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30th May 2001 Issue 129
The three candidates for Selby interviewed
University of Yolk Photo: Tom Smithard
Vision catches John Grogan immediately after the attack -and below Frank Young with Tory candidate Michael Mitchell
A YORK first year has been slammed by politicians, University staff and students alike after a political stunt last Tuesday went horribly wrong. Frank Young, a Langwith student of Social Policy and Social Work, and Campus Conservatives Vice-Chair, has expressed his “Deep regret” after egging John Grogan, the Labour MP for the University, who is currently seeking re-election. According to Young, who has previously hit the headlines after demanding the Tories legalise cannabis at their Easter Conference, his motivations for the attack were fair. “Grogan is part of the Labour party which introduced tuition fees, meaning that many who can’t now afford higher education can not now attend university. Grogan lied to students – in 1997 he said he would oppose tuition fees, and then voted for them a few months later.” The action backfired somewhat, however. The plan for the evening had been for several members of the Campus Conservatives to egg Grogan together, after help in planning the attack from Labour Students moles and members of the SU. By the time the Egging Collective had found Grogan in Derwent Bar at 10:30pm, only Young remained courageous enough to make the attack. However, instead of throwing the egg at Grogan from a distance, Young, in the heat of the moment, slammed it onto Grogan’s head. After appearing slightly dazed, Grogan was led off by supporters whilst Young was detained by the Derwent porter. Grogan recovered quickly however. The next day he stated to Vision “I’m coming back tonight – in fact I’ve scheduled an extra four visits to the University which I see as a key area in the Selby constituency.” When asked on his opinions of Frank Young and the Campus Conservatives Grogan was more impassioned. “Frank highlights the extreme behaviour of the Tory party as it is. His extreme actions reveal the Tory’s extreme policies, such as the privatisation of universities. I’ve had a word with Michael Mitchell [the Tory candidate in Selby] and asked him to talk to the Campus Tories, and maybe even get Frank to pay my dry-cleaning bill.” On Young’s accusation that Grogan lied to students at the last election he was more circumspect, but did state that he thought “Frank has done a service to this election – hopefully students will now scrutinise the party manifestos and realise that Labour provide the best option.” After the incident, Young was forced to meet with Langwith Provost, Ron Clayton. Clayton told Vision that he had talked to Young and that “Frank and I agree that his actions were regrettable, and he has agreed to apologise for them. I don’t intend to punish him further. I wish he hadn’t protested as he did on University premises – I’m not in favour of such types of political discussions – but I am in favour of Frank utilising his right to pro-
test.” Others are not so forgiving. Rory Palmer, Internal Secretary of York Labour Students, does not believe his actions were justified. “Frank was not making a political point – his actions were intolerant thuggery. The Labour Party won’t be pursuing the matter, but only because we don’t want to give Frank the satisfaction.” As to whether Grogan lied to students over his support of tuition fees, Rory circumvents the question. “What John said last election occurred before I came to this University. Everything I have heard about the matter is from third parties. All I know is that John has definitely stated he will oppose top-up fees if they are ever debated, and was one of the first MPs to sign an Early Day Motion as to that effect.” Nick Toms, Chairman of the Campus Conservatives, is quick to distance the party from the actions of Young. “I don’t think his actions were defendable but his motives are. Some of the more closedminded members of campus may see this as the Tories up to their old tricks again, but most people will see this incident for what it is – just someone really angry and expressing that anger.” There has however been a new twist to the story. In a letter to Vision, Adam Hadley, the SU’s LGB Officer reveals that he was asked specifically by Frank Young not to egg Baroness Young when she arrives on campus later in the year, as reported in Vision last issue. He stated: “I feel this is double standards and feel personaly insulted… At least I can honestly say that I will not be attacking Baroness Young with anything other than my intellect.” Young’s response, to say the least, is unconventional. “I did ask Adam not to egg Baroness Young but I don’t believe this is double standards. This was not a physical attack but a political point. I took
“Grogan has to understand the anger and frustration of students who feel betrayed” Frank Young
a risk for my principles. Adam also has to decide if he wants to take that risk.” Commenting on the situation, Ben Youdan, SU President, recognises Young’s legitimate right to protest, but refuses to condemn Grogan’s perceived deception. “The Union has sent a large number of letters out following the introduction of tuition fees and continually lobbied Grogan to the point that this year his election pledge directly rules top-up fees.” As to the involvement of SU officers in the planning of the egging, including one high-profile future sabbatical officer, Youdan is clear: “It is important that this action does not reflect upon the Union. If future officers were involved it is important they think about the implications on their working relationship with potentially the SU’s MP next year.” Young himself is apologetic about his actions. “I don’t think egging is a violent protest – it goes back thousands of years and is a recognised eccentric form of British protest. At the same time though I am sorry to John for what I did. He has to understand the anger and frustration of students but this spilt over into inappropriate behaviour.” Letters to the Editor, Comment, p6 The candidates interviewed, Politics, p9
COMMENT 6 POLITICS 8 MEDIA 11 LIFESTYLE 12 FEATURES 14 MUSIC 20 WIRED 25 FILMS 26 ARTS 30 BOOKS 32 SPORT 34
2 : NEWS yorkVision
May 30th 2001
News in Brief
CHAIN REACTION CYCLISTS TOOK to the streets of York during rush hour on Friday 25th May to protest against traffic pollution, with a number of York students joining the demonstration. The protest began at around 5pm from Tower Gardens and continued along a route incorporating York's four main bridges. The event was publicised under the banner of a "critical mass bicycle ride" and aimed to highlight environmental issues by frustrating rush hour traffic. Dan Cox, a second year Electronics student, who participated in the protest told Vision: "We weren't obstructing traffic, we were the traffic. By creating a critical mass on the roads the traffic had to yield to us. Although cycle routes are generally quite good in York I'd like to see even more of the City pedestrianised to encourage people to get out of their cars."
Scott Sue Shock! In a Vision exclusive Ryan Sabey reports on the fall-out with DJ Scott Mills from the Roses AU Ball three weeks ago YORK UNIVERSITY’S Athletic Union are withholding payment to a top radio disc jockey following a dispute over contracts. Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills, 27, played a 90 minute set on Saturday, Week 2, at the ‘Roses Ball’, the highlight of the a weekend of sporting fixtures between the York and Lancaster Universities. York’s AU President Owen Rodd believes Mills did not adhere to the contract that stipulated that Mills play a ‘90 minute DJ set’. Mills was booked through Mission Control management who also have Radio 1 DJ Mark Goodier and pop
“During his performance the record desk did not get touched. There certainly wasn’t any mixing”
AU President Owen Rodd
Scott Mills: Apparently not York’s favourite DJ acts The Vengaboys and Atomic Kitten on their books. The SU often use the company for Freshers’ Bash and the Grad Ball. Rodd told Vision that negotiations are ongoing between the SU and Mills’ management company. “He simply did not comply to the contract we had signed,” said the AU President.
York Dr 007
Rodd also has resolute proof that he did not do a DJ set. “During his performance the record desk did not get touched. There certainly wasn’t any mixing.” Mills even admitted on the night that he was not sticking to his ‘DJ set’ by telling the 1,200 capacity audience: “Don’t tell the other DJs at Radio 1 that I’m play-
ing Cher’s ‘Shoop Shoop Song’” The sum involved is in the region of £1,600. It is thought that Mills was paid £800 as a deposit and the rest would be paid once Mills had stuck to the terms and regulations of the contract. Other members of the Roses committee had personal gripes about Scott Mills’ performance on the night. One senior member of the committee told Vision: “We were particularly concerned on the night about Mr Mills’ whereabouts. We did not have any contact with him on the day until two of his friends arrived twenty minutes before Mills to tell us he was on his way,” said the committee member. Mills brought three friends with him, which had not been brought to the attention of the Roses committee beforehand. One of the friends was the producer of Mills’ Radio 1 early breakfast show. Charlie Kisby, who DJ’s at Club Derwent told Vision “I saw his set and was far from impressed, it wasn’t anything special or different to what you would hear at a Club Derwent and we only get free pizza and a can of coke, not a couple of grand. Nor did he play the new S Club Seven song anywhere near enough and I don’t recall much Wham or Tiffany” Other members of the University were particularly aggrieved with Mills’ aftershow performance. It is alleged that Mills called the University’s Women’s Netball Teams ‘boring’ on his show, the following Monday morning.
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JOHN BARRY, who has composed music for 12 of the 19 James Bond films, is to receive an honorary Doctorate this July from the University of York. Born and raised in York, the famous composer, now living in New York, will return home to attend the graduation ceremony and receive the doctorate from Professor Nicola LeFanu of the University's Music department. Speaking recently, University ViceChancellor, Professor Ron Cooke praised the York Composer: "Each year the University seeks to honour amongst its honoury graduates at least one distinguished person with strong local links. We're delighted that John Barry has agreed to accept an honorary degree from the University of York." Recently citizens of York and members of the City council have nominated Mr Barry for the Freedom of the City of York. This has still to be submitted to the ruling Executive, though may well be decided by the time the composer arrives in mid July. While growing up in York, Mr Barry’s parents turned out to be the major influence on his future career direction his mother was a classical pianist, and his father owned a chain of movie theatres. As he grew up, he developed his musical talents and his love of films. He claims that he always wanted to be a film composer. Nearly forty years after Mr Barry's association with ‘Her Majesty’s Secret service’ began, the authorship of the most famous theme tune in film history is still under some dispute. Both Barry and Monty Norman (Dr No composer) have asserted the ownership, but after a chequered legal history, the original film’s scorer currently holds the rights. Despite this, Mr Barry surely has what must be the longest running history with any franchise. It is easy to forget that John Barry has also scored such classic and Oscar winning films as Dances with
Halifax Court which is currently experiencing a few rifts between its residents Paul Cosby
John Barry: international man of emminence sans crocodile outfit Wolves and Midnight Cowboy. It seems the University has managed to combine fame and performance with home-grown talent at this years ceremony. At last the composer is receiving acclaim in his home town just as he has gone on to such international emminence in the last threee decades. In recent years the summer graduation ceremonies have seen honary degrees bestowed on several prominent figures including BBC head honcho Greg Dyke and another Bond franchise star Dame Judi Dench.
A HALIFAX Court student has referred his residential situation to a solicitor and threatened further legal action in an attempt to force the University to be "More accountable to the students placed in its accommodation." The dispute is part of an ongoing disagreement within Halifax Court. Anil Biltoo claims that the University has not dealt with issues of noise and hygiene generated by his fellow residents in a satisfactory manner. Biltoo, a third year research student, has thus far withheld his residence fees for this term on the grounds that the University has failed to act in satisfactory procedural manner to remedy a number of his complaints. Biltoo feels that his work has suffered as a result of the of the "State of affairs that has arisen" and claims that his residence has an atmosphere that is "Far from conducive either to relaxation or to concentration.The University just expects me to put up, pay up and shut up" Although Security has been called to the house on several occasions, no evi-
dence has been found to support Biltoo's claims of breaches of University regulations by his housemates. Dr Mark Evans, Dean of Halifax Court, has been unable to intervene in the situation "Due to a lack of verifiable evidence" to support the allegations of Anil Biltoo. Despite the best efforts of Dr Evans to reconcile the dispute, including house meetings, Biltoo has arranged for a solicitor's letter to be sent to the University concerning his complaints. Anil Biltoo has been offered alternative accommodation by the University but has remained in his residence in Halifax Court. He claims that the contract he signed when agreeing to live in Halifax court was a "Reciprocal understanding; when a student signs an acknowledgement of regulations he or she has the right to expect that the University will honour its obligations." Dr Evans has reiterated that there is no substantive evidence to support the complainant. "Research students residing in Halifax Court have to be communally minded as it is not the perfect environment for completing thesis work."
yorkVision - THE UNIVERSITY OF YORK’S INDEPENDENT STUDENT NEWSPAPER Editor: Tom Smithard Deputy Editors: Adam Curran, Matt Goddard firstname.lastname@example.org Managing Editor: Becca Smith Acting Advertising Manager: Adelise Ashdown email@example.com Web Editor: Jonathan Carr Deputy Web Editor: Matthew Pettitt firstname.lastname@example.org Special Projects Director: Alex Cooley email@example.com Acting News Editor: Tim Dean Deputy News Editors: Paul Cosby, Tom Hazeldine Politics Editor: Chris Cermak Deputy Politics Editors: Ayeesha Bhutta, Amanda Hamilton Lifestyle Editor: Danny Goldup Deputy Lifestyle Editor: Naomi Jackson Features Editor: Adrian Butler Deputy Features Editors: Laura Hamilton, Anne Hurst Music Editor: Simon Keal Deputy Music Editors: James Kelly, Isobel Todd Arts Editor: RaeJean Spears Deputy Arts Editor: Frances Lecky Films Editors: Natalie Brabin, Lisa Forrest Deputy Films Editor: Paul Hirons Wired Editor: Triston Attridge Books Editor: Kasia Brzozowska Deputy Books Editor: Post Open Sports Editor: Sam Macrory Deputy Sports Editor: Gareth Owens Photo Editor: Sam Dudin Deputy Photo Editor: Tom White Artist: Steve Pewter Vision, Grimston House, University of York, York YO10 5DD. Tel / Fax: 01904 43 3720 Email: [section]@vision.york.ac.uk 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
May 30th 2001 yorkVision
NEWS : 3
Uni rent rip off. Again
It’s for sure. The University has just confirmed their will be differential rents next year for all students in all colleges. Tim Dean reports DIFFERENTIAL RENTS are to be introduced by the next academic year for all colleges on campus. Until now only residents of Halifax Court payed a different amount for their rooms. From October students will see the introduction of four different levels of accommodation on campus, each with varying price lists. The levels have been labelled as Standard, (Goodricke C block), Standard plus, (Langwith, Vanbrugh, Derwent and Goodricke A & B blocks), En-suite (James and Alcuin) and UPP En-suite (Wentworth and Halifax Court). A room in a UPP college will set back next year’s freshers £60 per week, compared to £42 for a standard
“I hope this doesn’t mean the end of the collegiate system, but Andy McDonald is a businessman and that is where his priorities lie”
Ben Youdan SU President
Photos: Paul Cosby
Goodricke C block, at the bottom of the pile room. The cost of rooms will be no more than 10% apart between each level of accommodation. SU President Ben Youdan is more than aware of the affects that this could have for students and the University “The diversity at York is already absolutely shocking and differential rates will not help matters. We realise that this means that a lot of students are going to be forced to pay more rent than they can afford and
James with its en-suite rooms will set you back a few bob
it is something that we are very worried about. We did stress our objections to the University, which were registered, but UPP was snuck in through the back door.” Youdan argues that the University has used the cost of the new UPP rooms, being built for Wentworth and Halifax Court, as their reasoning for introducing differential rents. The University has said that as the new rooms would cost £60 per week, if the flat rate was to continue for all of
campus, then all rooms would have to cost £60. Potential problems could exist if students are placed in accommodation that they can not afford, but have to live their due to the cheaper rooms being full. This is an issue that Derwent Chair Nick Besley can see happening. “The University should concentrate on providing affordable accommodation for all students, rather than unloading its financial problems on to
us. Steps need to be taken to avoid ghettoising colleges.” With the introduction of differential rents comes the ever increasing prospect that York’s collegiate system will also start to disintegrate. A major factor in the college system is the new role of Halifax Court. Next year it will officially become a college and will soon house more than three thousand students, compared to Vanbrugh with five hundred. This will increase the probability that the disparity between the colleges will continue to grow. Emma Powell, Vanbrugh JCR Chair, told Vision “I don’t agree with differential rates, it will only help to create a class system and more snobbery. It will really ruin the college system, especially college sport. You will just be friends with someone because of their parents wages. The diversity that does exist now will probably all but evaporate.” Jo Radford, Alcuin JCR Chair, was equally afraid of this happening “I’m against differential rents, it will go completely against the college system and create segregation. People in the future when they say what college they are from will automatically be labelled. It is sad that it will all mean an end to the college system.” Youdan points the finger of blame firmly on the shoulders of Andy Macdonald, the Director of Facilities Management. “I hope this doesn’t mean the end of the collegiate system, but Andy Macdonald is a businessman and that is where his priorities lie.”
