that he would meet with the consortium before deciding how to proceed. The Evening Press were unable to return our calls at the time of going to press.

04 NEWS : yorkVision

9th October, 2000 Issue 122

Uni rocked by transport scandal -investigation-

Ryan Sabey

AN AMBITIOUS transportation plan, promised by University administration to transform the University’s transport structure when it was launched in a blaze of glory at the beginning of the last academic year, has been quietly postponed after proving rather less feasible than had been

hoped. The work, due to have been

completed by October 1st, will now be carried out as a two year plan. Many schemes were meant to be upand-running by the time students returned to University, but the earliest to be implemented now will be a series of new cycle routes, pedestrian crossings and bus shelters, which won’t be seen until November at the earliest. A Park and Ride scheme and a bus service for students off campus have now been downgraded to part of a long term transport strategy. Glen Dewsbury, Facilities Liaison

Construction work on campus - only on shops

Officer, told Vision that “Cycle routes, bus shelters and cycle storage centres will be visible by the end of October.” How many and in what state they will be in, he did not elaborate on. A memorandum released in November 1999 planned for £99,000 to be spent on cycle routes and £67,000 on pedestrian crossings. Other aspects of the plan have been more successful. From this beginning of term, a new initiative to serve student dominated residential areas with increased public services should will start at a cost of £80,000. Dewsbury said: “The bus service serving students off campus will start from 16th October giving students a real choice of transport options.” Several other ideas floated during last Autumn’s brainstorming session include a subsidy to users of public transport using the Mondex card - which will benefit students. Glen Dewsbury added: “A commercial rate will be charged to students. But, discounts will now be available for those buying block tickets.” The Park and Ride scheme has been one of the most problematic aspects of the plan. Although there will, one day, be a Park and Ride scheme for students, staff and conference guests to park their cars in Grimston Bar, north of York, before catching a bus to a drop off point near campus;

Student bar and venue setback Tim Burroughs NEGOTIATIONS BETWEEN the Students’ Union and the University over the proposed central bar and venue development have been set back following a dispute over amendments made to the notes of a meeting between the two parties.

Subsequent to the meeting, a set of notes was circulated stating, among other things, that “The building...would be managed by a Management Board comprised of members from the SU and the University.” The University then withdrew these notes, before re-circulating them with the following addition: “...With the University operating the facility and retaining appropriate statutory responsibilities. SU participation in bar profits from the larger events would have to be considered to make them viable.” The implication that the University would operate the facility, with the SU merely having access to it and a possible share of the bar profits from events staged there, was not well received by the SU. “We felt it was a bit of a step backwards”,

said SU President Ben Youdan. “We came with one idea and they left with another. The probable cause is that we both want different things from the situation.” Facilities Liaison Manager Glen Dewsbury agrees that negotiations have not been easy due to strong feelings on the issue, saying: “It’s just a question of people’s aims and aspirations for this development running very high.” But he is quick to defend the University’s actions with regard to amending the notes. “The first set of minutes were felt to be an inaccurate representation of the meeting so they were withdrawn and an accurate set were circulated”, he claims. “The addition is actually trying to expand and pinpoint what it was we were in discussion with the SU about.” As to whether the University can continue to have a good working relationship with the SU, he prefers to play down the disputed notes and focus on the larger picture. “Again we haven’t established the degree of agreement that both sides thought we had but there isn’t a massive departure in terms of what has been said,” he insists. “The worst situation is that there has been a misunderstanding, not a situation that is difficult to recover.

Whether you can get a £4m building out of £2m is a difficult situation to recover.” The SU, however, doesn’t take the incident as lightly as the University. “We want to set up a code of practice for the bar and venue development”, Ben Youdan told Vision. “We want to look to have someone independently minute the meetings.” The University does not seem to favour this idea, indicating that it would only serve to threaten the two sides’ relationship. “If what the SU is saying is that the University is not an honest broker and can’t be trusted in negotiation then that would be a serious concern”, Glen Dewsbury responded. “If the assertion were that the minutes were circulated, the University thought better of it, falsified the minutes and circulated a second set of minutes; that is a serious accusation to make. “If we are that devious we are certainly cleverer than that. You wouldn’t simply circulate publicly a second set of minutes and expect nobody to notice. Any reasonable person might suggest that you may be bent but you wouldn’t be stupid enough to do that - not and hold down a job with the University, that is.”

Row over affiliation threatens uneasy truce Ryan Sabey THE STUDENTS’ Union has affiliated to the National Abortion Campaign (NAC) through its sister body North Yorkshire Area NUS to the dismay of many University students. NAC is a group that campaigns for abortion up until the moment before birth. In one of the most heated discussions in the recent history of UGM’s in October 1998, York students voted against joining NAC. The decision at the Conference has questioned the representative nature of NYANUS, where there was no pre-publicity of such a contentious issue, and there were only a handful of voters allowed.

Many are questioning the validity of the claims that this can be a truly democratic decision, when all delegates were politically motivated, and most were elected to go to the conference only by their friends, after a dismally low turnout in the initial York University election. The affiliation occurred at the annual NYANUS conference in June, and has since led to calls for the SU to disaffiliate. Peter Sanderson, a York delegate sent to Conference is saddened by the motion. “I was the only delegate at the conference to oppose this move on the grounds that many, if not the majority, of York students would find this extremely offensive.” Sanderson went on to say that NYANUS is funded in part by the SU and it will cost York students money to affiliate to NAC.

YUSU’s Women’s Officer Leyla Ozkan proposed the motion at the NYANUS Conference. She defends her actions adamantly. “NAC is a campaigning body that seeks to abolish the 19th century Abortion Act on the grounds that a woman’s right to choose is akin to her right to be.” Stuart Lennon, YUSU’s Training and Conference officer withdrew from addressing the wider issue of abortion but commented, “I believe that North Yorkshire Area NUS is undemocratic as the opinions it holds are not necessarily those of its members.” He went on to say, “At my first UGM, a motion to affiliate to the National Abortion Campaign was defeated. This would suggest that students at York do not support it.”

Launched in a blaze of glory, the plan has been quietly postponed after but no provisions have been made for cycle or pedestrian routes from the drop off point to the University, which unforeseen by University administration, don’t already exist, and according to Glen Dewsbury, “This operation won’t be happening during the first year.” The transport policy highlights how the University has an integral role in Pay and Display car parks on campus - increasing costs for students. The University seems keen to make money out of its own employees and students alike. There are huge costs for the initial setup of the scheme: £105,000 will be spent on 21 machines; £23,000 to be spent on powering them; £22,000 will be paid in salaries to collect monies from machines; and a final sum of £10,700 will be spent on

administration. These costs will be passed on to those who bring cars to campus through prohibitively expensive car parking permits and a reduced number of parking spaces. Glen Dewsbury, Facilities Liaison Officer said: “Students will pay a flat rate of fifteen pounds to park on campus,” a figure that many students are astounded by. In an astonishing admission, the University still haven’t decided who will take on the role of car park attendants at a proposed annual cost of £35,000. Many students are disgusted with this particularly at a time when college porters are being taken off the payroll every term. “The role of car park attendant may be incorporated into security and portering. Discussions are still on going. Nothing is finalised,” Dewsbury said. Ffion Evans, SU Campaign Officer, insists that the integral role of college porter shouldn’t be combined with any other role. “You can not put a price on student safety. It is terrible that jobs are being threatened. The SU is working very closely with the Trade Unions on campus including AUT and Unison in an attempt to make the University listen to our numerous concerns.”

Students unite against new Coppergate plan

The proposed new riverside development Simon Keal THE CITY Council is under fire from York students and residents following its recent proposal to build a new shopping development in the Coppergate area of the City.

The plans, which were announced last May, will provide more shops in the city but its proposed site, in close proximity to Clifford’s Tower has led to protest. York residents are believed to be generally against the plans due to concerns over pollution, traffic congestion and the increased number of people the centre will attract. Some also argue that the impact of the shops will overshadow Clifford’s Tower. As well as these general issues, students are particularly aggrieved that the City Council’s consultation for the proposals took place during the Summer break. Due to this, many students were unaware of the plans until consultation was over and so could not comment. There are also no plans for cycle connections through the centre, leading to concern that the Council is not attaching enough importance to environmental issues. Many of those protesting against the plans believe that there is no real need for a new shopping centre in York as there are already sufficient numbers of shops. They fear that tourists’ attention could be taken

away from the historic city centre. Claire Eynon, of the City Council’s planning office, was keen to emphasise that it was not too late for students and others to offer their opinions on the proposals. “The Application to build Coppergate Riverside was made by Land Securities Ltd. in May and we were obliged to publicise it then. We will still accept students’ comments should they wish to make them. We are aware of protest over issues like cycling and air pollution and are looking into them. We are trying to find the best way to develop the new centre while keeping environmental concerns in mind and the proposals are still very much under discussion.” The plans have attracted huge publicity in York over the summer with residents and shoppers divided. Students are also likely to take notice in larger numbers this term, particularly due to the green issues surrounding the proposal. One student commented that, “The City Council and Land Securities are clearly demonstrating their disregard for the environment. Shops are not why tourists come to York and in any case, it certainly doesn’t need any more.” However, there are also indications that student apathy may once more reign. Another student said, “I don’t care. I will probably be gone before the centre is built anyway. If people want a better choice of shops, why not go ahead?”

yorkVision : NEWS

Issue 122 9th October, 2000

Heslington insensitivities


Tom Smithard

DISCONTENTED STUDENTS are once again feeling hard done by after repeated insensitive treatment from Heslington Parish Council. The Council, whose recommendations to the City of York Council dictate all policy in Heslington, have once again made clear their distaste for students by turning down an application from the Deramore Arms pub, a stu-

“It is unfair that there is no student representation. A student would bring a bit of credibility – I don’t think that the younger wishes are taken into account” George Templeman, Charles XII Landlord


dent favourite, for a live music license.

Heslington Parish Council has, according to the City of York Council, an electorate of 3,448. All students who live in accommodation on campus, as well as Halifax Court, St Lawrence’s Court and Eden’s Court are automatically registered as members of the electorate. Therefore a minimum of 2,943 voters are students, not to mention those living in the smaller halls of residences or those living in private accommodation. Despite this, there is no student representation on the Council, and students’ views are ignored in favour of the older residences, who only make up a small minority of the electorate. In a statement to Vision, the Deramore Arms said: “We made enquires into acquiring an entertainment license, with the sole purpose of letting customers who want to, dance in the pub. There was no question that we would be raising music levels, nor did we want to extend opening hours. “The decision to refuse the application disappoints us, as we’re sure it does members of this community who want to be allowed to dance and enjoy themselves in the correct controlled environment.” George Templeman, landlord of fellow Heslington pub, the Charles XII, also targeted to students, has also had applications for live music licenses rejected by the Parish Council in the past. Speaking to Vision, he said: “The Deramore’s rejection, and ours in the past, have been the results I’ve expected. When I arrived in Heslington I thought I would be accepted and thought of as part of the village but

The Deramore Arms has recently come under attack from Heslington’s older residents obviously that is not the way other residents saw it. A large proportion of people’s views are overlooked when the Parish Council makes decisions.” The Parish Council are also said to be unhappy with the way that the Deramore market themselves as a student pub, despite stating that they cater for all ages. The Council are said to be unhappy that the Deramore Arms ill-advisedly sponsor University societies, notably campus newspaper no use. Clearly, many of Heslington’s services are aimed at a student community, but

they are also utilised by the more mature community. Whilst banks are closing branches in equivalently sized villages throughout the country, Heslington is lucky enough to retain four branches. Students are also the main source of income for the general store, Browns, and many of the bus services that stop in Heslington are tailored for students. In a by-election for a position on the Council that took place during the summer, when students received very little information about the election and few were around to vote, the turn-out was 207.

So should there be student representation on the council, so that it can begin to reflect the opinions of its electorate? George Templeman believes so. “It is unfair that there is no student representation. A student would bring a bit of credibility – at the moment I don’t think that the younger wishes are taken into account. “Lots of people ask me why I don’t have any live music and they can’t understand it when I explain why. If a student did stand for election, put it this way, I would be giving them lots of support.” Despite repeated attempts, Vision was

Success for security as Langwith burglar caught Ben Hulme-Cross A BOUT of petty theft that plagued York campus at the beginning of last year has been resolved over the summer vacation with a conviction at York Crown Court.

This brings to an end a long period of crime in which the doors of several rooms on campus were smashed open, mostly in Langwith College. Electronic equipment, mobile phones, jewellery and perfume were stolen from campus throughout last year. In one incident, three adjacent rooms in Langwith were broken into during the afternoon. Several of the victims experienced serious trauma after the raids, sometimes unable to sleep in their rooms. One described how the police “Took fingerprints and investigated the footprint on my neighbour’s door from the force of the

How Vision broke the story in November 1999

kick.” Most also expressed serious dissatisfaction with University security, which had received further criticism from groups keen to save 24-hour portering. Peter Findlay, aged 22, was sentenced to four years and two months imprisonment after pleading guilty to 15 charges, including the Langwith incidents. Residing in Rowntree Avenue, Clifton, Mr Findlay began his life of crime at the age

In one incident, three adjacent rooms in Langwith were broken into durof thirteen. He told the court that he welcomed his imprisonment as an opportunity to break a heroin habit that cost him £200 per week. Mr Findlay’s conviction resolves the most serious incidences of theft on campus and it is hoped that his arrest will have made a serious inroad into preventing crime at the University.

Extreme entertainment promised for Freshers’ Week Anne Hurst FRESHERS’ WEEK 2000 sees a wide range of music and entertainment coming to York.

The lack of a central student venue on York campus currently prevents major artists playing here. However, York Students’ Union is now finding alternative methods of ensuring top-quality events are featured in the York student calendar. Freshers’ week this year features several events designed to cater for the varied interests of the new intake. The Students’ Union is optimistic that freshers will be impressed with this year’s events and will forget there’s no Union Bar and Venue. Bruno Araujo, Deputy President Services, was confident that there would be a positive response to the week. “Over Freshers’ Week, new students will find

that their Union works hard to provide them with diverse, affordable, quality entertainments. Week One’s lineup reflects this and it’s only the beginning.” The week starts on Monday with the return of Spark, bringing a variety of upand-coming bands to campus. This term held in Goodricke, the event features NME and Evening Session-tipped Wisdom of Harry, A Month of Birthdays and others, as well as University Radio York DJs. Following Spark, a variety of smaller college-based events such as karaokes and quiz nights enable freshers to meet each other before the Freshers’ Bash on Thursday. This year sees the Bash moving to the Barbican Centre just outside campus to provide for the increasing number of students. There will be seven different rooms, including a funk bar, games room and

chill-out lounge as well as larger dance arenas. The focus of the night’s entertainments will be Carnival of The Bizarre, and live sets from Manchild and The Goosehorns. It is hoped that this year’s Freshers’ Bash will be a significant improvement on last year when Rob Newman and a group of magicians were generally agreed to be something of a disappointment. Friday in Derwent sees the launch of Replay, a joint venture between BandSoc and SU Ents showcasing local talent. Headliners are local rockers Tung with support from campus bands displaying a variety of genres. Without a central bar and venue for the time being it is unlikely that York will be able to attract the truly big names, but it is hoped that this year’s Freshers week will provide some great entertainment.


QUALITY gear with a sensible life expectancy OUTSTANDING DESIGNS to choose from, or why not BE ORIGINAL & design YOUR own?



06 NEWS : yorkVision


9th October, 2000 Issue 122

: news focus


In the first of a series of in-depth reports looking at the stories behind the news headlines, Vision Editor Ben Hulme-Cross, investigates York’s seedier side and discovers how the worlds of prostitution and academia are inextricably linked THE PICTURESQUE, historic town of York with its tea shops, old book stores and stunning cathedral seems an unlikely setting for tales of vice, yet Vision has tracked down the practitioners of the oldest profession in the world to the heart of this old city. Accounts of prostitutes trying to solicit students in York city-centre at night prompted Vision to investigate the subject further and what we found has far-reaching implications for the whole student community in York.

A trawl through the classified sections of a few local advertisers provided a long list of adverts that hid behind the revealingly thin veil of ‘massage’. One paper had over twenty salacious ads in the ‘personal’ classifieds – disturbingly sandwiched between the ‘mother & baby’ and ‘pets’ sections. Several embarrassing phone calls later, ‘massages’ began to sound more like naked, oily sorties into what was, thankfully to me, the unknown world of sex that sells. Then I struck gold and the thin veil was torn away to reveal the smooth underbelly of York vice. The lady concerned was predictably terse when I told her why I was calling and after giving me a couple of anonymous quotes hung up. I got no further with anyone else though so I called her back the next morning and tried again. After extensive assurances on my part that nothing in the article would reveal her identity or whereabouts she agreed to an interview before she started ‘work’ on a grey, wet, this-is-York September morning. So at half past nine, my umbrella held high, I knocked on a small blue door not five minutes walk from the city w a l l . Suzanne (not

her real name) answered after further reassurances that her anonymity would not be compromised and told me I had half an hour before her first customer of the day arrived. That was the first shock – a very early start. She was medium height with dyed black hair and her age was impossible to gauge – she told me later she was 25 though she looked older. Suzanne said that she had been working from home for about two and a half years, before which she had worked in a bar and then on the street for a year. “I’ve been making money out of prostitution for over three years and

dressed right and they didn’t sound like they were from around here anyway. I reckon I get about eight or nine like that in here each month. “There’s two sorts of the ones I think are students. There’s the ones that are really quiet and nervous about everything – they hardly ever come back. Then there’s the ones that are really cocky. They think they’re God’s gift and they usually want much more. The quiet types just want everything simple but the cocky ones go for the more complicated stuff - getting me to dress up and things like that. Most of them think I’m scum though and I hate

Officer, Lizzie Tate, where she thought this trend would lead for students in York. “The main perceived danger of students using prostitutes is the risk of Sexually Transmitted Infections. However, if both partners are practising safe sex, the risks should be no greater than any other two people on campus having sex. I don’t feel that prostitution represents a significant problem for the student community in York. If anyone chooses to use a prostitute and is not experiencing financial strife because of it, then it is their decision.” However, despite the guarded nature of Lizzie Tate’s concern over the problem,

friends, but not the other two. I just put my walkman back on and walked away.” This ugly connection between prostitution and the Minster was brought further into relief by Suzanne, who claimed that it was, “Quite easy to pick up guys looking for you just hanging around near the Minster. After all it’s an easy place to meet being so big and so famous.” Perhaps more disturbing is the fact that according to a MORI poll published recently, 1% of UK students have resorted to prostitution to boost finances, although this may not be the case in York. The Welfare Officer urged anyone considering dangerous means of making money to contact her: “No one should ever be forced into a job which they are not comfortable with. I’d encourage anyone who was hard up to come and talk to me about other options. There will probably be sources of help they can apply to.” The SU Women’s Officer was again more forthcoming in her response. “The implications on women who choose this line of work are vast. It is a dangerous business and leads to the deaths of many women.” Prostitution is by no means a large problem in York, but it does exist and its survival suggests that for the time being at least, students will continue to pay for sex, perhaps putting their own lives and indirectly all of our lives at risk.

