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From RAGs to Riches Last weekend saw the final fight of BOB and colourful RAG procession through York. Matt Goddard and Alexis Potter report Photos: Matt Goddard
A happy Derwent student smiles through bear make-up after Ragging around York, while the night before PillowTalk win Battle of the Bands LAST WEEKEND saw Battle of the Bands rage through Derwent, and RAG rage through the City.
On Friday night a capacity crowdcame to Derwent to watch Pillow Talk win the Battle of the Bands 2001. The quality of the twenty-five bands this year has been far superior to previous years, with tickets for all the nights proving elusive to a lot of students. The final alone saw fantastic sets from Amalgamation, BAPS, InDeo and The Fay Buzzards, each of whom provided stiff competition for the eventual winner. Pillow Talk frontman James Jirgens acknowledged the quality of the bands to Vision after their final encore: “Thanks go out to the other groups, they gave us great competition.” The quality of the last two weeks and the attention Battle of the Bands has attracted from students emphasises the University’s lack of a specified music venue. A place for bands to perform has
always been at the top of many wishlists. The first week of the tournament and the semi-finals were held in Wentworth College, where capacity restrictions saw each night sell out far quicker than previous years. Even the final in Derwent sold out in advance leaving a lot of disappointed people. The following morning, those without hang-overs headed into town to brave rain and the verdict of the Lord Mayor at the RAG Procession. The Annual RAG-fest sawhundreds of costume-clad York Students invade the city centre to mark the beginning of RAG week. All seven colleges, YSCA and the SU decorated their floats to this year’s theme of Fairy Tales. The Fire Brigade, Open top bus and Juggling society also took part on the day, leading the way. Floats ranged from Peter Pan and Cinderella to the Jungle Book and Hansell and Gretel. However it was Derwent with their Teddy Bears Picnic float who took
“Brightening up the streets of York in the name of charity can only be a good thing”
the prize of best float for the fourth time in five years. The Lord mayor, vice-chancellor and town sheriff were the judges of the floats. Sophie Jewett, RAG President, enthused: “So many people got involved and put loads of effort into the floats. It gets better every year and really raises awareness of all the hard work York students do for local and National charity.” After judging in the early afternoon, the clourful procession was met by rain clouds as it left the Town Hall to descend upon unsuspecting shoppers with collecting tins. As with every year the weather didn’t dampen any enthusiasm. Sarah Campbell and Jo Radford, the Procession co-ordinators were delighted with the turn-out: “Everyone has had such a great time, and brightening up the streets of York in the name of worthy charitees can only be a good thing.” This year went smoothly, but the procession has had a few problems in the past few years. One student was nearly run-
over by a float, and one person in the crowd complained about being hit in the eye by a boiled sweet. Increased safety precautions have been installed since, including fewer people on floats, elected safety officers and marshals, and a ban on projectile confectionary. An estimated £1300 was raised which will be donated to MENCAP and The Childrens’ Society, which are the Lord Mayor’s charities of choice, YSCA and the NSPCC. In all, last weekend was one of the best on the University calender and a great success. Most importantly, students went out and were entertained by students. It was a pinacle of JCRC, SU and Society co-operation. There can be no better advert for student life in York and no clearer message to the University itself regarding the direction its students want it to go in.
16th February, 2001 Issue 126
02 NEWS : yorkVision
News in Brief GRADUATE SEARCH
Did you enter a competition on TheGraduateOnline.com last November? The prize was for the gradute recruitment to pay your rent for a year, if you were the first to register with the site, and told them of a genuine job offer they had received from the site. Unfortunately a complete failure of their computor systems this newyear has meant they have lost all details of the winner, so if you think it was you, get onto them at email@example.com
RAG COMES HOME
Well RAG week’s over, but the coming year is set to see a lot more raising and giving. In January the National RAG conference is to descend on the University of York.
Three York students, who wish to remain anonymous, were physically threatened by a driver from Ebor cabs, when catching a taxi home after Battle of the Bands. They have since filed an official complaint. At the time of writing neither Ebor nor the driver involved were available for comment.
It’s that time of year again as York seeks out eager contestants to be willingly tormented by Jeremy Paxman for University Challenge.The trials are now in week eight.This time York is hoping to send two teams of four, to compete in the pre-TV trials. So get brushing up on your mythology, classical music and capital cities.
Nearly two thirds of graduate recruiters are recruiting on-line now, twice as many as 1999. The latest launched on 1 February, and has established links with the country’s largest student website, student.co.uk. www.Gradubase.com contains details and advice on all aspects of employment searching.
An extra special thanks to Pillow Talk for their contribution to music, Atlanticbeerclub.co.uk for providing surplus amounts of beer for all who passed through the office this week. Also Romeo and Juliet (week 6) for allowing Tim time off. Wizard Wes and his cups of tea, Claire for her doughnuts and Greg Patterson for his northern wit. Vision meetings take place every Monday at 7:00pm in V/045. All are welcome. Email us for details of each section’s meeting times.
16th February, 2001 Issue 126
CONCERNS HAVE been raised about the future organisation of Doorsafe after the resignation of the previous Security Manager has left no one in direct control of door staff at campus events. The former Security Manager, Alex Roskoss, criticised the “fundamental lack of support” he received from Bruno Araujo, the Students’ Union Services Officer. His resignation letter was printed in the last edition of Vision. Roskoss has since argued that the SU have made “A grave error of judgement” in not recruiting a new Security Manager to co-ordinate Doorsafe operations: “I feel this leaves a vacuum of responsibility where important decisions about the safe running of events are concerned. There is now no Doorsafe trained management with the authority to make essential, informed decisions crucial to events. “It is likely to cause a great deal of confusion and frustration for both Doorsafe staff and the event-attending public. I fear that an inconsistent approach
will be extremely dangerous in the long run for all concerned.” Bruno Araujo, Services Officer, has defended the conduct of the SU. He argues that there is no possible replacement for the position of Security Manager at this time. A first year student, Andy Cooper, has been appointed to oversee the basic administration of Doorsafe. Responsibility for door staff during campus events will rest with the most senior member of staff involved, in partnership with the duty porter. Araujo told Vision: “Senior door staff are experienced, and the porters provide a useful safety net. We are working in a temporary situation of hopefully no more than two weeks. No one wanted the job of Security Manager and so we’ve gone for the best solution in the interim. We are meeting with University Administration and are keeping our options open. There are a variety of possibilities, including restructuring the organisation.” What the outcome of this will be is not clear at the moment. But there are concerns within the ranks of
Doorsafe about the communication problems which have followed the resignation of Alex Roskoss. Information about who is working on a particular night has been slow to get through. Vanbrugh JCRC Chair, Emma Powell, told Vision: “We have had problems lately with not having enough door staff. This can reduce the number of people that we’re allowed to let into events. You can get angry about that when it’s not your fault. “Doorsafe really is essential for ensuring a safe environment at events and for taking care of emergency procedures. There is a need for proper organisation, and Doorsafe usually does work really well.” No one has questioned the commitment of door staff to campus events. However, the current situation has undoubtedly caused disruption and provoked fears over the organisation of Doorsafe in the near future. Bruno Araujo, Services Officer, admitted that it has been “hard to adjust” to the loss of the Security Manager. But he was keen to stress the situation is under control: “Disruption is bound to happen. We hope to resolve the situation very soon.”
“Doorsafe really is essential for ensuring a safe environment at events and for taking care of emergency procedures. There is a need for proper organisation, and Doorsafe usually does work really well.” Emma Powell,
TV Day: License to bill Adrian Butler THE UNIVERSITY has grudgingly given persistent TV licence officers permission to enter secure campus accommodation, threatening students enjoying free TV with fines of up to £1,000. Having refused access to the inspectors, who claim they find 1,000 sets every day without licences, the TV Licensing Company is believed to have taken out a court order against the University, forcing it to let them in. The SU and University were not allowed to advertise when inspectors were hitting Student’s rooms, and are limited in what they can relate to people living on campus. Ffion Evans, the Students’ Union Campaigns Officer elaborated: “All we can really advise is paying the TV license. Obviously we’re not happy at what’s happening, but this action is forcing us to accept yet more student hardship. This is against everything the Students’ Union is here for, yet we have to sit by and are unable to do anything.” The TV licence inspectors are keen to target students in their hunt for illegal television - although most have less money than the over-75s who no longer have to pay the yearly £104 fee. Their website has a student section written in what is presumably 'streetwise' language. 'Safe Sets' is illustrated, bizarrely, by couples having sex, under duvets, next to television sets.
A TV Licensing Advert: Obviously dogs don’t work on Students. 'Our hand-held scanners can track down a TV in use from 30 metres away in any area,' the site boasts; 'Every TV contains a component called the 'local oscillator', which emits a signal when the television is switched on. It's this signal that the external aerials on our vans pick up.' Many students, who will have been disturbed from studies by the visit, may doubt the rights of licensing officers to enter their rooms. Early last term, inspectors broke University regulations and forced their way into accommodation
unannounced, claiming 'you can't stop us.' Incidents at Halifax Court lead the University to reject TV licensing action even more. The inspectors have been accused of “dirty tactics,” and certainlt breached the student privacy which the University holds highly. The licence inspectors were expected to come last Monday and Tuesday: unfortunately, Vision went to press before they arrived, leaving us unable to report on whether strong-arm tactics were once again used by them, and unable to warn
campus residents they were coming. On arrival at the University, licence officers had to report to the Vanbrugh Porters' Lodge, where bursar Kevin Nicholson was to escort them around accommodation blocks in Vanbrugh, Derwent and Langwith. On hearing the news Derwent students were angered by the potential invasion. “It’s well out of order, man. I didn’t come to University to have my privacy invaded” exclaimed one vocal student. Many students who live on campus even the vast majority who do not have TVs - received threatening letters last Friday, warning them 'we have no record of a TV licence at this address.' They were asked to post back a reply, although the second class envelope provided would not have reached the offices in Bristol by the time the first inspectors arrived. Meanwhile, students without licences were making every effort to hide their sets - most using locked cupboards. JCRC officers advised students not to watch TV at all on Monday and Tuesday. Some students had planned to leave their sets in their JCRs, where licensing laws state they are allowed to be, thus getting round hiding their sets, and creating a 'sports bar' atmosphere in common rooms. This is a tactic that has been employed by Universities around the country. Some gave recepts in return of a one pence payment. A symbolic stand against a large threat to student life. As Ffion Evan’s stated “It’s just a shame. I wish we’d had more time to come up with fool-proof and clever ideas.”
Editors: Tim Burroughs, Vicky Kennedy, Alex Watson Deputy Editors: Alex Cooley, Tom Smithard Managing Editor: Becca Smith News Editors: Tim Dean, Matt Goddard Deputy News Editors: Adrian Butler, Brendan Spencelayh Politics Editor: Danny Goldup Deputy Politics Editor: Post Open Features Editor: Gareth Walker Deputy Features Editors: Post Open Music Editor: Post Open Acting Music Editor: Simon Keal Arts Editor: RaeJean Spears Deputy Arts Editor: Laura Hamilton Films Editors: Natalie Brabin, Lisa Forrest Deputy Films Editor: Christian Bunyan Wired Editor: Post Open Books Editor: Kasia Brzozowska Sports Editors: Adam Curran, Sam Macrory Photo Editor: Sam Dudin Deputy Photo Editor: Tom White Sub Editors: Lucy Hawkins, Anne Hurst Artist: Helen Dempsey Webmaster: Jonathan Carr Deputy Webmaster: Matthew Pettitt Advertising Manager: Nicola Hipkiss Grimston House, University of York, Heslington, York, YO10 5DD. Tel/Fax: 01904 43 3720 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 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, 2001
Issue 126 16th February, 2001
cage, back and neck. The accident required
Last November I warned the University
lighted by the accident.
yorkVision : NEWS
road. These make car drivers speed up
Traffic trouble as students left in dark “Last November I warned the University that crossing Heslington Lane is hugely dangeous and I recommended putting in a pelican crossing or warning signs”
Tanya Moeller STUDENT SAFETY is again an issue of concern for the University as a student living in Halifax Court was hit by a car on her way to campus in a very badly-lit area. Samantha Lipkowska, a first-year stu-
dent of English and history, was crossing busy Heslington Lane to attend a Holocaust Memorial Lecture on the 25th January when a vehicle drove into her and hurled her onto the pavement on the opposite side of the road. “It was about 7pm in the evening and it was already very dark,” Samantha Lipkowska commented. “I was stepping out from the new path parallel to Holmefield Lane in order to cross Heslington Lane and walk up to Goodricke. “Suddenly a car appeared on my right even though I had previously checked that the road was safe to cross. I don’t think the driver had seen me because it was very dark. I just remember the bright lights before the vehicle hit me and thinking ‘I don’t want to die.” The student landed on the opposite side of the road and was forced to remain still, lying in a pile of mud for thirty minutes before the ambulance arrived. Security had immediately notified her house-mates, some of whom attended her at hospital. Shattered glass had to be taken out of her head and she was given six stitches. She also suffered from bruises on her rib
Samantha Lipkowska at the scene her to return home to North London for a week to rest and recover. SU Education and Welfare Officer, Lizzie Tate, assisted Samantha with taking a week off, commenting that “She still looked very shocked and shaky when I spoke with her.” However, Lizzie Tate is not only concerned with the student’s immediate welfare. “There is a bigger issue at stake here.
that crossing Heslington Lane is hugely dangerous and I recommended putting in a pelican crossing or warning signs.” Lizzie Tate drafted a report this month evaluating campus security, stating that “The areas of greatest concern proved to be Halifax Court and Holgates Hall” and recommended “Better lighting within Halifax Court and en route to it.” This requirement has been especially high-
Lizzie Tate, SU Education and
Access Officer Cheryl Smith also stated that the way towards Halifax Court was immensely dangerous for disabled students, speaking of personal experiences with her wheelchair: “I cross Heslington Lane by jumping with my wheelchair off and on the pavements even though the drivers are pulling out fast from behind the chicanes on the
instead of slowing down because they want to drive around their obstacle as fast as possible once they do not encounter any oncoming traffic.” However, the Council of York has the last word on this matter. Speaking to Vision, a council spokesperson stated that a request for better lighting, traffic signs or a pelican crossing would need detailed investigation under certain criteria, for example the pedestrian activity in the area. Even though Lizzie Tate had already contacted the council, they stated that “The matter is not on the agenda for this financial year.” Fortunately, Samantha Lipkowska only suffered minor injuries. However, her accident will have reminded the University again about the problem of student safety on their way from campus to Eden’s Court, St Lawrence Court and Halifax Court. “The University definitely has to push York Council to improve safety in the area,” said Cheryl Smith. Lizzie Tate agrees: “Especially in regard to Halifax Court expanding its student capacity in the future by roughly 250 rooms, the University should be highly aware of student security.” Asking Samantha Lipkowska on how she feels, she commented that “I suffer from post-traumatic stress and experience repeated flashbacks. But I will take it easy for a while. C’est la vie.”
Week of Unity Rob ‘n’ Em: no Angels Thu-Anh Mac WEEK FIVE saw an array of food, dance and music devoted to the celebration of cultural diversity within York university.
The week of cultural awareness kicked off with a focus upon the various cuisines from around the world. A daily string of events were organised around campus with each college hosting a particular theme of cuisine. Derwent spearheaded the way, devoting its Monday menu to Italian cuisine, followed by the rest of the colleges who each subsequently hosted a theme food night to include Spanish, Chinese, Indian and Caribbean cuisine. The celebrations did not stop at observing the gastronomic delights of our culturally diverse neighbours. Events were also held in conjunction with York Pride at the Gallery and Bar 38. The organisers Jen Khalfan, and Sanjeev Vadhera, thought that the week proved to be a resounding success. “Our aim was to raise awareness of the cultural diversity that makes up York University and also the world around us,” said Vadhera. “From the overwhelming feedback we’ve had from the students I feel we have really achieved a growing sense of cultural integration.” Khalfan adds: “We hope this week has raised awareness to an extent that will have a lasting effect. The needs of racial and cultural minorities in York are nowhere near as widely catered for as Leeds or Manchester, but the situation is getting better. We have good equal opportunities policies and feel that the University of York represents its minority interests well.”
“Our aim was to raise awareness of the cultural diversity that makes up York University and also the world Out of the 7,299 students at the University, only 39 are defined as black and 106 defined as Asians. York’s largest ethnic minority, those defined as Indian make up 6.5% of undergraduates compared to a national average of 3.43%. 96.6% of undergraduates are defined as white, compared to a national average of 86.48%. Both Kalfan and Vadhera, are keen to stress that the events were not aimed solely at minorities but were put forward as a way to incorporate the community as a whole. It was a festival that would highlight awareness and enable us to recognise and appreciate the University body as a culturally diverse mass. The week of celebration culminated on Saturday February 10 in a World Music Night hosted at Goodricke College. Acapella bands performed a repertoire including African, Eastern and Western European songs. All donations went towards the Indian Earthquake Appeal.
Slim Shady IN A week where Eminem has hurled himself at the country, many newspaper columns have been written on Sheffield University's decision to ban Slim Shady from campus.
Eminem is just the thing that newspapers sap up - usually for the wrong reasons. While the Guardian's praise of Marshall Mathers as ‘one of the all time great poets’ last week misses the irony that he's ‘so sick and tired of being admired,’ at least they had something good to say. At such a high-profile time for the rapper as sell out shows awaited him here, what kind of effect can Sheffield's decision have on Britain, and the Student’s right to
free speech? The Sheffield SU does not have UGM's in the same way as York, so the ban was a committee decision. The ban is campus-wide; students are not allowed to play it in their rooms, let alone in bars. There were always going to be bursting broad-sheets across the country, but Sheffield's decision has brought out the 'free-speech' side to the argument. URY is a member of Student Radio Association (SRA), who's encouraging all its members to send e-mails of support to their Sheffield cousin. Unlike URY, Sheffield University's Radio is only a Restricted Service station, so only operates a few weeks per year. It remains to be seen if they will defy their Union's decision. They have already run into trouble by using the Licensing Authority as an excuse to keep playing Slim Shady. If you don't find Eminem offensive yourself, you can hopefully understand how someone else would. Opinion is a big factor in this case, especially how it can be influenced by your Union. URY Assistant Station Manager Anne Hurst points out "It's a case of where do you draw the line,
“Where do you draw the line, do you ban more artists? Where do you stop?"
Fat Williams do you ban more artists. Where do you stop?" URY have been assured by our Student Union that such a policy at York is not a threat. Yet perversely the UGM last week saw a proposal to ban Robbie Williams. Obviously such a decision could irreparably change student life. Club Derwent may never recover, but at a UGM that had its fair-share of strange amendments - definition of a political hack anyone? - was it just a (welcome) satire on Sheffield or a cynical attempt to get more people to UGMs? Robbie remains on the airwaves here, and SRA action suggests that a lot of thought must go into the situation at Sheffield.
16th February, 2001 Issue 126
04 NEWS : yorkVision
Students to Strike Matt Goddard
can win, look at Scotland. At the start of the Scottish Assembly elections, tuition fees weren't a topic. That all turned around in two months. Students pulled together and won back money."
WEEK EIGHT sees an NUS 'week of action' as part of their on-going campaign against tuition and top-up fees and student hardship. The centre-point of the week is the National Shutdown on 1st March when all students are being asked to abstain from university activities. NUS has high hopes for the week, especially in view of the forthcoming General Election. Speaking at a York University debate on free education last week, NUS President Owain James outlined the importance of taking action now: "No matter what you think of politicians, one thing you can guarantee is their responsiveness to public opinion. There will be anxiety to chase the student vote at this General election. If we can exert enough pressure we can win. It's essential we now turn the pressure on the politicians and direct the anger." He continued: "If you want proof we
Owain James, NUS president in York last week
However the action has brought criticism and resentment from university students’ unions around the country. The York Students’ Union Campaigns Officer Ffion Evans expressed some dismay. "Apparently the proposal was taken to the NUS NEC and received unanimous approval, without further details. Constituency members could and should have been consulted. This shouldn’t have happened". The week could also have come later in term, as it is a time when many students are taking or preparing for exams. To make matters worse University activities could be highly disrupted. University Challenge selection heats are due to take place in week eight, and there is a strong conflict between following NUS policy and York students' own interests.