Show me the money SU supermarket shelved
Photo: Paul Cosby
UYCS filming ‘Any Day Now’ last term Matt Goddard UYCS, YORK’S Cinematography society has just beaten off four other societies to land a grant from the National Lottery of just over £4,000. The money from the ‘National Lottery Awards for All’ scheme comes on the eve of the premiere of their new feature film Any Day Now due at the end of Week 6. Last term the society gained another £4,000 grant from the Foundation for the Sports and the Arts. This enabled the media society to buy equipment such as their own camera, an item they previously had to rent, and rapidly accelerate their production schedule. The two grants follow on from the most enthusiastic intake of freshers the society had ever seen at the beginning of this year. This latest award has enabled them to buy their own editing suite, a fact they hope will encourage the University to give them their own office space and elevate them to a higher media profile on campus. UYCS chair, Tom Dowler was ecstatic about the further grant: “This is fantastic. Hopefully it will make the University and SU take us more seriously.” Dowler continued, “It sounds as though we have beaten some other societies at this University to the money, and that can only prove we have a lot to offer students.”
UYCS’s latest offering had to be edited using YSTV’s equipment, but their new purchase will allow a lot more flexibility in future productions. Certainly ADN has had a few problems in its gestation period, which would have been avoided if they had possessed their own editing equipment early. The chance of future technical hitches are now greatly reduced. The forthcoming premiere will take place in Derwent College this coming Friday June 1. Filming took place last term all across campus and the City itself. It is notably more advanced and ambitious than the society’s first film Week Zero shot two years ago and this is a trend the UYCS committee can only see continuing. The producers in particular cannot wait to unleash Any Day Now onto the public. Entrance to the lavish premiere of Any Day Now, a tale of “Death, Desire and Dildos” will cost 50p including music, drinks promotions and what will surely be the biggest single film event at the University for years. Dowler concluded “The whole society has come together for this, particularly the inexhaustible social secs. We’re pleased with the results and I’m confident all students will be too.”
MIXED FORTUNES have been experienced by the Students' Union in its bid for space within the new retail outlet, currently under construction behind Vanbrugh College. The SU failed to secure control of the largest area in the retail centre, after the University rejected six bids in favour of a Costcutter franchise. However, the SU have won the tender for a smaller store concentrating on selling basic goods such as confectionery, tobacco and newspapers. According to SU Services Officer, Bruno Araujo, who was responsible for the SU's bid: "The new shop is by far and away an improvement on what we have at the moment. It will allow us to expand our range of products, possibly even into video hire. We can improve our profits and the shopping experience for students. I am very pleased, as we could have ended up with nothing." Failure to win any place within the new centre could have led to a severe reduction in the SU's revenue at a time when they are already facing a potential budget deficit of around £600,000. Bruno Araujo did express some disappointment in losing out on the larger convenience store: "We could have expanded our commercial operations beyond recognition and become a serious player on campus. We had projected a very high turnover. The shop is crucial to our overall
"The shop is by far and away an improvement on what we have at the moment. It will allow us to expand our range of products, even into video hire.”
SU Services Officer
The soon-to-be retail outlet, which will be finished by October budget, and we will be in negotiation with the University to ensure that both new shops can be successful.” "We will have to make the best out of the situation, as usual. It will take two or three years at least for the shop to fulfil its potential. We are expanding our commercial activity, and should become a little less dependent on the University's block grant." The SU had been refused preferential treatment in the bidding war, as it was accepted by both sides that the Union had to compete on a level playing field because it was a commercial enterprise. The new retail centre, at a total cost of around £4 million, is being funded through a partnership scheme between the University and property developers Helmsley Securities. With the involvement of outside developers, the University had to look for maximum returns.
Glen Dewsbury, Facilities Liaison Officer, praised the conduct of the SU in the competitive tendering process: "We were very impressed with their presentation. The SU is still squarely involved in commercial activities on campus. This is not an agenda that should change." It is not the first time that plans for student-run enterprises have ended in some disappointment. Hopes for a central bar and venue have now been reduced to plans for a general amenities building in Goodricke. Glen Dewsbury emphasised that discussions concerning the bar and venue project are ongoing: "We are considering a number of other possible venues to meet SU aspirations. There are still a broader range of options open to us."
4 : NEWS yorkVision
May 30th 2001
Have you Heard...
Tim Dean Hey mate,what are you doing tonight? Fancy joining us in traditional summer style and throwing a couple of shrimps and sausages on the barbie? That sounds cool, but alas some people at this University seem to be doing a good impression of Scrooge and stopping all the fun. BBQ’s have been banned. What on earth? It’s not as if we are performing nuclear tests in the lake! But think of all the Health and Safety. I mean, come on, it’s not as if we are adults, we need to be patronised. Why yes! Now it all becomes clear, I came to University to be treated like a child... It’s all a bit of a shame really, as just this morning I was thinking about taking a quick dip in the lake, then catching a Duck, killing it, roasting it on my BBQ, playing my stereo past the ridiculously late hour of twelve a.m. and then going for a bit of a boogey in Central Hall... Well it is a good job you spoke to me first, as without being a party pooper, everything you just said has some sort of ban on it What, well I’m going to have to cycle over to the quiet place quickly and tell my friends Eeeerrr... Your kidding me! Well you’ll be ok, just as long as you stay off the walkways. Unbeliveable! What next, limited numbers of toilet rolls?! Well it is funny that you should mention that, as Halifax Court had to face just such a predicament last term. Is this the University’s idea of toilet humour? I don’t know about that, but the BBQ ban has suddenly happened after some bright sparks, apparently in Goodricke, decided to have one inside when it started to rain. You don’t have to be Mystic Meg to see where this is going... Needless to say, there was lots of smoke, bells ringing and quite a few men with big hoses So now just because one bloke, whose IQ is blatantly no bigger than the number of burgers he was cooking, we all have to suffer. Affraid so, porter’s have even been given memos about the ban What next, no central bar & venue...
University Summer Balls are running into controversy over their publicity and sponsorship. Matt Goddard reports
AS THE summer event table takes over the University, controversy has hit two of the main events, Goodricke's York Ball and the Students’ Union’s Grad Ball. Goodricke's annual 400 capacity event has hit problems over it's promotional material. One idea for flyers resembling call cards had to be shelved when the SU's Liberation Committee deemed them too tasteless. Around 160 of the postcard shaped flyers were printed before, as an after thought the JCRC thought it wise to pass them by the SU, even though they were intended entirely as a joke. The Vice Chairs of the college, including one of the SU's Press and Publicity Officers, James McLintock, took examples to the Students’ Union's Education and Welfare Officer, Lizzie Tate to see if they were appropriate and they were then passed on to the YUSU Liberation Officers. Goodricke JCRC Chair Tom Connor was frustrated by the decision: "I think there are a few people around here who need to get a sense of humour. Every college on campus competes to promote their events in an original way as possible." The publicity was apparently deemed offensive in view of the the growing concern that some students around the country are turning to prostitution to fund their time at University. This has come to light as close to home as Leeds. The Students’ Union organised Grad Ball has also courted controversy recently, this time over potential sponsorship. At the last AGM concern was raised over the possibility of Nestle connecting itself with the event. The ‘Nestle-issue” resurfaces constantly in the pollitical affairs of the
An example of York Ball’s P&P,which were banned from campus
Physics students to have no substance Ross Fitzgerald THE RISING stock of York’s Department of Physics received another boost recently when two teams of York undergraduates won a rare opportunity to experience weightlessness. The European Space Agency invited students from across Europe to submit ideas for experiments requiring conditions of weightlessness, with the best to be carried out by the students themselves on parabolic flights, which simulate the experience of zero-gravity. Of the 30 proposals approved by the ESA, four came from teams of students at British universities - meaning that half of the British contingent to take the flights will be from York. One team, consisting of Neil Melville, John Howe, Tony Wilkinson and David
In July all eight physicists will climb aboard an Airbus 300 aircraft to endure the extreme physical demands required by parabolic flight. The plane will climb at an angle of 45 degrees immediately after take off and then drop 8,000 feet at a speed which will temporarily offset the pull of gravity
Waterman, will examine the effects of micro-gravity on crystallisation. The other, made up of Sieglinde Pfaendler, Paul Blair, John Birkett and Andrew Fox, will instead spend the flight studying surfactants, which are the materials used in detergents. This second experiment has also been selected to be conducted in space. As a result the effect of zero gravity on the active ingredients in hair conditioner will also be studied on the unmanned Russian ‘Foton’ satellite in 2002. And to think there are still people who question the value of the space programme. In July all eight physicists will climb aboard an Airbus 300 aircraft to endure the extreme physical demands required by parabolic flight. The plane will climb at an angle of 45 degrees immediately after take off and then drop 8,000 feet at a speed which will temporarily offset the pull of gravity. After 20 seconds of weightlessness during which the passengers will be conducting their respective experiments, the plane will hopefully pull up sharply subjecting the passengers to exaggerated G-forces. The process will be repeated 30 times in three hours before the end of the flight. Given the endurance required the team members have to undergo medical checks to make sure that they are physically up to the process. These £200 tests are not covered by the ESA and the students are currently looking for sponsorship to cover these costs. Tony Wilkinson told Vision “I’m a bit nervous about it all, the last time I travelled in the back of a car I felt sick.” Team members David, John and Neil were seen drawing straws for who should sit next to Tony once on board as he went on, “I’m not looking forward to involuntarily pouring forth my stomach contents 30 times in 3 hours.” As for the motivation behind his entry into the competition Tony said “As far as I am concerned this is a great thing to put on a CV but primarily I got involved so I could experience the zero gravity environment.” No doubt Tony was also burning to finally answer the question that has been on all our lips for so long: just how would the process of crystallisation be affected by zero-gravity envioent?
University, but at the moment their is no SU policy concerning taking money from the company with a factory to the west of the city. Many colleges contain Nestle machines, and the company have given money to YSCA, socieites and theatrical productions over the last few years. However Nestle’s previous intrusion into the University’s life seems not to have attracted as much attention from pressure groups over those deals as this one has. Controversy dogged the planning stages of last year’s event as promotional deals with Marlborough came into question. In actuality last year’s Grad Ball made a loss of over £18,500, a huge amount which stretched the credibility and budget of the Students’ Union to extremes. This means sponsorship is almost essential for the event’s success. The Students’ Union’s Services Officer Bruno Araujo has confirmed that an offer from the confectionary giant exists but has as yet taken no action on the matter, however he sees no reason to dismiss it: “The requirements for the Grad Ball are always that it is the biggest party in the world for the lowest price,” he says. “With the Ball’s recent history extra money is required on top of the ticketincome.” As of time of writing Tickets have been selling very well at the price of £55. Sales seem to have been boosted by the line-up, and the fact the event’s not just for finalists. Goodricke’s York Ball has also been selling well, and with all other summer ptojects releasing selling dates and ticket prices soon, the coming weeks may turn out to be among the most expensive of York Students’ careers.
Quite quiet Late night revellers, now a rarity on campus Alex Cooley THE TRADITIONAL lull in summer term college events has left some JCRs feeling let down by the lack of co-ordination between Provosts. The summer slow-down, known commonly as the ‘Quiet Time’, is designed to minimise distractions for students during the examination period. Usually, the individual JCRs are able to broker satisfactory deals with their College Provosts. However, there is a feeling among some that this college-based negotiation has led to inconsistency in regulations, and that some Colleges are being more heavily regulated than others. In Vanbrugh, students have already enjoyed two late-licensed events this term. When asked why bar restrictions were not enforced at these events, College Chair Emma Powell points to the JCR’s good working relationship with Provost Allen Warren: “Allen has been very reasonable in allowing events to go on till late. Because the Vanbrugh events area is away from any student accommodation Allen realised that there would not be any disturbance. However, we have cancelled Vanbrugh Jazz in the bar this term, which may potentially have caused some disturbance to students in nearby rooms. This is mildly annoying, but even here we are still free to plan for an acoustic night in the bar. So, all we are seeing is specifically a ban on live music with a high amplification in the bar.” Goodricke Chair Tom Connor, on the other hand, claims that the ‘Quiet Time’ has “Messed us up completely.” He quali-
fies this by explaining that “Goodricke has relied on making lots of money from large-scale events with late-licenses.Now we have to close the bar by 11.30 and have everyone out by 12.00. This is very frustrating, but I wouldn’t really have minded if only this policy had been applied consistently across campus. Goodricke bar is as far away from student accommodation as Vanbrugh JCRC and Dining Hall are, and should therefore be allowed to have live music events with amplification.” Derwent, have only been given minor bar extensions for their college events. However, as Derwent Chair Nick Besley points out, “The Provost has been no more strict this term than in previous years, and the slow-down actually suits this JCR anyway, since many have their own exams to concentrate on. Also, the way the college is designed means that there are student rooms almost directly above the Derwent events area, and so obviously we have to respect these students bed-times. We are, though, still able to organise a big event for Week 9 as well as an Ouse booze cruise.” Alcuin - sans dining hall - are organising a ‘Summer Olympics’, although with a Provost proviso that there should be an out of the way Alcuin seminar room available for private study. Langwith JCR have put on three events this term, while in most terms there would have usually been one every week. However, the JCR have contented themselves with organising other events, including their own booze cruise.