A trawl through the classified sections provided a long list of adverts that hid behind the revealingly thin veil of ‘massage’. Several calls later, ‘massages’ began to sound more like naked, oily sorties - sex that sells believe me, I’ve made a lot.” Her surroundings support the claim; an expensively furnished front room and a huge TV demonstrating that for her, business is indeed flourishing. When I asked if she derives any revenue from students she grimaced: “It sounds weird but I’m not completely sure. I had one student in last year who came back a couple of times – he was a virgin the first time, poor sod! I know I’ve had others that I sort of assumed were students but they never said so. Still I’m fairly sure they were – they were the right age, they

that. I really hate it – if they think that then why do they come here?” When asked specifically why she thought students did come to her she replied, “It’s the same as everyone else isn’t it? They just want sex. What I don’t understand is why they need me for it. They’re young and there’s loads of girls their own age living in the same place – all just left home and they’ve got loads of free time. I don’t know why they don’t sort themselves out. “I know a couple of other girls here who do what I do but there aren’t very many. I’ve never asked them about students so I wouldn’t know whether they get any. York’s not got loads of prostitutes working I don’t think – which is probably better for me. I suppose I get more guys seeing as there aren’t so many other options for them.” Vision asked the SU We l f a r e

other students that Vision spoke to were more openly critical. Leyla Ozkan, SU Women’s Officer, remarked, “Any man who feels obliged to go to a prostitute is honestly quite pathetic.” This report is based on one interview with the only prostitute in York willing to speak to Vision and as there are others it is safe to assume that students are also visiting them. In addition there are those who solicit on the street. Stephen Overy, a third year PPE student, was walking past the Minster one night and was approached by a group of four women, one of whom “Just stepped up to me and offered me a good time. She looked the part alright and so did one of her

The York Minster: tourist attraction by day, red light district by night

yorkVision : EDITORIAL

Issue 122 9th October, 2000



e-mail : // Tel/Fax : 01904 (43)3720 // Room 009, Grimston House, The University of York, Heslington, York, Y010 5DD

On The Campaign Trail Ben Hulme-Cross

A NEW year is upon us and I refuse to accept the intelligent conclusion that everything’s going to get grim. The weather’s already begun its rapid descent into a permanent six-month-long York November, I know, but it’s no reason to forget how to be happy. The Freshers’ Bash looks set to outdo its predecessors – as does its organiser, Bruno Araujo (or so he would have us believe). Freshers’ Week will be a larf. It’ll be nice to see everyone, or if you’re new to this place, it’ll be nice to meet everyone. Isn’t that nice? What is especially nice is that your own humble Vision has finally been given the recognition it deserves. You are now officially reading one of the top student papers in the country, according to the Guardian who have shortlisted us for two awards – best reporter and best campaign. I know we keep going on about it but that’s because we want you to be proud of us. It’s also because we will be launching a new campaign in our next issue which we hope will be as successful as the last. In every issue, on this page, Vision will keep you posted on the issues that we can do something about to make a difference to student life. For most of us, student politics died with our parents’ flares. The

Victoria Kennedy FOR SIXTY-FOUR days I tried to find someone in the Big Brother house with whom I could relate. From my accusatory spot on a tartan armchair, I evaluated Channel Four’s attempt to portray a slice of the nation through eleven people. But, aside from their overriding caffeine addictions, none of the contestants measured up as a representative of what I stand for or behaved in the same way as I would. With each eviction the nation ruled out the people which were thought to be too boring/too nasty/ too flirtatious, whilst in the process deciding who in fact was thought to be our nation’s worthy representative of ourselves. The winner was a Scouser who likes his women, all at once on occasions it turns out, but who, nonetheless, has a kind heart underneath. Does he really embody the 21st century nation? I’m sure that the makers of Big Brother will be happy

Cartoon by Helen Dempsey

For most of us, student politics died with flares. The continual failure of past SUs to recognise the death of student activism and stop beating their heads against the brick wall of apathy means that nothing changes easily around here continual failure of past SUs to recognise the death of student activism and stop beating their heads against what they see as the brick wall of apathy and find an alternative to UGMs means that nothing changes easily around here. The point is, what’s the point? To take part in a vote on a motion at a UGM means turning up and waiting for the hacks to stop heckling each other, wait for three quoracy counts and then get told that too few people are there. On the other hand to sign a petition or write a letter supporting a Vision campaign

to test that question with a new series. At York there are a number of student representatives, who will not shirk from trying to represent us and our needs. But I have no doubt that the Women’s Officers would be the first to admit that they are not representative of all women at the university, even if they are, in many ways, their only voice. Nor would the Ents Officers be able to say that they are representatives of our music preferences, although we depend on them to provide us with bands that will meet the majority’s tastes. Whilst we put our trust in the Students’ Union to act as our allies in an establishment which is otherwise run by faceless people, in truth the only thing that we all have in common, our union, is that we are students. As we start a term in different accommodation and with new people, I wonder how many people wish there was a diary room which we could go to, to evict the person that was annoying that day or the

takes just a couple of minutes. In other words if you’ve got the energy to attend UGMs then good for you. If you’re part of the vast majority that can’t then read and contribute to this page instead – it’s easier and more people will notice.

write to Letters to the editor

We welcome all contributions, from students and staff. Get your opinions and viewpoints across: write to the editor at the address at the top of the page.

person that maliciously stole the Frosties from our cupboard. The truth is that none of us can be properly represented. The challenge is to try to find a happy medium where we can work together in spite of our differences.

The Big Brother winner was a Scouser who likes his women (all at once on occasions, as it turns out) but who nonetheless has a kind heart underneath. Does he really embody the 21st century nation?

Dear Editor, I graduated last year and had a thoroughly wet and enjoyable finale to my student days at Grad Ball, which was a superb event. The organisers at the SU should be congratulated. Although it wasn’t the most important element of the night, your Grad Ball 2000 special was a great touch, finishing off a memorable night. You must all have worked extremely hard to produce it so thankyou very much. My friends and I were delighted to see ourselves on the centre pages and your efforts contributed to the success of the event.

Yours distantly, Beth Leng -----------------------------------------Dear Editor, Unlike some, I haven't been able to jet off to Thailand at the last minute, and have had to work on my dissertation all summer. As it is, the library is not a particularly good working environment, what with it having very few books in it, but this summer it has been unbearable. I fully appreciate that the library needs an extension built onto it, and only

wish I could still be studying at this University when it is finished in order to reap its rewards. I do not appreciate, however, the constant interruptions that I have had to put up with whilst the builders go about their work. I understand that builders invariably make noise; and don't particularly have a problem with the 'industrial' language employed when one drops a particularly heavy piece of construction equipment on one's foot; but I do not understand why I have to hear it. Instead of gutting every single college library, and making us sit inches away from the building works up on the hill, couldn't the University have kept one college library open, far away from the building work, in Derwent or Goodricke, and moved all of the reference books into it over the summer, and had a librarian on duty at all times? It's about time the University started considering the feelings of its current students, and started spending money on us, instead of dreaming wistfully of the times when it can rip off more of those unsuspecting students of the future.

Yours etc, Third year sociologist

08 POLITICS : yorkVision

9th October, 2000 Issue 122


Are Labour on their Bikes? Daniel Goldup observes the cracks beginning to show in the New Labour image... and ventures some unconventional solutions IMAGINE THE scene: The 2001 United Nations Convention. The most powerful men in the world gather to discuss debt, pollution, and famine.

Through the doors walks Al Gore, confident and authoritative. Then, Jiang Zemin, the Chinese leader feared and respected by over a billion people. Then: prime minister William Hague, small, bald, gaunt. Nervously glancing around, he looks like a schoolboy who has won a Smash Hits competition to have his photo taken with ‘some famous people’. He looks as authoritative as a student teacher in their first day of secondary school teaching. While he may provide amusement to other Heads of State - I’ve heard the one about the 14 pints is particularly good - it may not project the image of Britain that people here want to see. Yet this could all be a reality soon. Support for Labour is at its lowest level in ten years, a result of a summer of catastrophes which escalated to horrific proportions. What was to be Britain’s return to glory, the Millennium Dome, turned into an embarrassment when even the Japanese decided it was unmarketable and pulled out of an investment agreement. This is particularly telling since Tokyo has managed to sell everything -Tamagotchi, Pokeman, raw seafood - to the British. While whale meat and electronic pets could succeed, the Japanese decided, the oversized Marquee could not. Not that anyone could get to it for much of September with the country grinding to a halt. The crafty Chancellor thought he could slip an extra two pence on the price of petrol without anyone noticing, giving him more money to invest in the Dome’s fantastic Body Zone.

What happened next needs no reminder. Truck drivers bored with hauling goods, eating service station burgers and intimidating learner drivers in Vauxhalls, decided to have a few days off. They inconveniently decided to park their vehicles in the entrances of every fuel depot in Britain. Of course, the inspiration for this move came from over the Channel. The week before the fuel crisis, French lorry drivers had blocked the country’s ports, bringing traffic to a standstill. This was an underhand tactic, which only the French would undertake, disrupting the lives of thousands of innocent people. In England it was a heroic attempt by the brave drivers to prevent them starving to death (and from the photos I saw of them, there is little danger of that) by an unfair taxation system. Mmm… anyone spot a disparity? At the end of the summer was a more personal (but no more touching) story from inside the ranks of New Labour. Tony Blair and Gordon Brown are constantly at each other’s throats, it was revealed in a book by Andrew Rawnsley, political editor of The Observer. I for one was not at all shocked by this ‘revelation’. They live next door to each other for a start. Surely they have neighbourly disputes like everyone else. Maybe loud music, who the apple tree in the back garden belongs to, Brown’s attempts to stop Humphrey the Downing Street cat from crapping in his flower bed. On top of all this they dispute other trivial matters; who is the most powerful man in Britain, was the Bank of England right to increase interest rates, should Iraq be sanctioned out of existence. Put all this together and you have an unhealthy working environment.

Euan Blair should challenge William Hague to a drinking contest, seeing whether Hague So what can Labour do to get back on their feet in time for the next election? Here are a few ideas: 1). Turn the Dome into a new exhibition centre giving self-help advice such as ‘Why Blair loves his bicycle- how YOU too can live without petrol’. 2). Euan Blair to challenge William Hague to a drinking contest, seeing whether Hague can really down fourteen pints and not feel ‘merry’ as he claimed. 3). Legalise cannabis. This will not only appease student voters and those who used to get high on petrol fumes, but the country will become altogether less agitated with ‘material issues’ such as taxes, employment and discrimination, preferring to sit round and enjoy a good puff. 4). Give Big Brother’s Nasty Nick a position in the Cabinet. His skill of working under the constant surveillance of cameras, backstabbing people he pretends to like, and making statements which he (and the public) knows to be untrue are good qualities in a minister.

Tony’s polished image is starting to look a little tarnished

Colleges to Crumble in VC’s Masterplan Stephen Hardcastle

AT MY graduation in the summer, the Vice Chancellor praised the sense of community that exists in the university. This struck me as somewhat ironic, given that his administration is doing so much to undermine it.

We have a unique pastoral system of colleges providing students with a “base” in which they can make friends and feel at home without tying them to it academically, limiting contact with others. This was designed by the university’s founders to generate maximum social cohesion, and indeed the community spirit fostered in the colleges underpins the sense of community in the university as a whole. However, it seems as if all this is now being swept away by administrators incapable of appreciating its worth. The first advantage of the system is that a large number of essential services, from administration to cleaning, are provided at college level, giving students a familiarity with staff. This is increasingly under threat though, most immediately

At graduation the Vice Chancellor praised the sense of community in the University. This struck me as ironic, given his administration is doing so much to undermine it -

concerning 24-hour portering. The plans to remove this and replace it with Security Service cover would result in students having to go further away to get help from people they don’t know, and this in a situation which could be sensitive. Another benefit is the provision of entertainment at college level. This gives students a wide choice of entertainment facilities, bars, and events, in contrast to the centrally based Unions elsewhere. Meanwhile, students “basing” themselves in their own college means that, with limited college members, a sense of familiarity and belonging can develop. This would not happen with facilities which had a university wide “constituency”. Sadly though, this has been damaged by the failure to provide James with a bar, and is threatened with being completely undermined by recent proposals to merge James, Wentworth and Goodricke facilities into one central Student Union run venue. A vital ingredient to a healthy community is reasonable numbers of third year and graduate residents. As well as adding to the variety of college life this aids interaction between different years,

knitting together the various components of the university. Already though the number of third years allowed back is restricted. Meanwhile, there are plans for Wentworth to be converted into a graduate college, removing graduates from normal college life and placing them at the very edge of campus. Fundamental to the maintenance of the college system is reasonable numbers of students in each college. A college that is too small will find it hard to maintain an active social scene and will see its students look to larger more vibrant counterparts. A college that is too big will lose all possibility of its membership acquiring any sort of familiarity with each other. The bar and JCR will be bloated and impersonal. Moreover, disparity in college sizes renders college sport meaningless. These problems are now surfacing with the growth of Alcuin and James. Basing colleges around academic departments is also important. The departmental presence supports college administration, whilst the extensive food and entertainment facilities in colleges are easily available for those using the departments, enhancing the working environ-

ment. Furthermore, the daytime activity around residential areas and the nighttime activity around departments provides a lively and pleasant ambience across campus all day. It’s also a deterrent to crime. During the expansion of the past few years however, whilst departmental development has been concentrated by the lake, new accommodation has been built on the peripheries of campus. Of course the problems of both the link to departments and college size are difficult, but if the college system is valued the only solution is the creation of new colleges. The college system’s value is not at a material level. The uncoordinated delivery of non academic services on a small scale consumes additional resources. However, more profoundly the college structure provides the basis for a strong sense of community and indeed friendliness within the university, more than making up for any superficial advantages of centralisation. This warmth is perceptible straight away, and its attraction is powerful. It is undoubtedly in the university’s overall interests to sustain it. Whether the Heslington Hall and SU centralisers allow this to happen, however, remains unclear.

yorkVision : POLITICS

Issue 122 9th October, 2000


Guardian angel or Guardian angle? Tom Smithard meets The Guardian’s editor, Alan Rushbridger, and tries to find out if he’s helping Britain’s only left-wing broadsheet create, along with New Labour, a new kind of politics and a new kind of reporting - or just another angle in the same old culture, and the same old stories? ALAN RUSHBRIDGER is a very busy man. As editor of the Guardian he holds one of the most influential and sought after jobs in the country. I was told that I could only have fifteen minutes with him – sandwiched in between a meeting with a Government minister, and a trip to the High Court where the Guardian were being prosecuted. Despite being such a busy man, Rushbridger was happy to speak to me. “Students are a very important market for the Guardian. We have invested heavily in producing a product that appeals to students’ way of thinking: liberal, free-thinking, desperate for value-for-money. We choose to sell the Guardian to students for only 15p – and this is just one example of our commitment.” This forward thinking ethic has led to the Guardian becoming one of the leaders in developing into the internet, where their GuardianUnlimited site has won pretty much every award up for grabs. Yet Rushbridger is not yet certain how far the internet can go. “It’s true that print sales have been declining constantly over the last thirty years, but then again, the death of newspapers was predicted after the birth of radio, and again after the birth of television, and yet we’re still going strong. I don’t think that the internet will kill off newspapers in the foreseeable future, but in twenty to thirty years, maybe.” As traditionally the most left-wing paper on the market, the Guardian is in a strong position to set the agenda with this, albeit flaky, centre-left government. On one of the biggest issues of the moment, the debate over the euro, Rushbridger is more sure of his position. “I don’t think Britain will join the euro until well into the next parliament, after the euro has

When pressed on the Guardian’s position on the euro, Rushbridger revealed that “at the moment, we like to take a constructively critical viewpoint, but when it comes down to joining, we passed the five economic tests placed upon it, but more importantly, when Tony Blair realises he is secure enough in his job to really push for joining.” When pressed on the Guardian’s position on the euro, Rushbridger revealed, exclusively, that “At the moment, we like to take a constructively critical viewpoint, but when it comes down to joining, we will switch to a highly supportive approach.” Throughout the interview Rushbridger’s mind was on the proceedings taking place in the High Court, where action was being taken against the Guardian for refusing to hand over to the

secret service emails received from the renegade spy David Shayler. “We feel it is an important case as if we lose, not only will it mean that the public will be more wary of writing in to us, or acting as sources of information, but it will compromise the whole objectivity and independence of newspapers.” Fortunately for the Guardian, they won their case one week after their meeting, Rushbridger receiving praise from all areas of the media for his principled, and disciplined stance. So how responsible should newspapers be? “Newspapers have a duty to both inform and entertain. The Guardian’s position on controversial articles is only to run with stories that are well researched and are of a general interest to the public – there’s very little Posh and Becks gossip in our pages and likewise, our exposés never take advantage of those they are exposing.” Yet does Rushbridger practice what he preaches? One of the Guardian’s most high profile, and controversial, columnists is Julie Birchill, hardly someone who takes much interest in being responsible. “Julie can be extreme in her views, unflinchingly harsh sometimes, but is always enjoyable to read. I am sure the majority of what Julie writes, if not all of it, is true. “I strongly believe that columnists should be allowed to write whatever they want, a viewpoint that seems to be unique to the Guardian. There have only been a couple of times since Julie started writing for us that I have thought that the subjects she has chosen to write about have been too stupid for inclusion, and fortunately, on both occasions, she came round to my view.” And with that, he was off, to take on the might of the government, intelligence services, and forces of conservatism in his never ending fight for authoritative and responsible journalism.