"Apparently the proposal was taken to the NEC and received unanimous approval without further details. Constituency members could and should have been consulted.
The official NUS release wording is clear enough: "Whilst we encourage Constituency Members to stick to the model of Action Week, it is imperative that all CMs hold the National Shutdown on the 1st March, for maximum impact. If the week of action coincides with exam times, we are urging CM's to hold the Week of Action as close to the official week as possible." Students’ Unions are feeling compelled to follow the week of Action, but without vital consultation. NUS is expecting to see ‘over two million students walk out of lectures.’ The Union maintains the Shutdown is tied with the industrial action of lecturers, to form mutual support. At a University of 8000, and at other much larger institutions, the end of term does not seem the most practical choice for what is effectively strike action. Objections and poor-handling at this stage won't harm the effectiveness of the NUS campaign. Accounts of NUS and political viewpoints expressed at the Free Education debate which took place at the University last week can be found in the
“This isn’t the end of YSTV, but the beginning of a more safety conscious YSTV”
feel that there are a lot of areas on campus where they don’t use space effectively.We are now having to try and consolidate our space and get rid of unneeded rubbish.” YSTV does not at present have a station manager,although Bowles feels that this has had a minimum of effect on the society and hasn’t hampered the measures they are taking to combat hazards. Whilst the sofa, a victim of the intense clear up, will no longer be a feature of Open Days and Children and Need, Simpsons fans need have no fear, as YSTV will continue to broadcast its programmes across campus. As Bowles states “This isn’t the end of YSTV, but the beginning of a more safety conscious YSTV.”
YSTV under fire Amanda Hamilton
YORK STUDENT Television faced the threat of closure last week as it emerged that there were safety issues with the television studio.
An SU monkey Tim Dean RECENTLY THERE have been many reports of monkeys being spotted all around campus. Vision can allay fears that Bridlington zoo has not suffered a sudden outbreak from its mammal sanctuary. They are in fact the creation of Bruno
Araujo, SU services officer and Ben Youdan, SU President, as the new face of the SU elections 2001. Araujo told Vision “This year we were looking for something instantly recognisable, which gives students an image that they remember and associate with the elections. The monkey gives us a more gimmicky image, which helps to make the elections more approachable to all students.” Ben Youdan, SU President is aiming to increase the participation in this year’s election, specifically targeting students who live off campus. “This year we hope
“This year we were looking for something instantly recogthat the monkey will emphasise that it is a laugh getting involved in the SU, and whilst serious issues are discussed, you can have a lot of fun and enjoyment at the same time.” As the rumours and fun and games start to increase about which monkeys will be standing this year for peanuts, Vision will be following the action, with an election night special edition. Nominations for posts open are now open and close week in 8, with voting taking place on the Thursday and Friday of week 9.
The basic problem as Michael Prior Jones, Technical Director for YSTV pointed out is “a lot of kit and not a lot of space to store it”. The elimination of the garages at Wentworth College has meant that there are reduced storage facilities for paint, sets and technical equipment and this is exacerbated as the university has made no attempt to provide alternative arrangements. Yet the University, with fears of litigation processes uppermost in their mind, appears to be instigating a new drive on safety issues. Societies are increasingly obliged to act more like responsible companies, and YSTV are having to extend the safety guidelines for the studio to keep in line with increasing safety concerns. The crew at YSTV have responded rapidly to the crisis. For the past week, shelves have been erected, and intense clearing has taken place. Wayne Spaven, who works for the Estates Service is investigating the question of the Fire Exit in the Studio, as this currently leads directly into the heart of Goodricke, potentially taking you nearer the flames. Peter Bowles, Station Director of YSTV was pleased with the swift action of the crew which has saved YSTV from the prospect of closure. “Yes we were close to being shut down and yes it was seriou, but we’ve had a bit of time to get it sorted and we’re getting there” Bowles sees YSTV’s loss of storage space from the wentworth garages as a key reason for their fire hazard problems. “When we were evicted from the garage their was very little that we could do about it.We went to Sue Hardman, the senior accademic registra, who told us that there
A Television. On fire.
was nothing that they could do to help.” Bowles feels that space on campus is not being utilised to its full potential. “I
yorkVision : NEWS
Issue 126 16th February, 2001
news focus:beauty more than skin deep
Meet student of the year Congenital Melanocytic Naevus, CMN, is a skin condition that affects only about 100 people in Britain. Tim Dean meets York student Jodi Unsworth, who has set up a national support group for sufferers of the condition WHEN YOU enter university you inevitably meet a whole range of people. The mystery bloke who is never seen again after Freshers’ Week, apart from when he is propped up at the Who Wants to be a Millionaire Machine, answering questions on the geographical landscape of Bulgaria. Your corridor gal who always seems to be in the shower whenever you need it. The Library man who you continually accidentally on purpose bump into in thehistory section, when you actually study maths. And then you get to meet the type of person who makes you sit down and write a letter to your Nan about. Jodi Unsworth, a Derwent, Educational Studies Fresher, has Congenital Melanocytic Naevi (CMN). This is an extremely rare condition, which leaves extensive birthmarks, which can cover large areas of the body and are especially common on the face and scalp. In the most severe cases CMN can cover as much as three-quarters of the skin. The condition is incurable and affects only about 100 known sufferers in Britain, there is also the constant and extremely high risk that cancer could develop. The birthmarks can be treated with plastic surgery, but there is no guarantee of success, especially as there is still no evidence that this treatment decreases the risk of cancer and is successful in the long run. Jodi had over 30 operations, an average of three a year up to the age of 14, meaning that overall she had to miss out on three years of schooling. While most of us would probably sit at home, become depressed and let the condition take over our lives. To spend just five minutes in Jodi’s presence, with her effervescent smile and non stop chit chat and laughter, makes you realise that this is far from the case for her. When Jodi was born at the Oxford Street Hospital, there was bleeding from ulcers all the way down the middle of her back. “All that was said to my mum was that I had a slight birthmark.” The lack of support not just for Jodi and her family, but also in medical terms and knowledge, led Jodi to set up her own support network, entitled Caring Matters Now. While most students might, quite rightly, regard watching the lunchtime
In the most severe cases CMN can cover as much as three-quarters of the skin - the condition is incurable and there is an extremely high risk episode of Neighbours as an extra curricthat cancer could ular activity, Jodi manages to squeeze in Quincy and 15-to-1, whilst running her develop support network. The aim of the group is to see that when a baby is born with the disease a network of specialist nurses, doctors and carers, will be able to greet these babies born with CMN and provide the necessary support for both the patient and their family. So far Jodi has raised over £17,000 towards her charity, beginning with money raised when the football-coaches from Liverpool FC were sponsored to run the Dublin marathon. Since then corporate sponsorship has increased with the Bank of Scotland now paying for 10,000 booklets to be printed about the condition for every maternity unit around the country. The condition hasn’t been easy on Jodi, we can all remember how cruel kids can be. “It used to be a lot harder than it is now. I used to think that all my friends were gorgeous and that I wasn’t. My mum and Dad have been accused of beating me up and when I was younger there tended to be a lot of name calling, pointing and staring, although that still happens a lot now. Once a bus conductor refused to let me on the bus as he thought that I was contagious. It used to upset me quite a lot when things like that would happen, but now I just think I don’t care what anyone else thinks or does, just as long as I’m happy with myself I don’t care.” Whilst Jodi has been able to come to
terms with the disease, many sufferers and their families still find it hard to cope. Which is where Jodi hopes that the support network can come in. “Yesterday I had a woman on the phone crying hysterically, trying to come to terms with the fact that her 20 month old baby looks different to everyone else’s. While it is definitely hard on me at times, knowing what other people are going through is harder still.” Whilst CMN is a rare condition, an average maternity centre can expect to see one severely affected baby every year. The money raised so far has enabled a registry to be set up, so that children born with the condition can be followed throughout their life. This will enable more information to be provided about rates of skin and other cancers; other associated problems; how the CMNs change with time; and the short and long term success of the different available treatments. Research into CMN has suggested that the condition could be inherited, and that events during pregnancy may precipitate the condition. Jodi hopes that eventually funds will become available so that regional support networks can be set up and that the public and NHS can become aware of the health needs of patients with CMN. Anyone who meets Jodi can understand why she was the winner of the 1999
Student of the Year Awards. It is rare that you get to meet such a genuinely, caring and loving person. Even after years of what m u s t h a v e b e e n traumatic and terrifying surgical procedures and where every day she has to think about the threat of cancer, if she is wearing suitable clothing, when her next doctors appointment is and if she has enough sun block on. she still comes out smiling: “I feel that maybe I have the
skin condition because I am able to help and give support towards other sufferers.”
Did You Know.......
You can now take advantage of £150 training voucher, to help you increase your skills. A new government initiative offers substantial financial support to any one keen to update or gain new skills. Directed at those in employment, or those unemployed but not on any government training programmes, these training vouchers – individual learning accounts – are now a key element in the government’s strategy for lifelong learning.
So how does it work? You can use you £150 to gain new skills, develop current skills, or gain qualifications that employers notice. You simply pay the first £25, and the voucher (individual learning account) entitles you to another £150 towards the training you choose. There are one million vouchers available nationally – make sure one has YOUR name on it!
What courses attract the £150? You can use your individual learning account for a variety of courses. At York Business College, for example, the following courses attract the £150 funding –
European Computer Driving Licence IT Technical (A+) Database and Spreadsheets Web Page Design MOUS Qualifications Shorthand Legal Secretary Advanced IT Diploma Personal Assistant Diploma Computer Literacy Word Processing Desk Top Publishing Sage Accounts RSA Qualifications Audio Transcription Foundation IT Diploma Secretarial Studies Business and Finance
When can I take the training? You can start York Business College programmes at any time. And you can register today! You can start any programme on a day to suit, morning, lunchtime, afternoon, evening or weekend. And you can mix and match your times to suit you. You will learn within a small group, and work at your own pace, with help and guidance from our expert tutors. You can work towards leading qualifications in business and computing – qualifications that employers notice.
I want to know more – what do I do next? Simply give one of our training advisors a call on 01904 654393. We will be pleased to answer any questions you may have. We recommend you take advantage of this excellent initiative. Make sure that one of these individual learning accounts and the £150 voucher has your name on it, by calling us today! Or, email the college on aimhigher@y-b-c. com. We look forward to hearing from you.
Enrol today on a Microsoft Office Specialist course at York Business College – and prove you’ve got the skills that business need. And employers notice. York Business College can offer you top quality training, leading to Microsoft’s own qualifications in Microsoft Office – at proficient or expert level. Training courses start every day, at beginner, intermediate and advanced level. We offer short intensive courses, or flexible courses, daytime, evening or week-end. Training Grants available. Ask for details. Get the proof employers want with Microsoft’s own qualifications – and then why not let our recruitment division – YBC recruitment – help you find that better job! To enrol, or to order a free information pack, contact us today on 01904 654393
yorkVision : EDITORIAL
Issue 126 16th Febraury, 2001
editorial: look closer
e - m a i l : v i s i o n @ y o r k . a c . u k / / Te l / F a x : 0 1 9 0 4 ( 4 3 ) 3 7 2 0 / / w w w. y o r k v i s i o n . c o . u k R o o m 0 0 9 , G r i m s t o n H o u s e , T h e U n i v e r s i t y o f Yo r k , H e s l i n g t o n , Yo r k , Y 0 1 0 5 D D
Roll up, roll up!
The yorkVision. co.uk
w w w.yorkvision.co.uk
Why? Well, this website’s going to be good - and like the illusion, it’s a different way of looking at things. Students are some of the most savvy net users there are, and with York’s strong student media scene, it’s time that we gave the campus all the benefits of a strong website. Everything from the same content you get in the paper (plus an archive), to lots of things you can’t do on paper - instant entry into competitions, an events diary that’ll keep you up to date with what’s going on and where, national news and weather, films, jobs, and much more detail on the big events, like elections and Roses.
How do I use the illusion? Hold the paper up in front of your eyes. Move it slowly back and forth. All should become clear...
Two weeks from today, the brand new Vision web-site will be launched. At the moment, the server, with its high-tech array of flashing green lights will come into its own. Here’s a brief preview of what’s in store - as well as every article already in Vision, there’s lots of exclusive online only content:
>News from around >National news head>Weather reports >Cinema times >Online competitions >Events diary >Archived articles >More! Of pretty much everything reviews, features, arts, >Not forgetting indepth coverage of major events like the
a w h o le n e w w a y o f l o o k i n g a t things
write to reply 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.
Dear Editor, I was shocked and saddened to read Tom Smithard’s report last issue on the tragic death of Joanna Foord due to an epileptic seizure. However, I would like to comment on the SU Welfare Officer’s remark that epilepsy rarely develops at university. While I do not dispute that this is generally the case, it is not reflective of my own experience and I think raises an issue which concerns many students. I was a perfectly healthy individual until my first term at university until I suffered a series of blackouts over a number of months which were eventually
diagnosed as “probably epilepsy”. In the course of my visits to the GP I was asked if I had ever had meningitis. “No, but I have had the meningitis vaccine” I replied. I don’t know if the doctor really took any notice of this but they commented that they were treating four other patients who were also suffering from unexplained blackouts. It was recently quoted in a national newspaper that over 90% of the 1999 York University intake had been vaccinated against meningitis and having heard that younger people have gone on to develop epilepsy after the vaccination, I cannot help but wonder if there could be a con-
nection. I do not want to be a scaremonger- meningitis is a potentially lethal disease and I would strongly advise against refusing the immunisation on the grounds that there is a tiny chance it may be linked to epilepsy. However, I do think that it is a matter which needs more research, and is worth investigating for all concerned, in order that people can make an informed choice about the health benefits and risks. Yours sincerely Jacqui Martin
Dear Editor, I am writing in response to the article which appeared in the latest issue of Vision, concerning John Grogan MP, written by Tom Smithard. While most of the article reads well, I feel that there are a few issues which need clarifying. Firstly, to say that Mr Grogan MP has “Been trying to raise his profile on campus recently” is absurd. Mr Grogan has pursued the interests of his constituents since being elected in 1997, and Mr Grogan will continue to do this. The article attempts to convey the idea that Mr Grogan is trying to raise his campus profile because there might be a General Election in a couple of month’s time. This is not the case, this is clearly Mr Grogan doing his job. He is an MP pursuing the interests of his constituents. As most journalists well know, that is what MP’s do. Just out of interest I would like to
know which campus campaigns have the support of the Conservative candidate, Mr Mitchell. It was a great shame that Mr Mitchell didn’t comment in the article. Instead we were given the Chair of the campus Tories saying “He’s a nice chap”, well, that is a great policy statement to adopt fourteen weeks away from an election. As most of us know , there is a very good reason that Mr Mitchell didn’t comment on policy; and that’s because the Tories do not have a single policy that in any way favours the interests of the country’s students. Yours sincerely, Rory Palmer External Secretary, York Labour Club
08 POLITICS : yorkVision
16th February, 2001 Issue 126
POLITICS Election fee for all
Friday 2nd February saw representatives of NUS and the main political parties swoop into Derwent to debate free education, tuition fees and student hardship. Matt Goddard assess the viewpoints on offer at a potentially historic occasion The government rakes in 1.5 billion pounds every year from tuition fees. Fact.
Last term a UGM motion resolved the University of York Student's Union to support campaigns for the non-payment of fees. In response, this debate on free education attracted the NUS and representatives from the main political parties. Oh and coincidentally its coming up to a general election. So it was that a full crowd gatherered: students backed up by a strong SU contingency. Contrary to some events strong publicity and organisation ensured it was neither a stunt nor coma-inducing. Assuming the Dimbleby role, York’s very own Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ron Cooke introduced the facts. He was keeping his cards under wraps. Would NUS splits show or political campaigning take over? Essentially no, there was nothing amazing, but there was an informative evening in respected company. It will be interesting to see where it goes from here...
The NUS president kicked off debate, constantly affirming how realistic NUS aims were, something his Woman’s Officer would later refer to as New Labour lingo. Ironically James’s argument hinged around pressure on political parties. He ridiculed the idea of a funding crisis. Sure it exists, but in 1999 stood at £565 million, nowhere near the £1.5bilion the government currently gets. “Why should students have to fund the whole shortfall?” It's an absurd situation. The ‘realism’ of his aims hinged on the politician’s need for the student vote: “one thing you can guarantee is their responsiveness to public opinion.” But realistically would any party sacrifice all that money? James sees Scotland as proof that NUS can win: “We need to direct the anger. At the start of the Scottish Assembley election tuition fees weren’t a topic. That all turned around in two months.” Helen Russell however thought: “Owain's example of Scotland is not brilliant, tuition fees exist. It's a step forward but we need to campaign for more than
that.” The Woman's campaign policy does differ from main NUS policy, sticking firmly to FREE education: “We're against any kind of fees and campaign for a nonmeans tested grant for all students.” Certainly Helen’s far more anti-government than Owain: “Labour’s going further than even the Tories dared to go” Sam Challis, stood in for Ruth Levi and her views on fees and mature students: “There is previous experience that debt is a great deterrent.” His view, far more than a hint, was that as York SU is more radical than NUS, it could lead the way. He acheived the biggest cheer of the night for his question: “why should students pay so much when billionaire companies get away without paying taxes?” Mr Mitchell went first for the prospective MP’s, shifting the argument to election central and acknowledging his constituency is a marginal seat that could do with some student support. He started strongly: “The Conservative party will not introduce top-up to tuition fees.” However the Conservative plan involves the distribution of £50 billion, raised from the auction of Digital TV contracts, to Universities
An unnatural disaster
Owain James - NUS National President "We've seen the biggest set of attacks on Student life in living memory” Helen Russell - NUS Woman's Officer "Students are in a dire situation we stick firmly to free education." Sam Challis - Chair of York Free Education Society "NUS policy is not as radical as York’s."
around the country. Universities will crucially have control over tuition fees. Mmm, so are the Tories going to wash their hands of Universities in a similar way to Labour seperating responsiblity from the Bank of England? To be fair, the ‘new Tories have great ideas, but need to put a bit more of a PR sheen on to them. Mr Ellis believes his party has correctly started the over-haul of the “education system in the primary school.” UCAS applications were up last year. “What I say is not what people want to hear - but are an
THERE WAS a terrible earthquake in El Salvador on the 13th January. You’ve probably forgotten it by now.
THE DAY after the Conservative Party made headlines with their pledge to cut savings on tax Vision spoke to a key architect in the Tory’s new policy, who spoke about the need to move away from the ‘nanny state’ among other issues.
The El Salvador earthquake has reduced thousands of homes to rubble
The story unfolds, reaches its climax within days and fades away so completely that we do not even notice the denouement, while new seri-
city’s various incarnations has consistently been poor; major public buildings, including hospitals, simply collapsed upon themselves (Guardian, 29/01). Government policy has called for all new developments to be earthquakeproof, but enforcement has been weak. The development which has provoked the most constant criticism from seismologists, NGOs and local people, the ore mining and high-class housing development on Las Colinas (The Foothills), was the cause of much of the destruction and loss of life this time around. Accountability between developers and local government, and between government and the people, has never been very binding. For the Salvadoreans and Gujuratis, the challenges of picking up the pieces again will continue long after we’ve turned our attention to the ‘next one’.
honest assessment.” The Libearal Democrats are keen to shift debate on to student hardship rather than University funding. “People are starting to think whether University is worthwhile. We must address that.” To sum up, as Professor Cooke: “ to maintain quality, there must be a 3 percent increase on income tax.” Which party will swallow that pill?