May 30th 2001 yorkVision
news focus: the computing odyssey
NEWS : 5
www.BookedOut.com It’s not just buildings that are changing, or for that matter causing all the problems. Matt Goddard looks at what upgrades and advantages face computing at York, in your rooms and in the clusters AT THE recent open day the computer rooms were a sure-fire selling point, weren't they? "…Sure it may get a bit hot in there, but we have 24 hour access unlike some Universities we could mention, and of course we're not in the middle of Leeds where computer rooms don't exist on ground floors in case of prowling ram raiders…" Mmmm, sounds perfect. Many colleges have two computer rooms and paper trays are almost always constantly refilled but there are some students who want to see changes as radical as the building work that surrounds those computer rooms. Changes are coming, but they may be more in students' rooms than outside. Currently there are 6 classrooms within colleges that are eligible to be booked any day from 9.15am to 7.15pm. In addition to this there are four study areas within colleges, and another two in the JB Morrell Library and King's Manor. Study centres are usually recognisable and distinct because they usually have pillars in them - somehow they are less conducive to teaching, but more conducive to queuing. The study areas are non-bookable, and all facilities are open 24 hours a day. So to do the maths, all things considered, there are 257 computers in total, 137 of which are non-bookable. The University has around 8,000 students. At one point or another most of us have to queue in a computer room, most of us sometimes just give up as well, there always seems to be the need for new computers. Right now the nicest study area with the fastest moving queue seems to be G/022, a study c e n t r e w h i c h arrived this year a n d holds 4 6 PCs.
However G/022 was only constructed at the insistence of Goodricke's provost, Stephanie Marshall, who has made sure that Goodricke students have more PCs within their two rooms than any other college. That's probably just as well considering the computer-less James is next door with the 21 PC Wentworth as the only alternative. Goodricke JCRC Chair Tom
So to do the maths, all things considered, there are 257 computers in total, 137 of which are non-bookable. The University has around 8000 students
Connor doesn't see much reason to complain about his college's situation: "Our only real complaint is the ridiculous heat in G/169 upstairs," he says "Before Christmas the queuing and people problem was a nightmare, now it's hardly an issue." Across the other side of the lake, Derwent College is not quite so lucky. The college only has 1 computer room, D/114, consisting of 24 machines. Next door, lies the Unix computer room, available only for special purposes and with access for only a select audience, though it was formerly a standard computer room. During this term Wednesdays has seen D/114 booked for the University's Iliad initiative from 9.15am to 7.15pm. Derwent students have no other non-bookable computer room within their college and the nearest, in Langwith contains only 21 PCs. The situation has become increasingly bad over the course of this year. While Langwith and Goodricke gained zip drives at the very least, Derwent lacks even decent air-conditioning (probably the most common fault in campus computer rooms). The situation this term prompted Derwent JCRC to start a petition which was pinned outside D/114. The second disappeared, but the first with 28 signatures found its way to the computing service office. After attempting to take matters to the Students’ Union Executive Committee and particularly Education and Welfare, Derwent JCRC Chair Nick Besley found that there was little that could be done: "It's mostly in the hands of Computing Services" he said, "The college and Union can't help very much, but it's strange for so many people to have to queue at D114 for a long time or leave the college, while the Unix next door classroom never contains more than a handful of people." So despite best efforts there seems little anyone can, or are prepared to do about the situation at present. Computing Service maintain that during the next academic year the Computing Service will open two more non-bookable study centres, one in Alcuin and one in Halifax Court. Within three years the population of the soon-to-be Halifax College will be 3,000, surely by that time the study area solution won't be enough. The answer
seems to lie in the facilities on offer in student's rooms on campus. The SU and University are looking to other universities to find out the pros and cons of what can be done. A particular role model is that of the Network Services at Imperial College. There students pay for services through their rents and as a result have un-metered access to the Internet and can
While Langwith and Goodricke gained zip drives at the very least, Derwent lacks even decent air-conditioning (probably the most common fault in campus computer rooms) even use it with lap-tops on campus. In February the Students’ Union Executive Committee rejected the idea of forcing everyone to pay this extra cost as part of the rent agreement, supporting the idea only as an option on top of rents. There are several c o n -
cerns over the provision of internet access to individual rooms, but not quite the obvious ones you may expect. Facilities already exist in Alcuin and James for internet provision, as the rooms were built with this in mind. Introducing any such system to other colleges is unfeasible at the moment, thanks to the rebuilding programme. If such a scheme was implemented in the two colleges which can have it immediately, the 'luxury' would go to either those who pay the most and more likely those subjects who require it more. For those who envisage James College full of Computer Science students don't worry, it is very unlikely. Any kind of decision is still likely to figure the existing computer rooms and study centres prominently. Before the University makes any decision they really want to know what students want this kind of un-metered access for. They want to know if people would want the internet in their rooms for recreation or just as an academic research tool. The latter would be cheaper and mean students could use the computer rooms for recreation, but retreat to their rooms for essays. The 'capping' of the internet would be difficult to achieve, but is not totally ridiculous. In Manchester where students received internet access, the fall of societies and Students’ Union interest fell dramatically. Here it would undoubtedly increase already prevalent student apathy. Whatever course of action is taken it will be a long time coming. The major time span forced on the University is dictated by the rise in numbers expected over the next few years. The introduction of differential rents this coming year may also give some pointers as to what the University should and should not do. Just as many of us here now won't recognise York in several years, it is likely computing will have changed dramatically as well. That is definitely for the better.
6 : COMMENT yorkVision
May 30th 2001
email firstname.lastname@example.org Tel / Fax 01904 43 3720 Grimston House, Vanbrugh College, University of York, York YO10 5DD
Differential opinions over differential rents The latest round of College Council meetings has placed one more nail in the coffin of flat rate rents. Though confirmation still remains a little way off and the exact workings of differential rates remains hazy the principle has been smilingly set irreversibly in motion. The outlined proposals at the moment are that, rooms around campus should be graded in terms of the quality of accommodation, between each grade, of which there are three, there should be a ten percent rent differential. This development may have untold ramifications, and it is surely time for the University to make such proposals public, thus opening the debate to a wider forum. The first and most obvious issue is that differential rates will increase, if not make certain, the likelihood of creating income divides within campus. The University has in college meetings hinted that at the top end rents could be as much as £70 a week. The obvious result would seem to be that students from wealthier backgrounds will fill the rooms of Alcuin and James where as the poorer accommodation in Vanbrugh and Goodricke will have the economically poorer student. This economic segregation will surely only lead to bad feeling among students, surely college sporting matches - already tense affairs - will move into a new sphere; and there would no doubt be a danger of a snobbish culture making cross college friendships harder. They say that first impressions are everything, and soon the statement, “I live in Vanbrugh” might start to speak volumes about your background. The University are playing a very dangerous game at present. They are changing the face of the campus, without a seemingly coherent plan. The latest news is that all subsequent accommodation developments will be built in the house form, such as Alcuin or James, instead of the inter-linking corridor system of the previously built colleges. These new blocks of up to sixteen will be only accessible to students that reside within those walls. The University claims that this is being done for the benefit of the students, but have they thought through the implications on student interaction? The likelihood for loneliness must be increased when interaction amongst students is so segregated. There are other issues yet to be thought about. How will a central venue affect college life? Where will the role of JCR’s fall? How large is the University to grow? All these are questions that should be asked by those in charge. And it should be to us that these questions are asked. Accommodation should be built with the students in mind, and only the students. The future structure of our University should be decided upon with our expertise and experience. Whilst the faceless bureaucrats have every right to put their point of view across, their job is to serve us, the students, who along with the academics are the most important aspect of the University. It should not be their position to shape the campus into a business park alone. Admin argue that students are represented on all the major decision making committees. This may be true, but it is not the point. Having one or two student representatives on a panel of administrators is not enough – clearly on democratic panels the underrepresented students will be out-voted and ignored. For matters that affect the student population of York as much as one concerning the future of accommodation, a campus wide poll should be taken to find out what the students actually want. This the University have failed to do, and so Vision, in our small way, have tried to rectify this. Next issue our campus-wide poll of students, the largest undertaken in recent times, will reveal what students really believe in matters affecting campus, such as the future of portering, the importance of a central bar and venue, and crucially, students’ opinion of differential rents. The results should make interesting reading. It’s just a pity University Administration didn’t choose to ask the question themselves. The University has an opportunity to shape the way we live for three years. However the developments at present would suggest the University is not aware of where it is going, what student needs are, or even where it is at. The next few years are crucial in determining if York develops into an oversized mess or can succeed in accentuating its strengths: the college-based system, the classlessness and even it’s relative smallness. We all want the best for this University, and we all deserve to play a part in its future development.
Where to go from here? There was yet another inquorate UGM last week. That’s now seven in a row. They haven’t even nearly reached quoracy level recently, the number of attendees hovering round about the forty mark – 220 less then needed. This isn’t entirely the Students’ Union’s fault. Ours is by no means the only Union to struggle to keep students interested in campus campaigns. Unfortunately however, the lack of perceived strength of the student’s representative body has led to complacency amongst the University hierarchy. They know that the SU can’t muster more than fifty or so people to even march on Heslington Hall, let alone organise sit-ins, barcotts, and non-payment campaigns. This has led directly to the problems described in the above editorial. Administration know that they can walk all over us – we may design a few posters expressing our displeasure – but after that our protest quickly peters out. It’s not just the issues of University controlled facilities that we are losing out on. Twice this year the SU’s plans for economic expansion have been dealt a severe and final blow. Last August it was looking likely that the SU would play an important part in the management of the then soon-to-be-built central bar and venue. It was also believed that the SU would be given the tenure of the supermarket in the new retail development. Neither of these things will now happen. The central bar and venue won’t even be built, and the supermarket has gone to an outside bidder, despite the SU’s considerable experience of running two shops on campus. And what has the SU’s reaction to this been? Have we all mobilised, marched on Hes Hall and demanded that we be shown some respect? No. We’ve accepted it without a whimper. On the opposite page the SU President Ben Youdan argues that the depoliticisation of the SU has led to a more approachable and accountable union. He has a point. But the whole raison d’être of the Union is ‘Unity is Strength’. We may be unified in our apathy, but we’re hardly strong. The next SU President, Ffion Evans, has a history of campaigning and vocal protest. She will no doubt see her recent victory in the elections as a reflection that this is what the students want from their SU. Maybe next year the SU will lose the respect it has gained this year from students who perceive it as having a level-headed and businesslike approach, and replace it with a campaigning never-say-die attitude. Perhaps that will inspire more students to rise-up and rebel. As it is, the SU next year will have lost its place as the owner of the most prominent business on campus. It is strong on welfare provision, but that is not enough to justify its tag as the ‘Students’ Union’. It must not lose any more of its powers of representation and persuasion, for if it does, it will lose all purpose and whatever respect it still retains.