Guardian editor, Alan Rusbridger

The Tank Will Soon Be Dry Drew Still SO THE fuel crisis continues, apparently. But what type of crisis was this? There was no crisis of supply. All that has happened is that the nation’s reserves of fuel have moved, temporarily, from the forecourt to the petrol tank. The emergency services were threatened, but who can say whether the problem was more excessive government spin than insufficient fuel resources? I heard of no one dying because of the lack of fuel in any of the emergency services. If there were casualties, perhaps this should remind the emergency services, and the government, that petrol and diesel are finite resources, and should not be so heavily relied upon. In any case, there is very little reason why the fuel could not have been delivered. It was the petrol companies, ordering their drivers to stay in the depots, rather than a motley crew of pissed off truckers, farmers and taxi drivers, that were causing the hold up. The protesters may well have quite liked lower

petrol prices, but they were not hardened revolutionaries willing to blow up petrol trucks A-team style for a couple of pence off the price of a litre. This is not to say that there are no important issues coming out of the crisis. Almost in harmony with the finale of Big Brother, video cameras homed in on the nation’s petrol stations, asking questions, doing surveys, exploring the intimate relationship between the British public and conservative self-interest. As journalists and statisticians asked groups of people in petrol queues whether they would like to pay less for petrol and ninety percent said ‘yes’, surely the only surprise is that ten percent apparently said ‘no’. Obviously this is a more complex issue than we originally thought. Why did the petrol companies not want to make the deliveries anyway? Because they wanted to test the government’s resolve. If Tony Blair had backed down and given the protesters a couple of pence, it would not have been long before the petrol companies would have been pocketing those pennies given half a chance. Petrol companies, as they have been quick to point out, make little money from the filling stations anyway. Their profits

come from lucrative dealings further up the line, financed by huge tax breaks from the government. The only way we, as a population, can challenge the government and the petrol companies is to tackle them both with more productive and effective methods. The recent protests have achieved absolutely nothing. If we beg for tit-bits from the government, they will only be taken away by the petrol companies almost immediately. This year we have been given two opportunities to address the issue of fuel: the ‘dump the pump’ protests in May, and now the ‘toot your support’ campaign. Neither has achieved their objectives. The fact that the May protest failed completely is stated most clearly by the existence of the more recent protests. Protests of this kind, whilst valuable, do not readily engage with democracy. It seems clear that the only solution to the fuel problem is to use less of it. At the moment, the government, whom we elect, and the oil bosses, whom we do not, are making huge gains through taxation or tax breaks which mean that the public are forced to pay twice for petrol (I mention this point only for those who are unconvinced by the environmental issues behind

Now that’s what I call a crisis! the fuel problems.) We have to make the government work for the people who elect it, and that means campaigning for them to use the fuel tax to finance alternative energy sources rather than using the money to buy more nuclear missiles, drive flashy cars or prosecute cannabis users, for example. Only by constructive and intelligent protest, such as not using petrol and

diesel, trying to find alternatives and peaceful protest can progress be made. Although this has been commonly called the fuel crisis, for me it is an indication of the crisis of reasonable politics, and an example of how disorganised and shortsighted protest will never overcome the vested interests of government and big business.


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yorkVision : FEATURES

Issue 122 9th October, 2000


Saving the World in Style On the publicity trail for her new book, Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop and one of Britain’s most successful business-women, talks to Wesley Johnson about protesting, life and her loves. SMARTLY DRESSED and sitting amidst posters proclaiming ‘Question everything you are taught’, Anita Roddick chats away politely before “openly plugging” (to use her own words) her new book, out last month. “I wanted to call it 'Management by Falling Apart at the Seams”, but the publishers told me it would be too negative. I've been doing interviews with the press all week and they've rarely got the title right - it's ‘Business as Unusual’, not ‘Business as Usual’. “It's a very graphic, dip-in book. It's certainly not something you’d read from page one to the end. Instead, it’s aimed at somebody who's busy earning a living, working on a relationship and maybe even having to bring up kids as well.” It’s obvious from the way she talks that she is proud that her children are following in her footsteps. Her youngest daughter, Sam, is already an activist: “She came out of the womb screaming and fighting everything.” One target of both mother and daughter’s passionate protesting is big business. “Businesses now have more power than either the Church or Government, but they don't come with moral sympathy. Everything we do as business people has a ripple effect which, in turn, effects everybody else. “In terms of power and influence… there is no more powerful institution…It is now more important than ever before for business to assume a moral leadership. If businesses are left unchecked they turn criminal, and that’s what we’re seeing today.” She adds that if this continues, “then God help us all.” It is these experiences upon which the book is based. It is the story of the journey of her last ten years with The Body Shop. But for those expecting to learn the secrets of the company's skin and haircare products, then think again. “Anti-ageing creams just don't work,” Anita announces. “Anyone wanting to use them should go and get themselves a Pernod and lemonade instead - it’ll do more good!” “Our staff don't go home dreaming about moisture creams. They want a 9-5 living and to achieve something beyond simply selling a company's products. “Instead our staff have been allowed to picket outside the offices of Shell and the Nigerian embassy. We took them on and saved 25 people’s lives - The Body Shop is not just about skin and haircare.” There is no doubting her passion or the phenomenal success of her business, though. So what’s the difference between big business and The Body Shop brand? “I hate that word, ‘brand’, she says. “We've reached a stage where it is brand values against human values, planet earth against planet inc.” In the last ten years she has taken on

big businesses such as Shell, Gap, Adidas, Nike and Walmart, and has branded the financial people of the city as “pin-striped dinosaurs.” “I thought it was quite affectionate really, I could have called them “financial fascists.” How can one woman, with one chain of shops, achieve and challenge so much? “I never thought it would grow so big. It was meant as a livelihood - it seems fraudulent because it’s so easy. But the

Our staff don't go home dreaming about moisture creams. They want to achieve something beyond simply selling a company's products. Our staff have picketed Shell and the bigger we got the bigger potential we had, and we even formed strategic alliances with Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth. “The Body Shop’s philosophy towards business is very different," she explains. “We've never spent one penny on an advert for the business. It’s about a mission, a passion and about not doing the same as everybody else. “Communication is the key and the bigger you get, the more belly-to-belly, the more intimate, the communication should be. The art of dissent and of challenging is part of the modus operandi for The Body Shop. Social justice and awareness of human rights are our reasons for being.” Although Anita says she is less optimistic now than five years ago she also believes that there is still hope for the future. As well as in education, she believes it lies with small-scale Community Economy initiatives, and points to The Body Shop in Ghana as an example. “I went there and asked them what they had that I could buy directly to use in products. Our ideas developed from there. “We buy from them after adding another 20% on top to put money into

schools and aids awareness programmes, etc. We're seeing the results now - schools have been built and there are even free buses for the children. “This is what works, and every company can do this. I want to bring human rights to the centre of every commercial deal.” When comparing this to the facilities provided by Shell - who, she says, she can't speak about for too long “or I’ll die.” She claims that in its hospital a woman had to have a caesarean without an anaesthetic and, in the schools, the children made the desks themselves. She adds that The Body Shop human rights award was a very proud moment “We extended the definition from politics to social, economical and cultural. “Now we need a revolution in kindness. We need to be generous. I’m wealthy

and that gives me the ability to be generous and to give it away.” It is this wealth which enables her to “get out of my seat and travel” for five months each year. “I go to people with a better vision of the world than I have. I go where no-one else wants to go.” “Three to four years ago I went from Atlanta to New Orleans with a vagabond and saw poverty for the first time in America. It's being ignored by both the press and the government. Their mentality is to keep them passive and entertained so they won't stand up and be outraged.” She explains: “It is the rise of vigilante consumers, the rise of the consumer who is political and who is willing to challenge the businesses, that big business is terrified of. People are buying shares in companies to attend and disrupt their

Annual General Meetings until they are listened to - it is this type of challenge which offers hope.” Her other experiences have seen her watch children in Burma be tethered by their feet to make bags for football kits, and workers in a sweat shop in Nicragua forced to take contraceptive or abortion pills whilst having to work under the ‘protection’ of the military. Toilet visits were allowed only twice per day. She urges readers to remember that when you're going after cheap prices, cheap prices usually mean passive and docile workers, most probably women and children. “The pivotal message behind my book is to take it personally. We are privileged to be in a life where we have choices, so we must use them.”


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...Alex Watson on the the Global Soul (page

12 FEATURES : yorkVision

9th October, 2000 Issue 122

Alex Watson talks to writer Pico Iyer about his book The Global Soul – and what happens when the world’s in love with wanderlust and only wants to go faster. So welcome / bienvenue / wilkommen / benvenuto to the 24 hour, always on, cross cultural, jet-lagged shopping mall of the future… WALKING ROUND the endless mega-mall an hour or so’s drive outside Washington D.C., in my khaki Gap trousers, slightly scuffed white-walled skate trainers and a T-shirt self-consciously proclaiming ‘King Of Somethin’, I don’t think anyone could tell I wasn’t a bona-fide American.

But then, sitting in McDonalds, with the latest Britney Spears video playing back silently on MTV, eating the same McChickenThing-Fries-Diet-Coke combo that ‘sustains’ me over here, more worryingly, I don’t think I could tell if I was still in America. Is this then 21st century multi-culturalism? Everything increasingly similar because we all consume the same things? What does it mean for us when foreign countries no longer feel foreign? It is a platitude, but we live in an accelerated and invariably, ‘post’ world – but just where does this increasingly borderless and global environment leave us as people – as souls? ‘As fast as we are moving around the world, the world is moving around us; it is not just the individual but the globe with which we’re interacting that seems to be in constant flux. So even the man who never leaves home may feel that home is leaving him, as parents, children, lovers scatter around the map, taking pieces of him wherever they go. More and more of us may find ourselves in the emotional or metaphysical equivalent of that state we know from railway stations, when we’re sitting in a carriage waiting to pull out and can’t tell, often, whether we’re moving forwards, or the train next to ours is pulling back.’ This is Pico Iyer’s introduction to the world of ‘The Global Soul’ – a state, as the subtitle of his genre-hopping book indicates, of ‘Jet Lag, Shopping Malls and the Search for Home’. One of the things that I really wanted to ask him when I interviewed him was just how you go about writing a book that seems to take on so much of our broad sense of ennui? “I write a lot every day, and find it the best (and only) way to make sense of experiences that seem more and more scattered and accelerated,” Iyer responds. “I wanted to be

A dozen people or more live, around the clock, in Kennedy Airport, making the most of the ubiquitous snack bars, climate control, and the strangers rendered openhearted by jet lag or culture shock as far away as possible – so I’m here in rural Japan without a bicycle, a car, a TV I can understand or even a printer! Indeed the book is an attempt to step out of the fray (a bit) so as to try to see what’s going on - it can be hard when one’s zipping across oceans at the speed of light.” The Global Soul is a series of essays about how such notions of culture and home are being remoulded in the 21st century, often based on Iyer’s own personal experiences; he is of a very multicultural background (Indian parents, British schooling, living in America, now Japan). ‘When I heard that a dozen people or more often live, around the clock, in Kennedy Airport, making the most of the ubiquitous snack bars, the climate control, the strangers rendered open-hearted by jet lag or culture shock, I was hardly surprised: I’d been doing the same thing… since my teens’ is a passage that typifies the style of the book. But if he could choose a nationality, one place to have grown up and lived all his life – would he go back to a more traditional conception of self and home? “I think not. I’ve always thought it was a great privilege and opportunity to grow up with one foot in three different cultures… It’s prepared me for a world increasingly made up of and defined by mongrels, it’s allowed me to be English when I want to be, and American when I have to be, and Indian when I choose to be, and none of the above, or all of the above, when the time is right. “I think all this liberation is a great challenge – which is what the book is

about – and some of us may not be up to living in a vacuum, without conventional co-ordinates, having to make up our sense of tradition, of community, of home and even of self from scratch, but I’m always grateful that I wasn’t hemmed in by narrow boundaries as my grandparents might have been.” Indeed, if The Global Soul is speaking to those who can feel their existence becoming ever more sped up and fragmented, the writing itself is quite literary, eschewing cod-scientific techno-prose; it is possessed of a strange, almost tranquil nature. Iyer himself is definitely conscious of this: “Wordsworth famously called writing ‘emotion recollected in tranquillity.’ For me, travel-writing is ‘commotion recollected in tranquillity.’” ‘And so, half-inadvertently, not knowing whether I was facing east or west, not knowing whether it was night or day, I slipped into that peculiar state of mind – or no-mind – that belongs to the no-time, no-place or the airport, that out-of-body state in which one’s not quite there, but certainly not elsewhere. My words didn’t quite connect, and the world came to me through panes of soundproof glass. I felt myself in a state of suspended animation, five miles above the sea – sleepy, lightheaded, unsure of how much pressure to put on things. I had entered the stateless state of jet lag.’ This excerpt from the book neatly encapsulates Iyer’s own constructive approach to today’s globalised and mongrel mixes of culture – because fortunately, The Global Soul is not a luddite or sepia-tinted book. Iyer himself definitely sees the positive side of ‘today’ : “In my hometown in California, I saw a “Mexanesian” restaurant: I still don’t know what cultures it was merging, but I was sure it was giving us a blend we’d never tasted before! I think culture – the music of David Byrne or Ry Cooder or Peter Gabriel, the novels of Don DeLillo or Salman Rushdie – is in fact our best guide into the new global world. “Sometimes I worry that “globalisation” is being interpreted for us by politicians, businessmen and technology types; when in fact it’s the guitarists, roaming film-makers and novelists who have a much truer and more textured sense of what’s going on, on the

ground. I still trust writers more than software writers to dream and fashion our tomorrows. And I think global culture is making us all more mixed-up and various and surprising and heterogeneous: the opposite of homogeneous, in short.” This, in itself is quite a surprising view; the ubiquity of the McDonalds monoculture is something that seems obviously repellent to the ‘cultured liberal’ mindset; “I’m not at all worried about the world growing homogeneous” Iyer smilingly states. “Because every culture sings Madonna in a different accent. And when you go to a Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet in Japan, say (as I did just yesterday), you find it’s offering tiramisu and lasagne and pear sorbet; the salesgirls gently cup your hands when they return your change; and Colonel Sanders is wearing a flowing blue kimono. “It’s not really American, and not deeply Japanese. It becomes a hybrid, a large-scale equivalent of a global soul – and an example of the new mongrel culture. Places are just as individual and different from one another as they always were, even if they’re all working with a similar set of cultural props.” To the oft-levelled charge that earthwide companies, like McDonalds and Coca-Cola ruin other, non-American cultures, Iyer is again, unphased : “The French are more devoted to le Big Mac and Disneyland than any culture on earth. I think the influx of cultural products from everywhere to everywhere else sets up a kind of Darwinian survival of the fittest: strong cultures can take on the props of anywhere while still remaining them-

movie that same evening in the Westside Pavilion in Los Angeles, where a Korean at a croissanterie made an iced cappuccino for a young Japanese boy… two weeks later, I woke up in placid, acupunctureloving Santa Barbara, and went to sleep that night in the broken heart of Manila, where children were piled up like rags on the pedestrian overpasses and girls scarcely in their teens combed their long hair before lying down to sleep under sheets of cellophane…’ But as Iyer acknowledges in The Global Soul, there is a down side to this take-away cultural lobby that we pass through; not only the more subtle, unnerving effect of things becoming fragmented, but the question of it being an extremely elite position. How can you possibly tell the millions of people who live in poverty that cell-phones will allow them to transcend their cultural boundaries when (for want of a less brutal contrast) they are simply looking for something to eat? Iyer himself is immediately willing to acknowledge the wealth gap : “this is a big part of the book – that some global souls are enjoying all this new borderlessness on planes, six miles above the earth, and many more are being forced out of their homes by poverty and warfare and social upheaval (the number of refugees in the world has increased tenfold since I was in school: aid-workers call refugees ‘one of the growth industries of the modern world’). “The distance between the ones in the air and the ones on the ground seems to be increasing every day. My own sense is that the world is not getting smaller; the dis-

US Golfer Tiger Woods advertising a soft drink in Japan...

selves, while weak cultures may find their sense of themselves getting shaky. “But here in Asia, for example, I think the cultures of India or Japan or China, say, are so old and deep and rooted that none of them are going to be fundamentally changed by the appearance of Mariah Carey. I know that in California (and it must be the same in England) many people drive Japanese cars to the Thai restaurant before going off to see the Chinese herbalist – yet remain, deep down, just as American (or English) as they always were.” There is something inherently cool and optimistic about the breaking of these boundaries – and the hopeful promise of being able to live in more than just one culture; being able to enjoy many. ‘I woke up one morning last month in sleepy, never-never Laos… and went to a

tances between people are growing larger every day. More and more of us are leading these global lives, but there’s less and less connection between the First Class version of globalism, and steerage.” So whilst the emerging world offers immense possibilities through its incessent merging and remaking of current cultures, it is, as Iyer states, “important not to get distracted by the new toys a few of us have in the privileged world.” The possiblities are there, but the reality (as ever) is (jet) lagging a little behind...

The Global Soul, by Pico Iyer, is out now, published by Bloomsbury, priced £15.99 Tiger Woods picture from : www2.gol. com/users/ian/shamepics

Issue 122 9th October, 2000

yorkVision : FEATURES



...that is the question! So, is university just about work, work, work and getting your degree (as Ben Hulme-Cross argues), or is there (as Ann Smith reckons) just simply too much else to do in these Ben WHY ARE we here? Mankind

has been asking this question for hundreds of thousands of years. The greatest minds have grappled with it and usually been defeated. (So it’s definitely a biggy!) In the small bubble world of York University the question is just as pressing – perhaps more so because we’re here partly out of choice.

If you don’t drop out then you’re going to have spent at least three years here (in many cases more) by the time you leave. What determines that? Your degree...

...Why did the University accept you in the first place? To do your degree. Why do your parents or the government give or lend you any money to be here? So you can get a degree. Why do Universities exist? To carry out research and to provide degrees... ...The existence of undergraduates and therefore your existence here is legitimised only by your degree. It may be that there’s more to be gained but your degree is the first priority. I know when I graduate my understanding of modern history is going to make exactly no difference to my ability to function effectively in the ‘real world’. Editing a campus newspaper on the other hand is likely to help. So there’s a bit of a problem. History is useless to me while the social and practical skills that I have hopefully learnt h e r e will help me enormously. But I couldn’t be here, benefiting in all these ways, unless I was doing my degree. In other words I agree that my knowledge of history and possibly even the bit of paper that says I’ve got a degree at the end of next year is infinitely less useful than the myriad of other ways in which I’ve benefited from the immense range of opportunities available here But it is because I value these opportunities so much that I value my degree above all else, because without it all the opportunity would be taken away. Everything that is good about being a student is supported by one thing, my degree. Without it I wouldn’t be here. On a day-to-day basis my degree bores me witless but I love it for allowing me to be a student here and I could never therefore give it secondary importance to anything else at York.


ALL WELL and good, yet the existence of your degree, at York, as with any other university relies on your being invited to study. The essential element that enables this to happen is ultimately your Curriculum Vitae or your personal statement, whatever. In that little chestnut lies the very thing that your chosen institution is desirous of. Personality; huzbah; pezazz. It is your ability to demonstrate that there is more to you than just good grades that opens the gates to academia, and yet more fun and frolics. Academics are not searching for just straight A’s at A-level. Great if you get them but ‘life-experience’, (whatever that is meant to mean) is what will make you stand apart. moment in your life, where there are chances to achieve in areas which you would never get the chance to ordinarily. However, a degree should never define you.

You choose to study a certain subject, because it is a part of you, because something in you says, ‘Yup, out of all the subjects available to me, I’d like to study this one!’. But, remember: All the fun, frivolous times are an essential part of you too.

Having been selected on these criteria, are you therefore expected to cut out those very elements which make you, you? Of course not. But it has to be made clear that your degree is a small section of you, which is a stepping stone for the future, albeit a large one whilst you are still studying. A degree is a chance for you to be the person you want to try and be. It’s the place where you can make mistakes before you go out in to the real world. Degrees are as important as you want them to be. And, whilst I love my English degree, I am characterised far more by the additional interests I have. And it is these that my parents willingly let me spend my show-no-mercy-high-interest student loan on, which the government equally readily dishes out. University is the ideal place to start trying things out, and it certainly doesn’t happen in the lecture room alone.