Destroy the nanny
This is understandable enough, due to the even greater earthquake in Gujarat and the tens of other ‘minor’ disasters around the world since then. Did you know, for example, that approximately 200,000 people were displaced in Bolivia during the middle of January due to flooding, meriting only fourteen lines in the ‘Weather’ section of the Independent? The point I am stressing is not the need for breast-beating, but the importance of thinking coherently about natural disasters, rather than accepting the frenetic, compartmentalised style of news coverage that presents each ‘major’ catastrophe as an exciting action serial. The story unfolds, reaches its climax within days and fades so completely that we do not even notice that we never saw the denouement, while new serials are coming out all the time. So, in an effort to make things real again, back to El Salvador. Hurricane Mitch struck Central America in 1997 and lasted a comparatively long time in our attention screen, but its effects are felt in many villages of El Salvador now. Numerous human-induced factors that have damaged the country’s resilience to disasters. Notable among these is the habit of the Salvadorean government and property developers of behaving as if they operated light-years from the fault line, despite having had to reconstruct San Salvador twice in recent decades. Building and engineering work in the
David Ellis - Prospective Labour Candidate for the Vale of York “There will be a fairer deal” Andrew WallerProspective Lib. Democrat Candidate for York “As a first World country we must have investment.” Michael Mitchell - Prospective Conservative Candidate for Selby “Will we abolish tuition fess? possibly.”
Oliver Letwin MP, Shadow Chief Secretary for the Treasury made a flying visit to York to address the Conservative Society on the tax measures that Hague has promised to introduce if he takes office in the forthcoming general election. Letwin said the policy was designed to “set the country’s institutions free. We need to create a responsibility society where people can run their own affairs and will feel a duty to help others.” Mr Letwin had forwarded the idea of endowing universities, changing the way they are funded. One proposal was “putting mobile phone and radio masts within company’s spectrums”, thereby providing a new source of capital. He made no mention of the recent debate on whether such masts are a health risk for those living and working in the surrounding area. Oliver Letwin claimed “people will live better lives if independent from the state”, and wishes to release people from the state by increasing the area of independence of universities and other institutions such as museums and, ultimately, schools. Touching on other issues, the Shadow Chief Secretary also questioned the need for political advertising in a modern democracy, welcoming a move back to Victorian politics where debate was what counted.
“Negative campaigning in elections is a paradox; academic evidence shows that criticism sticks in people’s minds far more than what a party promises to do. “On the other hand it can lead to serious disaster and anarchy, even the sort of tyranny seen in Nazi Germany.” In answer to a question about how the next election will be conducted Mr Letwin said “We are going to have a mixed campaign, both highlighting the negative effects of the Labour government, and what we will do differently. However, there will be more attention on the negative!”
yorkVision : POLITICS
Issue 126 16th February, 2001
Over the counter
The morning-after pill is now at a Chemist near you. Wesley Johnson looks at the pros and cons of being able to get the pill at the same time as your aspirin and deodorant WILL BRITAIN’S appalling record of teenage pregnancies, currently one of the highest in Europe, be improved by the wider availability of the morning-after pill, or will it simply encourage promiscuous sex amongst teenagers? Sales of the pill by your local chemist became legal on January 1st and, for about £20, any woman over 16 can now take advantage of the new law. But it would mean answering personal questions in the Chemist’s shop since, apart from in extreme circumstances such as serious illness or injury, the drug could not be sold to a friend or relative for use by someone else. Even when only considering whether or not the drug should be sold over-thecounter – as opposed to exploring the issues surrounding the use of the drug at all – an ensuing moral and ethical debate has embroiled all sides of Parliament, bishops, and students alike. A motion on January 29th in the House of Lords, led by the Tory peer Baroness Young, failed to stop sales of the pill, despite Lady Young complaining that girls as young as 14 were putting their health at risk by buying the pill without a prescription. Whilst arguing that she was not against the use of the morning-after pill in principle, she said: “There was a time when the Government talked about the importance of openness and transparency. But this is an example of bypassing Parliament on an issue of great importance to a great many people, without discussion. “My concern, as always, is the protection of young people, and 16-year-olds are children in law. I have also said that all law sends signals. So what signal does this Order send? “Young girls are not going to be given
proper advice by a busy pharmacist with a queue of customers who want serving. How is a chemist to know if a girl is 14 or 16? “The Pill could cause ectopic pregnancies, which can kill if not dealt with quickly, and boys will put more pressure on young girls to have sex.” She suggested that ministers should concentrate on promoting abstinence instead. After fierce opposition, and a debate which even saw two bishops argue that it was better to take the pill after unprotected sex than risk getting pregnant, her motion was defeated 177 to 95. A crucial point in this victory for the Government was the widespread approval of the medical profession. In a letter, signed by the leaders of the Royal College of General Practitioners, the British Medical Association, the Royal College of Nursing and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, it was claimed that greater availability of the pill would work for the “benefit of society.” The letter said: “Progestogen-only Emergency Hormonal Contraception is a safe and effective method of preventing pregnancy. Our professions believe that, as part of a national sexual health strategy, it has an important role to play in helping reduce the nation’s comparatively high number of unwanted pregnancies and the resulting 200,000 abortions performed every year in Britain. “EHC is not a form of abortion: it will not work if a pregnancy has already been established. This was the view taken by the Attorney-General in 1983 and accepted by successive governments. “It was added that: “None of the available data suggests that access to EHC encourages irresponsible sexual behaviour.” Support for selling the drug over the counter also comes from two pilot
schemes in Manchester and South London. Both have been highly successful, with an estimated reduction of 700 teenage pregnancies in Manchester. But there are also practical problems with buying the pill over-the-counter. A pharmacist needs to ask a series of personal questions before he or she would be allowed to sell the morning after pill. Answering these honestly, when you are at the front of a queue in a busy chemist, could be awkward for many women. The scheme’s supporters, though,
The current violence and refusal to agree to a peace deal has lead many Israelis to the conclusion that a comprehensive peace deal is impossible
Jewish settlements on the West Bank, a policy which played a prominent role in the current violence. Such policies also earned him the nickname ‘the bulldozer’. In 1982, an Israeli inquiry found Sharon indirectly responsible for the massacre of 2000 Palestinians in two refugee camps near Beirut, Lebanon by Christian militiamen allied with Israel at the time. This charge lead to his forced resignation from the post of minister of defence. In 1993, Sharon opposed the Oslo
suggest that an individual can now choose where to get the drug from, stressing that it would still be available on prescription and at family planning clinics. With the fortieth anniversary of the morning-after pill last week, many students realise that, despite its name, it can actually be taken up to 72 hours after intercourse. But much fewer people know that, whilst 95% reliable for the first 48 hours, this drops to 58% after this period.
Britney Spears, teenage role-model. The star has said she will wait for the right man before having sex
-fact box 200,000 women have abortions in the UK each year, 90% of whom say they’d have used emergency contraception had they been able to get it in time The morning-after pill can be taken up to 72 hours after intercourse. But it is only 95% reliable for the first 48 hours – after this period its reliability drops to just 58%. The law requires women to be over 16 to buy the pill, but there are no official proof-ofage requirements and it’s up to the pharmacist’s discretion. Levonelle is a new version of the morning-after pill. It contains only progestogen (a synthetic form of progesterone) and consists of two pills – replacing the older four-pill combination of oestrogen and progestogen. A pharmacist is under no obligation to either stock or sell the drug. - More information? - Family Planning Association Contraceptive Education Service Helpline: 020 7837 4044. - University Health Centre: 01904 43 3290 - Lizzie Tate, SU Education and Welfare Officer: 01904 43 3732
The true face of Ariel Chris Cermak
ON FEBRUARY 6th, Ariel Sharon, leader of the Likud Party, strongest objector of Ehud Barak’s handling of the peace process, defeated Barak by a landslide to become Israel’s new Prime Minister.
Why have the people of Israel effectively voted against the peace process when a majority of them consistently say that they will make concessions in the name of peace? Part of the answer is that they have been deceived. During the campaign, Sharon campaigned on the claim that he was the only man who could end the conflict, and bring peace and security to Israel, a message he continued to convey after his victory as well. In his victory speech, Sharon said that his government ‘will work toward ... a united Jerusalem as the eternal capital of the Jewish people’. In the same speech, he also said ‘I am aware that peace requires painful compromises.’ Barak was willing to offer joint sovereignty over East Jerusalem, a move opposed by Sharon.
Barak was ready to return the majority of the West Bank and Gaza to the Palestinians. Sharon never expressed any plans to return more territory than the 40% that is currently under Palestinian control. Barak opposed the idea of the ‘right of return’ of Palestinian refugees of the war of independence to the lands which they were forced to flee, another major sticking point in the process. However, the fact that Barak even brought this to the table was held against him by Sharon and the nation. Yet there are many more direct ways of exploring the true views of Sharon regarding the Middle East peace process. In 1977, Sharon lead the building of
peace accord, achieved by the late Yitzhak Rabin, prime minister of Israel at the time, and Yasser Arafat. Shouts of ‘The end of Oslo’ could be heard among Sharon’s supporters during the post-election celebrations at his headquarters in Tel Aviv. Finally, we arrive at Sharon’s most recent antagonism towards the Palestinians. On September 28th of last year, Sharon made a public visit to the Temple Mount, a holy site in East Jerusalem for both Muslims and Jews, the
spark that ignited the current violence. However, a false belief that Sharon is the only man capable of bringing peace is not the only reason for his landslide victory over Barak last week. Many Israelis are no longer looking for the kind of peace that Barak would have attempted to provide. They are looking for peace along different lines, if the wish it at all. The current violence, coupled with Arafat and the Palestinians’ refusal to agree to a peace deal even with Barak’s far reaching concessions, has lead many Israelis to the conclusion that a comprehensive peace deal is impossible. The point of this article was not to display Barak as the saintly figure in this entire ordeal. It was merely to paint him as the lesser of two evils. Indeed this is the mentality with which many Israelis voted on September 6th. The only trouble is they accidentally chose the greater evil.
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yorkVision : FEATURES
Issue 126 16th February, 2001
FEATURES Do not trust
find out why on
- page 16
mortality - page
Getting behind the gloss Looking at her reflection in glossy magazines, Victoria Kennedy doesn’t like what she sees LAST WEEK I burnt my copy of Cosmo magazine. And whilst the flames in the fireplace delicately licked the corners of the pages, I will admit I wasn’t very proud of myself. For one thing, it had cost me the best part of three pounds.
For another, my actions were reminiscent of fascist book burning. So what had driven me to such a desperate and, some may even say extreme, course of action? I would describe myself as a happy, well-adjusted 20 year-old (lets try and forget about the burning incident for a moment). I am in a healthy relationship and am content with my life in general, yet whenever I am confronted with stories such as ‘18 Show-off positions to flatter your figure in bed’ or ‘10 ways to spot your boyfriend is cheating on you’ alarm bells start ringing in my head. Are these stories really just harmless forms of entertainment, or do they encourage us to worry about things that were previously only passing thoughts? Nobody wants to discover that their partner is cheating on them or that they are not sexy enough in bed and so is it the role for magazines, which are supposed to promote self-esteem and confidence, to point out things which we could rather go without thinking too much about? But Cosmo is not alone. Every month magazines bombard us with images of how we should look for the opposite sex, the perfect lifestyle we should attain and the ideal relationships we should be having. All these things have an effect, be it large or small, on the way we go about living our lives. A leading title magazine recently ran the headline on its front page ‘Why are you still single? The answer’s on page 58’. Inside the reader was invited to read how ten women had failed to find the right man yet. Whilst the article was interesting and made you think, how many people would have picked the magazine up and wondered if the ‘answers’ really were in there? Too many, maybe. Magazines are, for many, the only place we learn about relationships and sex (Jerry Springer doesn’t really count). And for this reason alone, magazines have a lot more power over the way that we view our relationships than they would have us believe. Lollie Barr, senior feature writer for New Woman magazine, admits that her articles do more than just entertain her readers, “Young women get their information from the media. Our job is to inform as well as to educate.” However she fiercely denies that her magazine may change the way we look at our relationships. “It’s entertainment.” Barr states, “No one is stupid enough to take it too seriously.” When Woolworths recently decided to ban the magazine Mad
About Boys from all its stores, the influence that the media, and most importantly consumer magazines, have over us was called into question. Richard and Judy even devoted a part of This Morning to discussing it. It was when a ten year old boy voiced on the show that what he most looked for in a woman was her ‘sexiness’ that Judy gasped, and the nation gasped with her. But this is not a matter for censorship. We are all adults, and we can make up our own minds about relationships. A point which Katie Agnew, Features editor of Marie Claire defends strongly: “With our anal sex feature, we were determined to cover an issue which has never been openly discussed in the mainstream press before. We weren’t encouraging our readers to try anal sex if they don’t want to (many of them are probably doing it in a steady relationship anyway). “Our average reader is 29. She has probably decided whether or not she’s prepared to engage in this sort of sex long ago. So this feature was certainly supposed to be entertaining and have a certain amount of shock factor but was not meant to encourage or promote anal sex.” She also makes clear that there is a distinction between magazines, “We steer clear of the ‘Cosmo-style’ relationship features – guaranteed orgasm every time, how to marry a millionaire etc. – because these articles are totally aspirational rather than
Magazines bombard us with images of how we should look for the opposite sex, the perfect lifestyle we should attain and the ideal relationships we should be having, and all these things have an effect on the way we live our lives realistic. This is what Cosmo does, Marie Claire does not.” However Andrew Tudor, a sociology tutor at the University argues that it is not actually the revelatory articles that have t h e greatest impact on our lives. “The banal things which are cons t a n t l y repeated i n
each issue of the magazine, like how a man should approach sexual relationships, are more important than the shock-stories. If certain things are taken as a norm in the magazine and those ideas are circulated it changes what we see as ‘natural’.” The truth is that magazines have become integrated into our lives to such an extent that many of our ideas and conversations spring from them. Helen Johnston, Deputy Editor of Cosmopolitan magazine, believes that we now interact with magazines like we would with a human. “I think our readers treat Cosmo rather like a good friend. It is something they turn to for fun and for advice. They enjoy a good gossip with their friends, and Cosmo also provides them with that. They would also seek advice from their friends – about various issues, especially relationships – and they seek advice from Cosmo.” Our manner of finding approval in the way we act and conduct our lifestyle has changed. Whilst before we would have a quiet word with a friend about something that we needed advice on, now we just have larger scope of information to draw from. As Tudor confirms, “It used to be argued that young magazines, like Jackie, would convey the right way for girls to behave and dress…today
people take from them selectively. It is ironic that some people take serious articles comically and others take comical articles seriously. For example with horoscopes, some take them seriously but more half-believe them.” In truth we can choose what we want to put into our brains and then how we act upon it. As Katie Agnew from Marie Claire says, “I don’t believe we ever tell our readers what to do. They’re far too mature and confident to be dictated to.” In the end perhaps we would be far less confused if we adopted the ambivalence that Johnny Aldred, Managing Editor of Loaded magazine has on life: “Loaded doesn’t mind what relationship you’re in. It’s entirely up to you. You do what you like. And that’s really why we don’t do those sort of articles. Who are we to tell you how to have a relationship or even how to tie your shoelaces? What do we know? We’re just a bunch of berks going out having a good time and enjoying everything that life’s got to offer – whether that’s sleeping with anything that moves or becoming a Trappist monk.”
12 FEATURES : yorkVision
16th February, 2001 Issue 126
Death is not the end A burnt-out Alex Watson reflects upon those rock legends who just refuse to fade-away. I LIVE in the past. Musically, this is especially true. My copy of The Beatles’ White Album is a card gate-fold miniaturisation of the original vinyl; I’ve got the 10th anniversary version of the first Stone Roses album.
Pop music may seem like an advocate of total newness, throwing groups into the limelight, then just as quickly dumping them in the bargain bin of creative bloat and blockage, but just like books, films and even games, progress is often a case of one step backward, two steps forward. I’m far from being the only one who lives in the musical past – the record companies have long since recognised and exploited the longstanding emotional connections we have to bands. Simply put, a band splitting up doesn’t need to mean the end of its profitability, or it simply passing away into history. The past is continuously plundered for ideas; cover versions are a staple of the charts, often giving an act its first number one (A1), or providing a comfortable point of contact for an unfamiliar audience (think of Travis’s cover of Hit Me Baby One More Time on their US tour). But for some bands, simply settling down and becoming part of the pop music ecosystem - decomposing into topsoil, providing material to be covered, and leaving just a few staunch fans with old memories isn’t an option. There are some artists who make such an impact, that they seem to grow in critical stature after their demise. We never realise, so the cliche goes, just how good something is, until it’s gone. The Beatles are the best example of this; not that they were ever underappreciated - after all, they were commercially huge - but in the years since their split, all manner of cultural commentators have installed them (and Bob Dylan) as genuine artistic paragons; elevating them to the pantheon of cultural greats. Of course, the main motivation for picking over the past, with box sets, B-sides, live albums, and alternate recordings is not ‘art’; there’s the simple fact is that it pays to carry on after death and/or disbandment. Lots of groups cement their split by clearing the vaults of B-sides, live recordings and alternate versions, compilations, and greatest hits. The Beatles 1 album has only just been knocked off the top of the chart in the US, while the Anthology book was estimated to have netted the best part of half a billion pounds for the remaining members, and the Lennon estate. Carrying on after the demise of a group, or the death of an artist doesn’t just stretch the financial mileage of an extinct entity – although Elvis is the perfect example of a commercial empire unimpeded by mere mortality – in some cases, death is a commercial boost. Rapper Notorious BIG managed to not only inspire a number one tribute single, but followed it up with a full album of his own from beyond the grave. Tupac’s discography continues to grow steadily, while Nirvana’s posthumously released Unplugged album was their first to enter the charts at number one. There’s also of course, often a large helping of Diana-esque sympathy involved with these type of posthumous releases. Elvis again embodies this; commemorative plates and figurines of him, are as a big a business as his CDs, while
surely only in the wake of respect for the dead could so many people accept Puff Daddy’s ‘grief’, his sickly sentimental tribute track for BIG, as genuine. Pop music is intimately bound up with image; not the sick, slick plastic perfection of Britney et al.’s dance routines, but the creation of an ideal that’s more than just the music. More than anything death crystallises
Pop music is intimately bound up with image. Not the sick, slick plastic perfection of Britney et al.’s dance routines, but the creation of an ideal that’s more this. Would Lennon still be the coolest Beatle if he was still living? It’s unlikely that Ringo or George would have swapped places on the pantheon of hipness if Lennon still lived, but Lennon’s tragic death certainly sharpens our memories of his hawkish features, wispy hair and circular glasses. Kurt Cobain is a perfect example of this; his suicide crystallised the image of him as a tortured genius. It retrospectively validated the misery and angst ridden sounds of Nevermind and In Utero; it added much, much more meaning and poignancy to the photos and memories of him.
Not that I am accusing Cobain, or Lennon of being ‘fake’; and this is perhaps what underlies many of the posthumous record releases; a claim being made to the musician’s artistic authenticity and integrity. A claim being made that they were better than the mean commercial round-robin of MTV interviews and TOTP performances, and that only when we’ve all grown up a bit, and got a little wiser, can we really appreciate what we saw. I suppose this ties into a quite fundamental way we deal with the past; and the fear of losing it, or it slipping through our fingers before we’ve figured out what it really was - or is. As I sit typing, I’ve got the La’s playing There She Goes in the background; Lee Mavers shimmering grasp at the forever out-of-reach still sounding as fresh and pure as it did when I first heard it (and even then it was years old).