We welcome all contributions, from students and staff, about issues featured in Vision or those that you feel should be brought to students’ attention Dear Editor,
Letters write to reply
I was flattered to be included in such a distinguished list in Tom Smithard’s assessment of the replacement stakes for the VC. What really worried me was that the only thing counting against me was not even true: Biology’s new development project is actually bang on budget, after a vigorous cost-saving programme, and as a result no other projects have been affected by it. That was confirmed by the VC at the last Senate meeting. If all this means that the odds are going to shorten, I shall have to start thinking up my excuses. Alastair Fitter Head of Biology Department Dear Editor, As a student who is involved in partypolitics at this University, I think it is disgusting that a member of the Campus Conservatives felt the need to assault a local MP merely to enhance his own status. For someone who seems intent on making a name for himself as a ‘libertarian’, he should a ashamed of himself for promoting intimidation as a method of protest. His attack was pathetic and immature, and completely hypocritical considering his party has asked the SU LGB officer NOT to do the same to one of their MPs. It would seem that just because you are grown-up enough to vote, doesn’t mean you are a grown-up yourself. Helen Coverdale Internal Secretary, York Labour Students Dear Editor, Can I bring to the attention of York students that when I was told that Baroness Young was coming to campus I was asked by the External Vice President (the same one involved in the egging of John Grogan incident) that under no circumstances would I egg her or cause physical harm. Then after I explain that I don’t agree with this he goes and does exactly the same thing. I feel this is double standards and feel personally insulted that as LGB Officer I had to explain what I would do in light of Baroness Young’s visit but then it’s fine for him to ‘egg’ an election candidate. At least I can honestly say that I will not be attacking Baroness Young with anything other than my intellect. Adam Hadley YUSU LGB Officer Dear Editor, I was a little disappointed that you had a reporter who took photos when the Tory idiot threw an egg at MP John Grogan from close range. By giving Frank Young coverage you were in effect encouraging his mindless act and giving him exposure that he doesn’t deserve. Not only was Frank’s actions ‘eggstremely’ stupid but also in the mindless stunt he also got the porter who incidentally handled the situation very well highlighting the need for 24-hour porters. I’m afraid it is a sad state of affairs if the only way the Tories can draw attention to themselves is by performing stupid pranks; it is also a shame
to the editor
that Grogan did not posses a left hook comparable with John Prescott. Richard Driscoll, Derwent College Dear Editor,
“Texts are private, silent and unobtrusive,” states Anna Giokas [‘2 L8 4 Talking’, 9th May 2001]. Or are they? From what I constantly see and hear, this hardly seems to be the case. True, the two most concerned may find sending text messages to each other romantic. However others may easily see a less romantic side, since the sending of text messages is so often a public activity. In the street, on the train , in a pub, it is not difficult to spot at least one obsessedlooking victim of this technology, tapping at their mobile phone as if there life depended upon it. I have travelled by train to London, and was obliged to sit next to one such victim, whose apparent obsession with his Nokia was intense. In the course of just over two hours, he had had about ten key-pressing sessions – some of which were rather prolonged – as well as a conversation. Further more while texting may be less noisy than the ubiquitous ring tone and the ensuing speech, I would certainly not describe it as silent. Pressing the keys of a mobile often makes a clicking or slight bleeping sound – not noisy, but somewhat irritating in a quite environment. Worse, the “bleep-bleep, bleepbleep” or similar sound of a switched-on phone receiving a text message is just as loud and ubiquitous, and almost as irritating as the ring tone, and tends to prompt further tapping. I am “one of the few”, and intended to stay that way, despite the wiles of customs and commerce. Unlike the multitude, I have no desire to be dependant upon a mobile phone, or to have to tap at it to satisfy its apparently vast demands. Pete Tylor, Wentworth Dear Editor, Adam Hadley’s article (‘Young and Foolish’, May 9th 2001) raises a range of interesting points about the effects of Section 28 and the notorious Baroness Young. I support the forthcoming campaign of YUSU and many of Adam’s arguments, though I would like to offer some clarifications. Firstly, it is wrong to assert that Section 28 prohibits the discussion of sexuality in the classroom. The removal of powers from LEA’s to heads and governors in the 1990’s means that schools are entirely free to draw up their sex education curriculums without fear of prosecution. Interestingly, the Conservative Party proposes to abolish LEA’s altogether at the same time as vigorously defending Section 28 - a law that applies solely to LEA’s. Secondly, teachers are protected in law from homophobic harassment in school. Thirdly, to suggest that schools are unable to tackle homophobic bullying of pupils is false; government guidelines for schools specifically require them to do so. Section 28 no longer legally restricts a school’s curriculum, nor does it prohibit measures to tackle bullying. It is a danger-
send all correspondence to: email@example.com -orVision Letters, Grimston House ous law rather because people think it restricts schools in such a way and because it symbolises the second-class status of the gay community. Many teachers fail to address homosexuality not because they are homophobic but because they have little understanding of it, because schools are traditionally very conservative in their approach to sex education per se and because schools, governors and government ministers are inadequately informed and trained to deal with the issues confidently and fairly. As a student teacher it has become clear to me that the imminent repeal of Section 28 is essential but that it is merely the beginning - a much wider debate regarding the very purpose of sex education is needed. How such a curriculum should be devised and the role of the school regarding controversial issues in general is a difficult but necessary can of worms to open. Brendon Fletcher Dear Editor, I am writing in response to the excessively one-sided article by the LGB officer Adam Hadley in the May 9th edition of Vision. I would just like to make it clear that not all students attending this University, however much the Students’ Union might claim to represent their views, are so emphatically opposed to Baroness Young’s visit. Indeed, I would welcome the opportunity to hear the much suppressed other side of the ‘homosexual debate’. Adam Hadley should be aware that his is not the only legitimate view on the matter; that the other is not bigoted but perfectly reasonable and justifiable. I am sure that Adam Hadley would agree with promoting tolerance and respect for people of different ideas and beliefs. How about extending this to people like myself who increasingly feel intimidated and hounded for expressing views not in keeping with the liberal majority? Yours sincerely, but in the light of recent intimidation mentioned, anonymously Dear Editor, It has been brought to my attention that your Sports Editor has a preference for small balls. As a member of the recently victorious University women’s football team I was dismayed to discover the absence of a report of our game in your Roses coverage. I was wondering if maybe his selection of the small ball sport of squash over the considerably larger balls of football represents personal shortcomings? Whilst not wishing to take anything away from the achievements of the men’s football teams who battled hard against tough competition, does our 6-0 trouncing of Lancaster not deserve as much coverage as their 2-2 draw? I was under the illusion that we lived in enlightened times in which the gaining of four valuable points would be revered regardless of gender. Apparently not. Angela Barlow Vice-Captain UYWAFC
May 30th 2001 yorkVision
Summer days, just drifting away? There is nothing quite like sitting on a train platform in a suit, surrounded by dozens of assorted business-men identically attired, and gazing jealously at the all-too conspicuous student who gets to lounge about in jeans and T-shirt
garethWALKER IT'S RATHER embarrassing what a difference a little sun makes. Overnight all those months of rain, floods, biting winds and general misery disappear. Suddenly the lake twinkles and the pre-fab concrete is pleasantly warm to the touch. Even the baby geese are kind of cute for the two days after hatching it takes them to begin moulting, biting and indiscriminately crapping across the pavement. Now every-other sportsman on campus seems (mistakenly) convinced that I want to see their shirtless, blister-red torso blunder past me, chasing the Frisbee which just clipped past my ear. The sudden appearance of shorts-and-crop-top wearing sunbathers alongside every walkway means it's impossible to cross campus without feeling like the sleaziest of double-taking voyeurs. As usual, my own enjoyment of the season has been rudely circumscribed. This time by the twin curses of the thirdyear - final exams and job interviews. Instead of happily lounging around in the sun then, my days are spent either idly staring out of library windows, or else wasted in yet another badly air-conditioned waiting-room sweating in an ill-
fitting suit. It's all grimly frustrating. Like being a twelve-year old all over again, tortuously counting down the days toward those infinite six-weeks of summer holidays. Although funnily enough, thinking back I can't for the life of me recall how I ever actually filled that annual expanse of summer freedom. I remember the eager anticipation; and I can just as easily picture when, as the first leaves fell, summer began to drag its way into autumn at about the same time as I slouched my way back to school. And yet whatever actually lay between those two poles seems to have simply faded without trace into the mists of memory. All quite unimportant of course. Except that these little tricks of the mind have, strangely, become a quiet and rather pathetic preoccupation of mine lately. Why? Most likely because I'm suffering from an ailment more common than hayfever on your average university campus this time of year: namely 'Pre-Graduation Nostalgia Syndrome' (PGNS for short). The symptoms of PGNS vary. They range from a heightened desire to hug anyone and everything faintly familiar which moves within five metre proximity, to the gruesome sight of grown men getting teary-eyed at memories of 'old' Alcuin bar. Treatment meanwhile generally
Reminiscing over the old Alcuin Bar can only mean one thing - the dreaded PGNS involves the ingestion of sufficient amounts of alcohol as to dull the pain and ensure that those final difficult few weeks pass by as quickly as possible. Still, those of you yet to be afflicted might do best to be sympathetic - your own time will come. I freely acknowledge that for a while, I thought myself immune. However there is nothing quite like sitting on a train platform in a suit, surrounded by dozens of assorted business-men identically attired, and gazing jealously at the all-too conspicuous student who gets to lounge about in jeans and T-shirt, to jolt you into realising that something rather odd is actually happening. Suddenly it begins to feel as if you're
The Sketch....................... from the james revolutionary front
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RAG IN CHARITY BURNING!
CRAZY NEWS IN BRIEF CASH RACE -Ethnic minority spotted. Non Anglo
Charities Welcome RAG’s Incendiary Hit Two million pounds are thought to be going up in flames next RAG week, as part of a sponsored cash burning. The money, generously donated by Cancer Research and the UK Spina Bifita Association, is to be nailed to several large planks and put to the torch outside Central Hall, with accompanying karaoke and barbecue. Sponsorship money will depend on the amount of currency destroyed, the peak temperature of the fire, and the extent of collateral damage. Estimates are of course difficult to make, but it’s hoped that up to £3000 may be raised by the event. Following on the sponsored Panda Shooting that marked the high point of RAG Week 2000, RAG President Anthea has set out even more ambitious fund raising for RAG 2001. An upcoming coke-fuelled orgy of wanton destruction is rumoured to contain such escapades as Picasso slashing, defecation on the Magna Carta, and ritual ‘wiping’ with the Turin Shroud. Lighting up a cigarette from a flaming fifty, Anthea commented, “It’s all in a good cause.”
Saxon or “hoax of the century?” MEDIA -Don Juan blasts campus newspaper for features published under ridiculous pseudonyms. -Innuendo to be replaced by obituaries page in bid to up joke per column inch quotant. CAMPUS -Crime on the increase on campus. Christian Union quick to blame “new fangled book learnin’.” UNION -Union plans student cull to halt spread of apathy. Campaigns Officer’s hope that the 30 that remain will be better equipped to offer insight into the minds of ‘normal students’. WANTED Monkey. GSOH. Must have own typewriter. Immediate start for work on exciting YUSU magazine project. Good potential for Advancement within Organisation. Apply YUSU Publicity. Fancy venting Three Years of pent up bitterness in a tuxedo? Fancy consequence-free sex in a portaloo?
GRANDBALL2001! Have it Out… …Have it Off Sponsored by GEC Marconi®, Lexcorp®, and Our Lord Beelzebub®
VISOIN CULTURAL CALENDAR THURSDAY RAG’s Shamelessly Derivative Night Vanbrugh Paradise, 8:00 Chained together, while attempting to create an infectious pop ensemble, six mad for it Guys and Gals will spend a week trapped inside a maximum security portacabin on the University Lake, under the constant scrutiny of webcams, in an authentic depiction of Iron Age Britain. There’s a million pounds at stake!! Christian Union Open Lecture Central Hall, 7:00 The ‘We’re Right and You’re Wrong’ season of lectures continues with ‘Darwin’. Next week: ‘The Jews’. FRIDAY Simpson on Simpson Derwent D/020, 6:15 Popular local pundit Gaz Simpson leads a continuing discussion on his anatomy. SATURDAY Cinematography Soc present: Blank Screen: The Movie Derwent Bar, 9:15 In what has been hailed by critics as “brave, bold, and refreshing”, Cinematograpy Soc reveal their latest efforts, a two hour epic featuring an entirely empty screen, that took no less than seven weeks to compile.
LETTERS - A word from our munificent leader…
Dear Editor, Stand at ease, peasant. Once again it is time for me to communicate, to the masses, the recent developments within the party. Or, as we fondly call it, the Union. Well, since last I graced you with words I have discovered the secrets of Alchemy, saved the Whale and
discovered the lost City of Atlantis. Impressed? Well DON’T be. I haven’t really done all those things, but I can say whatever the hell I like because I bet you don’t even bother to read this, you utter bastards. Hey, guess what? I’ve been to the fucking moon! Yeah, the FUCKING MOON, SCUM! And I saved the Rainforest too. Apathetic
bastards! Listen to me you wretches. Why will you never fucking listen to anything I cocking-well say!? That said, don’t forget to have a nice day. Yours, as always Chairman Ben Xoudan
already over on the other side of the fence, cut-off from all the easy assumptions of the past three years - that the working day begins just before mid-afternoon and ends some time just after it; that 'smart' dress means your best pair of jeans. Meanwhile the magnetic pull of postuniversity life gets to work: shaping, shifting and selectively culling whatever it is you remember of your brief sojourn as a student. Looking back already all that survives of the first year are a few half-remembered snatches of corridor-banter and a hazy recollection of one-or-two spectacular evenings in nightclubs (each, more realistically, just a selective amalgam of high-
COMMENT : 7
lights from a dozen mediocre nights). And the second also easily palls into nothing more than an endless dash between campus and home, punctuated by the occasional argument about washing-up. Even the third-year has, with indecent speed, begun to condense itself down into nothing more than those few precious, totemic moments you'll be lucky to remember six months, never mind six years from now. Meanwhile all you've got left are a few pictures and a pile of yellowing notes to account for all those stretches of time you just can't recall. As you struggle to put names to faces that are already beginning to fade a little in memory, you suddenly find yourself wishing for photographs of everything. Not just the edited highlights - those idle moments lying in the sun or a few of the more memorable flashes of drunken bravado - but of all the little mundane things which, until now, hardly seemed important. Like the view from your window in first-year, or the sight of your second-year house when you were still strangely proud of living in your 'own' home. In fact it might even be nice to remember just how hideous Alcuin Bar used to be. Why? Well perhaps because - gazing across yet another textbook at the blue skies through the window - it may feels like I'm just waiting for the holidays. But some nagging sense tells me that, really, it's the holiday itself which is almost over.
Abolishing petty campus politics can only lead to unity Whereas the UGM was once the public sparring ground for the political societies trying to score petty points, now everyone knows they will be heard benYOUDAN
IN THE recent Union General Meeting somebody asked me if there had been a de-politicisation of the Union. It was suggested that the Union no longer encourages the party political students to participate in its activities. Whereas the UGM was once the public sparring ground for the political societies trying to score petty points over one another, the turnout of these societies has reduced. The beginning of each meeting is no longer dominated by questions manipulated just to catch each other out. Labour have stopped jeering the Tories and the Tories have stopped jeering the Socialists and the Socialists have largely faded away. As a politically independent President I have no reason to encourage such societies to attend any more than I would encourage any other students. When I attended UGMs in the days before I was YUSU President, I used to hate the political point-scoring and in many ways have been happy to see the back of it. I appreciate that, for many people, it is an enjoyable part of the experience but I have always found it tiresome and unproductive. This year has been particularly quiet on the tradition of squabbling in UGMs, and obviously someone misses it enough to ask where the politics has gone. It is possible that the student who asked me about political students reflects feeling all over campus and the meetings have been too clean to satisfy the blood lust of some. To a large extent, I feel this reflects the decreased level of politics in the Union in General. All the sabbatical (full time) officers for the last two years have been politically independent, something that I
don’t think has ever happened before in the history of the YUSU. In the past almost all of the major political parties have been represented in the President’s role, and even some of the smaller ones. This has made the Union an easy target for some of the more political students whose beliefs are not aligned with those in office. As an independent, I think it has made it easier for the Union to listen to all sides, and for people to know they are being listened to. This has even been reflected in the weekly Executive Committee meetings where all the officers get together to discuss Union business. In the past these meetings have almost led to blows, but sedate discussion seems to have been the trend over this year. I can see how this makes everything that little bit duller, but at least we don’t look like a bunch of squabbling children who can’t manage to get anything done. Despite this, the politics hasn’t gone from YUSU. The Executive Committee represents a wide political spectrum and this has been invaluable in getting the best for students here. York still has a very high number of politically active students as is seen on our election turnouts and even by the actions of one individual in egging Selby MP John Grogan earlier this week. Our campus is regarded as a potentially powerful political force and candidates for the general election are taking the student vote very seriously. I hope on June 7th this is reflected by a high student turnout to vote. The Union will be encouraging students to do so and demonstrate that politics is alive and well at York University. Ben Youdan is YUSU President He writes in his personal capacity
8 : POLITICS yorkVision
May 30th 2001
Election 2001: the student picture As the election date draws ever closer Peter Edwards takes a look over the parties manifestoes, Chris Hook discusses the possibities of tactical voting and Rosie King shows how your vote can effect the developing world BEFORE CONSIDERING the general election manifestoes published by the three major parties, I should make a declaration. Like most, I come with pre-conceived political opinions. If forced into categorisation, I would call myself a socialist. However, I have not decided whom to vote for this year, and therefore come to these policy documents as impartially as possible. Much in the manifestoes is already known. The Conservatives have ruled out the single currency for the entirety of the next Parliament, the Liberal Democrats want a post-referendum entrance, and Labour have outlined their five economic tests, favouring entrance "in principle". So far, there seem few signs that this election is to be dominated by Europe, as William Hague may have hoped. Therefore, what are the important issues this time around? As ever, the National Health Service, education, policing, and the economy all play a major part. The major parties have promised new doctors and nurses in thousands, but it is difficult to see any of them not increasing taxes over the next four years. However, whether we should display the usual outrage at tax rises is questionable. Post-war governments have raised taxes on and off, and ideological commitments to tax reduction always have to be regulated by the economic climate. The NHS needs vast improvement, with attention focused, once again, on waiting times, but now also on hospital hygiene, the lack of which has been blamed for many unnecessary deaths. Whilst there is an NHS, it will always form a major part of the election campaign. The Lib Dems have pledged 27,500 COME ONE, come all to the greatest spectacle on earth: the 2001 Labour landslide victory. Statistics, however, suggest that you're quite likely to forsake this opportunity to choose your local MP, with turnout expected to drop below the already paltry 72% of 1997. For a good socialist like myself, I feel obliged to fulfil my hard-earned right to participate in our democracy. So, having resolved to pop down to the polling station on June 7th, for whom shall I vote? Other Old Labour supporters like myself have told me that, although they don't like the Blairite project, at least New Labour isn't the Conservative Party… yet. But how valid, or indeed how positive is this sentiment: to vote Labour is to opt for the lesser of two evils? Despite grand and noble promises to rebuild our schools and hospitals, there is very little to show. Although public expenditure has slowly risen, we still lag far behind Europe in terms of taxing the
But how valid, or indeed how positive is this sentiment: to vote Labour is to opt for the lesser of two evils?