I would never dispute the obvious truth that you are more than your degree, nor that

Ben gaining ‘life-experience’ is an essential part of education, of growing up. However ‘life-

experience’ is not something that happens at University alone. I hope that it goes on throughout life – as the term ‘life-experience’ suggests. My degree shouldn’t define me but it does necessarily define my existence as a student – one who studies! Hip clothes, weed, parties, alcohol, day-time TV, pot-noodle, sexual experimentation and amateur dramatics are undoubtedly character-building, but mostly things that I will engage in for a long time after University. It’s simply arrogant to say that life experience only happens at uni. Your degree, on the other hand, can only happen through a university – everything else can be continued elsewhere. Sure. Continuation of studying and living your life how you want it to be lived is great. But the precedent has to start somewhere. Without the stereotypes of loons, hoons, and the happily middle-class we would not be immersed in our own generation, but instead steeped in 1950’s academia.

If university were to become a place where everything is displaced for the main event – your degree - then the standard polygamous, drunk, malnourished, stoned, lovey student wouldn’t exist at all. By placing the degree somewhere in the middle of your priorities, it allows you to interact with other 21st Century kids, and attack your degree with the intellectual rigour which it deserves, at your own pace, whist acquiring yet more experiences to those you will already have gained elsewhere.

Ben Oh Please! Of course university would

be dull if we didn’t use character-building substances to expand our minds – and for the record I don’t attack my degree with any rigour at all. It’s not top of my day-to-day priorities at all. But the fact is that when my degree is pressing everything else – even if only for a couple of days – has to go on hold. People who fail to recognise that are the people who drop out – or get kicked out, lovey student stereotypes regardless. In other words to complete a degree and to spend a full three years at University is to know that when push comes to shove you are prepared to do all that’s necessary for your studies and allow it to be your only priority. That doesn’t apply all the time but your degree is the only thing that it does apply to – if only occasionally. If you can’t at times put your degree first then you will not be allowed to continue life in all your beautiful hedonistic life-enhancing ways.

Nah! An essential part of university is learning to prioritise and time-manage. If you can’t then you will be kicked out. And, for the record, dropping out, failing exams etc, can only be seen negatively by those who are scared of letting themselves stray from the norm. Of course degree deadlines have to met. That would be stupid. But it is not stupidity to acknowledge that a 2.2., when a 2.1 was expected , is not the be-all-and-end-all. If you have the fortitude of character to get on in life, wherever, and whenever, then you will appreciate that a degree is just a very small cog in the larger wheel of your life. Enjoy it and work on it as much as you want but don’t believe that those who live their lives indulging in everything that university has to offer are mucking up and dropping out. Instead, see it as prioritising, and accepting that there is more to life than the best grade.

14 FEATURES : yorkVision

9th October, 2000 Issue 122

So you’re here! Months of grade tension have been and gone, and now you’ve arrived with your bare (and bear) neccessities to a campus which you have perhaps only visited once, on a university guided tour. Things already aren’t what you’ve been expecting (But this is a good thing, usually. Unless you’re in Wenty C-Block). Your accommodation is worse/better than you had prepared yourself for, the people on your corridor come from places you never knew existed and you’ve just realised that the closest television set is ten minutes away. But before you start to click a sequinned red pair of shoes together, chanting ‘there’s no place like home’, pick up some tips from this page and you’ll be immersed in the lake, sorry your own bubble world of York before you can even say ‘who needs a degree anyway??’

What’s the point of Fresher’s week? We don’t know, but try and keep track of all your exploits with Vision’s handy points-reckoner...

The things they forgot to tell you... 1 2

COOKING It’s got to happen sometime. Usually right after you’ve had your first encounter with Campus food. * Making it to Wednesday without cooking anything : -5 * Eating a pot noodle (without re-hydrating): -2 (+2) * Eating a kebab while sober : -5 * Eating a cold kebab from the previous night : -10 * Eating from the saucepan : -1 * Preparing pasta in the kettle : -5 * Eating off disposable objects to avoid washing-up : -2 * Cooking for your housemates : +5 * Cooking a roast in a Baby Belling : +10

* With a member of staff : +10 * On your first night (with an inflatable) : +2 (-5) * With your STYC contact : +2 * With your JCRC chair (from Goodricke) : +5 (-5) * With the Alcuin bike : -5 * Without knowing their name : +2 * In The Library : +10

BRAGGING It can be quite liberating to find out that no-one here knows your name but then there might be a downside. You’ve read ‘Heart of Darkness’, haven’t you?


* ‘Do a Hague’ (14 pints) : +10 * Literally ‘Do a Hague’ (see bragging) : -10 * Drinking Absinthe : +5 * Insist you only drink Real Ale : -5 * Join Wine Soc (if alcoholic) : +2 (if Tory) : -2 * Drinking before opening hours (11.30am) : +10

* ‘I was in ‘Nam’ : +10 * ‘I used to be in a boy band’ : Never mind, maybe you have redeeming qualities. Or not. * ‘I am bi-sexual to pull’ : +5 * Kaiser Soze’s my Dad : +10 * ‘I’ve slept with Donna Air. We all have up north’ : -2 * ‘I was on the Dutch version of Big Brother’ : +10

PERSONAL HYGEINE Please. If not for yourself, then think of the others on your corridor.

MUSIC Music: you can’t escape it, and it may define you. So avoid the Cheese. Always.

* Turning underwear inside out : -2 * Stealing underwear (of opposite sex) : -2 (+2) * Cultivate bodily fungus : -5 * Go more than seven days without washing : -5 * Grow a beard : -5 * Live in James :+5 * Live in James, still don’t wash for seven days : -10

TROPHYING Can you get any of the following? More to the point, would you want to??


* Join a band : +2 * ‘I just like cheese’ : -2 * Spend loan on amp/keyboard : -10 * Be a Christian rapper of the faith : +10 * Go to The Rocky Horror Show : + 2 - In Tights : +5

It was


FITTING IN The horror, the horror! This is University. Theoretically, all the jerks have been filtered out by now. But whether that’s true in practice...

, so the 60s

* Alcuin car behind the SU centre – it’s turquoise and rusted: +10 * Traffic cone : -2 * Furniture from a night-club : +5 * Sofa from Derwent JCR : +5 * A duck : -2 * A street sign with your name on : +5 * The street sign from The Shambles : +5 * Whip- Ma- Whop-Ma-Gate sign : +5 * A pint from James college bar : +10 * Any Alcuin bike : +10

ed like

e look everyon

* Get your head shaved/get tattoo : -2 * Develop a double-barrelled surname : +5 * Falsely claim to be an ‘Oxbridge’ reject :-10 * Win a karaoke competition : -10 * Snog bar staff : -10 * Sleep with the Alcuin bike : +5 * Get involved with SU : -5

AND FINALLY...Because we aren’t the types to leave you without some responsible last words... * Taking this seriously : -All your points.

3 4 5

Your Baby Belling cooker is just a small, warm cupboard... Not only is it useless for cooking, it’s no good for drying clothes either (they would probably come out battered, most of them are so fat encrusted).

Where all the supermarkets are... You’ll learn to treasure Kwik Save and its unique soundtrack. You can find it on Hull Road by leaving Vanbrugh college and heading down University road in the opposite direction to Heslington. At the traffic lights turn right and you will behold its starry red sign in its full glory. The campus isn’t, actually, in York... Your feet will take you to the quaint medieval city in 30 minutes. Cut down Retreat lane, then down Heslington Road, and you’ll see the city walls...eventually! Geese are descended from velociraptors... ...they’re small, vicious and hunt in packs. That you can walk between any two points on campus in 10 minutes... ...With a tail wind and no hangover on a good day if unmolested by geese.

And the things they do tell you…


2 3 4 5

You’re a student… So from now on you will be fighting the full force of all those cliches that everyone wants to impose upon you. Heard the one about the students who do no work? Or the one about the student who gets up to watch Neighbours, then finds out it was on earlier at 1.30? Don’t think it won’t happen to you, though. That the nightclubs in York are rubbish. Reputed to be packed with neon shirted, beige jean clad townies larging it to Shania Twain, it’s true they aren’t very cool. But make your own mind up. With The Basement at the Gallery, and the sheer oddness of Ziggy’s, there’s more out there than those hackneyed jokes and sneers about ‘cheese’ suggest. Also don’t moan too much because you can get to Leeds in half an hour That everyone gets a 2.1… it really that easy? That York’s such a beautiful town... ...It is, but never forget the rain - It’s prohibitve for six months and we’re far enough out that you won’t make it in that often. That York’s no fun. Be it the fact that there is no central union, no big name live acts or the fact that it’s small, or even the fact that it was only founded in the 60s, some people are always willing to slate York. But fundamentally, it’s a great place to live and study! DO SOMETHING FOR CHARITY!! Donate some money to Childline at Fresher’s Fair and get some free Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream! Go to the large multi-coloured bus outside Central Hall on Saturday 14th. Doing a good deed’s never tasted so nice!

Students: Can’t Cook, Won’t Cook?

Ready, Steady...order a Pizza: that at least is what ‘The Young Ones’ would have us believe about student life. The intrepid Vision team set out to prove different. Sure, the recipes look great in the cookery books but it’s a different thing when you’ve got Kwik Save and a Baby Belling to contend with. So we went three rounds with some mouth-watering recipes, just to see if it is possible to eat well as a student. And then got top TV chef Sophie Grigson to give us some handy hints...

Ingredients : 500g / 1lb 2oz frozen New Zealand lamb mince 300g spicy tomato/‘arrabbiata’ sauce (make your own arrabbiata, see ‘Sophie’s Word’) 1 tablespoon tomato puree 350g dried penne pasta Preheat oven FASTA PASTA 1.2000C/4000F/Gas Mark

to 6. Pour frozen mince into a saucepan and cook, You’ll need : without oil, for 10 minutes over a medium Two saucepans heat, stirring intermittently, until the meat Large ovenproof is thawed and browned. Drain any excess oil that has appeared during cooking. Add spicy tomato sauce and tomato puree. Bring to the boil then reduce heat and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 2. Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pan of boiling salted water for 10 minutes until just tender. Drain well. 3. Spoon half the pasta into a large ovenproof dish, sprinkle with a third of the Parmesan and season with black pepper. Spoon half the meat mixture over the top. Spoon over a layer of pasta, sprinkle with cheese and season with pepper. 4. Spoon over remaining meat sauce and pour over cheese sauce. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan and bake for 15 minutes until cheese is golden and bubbling on top. Serve with a simple green salad.

he T y B

k Boo

Recipe from ‘Lamb Express : A Cheat’s Guide to Cooking with New Zealand Lamb.’ Call 020 7439 0889 for more info...


We got pretty close s e nt d u to what it should be t e S h T like, although it By took a bit longer than the joke five minutes they suggest in the book. But it was quite tasty and even our editor Ben could make it! All in all a good dish for students – the book does, after all, describe it as foolproof – and

Ingredients : 1.1 - 1.4kg/ 2 1/2-3lb free-range chicken salt and freshly ground black pepper 3 small handfuls of fresh herbs (basil, parsley, marjoram), picked and finely chopped

Sophie’s Word

Ingredients : 2 Cups(12oz) light brown soft sugar 8oz butter; 4 eggs; 4 cups (10oz) plain flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon groung ginger; a pinch of nutmeg


Michael Caine’s CARROT CAKE

1. Preheat oven and a roasting tray to 225c/425f/ gas 7. Wash the chicken inside and out You’ll need : and pat it as dry An oven tray as possible. Rub the cavity with salt, then grab the skin at the tip of the chicken breasts, and pull up gently. With your other hand separate the skin from the meat of the breast.

1. Grease and base line a 20cm/8in cake You’ll need : tin. A cake tin and mix2. Preheat the oven to 180c, 350f, gas mark 4 3. Mix together the butter and sugar until they’re creamy.

2. Sprinkle a little salt down the gaps and push in the chopped herbs. Drizzle in a little olive oil. Stuff the chicken with the lemon, bay and rosemary, in the cavity. Pull the skin of the chicken breast forward so that none of the actual flesh is exposed, tuck the little winglets under, and tie up as firmly as possible.

4. Sieve together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg into the mixture. 5. Add one egg to the creamed mixture with a little sieved flour. Then mix in the carrots with the other ingredients.

3. Slash across each thigh 3 or 4 times and rub in some leftover herbs. With your hand rub a little olive oil into the skin of the chicken and season very generously with salt and pepper. Remove the hot tray from the oven and add a little olive oil. Put the chicken, breast side down, on the bottom of the tray and put back in the oven. 4. Allow to cook for 5 minutes, then turn it over, on to the other side, breast side down. Cook for another 5 minutes and then place the chickk en on its bottom. Cook o o B e h for 1 hour at 225c/425f/ By T gas 7 Recipe from ‘The Naked Chef ’ by Jamie Oliver (Penguin, £15.99)


Not nearly as nt s e d tu ‘pukka’, or as e S h T By easy, as Jamie would have us believe. At moments the recipe demanded altogether too much intimacy with the innards of the chicken. The final result was almost worth the effort, but actually didn’t taste all that different than if we’d

TOP TV chef Sophie Grigson, speaking to Victoria Kennedy, still remembers her student days at UMIST in Manchester, and has some tips for good food on a budget.

6. Bake for one-and-a-quarter to one-and-a-half hours. 7. Remove from the oven and, if you want, decorate with icing sugar. Can be served hot or cold. 8. This recipe can be used to make Banana Cake simply by swapping the carrots for bananas.


T he



Recipe from ‘Famous Family Food’ (Book Guild Ltd.,, £6.99)


All-in-all, very nt s impressive. e d S tu e h Stirring the T By ingredients took ages and was pretty heavy-going on the arm muscles. The end-result however looked, felt and even tasted like a proper cake. Offer a slice to your parents when they visit (unless you’re trying to convince them of your des-

“The key to cooking well on a budget is actually to go with what’s in season, and with what’s available to you in the area that you’re in. Get to know the smaller shops as well. “Using fresh herbs can bring something to life. But the place to buy them isn’t the supermarkets, where they charge an arm and a leg. And a little tip I learned from an Italian chef, was to use two or three times as much salt in the water as you should, because a proper Italian uses a lot of salt and it makes the pasta taste much better. “If you do that you can get away with some really simple sauces, like olive oil with crushed garlic, salt, pepper and a bit of parmesan. Pour it over the pasta and drain it and that can be delicious. “If you want to get a bit more nutritious I would say that tinned tomato is your biggest friend. They have much more flavour than fresh ones and you don’t have to skin and peel them. “A sauce I make, which I use both on pizzas and for pasta for three or four people, is to put a tin of chopped tomatoes in a sauce pan with some olive oil (it’is a good investment as it is very good for you and it will make your mum and dad happy to know you’re eating proper food), a crushed clove of garlic and if you’ve got some herbs, a bay leaf and some thyme. “Let the whole lot simmer together for about 20 minutes. I usually put in a teaspoon of sugar, just to take that tinny flavour off. You can either just use that sauce with cheese, or you can add things. You can add a tin of tuna and some peas, or fry some bacon and some chilli (either fresh or dried) with a little olive oil. Stir that and you get sort of a version of an arrabbiata sauce that can be transformed into any number of things.” “Get some cheap fish like herring and

mackerel from a fishmonger and ask them to de-bone them for you. It is a service that all good fishmongers should do for you.” “I will give you an exclusive from a recent trip to Norway: If you’re cooking cod and you want to make it taste fantastic then what you do is make a very salty brine, so you mix ½ litre of water and 2 tablespoons of salt, stir it together until the salt is more or less dissolved. “Put the cod pieces into it for three to four minutes, no more. Take them out, dry them and then fry them or grill them. They will taste so much better as it firms the fish up and improves the flavour.” And, what does Sophie think of that magnificent contribution to the culinary craft, the ‘Toaster Bag’: “If it works and it encourages people to vary their diet a bit more then that’s good. Why not?!”


Has Vision inspired you to recreate Masterchef with York’s finest kitchen equipment? Then why not enter our competition, stuffed full of goodies for you to win. We have ten copies of the brilliant ‘Larder Lads’, and five-a-piece of ‘Lamb Express’ and ‘Famous Family Food’ cook books. You can cook up a storm by e-mailing us with your worst cooking nightmare, no longer than 50 words. Knock them off whilst you’ve got your buns in the oven...

They’re black, ominous looking but the best thing since sliced bread. When you want that handy snack without the mess, reach for your ‘Toastabag’: specially designed for all your drunken culinary needs. They allow you to cook anything you want, in a toaster! To get your oven gloves on one enter, Vision’s competition. Just e-mail us with your worst concoction/ recipe. The ten best get to do things with toasters they’ve never done before...

send all entries to

yorkVision Nominated for two

student media









To get involved visit our stalls at Freshers’ Fair & AU Mart. Freshers’ Introduction in V/045 at 6:30 on Monday Week 2



Issue 122 9th October, 2000



Then find out what you’ve got coming to you... The

University Services

Exhibition 2000

10.30am-4.30pm Monday 9th Tuesday 10th

October 2000

PHYSICS/ELECTRONICS CONCOURSE alongside S.U. and Medical Registration




Get it Security Coded

FREE Wed. 18.10.00

1.15pm-5.15pm in Derwent D/056

Wed. 25.10.00 01.00.00 08.11.00 15.11.00

1.15pm-5.15pm in Central Hall Foyer

For essential information about all that’s going on in your campus and all the services that the

University provides for you

CODE IT AND KEEP IT!! University of York Security Services

Vision’s got a MOUNTAIN of Carling FOR REASONS that no-one can quite recall, Vision has had an entire box of Carling sat in the corner of its palatial Grimston House office for the past three months. Even more bizarrely, instead of drinking it ourselves we’ve actually decided to give it away (we must have been already drunk at the time...) What’s more, so little stands between you and this sweet prize. No cheesy questions; pointless tasks or ‘in ten words or less’ tosh here. All you have to do is seek out the Vision stand at the Freshers Fair on Saturday the 14th of October (it won’t be hard to spot!) and sign-up to our society. All who do will automatically have their name placed ‘in the hat’, and the winner will be picked out at our Fresher’s meeting.

20 MUSIC : yorkVision


9th October, 2000 Issue 122

Spite and Malice

Alex Watson talks to Placebo lead singer Brian Molko, about the negative (and positive) powers of the internet, the easy birth of their turbulent new album Black Market Music, and why CCTV culture means nothing is sacred anymore... “DOPE! GUNS! F***ing in the streets!”, raps Justin Warfield in Spite & Malice, a track from the new album Black Market Music: the revolution is here, and so are Placebo, complete with a rapper, driving drum loops, and a third record that Brian Molko describes as “less about inner pain, more about pain that exists in the world and social injustice.”