Interesting to note that the album’s b e e n released in a re-packaged version this week. The sleeve notes mention the La’s predating the Stone Roses as the quintessential British band of the late 80s. And so another band are attempting to enter to pop-music’s ever expanding critical canon of greats. It seems that in pop music, the past is just as much anticipated and fought over as next week’s singles chart. We just can’t seem to let go of the past; as the Neil Young song goes, “Rock and roll is here to stay / It’s better to burn out / Than to fade away... / The King is gone but he’s not forgot-
The Most Bizzare Beyond-the-Grave Antics... favourite morROCKSTARS HAVE some of the more spectacular ‘after-life’ careers. They don’t have a monopoly however. In the world of film, following in the footsteps of Jason Lee (shot dead half-way through filming The Crow but replaced via computer trickery); Oliver Reed is up for BAFTA this year for his role in Gladiator. This despite the fact that a significant part of his ‘on-screen’ time is in fact a digitized replica. Film-makers too have made their own bid for immortality. Walt Disney remains in a cryogenically frozen state, despite the
inconvenience of having lost several of his limbs after a powercut resulted in an enforced partial-defrosting. Meanwhile, despite the mild inconvenience of being dead for over thirty years, the writer Ernest Hemingway last year managed to release a ‘new’ novel (actually a collection of journalism about Africa rearranged ‘as if’ it had been written as a book). Still in the world of literature an intimate of Lord Byron was so upset that, when he was cremated on top of a funeral pyre and his chest cracked open in the heat, the ardent disciple severely burnt his arm grabbing the poet’s steaming heart.
Perhaps the heart was eventually buried, as was Robert the Bruce’s, over two hundred miles distant from the rest of his body. Even this was better than another great warrior, the medieval Spaniard El Cid, who led his army to their greatest victory in battle stone dead but strapped upright in his horse. More miscellaneous bodyparts with the scientist Albert Einstein. Against the express wishes of his family, during his autopsy a sneaky doctor stole the physicist’s brain. Rumour has it that pieces were being sold via the internet.
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If you’ve got the money, from this site you can licence the use of images of dead celebrities. ‘Clients’ include Elvis, Charlie Chaplin, Marilyn Monroe and Humphrey Bogart.
yorkVision : FEATURES
Issue 126 16th February, 2001
Bright lights, big city? London - a land of opportunity for latter-day Dick Whittingtons, or just a smelly city full of Yuppies? Rory Dennis THERE IS one part of the country which has the most deprived council, not enough quality affordable housing and problems with rising violent crime: London. Compare this to the north; Cleveland constabulary reduced ALL crime by 25% within 12 months using zero tolerance, the streets feel safer because the police arrested criminals regardless of race. Housing in the north is a better standard if you compare direct costs, £200,000 in London might stretch to a poky little flat in the right post code, but in the North it would be a 4/5 bedroom house in at least an acre of land where your children can play in safety, not locked in some dingy flat. Why would anyone choose to live in the north? God only knows! I love waking up and gazing upon the snow capped Cleveland hills, knowing that this little gem will be mine forever, who would want to wake and look out of the window to see tower blocks? OK you could commute into London but I think the Spanish
Tom Smithard FIRSTLY, I must promise you that this is not going to be some patronising and stereotypical rant about how the north’s worse coz it’s so much colder than the south. Nor will it mention flat caps or whippets. York’s a lovely city, and although I have no experience of anywhere else in the north, I’m sure it’s all tickety-boo too. However nice the north is, the majority of us, myself included, will end up living in the south. Why? Because we want successful careers with above-average wages, and we want them as soon as we graduate. Unfortunately, it’s a sad fact that these are pretty much unobtainable in the north, although Manchester and Leeds try hard. Outside of tourism and education, York’s biggest employer is Nestle, yet those employed in its headquarters in Croydon, South London, are on average on a far higher wage than those who remain in provincial York, and with far greater prospects of promotion.
There is a spirit of true grit among the people of the north. When we lose another industry we soldier on. But if the stockmarket was to crash, half the stockbrokers would just throw themselves off Canary Warf
London and the south-east oozes authority, quality and sheer damn sexiness. The media is based in London, the record labels and management are all based in London, and all the money is based in London
inquisition would have used this as a form of slow torture, breaking one’s spirit every day. There is a spirit in the people of the north; a kind of true grit when we lose another industry (due to New Labour incompetence) we carry on, new investment brings clean industry to the north, better wages and a sense of renewed purpose. If the stock market was to crash, half the stockbrokers would throw themselves off Canary Warf, not carry on in the face of adversity! Although the irritating cockneys which seem to get everywhere believe themselves to be gods in their chosen profession (just look at Jamie “cockney born and bred - out and out fake” Oliver) it’s the northerners who prove themselves truly talented: Ridley Scott - a true genius born and trained in the north east. He just so happens to be up against a local boy for some awards, Jamie Bell, a talented star who has not changed with this new found stardom. Get someone in Eastenders and they will develop a coke habit and have ‘wild
London and the south-east oozes authority, quality, and sheer damn sexiness. Whilst it’s the north that develops the ‘real’ people and the ‘authentic’ scenes, invariably those purveyors up-and-leave to find their fame and fortune in London. It happened with Oasis, it’s even happening with those who Nigel picked to become ‘Popstars’. It happens because the media’s based in London, the record labels and management are all based in London, and the money’s based in London. It really is a London thing. Until you’ve played the staring game on the Tube you have not lived, my son. Until you’ve almost been run over by a red bus or been hideously overcharged by a black cab you will not possibly be able to comprehend human nature. In London, no one thanks you when you get off a bus (probably the continually most unnerving aspect of my sojourn in York so far), no one dares to make eyecontact in the street, no-one would even consider stopping to give you directions unless you flash a fiver in their face.
child’ prefixed in front of their names by the tabloids within weeks! With a higher concentration of politicians, journalists and lawyers than anywhere else in the country, does it not make sense to escape the sewer, leaving the rats to the rat race? Join me in my northern lifestyle drinking real ale and enjoying a pure stress free existence.
Why? Because Londoners have things to do, places to be. It’s common knowledge that they don’t give a damn about you, and you don’t care about them – and that’s the way it should be. Everyone out for themselves means no false sincerity, no one wasting time introducing themselves to people they’ll never meet again. London may be soulless, but who needs soul when there’s money to be made? Not us.
COMPETITIONS! COMPETITIONS! WIN A YEAR’S SUPPLY OF HEINZ BIG SOUP Vision has teamed up with Heinz to provide one lucky reader with a year’s supply of Big Soup. To win all you have to do is answer the following question...
a) Noxious gases b) Tea-time c) Heinz
The first person to reply with the correct answer will win 52 cans of Heinz Big Soup
To win a CD-sampler from Morcheeba’s latest album, just email us the name of their lead singer!
In association with Beatwax, Vision’s got three goodiebags containing an exclusive t-shirt, soundtrack and poster from the forthcoming brit-flick Born Romantic, starring Jane Horrocks. To win one, just email us the name of the supermarket chain in whose commercials Horrocks appear.
SEND ALL ANSWERS TO: firstname.lastname@example.org ENTRIES MUST BE RECIEVED BY FRIDAY WEEK EIGHT
IF AT all possible do not go anywhere near the lake. However, if one thing leads to another and you find yourself one foot under, here’s how to survive: 1. On contact, wave arms around and shout “Look at me! I’m in the lake!” This may or may not attract help, but it’ll give everyone else a good laugh. 2. Try to lodge your feet on something solid. This is most likely to be an old bicycle or a duck skeleton. Either are fine. 3. Walk to the side: the lake is so shallow, swimming would look ridiculous - like
4. Simply step out. 5. Don’t accidentally drink the ‘water’. You may have read ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’; it’s not chocolate. 6. If you have any symptoms the next morning (aside from a dry throat or headache) go to the Health Centre, who will laugh long and hard.
5. When you no longer need it find some means of indicating to library staff your naive belief that the book has been incorrectly shelved.
possible. The rumours of ‘really nice lunches’ should not fool you. However, if you do plan to go to the ‘dark side’ of the library, make sure you are properly prepared.
2. Once you have reached the library, look around you. Take a bearing from your compass and head due north-east. 3. Find yourself in a muddy building site. Drink some tea.
3. Shout “cranberry sauce”, and “Christmas! Christmas!”
2. Throw a biro at it.
4. If you have any food on you, show it to the goose - then throw it at a passer-by. It will attack him/her, leaving you to flee.
4. Wander around for a further half hour trying to find someone, anyone. 5. See an old blue car buried in the mud. Attack it in frustration with the ice pick, ensuring that you are wearing safety-goggles. 6. Eventually find the place and feel strangely let down. Get the bar nice and muddy before returning home.
FROM C E R U IT N R U F RROW
BORROWING FURNITURE is illegal but, for students living off campus, sometimes necessary; and campus is a veritable treasure-trove of solid and occasionally stylishly minimalist furniture. 1. Wait until nightfall, dress in non-distinctive clothing. To remove large items, you will require a team of at least two people.
4. Hopefully the next morning the book, in appearance like any other, will be unthinkingly processed and placed on the open shelves. Get to it quickly and, although you will not be able to take it out of the library, it is yours for as long as necessary without danger of fines or being booked by another student.
ALCUIN HOW TO FIND DERS IL U B E H T E IT ESP particularly perilous idea and is to be discouraged if at all -DTHIS IS a 1. Obtain waterproofs, compass, flask of tea, a hard hat, some safety goggles and an ice pick.
1. If you see one coming, keep perfectly still. But if it advances...
HOW TO BO
THE BAIN of every student’s life, there are sadly no foolproof techniques by which to con the library’s four-hour loan system. However in emergency situations the following technique may be attempted.
3. After the library has closed, return the book via the overnight-returns slot.
GEESE POSE perhaps the greatest danger of any animal on campus. They are naturally vicious and hate students. Here’s how to escape.
Vision can only take you so far. For survival in the world beyond Alcuin, turn to The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook, by Joshua Piven and David Borgenicht. www.worstcasescenarios.com.
HOW TO EXPLOIT THE LIBRARY RESERVE COLLEC TION
2. Remove the sticker on the spine or the white cover bearing its reserve number. Put a line through the same on the fly-leaf attached to the inside cover.
OFF A GOOSE
...so be prepared. Welcome to Vision’s indispensable, indestructible guide for surviving life’s sudden turns for the worse. Here, top student experts provide illustrated, step-by-step instructions on what you need to know FAST!
swimming in a child’s paddling pool.
1. Take the desired book out after 6pm so that you have it overnight.
HOW TO FEND
IT’S A JUNGLE OUT THERE...
THE LAKE IN L L A F A E IV V R HOW TO SU
6. Deploy one of your team outside the window and begin transferring items through it. Start with small items – you need to build up confidence. Primary targets should be small tables and chairs.
2. Walk casually into the selected area as if you have every right to be there. Check for porters on patrol – they are on the whole lovely people and should not be implicated in your filthy crime.
HOW TO STAGE A
N OVERHEAD WA
4. Make sure the area is empty. If there are nocturnal physicists in a nearby JCR watching Channel Five soft porn, pretend to be drunk.
7. Certain parts of the University have specific items of interest. For example, some colleges boast high-quality sofas that could grace any student livingroom. Such items are bulky and must be handled with great care. If part of a large haul, it would be wise to leave these prizes for last.
5. Go to the nearest window and check for passers-by. It is most useful if the designated area is on the ground floor or greater risks have to be taken.
8. The final touch – many student houses are in constant need of light bulbs. Remove them from the area as one final act of petty mindedness.
HOW TO GE T YOUR SHARE IN A CAMPUS CANTEEN
LK WAY CHASE
ALTHOUGH POTENTIALLY perilous, in suitable conditions (i.e. dry and at night) travelling along the top of the University’s over-head walkways can be both fun and challenging. 1. Carefully choose which area of the campus’s walkways you intend to use according to your own skill level, paying especial attention to how you intend to disembark.
sabres can contribute to the novelty value, while photos or video-camera footage will preserve the memory of your tremendous daring for years to come.
2. Preferably one and certainly no more than two should ever attempt to share the same area of walkway at any one time. Take careful, even paces - running should not be attempted under any conditions. 3. Use of props such as light-
4. Be aware that, as might be expected, campus security take a dim view of such antics. A minute or two on top should be more than enough for the novelty to wear off.
WHEN IT comes to the price-portion ratio, it is a truth universally acknowledged that ‘Campus Fare’ wouldn’t know fairness if it bit them on the nose. Observe the following steps to get what’s rightfully yours. 1. When approaching the canteen lady, look humble. If you are wearing a head piece then tip it as a sign of respect. 2. When making your order observe the golden rule of hesitation. Break the elements that you wish to make up your tasty meal to her slowly, and – crucially one by one. For example, ask for “Chips, please”. Then WAIT (a full portion of chips should be piled onto your plate.) 3. Say “Thankyou”, then decide upon some baked
beans as well. Without flinching she will also give you a full portion of beans. 4. Finally, while taking the plate off of her for what she believes will be the final time, ‘spontaneously’ decide to have some pasta as well. She will have to allocate you the regulation two spoonfuls! (At this point be prepared to block a ladle blow to the head.) 5. Pay for your campus fare happily, knowing that you are departing with value for money.
Obviously we’re joking and yorkVision does not in anyway condone or support vandalism, theft or anything else contrary to the rules of the University and the standards of acceptable behaviour. We disclaim any responsibilty for any injuries or legal action that may result from the use of this information.
16 FEATURES : yorkVision
Beware of the Gap IN THE spring of 2000, Edmund Clay was near to finishing a PhD
according to Edmund, is the disregard Humana shows for its volunteers. He
thesis at University College London. Like many students, he was reluctant to head straight into full-time employment without experiencing a little more of the world.
“Under the pretence of a Marxist-Leninist philosophy, Tvind creates confusion, drills young people and operates ‘development projects’ for its own gain. Compared to the secretive Tvind guru Mogens Peterson, Fidel Castro is a soft-boiled egg”
elled by many others. Humana is not a solitary organisation, but is claimed by
An increasing number of graduates spend some time abroad teaching or in other voluntary work. However, as John Clay reveals, students should take care in choosing the organisation they decide to travel with.
Volunteer work in a foreign country beckoned, and he looked at various options, ruling out each because of the cost or length of commitment. Then he discovered an organisation he had not until then heard of - Humana People to People. Humana is a Danish charity which runs projects overseas, directed towards building up communities and improving standards of living. It has a large number of schools in Denmark and many other countries, which it uses to train ‘Solidarity Workers’, who are then sent out to help in the projects. Edmund went to an introductory meeting and weekend, and was impressed by what he saw. “The teachers were enthusiastic and friendly. We were shown the study program, which seemed quite extensive, including African history and culture, Portuguese, sports and teaching practice.” He left in the summer for Humana’s school at Holsted in Denmark, looking forward to a six-month training period before heading out to Africa. Very quickly, though, his impression of Humana and its operations changed. “I didn’t know what kind of organisation I would be working with,” he says. “I assumed that a charity would be run by honest and decent people.” Edmund is one of the most recent in a long list of people who have had brief involvement with Humana. Many volunteers leave shortly after entering one of the schools, as did Edmund and three of his six companions. Among the reasons given for leaving are poor conditions, unqualified teachers and non-existent resources. Worst of all,
Although few such companies are perhaps so extreme in their dubiousness, a little research into even apparently reputable ones is worthwhile. Some graduates, for example, have signed up to groups which they have only subsequently realised espouse hardline christian idelolo-
radical who withdrew from public life in 1979 and has not officially been seen since. He constructed the ‘Teachers Group’, Tvind’s ruling body, which is composed of several hundred people, mostly Danes, who have worked in Tvind for years. Those who have left this group in recent years claim that Amdi Petersen is still the sole force behind Tvind. Tvind’s interests are vast. It owns 41 schools in Denmark, and many more abroad. It owns a property company, a shipping line, plantations, houses and factories, and its value is reckoned in hundreds of millions of pounds. Renting out its two British schools and several ships between 1984 and 1998 netted Tvind over £11m profit. But what is Tvind? The Dutch politician, Peter van Heemst, describes its operations thus: “Under the pretence of a Marxist-Leninist philosophy, Tvind creates confusion, drills young people and operates ‘development projects’ for its own gain.” He adds, “Compared to Mogens Peterson, the secretive Tvind-guru, Fidel Castro is a soft-boiled egg.”
Peter van Heemst, Dutch politician
The secretive head of ‘Tvind’ Mogens Peterson - no available photograph of him exists post 1979
describes how he and his comrades spent most of their time cleaning and maintaining the school and fundraising on the streets for the organisation itself, despite having paid large sums to join the course. “At one point we were told that because we had not fundraised enough, there was no money for food, even though we had paid all boarding expenses in advance. No one seemed to be responsible.” Humana cares nothing for standards, Edmund says, “as long as the money keeps coming in.” This testimony against Humana, however, falls far short of the accusations lev-
Quick Guide: playing it safe THE EXAMPLE of Humana / Tvind clearly demonstrates that if you’re planning a period of voluntary service or teaching abroad, care needs to be taken in choosing the organisation you decide.
16th February, 2001 Issue 126
gies with which they themselves are uncomfortable. Meanwhile the growing demand among students to participate in overseas schemes, when combined with the way in which the internet has offered any organisation the means to easily (and selectively) present itself, has meant that regulation has never been more difficult. The University’s Career Service offered the following advice to anyone considering applying for an overseas scheme.
many to be part of a far larger group known as ‘Tvind’. Tvind is a large, international organisation composed of many separate bodies spread across the globe, which have been numbered at about eighty. These bodies, similar to Humana People to People, are presented as charitable organisations, and run an unknown number of projects on almost every continent. According to those who have been involved with Tvind, however, the reality is very different. Tvind was founded in 1970 by the Dane Mogens Amdi Petersen, a political
The unscrupulous dealings of which Tvind is accused go far beyond incompetent administration and an obsession with money. And, very slowly, governments are making moves against it. Until fairly recently, Tvind ran two schools in the UK, in Norfolk and the East Riding. In 1990 the Department of Education and Science expressed concerns about the running of these schools. In 1996 a secret investigation by the Charity Commission found evidence of severe financial irregularities in Humana UK LTD’s operations abroad, and forced it to close its British shops.
1. Plan ahead, take time to carry out your research so that you don't feel rushed into making a decision. 2. Find out all that you can about the organisation. Is it possible to talk to someone who has actually worked for them ? 3. Visit the Careers Service. If you want to find out more about a particular organisation then they'll try and help. They have a wide range of reference books, leaflets and brochures on individual opportunities and travel reports completed by York graduates. 4. Make sure that you are clear about the costs and commitment before you sign anything or hand over any money. 5. Find out if will you receive any training or orientation to help you adapt to what may be a completely different environment.
In 1998 a police investigation into allegations of abuse at Tvind’s school at Winestead in Norfolk, which it then used as a private school for special needs children, led to two staff arrests. The school closed shortly afterwards, and is now used by Tvind to train Solidarity Workers. As long ago as 1985, the EU withdrew its funding from Tvind. Norway and Sweden have also since withdrawn funding. Unicef, the United Nations Children’s Fund, has refused to recognise Tvind as a charity. There have even been accusations, investigated by the Danish police, linking Tvind with the Palestinian terrorist group PFLP and the training of mercenaries for an African civil war. Perhaps the most chilling account of Tvind is that given by Steen Thomsen, who left the organisation in 1998 after 21 years in the Teachers Group. He describes an organisation riddled with paranoia, which controls every aspect of its members’ lives, isolates itself from society, and maintains control through fear, intimidation and physical deprivation. And at the head of it all, claims Thomsen, is Amdi Petersen. “He knows everything,” Thomsen says. “He is in charge of all the finances. He does exactly what he wants to. He is charming. He is gruesome.” So why is Tvind still operational? The main reason lies in its organisation. Its opponents claim that Tvind is so vast and complex, with money being funnelled through an immense web of offshore accounts and separate companies, that it is impossible to keep track of their dealings. Months after the British Humana operation was shut down, Tvind resurfaced in the form of Planet Aid UK. E van Middelkoop, addressing the Danish Parliament in 1995, described Tvind as “a work of genius.” Public awareness of Tvind is now growing, however. A website dedicated to informing the public about Tvind has gathered over 100 testimonies from exmembers of the Teachers Group and Solidarity Workers. The Cult Information Centre (CIC) and Family Action Information Resource (FAIR) strongly advise students considering volunteer work to avoid becoming involved with Tvind. Both Liverpool and Hull universities have already banned Tvind publicity from their campuses, and York’s careers service has also recently removed the organisation’s publicity from their shelves. The average student who joins a Tvind program such as Humana, who is interested only in new experiences and helping the Third World, may not realise what he or she is becoming involved in. Does Edmund believe any good work is done in Africa by Tvind’s Solidarity Workers? “Yes, I think so,” he says. “But it is done by the more determined solidarity workers, in spite of Tvind - not because of it.” Humana People-to-People’s official website can be found at www.humanapeopletopeople.org; the main site gathering publicity against Tvind is at www.tvindalert.org.uk.