populous and providing quality public services. Moreover, Labour's assault on civil liberties and its penchant for privatisation - greater even than Margaret Thatcher at her most rampant - further disturb my leftist instincts. But for whom should I vote instead? In Scotland and Wales, the nationalist parties provide an anti-New Labour outlet for disgruntled leftists. In England, however, the lower-profile and divided environmentalist and socialist groups have absolutely no hope of winning a seat. Besides, a large defection away from Labour would
more nurses, 4,600 more doctors, and 10,250 extra medical professionals. This huge number is to be welcomed, although they have accepted that tax rises are necessary for these improvements. They are unlikely to win many votes through this worthy policy. One of the areas that Mr Hague has been effective in has been to highlight Mr Kennedy's closeness to the Labour leadership. Labour's sustained belief in tuition fees marks one of the few areas where they have the potential to come unstuck. Students’ shock at a Labour government's introduction of fees is understandable. These charges are all the more hard to defend when the Chancellor is in possession of a sizeable "war chest". The Tories say that they will "free every school in the country from bureaucratic control", as part of their battle against red tape. However,
risk letting the Tories in through the back door, and I certainly don't want that! Last year's American presidential elections perfectly demonstrate this nightmare scenario. Had the Green Party's candidate, Ralph Nader, not succeeded in drawing so many votes from the Democrats, Al Gore would unquestionably have become president. But is this the fault of the Green Party, or the Democrats? By pandering to the Right and treating its own "core" support with such contempt, arrogantly assuming that these voters have no other party to turn to, Labour could indeed repeat the Democrats' mistakes and misfortune. However distasteful I might find a Conservative election victory, perhaps it is just this kind of left-wing slap in the face which might convince Tony Blair to abandon his wishy-washy centrism and return to core Labour values… but I doubt it. Ultimately, therefore, it's my fear of a Government led by Billy Hague, Anne "I'm Bonkers" Widdecombe and Michael "Nice Quiff" Portillo which has led me to re-phrase my original question: which party should I vote for in order to keep the Tories out? Some bright sparks, no doubt aided by Millbank apparatchiks, have thought likewise and set up a website, www.tacticalvoter.net , based on a similar American concept (forcibly closed down by a Republican court action), in order to
The Lib Dems accept that tax rises are necessary for improvements in the NHS...they are unlikely to win many votes through this worthy policy.
their manifesto contains a raft of proposals to set up new bodies, for example Progress
mobilise the anti-Conservative masses and advise browsers which party stands the best chance of defeating the Tory candidate. Psephologists believe that such tactical voting has become a crucial electoral weapon, responsible in 1997 for the loss of perhaps 35 Conservative seats - around 20 to Labour and 15 to the Lib-Dems - and for the Lib-Dems' stunning by-election victory in Romsey, a supposedly "ultrasafe" Tory seat, where a Labour collapse from 19% to 4% accompanied a Lib-Dem increase from 31% to 51%. Similarly, John Grogan, the first nonTory MP for our own Selby constituency in over a century, will certainly require a significant number of Lib-Dem voters to switch to Labour if his slender 3,800 majority is not to be overturned. Party loyalists may argue that such strategic voting is underhand and overly negative, encouraging people to vote for whichever candidate they hate least, or for whichever is most likely to defeat the one they hate most. Well, true. But under our ridiculous first-past-the-post electoral system, this is the best, indeed only, way to maximise voter power. Ironically, however, if Labour had fulfilled its manifesto commitment to hold a referendum on a proportional voting system, none of these Machiavellian shenanigans would be necessary. But that's another story… Now you decide. CH
Centres, to deal with disruptive pupils. The Tories are also proposing a "Home-school agreement which sets out the responsibilities of students and schools to each other". This will be taken into account when schools consider whom to admit. Some may feel this to be an overbearing state influence at a time when the Tories seek to counter paperwork. It seems like an unnecessarily heavy clampdown on pupils who don't do as much work as their teachers might want, and there are questions as to how this would be enforced. After their precious concern with core skills, seen in the introduction of literacy and numeracy hours, now Labour want to see more music and sport in schools. Where do their priorities really lie? We would all like to have a nation of skilled musicians and successful sportsmen, but it
IT IS estimated that up to a third of the electorate in this country: that is,12million people, will not bother to vote in the forthcoming election. If you're one of the two thirds that do intend to vote on 7th June, how will you choose your candidate: on the basis of their policies on taxes or healthcare? On the basis of your parents' affiliation? Or perhaps, rather like me, you know so little about politics and local candidates, that voting for anyone would be simply irresponsible...? Here are some more statistics for you: a quarter of the world's population live on less than 65p a day. Put in terms like that, taxes and healthcare diminish somewhat on my agenda. In this country, we're blessed with a democratic system that enables everyone to have a say in how the country is run, if we can be bothered to take that opportunity. Global View 2001 is an amalgamation of over twenty development agencies, including Drop the Debt, Oxfam, People & Planet, Tearfund and UNICEF UK, who want to ensure that international issues are not lost in the heat of domestic political debate. We in York are meeting with the candidates for Selby to find out what they have to say about issues such as the arms trade, debt relief and HIV/AIDS, in order that we can vote intelligently and responsibly in the elections. The next MP for Selby needs to know what the people of Selby have to say.
is more important that they can read and write to a high standard. Labour's shift away from core skills is a mistake, because we need these educated youngsters to make our future workforce internationally competitive. Governments cannot legislate on the morals of the nation; so to tackle crime they have to increase the number of policemen. Again, the Tories plan to cut bureaucracy, but they do not say how. Their manifesto pledges more police, but it does not specify a figure. Labour and the Lib Dems both promise 6,000 further policemen, but it is important that these new officers go where they are most needed. To the under privileged and poverty-stricken areas, a greater police presence will do more to increase faith in politicians than any pledges on Europe or constitutional reform. Labour has taken the Tories' reputation for economic competence, but neither party has benefited from the recent rows regarding income tax. The Lib Dems' strategy of proposing a 1p tax increase is commendably honest. The last two administrations have reneged on pledges not to raise taxes, but like the rest of, they will have to wait and see if there is to be a European or economic slowdown. Were the next government to reduce the £7 billion lost annually in social security fraud, it would have a lot more to spend. Governments have been trying to do this for years, and none have been particularly successful. The Tories believe that they can make a £2.5 billion saving on social security, but are vague on how this will be done. Tax, the NHS, education, and race and asylum look set to weigh on the electorate's mind. The Lib Dems' manifesto is the most honest of the leading parties, but the result of the 2001 election may well have been decided nine years ago, on Black Wednesday. PE Therefore we propose writing to whoever is voted in, to show them how important it is to us that these issues feature on the Government's agenda. To give our letters more impact, Monday 4th June is 65p-a-day Day. For 24 hours, we're asking all those who share our views to join a quarter of the world in living on 65p for that day. This will show our MP that we're serious: putting our concern into action. Campaigns like this work! Jubilee 2000, established to see 'the cancellation of the unpayable debt of the world's poorest countries under a fair and transparent process by the end of the year 2000', has seen MPs commit to raising the issue, G8 Summits respond with promises of relief, and individual countries pledge to total cancellation of their debt. 24.3 million people from 160 countries signed the petition, and as a result of hard campaigning, £77 billion of debt has been cancelled. Gary Streeter MP said “If more and more
A quarter of the world's population live on less than 65p a day
people put their MPs under pressure about some of these global issues and doing more for poverty in the developing world... policies will change.” I'm not advocating ignoring domestic issues: it is important to have a say in how our country is run. However, please recognise that there are other countries and other people in the world, many of whom have no such opportunity to make their voices heard. As Tearfund so eloquently puts it: the poorest people in the world need friends. Friends in high places. Friends like you. Please get involved! To find out more information about our campaign in York, email rjk101. Look out for us in election week, and join the 65p-a-day Day on Monday 4th June. More information on Global View 2001 can be found at oneworld.net/uk/election. Info on Tearfund's Connect!Westminster campaign is at www.tearfund.org.uk.RK
May 30th 2001 yorkVision
The Battle for Selby The campus seat of Selby is far form a forgone conclusion. Ayeesha Bhutta speaks to the Labour and Conservative candidates who are hoping for your vote IN CASE you hadn't noticed the election has now started amidst a blaze of choirs, manifestos and flying eggs. Despite John Prescott's best efforts interest in the election is on the wane with only one more week to go. Selby, the constituency which covers campus, is currently in Labour hands. But it is a close race. On the starting line we have John Grogan, the Labour candidate and the current MP. He is being challenged by Michael Mitchell for the Conservative Party and Jeremy Wilcock for the Liberal Democrats. The smaller parties are represented by Helen Kenwright for the Greens as well as Bob Lewis for the UK Independence Party. Selby is what the pundits call a two horse race: in 1997 Labour got 45% of the vote and the Tories 39%. The result is that John Grogan now defends a 3,800 majority against Tory attack. This is one place where the vote is not a forgone conclusion. John Grogan has been in the Labour Party since the age of 15. He went on to Oxford and was a contemporary of William Hague's. He was President of the Students’ Union at the same time as the current Tory leader was President of the Oxford Union debating club. After that their paths began to diverge. John Grogan did not get in to parliament until 1997, despite being selected as the Labour candidate in 1985. According to the Conservative candidate Michael Mitchell politics is "In the blood" and he claims to have started even younger: delivering his first leaflet at the tender age of eight. A qualified accountant, he was born in Bradford but now splits his time between York and London. He has been involved in local politics as a councillor and is now hoping to move onto the national stage. Both are after your vote and there are major differences in their policies and approaches. Michael Mitchell says that the students of York should vote for him because he claims the Tory party could
best represent the interest of professional graduates. John Grogan has brushed up on his student campaigns and emphasises his record in supporting the SU on issues such as keeping 24hour portering. Student finances have not been discussed as part of the national campaign but here there is also some 'clear blue water' between the parties. The current system is "Not unreasonable" according to
re-elected Labour he says is prepared to tackle the bigger challenges and what they've done so far is "Small beer to what is going to happen in the next five years." Michael Mitchell looses no opportunity to attack the current government over its record in office - they "Say the right things but don't carry through their objectives." He particularly objects to the increase in central control and bureaucra-
The CRE pledge which last month caused so much fuss has been signed by John Grogan but not by Michael Mitchell who also is reluctant to talk about Mr Townend. He is more forthcoming about his party’s plans to lock up all asylum seekers when they enter Britain. John Grogan stresses the need for reform of the current system and he deplores the "Unacceptable denigration" of asylum seekers. Nationally there appears to be little chance of a Conservative victory although Michael Mitchell remains optimistic that the opinion polls may have got it wrong and that there will be a "Significant swing" to the Tories on June 7th. This local seat is a much closer contest. As the first ever
Selby is what the pundits call a two horse race... this is one place where the vote is not a foregone conclusion John Grogan who points out that half of all students do not pay fees. Michael Mitchell says a Tory government would change the system by raising the threshold for repayments. He also advocates endowing universities with money from asset sales. On national issues they follow the well worn party lines. John Grogan emphasises Labour’s record so far and claims that his party has made a "Real difference" to people's lives in the Selby area in health and education. Responding to the charge that Labour has not delivered he admits that there is still much to do. If
cy and claims that such characteristics are "Innate within the Labour Party." Two issues which have attracted much attention so far are Europe and asylum. On Europe there is a sharp divide between the candidates. John Grogan is "Defiantly pro-European" whereas his opponent adopts a more eurosceptic approach and expresses his desire to keep the pound and wishes to follow what he calls a "pragmatic" policy towards the EU. Issues of asylum and race have a local connection as the rogue MP John Townend holds the nearby seat of Yorkshire East.
Labour MP for Selby John Grogan hopes very much to be returned to Westminster. He presents the election as a choice between "Government committed to fighting poverty and the most right wing conservative party for a generation." They both stress that this is one seat where every vote could count and they plan to fight for each and every one. At the moment John Grogan is slightly ahead in the betting for the seat but that could all change. They are both keen to see the students use what John Grogan calls their "precious" votes. Because when the dust (and eggs) have settled it is after all the electorate who decides.
Don’t forget the Lib-Dems Nationalists Galore Alex Lloyd
Chris Cermak SELBY IS the 212th target seat for the Liberal Democratic party, having acquired 12% of the vote in 1997. Jeremy Wilcock, Lib Dem candidate for Selby openly admitted this fact to Vision. On a political level, the main thing he therefore asks of the students of our University is “Please vote for whichever party you think has the policies.” Mr Wilcock was born in Somerset in 1950 and moved to East Yorkshire in 1974. He joined the Liberal Democrats in 1988 and is currently constituency chair of Beverley and Holderness as well as member of the Beswick Parish Council. He is a first time candidate for MP. One of the areas of policy Mr Wilcock appeared most keen to discuss, especially with a student paper, was the introduction of tuition fees. Its abolishment being a condition for the Liberal Democrats to form a coalition government with Labour in Scotland, it is an issue on which the Liberal Democrats stand out above the rest. Mr Wilcock argues that education should be seen as “An investment, not a cost.” Consequently, “Funding has to be seen on that basis.” He remembers his time at university, when he recalls “Finance was not an issue.” It is indeed on this policy that he uses his toughest language against the Labour government, saying it “Should hang its head in shame” for the introduction of tuition fees. His harshest language however was reserved for William Hague and the Tories - most particularly Hague's “Particular brand of conservatism.” While he did express his feelings that Labour “Have been disappointing because we expected more of them”, this lies in contrast with his statement that “It would be a disaster if the Tories won.” As for his own party, he considers some of the main issues to be the maintenance of public services (“Decent public services above everything”), while he also appears to single out the environment, a “key concern.” Another point on which his party stands above the rest is on taxes. While
Hague continues to lash out at Labour not coming clear on the possibility of increasing taxes, Mr Wilcock openly admits that the Lib Dems would increase taxes”When necessary”, particularly to fund public services. “We don't hide and we don't pretend either that we can get better services and take taxes down.” In the aftermath of the foot and mouth disease, Mr Wilcock appeared to take a further stand than even his own party. Representatives of the tourism industry presented Gordon Brown with an invoice for £12 billion on May 10th. Mr Wilcock believes that even this amount of money should not be out of reach and that the money to fund such compensation, if proven, definitely exists. “We can find money at the drop of a hat to go and bomb Bosnia...there are vast amounts of government reserves marked for emergency use.” As for his chances and those of his party, one of the main things he asks is that the Lib Dems be given a “Fair hearing”, himself believing that the media does not always “Do us justice” between elections. If the Liberal Democrats are indeed given their fair share of publicity throughout the election, then he says, “I'm quite happy to respect the result, whatever it is.”