Placebo? With a social conscience? Almost wearily Molko smiles – it must be a question he’s heard a million times, and his American edged voice is blunted a little with boredom. “When we made our first record, I was 22, Stefan was 20. I’m now 27, your concerns change… it’s not necessarily because you feel more at peace with yourself or your place in the world, but you read the papers more, the world makes you more angry.” So does Molko not get fed up with people assuming, that, in the words of Spinal Tap, “as long as there’s sex and drugs I can do without the rock ‘n’ roll” – people trying to pigeonhole the band as one obsessed with hedonism? “Well, we don’t have a set idea of what we are… We never censor ourselves. We react extremely instinctively to what we do. We never really decide [beforehand] what musical avenue we’re going to go down, we just respond emotionally to it. We kind of embrace the freedom of not knowing what we’re supposed to sound like.” Is Placebo’s new ‘political’ stance a guise, a new ‘style’, prompted by, say, the high-profile WTO riots, or is there something more to it? “That stuff played into it a little bit. I mean, we put a music box on the cover, the first type of portable music ever, and that’s kind of linked to it. But initially the idea of Black Market Music was to create the atmosphere of something under the counter, something that was forbidden, like forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge.” Speaking of forbidden fruit, recently a high-profile cause celebre due to US legal troubles, where does Molko stand on Napster and the whole internet music debate? “I think it’s quite simple really. People don’t realise the amount of work that goes into making records, and the amount of work musicians actually have to do. You have to take your music around the world, you have to do a great deal of travelling, and a great deal of promotion – a great deal of things that you’d rather not do. But it’s stuff that’s essential to the sales of your record” he says, for once refreshingly direct. This is surprising, and for me, quite stunning. For the whole interview, Molko has spoken pretty much how I expected: an easy flow (despite my sometimes clumsy and obvious questions) of bite sized quotes (see Stereophonics and Rolling Stones references), all laced with a knowing, subversive, sardonic streak. But here, the man who has played the

Placebo : Pop tarts?!

“We don’t have a set idea of what we are… We never censor ourselves. We react extremely instinctively to what we do. We kind of embrace the freedom of not knowing what we’re supposed to sound like... I think at the moment, there’s a lack of rebellious spirit, and a lack of a fighting spirit, and a lot of rock is too easy to swallow. You can play the Stereophonics to your Grandmother, and she’ll whistle the tune” fame game so well (Bowie was a fan before the first album was beyond demo stage), and who consciously made so much from bending conventions and erasing boundaries (or as he puts it) – “I like being a chameleon really” – is pulling back from the ‘brink’ of endorsing what perhaps is the ultimate ‘open-world’ of internet file swapping. “If you have a favourite band”, he continues, “and you don’t want to support your favourite band, then your favourite band won’t be able to fulfil its responsibilities… i.e. pay its rent, feed itself, and other responsibilities such as family. And so eventually, they’ll stop making music. So in effect, you’re killing off your favourite band, which isn’t really a clever thing to do…” So what does he think of the internet in general, and it’s whole paradoxical approach to identity (fluid in some places,

with personality chat rooms being almost totally arbitrary, yet paranoid in others…)? “Well it is quite anonymous. The actual act of posting anything on the internet gives it credence, so in a way, the internet can be dangerous, and the fact that anybody can write anything about anybody and the fact that its posted and that you can see it up there gives it kudos. At the same time as it being a great tool for communication, it can also be a great tool for disinformation.” Perhaps this isn’t all as contradictory as it first seemed: for the new, leaner, meaner Placebo are a whole lot more aware of things going on around them. “In an era where we live in a Big Brother culture already, a sort of CCTV culture, where you can be traced everywhere by your mobile phone, where the FBI taps into your phone-calls whenever you say

any of the key words, you know, it can make you paranoid – the fact that nothing is sacred anymore.” “In the past, the key to being taken seriously was the written word, you had to be published in a newspaper or publish a book or something like that. These days anybody can say anything about anything whatsoever and people can choose to believe if they want to.” Perhaps the totality and anarchic possibility of what Molko’s talking about even surprises himself. “It’s a strange little world we’re living in” he succinctly admits. So have Placebo ditched their libertine ways? Is Black Market Music social policy in three minute segments? “Maybe when you’re more established, there’s something you can do about things.” Molko is no wannabe Manic Street Preacher: “Well, if you can change one

person’s mind, then hopefully that can have a domino effect… But I don’t want to sound like a hippie or anything.” So if he’s doing this sort of thinking about his own music, what does Molko think about the state of the charts as a whole? “Well, you can get depressed about the state of music. I think at the moment, there’s a lack of rebellious spirit, and a lack of a fighting spirit, and a lot of rock is too easy to swallow. You can play the Stereophonics to your Grandmother, and she’ll whistle the tune.” So how was this album to make? “It was easy, actually” Molko replies, relaxed and confident. “It took twice as long – but we had a lot more songs, and we weren’t sure what direction it was going to go in. But we had a lot of freedom, and because it was a co-production, and because we took a lot more control, and because it was a lot more hands on, it was far more rewarding. “Quite an enjoyable experience… we worked our asses off, though. There was an incredible rapport in the studio, a great deal of communication, and it was a team effort really. Our producer [Paul Corkett] became our partner in crime.” There’s a strange optimism when we’re talking about Placebo’s music; whereas their last album, Without You I’m Nothing was a jittery affair, long, slow paced ‘come-down’ songs spliced with nervous, wired rock songs like Pure Morning and Every You Every Me, Black Market Music is a more, not upward, but outward, looking record. Molko is convinced that in ten or twenty years, he still wants to be doing Placebo : “Sonic Youth, Nick Cave, these people are still doing it, and are still more important than a lot of the bands they influenced. So long as it doesn’t end up being like the Rolling Stones, then fine! Every album feels like a new beginning. There’s so much more music left in us.” So does Molko prefer playing live, or working in the studio? “I like them both, because you feel like different people. You feel like a creative artist when you’re in the studio, like a fine artist, or a painter or sculptor. It’s a very cerebral process. Being on stage is the rush. It’s the power, it’s the immediate feedback from the audience. The immediate emotional connection, the hugeness of it. Sometimes you feel like you’re floating…” So this is where it finishes; Molko, at once deriding music as not revolutionary enough, yet pulling back from advocating free-for-all file swapping on the internet. This then, is a taste of the new Placebo: a lot of things, but most of all, still far from straight-forward and dogmatic. Irresistibly though, the last word, of course, goes to Brian Molko: “At the beginning I enjoyed playing with people’s preconceptions of male and female. Now it’s playing with people’s preconceptions of me.”

Placebo release their third album, Black Market Music on October 9th

yorkVision : MUSIC

Issue 122 9th October, 2000

La Cut above the Rest


Tom Nall talks to one of DJing’s unsung heroes Cut La Roc about multi decks-terity, stripping and the latest leg of his seemingly endless tour LEE POTTER, aka Cut La Roc, has achieved adulation in DJing circles for his incredibly gifted and above all playful style. Although he’s graced such events as

last year’s Grad Ball, he remains apart from the mainstream success of other artists on the Skint label such as Fat Boy Slim. I caught Lee as he travelled to Glasgow on his latest tour, this time with Indie wildcats Snow Patrol. So, how’s the Tour been so far? “Yeah, we had fun, Newcastle was the first gig I’ve done so far with Snow Patrol as I’ve been ill at home.” This didn’t bode well but when I asked how he found Snow Patrol’s company he warmed to the theme, “They’re great, we met at a party and they said they liked Post Punk Progression. They’d had a few problems with samples up to that point so I got onto the publicity people at Sony with a bit of a concept. We went down to the studio for a weekend’s recording and they just thrashed it out.” Wasn’t it quite a departure for a man used to working with funk and break beats? “Well it works, that’s for sure. It’s gone down quite well as it crosses over to people that might not have come across my music before. I like being different and La Roc Rocs is like that, disparate.” Do you prefer your floor-fillers or the chance to air your real mixing/scratching skills? “It’s nice to see people enjoy themselves. Playing at Glastonbury in front of so many people was brilliant, but you can’t beat the five hundred capacity club just going mad. I feel I’m quite lucky, Fat Boy Slim’s massive commercially - good

luck to him, he almost pays our wages! but he only does four gigs a year to huge crowds. I hope I play to people who genuinely appreciate the music. It’s best to be modest, more gigs to fewer people.”

couldn’t get my sample cleared until Skint [Lee’s record company] had paid for the other sample.” Not that Lee hasn’t a great deal of respect for a label he’s worked with for six

his latest single Freeze on the radio. That’s some hefty respect Lee: “It’s nice, yeah, good to get positive exposure...especially when guys like that get behind you. Carl Cox is one of the best and Pete Tong wields a lot of music power.” Sounds suspiciously like modesty Lee, didn’t you once mix on nine decks and strip to your own music? “Ahem, it’s eight actually! I was doing promotions for the Ministry of Sound’s FSUK album and they asked me if I was up for some tricks. I wasn’t up for it initially but some, er, gentle persuasion later and I did it. I was a promotional tool, it was a promotional gag. “As for the top-off routine: I used to slowly take off my top as I cut tunes throughout my set. I don’t do it now though, too many beers!” Britain’s second Mr Potter went on to explain how he carefully crafts one of his sets: “I generally just thrash through my whole box until I’m left scratching my head. I try to take the crowd on a roller coaster ride. I used to start a bit Hip Hoppy, now it’s a more funky style of Break Beat, I basically start with tunes that are not so ‘having it’ and then smash ‘em about a bit. I’ve found that Drum ‘n

I generally just thrash through my whole box until I’m left scratching my head... I basically No chance of over-exposure then, but sometimes being in the shadow of bigger acts has been a problem. Releases haven’t always been so easily forthcoming: “No!” he laughs, “Though not really through any fault of mine. The sample for Makin’ it Hot with T C Islam was owned by the same guys who owned samples from Norman Cook’s Rockafella Skank. I

Travis are USA

years. With artists from The Midfield General to Bentley Rhytmn Ace, all of whom are “hoping to retain some standard in their music” he is in good company. As an artist, Cut La Roc has attracted critical acclaim, the NME likening Post Punk Progression to Jungle, Beatles style; and Carl Cox joined Pete Tong in plugging

Bass seems to jade people these days, it’s a bit too scary for them. Having said that, students, especially back in Brighton, don’t seem to care about the music.” Now then, now then, students not caring about music, whatever do you mean? “I mean it’s such an eclectic place, they don’t get phased by lots of styles of music. Students keep their minds open, get wasted, dance around and just have a laugh.” What do you think about DJs being recognised musicians? “It’s definitely very good for the record company’s point of view, Djs being musicians and vice versa with the extra kudos and sales. I’m not up for standing on stage pretending to play the keyboard. I like tasting new stuff on an audience, and that includes playing the instruments.” At this point Lee perhaps explains what makes his music stand out in a market of remixes and derivative tunes: “Well, lots of tunes are written by engineers. The DJ says ‘I want this and this’ and the engineer interprets that into a tune. Anyway, I sit down and do it from start to finish. I’m lucky I guess, I’ve grown up around studios so you get to know how to use them.” Cut La Roc’s sets swing with an energy that’s infectious, party music with a technical ability that can’t fail to excite. What surprises me is that the mainstream have been so slow to embrace a style that offers almost everything - even Indie - to dance floors that just wanna have fun. This modest, talented man wishes me a nice weekend, thanks me for my time and goes to prepare for a Glasgow gig that is sure to be electric. One thing is for certain, La Roc rocks.


The roving Sabey lands on foreign shores and finds that Travis got there first

Discount for NUS holders 75 Goodramgate York

Te l : 0 1 9 0 4 6 5 5 7 7 7

Fancy Dress: buy & hire FRAN HEALY, Travis’ lead singer, is in the mood for talking. Tonight, at the 9:30 Club, Washington DC, nobody can stop him chatting, gossiping and giggling to himself. He’s made it in his homeland; now its pastures new and he feels relaxed. He talks of a former girlfriend who

walked all over him but ‘I don’t mind being a doormat’. It’s that kind of night on their opening date of their North American tour. The set, primarily a greatest hits set, kicked off with a trip down memory lane to those long-forgotten pastures when nobody really liked Travis at all. U16 Girls, All I Wanna Do Is Rock and Good Feeling had an audience not so familiar with Travis’ dulcet tones lapping it up. The band have grown up since supporting the likes of Cast and Mansun in 1997. There is a reassuring sense of maturity as the opening chord to Writing To Reach You echoes around the 1,200 capacity venue. Driftwood oozed the confidence of a band coming of age.

The playing throughout was aggressive, epitomising a band keen to impress a nation who hasn’t embraced a successful Scottish band since Simple Minds and The Proclaimers. Two new songs namely Flowers In The Window and Safe will make it on the next album. Flowers… has Beatles-esque, uplifting melody with Healy reaching the higher echelons of his vocal range. Safe charmed the audience like a boy chatting up a girl before going in for the kill, winking all the way. A new addition to the show saw Healy sing Only Molly Knows and lead guitarist Dougie Payne taking over for Just The Faces Change. The legendary Britney Spears’ Baby, One More Time had the crowd in stitches rather than impressing them. Perhaps recent spats between Christina Aguilera and the ascerbic Eminem have stepped such mimicry up a gear. But, a cover of The Band’s ‘The Weight’ had the sold-out crowd refocused on the playing rather than the gimmicks. A fickle US market is the only obstacle to Travis stateside.

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22 MUSIC : yorkVision

9th October, 2000 Issue 122

Yorke’s finest? Ben Hulme-Cross Kid A Radiohead (Out now) KID A, Radiohead’s very longawaited album, was finally unleashed on October 2. A slow whispering campaign issued scraps of speculation that Britain’s famously depressive artists had progressed from their trademark teenage-angsty-rock to a new avant-garde, chaotic melee of sound. Nothing could be further from the truth. Progressed they have but chaotic and noisy they are not. The first few tracks, with their loops and rewinds, affirm Radiohead’s intention to delve deeply into the world of modern sound technology. Formerly an object of horror in Thom Yorke’s lyrics, machinery is welcomed into Kid A to create a wholly new sound for the band.

The surreal, gentle warmth and melancholy of No surprises has been perfectly imported into the new ambience. Thom’s voice is at its best, sad but not bitter, steady not harsh. In their own terms, Radiohead have created something new but not exactly ground-breaking in the bigger picture. Their use of ambient, floating, electronic whale music forms an unlikely but strangely effective platform for Thom’s slow singing, but we’ve heard it before – just not here. The utterly inappropriately named Optimistic is more recognisable; fast, heavy, tribal, claustrophobic beat supporting more pained vocals. From this point the album enters a dark, oppressive phase. In Limbo and Idioteque are a bit like a nasty trip – powerful and evocative but horribly so. Then to Motion Picture Soundtrack, a gentle come-down with hints of trouble eased by swooping harp rifts that concludes the album perfectly. Kid A is the band’s most effective use to date of the contrast between the extremes of their range: at once soothing and deeply unhappy, calm and deranged.

“KAISER SOSE, he the Butcher.” exhaled the sweating man in my office, nostrils sending smoke bill o w i n g around his noticeably Puerto Rican collar. This man was afraid, very afraid. Situations like these require finely

They have created something beautiful. For hardened Radiohead fans anything would have done and this definitely will. For those who found their former whining too much to bear the edges have been thoroughly smoothed and the surfaces polished. Almost impossibly, Kid A is a worthy successor to OK Computer. So buy a copy, bring it back in the rain, stick it on and relax in a warm room, making sure all drugs and sharp or dangerous objects are out of reach.

Thom’s voice is at its best, sad but not bitter, steady not harsh. Kid A is at once soothing and deeply unhappy, calm and deranged.

judged words to both calm and collect: “Anyone fancy a pint?” Strong words indeed, but softly spoken; and with that I was limping off to the Singles Bar. Now here’s a Maxim for you: Scheming never really gets off the ground. His debut album Hell’s Kitchen is pretty diverse but can’t move away from the power generated by Keith Flint’s gnashing vocals.There are better singles to be released, I’m sure. Still, like the Prodigal Son, he perhaps resents his less than choirboy background. This two-step dancehall number features Trina Allen but that wasn’t enough to placate my Puerto Rican partner.

Happy Days At The Drive-In Alex Watson Relationship of Command At The Drive-In (Out now) At The Drive-In are yet another band that the NME, in its charitable guise as ‘appointers of the next saviours of real, authentic, rock music’, has saddled with the ‘best US rock band since Nirvana’ tag. But having said that, listening to the blistering din (there’s no other word for such a pure expression of rock music’s real ability to create such great noise) of the first track, you begin to think NME might have a point. And they do, in as far as At The DriveIn are both really good, really interesting, and immensely gripping to listen to. I don’t think it’s fair, reasonable, or even that intelligent to ‘knight’ them as the heroes capable of battling the talentless growling tendencies of Korn, Slipknot and the Bizkit et al, but At The Drive-In have

It doesn’t always succeed in what it tries to do – But this is a record that tries to take a great leap – and that’s exactly

certainly proved that the glimpses of greatness and the almost otherworldly qualities of music last really seen in Nirvana, haven’t been totally forgotten. Relationship of Command is a difficult record to categorise; it sounds punk – the drums hammer, guitars are on overdrive

and the vocals are at times psychopathic. But the songs reward close listening, because there’s a lot going on; some great changes of pace, and some very strange sampling and interludes – for instance, the introduction to Enfilade, where (as far as I can tell) a hyena phones up a leopard and tells her to look after her cub(!) However, it’s these extremely disparate, irregular elements that make Relationship of Command a strangely prepossessing and engrossing album. It doesn’t always succeed in what it tries to do – some of the tracks lack definition from each other, and some people will find its rough sound and off-kilter balance genuinely repellent. I for one, though, don’t. This is a record that tries to take a great leap – and that’s exactly what’s needed. It’s got a lot of guts, and (more than a) little vision.

He almost jumped out of his skin at the Blackalicious Deception (Don’t Let Money Change Ya). This single’s too groovy for its own good. They’ve certainly cashed in on two exceptional b-sides where Money Mark gets on the keyboards and Hip Hop’s heroes the Nextmen rework Trouble to complete the set. Best of a swarthy-looking bunch. Somewhat reassured, the paranoid South American and I lurch for the bar. “What have you got lined up for us tonight?” I innocently ask, “Oh just the usual suspects.” he replies, sending the Puerto Rican into paroxysms of wild-eyed terror. Only one thing for it, Hinda Hicks and My Remedy which is like doubles for singles and goes down well, considering. Her sound is comfortingly British with a Transatlantic reach - bit like Tyson in reverse...

He who sings last sings loudest Gareth Walker

Sing When You’re Winning Robbie Williams (Out now) WHAT IS there left to say? Tattooed tabloid-fodder Robbie Williams is back (Does anyone remember him going away?) with his third album. Do we care if it’s trash? More importantly, does Robbie? In fact he seems perfectly bored by the whole experience. Nowhere more so than on Forever Texas and Kids, plodding rockers of an almost Spinal Tap level of villainy. The latter wheels in Kylie Minogue, seemingly for no other purpose than to breath heavily into the microphone (and even this proves more than she should ever be allowed to do in a recording studio). Better Man meanwhile is, according to Robbie, the result of divine interven-

tion. He sat down, picked up a guitar, prayed to the spirit of John Lennon and the words just came. If so it’s nice to see that after twenty years cold in the ground John hasn’t lost his sense of humour: cheekily deciding to bless the boy Williams with nothing better than a cheap rip-off of She’s the One. All this is not to say that Robbie hasn’t had a go at being almost suicidally inventive. In fact - on at least a couple of the album’s songs - it sounds dangerously like he’s trying to be sincere. The problem is that a Robbie Williams stripped of the irony, cheeky grin and knowing leer is about as interesting as Gary Barlow - and likely to be just as successful. Unsurprisingly then, in the end it’s only Rock DJ which can hold its head high. Arrogantly strutting with cat-walk perfection and digging its nine-inch popslut stilettos into the flabby filler of the rest of the album.