REPUTABLE WEBSITES for those interested in volunteer work and employment overseas include: www.volunteerinternational.org www.lafetra.org; www.vso.org.uk; www.gap-year.com; www.volunteering.org.uk; www.overseasjobs.com. However even sites such as these cannot guarantee definitive up-to-date information, and care should be taken to also research the background to the organisations they link to.
Issue 126 16th February, 2001
There’s no business like Snow business James Kelly meets JJ72 on the NME Tour as they hit the top 20 to talk Amen, R.E.M and broken legs “OH NO, I’m doing it. Yeah, I’m using this leg now. No s**t. Look at the drum kit downstairs; I’ve spent a day rehearsing with this leg. It’s true – I’ve saved the NME Tour. We got a new drummer in but I can play. Obviously, I’m harder than Amen. I’ve got accidents and all that; say, he cuts himself up during the gig, whilst I get better doing the gig.” Fergal Matthews, drummer of JJ72, comes out all guns blazing. That is, he would if one of his legs wasn’t completely encased in plaster. However, as he says, he’s hard enough and is going to play tonight. Doesn’t it worry him that Amen’s fans may not exactly take to them? “No, not really,” replies Fergal confidently. “First of all, Amen have got no profile over here whatsoever. People listening to them are just hardcore metallers, who have a closed view anyway. “At the end of the day, we can rock more than Amen. We feel that we’re going to rob a few metallers and we’ve no metal fans into us at the moment... it’s mainly indie. So there’s nothing wrong with having every person in music into you.” Fergal appears to suffer no fear concerning Amen; he also appears to care little if he offends them. Such an attack minded style is indicative of how JJ72 play that night. Mark’s voice is in great form and at times he plays like a man possessed. It’s just a shame that he felt the need to have a shower during the interview. Anyway, we’ve got Fergal and he appears to be the one who is quite willing to speak his mind. He believes that JJ72 have come a long way in just a few months; from playing the Cockpit, to playing the significantly larger Met. “You can really see it. We did so many tours of little places all around England. At the end of the day, it’s just playing and playing to get as many people
“I’m not worried about Amen. They’ve got no profile here whatsoever. People listening to them are just hardcore metallers who have a closed view... at the end of the day we rock more than them, and we’re going to rob a few fans from them.”
Fergal Matthews, JJ72
to hear you; it’s the only way you can prove it to as many people as possible. And like, we were never blessed with radio play or anything so we just had to play and play and play.” Generally the music press have thus far been supportive of the band. Do you feel pressurized by this? “Obviously there is pressure there because we’re releasing stuff. We’re asking for pressure. We’re asking for people to judge us. But we don’t feel pressured because whatever we want to do, we can do. And as long as you feel like that, you can do it. “You don’t have to conform to doing anything in particular; just play it the way you want to play it. Just get it under control – I suppose that’s the aim, to play with the rules unlike so many other groups and bands.” There is one stick the Press use to beat JJ72 with. Supposedly, the band shouldn’t
write songs that sound unhappy because they’re too young. Fergal looks just as tired of such a stupid conclusion. “The whole angst thing? It can be annoying but then again, we are young. We’re going to write songs from our own experience of life, which is only twenty years. Some people may think the style of music is a bit mature for our age, but it’s what we like doing.” There is also another charge to which JJ72 have to answer. After the re-release of October Swimmer and now Snow, don’t they think the fans might be getting a little peeved? “Um, yes. At the end of the day it might annoy them,” Fergal answers without much hint of remorse. “But we want to be big and to do that, we have to get more people to hear our songs. And at the moment, we‘ve only got this album out – we haven’t got another album. We haven’t
finished it yet or anything. We’ll start recording it at the end of the summer. About this time next year, it’ll probably be coming out. So we need people to hear this, what’s out at the moment.” Well, what do you think about the tag that you’re leading a new wave of Irish music? “I just think the way we feel about it is that if you want to be a great artist, you can’t involve your country or where you’re from, or you can’t put yourself in a group with other people. You have to be completely elite. If you want to be the best, you can’t have anyone dragging along with you. You want to be a completely individual band.” This would explain Fergal’s answer to the question of who he’d most like to tour with. At this question, he sits up a little, although he can’t obviously move much from his lying position on the couch. His
hand begins moving and a voice of steel is heard. He appears to start lecturing me. “You’re always going to be in it for yourself. So to tour with another band you’re in immediate competition with them I feel. You’re always wanting to be better – ‘we’ll show these bas***ds; we’ll rob all their fans’. So I don’t think I’d like to tour with anyone. But being in a band as a fan, when you’re young, then bands like the Smashing Pumpkins. I’d love to have seen them on the road.” Clearly I’ve been told and Amen warned. Ah, now, we come to an interesting question – can we get Fergal to lay into REM just as Mark Greaney (singer and guitarist) did recently? Fergal, which bands would you most like to physically torture? “Um; no, not REM. I didn’t actually meet him; it was just Mark. He (Michael Stipe) was three or four feet away and he looked an arse-hole. The stuff coming out of his mouth,” grimaces Fergal. “What band? I don’t know. I saw this band the other day on T.V. And it’s like the video is so bad; real huge budget like. It’s so clichéd. Anyway, the name doesn’t matter. I’d really, really like to torture them actually.” Lastly, what are the band’s plans for after the NME Tour? “We’re releasing Snow, going to Europe for a little while, then off to Japan, Australia and New Zealand. We’re going to take three or four months off and then come back for festivals in the summer. I think we’re doing V2001. I’m not sure because we have to start thinking about Europe.” As we leave, Fergal is left lying on a couch, waiting for someone to come and move him. That night’s performance is very strong, with Fergal drumming like a man who doesn’t have one leg in plaster. He can talk the talk, but he can’t walk the walk. That’s left to the rest of the band who manage it with aplomb.
The Sophtware’s Working Fine CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED for Tom Chicken Grandaddy Live @ Leeds Cockpit 5th February their latest album The Sophtware Slump, Grandaddy have gone from strength to strength over the past eighteen months.
Grandaddy - not as old as they look
Combining a transatlantic mixture of Elliott Smith, The Flaming Lips, Mercury Rev and a lot of talented innovation, Grandaddy are one of those few groups surfing the wave of sludge that seemingly haunts the charts at the moment, and doing so with some respectability too. The inexorably long time Grandaddy took to set up and get ready was lessened by the nature film being projected onto the
back of the stage featuring leopards giving birth and frisky mountain goats. On arrival on stage, frontman Jason Lytle jokingly slated the support band; the crowd cheering in genuine approval. As the gig began goats gave way to mesmerising landscape pictures, the occasional bout of thunder and what must have been hundreds of sheep rhythmically hurdling an imaginary fence. The effect was surreal. The band opened with a track off their first album Under the Western Freeway, and continued throughout the evening to combine a hazy mixture of new and old. Jason Lytle, the cute, bearded maestro and mainplayer of the band was in fine form, his soft words purring amidst the sound of technological whirring of the sort you might expect from a tortured fridge. Hewlett's Daughter, Chartsengrafs and others, were sonically and vocally majestic and if one closed one's eyes for
just one second, the sad beauty of their music was instantly gratifying. And yet the introduction to Summer Here Kids as 'I'm not sure whether you'll like this one' enlivened the crowd to a frenetic pace dissimilar to anything else, proving they are capable of out-manoeuvring their stereotype as soft introspective rockers. The evening finished with The Crystal Lake leaving the audience desperate for more and Jason Lytle thanking them almost apologetically. Perhaps the only criticism of the evening was that it left the crowd with an appetite for more. Possibly a sign that there are still better things to come from this instantly recognizable band. Not the most energetic but definitely one of the more intelligent and talented. We wanted to hear more.
16th February, 2001 Issue 126
Go Faster? All Wright Leesa Clarke met Terrorvision singer Tony Wright to find out just why they won’t be turning into Travis TERRORVISION HAVE had a couple of lean years following the success of the mighty Tequila.
I had started to wonder whether they were going to disappear altogether only to reappear every so often on Never Mind the Buzzcocks and in five years time in the “Where are they now?” columns… but have faith! - Bradford’s finest are back. With this tour, single and album they hope to bring themselves kicking and screaming back into the present. I caught up with Tony Wright before the gig at the Sheffield Leadmill, and decided to find out what had gone on. It’s clear that the band have had a lot on their mind; their experiences over the last couple of years have if anything made them more passionate about what they do, and about maintaining their off the wall brand of rock. It transpires that they had fallen out of favour with EMI thanks to the general lack of enthusiasm amongst the suits with rock and guitar bands per se. After Tequila, which was only released by EMI after live on-air persuasion from Zoe Ball, it seemed as if Terrorvision were to drift into obscurity before being dropped. They released Three Wishes which Tony believes was the better song, but noone could get hold of it. Tony reckons, “if that’d got to no. 2 as well they wouldn’t have been able to drop us and they’d already decided”. So the band found themselves without a record company. Tony takes up the story from here. “We rang up labels and said we’re Terrorvision, we’re free of EMI, would you like to hear the demos? And
the really major labels were going, ‘no we’re not signing rock bands, we’re signing A1, Boyzone, Westlife…’ I said we’re not going to do that, that’s not what we’re about. Some suggested (going) a bit middle of the road maybe, so I said you’ve got Travis, you know they’re great at what they do, you don’t need another Travis and I don’t want to be a n o t h e r
‘Rider with me Alex Watson speaks to Daniel Wylie, singer songwritwer with the Cosmic Rough Riders FIBBERS HAS is as far from the sunny bliss and chrome-car cool of the West Coast as you can be.
Seeing the Cosmic Rough Riders, signed to Alan McGee’s Poptones label, play their was a strange experience. They certainly look like a Fibbers band– fringes, jeans and guitars. It’s the sound that’s so utterly different – melody, harmonies, and guitars from 1969. It’s far from contemporary – it’s as if punk, the 80s, and boybands never happened. Speaking to Daniel Wylie, the singer and one half of the creative force behind the Rough Riders, it’s a question that’s begging to be asked : good though it is, isn’t their music just a bit… retro? “That’s a lazy word. It’s classic music. It’s the best type of music in the world. That’s the kind of music I like, that’s what I want to sound like, I don’t want to sound like something I don’t like. It’s called being true to yourself. I grew up listening to the greatest songwriters of all time, and I think I’ve learned something. Taken a bit, added a bit, came up with something that although is perhaps retro sounding, still has some independent identity of its own.” It’s a hard point to argue with; live, their set was a little spoiled by the bass heavy sound of Fibbers, but when the sound is right (as on CD), the Rough Riders float free of all accusations. Retro it may be, but it’s not from laziness or lack of thought – there’s a real energy and dynamism to it. Enjoy The Melodic Sunshine, the
Cosmic Rough Rider’s album that has just been released, is their third album. “We made the first two for nothing! The studio is a community studio, and Stephen [Fleming, who co-writes some of the songs, plays guitar and does backing vocals] was the in-house engineer. We used all the downtime to make the albums. The first album (Deliverance) was already made, I did it as a solo album but Stephen played on most of the tracks. We made Melodic Sunshine on our own as well.” Wylie is obviously someone who values creative control – indeed, if there’s one particular element of Melodic Sunshine that stops it slipping into dull retreading of past sounds, it’s the attention to detail. “There was one guy who said the first two albums were really good, but what that we needed a producer. Same guy heard Melodic Sunshine which Stephen and I produced. He thought the record company spent a load of money and got a producer. It’s just something people like to say. They don’t know what they’re talking about. Producers are for bands who don’t know what they’re doing, or where they’re going, or what they sound like. All they do is take extra points.” One thing is sure: the Cosmic Rough Riders know exactly where they’re going – if people stop worrying about it being retro, about what’s supposed to be cool and what’s ‘in’ this month, and just listened to the blissful perfection of their songs, we really could just enjoy it.
Travis – we’re the only Terrorvision there is so why change?” It is clear that Tony feels very strongly about this, and he has been inspired to stick to his guns and put his heart and soul into the new album. “Why are these blokes who drive round in their Lexuses with Celine Dion nearl y
on full volume deciding what all the kids of Great Britain want to listen to or should listen to? And if they think they should be listening to Westlife and bringing up a bunch of ponces – I’ve got a little lad. I owe it to him, do you know what I mean, to make sure there’s an alternative to that.” After contacting several record companies, Terrorvision were signed by Papillon, set up by one of the original EMI A&R men who originally signed them. They recorded the single D’ya Wanna Go Faster?, which was released last month. I asked Tony about the single. “During Tequila and afterwards we felt that being with that label was like sitting in traffic. So hence we wanted to go faster. We knew the pace that we could work at, but there was no way we would have written that song for the people at EMI anyway. They wouldn’t have
FESTIVAL OF FUN 75 Goodramgate York
known what to do with it.” After hearing the new tracks at the gig, it’s clear that the band have not lost any of their inimitable heavy rock-meetsthe B52’s take on the world. And they certainly haven’t mellowed with age. One big surprise during the gig was hearing Terrorvision play a cover of Keep on Movin’, recently recorded by Five, of all people. It was surprisingly good, and to see lots of ‘serious’ rock fans singing along was pretty amusing (yes, they knew every single word). I asked Tony after the gig why they’d covered it. He commented, ”They did we will rock you, this is us doing we will pop you!”. The new album, out now, is called Good to Go it is produced by new boy Neil McLennan. Tony describes it as their best work to date; inspired by their record company experience, he insists there’s no way Terrorvision will go middle of the road. “No way. After hearing these people say we’re looking for five blokes sat on stools singing love songs to each other… I’m gonna make ‘em regret it.” I hope they do.
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Issue 126 16th February, 2001
Fun? No, Criminal Gareth Walker Loco Fun Lovin’ Criminals (Out 19th February) 'YOU GOT to be crazy' declares Huey in the Fun Lovin' Criminals latest single Loco. On the strength of their latest album of the same name, we can only agree.
The source of the 'Criminals mental deterioration is not explained. The endless boredom of lengthy touring perhaps? Or have the supplies of New York's finest dope dealers been tainted by some sort of extratropic agent? All we can be sure of is that only a band in the grip of serious dementia could have willingly chosen to release an album of such genuinely staggering mediocrity. This is not what we expect from Huey and co., once the reliable purveyors of laid-back, good-time vibes spiced with New York city-street menace. Of course the signs of decline were already there. FLC's last release, a rag-bag
collection of covers, hinted at a band struggling for material. And it seems clear 'the ‘Criminals problem is that faced by all bands of a certain age. They can't hope to capture the exuberant energy of their earlier days, and favour pallid retreads instead. Where King of New York once pimp-rolled with a confident swagger down the alleys of the Big Apple, now Swashbucklin' in Brooklyn sounds like the limping stagger of a drunken park-bench bum. Meanwhile in Half a Block Huey confesses he can't even be bothered to cross the street for salvation - let alone, presumably, make the effort to write a decent song. Efforts at finding a new direction however, fall spectacularly flat. Hence we are subjected to dire heavy-rock (Where The Bums Go) and dubious Jazz-Funk (There Was A Time) amongst others. Just when it seems all is lost, a few songs near the album's close manage to struggle up out of the morass. In particular Underground and She's My Friend, two bitter-sweet ballads rasping with the late-night smoke of a seedy bar-room, hint
with ‘Battle of the Bands’ winners...
Pillow Talk Reviews by: Daniel Cheeseboard (keys) Jonathan Heart-2-Harte (sensitive bass) DIDO Here With Me
Huey isn’t impressed at being offered a pint of Stones at a previously unsuspected emotional sincerity far removed from the bluster of old. In the meantime however we are left with an album not fun, not worth loving, and almost entirely criminal. Don't buy it; tell your friends not to buy it; and if you see a young child reach for it in a record shop, break their wrist - they'll thank you for it one day.
This is not what we expect from Huey and co. an album of
Pixies B-Side themselves Simon Keal
Complete B-Sides The Pixies (Out Now) SINCE THEIR split in 1991, the reputation of The Pixies has risen inexorably.
Their five albums – spanning from 1987’s Come On Pilgrim to Trompe Le Monde in 1991 – sold in relatively small qualities at the time but have since become essential items for a generation raised on the more popular likes of Nirvana. They effectively pioneered Grunge’s quiet/loud blueprint only to split just as it exploded commercially. Though Black Francis – now reincarnated as Frank Black – will never quite attain the iconic status of a Kurt Cobain, his place in musical history is nonetheless assured. This is manifested by the rash of Pixie-product that has proliferated since their demise. 1997’s Death to the Pixies compilation was a fine, if limited, introduction to their oeuvre; the subsequent sessions CD, Pixies at the BBC, was less
Looking black at the Pixies essential. It would be easy to conclude that 4AD are now engaged in mere barrelscraping with the issue of this, a compilation of their b-sides. Yet if there’s any real reason for releasing a compilation of this group’s b-sides other than to squeeze the last remaining drops of cash out of them, it’s that the Pixies were never as successful a singles band as they should have been.
Velouria, for instance, stands as one of the most perfectly realised rock songs ever, and yet on release barely scraped the top 40. This in turn means that its three excellent b-sides remained unheard Of course, where many bands showcased their ‘weirder’ side on a single’s extra tracks, the Pixies were simply weird - and brilliant - anyway. One of the Pixies’ most important
traits is their consistency; scarcely a note is wasted on any of their albums, and if the material here is often familiar it’s simply never weak. The few original tracks – Manta Ray, Into The White – would be the highlight of many lesser bands’ careers, and the assorted live tracks (Vamos, In Heaven), covers (Evil Hearted You, I’ve Been Waiting For You) and re-recordings (A slowed-down Wave of Mutilation, A remixed – and retitled – The Happening) are never less than a delight. If it lacks a truly classic lost moment – something of the calibre of Velouria, say – it’s only because those have already been put to better use on their original albums. It surely says enough already about the Pixies’ brilliance that anyone is bothering to compile a CD of their cast-offs. Since their demise, such rich rewards have been far scarcer – Bassist Kim Deal’s new band The Breeders have been AWOL for some years now. Black, meanwhile, appeared to have lost his touch until the reputed return to form of new album Dog In The Sand. However, it can’t be easy for him to know that his old band’s legacy weighs as heavily as ever. And with good reason; this nonchalantly titled collection is nothing less than the work of masters.
‘Finelines’ between love Alex Watson
Finelines My Vitriol (Out 5 March) FINDING AN ambitious album is easy; finding one that’s been thought out and well constructed, one that echoes with intention and conscious, planned ideas - an album that genuinely works - is slightly harder. Generally though, it’s the first track; with some albums, the first track is a single, or just starts. If that first track is well chosen, it mirrors the intent of everything that follows; think of the Roses (I Wanna Be Adored) and Nirvana (Smells Like Teen Spirit). My Vitriol’s Finelines begins with a broad, brash and aspiring track – an instrumental, wall of feedback, washed in
swathes of shimmering guitars. It’s immediately followed up by the gorgeous Always, full of half hidden harmonies. As the album continues, its clear that there’s no shortage of ambition and musical desire – My Vitriol are definitely quite a thoughtful band. As a debut album, Finelines is remarkably coherent – My Vitriol are very sure of who they are, and what they sound like. All the tracks are printed with their style, full of loud Nirvana-esque guitars and screaming, but tempered with a strange, pre-punk, 60s psychadelia in the washes and waves of the sound; the edge of the guitars often tempered with a melodious chiming effect. Whilst this gives the album coherency, it definitely makes it prey to it all sounding similar. That’s not a bad thing when the quality of the song-writing picks out the individual tracks (and there are some real gems here), but on the occasional lapse, especially mid album,
between the singles Cemented Shoes and Pieces, there’s a real blur between the tracks. Finelines is an album that reaches for the stars; it deftly avoids the pitfalls of grandiosity and pompousness, its rich and well thought out sound preserving a mix
of spiky punky directness and lush, softness. There’s the occasional lapse in My Vitriol’s master plan, but Finelines has enough ambition to compensate.