DESPITE THE attempts of the national media to whip up excitement over the General Election battle between Labour, the Conservatives and, to some extent, the Liberal Democrats, the outcome of the story is rather predictable. In Scotland and Wales however there are election competitions forming that could arguably have far more bearing on the future of the United Kingdom than whether William Hague and Charles Kennedy pick up a few more seats in Westminster. In both Scotland and Wales, the main challenge to Labour's power comes from the Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru respectively. Indeed, in Wales, Labour was deprived of a majority in the 1999 Assembly elections and was therefore required to consolidate a Lab-Lib coalition cabinet. The 1997 Election resulted in the Conservatives becoming a purely English representing party at Westminster level. With the first General Election since devolution looming, there are some important questions being raised. The SNP and Plaid Cymru are quite close parties. With six and four MPs respectively, they form a single parliamentary grouping following a formal pact signed in 1986. In the European Parliament, with two MEPs each, they are both part of the European Free Alliance, a grouping of left-leaning regionalist and nationalist parties in the EU. There are interesting parallels to be found between the SNP and Plaid Cymru election campaigns. Both parties see the election as a springboard to gain control of their devolved institutions at the next set of elections in 2003. Both are also calling for greater powers for these institutions. The Plaid campaign is running under the banner of ‘fighting back for Wales’ and members insist that parity of powers with the Scottish Parliament is essential if the Welsh Assembly is to operate more effectively. The party's Policy Director Cynog Dafis AM argues that "The current devolution settlement is deeply flawed. Policies designed in Wales and for Wales are con-
stantly undermined by a Westminster government hell-bent on pursuing a political philosophy which actively damages the communities of Wales." Currently, the Assembly has no tax-varying or lawmaking powers, reducing it in a sense to a mere 'talking-shop'. Economic issues are uppermost in the minds of the nationalists. Alex Salmond, the former SNP leader, believes that the big battleground of the next Westminster parliament is going to be Scottish funding, particularly after recently reported comments by Labour revealed their intention to tinker with the formula that determines Scotland's favourable share of public funds. Figures currently suggest that there is a subsidy running from Scotland of £100 million a month. Meanwhile, Plaid Cymru want a change in the funding formula for Wales based on need and reform of income tax. Already in this election campaign the SNP and Plaid Cymru have received criticism for an apparent lack of commitment to the British Parliament. John Swinney and Ieuan Wyn Jones, the Scottish and Welsh nationalist leaders respectively, have both chosen to concentrate solely on their roles within the devolved arenas. Analysts argue that this will put them at a disadvantage although both parties believe it will allow fresh blood to come through. It has even been suggested from some quarters that the SNP and Plaid Cymru are not longer relevant to the British Parliament. Yet as the ultimate goal of both is to see self-government for their nations within the European Union, it would be foolish not to be involved in Westminster and nationalist MPs at this level play a crucial role in achieving the objectives of the parties. Labour has been scaremongering voters in Scotland and Wales by suggesting that disaffected Labour supporters backing the nationalists could let in Conservatives, an arguably implausible scenario. Perhaps this is evidence of Tony running scared from his real opposition?
POLITICS : 9
And I Quote.. “Every vote in this election is precious. No one’s support should ever be assumed. That is the strength of our democracy.” Tony Blair launching the election campaign “Hague looks like a man doing butterfly stroke in an emptied swimming pool. The only person he’s hurting is himself” Playwright David Hare “John has some great strengths - such as his left hook” Tony Blair on his deputy “Gracious. I haven’t paid my bill. Good Conservatives always pay their bills. Not like the Socialists who run up other people’s bills” Margaret Thatcher goes shopping “The only thing you can say about Blair is that, at least, he made no secret of his disgust for socialism” Arthur Scargill “I don’t know a lot about politics but I have great trust in him as a leader” Geri Halliwell on why she is appearing in an election broadcast for Tony Blair “All you do is walk around and make yourself known but you don’t do any thing to help anybody” Sharon Storer to Tony Blair when she harangued him outside the hospital where her partner was treated. “This latest lurch into populism.... combines the instincts of Alf Garnett with the electoral appeal of Michael Foot.” Charles Kennedy on William Hague “I know it will take a big swing to win the seat but there’s no bigger swinger than me” Jordan, glamour model who is standing for parliament “Class sizes will be reduced by standing kids closer together & having smaller desks... Free university tuition for students named Grant... Supporting Man Utd will be made a criminal offense for people born south of Crewe” Manifesto promises from the Monster Raving Loony Party “Inertia can develop its own momentum” Douglas Hurd warns a candidate not to be complacent “I've defeated the polls before and I'll defeat the polls again” William Hague "At 10/1 that might look appealing but I would rather risk my tenner backing a donkey on Blackpool beach to win the next Derby." Ladbrookes spokesmen on the odds of a Tory win at the election “I haven't got a butler. We just have
The provisional results of Vision’s campus survey show that the student vote is divided between Labour and the Liberal Democrats. The Conservative trailed in a poor third. The high level of student alienation from the mainstream parties was shown by the high number of people who said they would not vote for any of them. Survey Results so far: Labour: 168 (27%) Lib Dem: 162 (26%) Conservative: 80 (12.9%) Green: 32 (5.1%) Other: 35 (5.6%)
10 : POLITICS yorkVision
May 30th 2001
Israel: Pay Attention
With the current violence having lead to more than 500 deaths, the vast majority of them Palestinian, Sharif Hamadeh takes a look at Israel’s handling of the situation, and doesn’t like what he sees. ON MAY 3rd, the United States of America lost its seat on the 53 member UN Human Rights Commission. The US has enjoyed representation on the commission since its founding in 1947. Now countries that the US has itself criticised on human rights grounds have joined the commission whilst the 'Land of the Free' has been shut out in the cold; a clear message from the rest of the world that the double standards inherent in US foreign policy will not pass unnoticed. Some weeks previously, the United States once again exposed itself as a blind supporter of the Israeli government, by again using its veto power (as a permanent member on the UN Security Council) to prevent a proposal that called for a UN unarmed observation force to be sent to the Middle East. This proposal was designed to help protect the civilian populations under attack (both Jewish and Palestinian); the theory being that potential attackers would think twice before attacking civilians if they knew the UN would be there watching what was happening and taking notes. Why did the US prevent an unarmed observation force from being deployed? Because Israel was against the Palestinianbacked proposal. Why then, was Israel against the proposal? One can only con-
It is no secret that Israel discriminates against non-Jews. Israel has at least 20 separate laws for Palestinians
clude that Israel does not want the UN to be watching while it continues to commit crimes against humanity. This is not so strange when one considers that the current Prime Minister of Israel is himself an established war criminal. After the 1982 brutal massacres in the Lebanese camps of Sabra and Chatila (resulting in the deaths of 2000 civilians) an Israeli court found the same Ariel Sharon ‘indirectly responsible’ for the crimes. Those of us who object to human rights violations should do so across the board, and encourage our governments to do the same. Whilst the US is happy to offer firm criticism of China's persecution of Christians, it remains achingly silent on many other issues, including Israel's apartheid policies that exist both within its internationally recognised borders, and in the Palestinian land under the military occupation of Israel since 1967. During the current intifada (uprising) various governments, organisations and human rights groups have criticised the Israeli Defence Forces for their ‘excessive use of force’. These include the UN itself, Amnesty International, the US-based Human Rights Watch, and Israel's own B'tselem. After conducting their investigations, Human Rights Watch found that the IDF had used live ammunition against civilian protesters ‘routinely in an illegal and indiscriminate manner’. This would account for the high rate of deaths and permanent injuries the Palestinians have suffered. Most of the victims were Palestinian youths, many were children. A senior IDF officer reportedly told the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz that, "Nobody can convince me we didn't needlessly kill dozens of innocent children." Whilst such actions specifically relate to the current conflict, I would suggest them to be reflective of a more serious problem within Israeli society; that of ethnic discrimination.
Ariel Sharon’s visit to the Temple Mount sparked the eight month old conflict It is no secret that Israel discriminates against non-Jews. Israel has at least 20 separate laws for Palestinians and Israelis. In the West Bank, for example there are roads on which only Jews are permitted to drive. These roads allow Israeli settlers swift access to their illegal settlements built on Arab land, without the inconvenience of having to share the road with Palestinian Arabs themselves. More recently, Israel adopted a strategy of digging up and blockading Palestinian roads, so that Palestinians (who have never, in the last 33 years, enjoyed free travel throughout their own territory) were further contained within their towns and villages. Workers were unable to reach their jobs, students and professors were denied access to their university, and pregnant women were not allowed to reach hospitals to give birth. During the seven years of the 'Oslo Peace Process' that followed the first intifada the construction of Jewish settlements on occupied Palestinian land increased by 53%, in direct contravention
of international law, and UN resolutions. By contrast, Palestinians wishing to build on their own land faced increasingly overwhelming difficulty, often being prevented from doing so by the Israeli occupying authorities. Furthermore, in many cases Palestinian homes and olive groves were bulldozed to make way for new Jewish settlement housing, or Jewish-only roads. Ethnic discrimination is not a new concept. One may draw parallels with former South Africa and also look to parallels with the discrimination that has historically faced African-Americans, or the indigenous people of the Americas. But, perhaps the most poignant parallel is that of the Jews themselves. There is a cruel irony at work here. Zionism as a movement grew as a response to the increasing oppression Jews faced by European governments and their non-Jewish citizenry. After the Jewish Holocaust of the Second World War, support for Zionism was strong, since it appeared to offer a solution to a European problem; one that would only adversely affect non-
Europeans; the indigenous population of Palestine. There is not a single respected voice who would now defend the vicious discrimination practiced by the Nazis that victimised Jews, or the 'necessity' of the Russian pogroms. This is as it should be. No voice that preaches ethnic discrimination on any level can be viewed as reasonable let alone respectable. By contrast, time and again there are voices within the States who defend Israel's discrimination of non-Jews. Surely the point of ethnic discrimination is that it is fundamentally an abhorrent ideology; regardless of who its victims or who its practitioners. Those of us who care about the Jewish Holocaust, the Apartheid in South Africa and similar deplorable historic events must ensure that we actively oppose ethnic discrimination universally, on all fronts. We cannot make exceptions where our 'allies' are concerned. Israel will never see the Palestinians as equal individuals if it is not encouraged to treat them as such. Both international law and a host of UN resolutions support Palestinian rights. However, at present, Israel does not recognise these as rights. Hence, the overwhelming sense in Israeli public opinion that - as non Jews - the Palestinians are a lesser people, entitled to less privileges. Although Israel continues to encourage Jews worldwide to accept Israeli citizenship, and emigrate to Israel, it denies the Right of Return to nearly four million Palestinian refugees displaced by the Israeli-Arab wars. On what grounds? That the Palestinian refugees were not born Jewish. If we have established categorically that white men are no better than black; that non Jews are no better than Jews; is it not time, finally to accept that Jews are no better than non Jews? Let us insist that our governments remain consistent in their stance on human rights. Sharif Hamadeh is a student of the University of York, currently on exchange at the University of California, Santa Cruz
Corruption knows no boundaries...
As Mugabe tightens his grip on power in Zimbabwe, Italy elects a President whose past leaves a lot to be desired Amanda Z Hamilton ZIMBABWE’S SPIRALLING crisis may reach breaking point next month with the Supreme Court Hearing of the Morgan Tsvangirai. The hearing represents more than the surface charge of terrorism based on a security law introduced in the colonial era. It constitutes a threat to the democratic elections and is representative
Mugabe's influence is great enough to secure a conviction. If this is the case, the man who is widely believed to be the greatest political hope for Zimbabwe will find himself behind bars. The question then will be whether supporters of the MDC have the fortitude to protest and put forward another candidate in the face of Zanu-PF control. Present Zanu-PF intimidation prevails
package merely lining the pockets of Mugabe and implicitly condoning the political situation? The political situation in Zimbabwe lies at the root of the problems which are leading to economic and social crises. Enormous petrol queues, and the average annual inflation levels of 70% are not being effectively tackled by the current administration. Rather, effort is concen-
Intimidation prevails over Zimbabwe’s social, economic and political situation
Mugabe presides over the current climate of political repression of the current climate of political repression. Morgan Tsvangirai, who heads the Opposition Party of the Movement For Democratic Change (MDC), stands accused of advocating terrorism. Inflamed by the political situation, he reportedly said that the opposition would “Remove Mr Mugabe violently if he did not step down peacefully.” Though he later withdrew this statement, the Zanu-PF party, headed by Mugabe has seized upon the opportunity to thwart any possibility of electoral success for Tsvangirai. For if he were to be sentenced to more than six months in jail, Tsvangirai would be unable to contest in Presidential elections next April. What MDC supporters are anxious to find out is whether
over Zimbabwe's social, economic and political situation. Police currently prevent any form of political gatherings. The Armani Trust recorded that the party was responsible for 90% of the 47 political murders and more than 20,000 cases of other abuses which took place in 2000 alone. Two hundred firms, hospitals, orphanages and charities have been targeted by Mugabe's supporters. The continued mob invasions of white-owned farms constitute a breakdown in authority and economic disaster rather than a viable step towards land reform. Surely the violent and corrupt process of land reform is not in line with Britain's 1979 pledge to support Land Reform? Is Britain's annual £14 million annual aid
trated on rallying the War Veterans to ambush farms in an inappropriate attempt at land reform. The advertisements for safe sex on the rubbish bins around Harare stand more as a hollow reminder of the estimated 200 daily deaths from HIV and Aids. The link between good Governance and Development may not be conclusive, but the current poor governance of Zimbabwe is certainly accentuating if not provoking the present crises. As Tsvangirai acutely commented, the elections take place “Under circumstances of high levels of intolerance, high levels of violence and intimidation and lack of access by the opposition to the state media.” Such factors make the prospects for democratic change slim. The all-enveloping corruption is draining the country of it's resources. Mugabe's diversion of Air Zimbabwe planes to take him and his wife for shopping in Paris provides food for cynical columnists. When the diversions run to sidelining not only cynical columnists but also Opposition Leaders, the food chokes.