Better Man is, according to Robbie, the result of divine intervention. He prayed to John Lennon and the words just came. It’s nice to see that John hasn’t lost his sense of humour:

Resting on her furry sofa and her laurels, Sonique shows that whereas clouds have silver lining, Sky does not. The former S’Express singer should do well in Europe...and to stay there. A grumble from the bar has my PR guy on the edge of his seat. “U2?” I ask, knowing that, like Vitalstatistix, Bono feared that Sky might fall on his head, or at least rest on his shoulders. No need to worry though, his Beautiful Day is a superb anthemic jaunt through U2’s repertoir. Cousteau insisted that it was The Last Good Day Of The Year, and with such a sublime velvety voice who would argue? He elevates depression into an art form. “Where does imagination end and reality begin?” asks Francois Moity on his increadible Opening Night. Definitive deep house and urban jazz remixes make this a very sophisticated single indeed. With that question ringing in my ears my Peurto Rican and I left the twilight bar with its single population, striding into the

yorkVision : MUSIC

Issue 122 9th October, 2000

Add NaCl to (wounds) Che Che Guerilla Add Insult to Injury Add N to (x) Out Tomorrow AFTER ABOUT three years of building up a cult audience in the hippest of hip places, and indeed, in student communities, many feel that it’s about time Add N to (x), the band that reinvented the traditional seventies glam rock staple, the Moog synthesiser, make their first tentative steps into mainstream culture. Those who remember 1998’s mighty Orgy of Bubastus, from their debut album On The Wires Of Our Nerves, surely one of the best tracks of the year, will firmly hope after hearing their latest creation,

Add Insult to Injury, that they scuttle right back down into the underground. While On The Wires Of Our Nerves,and to an extent their second album, Avant Hard, were full of pounding, electrifying, terrifying, defy-yourself-toget-up-and-boogie corkers, all confident, ambitious and somewhat arrogant attempts to take on the world, their new release is calmer and more sardonic, their arrogance replaced with bemusment. That doesn’t make it a bad record. If possible, Add N to (x) have become even more pretentious and avant garde - track titles include Hit for Cheese and Miami Dust Mite Harvest, and bear no resemblance to the songs themselves, which are nearly all instrumentals. In the few songs with vocals, they don’t just sing, they output through a ‘vocal writer singing computer program’. Their slightly more laid back approach

can probably be attributed to the fact that their producer, Jean-Pierre Blanc, is one of the stars of the currently massively popular French dance scene, and his relaxed, trancefied style is particularly apparent on the first single, Plug Me In, and on two of the stand-out tracks B.P. Perino and Incinerator No 1. Yet bits of the album remain peculiarly English. Monster Bobby is predominantly the football chant ‘you’re not singing any more’ looped ad infinitatum. As one fellow critic who shares these pages put it, it sounds like Fat Les and Chumbawumba on acid. It is not good. One track, Poke ‘er ‘ole harks back to their debut’s intensity and grooviness. It is the best track on the album, but despite this, Add N to (x)’s new move is to be applauded. Bands move on, and this move is better than, say, Radiohead’s. Top of the

If possible, Add N to (x) have become even more pretentious and avant garde - track titles include Hit for Cheese and bear no resemblance to the songs themselves My other cap’s from Holland


Still Fruity Alex Watson Seafruit Seafruit Out Now Where did it all go wrong? Only a year ago, Seafruit looked like the next big thing; one brilliant single followed by one that was even better, and a series of live dates. And then… very little happened. There was no next single, and a series of incoherently planned gigs. While other bands passed them by, Seafruit just seemed to disappear. And now, finally, the album is being released. The two singles – Looking For Sparks and Hello World still shine out as the high points of the album. The first is a shuffling, suburban love song with some great and subtle lyrics, and even after a year, it still sounds fresh and interesting. Hello World has been re-recorded, this time all the more loud and infectious, and is still one of the most upbeat songs I’ve heard. Unfortunately, some of the songs do sound like less successful versions of the singles, particularly re-using the Looking For Sparks rhythm-driven idea. The main problem though, is that nothing really matches the glorious heights of Hello World or the sublime excellence of Sparks. What, however, ultimately redeems this album, is that although it’s indefinably ‘indie’ and even retro, is the fact it still sounds fresh and quirky; whereas, for

Although it’s indefinably ‘indie’ and even retro, Seafruit still sounds fresh and quirky... at times it’s brilliant example, Be Here Now, and Standing on The Shoulder of Giants sound muddy and swamped in detail, Seafruit is clear and at times, brilliant. On the one hand, I’m tempted to dismiss it as a wasted opportunity – there’s no doubt the delays, and the fact that songs that were used as B-sides are here as well have blunted the potential impact of this band – but frankly, most of the music is just too good to denigrate like that, and Seafruit remain one of the greatest unacknowledged bands around.

24 WIRED : yorkVision


9th October, 2000 Issue 122

May the Force be with you Mark Kember gets his psychic powers focused playing Jedi Power Battles (PSX), then fights mutant bats and horses in Parasite Eve II (PSX). WHEN I was about twelve, I went on holiday to France with my family, and I discovered in a bar a game that was like no other Double Dragon. I was transfixed, and pumped too much money into the vaguely smelly cabinet. I played like I have never played before or since. I lost half a stone in weight through sweat, and got through to the last boss before the cabinet froze and died under the pressure of my pre-teen angst.

against the scum of the earth, a strolling slap-around that has not been bettered. To the long (and it is long) list of games that followed in its footsteps comes the latest contender, Jedi Power Battles. Based on the recent Star Wars film The Phantom Menace, you journey through the plot rescuing princesses and bashing Tusken Raiders and mercenaries to your heart’s content. There are five Jedi to choose from, including Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn. All have their own style of fighting and as the game progresses there is the opportunity to earn more combos, health Why am I telling you this? Because rises and skills. that game was what the rest aspired to - a The levels all have different tasks, walking beat-em-up which pitted you from escorting Jar-Jar Binks through the Anakin regretted asking if they took Switch...

This game is one of the most ambiguous I’ve ever played - sometimes exciting and worthwhile, then irritating and fiddly Forest to rescuing handmaidens from Droid attack in the City of Theed. The sound effects are great, with all the swings and slices of the saber accompanied by the famous hum, and there is a reprisal performance by Jake Lloyd. The sound adds a terrific sense of authenticity. However, there are several flaws in what would be an outstanding game The levels contain gaps and drops which with the twitchy camera make jumping a much more irritating affair than it should have been. This is worse in the two player mode, which often leaves you unable to see parts of the level because the camera cannot have both people on screen. This however pales in comparison to the eccentric nature of the respawning system when playing two player, with seemingly random positions chosen for your return. Gameplay wise, the action does sometimes drag, despite the efforts put into making extra combos and moves available. This game is one of the most ambiguous I have ever played - by turns exciting and worthwhile, the next second irritating and fiddly. I was left with an impression of the game it almost was rather than what it is. For me, the gameplay, together with that all-important Star Wars licence, add up to an enjoyable game, but one whose parts are not quite whole. (7/10)

IN A New York skyscraper, a young woman sits at a table. You attempt to comfort her, telling her she’s safe now. But then she screams as her spine bends and her jaw gashes the sides of her face. Once a human being, there now stands a hideous, mutant freak that’s about to kill you. Welcome to the world of survival horror, and a game that earns its mature rating. In Parasite Eve II you play a member of an anti-mutant task force, as you take on the gruesome enemy hordes in an attempt to find out who is responsible, and more about yourself as well. You earn cash from killing monsters to buy bigger guns and equipment, solve puzzles, and to unlock the psychic powers that make you different from the rest of humanity. The role-play element makes this game different: whereas in games like Resident Evil, the design means that everything has to be found in your environment, Eve encourages you to experiment with what you can buy. But this extra versatility comes at a cost to the atmosphere, with less suspense and surprise in finding things to aid you in your quest. Eve’s only other real flaw is that it plays very similarly to other games in this vein, and the additions made to the gameplay don’t really seem to make it stand out. It’s a good looking game, with the characters appearing very detailed against truly beautiful backdrops. The camera also pans and shifts around in a cinematic way that sets the scene wonderfully. This contrasts with the

sometimes less than helpful static views that stop you from seeing the increasingly mobile bad guys that stay out of shot, leaving you firing wildly off-screen. Instead of the paranoid fear it seeks to generate, it merely leaves you wanting to see the next screen you’re pumping bullets into. These flaws don’t stop the game being a n enjoyable experience, and it would be a pity if this game was passed over, but with so many other games in a similar vein, its virtues may go unnoticed. (7/10)

The Second Coming Tom Smithard NO teenagers or students were allowed. Only special people were deemed important enough to see the goodies . However, I still managed to be one of the first in the country to witness, first hand, the magnificent new Playstation 2.

ECTS - a trade event that took place in Earls Court in August is the biggest of its kind in Europe, and the gaming digerati were displaying the products they hope will be big sellers this Christmas. With Microsoft refusing to show off its new X-Box, this show was always going to be a two horse race, and as soon as you walked through the door, there was some sort of electro-magnetic pull, dragging you towards the stands of Nintendo and Sony. ‘Stand’ is a very loose description – each was bigger than an average sized house; each was more packed than an

end-of-term Toffs party; and each featured row upon row of brand spanking new console equipment. Nintendo premiered the Gameboy Advantage, to follow on from their original bestseller. Much like Sega’s old GameGear, the Advantage is held horizontally rather than v e r t i c a l l y, and features a colour screen. The difference between it and all previous hand held consoles is

that i t h a s t h e power, and the graphical capabilities, of the SNES, so games won’t be limited to

Tetris and other block friendly titles. Games such as MarioKart have already been developed, and play exceptionally well. However, it won’t hit these shores till this time next year - at the earliest. To be launched a bit sooner, and even more spectac-

u l a r, is the Playstation 2. Sony’s PS2 was,

without a shadow of a doubt, the star of the ECTS show. Including a launch party featuring Jamiroquai playing live, everything about the PS2 oozed style. With great playability, some fantastic games already finished, and the ability to play DVDs and linking up to the ‘net, the PS2 is without a doubt, King of the Castle. Powered by the ‘Emotion Engine’, the PS2 is much more powerful than anything else currently available. Games on offer at the show included the fabulous Fifa 2001, with gameplay so fast and so precise, it kind of hurts. To be honest, there were other games there, but I spent so long on Fifa, they chucked me out. As November 24th – PS2 Day draws ever closer, prepare to be dazzled - both by the machine, and by the marketing blitz...

5 reasons PS2 might not be the new religion... 1. The launch games - there’s very little new on offer! PS1 began with Ridge Racer and Tekken. PS2?Tekken (Tag Tournament) and... Ridge Racer (V). 2. It’s not a great quality DVD player. And there’s no remote either. 3. It costs 299 pounds. In the US, it’s 299 dollars... 4. No net capabilities out of the box - it’s all extra, and at a cost... 5. It’s not as technically superior as everyone thinks - those poor programmers have to design their own renderers for it, y’know.

yorkVision : ARTS

Issue 122 9th October, 2000


‘Who’s this bearded bloke?’ Tim Burroughs enters the strange world of the ‘bonsai meatloaf’, comic Bill Bailey, and finds there’s a lot more to his comedy than just a beard, a keyboard and, er insects “IT’S GOING to be fine,” he whispered into the Dictaphone. “I am speaking to you through my human mouth. They don’t know what I’m saying”. It didn’t take long to work out that normal is not a label easily pinned on Bill Bailey.

focussing upon stand-up comedy: “If a film offer comes along and it’s nice role then great. But every year I’m writing a new show and touring round the world. I would hope to be doing the same thing in twenty years time.” As to whether he would welcome the trappings of TV fame, he becomes uncharacteristically resolute: “I don’t crave celebrity at all. I think it’s totally overrated and can be very harmful. I have been doing comedy in one form or another for fifteen years but as far as the TV public are concerned, no one knows who you are. “When you start getting TV exposure

“I get called all kinds of things. I got called ‘Bonsai Meatloaf’ in an Australian paper, I was really pleased with that, it was a great compliment”

“Look at cockroaches – you can’t destroy them. They’re the only things left after a nuclear blast, they’re going to grow and take over. It’s all written”

Winner of the 1995 Time Out Comedy Award for an act based around the revelation that the cockney phrase ‘Ave a banana’ features in Grieg’s piano concerto, his surreal repertoire has proved an international hit. Last year he added a

British Comedy Award to his list of plaudits as reviewers struggled to define his unique brand of comedy. One critic compared him to ‘a hobbit on speed’ but this is in fact only the tip of the iceberg: “I get called all kinds of things. I got called ‘Bonsai Meatloaf’ in an Australian paper”, he explains, before wryly adding, “I was really pleased with that, it was a great compliment. One of my favourite ones was ‘He looks like the bloke who runs the local drum and guitar hire shop’. It was just scarily specific.” What is striking about Bill Bailey, apart from the aforementioned surreal imagination, is his vast reserve of energy. Having travelled half the length of the country to perform in front of a group of drunken students, most self-respecting comedians could be forgiven for being a little downbeat. But not Bill Bailey. He is relaxed yet completely engaging, cracking jokes while intermittently plunging into a manic inner dialogue with the Dictaphone. I ask him how he managed to start his career acting in French plays. “I don’t know how, no idea at all. I woke up handcuffed to an accordion”, is the witty reply before he pulls my wrist towards him and, mouth over the microphone, whispers: “This is all a dream… I don’t know what’s happening”. He then swiftly cuts back to normality with the explanation: “Basically, I was in college and I discovered I had this propensity for speaking French and I was invited to join a French-speaking theatre company who were performing A-level texts in schools.”

This energetic attitude explains his affection for live performance: “Stand-up is a live medium really and it’s the only way to do it”, he claims. “TV never quite catches it, I find, because a major part of the experience for both the performer and the audience is in a live context.” Like most comedians he is a veteran of the Edinburgh Fringe and has recently completed a three-week run as part of this year’s event. “My first solo show was in 1994 and I’ve done that a few times”, he explains, “but the last few years I’ve not done the full run. I just fancied doing it this time. Doing only one or two nights you don’t get to run the show in.” But his first Fringe experience was as an actor in a production of Under Milk Wood in 1985 performing in front of “four people and a dog”. Stand-up comedy was something he gradually moved into after his stint in the theatre. “If you’re acting, doing low-budget shows, the show comes to an end and you cast around to try and get another job”, he says. “At that time I went to see some stand-up and I said ‘that was fun, I could do that’. So I tried to get an act together

then it’s like ‘Who’s this bearded bloke?’ and it’s all a bit odd. The people that crave it don’t realise what they’re doing”, he argues. “But they don’t realise how intrusive, fickle and temporary it is. I have met some actors and comedians who absolutely crave it; they need to see their pictures in the papers just to validate what they do. I’d hate that; I Bill Bailey : the cockroaches don’t want people stopping me in the are coming! Over there! street.” Pausing to reflect for a moment, he with a guy I was at college with and we concedes that in fact it isn’t all bad. “I just thought we’d see how we got on. We was on a tube platform in Hammersmith started in Bath, moved on to London and and the tube driver actually stopped the gradually worked up from there.” train and invited me into the cab. He was When asked how he developed his waving, saying ‘Bill, Bill, come into the style of comedy, he pauses for a moment, cab’. We ended up driving for about ten puts his head to one side and murmurs: “It stops – that was like a childhood dream.” was all a dream. I wrote it in a dream.” As assistants gather to whisk him Toying with further explanations, he cites away for the show, he senses that the conMonty Python as an influence before versation has turned a little heavy and, finally settling on his West Country roots determined to leave on a lighter note, he as being his major inspiration. broaches one of his favourite subjects – “Growing up in the West Country… insects. “They’re going to take over the well, it’s a bit weird out there anyway, a world”, he insists. Just look at cockroachbit odd,” he tells us. “Lots of odd things es – you can’t destroy them. They’re the going on with hippies, travellers, lay lines only things left after a nuclear blast, and crystals. A lot of flakiness and oddball they’re going to grow and take over. It’s folk live out that way.” all written.” As I said, normal is not a label Whether it is through lay lines in the easily pinned on Bill Bailey. Wiltshire area, variations on the Ski Sunday theme tune or inventive shaggyBill Bailey can be seen in dog jokes, Bill Bailey has begun to enjoy action at the Grand Opera a higher profile in recent times. He recently appeared in the film Saving Grace, is a House on the 14th of October. regular on BBC 1’s Head On Comedy and For tickets call 01904 671818. will soon star in Black Books, the new sitcom from the makers of Father Ted. Nevertheless he intends to continue


WHATS ON! KEY GRH - Grand Opera House, York Tickets : 01904 671818 RL - Riding Lights Theatre Company Tickets : 0845 9613000 TRY - Theatre Royal York Tickets : 01904 623568 SJT - Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough Tickets : 01723 370541 IMP - Impressions Gallery WYP - West yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds Tickets: 0113 2137700

COMEDY Harry Hill 13 Oct GRH Bill Bailey 14 Oct, GRH Big Maggie 3 - 21 Oct SJT Comic Portrait of Irish rural life Spring and Port Wine 15 Sept - 28 Oct WYP 60s set tale of family life, love and fights over fish

DRAMA Friendly Fire 9 - 24 Oct, RL New play by Nigel Forde based on a true story and set during the English Civil War.

EXHIBITIONS Roshini Kempadoo Virtual Exiles 18 Oct - 4 Nov, IMP

26 ARTS : yorkVision

9th October, 2000 Issue 122

Done in the Australian Ken Done has been commissioned as the artist for the Sydney Olympics, but in England very few people have seen his work. Victoria Kennedy looks at Australia’s national offering to art

YOU CAN imagine him standing in front of a canvas in a studio in Sydney, Australia. Abandoning his paintbrush, he coats his hands in bright yellow paint and paws his vast canvas with vigour and, it must be said, an obvious quiet joy.