It’s a fine line between doom and gloom for Som and co.
Heart-2-Harte - Lovely voice, sounds and production on this one....in general, my mother would describe this music as "well crafted pop" Cheeseboard - Bless her. H-2-H - Yes. Cheese - I really liked this too, even though my heavy metal background tells me not to. Peter Gabriel helped write it, which explains a lot. (8/10) H-2-H - Having treated Dido at my world famous skincare clinic, the cover photo shows that my work was not in vain. EVERCLEAR A.M Radio Cheese - The singer is using an "a.m radio" effect on his voice, how appropriate <yawns> Not a bad song but it's that little bit too heavy on the cliches. You'd never catch us doing that. (5/10) H-2-H - "Feel good" rock. That guitar solo was very distressing. (5/10) AEROSMITH Jaded H-2-H - Cheeseboard, stop looking at the naked woman on the front cover. Cheese: Sorry. H-2-H - Classic Aerosmith. Cheese - But without the "Love In An Elevataaa!" hard-edge. H-2-H - They seem to write more and more "Life's great now I'm not on drugs" tunes these days. (6/10) Cheese - I sort of like it though, but I like Aerosmith anyway (6/10) THIRTEEN:13 50 Stories Cheese - I thought this song was rubbish! H-2-H - Didn't really capture me. Cheese - This stuff has been done so many times before, I bet Jirgens (Pillow Talk guitarist and indie lover) will like it. (2/10) H-2-H - I quite like the cover. Cheese - Oh, forget the cover, it was s*!t!! H-2-H - 4/10 because I'm so nice. AT THE DRIVE IN Invalid litter Dept. Cheese - I've heard raving reports about this band...here goes. H-2-H - Hmmm. Cheese - It's not as good as their last single, I heard it on MTV. The distinctive sound is still really prominent. H-2-H - This isn't the style of music I usually listen to. Cheese - Yeah, it's not Val Doonican is it? H-2-H: No. They've got a unique sound. Cheese - I think that going mainstream could be their downfall, enjoy them while they're new - 7/10. What about you Heart-2-Harte? H-2-H - The singer has a slightly whinyAmerican voice, but he is American so I'll let him off. (7/10) H-2-H - I’m off to listen to Dido again.
20 ARTS : yorkVision
16th February, 2001 Issue 126
There’s nothing better than this RaeJean Spears leaves Central Hall humming to the sweet sounds of success UPON DEPARTING Central Hall last Friday night, I couldn’t help but hum the words to ‘If My Friends Could See Me Now.’ Sweet Charity is a tender, funny and
poignant look at the loves, and losses, of the hopelessly romantic Charity Hope Valentine. A ‘dance hall’ hostess (but not the sort to associate herself with ‘extracurriculars’) bent on finding the man of her dreams and escaping the hard life, Charity has nothing but bad luck from the first scene. She has no problem meeting men; the problem, however, rests with keeping them. Although none of this Charity’s fault - she has the misfortune of being the shoe to which men-scum stick. Charity, as played by Fabienne Harford, was wonderful. Harford’s relentless facial and body expressions add a characterisation to the part unmatched by few others in the cast. With an air of flightiness and a gullible sense of humour, she was able to convey to the audience with the raise of an eyebrow or swing of
the arm Charity’s every feeling. Most memorable may be the scene in Vittorio Vidal’s (Eamonn O’Dwyer) closet where Charity mimicked the movements of
‘Big Spender’, with its sarcastic overtones, highlighted their unhappiness and desperation. They work in the ballroom because they have nothing else they can
Complete with legs over the railing and lustful glances towards the audience, they looked part of hardened city girls.
Vidal’s girlfriend, Ursala March (Kate Jazwinski), conveying her jealousy and bad luck once again. The choice to cast Harford in the lead role was a natural one according to director Katy Griffiths: “She did the part perfectly.” It was very helpful of course that Harford had experience living in America, and therefore had no problem staging an accurate accent, but by no means was that the determining factor in her casting. Added Griffiths, “[Fabienne] is just a brilliant actress.” Then again, the rest of the mostly British cast seemed to have no problem sounding like New Yorkers. Occasionally an English vowel sound slipped out, but for the most part it was very impressive. T h e Fandango Ballroom girls were lively and entertaining, especially during ensemble numbers such as ‘Big Spender’. Complete with legs over the railing and lustful glances towards the audience, Leanne Sedin, Fabienne they looked part of Harford and Lucy Lill hardened city girls.
do. This is not for lack of wanting to do something else though. In ‘There’s Gotta Be Something Better Than This’, Charity, along with two of the other girls, Helene (Leanne Sedin) and Nickie (Lucy Hill), scheme about the good life - a life away from the ballroom. Nickie and Helene however, are too trapped to be able to escape, leaving them to sing the initially cold, then sadly jealous, ‘Baby Dream Your Dream’. Sedin and Hill both have
the audience wince. We felt Charity’s utter disappointment at being dumped yet again because Watson was able to make the scene emotionally painful. A fine performance was also turned in by Joe Pugh as Herman, the dance hall boss. Pugh’s quirky sense of humour came across in his character, making him the most laughable in the cast. Although portraying what could be conceived to be an evil man (the girls after all, dubbed him ‘Hitler’), Pugh’s bursts of insanity kept the mood light.
“We are all very pleased. Not only has the show been financially successful but it has also been well received” Katy Griffiths, director beautiful voices. When they harmonized in ‘Baby’, it became all the more poignant. When Charity finally meets the prospect of marriage, and thus escape from the ballroom, she does so in the form of Oscar Lindquist (Robert Watson). Watson was brilliant as the loveable dork. Affable and laughable, Watson’s panic attack in the elevator during their initial encounter was almost too true to life. And his skill at getting across Oscar’s inability to forget about Charity’s questionable past made
This was no more true than during ‘I Love to Cry at Weddings’ when Pugh, along with ‘Solo Tenor’ (Carl Isaac) brought down the house with one of the most rousing musical numbers in the show. Sweet Charity is full of surprising quirkiness all around. Things are constantly happening which defy the expected. A member of the audience said, “The Rhythm of Life scene was odd. Like, why was Mel [Platten] dragged down the slope?” True enough, the scene under the bridge was different to say the least, but
Kate Jazwinski and Eamon O’Dwyer allowed a fine performance to be turned in by Daddy Brubeck (Toby Steedman). He was the personification of a drugged up cult leader, which out of context may not be the best compliment. However, given the circumstances, it certainly is. Sweet Charity was a sweet success. And not just for the audience. The orchestra, as conducted by Jon Hargreaves, was smashing, adding tempo and beat throughout the production and the stage crew were efficient in doing their job, making the show run smoothly. Said Griffiths, “We are all very pleased. Not only has the show been financially successful, considering we started production in a deficit from last year, but it has also been well received by cast and audience members alike. Everyone who has seen it has seemed to enjoy it, thinking it a good evening’s entertainment.”
Gasping out loud with glee Gareth Walker experiences first-hand the genius of Rome THANKS TO the Royal Academy there are currently more masterpieces by Caravaggio, Carracci and their contemporaries in London than ever before. For this alone, The Genius of Rome, 15921623 exhibition richly deserves the press attention it has so far received. Quantity nonewithstanding, it is impossible not to be impressed by the sheer quality of the works assembled. Until now, the church of Sant’Agostino in Rome has been jealously protective of Caravaggio’s beautiful and revolutionary Madonna di Loreto. To be able to step from Piccadilly into the gallery and find oneself confronted with the famously grimy feet of the peasant pilgrims who kneel before the Virgin and child, is an astonishing experience. Similar gasp-out-loud surprises await
the visitor around virtually every corner. Confronted in person, works otherwise infinitely familiar – so often are they to be found in text-books, plastered across posters or adorning shopping-bags – reach out of their frames with fresh life. Wandering through the rooms of the exhibition however, it is impossible not to feel as if something is missing. It is the lack of any sense of the very city in the show’s title which seems conspicuous. The era from which the exhibition draws its inspiration was one when Rome found itself at the very centre of the swinging-hinge between Reformation, Counter-Reformation and the Baroque. These religious, political and social tensions quickly percolated down into the crowded bustle of the Eternal City’s streets; and the exhibition’s featured painters were hardly immune from the everyday pressures of urban life.
Part of the uniqueness of Caravaggio and those who followed his lead was their close observation of daily life – even at its most rough and squalid. So why not have quoted a few of the many lurid cases which came before the Roman courts alongside the paintings full of burlesque card-sharps, fortune sellers and pickpockets? Meanwhile the religious paintings suffer even more for being divorced from Rome’s vibrantly competitive religious culture during the era of their composition. Without these vital touches of local colour the paintings remain beautifully decorated but closed shutters. We need hardly be reminded however, that Rome is a city with an infinite number of stories to tell, and it is unduly harsh to criticize the Academy for choosing to concentrate upon just one of them. In the end the very presence of so many wonderful works so near to hand is, in itself, more
The Cardsharps, c. 1595 The Genius of Rome, 1592-1623 continues at the Royal Academy of Arts until the 16th of April. Entry with an NUS card costs six pounds.
yorkVision : ARTS
Issue 126 16th February, 2001
Nobody’s puppets Ben Petrock
Grand Opera House, York Tickets : 01904 671818
Pull My Strings 2 - 3 February 2001 Devised by Sam Booth & Anna Silman, with Andrew Bradley, Tom Davey, Babita Pohoomull, Jo Godsal THIS WAS the first piece of devised theatre ever to go on at York – and it showed. From a rehearsal period of only two weeks, the final product was dynamic and engaging at all times. Rarely has a cast come across as being
so unified, balanced and clearly enjoying their performance, and a lot of this can be put down to the fact that the whole production was devised from scratch by the directors and cast. “It’s nice to produce something that’s completely organic”, said co-director Anna Silman. “It is made up of elements of the cast – the emotion and feeling come first, and then you think of the words. Whatever you come up with is unique.” For the other director and lead actor Sam Booth, the appeal lay in the freedom devised theatre allows. “It’s like having a blank sheet of paper that you can put anything on. If you don’t like something you can change it. The advantage is that people approach it with an open mind and, working in a team, you can have lots of ideas thrown in.” In this way, to say that the play was
‘The BBC Big Band Tour 2001 Tour’ - February 18 about a group of psychiatrists who try to cure a man of his agoraphobia wouldn’t do it justice. There were so many comic, and at times sad, elements that formed part of this overall thread. Only limited by how far their imaginations could stretch, everything from the sardonically witty to the incredibly bizarre found a place in ‘Pull My Strings’. Where else could Babita Pohoomull portray a descendant of Charlie Chaplin, complete with black hat and black lip, who was tortured by the fact that she didn’t find her ancestor funny? The show has been entered into the National Student Drama Festival in Scarborough and the judges were suitably impressed enough to see the show twice. “The criticism they came back with was very encouraging and well worth the entrance fee. It told us we were going in the right direction”, said Sam. “We are thinking of taking the show to Edinburgh and so it is very worthwhile to have a professional come in and give their opinion.”
Truth uncovered Jayne Rimmer Naked Justice West Yorkshire Playhouse 26th Jan-24th Feb ‘PERVERTING THE Course of Injustice’, is the moral advice that Fred (Leslie Phillips), an aged barrister, gives to one of his fellow colleagues. This motto is the crux of John
Mortimer’s satire on the justice system in Britain. The play focuses upon what would seem a clear cut case: a man is accused of murder, he is found with blood on his fingers and the evidence points to him; he has even confessed to the police that he is the culprit. Yet this man manages to slip through the legal system and returns to society as a free man. Is this a true representation of justice in Britain today? John Mortimer shows the darker side of the legal system as we know it. We are taken into the house of the Judges and given an insight into their personal life and character. Through Fred we learn of the pride involved in jailing the criminals of British society. We see a hard-working and pompous Judge (Nicholas Jones), who appears to take pride in his position, until a college friend (Rupert Frazer), whom he hasn’t seen for years, blackmails him to sway the jury in favour of acquitting the accused. He threatens to reveal that they were once lovers, a prospect deemed far worse than letting a guilty man go free. The trial progresses through the play at a rather slow pace, and the audience is rendered somewhat bored by the lack of action. To be quite honest, you can guess the ending quite easily before you get to the second half.
The set is very modern: a dark grey background reminiscent of a prison cell, the court room and living quarters of the Judges combined into one. We are always reminded that the private lives of the judges are not left behind when they enter the courtroom. The play offers an interesting insight into the internal workings of the justice system; we hear of the prosecution manipulating a witness, but the idea of the judge manipulating a jury is a less obvious one. The dialogue between characters is quite witty, but a few more rehearsals were needed. Many of the actors tripped over their lines, or indeed forgot them, which unfortunately and unwittingly heightened the comedy of the evening. John Mortimer is probably better known for his novels, ‘Rumpole of the Bailey’, which were adapted for television. This play had the air of a television court room drama, the music that accompanied it was modern and reminiscent of a television programme. An insight into the dark side of the legal profession, the concept is provocative rather than compelling and entertaining. It’s a shame theatre doesn’t come with a TV remote.
‘Big Time American Wrestling’ February 22 English Youth Ballet ‘Coppellia’ March 16/17 ‘The Meatloaf Story’ - March 18 ‘La Boheme’ - March 20
Peter Edwards Translucent Exposures Impressions Gallery, York 13 January - 3 March 2001 FOR HUNDREDS of years, artists have been looking for new ways to convey the beauty of natural light. In Annie Halliday’s current exhibition, one can see how an inquiring mind has reconsidered the representation of light in relation to ice, water and glass.
The Impressions Gallery claims that she “returns to the technological origins of photography to re-examine the potential of the photogram.” This she does. A former scientist, Halliday’s cold, detached eye is evident in her images of everyday objects, such as water jugs, Pyrex dishes and a car. She manages, however, to consider these objects through an innovative medium. The photogram is produced as light is reflected and refracted through a light-sensitive surface. This creates “a capillary network of dark lines”, swathed in haunting shadows. In Double 1 and Double 2, we see contorted shapes that could be interpreted as mere patterns of light, but are also suggestive of lined-up bodies. In these incredibly striking images, Halliday is at her best. Unfortunately, in the simplistic photograms of a shower and then of wet footprints, there is very little of note. In the dark is a large glass rectangu-
lar construction containing photograms of a life-sized female body. Her impression has been left briefly, so there is a handprint-like fragility to the image. We can see her figure but then realize the rest of the box is completely empty. This huge work has a powerful impact, forcing one to think about the nature of self, as well as challenging our perceptions of presenting the human body in art. These more thoughtful screens, for example the sprawling Contrapunctus 2, stand on their own, and need neither the empty philosophy of the bathroom scenes nor the pretentious watery music. This springs into life intermittently, disturbing one’s enjoyment of the Gallery in an attempt to create an ethereal atmosphere. It must be said that Halliday’s experiments are very interesting. The fragile detail in each photogram demands lengthy examination. Close up, it is a pleasure to trace the fine lines and shadows that make up each work. She produces so many gradations of colour in her black and white prints that we can really appreciate the texture of the objects portrayed. This collection has much that is original and intriguing. The exhibition fills three rooms of a converted house. With a completely white background and polished wooden floors, this is minimalism to the extreme, and entirely suited to the photograms on display. It is undoubtedly a very attractive setting, with glorious high ceilings, and in the hallway, a beautifully coloured tiled floor pattern that is worth the visit alone.
Wild West meets mysticism Matt Goddard The Sorcerer 15th, 16th & 17th February 7:30pm (Sat matinee 2:30pm) Central Hall THE GILBERT and Sullivan Society bursts back into Central Hall in week six with their main production of 2001; a tale of love... and magic. The Sorcerer is guaranteed to bring a different kind of culture to campus this term. First performed in the Savoy Theatre in 1877, the lesser known light opera contains all the absurd characters and inspired stage situations you would expect from a Gilbert libretto and Sullivan score. The light-hearted musical sees Alexis of the Grenadier guards, enchanted with Aline his betrothed, seek a sorcerer with a love potion so that everyone may feel the way he now does. Of course not everything
runs to plan as cupid’s arrow creates a comedy of errors. Even Alexis comes a cropper. Despite what you might expect, the production is not set in Victorian London but has switched sides of the Atlantic to the Wild West. Trading fogfilled streets and handsome cabs for saloons and shoot-outs, the society ensures that the production will be one to remember. There’s even line-dancing chucked in for good measure. If you want to extend your Valentine vibes and mix them up with some comedy and gun slinging then this is the show for
Tickets: £6- £7 (Conc. £3 - £4) Tickets available from Ticket World, the SU Shop or e-mail socs46
‘Cavalleria Rusticana’ - March 21 ‘Magic’ - March 22 ‘The Reduced Shakespeare Company’ - March 23/24
York Theatre Royal Tickets : 01904 632568 York Light Opera Society presents ‘Annie’ - February 13 - 24 The New Wolsey Theatre presents ‘Sweeney Todd’ - February 28 March 10 ‘Kafka’s Dick’ - March 16
Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall Tickets: 01904 432439 University Jazz Orchestra - February 16 Chamber Music from Vienna February 21 Lieder from Vienna - February 23 Music for Ash Wednesday - February 28
York University Drama Society, email@example.com
‘Romeo and Juliet’ - February 16 -18 ‘All Talk’ - February 23 - 25 ‘Rhinoceros’ - March 2 - 5 ‘Antony and Cleopatra’ - March 10 13
West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds Tickets : 0113 213 7700 ‘Naked Justice’ - January 26 February 24 ‘Mister Heracles’ - February 16/17 ‘Perfect Catch’ Outloud with Ian McMillian - March 8
22 FILMS : yorkVision
16th February, 2001 Issue 126
To thine own self (and OK Computer) be true Anne Hurst Hamlet
Director Michael Almereyda Starring Ethan Hawke, Kyle MacLachlan, Julia Stiles Running Time 123 mins THINK OF Hamlet, and you imagine a bloke talking to a skull, that 'To be, or not to be' speech, and Kenneth Brannagh monopolising the screen for close to four and a half hours. Right? Well Michael Almereyda was obviously fed up of this traditional view, and decided to give the play an overhaul a la Baz Luhrman. Set in a contemporary New York dominated by grey skyscapers and buzzing traffic, with Ethan Hawke portraying an angsty Radiohead-listening student, this version of the play strips all unnecessary dialogue (including, perhaps controversially, the vast majority of the 'To be' speech) to create a simpler, more intense experience for the cinema audience. After the death of his father Hamlet has retreated into a private world where he records his melancholy reflections on film. He strives to remain alone and detatched from his situation, but the apparition of his father's ghost pushes him into a moral whirlpool where familial bonds
and his own personal opinion vie for control of his conscience. Much of the film is shot via CCTV cameras which create a sinister atmosphere of voyeurism and higher powers being in control of the situation. It is very much a struggle of the young generation against their elders, with Jula Stiles' innocent but free-spirited Ophelia clearly aghast but unable to protest at the plan her father, played astonishingly seriously by Bill Murray, has in store to undermine Hamlet. Meshing a well-established tragedy genre with more modern film techniques, director Almereyda attempts to portray convincingly the devastatingly relevant themes of such an ancient text. With passing references to the tradition of Hamlet portrayals, such as Hawke's Hamlet watching a black-and-white version of Olivier's Hamlet holding the skull on his television, Almereyda acknowledges the debt he owes to the past while at the same time attempting to liberate the play from audience expectation. After accidentally killing Ophelia's father, Hamlet's appearance of indifference is finally broken, and we feel the inevitability of revenge at last convincing him that action is necessary to avenge his father's murder. The pace quickens and everything hurtles towards a dramatic conclusion. The bleak ending is beautifully timed and not overly melodramatic, however the epilogue is somewhat let down by its uncanny resemblance to the newsreader's ending of Romeo + Juliet.