Tom Smithard ONCE AGAIN the spectre of far rightwing power in Europe has reared its ugly head. The recent Italian General Election returned Silvio Berlusconi, leader of the National Alliance party, as undisputed leader in an unsurprising, but for many unwelcome, victory. Berlusconi, a billionaire media mogul, has already set about tightening his already strong grip on the Italian infrastructure which has led to international concern about his concentration of power and his methods of stamping his authority. The leader of the world's sixth largest industrialised economy has been accused of degrading democracy by standing for office after amassing a controversial £9bn fortune and influencing public opinion through a media empire that includes three of the main Italian television stations. He has been accused of money-laundering, tax evasion, bribery and complicity with the mafia. On three of these corruption related charges he was convicted; the verdicts later being quashed on technicalities. Four separate charges are pending. He is accused of building his empire through a web of corruption spanning 30 years. His holding company, Fininvest, has stakes in television, financial services, publishing, football and property. In the 1960s Berlusconi was accused of corruption through diverting funds from illegal off-shore accounts into his property business. However, the police decided against legal proceedings. Their investigator, Massimo Berruti, left the force to work for Mr Berlusconi as a lawyer. He is a now an MP for his party, Forza Italia. Berlusconi is also suspected of having strong mafia connections. Mafia supergrasses - mobsters who collaborated with prosecutors - claimed in 1996 that Mr Berlusconi and his friend Marcello Dell'Utri were in direct contact with a
Cosa Nostra boss. Two investigations were dropped due to insufficient evidence. Despite these charges being well known, both in Italy and abroad, Berlusconi has remained both popular in his home country, and untouchable elsewhere. In the recent elections, the turnout was approaching 80% and voters queuing late into the night to cast their ballots. This is, no doubt, due somewhat to the fact that Berlusconi owns three of the most
Silvio Berlusconi popular television stations in Italy, a daily Milanese newspaper and a large publishing house. Now he has gained control of the state television station, and has already dismissed the leftwing station director and head of news. So far, there has been European condemnation of Berlusconi's victory, but no action, unlike with Austria's recent brief flirtation with fascism. As Berlusconi becomes more powerful, it will be interesting to see how much he is capable of getting away with, and how much leeway his fellow European leaders will allow him to do so.
The Student Press
WONDERFULLY, THE Oxford Student reports on a "vociferous, colourful, yet completely peaceful parade" which took place in Oxford recently, calling for Justice for World's Poor as part of the 'Drop the Debt' campaign. This was the setting for many special events, in particular a tug of war between the IMF/World Bank vs People of the World. The People won, sending a clear message to those in high places. Further frolics included a band of Kakatsitsi Ghanian Drummers, creating nothing less than a 'carnival atmosphere' as David Hillman (from Drop the Debt UK) spoke about how "Seven million die each year because of debt", and a splendid day was had by all. Tragically, the Cambridge Varsity reports on the criminal proceedings being brought against Aaron Strange, a nineteen year old man accused of supplying a lethal class A drug to a Cambridge student. Student Lorna Spinks, had been having a night out with friends at The Junction night club (in Cambridge) when she collapsed. Detective Superintendent Tony Southern said: "We accept that people will take ecstasy irrespective of what has happened to Lorna, but this goes to show that you can never be sure what you are putting into your body." The trial continues. Bizarrely, the Sheffield Electronic Press leads with a cracking story about... er...not very much at all. It seems various Union commercial partnerships - namely with Club Wow and Club One - are highlighted to have made profits upwards of £25000. This was all very impressive and above aboard. However SHEP exclusively revealed that the contract with Club Wow includes the laying on of free drinks and nibbles for the JCR Committee, and - Roger Cook hold your breath - a one year VIP pass to the Club Wow student night. Admittedly the limitations to this 'story' are recognised, as it concludes with "...not exactly Watergate, is it". Hmm. The Warwick Boar meanwhile is having kittens about their own version of 'Grad Ball'. The main concern, and one shared by every finalist anywhere this year, is the price of the ticket. Already forced to change venues due to Foot and Mouth fears, the event has not had a very auspicious beginning. The change of venue pushing the price up, anger has been intensified - understandably - with the announcement that Atomic Kitten are the headlining act. Tickets for dinner will cost £49 with an additional £29 for the after dinner section (York Grad Ball, in comparison, charges an all inclusive fifty five pounds). Reaction in Warwick seems varied with some students claiming it is just too much (especially for Atomic Kitten), Finances and Commercial Services Officer Tim Smith says: "We aren't expecting any problems selling dinner tickets, last year they sold out in twenty minutes". Why not charge a bit more, then? Hilariously, Gair rhydd (Cardiff University Paper) tells a cautionary tale. Students,‘Jules’ and ‘Dean’, were matched together through the paper’s blind-date page. The worst thing that can happen on any date is that both parties sit in silence, you would imagine. Determined to avoid this, Jules “talked non-stop” for the first hour - while annoying, this is not usually life threatning. When the unfortunate Jules began to hyperventilate though, poor Dean looked set to play the hero in a ‘When Good Times Go Bad’ scenario. Problems multiplied as Jules realised she had left her inhaler at home, needless to say the date came to an abrupt end. Dean himself was slightly bemused by the whole experience. “I didn’t want to be responsible for her dying on me,” he commented. A truly noble sentiment.
May 30th 2001 yorkVision
MEDIA : 11
MEDIA Vision puts vision back in Eurovision
Tim Glanfield sits down to the soothing sounds of Terry Wogan, and takes a long, hard look at the importance and attraction of Eurovision ABBA, BUCKS Fizz, The Brotherhood of Man, Johnnie Logan and Gina G Eurovision legends. A list of such stars appears to speak for itself, but still the Eurovision Song Contest is derided. It is the contest that offers everything; the glitz and glamour of the Oscars, the charm of a royal wedding and the talent of any Olympic Games (well certainly Moscow 1980 when the Americans boycotted it). Add these factors to the comic genius that is Terry Wogan, the loveable Irishman who guides us through the contest with the aid of quick wit and several bottles of something. The result is a Saturday night in May that you wish would last forever. Denmark played hosts this year, putting on a show that most who saw it
will never forget. As Wogan dubbed them: ‘Dr. Death and the Tooth Fairy’ guided us through the evening with a volley of tenuous rhyming couplets. The verse they used was a clear metaphor for the poetry of the tournament overall. 38,000 spectators in Copenhagen craned to catch a glimpse of the best music from twenty three of Europe’s nations. Britain’s entry ‘No Dream Impossible’ was sung by the little known Lindsay D, a sixteen year old from Sheffield. Although the song was not too bad (perhaps because it bears an incredible resemblance to Robert Miles’ euro-beats) it failed to fit the Eurovision formula for success. If there is a girl, she has to be good looking - unfortunately Lindsay would win first prize every time at a Sally Gunnel look-alike contest (not
Timeless, Germany’s 1999 entry, Guildo Horn
wishing to dishonour our great Olympic hero - but the truth’s the truth darling!) Another fatal mistake was the distinct lack of gimmicks in our national entry (unlike the Bucks Fizz skirt thing!). The Swedish played their trump card and entered Abba without the blokes, again. However the trick was frowned upon by the judges, favouring the Estonian entry Everybody. The gimmick can not be any better than a twenty year old singing with a fifty year old in poor English (the last nail in the coffin for French cultural imperialism as they returned the only French language song). Estonia’s song was brilliantly catchy and the chemistry between Tanel Padar and Dave Benton on stage was something that cannot be described in words. They were given a close run by the host nation’s entry ‘Never Ever Let You Go’ which any other year would have walked away with the top prize. It had class written all over it, a superb harmonica player and the introduction of an attractive female vocalist half way through the song. As if things could not get any better, the song included an on-stage kiss and at that moment it seemed that Euro-pop would inherit the earth. The politics of the competition, although nowhere near as strong as they once were, still reared their ugly head. Estonia took full advantage of the Baltic block-vote, receiving twelve points from both the Latvian and Lithuanian judges. The lack of Scandinavian political discipline shone through and ultimately cost the Danish the crown as only Iceland followed the whip, awarding the hosts full marks. It has recently been rumoured that the European Union may capitalise on the success of this great tournament. All European elections will be held by a telephone poll (of which you have 5 minutes to vote in). The top twelve countries will receive membership to the European Union for one year, and the overall winner takes the Presidency. It is thought that this will increase voter turnouts across Europe. This would certainly be the case in Britain where several hundred thousand people took part in the telephone vote. Concerns have however been raised that several countries (mainly on the east of the continent) could only return several hundred votes even if every telephone line in the
country was shared by ten families. Although these appear to be drastic measures, perhaps this is what is required to rekindle the European love for politics; and watching the Eurovision Song Contest is preferable to voting in Sainsbury’s (another wise idea to counter political apathy). Eurovision is an institution that must never be lost. I quote Terry Wogan: “You can’t get through this contest without a drink”. This may be true for him, but I wonder if he could get through ‘Wake up with Wogan’ on Radio 2 without a tipple. For the rest of us, have a drink if you like, but not too many - it would be like being drunk at your own wedding - you will regret missing a moment. Eurovision brings together people and nations in a way nothing else can. By watching you are doing your own little bit for world peace. Before signing off, it is worth bringing to mind one of the truly great Eurovision moments. Forget the victors, they are for people who will never truly appreciate what the euro-institution is all about. For the real connaisseur the act that will never be forgotten came in nineteen ninety nine and went by the name Guildo Horn. The footage of the manuc German leaping into the audience, kissing old ladies and swinging from the set, will stay with me forever. Guildo, I doff my hat to
Guildo in action
...an on stage kiss and at that moment it seemed that Europ-pop would inherit the earth
Women and ‘their issues’ Caroline Harris
THE MEDIA is an inescapable part of our world, if it is in a newspaper or on the TV or radio, we will all soon be talking or thinking about it. It is for this reason that we should look very carefully at what it produces and perpetuates. Within the media, there is an issue that's been bugging me for a while: the voice of women in the press. In the bad old days, female input was restricted to the Page 3 girl, a body without a voice, to be looked at but not listened to. More recently we've seen the inclusion of special pages covering "women's issues", most prominently "Fe-mail" in the Daily Mail and the "Women" section of the Guardian's G2. These pages mimic that supposed bastion of the female voice, Radio 4's Woman's Hour. So what message do these sections give to these papers' readership, and what does it reveal about the agenda of their editors? Why should women be restricted to 2 pages of knitting patterns, as if world politics or finance couldn't possibly be of any interest to them? In the worst case scenario, this looks suspiciously like a male ploy to continue excluding women. Realistically, though, many women ignore this restriction on their reading material, and continue to enjoy the rest of the paper, which itself contains articles by female journalists who are taken on exactly the same terms as their male counter-
Women who changed the world
parts. If this is the case, we are left with the question: why bother with women's pages at all? It could be suggested that the issues are of particular interest to women, but a quick scan through their pages reveals that all of these issues - parenting, women's health, profiles of inspirational women - are of equal interest to both sexes, and would benefit from being disseminated amongst a wider audience. Women, the argument runs, no longer
Why should women be restricted to two pages of knitting patterns, as if world politics or finance couldn't possibly be of any interest to them?
need protection or positive discrimination: in the 21st century, gender shouldn't be an issue. But are women still being exploited? The new alcopop, Archer's Aqua, is the latest in a long line of commodities aimed specifically at women, and the bombardment women face from the media about how they should look and - most importantly - what they should buy to achieve the ideal is a reductive and insulting strategy. So are women's pages and
Women who changed the world
the female-centred supplements in the Sunday papers just another exploitation of female spending power, figuring the woman as a consumer but little else? And isn't it about time the print and broadcast media shed its outdated concepts of women, allowing us to decide ourselves?
12 : LIFESTYLE yorkVision
Hit Or Miss?
Pete Biggs AVOID
May 30th 2001
Campus essentials Time for a new outfit? Daniel Goldup and Naomi Jackson take you through the essential summer trends
The election – We’re bored already. Wake us up when Labour wins. City screen – It was better when it was in the Museum Gardens. The Barbican gym – Until they fix the air conditioning, anyway. Phew. Illness – In the third term as well. How inconvenient. Geri Haliwell – We’re sick of seeing her face everywhere! It’s raining men? It’s raining pink pounds more like. She could do with putting on a bit of weight too.
After Kate Moss donned the stylish crop the rest of the fashion world followed suit. If you want to go the whole hog at Toni & Guy (or wherever) then get bleached for an authentic blonde look. Fashionistas know how to show off their body with style. If you wish to follow suit an off-the-shoulder top is an absolute must in any shoppers ‘to buy’ list. If you want to be uber hip this summer then discard the numbered t-shirts and make a dash for the slogan tops.
Eurovision – The presenters should have been shot. We were happy with the winner though. Not that we watched it. Honest. Ant and Dec not doing SMTV anymore – What will we watch on Saturday mornings now? Radio 2 – The Sun is Britain’s most read newspaper. Go figure.
TARGET Sunshine – Sunbathing! Well, at least, we would be sunbathing, if we didn’t have work to do.
I know some of us would prefer to keep our legs under cover, even during a heatwave, but the mini is back in style. Combined with denim the look has been reinvented, replacing the trashy look with cosmopolitan sex appeal.
Retro trainers are an essential for any girl-about-town. If you want to look streetwise yet stylish then these are an absolute must. Find your school PE kit, get the whitener out, and you could well be on to something. After all, you can spend a fortune on shoes, but that real retro look comes with age. Every celebrity worth their column inches have been spotted in a pair of shades. The general rule appears to be ‘the bigger the better’. Blame it on Charlie’s Angels if you like, but there is no escaping the current trend for aviators. They are the ultimate must-have this summer.
Jon out of S Club 7 – We like his new image. Isn’t his hair nice long? His dancing skills on CD:UK were second to none too. Bergerac – They don’t make them like that anymore. The Midsomer Murders is great too. Terry Wogan – Some of his Eurovision comments were just rude. Good on him. Recreating Trigger Happy TV sketches in your own street – Hours of fun. Radio 4 – Stimulate your mind. Guaranteed no shit music. Barbecues – Mmm. Just steady on with the lighter fluid. Ice lollies – We know where to buy them on campus, but we’re not telling. There won’t be any left for us!
Beckham really ought to grow his hair back. During the spring fashion shows most of the men sported this ‘feminine’ haircut. But boys, keep it clean. No future prospect wants to run their fingers through greasy hair.
While many seem to find the whole idea of showing their feet unappealing, sandals go with long shorts like bread goes with butter. Keep those toenails short though!!!
Although people never actually dressed like this, the so-called retro “80s” look is everywhere at the moment. Opt for the real thing by giving the high street a miss and head for a charity or vintage store.
Last year they were calling them cropped trousers, this year they’re being described as long shorts. There may only be a few centimetres difference, but whatever they’re called they look damn good in the sun. After all, girls love a bit of leg.
May 30th 2001 yorkVision
LIFESTYLE : 13
Here comes the summer sun The sun is out and town is busy, but where to go on these summer days? Rachel Puddefoot and Harriet Crossthwaite investigate a couple of choices TAKING A day off from a busy lifestyle as a top-flight radio producer, Chad trawls the cafes of York in search of the perfect cuppa. Being the organised little moorhen he is, he has devised a ten point scale to rate their greatness. Today: Victor J’s and Harlequins.