His commissioning as the Olympic artist comes as little surprise for someone who has given so much to his country

When he does pick up a paintbrush to finalise the precision of his detail, he cannot help but scrape an oil crayon into the paint, to complete the brazen shapes of writhing sunbathers or the bold elegance of the Sydney Opera House. His words ring in your ears, “There are no rules. And if there are rules, then you may as well break them.” His paintings have been compared with the works of great artists Matisse, Gauguin and Hockney and have extensively toured Australia and Japan and yet I

Ken Done at work on A day at the beach in 1993 and the ‘classic’ Sydney image, 1980 (centre) write with a ninety-nine percent certainty that very few reading this article will ever have heard of the artist I am describing. Despite his painting career starting at the mature age of forty in 1980 with his first solo exhibition, he still remains relatively unknown on these shores. His name is Ken Done and only this year he premiered his artwork in London at the Rebecca Hossack Gallery. In his

homeland of Australia however he is more than an acclaimed artist, for years he has been something of a national hero. In 1992, Done received the Order of Australia (A.M.), for services to Art, Design and Tourism and in many parts of the world, his paintings have come to symbolise Australia and Australians: as creative, optimistic and bold. Similar to the primitive vibrancy that

Gauguin captured in Tahiti, Done embodies for many the sun and culture of Australia with a rawness of shape which challenges people to stop and pay attention to the visual activity of the paintings. Done has in fact become a brand in Australia. He once said that, “In the times in which we live it is far too restricting to say that art can only be found in art galleries and not touch people’s everyday lives

... I want to use any means that are necessary to communicate to people what I feel about things.” Shops, scattered around the country, are filled with sophisticated tourist merchandise; calendars, place mats, diaries and designer plates that have made Done’s ‘communication’ into a national product. His commissioning as the Olympic artist comes as little surprise for someone who has given so much to his country and travelled so extensively with his artwork around many of the national galleries. Done’s use of perspective is deliberately distorted and his colours are brightened to welcome viewers, regardless of their nationality, to share in the Australian seascape of which he is evidently proud. His 1996 collection of Sydney postcards, scribbled with the cliché ‘wish you were here’ likewise express the status that Done now has as a visual representative to the world of Australia. Whether he will be able to win the heart of Britain in the same way that he has so famously enamoured Australia’s is yet to be decided. But most importantly for Britain Ken Done begs us to question if we will ever have a contemporary artist, devoted so assiduously to the representation of the beauty of our country. Send your answers on a Ken Done postcard. Images taken from : ‘Sydney’ by Ken Done (The Ink Group)

Shakespeare: 21st

400 years on, Matt Goddard looks at what might be Shakespeare’s busiest time and how it looks like he will survive in the second century of film THE 20TH century and the advent of film saw the plays of Shakespeare leap out of A-levels and straight into the consciousness of the masses.

If you thought that Leonardo di Caprio as Romeo was the height of Film and Bard co-productions, Shakespeare is already being reshaped for the 21st century. The assault on your mind has already started. Little seen plays are testing their longevity on film alongside old ‘favourites’ which keep coming back for more. In the last few months Shakespeare’s earliest tragedy received an airing at your local multiplex, though rather than engender a love for his lesser work Titus was just seen to jump on the Romeo + Juliet bandwagon. As Shakespeare’s earliest tragedy Titus Andronicus was everything that Elizabethan audiences loved (melodrama, murder, rape, cannibalism), and that we, in our Hamlet enlightened days, find just a bit too melodramatic and lacking in the psychological department. The helmer, Julie Taymor, a respected Broadway director, and Anthony Hopkins as the eponymous General sound a good combination but it all seems to have come unstuck with the former’s almost desperate need to give the film pop credibility.. The result is a kind of Matrix set in hell. I know, it sounds great, but glossing an obscure text doesn’t seem the way to start a new century. So what does the audience want? According to Hollywood, more of the same please. It’s been at least four years since Baz Luhrmann set a benchmark with Romeo + Juliet, so coming out soon is, inevitably, a new version, Romeo Must

Die. As the title suggests, this one is different. As the producer of the Matrix, Joel Silver continues his aim to start a new genre of movies, but also gives a brand new spin to the much-filmed play. The central love story is still very much there, but is pushed to the side to make way for the main interest, that of two rival gangs, supplanted to modern day America.

ging along on its sleek r‘n’b and hip hop soundtrack. With Jet Li taking his first English speaking lead, who needs dialogue when you can have X-ray close-ups of bones breaking during fight scenes? Titus and Romeo Must Die are very different films, but it seems Shakespeare’s future on film firmly belongs to MTV. In fact the prescence of Aaliyah as ‘Juliet’

Back in theatre-land there is a renewed sense that Shakespeare, rather than being shaped by our current culture, can instead be used to comment on it. The Royal National Theatre’s new production of Hamlet attracted considerable press attention when it opened recently, though mostly for the casting of Simon Russell as

Titus and Romeo Must Die are very different films, but it seems Shakespeare’s future on film firmly belongs to MTV. In fact the prescence of Aaliyah as ‘Juliet’ sometimes makes the latter film feel like a two hour music video or at least a star vehicle

Anthony Hopkins as Titus, covered in mud Whereas Titus aspired to the Matrix, Romeo Must Die is a bit like Matrix 1.5. The action is amazing. There’s no Shakespearean dialogue, the film chug-

sometimes makes the latter film feel like a two hour music video or at least a star vehicle. Perhaps the MTV generation is just using Shakespeare?

a bearded, older and notably softly spoken prince of Denmark. This overshadows the fact that the production cuts the entire Norway invasion sub-plot which becomes so important toward the end. While the

play appears irreparably damaged as a result, the deletion serves to bring in a new republican slant. With no fast enclosing net on time span, nor a comparison for Hamlet in Fortinbras, a more noble prince with no brave or military aspirations is interestingly cast. The famous characters’ political fears are so diluted, they allow the Elizabethan views on republics and monarchy to surface alongside morality. With no outside scenes apart form the graveyard remaining the walls of Elsinor are all the more insular. While ‘the Danish play’ on stage needs to prove itself, the third Shakespeare film in as many months shows there’s always room for another celluloid Hamlet. This time Ethan Hawke is the first under 30 Hamlet on film as his story is transplanted to the Denmark Corporation in New York. This looks like being the antithesis to Branagh’s five year old complete text epic, which may not be a bad thing. The telling of the famous tale in a skyscraper and the world of commerce, could be as subversive as the RNT’s republican slant. Mind you some critics maintained that Titus was ‘supposed’ to be a satire on Hollywood violence, and even from that viewpoint it doesn’t get very far. Its unfortunate but also a necessary evil that Shakespearean productions have such a history to compete against, but it’s evident that 400 years on there is no shortage of ideas when it comes to adaptations. Shakespeare on film is at the forefront of a Hollywood phase at present, after all there is no copyright and the script is ready. How simple is it to just knock-out another Hamlet? Just think how many versions there will be on disk at the start of the 22nd century.

yorkVision : BOOKS

Issue 122 9th October, 2000



Shopping and Booking Whatever the subject, whatever the year of study each one of us has an expensive reading list. With an income way below average, most of us will find the prospect of buying new books a little daunting. So why not buy second-hand, says Kasia Brzozowska? Barbican Bookshop

YORK HAS at least ten second hand bookshops. I have tried to pick the best six; ones with the best selection and helpful service.

24 Fossgate - tel. 653643

This is probably the biggest, offering twelve rooms of new and secondhand books on a variety of subjects. It specialises in theology and topography but it has a sizable collection of academic books. Open all days 9.00 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. except Sundays.

S 1 K70 Micklegate – tel. 624414 en


Dealing mainly in literature, art and history this bookshop offers a wide selection of almost new and second hand books. Open Monday till Saturday 9.00 a.m. 5.30 p.m.

Passageway Book Room 33c Fossgate


Philip Martin Music Books

Being a charity this bookshop gives almost all of its profits to the less fortunate. Occupying one floor it has a reasonable section for almost any category, even science. Open every day from 10 a.m.- 5 p.m.

38 Fossgate – tel. 670323



Unfortunately for scientists there is not much material out there but before checking secondhand bookshops stop by the University Secondhand Bookstore...

This store is spread over three floors and sells a general stock of books, ranging from literature to music and history. It is open all week, 10 a.m. till 5.30 p.m.

Good God-Alming! Music in the Dark

BLACKWELL’S Book of the month

Gareth Walker

Laura Hamilton Waiting For Godalming Robert Rankin £16.99 (Doubleday)

Turlough Brian Keenan £16.99 (Jonathan Cape)

MISPLACED ANGELS and demons, a Holy Guardian Sprout named Barry and the mind-altering drug Red Head can be found in Waiting for Godalming, Robert Rankin’s latest offering of ‘Farfetched fiction’. And it certainly is that.

IN 1738 the legendary blind Irish harper Turlough O’Carolan lies on his deathbed, surrounded by the friends, patrons, drinkingpartners and lovers who have shared his extraordinary life.

From the author who brought us Armageddon: The Musical comes the bizarre tale of private detective Lazlo Woodbine’s mission to solve the mystery of God’s apparent demise. The story is told in retrospect through the eyes of this enigmatic, if arrogant, character. There is a second hero, the young self-proclaimed Relocator (of belongings), Icarus Smith, whose theft of a rather significant briefcase sets off an exhilarating chain of events. It’s an inventive and highly imaginative plot, featuring a vast array of colourful characters including God, a caricature of Richard E. Grant, and his son Colin who resembles Peter Stringfellow. And finally, everyone’s favourite T.V brainbox, Carol Vordermann, as a demon from Hell. Well, what did you expect? The action moves at a fast pace with furious gangster-esque car chases and plenty of changes of setting. This ensures that the reader’s attention is not lost, as we genuinely do not know what is coming next. The smooth, continual thought-proc-


It contains a large selection of second hand books and scores. Open Tuesday till Saturday, 10 a.m. till 5.30 p.m.

G B 3 M8 Minster Gates - tel. 621812 inster


It is small but it has a range of literature, art and travel books, with some on history, theology and sport. Open Thursday till Saturday, from 10.30 a.m. till 4.00 p.m.

B 2 O46 Micklegate – tel. 652140 xfam


ess style of the narrative is again very accessible, making this book easy to read. The intricacies of the plot, however, mean that if you put it down for too long, you may well forget what has just gone on. Furthermore, the speed of the plot’s developments is hampered by the repetitious nature of the storytelling and humour. Added to the fact that jokes are occasionally drawn out for just a little too long, you may find yourself feeling that Rankin has a slight over-awareness of his own ability as a humorist. However, I have to emphasise the ‘slight’ here. A funny racy story that will have you gripped, fans of Rankin’s engaging mix of comedy and bizarre fantasy should not be disappointed. As for new readers, come armed with an open mind to extremes of the ludicrous and a sense of the ridiculous, and you may find Rankin’s weird world is right up your street.

As he drifts in and out of delirium, long-forgotten memories break free and drift to the surface. There is despair at the inescapable loneliness of a life - eased only by humour, drink and music - led in the solitude of his own sightlessness, but also at the blindness of all who share his ravaged and poverty-stricken nation. Parallels between the subject and author are obvious. During his years as the hostage in Beirut, Brian Keenan felt himself visited by the three hundred year old musician. It is in part repayment of this debt of gratitude that this is offered. From the corners of a pilgrim chapel where a candle’s heat can barely reach; to contemplating the stretches of infinite night, Turlough comes to terms with his own private darkness. These scattered memories which Turlough and those who join him in his last days share, are woven by the author into a dense web of words as intoxicating and lyrical as the compositions of the master-musician himself. Keenan is a compellingly powerful sculptor of the darkness. In his hands it shapes itself into several guises: by turn, intimate and confessor; muse and enemy;


inspiration, but inescapable prison. Equally, it is at those moments when we are led away from the dark, and the enigmatic Turlough at its heart, that the novel falters. The author’s use of journals, letters and ‘eyewitness accounts’ seems unnecessary when he makes no attempt to adopt the style of his correspondents. Here Catholic Bishops, Italian violinists, and illiterate peasant girls all write with the same lyrical pen and perfect memory. Why not simply have written them straight? Yet it is impossible to deny the power of what is by any standard a remarkable first novel; the debt has been handsomely repaid. If the spirit of Turlough O’Carolan helped him survive his own ordeal, Keenan has done no less a task for his guardian. He has returned life and motion to the harper’s long-still fingers, and the light to his blinded eyes.


Seamus Heaney The Whitbread Book of the Year 1999 is a new translation of the famous Old English poem. ‘Heaney shows us the world as it might have been, fresh-planted and perfect, in the hour of creation. The poet himself, like the court poet in the poem itself, is content to excel through service’ Sean O’Brien, Sunday Times


28 FILMS : yorkVision

9th October, 2000 Issue 122


How to be a... Big man on campus Gareth Walker gives a movie-buff’s guide to student life IT’S ALL quite frightening. One day you’re gayly skipping through the familiar pastures of home. The next you appear to have been abandoned in a compound entirely moulded from solid cement, with nothing but half a carton of Quality Street to persuade the strangers who surround you to like you. Never fear though, for wherever we tread you can be certain a movie has boldly been before. True, no main-stream

motion picture has yet dared tackle the tragic and compelling story of everyday people forced to live their lives in constant terror of angry wildfowl (although a script is said to be in circulation and Decaprio is apparently very interested). There are, however, many meticulously accurate depictions of student life readily available from any good video store. Let Vision be your guide to the very best of them as the wonderful medium of film shows us all just what we should be doing with our student years...

The Campus Caper

Plot Summary: Inevitably American, there are quite simply dozens of these essential guides to campus life. Invariably you and your stoner/nerd/ wacko ‘buddy’ must dodge the jocks; foil the malicious plans of the crusty old dean; and lead your ‘frat’ brothers to ultimate victory over Alpha-Beta house. Your reward, centre stage at the homecoming parade and a saucy clinch with your designated ‘babe’ (naturally a cheerleader) who finally realises that only you, and not the quarterback of the college team, are man enough for her. Good Points: Drink, girls, wacky japes, crazy pranks and vast frat parties: what more could anyone possibly want from their student experience? Bad Points: There is, of course, an unfortunate absence of ‘frat-houses’ at York; while our unique combination of cement, rain and duck excrement doesn’t exactly lend itself to year round beach-and-BBQ parties. On top of which, persuading every woman on campus to abandon their intelligence and self-respect for a set of pompoms might prove difficult. Must See: National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978); Revenge of the Nerds (1984); Fraternity Vacation (1985); Dead Man on Campus (1998); Overnight Delivery (1998); Road Trip (2000)

A Journey of the Mind:

Plot Summary: Forget all that adolescent tomfoolery, what we’re here for is intellectual selfdiscovery. Inspired by your youthful tutor you start reading symbolist poetry in hidden caves, discover the boundless possibilities of the human intellect, and use your new-found freedom to justify wearing duffle-coats and stupidly long knitted scarfs Good Points: Its always a good idea to get along with your lecturers. Besides, ripping out pages in books, leaping on tables and still getting good grades: it all sounds rather jolly. Bad Points: All that destruction of books is going to incur some costly library fines. And while intellectual liberation is one thing, prancing around in a leotard like Ethan Hawke is quite another; not to mention the whole shooting yourself in the head thing... Besides, those desks look a bit wobbly. Must See: Dead Poets Society (1989);

This Sporting (Student) Life:

Plot Summary: Here at least Britain leads the field. No-one handles that delicate combination of sporting prowess, team spirit, and the repressed homosexuality of ex-publicschool boys quite like the English. In the face of overwhelming odds your true grit, bulldog spirit and iron-stiff upper-lip see you manfully triumph in adversity, win your college colours and bring honour upon your University. Good show! Good Points: Well, all that sport has got to be good for you. And what better life for a gentleman than the camaraderie and bonding of the locker-room. Bad Points: You’re not going to be going to T h e Gallery too often when you’ve got to be up at 4am to run or row through a load of icy cold water. In fact, with the exception of the occasional snifter of brandy in your oak-panelled common room (and even then, never on Sundays) you’re not going to be doing much drinking at all. M u s t See:

Taking on a crusty old dean in Animal House

‘Is it because I is British?’ Phil Diamond THE BRITISH are scum. That at least is the impression American cinema is giving the world of our country. No longer simply content at stealing our achievements; American cinema is now portraying the British as cold-blooded xenophobic murders. It seems that since the end of the Cold war we’ve replaced the Russians as the ‘bad-guys’. At no time was this more apparent then when watching the appalling ‘The Patriot’ this summer. Two hours and forty minutes of racism, ignorance and hatred of everything British staring Aussie Anglophobe, Mel Gibson. It used all the textbook, manipulative clichés of children, birds and teary-eyed parents to express the fact that the Americans were heroes and the British no better than Nazis. Within two minutes of British screen presence, they’ve executed twenty wounded, burnt down a civilian house, killed one twelve-year-old boy and ordered the hanging of another. I’m completely for artistic liberty but surely directors must have some obligation to adhere to the truth, and the Patriot is just ridiculous. All the blacks (in South Carolina of all places), seem to be free and live in an idealised little beach communities and all the British are either devils or deluded

Sites and

sounds Hilarious, fake trailer for the forthcoming Star Wars film. The highlight of which must be thousand’s of Scots led by William Wallace charging with light sabres in hand. Plays on the split personality aspect of the film to create a split screen site. Amusing for a while, and quite well written.

aristocrats. The British never committed any of the acts shown in The Patriot. They certainly never burnt civilians alive in a church. In fact this film is so blatantly inaccurate that how it was ever approved is completely beyond me. The Patriot, although more guilty than most is not an isolated case. The British are negatively portrayed in everything from Pocahontas to Joan of Arc. The American’s seem to think that the British killed and raped their way through history. As a nation we have gone from

oppressing the Scot’s in Braveheart, through the Americans in The Patriot and the French in Joan of Arc to the Irish in Michael Collins. Any good things we did between this oppressing have been stolen from us. Hence according to U-271 we didn’t decode the Enigma code and should we believe Saving Private Ryan we had no part in the D-day landings. It’s easy to explain why we’ve become the bad-guys. Our huge Empire means that we’ve had a part to play in nearly every countries history, not least American’s.

Mel Gibson, giving us a beating With their master of the world mentality they must find this difficult to accept. Yet the sad fact is that many people who see these films will know no better and take them for face value. For me the American cinema really needs to grow up. It’s one thing in science fictions to have idealised good versus evil fights, but if films are going to tackle historical themes this simple morality has to be abandoned. The catastrophic returns for The Patriot show I’m not the only one to think this. Ever tried to locate a copy of the animated Lord of the Rings or The Life of Brian. Well save yourself the bother, log in here and let them do it for you. The prices aren’t that bad either. A site that needs no explaining. Keeps you up to date with the latest developments in the field of B-movies. You need never miss a mutant piranha or zombie film again. Get the listings for your local cinema on this rather handy little site. Essential before any night down the pictures.

yorkVision : FILMS

Issue 122 9th October, 2000

Spinal Tap: So stupid it’s clever


With the re-release of the comedy classic imminent, Gareth Walker feels the need to relive his own Rock-and-Roll years. Be afraid...

A FEW years ago a friend broke his arm, another friend got me drunk, and I ended up in a rock group.