Hell to pay
Ultimately however, this does not detract from the overall impression that Hamlet's tragedy has been gently coaxed into the twenty-first century with a new vision of the play in mind.
Sex and the gritty Paul Hirons
Clare Fuller Pay It Forward
Director Mimi Leder Starring Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt Running Time 123 mins BOASTING THREE of Tinseltown's biggest names, director Mimi Leder's Pay It Forward promises to be a cinematic treat. Starring more Oscar nominees than
you'd care to shake a stick at, Spacey's first venture following American Beauty sadly falls somewhat wide of the mark. The plot centres around Osment, who stars as eleven year old Trevor McKinney, son of a trailer trash alcoholic mother (Hunt), living in the deserts of Nevada. Trevor is given an assignment by his badly burned social studies teacher (Spacey) to do something to change the world. His plan has repercussions that noone bargains for. Trevor's idea is to 'pay it forward' - go out of your way to help three people who, instead of paying the favour back, pay it forward to another three people, so the cycle continues. As part of his masterplan Trevor attempts to set up his mother and his schoolteacher, with predictable results. What follows is disjointed, confused
Sexy Beast Director Starring Osment tedium. Whilst the cast cope admirably Osment puts in another top notch performance - even the best acting in the world cannot disguise the patchy, uninteresting script. The sub-plot of a reporter tracing the origins of the emerging pay it forward phenomenon seems an afterthought, crudely tacked on the end. Spacey's performance is subtle but a little too much so; those hoping for some of his American Beauty diversity will be disappointed. This isn't to say that his performance doesn't have some genuinely touching moments - when he first reveals his scarred torso to Hunt's somewhat halfhearted alcoholic, you never forget you’re watching one of cinema's greatest actors. The ending is the strongest point with a twist that even the most hardened cinema-goer shouldn't see coming, and it’s only here where Hunt shines. This seems an odd choice for Spacey, as with even the most unexpected endings King Kevin cannot save a film which, despite all efforts, is a monotonous waste of talent for all concerned.
Jonathan Glazer Ray Winstone, Ben Kingsley Running Time 88 mins
GUY RITCHIE has a lot to answer for. Ever since he wowed the cinema-going public with Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels back in 1998, the British film industry has ground to an imaginative standstill. Saturated to the point of stagnation by a seemingly endless wave of cash-in bandwagon hoppers, British cinema has become synonymous with the phrase 'lowbudget, incompetent gangster flick'. You'll forgive me, then, when I say that I wasn't exactly fainting with excitement at the prospect of reviewing the latest movie in this recent and regrettable tradition: Sexy Beast. Fortunately, Sexy Beast is a pleasant surprise. Far from the flashy visual trickery and overt trendiness usually so characteristic of films of this ilk, Sexy Beast offers an altogether darker and more disturbing cinematic experience. Director Jonathon Glazer permeates the entire movie with a gradually increasing sense of
eerie malevolence and paranoid hysteria; and it is this atmosphere that immediately grabs your attention and keeps you glued to the action. The performances are uniformly excellent. Ben Kingsley in particular is outstanding as psychotic schizophrenic Don Logan, and Ray Winstone never fails to deliver the goods in the central role of Gal, a retired felon forced by the reapparance of an old acquaintance to return to the seedy world of organised crime. Even Ian 'Lovejoy' McShane makes a surprisingly convincing appearance as a sinister crime baron. What lets the movie down is the fact that the audience is ultimately left feeling that they've seen it all before. The hackneyed plot - bad guy trying to go straight is recruited for 'one last job' - has come straight out of the Big Film-Making Book of Clichés, and while the sheer skill and
Saturated by a seemingly endless wave of cash-in bandwagon hoppers, British cinema has become synonymous with
professionalism of all those involved manages to elevate Sexy Beast above the usual Lock Stock wannabes, the gangster theme has become so over-used of late that it's difficult to get excited about even superior examples of the genre. All in all, this isn't a film to go and see if you're after some frivolously entertaining Saturday night popcorn-fodder. If character-driven intensity and gritty performances are your thing, though (and if you can stomach the sight of Ray Winstone in a pair of extremely snug day-glo orange speedos), you could do much, much worse.
yorkVision : FILMS
Issue 126 16th February, 2001
Valentine’s Day descends
Whether we like it or not, Valentine’s Day sends us into a whirlwind of roses and love-hearts - our own Lisa Forrest decided to shake off those Valentine’s day blues by delving into the mysterious and often strange world of movie love THERE IS a world where craggy Michael Douglases and Richard Geres are adored by beauties like Sharon Stone and Julia Roberts; a world where cartoon dogs share romantic bowls of pasta; a world where Celine Dion expresses profound emotions. This is the world of movie love.
Movie love is not totally without variety. You can fall in love quickly (Before Sunrise) or painfully slowly (The Age of Innocence). Movie love may climax joyously (all Meg Ryan films) or it may quietly slip away (Brief Encounter). The US President can enjoy a rock-solid marriage (Independence Day) or can embark on a cautious new relationship (The American President). But in general, there are rules for movie love: one rule says that movie lovers in the eighties will probably find Billy Idol involved (see The Wedding Singer). Perhaps above all, movie love is about spanning social divides, from West Side Story to Edward Scissorhands to Pretty Woman. Even The Little Mermaid is about bridging the divide between sea people and land people through an inter-species marriage. You see, another bonus of movie love is that those who have gills are able to get jiggy with those who do not: cue Daryl Hannah and Tom Hanks in Splash. It seems water in general is a great aphrodisiac for movie lovers - making Kate Winslet’s passion for the foetal Leonardo
It seems that water is a great aphrodisiac for movie lovers - making Kate Winslet’s passion for the foetal
DiCaprio in Titanic a little more understandable. The big boat movie demonstrates a vital process in adapting real life for the purpose of movie love: if your source material is not saucy enough, make something up. A big ship went down and hundreds lost their lives, but wouldn’t it be a lot better if two made-up people got it on in the foreground? The Academy Award voters thought so. Love conquers all, you see, so you’re doing everyone a favour by turning tragic history into romance. Result! To sum up, death is more interesting if it involves love, and it certainly follows that love is more interesting if it involves death. This is probably why City of Angels was allowed to be made. We can’t expect all our movie couples to die, but they can at least come close by living very dangerously: cue Tom Cruise’s fast-car-driving/plane-flying/Vampire-
making career. And if comedy is the intended effect, our romantic heroes can tend towards what I broadly term ‘supernatural freaky stuff’. So Michael J. Fox gets the girl whether he is a time traveller who makes his own mother fancy him (Back to the Future) or a hairy old wolf with fetching basketball skills (Teen Wolf). Superman complicated things by having Lois Lane fall in love with both Clark Kent and his alter-ego, but neither this deception nor the poor imagination demonstrated by his rudimentary skills in disguise, discouraged her from choosing to live happily ever after with this flying alien in a cape. So far we’ve learned that movie love
Love conquers all, you see, so you’re doing everyone a favour by turning tragic history
The power of the pen Natalie Brabin
Director Philip Kaufman Starring Kate Winslet, Geoffrey Rush, Michael Caine, Joaquin Phoenix Running Time 124 mins CENTRED AROUND the final weeks of the life of the lewd literary rebel, the Marquis De Sade, (Rush), Philip Kaufman’s brilliantly directed Quills brings out stunning performances from the star-studded cast.
The drama reconstructs the last 10 years of De Sade’s life. Imprisoned in Charenton Asylum he writes scandalous, sexually explicit stories under the watchful eye of Abbe Coulmier (Phoenix) When laundry maid Madeleine (Winslet) smuggles out his latest work, its publication causes uproar amongst members of the aristocracy and Napoleon decides to call upon the help of Dr RoyerCollard (Caine) to bring a harsher regime to the madhouse. At times it is quite disturbing not through visuals (except the rather ‘interesting’ scene with Maddie’s corpse) but rather through verbal exchanges - and they prove more than powerful enough. Extremely thought-provoking, this is a tale of virtue and vice, horror and comedy, love and shocking erotica, and above all, of the uncrushable spirit of the human spirit. Kaufman does a fine job of loosely
Quills perfectly illustrates the battle of censorship versus free speech, full of complexities and inner-struggles, imagining the final weeks of the notorious writer’s life. However, despite the topic of this film, do not even attempt to pigeon-hole Quills as dusty period biopic as it simply will not fit. A film full of complexities and innerstruggles, the quality performances from experienced actors really bring the characters to life - Geoffrey Rush brings a shabby dignity and faded grandeur to the Marquis. Phoenix’s man of the cloth is a dark and intriguing character and Winslet’s down-to-earth approach shows how the straightforward Madeleine can be seduced by the Marquis’ charisma. Quills perfectly illustrates the battle of censorship versus free speech - it is a thrilling drama with dark humour that will leave you gasping for breath.
is not restricted by class, species or planet, but this isn’t to say there are no obstacles to celluloid romance. In Pretty in Pink, Molly Ringwald’s car is not as big or shiny as Andrew McCarthy’s, so we know their relationship will be rocky. `And in Star Wars, George Lucas snubbed the reams of classical literature openly tackling incest by nipping any Luke-and-Leia-lovin’ in the bud (and, I might add, an opportunity for an interesting film). Nazis are always pesky, as nun/au pair/chanteuse Julie Andrews found to her disadvantage in The Sound of Music, but it all works out and I think the moral is that Fascism is no match for singing passionately on mountains. Comedy adventures put full-blown romance on the back burner throughout: Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn would battle it out to the final scene and then suddenly accept that they must marry at once. With the notable exception of the fantastic Clueless, these days, Hollywood always shows its more dubious colours in the final reel. Take Grease: could a film possibly have more contradictory morals? Olivia Newton-John can be as preppy and prissy as she likes, but she’ll have to become a bona fide whore - black leather, cigarette, stilettos and all - if she wants to fly off into the sky in a cadillac with John Travolta. And all things considered, isn’t that what we all want in the end?
schedule week six - week nine
Sun 18th Feb A Bout de Souffle (Breathless) Mon 19th Feb Dancer in the Dark Thu 22nd Feb Raging Bull
Thu 29th Feb Wonder Boys
Fri 23rd Feb Gone in 60 Seconds
Sun 4th March What Lies Beneath
Sun 25th Feb Chasing Amy
Mon 5th March Memento Thu 8th March Dinosaur
Mon 26th Feb Run Lola Run
Fri 9th March Charlie’s Angels All films are shown at 7.30pm in P/X001
24 WIRED : yorkVision
16th February, 2001 Issue 126
New Nintendo not for squares They made playing cards and they’re responsible for Pokemon. But where next for Nintendo, asks Matt Goddard IN 1993, Nintendo were confident: “Sega and Sony have worldclass 32bit systems. But unfortunately for them we have a world class 64bit System at the same time.” History shows that Sony had something to say about that.
If you wander down any high street now you would be lucky to find an N64 stocked anywhere. However, it hasn’t been as crushed by the PlayStation as it seems. The Sony mean-machine has four times the games, but the N64 is still the fifth best-selling console of all time, has the best controllers and, in Zelda, Mario Kart and Goldeneye, the best games. The N64 is a console which will go down in history, not just for showing the Japanese giant as vulnerable, but also for being the ‘greatest’ failure in gaming history. The N64’s official life ceases in spring. Once upon a time Nintendo were the best with the little grey SNES. Mistakes have been made - but now a new rival is leading the way with a big, black DVD player. To make matters worse, the Playstation was spawned from a CD addon they commissioned Sony to make eight years ago. Oooops! So where now for Nintendo? Sony may look dominant but no great power stays on top for long. The supposedly super-slick promoters have come a cropper with their latest machine and Sega’s Dreamcast isn’t flying off the
shelves. The other big threat, Microsoft’s enigmatic X-Box, is a while away and while the company may have billions behind it, they aren’t renowned for game excellence. Nintendo may not have a bank balance that could cover Third World debt but who needs that when you have the power of Pokemon and the best selling ‘console’ ever, the Gameboy? Ironically the things that keep Nintendo solvent may turn out to be the greatest stumbling block on their journey back to the top. They are seen, especially in Japan, as a kid’s company. Even the awesome violence of Perfect Dark hasn’t altered that. So the future of the Nintendo empire depends on its new flagship console, the GameCube. The name might not grab you, but what console moniker ever did? This time Nintendo aren’t jumping the gun with the running bid remaining at 128bit, and a sensible switch to DVD. Well sort of - it won’t play normal DVDs as Nintendo want it to be a games console, leaving the idea of a ‘home entertainment centre’ to Playstation 2. Nintendo lead the field in controller design, and although their new offering looks like a mutated Sony DualShock, it is definitely the best of the next-generation bunch with the Japanese innovators particularly interested in improving infrared wireless connections. Just imagine the potential of using the new 32bit Gamboy Advance as a controller. I for one h o p e t h a t
Nintendo clamber back into a more respectful position as the innovators they are. It is after, all the choice for real gamers.
The new Nintendo Gamecube and some images from its games
The web of deceit Uber-cheat Gareth Walker looks at the dark side of internet academia
FOR THOSE who find themselves too busy to actually write their essays, the natural first-stop are the many websites offering ‘termpapers’ for sale.
The most comprehensive are researchassistance.com, schoolsucks.com and essayfinder.com. The latter alone promises a searchable database of nearly 25,000 essays. The main problem is that most of these essays were designed for big dumb Yank jocks and not the more discerning, if lazy, Englishman. This bias dramatically undermines the usefulness of such sites. Essays for science-related subjects tend to be impossible to find anyway, as topics prove so specific that even a loose match between a current assignment and what’s available is nigh-impossible to find. Meanwhile essays relating to History, Social Sciences and Politics are so crammed full of American examples that you may as well take a sandwich-board to your next tutorial with the words ‘I’m A Cheat And
I’m Not Even Good At That’. English and Philosophy fare a little better thanks to the more universal nature of their subject matter - essays about Shakespeare are ten-a-penny. Again, it’s no good expecting an essay you can just download, printout and hand in - all would require at least some scissors-and-paste tailoring. Meanwhile prices tend to be rather steep, averaging eight dollars a page, although the majority of sites do take major credit cards and will email them direct to you. Two examples of the rarer sites which offer a collected body of essays where you don’t actually have to pay to receive the goods are essaydepot.com and cyberessays.com. Again only humanities students need bother checking it out and, even for them, the standard is often no better than a GCSE level essay: only useful if you need to cut-and-paste an introduction or need a very quick and basic seminar presentation. For those prepared to put in the effort, there’s always the hope that somewhere in the vast world of cyberspace someone actually wrote an essay relevant to you and then stuck it on the web - as indeed mediocre academics at obscure American colleges seem to have a tendency to do. Miracles shouldn’t be expected, but if you’re especially fortunate you might stumble across a couple of pages vaguely related to your topic where - again wielding the mighty
cut-and-paste - something passable can just about be stitched together. All this is rather hit-and-miss of course; and with even a mildly attentive tutor there’s always the danger that a strayAmericanism could land you in hot water. Safer ground is to be found at sparknotes. com - a genuine life-saver, even if it is as conducive to a sensitive and searching appreciation of your course as a crackcocaine habit. While not pretending to offer students quick fixes or complete essays, the site offers a vast and wellresearched database of notes on every conceivable topic. For once there is something for science students in the shape of helpfully-concise definitions of individual topics and terminology ideal for avoiding seminar-tangles. Meanwhile English students who think it unlikely that they’ll get through the entirety of Henry V in the fifteen minutes until their seminar, will find scene-by-scene breakdowns and character sketches ample to their needs. All that remains to be said is that Vision in no way endorses cheating among the uniformly conscientious students of York. Not because we wouldn’t if we could but simply because it’s actually rather difficult and we’re chicken enough to know that if we ever seriously tried it we’d only get caught.
yorkVision : BOOKS
Issue 126 16th February, 2001
BOOKS The write to be published Ben Wiseman reveals the main steps to getting yourself published YORK ARTS students are often accused of being lazy. Science students point to the fact that they have hardly any lectures; far too much time on their hands, and during the winter don't have to wake up until after its become dark again.
English and history students are particularly vulnerable to this criticism. Although in the first year the respective departments operate on a ‘treat them mean, keep them keen’ regime of four hours a week, by the second year the exhausted students are let off the leash and their attendance is required for only two hours every seven days. So how do they fill the remaining 166 hours in their diaries? Well, many of them turn to acting or music, a few actually read their course texts, whilst some actually write new books, for future generations of students not to read. No doubt many of these works are masterpieces in their own right, however they will often lie unread in a desk draw for years. Vision wants to end this needless squandering of creative talent and give some advice to budding authors.
The first thing to do of course is to write your manuscript. Ideally, it should be typed on computer, doublespaced and with immaculate grammar making it easier to read. Some will, no doubt, say that Dickens, the Brontë Sisters, and Mary Shelley didn't type their work, so why should I? The answer is simply that they all had perfect copperplate handwriting, and you probably don't. Also, you're bound to be asked to make some changes. This is one of the irritating things about publishing that despite the fact that your first draft will often be the freshest and most original version, the publisher will probably demand lots of changes and even a few re-writes. Stephen King often re-writes a book at least fifty times before it is finished in his eyes. Interestingly, and completely contradicting the last point, all of these versions are done by hand, although he is allowed to do this because he's famous. Finally, when you have your finished
The baby’s called
manuscript don't lose half of it at Reading railway station as T.E. Lawrence did with Seven Pillars of Wisdom. Now comes the hard part, getting it accepted by a publisher. The traditional
Better than life Kasia Brzozowska
Gareth Davies Emotionally Weird Kate Atkinson £6.99(Black Swan)
Dessing Up for the Carnival Carol Shields £6.99 (Fourth Estate)
HAVING BEEN asked to write a book review, I have decided to revisit Emotionally Weird, which has just come out in paperback. Last issue, I was ranting on about the
SHIELDS’ NOVEL is extremely easy to read and impossible to put down, even if it is a collection of short stories.
dire state of the modern novel. Atkinson’s latest offering is the perfect case-study. I did have high expectations of Emotionally Weird, despite being highly skeptical about books with "By the author of" written on the front cover. The unconvincingly melodramatic conversation between two women spawns the tale that takes up most of the novel; the story of Effie, an English student, and her voyage of self-discovery. Meanwhile, we get to read fragments of Effie's dreadful novel-in-progress, along with the scribbling of her literary peers. This novel is a layer of voices, where past, present and fiction collide. All of this voices use different fonts; of course - we wouldn't want the audience getting confused now would we? If only Faulkner had been so user friendly... I didn't like this novel, but I didn't hate it either. I was interested by the layers of narrative, although it has been done many times before. It did bring forth some interesting ideas, such as how real life experience is turned into fiction, as well as raising some low-key but vaguely interesting questions about realism, strictly for the theory-anoraks.
manner is to send the manuscript off to as many publishers as possible and hope that they all beat a path to your door offering huge advances and a nationwide publicity tour. Don't be disheartened if a few publishers turn you down, all authors have this experience and then have the opportunity to gloat when they meet the same publishers at literary parties years later. Six publishers rejected The Wasp Factory by Ian Banks before Macmillan accepted it (it now sells 25,000 copies a year). If you're really stuck it's worthwhile to send off a short story instead. Publishers are incredibly busy and have vast amounts to read, if they have to slog through the equivalent of A La Recherche Du Temps Perdu they're likely to get bored and stop reading before the story gets going. With a sizzling plot
But there is nothing original here. Emotionally Weird is so trendy it hurts. The setting is straight out of Withnail and I, and we've all heard the jokes before, but somehow Atkinson's Frankenstein has an odd appeal to it. But overall, I felt that Emotionally Weird touches the surface but reveals no hidden depth. This was the main problem with the novel - light and frothy, occasionally evoking a sniff of laughter or a raised eyebrow, this novel is like heavily boiled cabbage; flavorless, colourless, and light. The image of people reading this book, expecting to extract some deepermeaning out of it sends shivers down my spine and you just know that people will. The middle-class intelligentsia will adore every page. This is a truly modern novel, a vague conveyance of general apathy and poppsychology. Bring back Promethean Fire!