A fortnight later we had the solitary ‘gig’ of our career. I have vague memories of myself, inexplicably dressed in a white jumpsuit splattered with red and yellow paint, jumping up-and-down on a wooden stage which creaked desperately under the weight of my thigh-length Desert Storm surplus boots; all the time bashing away at a guitar with the passion and tortured angst of a man who - unlike the majority of the crowd - hasn’t realised that he’d forgotten to plug it into a speaker. After three songs, my rock career game to a gentle end. As we were politely escorted from the stage our crowd - fifty aging Goths in heavy eyeliner and black lipstick - benevolently clapped and to spare our feelings, tried not to collapse into giggles until they thought we were safely out of ear-

shot. Anyone similarly seduced by the foul and misleading goddess of rock and roll will find such episodes of cringing humiliation irresistibly return when they watch Spinal Tap. First screened in 1982, the film - a mock ‘rockumentary’ documenting the illfated American tour of a fading British heavy-rock group, the inimitable Tap - has since earned an ardent and intimidating cult following. The re-release of the film this month, however, gives the rest of us a chance to dodge the infinite websites, A-Z compendiums and dubious spin-offs for the pure pleasure of rediscovering the original for what it always was. A unique, near-perfect comedy made by a team of young actors, writers and director whose careers have since spanned everything from When Harry met Sally and Godzilla to The Simpsons and Friends.

There are, of

Coming Around Philip Diamond OFF THE record, on the QT and very hush-hush. News on the upcoming films that you’ll want to see, and some to miss. The choice of which must be the first of the trilogy of Lord of the Rings. The filming is soon over and that alone was described as epic. With sets in every continent and thousands of extras, it will be very much a case of special effects before actors. Yet considering the lead is Elijah Wood (the geek from Faculty and Deep Impact), this is no big surprise. Another one to look out for will be Terminator III with ageing Arnie returning to battle a w o m a n Terminator. As long as she doesn’t nick A r n i e ’ s Zimmer-frame early on in the film this should be two hours of constant ludicrous action. Also out will be the second Basic Instinct instalment staring pensioner Sharon Stone. It’s set to be scarier than Exorcist, with Sharon Stone regularly removing her kit to terrify unsuspecting film goers. Sure to be the horror experience of the year; and one the poor looking Blair Witch Project II will do hard to match. On the lighter side Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter will reprise their Bill and

Ted roles in a late sequel to the eighties classic’s. Competing for the comedy honours is the Nutty Professor III: expect enough fart jokes to keep even the most demented eight year old (or drunk student), happy. Scary Movie II, will definitely see the light of day. Which considering it was a parody of the increasingly unoriginal Scream franchise seems rather daft. Although not half as daft as the news that Halloween 8 - The Revenge is on it’s way.

Though the Men in Black sequel might be worth a viewing. Finally look out for the remake of Casablanca staring Julia Roberts. Or if that doesn’t catch you fancy, you could go one worse and see the Get Carter remake with Stallone taking Caine’s role. With all these sure classics on their way it’s going to be difficult to keep our anticipation under control, but we try one day at a time.


...on Tap

“I’m sure I’d be more upset if I weren’t under such heavy sedation.” “I used to say ‘sex, drugs, and rock and roll.’ Now though, as long as there’s sex and drugs, I can do without rock and roll.” “There’s such a fine line between stupid and clever.”

course, the infamous set-pieces. Selfdeclared poet-genius Nigel Tufnel and his amps which go all the way up to eleven, “It’s one louder, ‘innit” as he explains with exasperation to the camera. Or lead singer David St. Hubbins, who finds the solemnity of his druid stageshow undermined when the replica of Stonehenge lowered behind him turns out to be 11 inches, and not 11 feet, high, “The bleeding dwarves were nearly treading on the thing” as he berates their long-suffering manager. Such deft puncturing of super-star pomposity remains as relevant today (think Michael Jackson or Puff Daddy) as when the worst of the rock dinosaurs still stalked the earth. And yet the film’s funniest moments are the improvised interviews with its wonderfully observed

Erm, time to rock?

characters. Again and again from the mouths of these bumbling, pompous rockers and the equally brain-dead who surround them, spring comments of unassumingly surreal, unforgettable and pant-wetting funniness. Even more inexplicable is that by the end of the film we’re even rooting for these hick-ignorant idiots. Because, by its end, it’s clear Spinal Tap isn’t really about rock-and-roll dinosaurs and their delusions-of-grandeur at all. More than anything else, it captures the flawless ability for self-delusion that drags us all up to the karioke machine, nudges everyone into longing for the person far too good-looking for us; and at one time or another pushes us all onto a stage in boots and a jumpsuit when we really should know better. See Spinal Tap at the City Screen

“‘There wasn’t really a Saint Hubbins, right?’ ‘There was. He was the Patron Saint of Quality Footwear.’” “Dozens of people spontaneously combust each year. It’s just not widely recorded.” “I get the sense of it. I just don’t understand it.” “We say love your brother...Well we don’t say it really...We don’t literally say it. We don’t literally mean it.” “David and Nigel are both like poets. Like Shelly or Byron or people like that, you know, like fire and ice. I just exist between them, like luke-warm water.”

30 SPORT: yorkVision

9th October, 2000 Issue 122

York Playing Catch Up in Wars Colin Smith takes a walk down memory lane as he recounts the highs, lows, fights and successes of York’s premier sporting event

IT WAS in 1965 when the ViceChancellor of the University of York, Lord James of Rusholme, accepted a challenge from Mr C F Carter, Vice-Chancellor of Lancaster University, to a boat race between crews representing their respective universities. This was welcomed by the students who suggested competitions in other sports at the same time. Consequently, when the race was held there were seven other events, with York winning the football, badminton, cricket, road relay and the boat race, while Lancaster won table tennis and tennis; the mixed hockey was drawn. Thus, the home university became the first holders of the Carter-James Trophy. The boat race rowed on the Ouse from Clifton Bridge to Lendal Bridge, which was naturally the main attraction not only to the students but also to the public, both of whom celebrated a York victory by 3 lengths. One journalist even went as far as to predict that this event would rival the Oxbridge boat race! The cricket match was unique in that for the first hour, Lord James was one of the umpires. We were to wait until 1974

One journalist even went as far as to predict that this event would rival the Oxbridge boat race! for a Vice-Chancellor to take an active part again when Dr Carstairs, the University of York Vice-Chancellor, played a full game of football at Lancaster. When Lancaster were hosts the following year, the number of events had been further increased, they not only won the boat race, the trophy they were destined to win for five years but also the Carter-James Trophy. The home advantage was often the deciding factor in the contest and it was not until 1973 when York lost at home and 1975 when the scores were tied 50-50 that there were signs of deviating from the norm. Incidently, there has never been a draw since, but Lancaster notched up an impressive run of wins from 1972 - 77 inclusive. York were kept waiting until

York men’s rugby team 1967-68

Women’s 2nd Team Tennis 1968 1993 to complete its first hat-trick of victories. Lancaster to date have 18 wins, York 16 and 1 draw. The 1981 Roses was unfortunately remembered for the incidents involving Lancaster Rugby players and the damage they wreaked on campus and in Heslington village, threatening the future of the event. Both Roses Committees successfully controlled behaviour at the next encounter much to the relief of all concerned. The 25th anniversary was celebrated in 1989 when two Yorkshire sporting superstars, Martin Bell and Rory Underwood, were invited to present the trophies. Fortunately, the Carter - James cup was won on this occasion by York. The advantages for the host University were the less than comfortable sleeping arrangements with the visiting players wandering round in a fatigue-induced trance. The impending onset of finals also meant that players were reluctant to travel

so close to exams. The Roses weekend now embraces over 45 sports with about 1500 competitors making the annual pilgrimage across the Pennines to celebrate this festival of sport. The level of sponsorship has also increased from the original donation of a trophy to the financial backing of sponsors, such as recruitment agencies, to ensure a viable event. The social events have grown to appeal to the whole campus and not just competitors. The future of ‘Roses’ is assured as

long as successive generations of students are prepared to take up the challenge and be the custodians of tradition - a rare commodity in universities born in the 1960s. Will it ever live up to the prediction of an enthusiastic journalist all those years ago? I think Oxbridge needn’t worry, but for the York and Lancaster camps, the war continues...

Many Hard Days’ Outgoing AU President Ben Harding looks back on his year at the helm

WELL IT would appear that there is life after the AU, but not a job as yet (mental note to start looking soon).

I have been asked to look back at my year as a ‘sab’. For those of you who have just turned up I was a devilishly handsome, funny, hard working, intelligent chap. I won’t bother lying to the rest of you. However, enough merry wit, what memories will keep me warm on my post AU nights? Well, there can be no doubt that the highlight for me on the sports pitches was Roses. Although we did not win, it was close after the first day. But what was good was to see so many of you over in Lancaster, playing, drinking and shouting for all you were worth. So much work goes on behind the scenes that it is such a buzz when you get to the actual event and it all goes near enough to plan. A bit like Great Britain at the Olympics, our victories may not have been as frequent as we would have liked, but they were very sweet when they came. A special mention would have to go to women’s football and volleyball, who were outstanding (apologies to the rest, but I’m not in the office anymore for you to come in and complain to!) For me the other main highlight was the people that I got to work with and know. The Parachute Club are a great

Ben Harding: man of leisure

A bit like Great Britain at the Olympics, our victories may not have been as frequent as we would have

bunch, and the Basketball Club have so many gifted players that I hope that they can build on their tremendous success last year. Many other clubs will stick in my memory. I have spent so much time playing football and cricket during my time at York that I will always look back with fond memories, and I think both of these teams have the chance to really go forward this year. Socially I will never forget what I can remember of the Millennium Ball and AU Dinner. This is without doubt one of the best aspects of the AU. It is hard to believe how many people that I had the chance to get to know, and it was not until I bothered to get off my arse and play some sport that it happened. There may just be a hint in there if you look hard enough. So all I can say is that if you enjoyed it last year then you had better get involved this year because Owen Rodd has done a great job of getting things running over the summer, and he has even tidied the office! He is very approachable, so if you don’t know him yet then drop in and he will buy you a beer (he’s minted you know!) I’m sure I will see you all at some point over the year, but there will always be a part of me (my liver most likely) in the Derry, sat with a pint of guest ale and a paper. So have one for me.

Basketball Team 1967-68

Opinion by Sam Macrory AFTER MY first year at York it seems to me that College Sport is a great undiscovered gem - something not a lot of people appear to know about and something that, all too frequently, not enough people take part in. There are two obvious reasons for taking part in College Sport: firstly, because you enjoy sport, and secondly to represent your college and help them towards winning the inter-college sport competition. If the thought of training every day and playing long matches on cold winter days (which personifies University sports teams) isn’t appealing, then college sport is definitely the place to be. While still keenly fought, the atmosphere of college sport is very much a

relaxed and friendly one - I should know - I dropped four catches in one game for my College’s 2nd XI cricket team in one embarrassingly short spell and the game still remained one of fun and enjoyment. My own personal statement way back in 1998 contained the line: My enthusiasm for sport clearly outweighs my ability and this can be seen as the welcoming attitude of College sport - there is always room for people to join in and take part. That said, the standard isn’t low, as proved by the many talented players who can be seen representing their college 1st XI teams. If you want to take part in College Sport then just talk to your College sport rep. who will tell you when the fixtures are. There are a lot of different sports to take part in, ranging from Football to Softball, and a lot of teams to play for. So take part.

Issue 122 9th October, 2000

You Gotta Row Anna Streatfield

Symbols of Success where they beat a Dutch international crew to get through to the quarter finals. Our boat house is only fifteen minutes from campus and houses all our equipment. UYBC has four coaches for the novice and senior men and women. If you’re interested or have any questions find us at the freshers’ fair, or contact Anna on You may be the next Redgrave or Pinsent.


Brighton Rocked by Tour Ed Senneck hit the road with the Cricket Club on their summer tour to erm... Brighton FOLLOWING THE end of the University cricket season and indeed the conclusion of the summer academic term, the University of York Men’s Cricket Club embarked on a week long tour of the British Riviera. The destination was Sussex-by-the-

LIKE LYCRA? Muscly men? Toned women? A hard cox? Rowing is what you’re looking for. We work hard and play harder. The University of York Boat Club is one of the most successful and sociable clubs on campus.

In the first term we concentrate in getting fit and our pulling technique. Boat races are demanding after a long summer. One of our first events is our infamous three-legged pub crawl through York. Our social calendar is as busy as our rowing one. We have water outings throughout the week and optional fitness sessions. You can take it at your own pace. Whether you want to paddle through town, go to Henley, or just own a UYBC hoody, everyone is welcome. We do strive for success though. Last year the boat club scored the most points at the War of the Roses. Our senior women also took an eight to Henley

yorkVision : SPORT

Sea, specifically the cosmopolitan coastal town of Brighton. Having left York on the Sunday morning to a torrential downpour, everyone was delighted to see that the best of the English climate was to be found down South. On the Monday morning we set off in glorious sunshine to our first match against East Grinstead. The match was enjoyed by all and despite a narrow defeat it including a fine 65 from Andrew Hush and spirits remained very high. A debaucherous night out in Brighton followed, with the cricket club scorer, Tom ‘The Ruth’ Rutherford, experiencing his first taste of alcohol, nightclubs, fast women, and podi-

Paul Mackenzie um dancing, as club captain Chris White took him under his wing. Tuesday’s match against Hayward’s Heath demonstrated the talent to be found

at York as we scored 230-2 dec. Brendon O’Donovan’s excellent century was matched only by his spectacular dancing later that evening in the Zapp Club.We were not required to bowl as the heavens opened at half time. Wednesday was the Tour’s official Golf Day at the nearby Hollingbury Park Golf Course. Despite inclement weather conditions Ben Harding managed to disgrace us all by winning by at least thirty shots. Thursday was the final and potentially toughest match of the tour against Eastbourne, who have recently won the National Knockout. However, this match was called off due to overnight rain. The last evening was spent at Genghis Kahn’s Mongolian Bar-B-Que Restaurant. This proved to be that highlight of the tour as many ‘Yak Bite’ cocktails wrought considerable damage. It all ended just as it had begun - with everyone in very high spirits. The cricket club would like to thank the Deramore Arms for its continued support.

York’s Club For All

Pete Glanville looks forwards to the forthcoming University football season YORK UNIVERSITY Men’s Football Club is the biggest club at this University and has had a successful past.

Roses Action

There are four teams playing regularly on Wednesdays and Saturdays in the Northern Universities League (NUL) and British Universities Sports Association (BUSA) competitions. Thus, on each occasion virtually 50 players are involved.

This year’s club president Dave Wisbey hopes to build on a promising last season and intends to “develop both the playing and social side” of the club. The football training is conducted by UEFA qualified coaches and is of the highest standard. In term time, there is training on Mondays (5.00pm) and Thursdays (5.00pm) at the Sports Centre The Women’s Football Club has gone from strength to strength in recent years

and now regularly plays two teams on Wednesdays and Sundays. This year’s President is Lisa Smith and she is looking forward to leading a club whose organisation was exemplary last year. The football club is as much about the social aspect as success on the football field itself. This is all made possible by the committee behind the scenes so Dave Wisbey is convinced that, “The Football Club will become your second home.”

Sport Vision


Athletic Union in the Hands of Rodd Athletic Union President Owen Rodd introduces the sport and leisure opportunities available at York SPENDING THREE months on campus between July and October is a strangely tranquil experience.

As an incoming sabbatical though, I have been obliged to spend the summer learning, planning and re-arranging the AU office in preparation for the new university year. As Athletic Union President, I will be spending the whole of this year overseeing and getting involved in all aspects of student sport. This might immediately arouse images of permanent inebriation but, whilst this is a duty that shouldn’t be overlooked, there are some important services that the Athletic Union and its President provide: the AU’s brief is simply to provide its membership with as wide and diverse a range of sporting opportunities as possible. Several clubs achieve success on a national scale but traditionally York’s sporting prowess has not matched its academic reputation. This reality, though, means that whatever level you participate at, sport at York is free from elitism and cliques, and is always there to be enjoyed by all students regardless of ability. Much of my success as President will be judged on results this year but the friendly and open style of sport at York is something I hope will always be retained. The personification of this atmosphere has to be the annual Roses Weekend. Next May, the AU shall be challenging its Lancaster counterpart to a weekend of competition featuring over thirty sports. The impact of Roses 2000 wasn’t merely restricted to the sporting stars at Lancaster but managed to infiltrate the entire university community. I’m already working towards repli-


















Sport at York is free from elitism and cliques, and is always there to be enjoyed by cating this success next year by involving the SU more in the organisation and hopefully raising the profile of the Weekend. In short, anyone reading this who has the slightest interest in sports, games, bars, barbecues and three-day parties should keep the first weekend in May free! Since her arrival the Union’s Safety Officer has worked with the AU to overhaul procedures for clubs regarding transport, safety and general good practice. I am looking to simplify instructions and processes as much as possible. Health and Safety is a tedious and complicated aspect of the AU’s administrative duties but it should not be seen as restricting the freedom clubs have to undertake their own activities. Elsewhere, pressure must be maintained on the University to set-aside more funding for the development of sporting facilities on campus. The Sports Centre remains locked in some bygone era and eventually the University is going to have to realise that this is turning good students away from York. I hope that solid pressure from students and the AU this year may see some improvement in facilities for current freshers by the time they leave York University.

Past and Present: Current AU President Owen Rodd (right) with his predecessor Ben Harding

Goodricke Win Again But It’s Getting Martyn Styles GOODRICKE HAVE won the title for the past four years, primarily due to an excellent intake of freshers approximately four years ago! With a lot of these gone Goodricke struggled far more last year than in previous years, coming from behind in the last term to win. This was due, in a large way, to Matt Phillips continuing on as Sports Rep and giving Goodricke the continuity and the knowledge other colleges lacked. Whilst Goodricke may be a waning sporting power it would be a school boy error to write them off, as even with the departure of Matt, the remaining Sports Reps may still make the difference with Sarah Hancock shortlisted for the Justin Taylor Memorial Trophy last year. It is significant that Goodricke won the title last year, not through winning all the events, but through consistency of placing; they were never lower than fourth

in any of the event. Matt Philips told Vision: “All involved must be praised we proved that the effort of a small number dedicated to the course can still keep the larger colleges at bay.” With James College more than doubling it’s size over the past year and, at one stage leading the college sport race, they will definitely be in contention this year.

Whilst Goodricke may be a waning sporting power it would be a schoolboy error to write them off before the start

Wentworth have shown extremely consistent form over the last year, although with the size of the college drastically reduced due to the to the construction work they may struggle to figure in this year race. In previous years Langwith have struggled in the college sport league, although I do believe they made a big step forwards with their new sports reps, most notably Jon DeCaux.

Martyn Styles

They have excelled in certain sports such as football and table-tennis but have struggled to produce any kind of consistency, coming last in several events and finishing bottom of the final standings. Vanbrugh, the perennial mid-table college, may at last have a college ready to challenge for the top and, despite being one of the smaller colleges on campus with the loss of X Block, they will still be considered by some as the best of the rest to take Goodricke’s crown. Vanbrugh, with a little more involvement from Fairfax House, and a few lively freshers, could snatch it. Derwent have probably the most organised college sport reps which I’m sure will bear fruits in the future if continued. They always get their teams out, and could do very well this year and be right up there. Ultimately this year’s competition is wide open and only one thing is certain Goodricke will have to work harder than ever to win this year’s college sport.

9th October, 2000 Issue 122

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