The compilation is a sophisticated cocktail of unusual and sensitive stories, simply, about people. She tells a story about a mother's search for her daughter's perfect scarf; or about an aged nudist couple; or about one woman's sexual maturing. The plots differ from strangely obscure, like that of a couple whose lives come to a halt because of the Meteorologists’ strike, to disturbingly realistic, like the story discussing the human relationship with keys. Shields’ novel varies noticeably in its subject matter; however her poignant prose as well as her acute emotional perception prevents her stories from becoming a disjointed mass of observations. Her plots surprise the most expectant while her graceful prose moves and seduces even the most reserved; at times it is the detailed characterisation which seduces the reader's sensitivities, sometimes it is the simple and innocent twists in the plot, sometimes it is the beautifully controlled and elegant language. These stories encapsulate the complexity of the human condition, discuss the mesmerising quality of existence and capture the beauty and importance of each moment.
and interesting characters you are far less likely to get rejected. It is also worth remembering to try all publishers, not just the big houses. Little publishers are, paradoxically, more likely to take risks; The Celestial Prophecy by James Redfield was self-published, and was so successful that it went through five reprints in the first month and ended up selling over a million copies. If all else fails you could try an Internet publisher who will put your book on-line, although this is, so far, an untried and unprofitable medium. Once your book has been accepted, expect people to scribble, "stet" (remove) all over your book, and cut out what appear to be vital passages. You will be suitably annoyed but having banked your £10,000 - £150,000 advance you will be able to overcome your anger. Expect a publicity blitz, lots of interviews, a few bitchy articles in the newspapers, a high minded review in the Times Literary Supplement complaining about the decline in young English novelists, and finally a glamorous launch party at The Met Bar. Congratulations, you are now an author and your work is set down in print for all time. A copy will be sent to the
BLACKWELL’S Book of the month
However, this book might not appeal to everyone. Written by a woman, Dressing Up for the Carnival falls into the trap of speaking women’s language and appealing strictly to women; most of the stories, whether or not dealing with love, are written from the female perspective. I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to any woman. However, I think because of its lyrical style, it can be enjoyed by anyone. Shields describes the unique emotions and thoughts, sometimes even the most simple and obscure of feelings, which frequently hide in the shady area of our subconscious; she brings them into the foreground, questions them and I think this is why her stories are so touching and successful. This book is like a little present; slightly small and surprising by its size but in the end a perfect gem.
White Teeth by Zadie Smith
Referred to as ‘the most talked about fictional debut of recent years’ , White Teeth tells the story of three cultures, three families, three generations and one brown mouse. A hilarious idiosyncratic novel.
BLACKWELL’S PRICE £5.25
UNIVERSITY BOOKSHOP, UNIVERSITY OF YORK, HESLINGTON, YORK, Y010 5DU (TEL: 01904 432715)
26 SPORT: yorkVision in association with
College Sport Round-up
16th February, 2001 Issue 126
City Watch Peter Dandy
YORK CITY face a relegation dogfight if their dire run of form doesn’t end soon - the trap door to the Conference is beckoning with fellow strugglers Carlisle’s win over Kidderminster. York’s precarious position in the depths of the third division table has understandably led to unrest amongst fans, some of the Bootham Crescent faithful calling for the removal of beleaguered manager Terry Dolan. Prior to their win Carlisle looked a sure bet to go down, rooted to the bottom of the table and showing relegation form. However their recent results have improved and York’s worsened, they are
Pld 3 Pts 4
4 Pld 4 3 Pts 15 18.5 17
3 3 3 12 13.5 22
Pld 3 Pts 1
Pld 2 Pts 3
Pld 2 Pts 3
Football 1sts Pld 1
Football 2nds Pld 3
Mixed Hockey Pld 3
Pld 4 Pts 3
Pld 4 Pts 15
Pld 3 Pts 13
GOODRICKE ARE in an unaccustomed second place as Vanbrugh have seized control of the contest.
After builing up a seven point lead by the end of last term, an unprecedented fifth title in succession had begun to look a formality. But Vanbrugh have built upon the efforts that took them into second position and now lead the way with 54.5 points to Goodricke’s 50.5. Consistency is clearly the key with Vanbrugh lying in the top three for all but four sports as well as setting the pace in another four. Large scores in the high point-banking sports such as Pool, Darts and Badminton have also been vital in
asserting the college’s dominance. With sports like the Football 1sts having barely got underway, though, the situation is by no means a secure one. Who would bet against Goodricke showing strength at the finish to power into top spot? At the other end of the table Langwith are still struggling while Alcuin have responded well, moving above James, Derwent and Langwith into fourth position. Wentworth have consolidated their third place by establishing a six point lead over James, but things are not looking so rosy for Derwent. These results are compiled from the college sport result booklet. If there are any mistakes or omissions, please contact the college sports rep.
now closing the small gap at the foot of the table. This puts them within points of York and the Cumbrian’s have a game in hand, ominously they also have a superior goal difference to the Minstermen. Exeter’s recent poor performances, on a par with City’s, may see the attempt to avoid Conference football narrowed down to just two teams, the crucial clash between the twosides at Bootham Crescent on the 17th February will probably decide who is relegated from the Football League. With York losing two games to a waterlogged pitch they also have games in hand, which may come in very handy in the later stages of the season, however points on the board are always preferable. City’s biggest concerns have to be their awful home record; to stay up they
will have to win their home games, especially against relegation candidates, but perhaps even more of a headache to Dolan is his team’s lack of goals. City have scored only once in nine games, largely because their top scorer David McNiven has hit a barren spell over the last couple of months. Any doubts over where the goals will come from in the next fixtures are reaffirmed by the return of on loan striker Chris Iwelumo to Stoke City. Throughout the season Dolan has repeatedly switched the personnel up front in an attempt to find a regular scorer. This looks set to continue especially with the closest York has to a goal scoring talisman Kevin Hulme ruled out for the rest of the season due to a serious knee injury.
Putting the go back into karting Richard Eager went to the Karting Club and had the drive of his life...
WHEN YOU try and think of the athletic union societies you’d be forgiven for not immediately recollecting the Karting Club. This is an unjustified response, since
you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who has not felt the urge to jump into a car and race around a track at speeds of up to 80mph. Every Wednesday, come rain or more rain (as of late), these dedicated racers will be found honing their skills at the Formula One Racing track at Monks Cross. The club is “very enthusiastic” according to the club’s Marketing Secretary Alex Withington. This enthusiasm will be much needed in the coming months as they embark on an Inter-University competition, organised by Cardiff University, which will take them across the length and breadth of the entire country.
Teamwork and cooperation will This competition will not just be fun and games, there will be plenty of hard work involved. There are five rounds to be held in Gosport, Miton Keynes, Wilton Mill, Clay Pigeon and Senington respectively. All the courses are good racing tracks and, to emphasise this, the round to be held at Clay Pigeon is an old stomping ground for the youngest British Formula One driver Jenson Button. The eventual winner will be the team who has the best four rounds, with the worst being discounted. Two of the five rounds will be what are termed ‘sprint’ races where each driver represents himself in a race to the finish. The other three are ‘endurance’ races where the whole team race as a single entity. These races are much longer and can last anything upto three hours. Teamwork and cooperation will consequently be essential but Alex does not see this as a problem saying “We are a good team and are willing to work together”. The team finished 17th last year and a finish equal to and above this is what the team is aiming for. With a bit of luck and some good driving maybe the Karting club can attract that lucrative sponsorhip deal they are currently seeking. This is a good time to be a part of one of the most exciting sports on campus.
Which one’s Schumacher?
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Issue 126 16th February, 2001
IS Roses just an unnecessary intrusion into the sporting and academic calender, or a great opportunity to thrash some Lancastrian ass (and find new ‘playmate’ material)? To those of you who have not experienced a Roses weekend may I offer you a brief summary of what happens. You turn up, sleep on a lecture floor, play your game, go out in the evening, and then go home, or at least that’s what Lancaster will be doing since they’re coming east. However as with so many great British events there is much more to it than this. It is an indication of how good the weekend is that those in the know turn up before their game, often a day early to soak up the atmosphere, locate the beer tent and get the best space in the sleeping areas. The competition starts on the Friday, although some games are played beforehand, with those players being the luckiest since they now have the warm glow inside from having played for their university and therefore can justify their “10 pints, 4 double vodka red-bulls and then I said to the policeman........... after which I found this seriously tasty Lancastrian bird and improved her sleeping arrangements.” However most of the sport is played on the Saturday with a few hangovers, but generally more competitive spirit than is found in your average BUSA game, as a consequence the standard is higher than you may otherwise expect. Also if you’re
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by Sam Streatfeild lucky enough to be playing on 22 Acres then you may find yourself playing in front of a crowd that York City haven’t seen since the late great Russell Winters. If it’s good weather, and last year’s was amazing, then Saturday is one of the best days of the summer, it rates up there with going to York races and the Rugby Club barbeque. The noise created during the rugby and football games is incredible, as is the sportsmanship afterwards between both the players and the supporters. Everyone rises to the occasion, if you’ve had a good BUSA season then it’s a great way to end it, if you’ve had a bad one then it’s a must win game and it’s a fantastic start to a Summer sport’s season. This year we’re at home, we’ve been told it’s going to be bigger and better than ever, history dictates that the home team should win, but in sport things rarely go to plan. So keep the Roses weekend free in your diary, if you’re a player it may well be the biggest game of the year, i f you’re a spectator have your kit on just in case the urge grabs you and there’s a call for a player in a sport you used to play. B u t remember the Saturday evening is a great way to improve York/Lancaster relations and a better way to make sure that you can have a chuckle at the poor unfortunates who have to play on the Sunday.
A fat Colombian
The usually serene Gareth Owens was angered by Observer Sport Monthly’s 100 most memorable sporting moments... THE USUALLY excellent Observer Sport Monthly recently chose its 100 most memorable sporting moments. Ian Botham’s 1981 heroics at Headingley topped a list which no doubt divided drunkards up and down Britain. Obviously, such a venture is entirely subjective, but this particular effort is insidious in its misunderstanding of a sporting ‘moment’.
Quibbling over the order in which they appear is pointless, and within the 100 are all the obvious choices. But many of the inclusions miss the point: this is a list which can’t be populist enough. The ‘moments’ which have defined the progress of sport are those in which it transcends its own audience. Gazza weeping in 1991 and Steve Redgrave’s fifth Olympic gold deserve their inclusions as
they exploded sporting actions into the public arena. Unfortunately, there are many other entries that simply don’t cut it. An over-reliance on football includes ten lone goals, Kevin Keegan’s TV tantrum and Rene Higuita’s scorpion save. A fat Colombian doing a good trick does not a
A fat Colombian doing a good trick does not a ‘great’ moment make. Some have complained that certain entries, such as Ayrton Senna’s death (No 26) are not sporting moments as such,
when in fact they are vital. Senna’s tragedy changed Formula 1 by bringing into sharp focus the dangers braved by drivers in the name of sporting glory. The same applies for the fourteen round trauma of Ali’s Manila fight with Joe Frazier. But where the list succeeds in this respect, it also fails. Muhammad Ali dodging the Vietnam draft was a political action totally removed from the sporting world. The same applies for Jesse Owens’ Berlin triumph: a historically great moment, but not sportingly so. And was the 1982 Twickenham streaker (No 71) a moment of any kind? Any article which provokes intelligent discussion is worthwhile. But too much of this list is designed to appeal to anal Statto’s. Where is Stuart Pearce, screaming at Wembley in 1996? Or Frank Bruno being devastated by Mike Tyson? As someone said to me in the pub last night.....
University Football 1st XI Are On
Sam Macrory AFTER A run of results that even Bradford City would laugh at, the University 1st XI football team has finally turned their season around in incredible style, with a fine run of three consecutive victories, the first time the 1st XI has achieved this in three years.
Robert Wilkinson, the Captain of the 1st XI, is understandably delighted with the change of fortunes. With the fear of being one of the least successful captains in recent years, Wilkinson can now stand proud, knowing that his team are now fulfilling their potential and achieving real success. Though on paper the results during the autumn term look awful, they perhaps do not tell the full story. In three or four games the team held 2-0 leads, only to be pegged back. Against a particularly strong Durham side, for example, York led 1-0 until the very last minute when the opposition scrambled an equaliser. Wilkinson was keen to stress that the team became so desperate for that elusive first win that heads would drop with any mistakes, and morale was at an all time low. Week in, week out, players would turn out good solid performances only to be rewarded with yet another defeat or draw, and soon confidence was at a big low. Wilkinson singles out goalkeeper Jimmy Arnold in this category. Arnold’s performances were consistently at a very high standard, yet still he would find himself
on a losing team. The 4-3 defeat to Manchester Metropolitan was perhaps the lowest point for the team. Playing against 10 men for over 70 minutes, the team saw a golden opportunity to win that elusive first game disappear, as they lost 4-3. However, all of this is now in the past. Individual performances have stepped up
“The team has benefitted from an inlux of first year talent who have been crucial in the team’s a level, the team has gelled, and confidence is soaring. Wilkinson singles out the first of the triumvirate of victories, a 4-3 win over Leeds TASC as crucial: “Almost immediately after the game you could sense a change in attitude. Suddenly there were no more glum faces around and everyone was really up for just playing foot-
ball, looking forward to every game”. He singles out a number of players for special mention. “The change of form in Phil Darby has been spectacular. He wasn’t on top form earlier in the season but now has 11 goals in 4 games, including 4 goals against TASC. He has been phenomenal”. Darby’s striking partner Dan Thorn has also been on fine form recently, while the midfield of Dave Wisbey, John Decaux, Alan Mcdonaugh and Rhauri Nolan have been instrumental in the recent victories. Wilkinson adds: “The team has benefite d from a n
influx of talented
first years who have been crucial in the team’s development. It is hugely significant to get hold of a solid keeper, and Jimmy Arnold has been brilliant. Our wing-backs Simon Anthony and Craig Bufton have also excelled in the team”. The late-development of Ed Senneck as a useful forward player has also added another dimension to the team’s attack. Results after the TASC game have continued to impress. A 3-0 win over UMIST, the teams first clean sheet of the season, was followed by what was perhaps the team’s best
result of the season, a 4-2 win over Sunderland, a result the team carved out despite falling 2-0 behind, a clear sign of the teams growing confidence and desire. The Football Club is now an exciting and vibrant place to be – a team with no success to its name has turned into a very successful and in-form team. Lets hope the run of victories continues and this 1st XI can go on to achieve greater things.
Sport Banned Vision
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As Vanbrugh’s Jon Grainge has received college sport’s first ever ban, Sam Macrory asks whether it’s time there were official referees in college fixtures COLLEGE SPORT is in shock after the decision to ban Vanbrugh JCR’s Vice Chair, Jon Grainge, after an incident in a recent First XI football match between fierce rivals Vanbrugh and Langwith. This is the first time
- e x c l u s i v e -
“I feel that the ban is fair and it should serve as a deterrent against violence
in at least five years that the committee of college sport representatives has decided to hand out such a ban. The game between the two colleges was a typically heated affair, both teams having a history of aggressive encounters against each other. The referee, Andy Mossop, of Langwith College, admitted that the game was a full blooded affair and many heated ‘discussions’ had taken place. Following a challenge by Langwith’s Mark Legg on Vanbrugh’s Zac, Grainge is alleged to have run in and struck a punch behind Legg’s left ear. Mossop and the two captains, Langwith’s John Decaux and Vanbrugh’s Ed Senneck confessed that they didn’t see Legg’s challenge on Zac, a tackle which Legg himself labelled “far from great”, but it is believed that the challenge was late and Grainge raced to the defence of his team-
mate. The referee did see the ensuing scuffle between Legg and Grainge, and sent the Vanbrugh player off. In the subsequent meeting of the sports reps, it was proposed that Grainge should receive a three match ban and the vote fell 10-2 in favour. Normally a sending off would result in just a one match ban, but the severity of the incident led the committee to re-write the rules of suspension. In making the decision, several reports were taken into consideration, including one from Decaux and one from touchline spectator Dawn Williams, who believed that Andy Mossop did not assert himself in the match and that further action would be unfair. Grainge’s position was considered thoroughly. He is in his final year, no-one can dispute his dedication to college sport and his contribution
Team, and he says that I still have a chance to make the team but it will be based on what they saw of me at the first trial. I’m not too optimistic” . Director of Physical Recreation Colin Smith, in answer to the Seahorn case, countered:“We have just recently spent £60 on restocking the first aid kits in both the main centre and the new pavilion, all of our staff are fully first aid trained, and we have a dedicated treatment room.” He continued by outlining some of the difficulties that face the Sports Centre: “One of our biggest problems is with ice packs, which often aren’t returned after being lent out to injured players, this means we are forced to use ice in bags.
Strict health and safety laws actually restrict the amount of treatment we are allowed to give and the first aid equipment we are allowed to stock.” The Sports Centre is required to refer many students to the University Medical Service or even Hospital, to avoid breaching any regulations. Both Owen Rodd and Colin Smith stressed their commitment to ensuring that all Sport at York is played in as safe and comfortable an atmosphere as possible. However it is the nature of modern sport that injuries do occasionally occur, and whilst immediate care can be given in the Sports Centre, more detailed examinations should be carried out by those with full medical training.
to the recent revival in Vanbrugh’s fortunes. Vanbrugh captain Ed Senneck, offered a fair and level headed opinion of the situation: “Jon was in the wrong, as I’m sure he would be first to concede. I feel that the ban is fair and it should serve as a deterrent against violence in college sport”. Grainge himself is apologetic, but feels that he has been unfairly singled out. In a personal statement to Vision he wrote: “ I do regret this incident in particular, but I also have some resentments in the way the aftermath was handled. I accept the ban but am not pleased with its severity. In a way I feel I have been made a scapegoat for a common problem. Whatever my reputation may be, I have never been more than a competitor, despite what other certain individuals may portray”. The decision to ban Grainge has also led to questions being posed regarding the role of the referee in college sport. In such matches the referee is merely a member of one of the competing colleges, and has no official qualifications whatsoever. The committee raised the question that perhaps the time had come for trained referees to be used. Two options were considered. Firstly sponsorship for real referees, whereby a pool of referees to officiate over games would be paid around £550 per term to referee all the college fixtures. The other possibility is for the AU to pay for the qualification of current students to become referees. Whatever the decision, the Grainge incident clearly shows that action has to be taken, both to eradicate such violence in college games, and also to ensue a fair hearing and decision are taken in the aftermath.
Questions raised over Sports Centre Ben Wiseman THE FIRST aid provision at the Sports Centre has been called into question in the light of several recent minor incidents.
Students have complained that when they went to the first aid room for help there were insufficient supplies and they did not receive the assistance they felt they needed. First Aid is the responsibility of the Sports Centre, however as the first point of call for many sports issues, the AU has been approached. AU President, Owen Rodd said “A student spoke to me regarding the treatment of an injury a friend of
hers received.The Sports Centre reassured me that they had recently fully restocked the first aid room and had a full compliment of supplies.” Crystal Seahorn, featured in the last issue of Vision due to her involvement in the national student basketball trials contacted Vision when her dream of qualifying for the national squad lay in tatters after a fall at the Sports Centre. She stated that the Sports Centre “did not even have ice or tubigrip available to help me when I got hurt. They say that they are working on it but the way things stand at the moment, it’s a pretty dangerous situation”. Crystal injured her ankle badly and said: “I rang the coach of the Universities
“The Sports Centre did not even have ice available when I got hurt. They say they are working on it,
16th February, 2001 Issue 126