Victor J’s: Being a trendy kind of chap, I first checked out this swanky art bar on Stonegate. Tucked around the corner from St Sampson’s square it can be easily to miss, though its brightly coloured exterior attracts wandering shoppers. Seating: There is a healthy abundance of sofas, but also an array of tables and comfortable, padded chairs. Drinks: Supped on a delicious hot chocolate, but for those requiring something stronger, Victor J’s boasts a well stocked bar, including a bottle of my favourite amaretto. Yum. Free Postcards: If you are decorating your nest with beauteous items, these are essential. Happily Victor J’s has a varied and classy selection. Check them out. Lighting: A nice breezy feel in the day, but soft subtle lighting of an evening makes this a cosy spot. Atmosphere: Very popular with arty types, like myself, Victor J’s displays local works on the walls which adds interest. Atmosphere is laid back and friendly. Service: Amiable and efficient with
bar staff even spotting adjusting lighting to customer’s tastes (see lighting). Music: On my particular visit, ‘Aphex Twin’ was playing, which struck me as funked up elevator music but nevertheless fantastic background noise. Value: Victor J’s charges above average prices for meals especially, but these are excellent and varied and drinks prices are reasonable. Food: An exciting and varied menu. Sunday brunch, consisting of bucks fizz and cooked breakfast is a must. Other points of interest: Mrs Chad noticed a rather attractive drainpipe through the back window, painted with flowers, bless her. A superb arty bar good for both a cuppa during the day (with outdoor seating in the summer) and a stronger drink in the evening. A student must. 9/10
the café’s style but a range of newspapers are provided. Lighting. another bright and breezy location, mostly natural light as Harlequin’s closes at night. Atmosphere: A relaxed and peaceful place to watch those below scampering about doing their daily chores. Service: Very friendly and amenable giving me plenty of time. Music: I was delighted to hear a soulful Motown mix greets my ears which blended in perfectly with the general feel that Harlequins have created.
Value: My purse strings were not strained in the slightest after my visit, and my recollections are of overall good value. Food: Harlequin displays a range of cakes and the sight of a melt in the mouth chocolate cake proved too much for me to resist. Other points of interest: The high ceilings enhance Harlequin’s sophisticated and airy atmosphere. A classy and elegant décor with slightly irregular closing times for a café, around 4:30. A good place to take your mum. 8/10
Harlequin has a classy and elegant decor, a good place to take mother. Victor J’s is a superb arty bar, a student must, and with
Photos: Paul Cosby
Harlequin: Also tricky to find, Harlequin is situated opposite Toymaster on the first floor of a terrace overlooking King’s Square. Well worth scouting out. Seating: No sofas to be found here, but this reflects the style of the place; a traditional tearoom. Drinks: Harlequin hosts a wide array of teas and coffees and I was delighted to indulge in a pot of Earl Grey, brewed to perfection. Free Postcards: These are not really
Harlequin’s Photo: Sam Dudin
James Drummond goes upmarket in York, setting his sights on Kites ASSUMING THE idea of spending a moderate amount of money on a memorable meal, and then finding yourself in a dubious backstreet location does not deter you; then Kites, I am sure, is one of the better options available to students in central York. Having conquered my fear of heights, and ascended the spiralling staircase to the main restaurant concourse, I was surprised by the understated and modestly-chic décor Kites had to offer. Glancing over the wide-ranging setmenu (£10 for two courses, £12.50 for three), I was taken by the immensely chilled atmosphere. One waitress inconspicuously milled around the ten occupied tables, there were no ‘look-at-me-personalised-ring-tone’ mobile interruptions, and no pressure put on diners to order (although it is preferable to do so at some point). Ordering a bottle of red Merlot, at £16.00, which proved exceptional, put the meal on the right road to success from the get-go. I eventually plumped for the first course of asparagus, feta-cheese and redpepper tart, and my companion opted for the smoked-salmon blinis (small pancakes) with beetroot salsa. Both choices were sound. Although the tart was slightly underseasoned, and the asparagus a little mild for the dominant feta-flavour, the sweetness of the peppers combined the gastronomicmélange of flavours admirably. The ‘can-
ape-esque’ blinis, which I sneaked a smidgen of, allowed me to conquer my childhood fear of the garish-purple monstrosity that is beetroot. Again, however, the aromatic smoked-salmon was almost over powered by the beetroot, but just managed to retain its independence. Bangers and mash for the main course was a conservative choice, as unfortunately was the size of the portion. The two succulent sausages on a ‘bed’ (more like ‘cot’) of mash-potato with a red wine jus were flavoursome and suitably distant from its student-style adaptation of economy chipolatas on Smash, with a cold bovril gravy. The days of dining out solely in anticipation of an eccentric main course consisting of truffle-infused sea bass, with Tanzanian broccoli and pink-grapefruit coulis seem to be well and truly passé. Instead one can now expect nursery-food favourites cooked to perfection, made with exceptional ingredients. Bangers and mash, steak and kidney pie, pan-haggety etc… should soon be available in a Marco Pierre-White restaurant near you. Finishing with sticky banana toffee pudding proved fatal, yet divine. Doused in cream, and chaperoned by a good coffee, it proved a wonderful end to a wonderful meal. Kites seems to be a little off the beaten track but well worth venturing out for (if you get lost most cab ranks will take you door to door for under four quid). Photo: Paul Cosby
Military fever. Charlie wears dry linen cropped trousers, Topman £30, and grey Scorpio logo t-shirt, Topman £12. Ayeesha wears fitted boot-cut trousers, Topshop £28 and beige stretch military shirt, Topshop £30. Both models wear aviator sunglasses, £10, from a selection at Topshop. * Use your NUS card to get 10 per cent off everything at Topshop/Topman. Check out www.yorkvision.co.uk for further shots- and in colour! If you want to model for Lifestyle, email email@example.com
14 : FEATURES yorkVision
May 9th 2001
DIY in South Africa
P17 Wesley Johnson meets some York students fundraising for a unique South Africa AIDS awareness project
P15 GAP YEAR -
NINE YORK students with a handful of sponsorship money and bags of enthusiasm will be increasing awareness of AIDS in South Africa this summer. They will be teaching children as part of the nationwide Tenteleni project. Their aim is to relieve financial and educational hardship in local communities in Mpumalanga, South Africa. The Tenteleni project was founded by Sarah Copas whilst she was still a student in 1998. She had been teaching in private schools in South Africa when she recognised the potential for other students to follow in her footsteps. Sarah says she was encouraged by raising the confidence and level of spoken English in the Zulu children whom she taught. On finishing her teaching, she arrived back in the UK and began recruiting students to return to South Africa in the following year. The Tenteleni project, named after the first school in the townships in which she taught, was then formed. This year, students from eight British universities are taking part in the project which is going from strength to strength. Tenteleni means 'Do-it-yourself' in Zulu and has encapsulated the essence of the project. Stephanie Taylor, York's team leader, explains: "It's not just a matter of paying a certain amount of money and jumping on a plane. The students have to organise some of the logistics of the project each year. This way it remains a project run by students for students, with every penny going straight to the children. She adds: "I wanted to do something significant with my life as a student. "This is a project which we organise our selves, with an emphasis on being able to do what we think we'd best at to help the communities out there. "I'm looking forward to the satisfaction that I'll get out of it. I think I'll find it very rewarding to feel that I've contributed to the community there and helped out in some way. "I wanted experience in a welfare work, to travel and to feel like I was giving something to people whose lives I wouldn't usually be able to do anything about. This project has given me the opportunity to do all these things and more." The group will be staying in a board-
ing school in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga, and working with the children there and in the surrounding townships. Steph adds: "I'm a little bit nervous. There's going to be a culture shock, a risk of disease and it's going to be hot - I've never liked the heat. "But it's their winter when we arrive so it should just be like a very hot day in York. I'm sure I'll cope! "I'll be experiencing a culture which is completely different to anything I've ever experienced before and whose perceptions of the world are different to my own. "Even though it sounds cheesy, I guess it will alter my perspectives on life and on what is important to me." Carey Chambers, a second year politics student, who is also taking part in the project, adds: "This is an opportunity that is too good to miss. Not only do we have a great time and a unique experience, we hope that our varied talents and abilities will help us to be of benefit to a part of South Africa that suffers from financial and educational hardship. "It will also allow us to be effective in raising awareness about HIV and AIDS." Each of the students need to raise £800 to help them fund the project. As
well as contacting local rotary clubs, trust funds, and holding collections around campus and in town, they are each running their own sponsored events. Steph raised about £500 through holding a 24-hour sponsored silence, whilst others in the group have dressed up as everything from panda bears to fairies to get their money together. Daisy Brickhill, a biology student
“I’ll be experiencing a culture that is completely different to anything I’ve ever experienced before and whose perceptions of the world are different to my own. I guess it will alter my perceptions on what is important“
who is also taking part, took to the water and swam a five mile river in Cornwall to make her money. She adds: "I want to pass on some of my privilege to the children in South Africa and I would like to help all I can to do just a bit for these people." York RAG and event organisers on campus have all been getting involved and helping the project. All the proceeds from the Derwent summer event (Thursday week ten) will be going to the project, and they're even planning to have a stall selling 'ethnic jewellery' at Woodstock later this term. One of their most successful fundraising events so far was held at Fibbers on Thursday week four. Campus bands, The Fay Buzzards, Midas, Indeo and the Heroic Trio all played, with the proceeds from the night contributed to the project. Anyone interested in getting involved in the project next year, or wishing to find out any further details, should email Steph on slt107.
For a review of the gig at Fibbers, see Music, p22
The team from York: (from left to right) Liz Rutherford, Carey Chambers, Stephanie Taylor, Kate Baker, Daisy Brickhill, Sarah Mackay, Chris Hodges. Sarah Blease and Lara Scott make up the group.
May 9th 2001 yorkVision
FEATURES : 15
Keeping the right to choose Ayeesha Bhutta looks at York’s childcare and abortion fund AS STUDENTS, we are young, free and single, with no responsibilities and the future stretching out before us. The ties of a family career or mortgage are distant prospects remote from life now. The safe sex message has been so pounded home to our generation that it has become stale and worn. But in some cases the message is ignored. Alarmingly HIV is again on the increase only this time the majority of new cases are heterosexual young people. Other remorselessly rising statistics are those for pregnancy and this is not just the case among fifteen year olds on housing estates. While much of the stigma surrounding single parenthood has diminished over the past fifty years, being pregnant and a student raises many issues and problems. We all know a student loan is barely designed to cover the costs of one person, let alone two. It begs the question what do you do is you find yourself pregnant and at university? The University and the Students' Union provide a number of support facilities for women who find themselves pregnant. Funds to pay for antenatal care can in some cases be provided from the University Hardship Fund which can help with costs incurred as a result of pregnancy. The Health Centre on Campus can provide pregnancy testing and can refer patients for NHS abortions. The
Counselling Service on campus can provide help and advice on the options available to women, as any decision is not likely to be undertaken lightly. The York University Students' Union has a pro-choice policy which maintains that all women should have "The right to control their own bodies and reproductive systems." As part of this two years ago a Right to Chose Fund was set up.
We all know a student loan is barely designed to cover the costs of one person, let alone two. It begs the question what do you do is you find yourself pregnant and at university? This fund consists of £9,000 from the Students’ Union’s funds. Of this the majority (£6,900) is set aside as a childcare subsidy for women who chose to continue with the pregnancy, £550 is for those have been refused help by the main Hardship
Fund and £1,500 is used in the Abortion Fund. Lizzie Tate, the Education and Welfare Officer emphasises that 90% of applications to the Fund are for childcare subsidies, but nevertheless it is the last £1,500 that has attracted the most attention. In the UK abortion has been legal since 1967, yet is still an issue surrounded in secrecy and taboo. In an average year 177,225 women in the UK seek an abortion. 20-24 year olds make up the largest age group which almost 50,00 having an abortion. According to Marie Stopes, an abortion charity that promotes a woman's right to choose, the reasons given for abortion are varied but financial difficulties, rape, homelessness or foetal abnormality are among the most common reasons. On campus, the pro-life group Chose Life provides opposition to abortion on the grounds that all life is sacred. The society seeks to distance itself from the militant tactics sometimes associated with antiabortion campaigners. It claims that in its survey 38% of students were opposed to abortion although it does admit its survey was not representative. The YUSU discourages women from contacting the society as they feel it may pressurise women and is not neutral. Female members of the SU administer the Abortion Fund, promising complete confidentiality and a non-judgmental approach. It will pay for a private abortion if a woman is refused one on the NHS. This
has been a problem in York where recently as only 44% of abortions were performed on the NHS. An abortion in a private clinic can cost between £300 and £500. In the past the fund has attracted considerably controversy. In 1990 it was accused of using public money to encourage abortion in the national press and there were (false) suggestions that it was illegal. The Fund is due to be debated again soon
The YUSU discourages women from contacting the campus-based Choose Life society as they feel they may pressurise women and are not neutral at the next AGM and it remains to be seen if feelings will once again run high. The abortion aspect of the fund is only one part and it is part of a larger network of support for women who find themselves facing the prospect of a baby at university.
CONTACTS University Health Centre: 01904 433920 Monkgate Family Planning Clinic: 01904 630352 Both can provide pregnancy testing and referral for an NHS abortion and also referral for post abortion counselling. Right To Chose Fund Sophie Jewett (RAG president): firstname.lastname@example.org or Telephone 01904 433725 Lizzie Tate (Education and Welfare Officer): su-welfare@ york.ac.uk or 01904 433732 Becky Wright/ Leyla Ozkan (Women's Officers): rjw113@ york.ac.uk / email@example.com Hardship Fund Contact Sue Hardman on 01904 432134 Pick up a form from the Welfare Officer at the Student Centre.
The Vision Crossword
Get thinking! Young person’s rail card for the first five completed crosswords we receive... See p17 for further details
16 : FEATURES yorkVision
May 9th 2001
Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door? Last Thursday, Bob Dylan celebrated his landmark 60th birthday. Gavin Price looks back on four decades of songs, drugs, booze, religion and politics. BOB DYLAN. Trying to review his career in 800 words is like trying to assess the importance of Jesus in a page. It’s Dylan man! . That hippy guy that your parents listened to in the swinging sixties? Oh no. As we reach the sixtieth birthday of one of music’s greatest icons, it’s about time you took another look. Dylan took the folk music movement and sculpted, or smashed, it into what we all know as rock music combining electric instruments and ferociously meaningful lyrics. Over a period of 40 years, Dylan has continuously evolved and regenerated, often dragging the music industry with him. 30 studio albums, numerous greatest
hits collections, a bulky 4 volume bootleg series and countless live performances later, Dylan still draws new audiences, retains die hard fans and generally keeps on keepin’ on. Dylan rambled out of Minnesota and into Greenwich Village, New York, in 1961. This marked the beginning of one of the greatest careers in musical history. Starting out playing a couple of songs in back alley cafes, within a few months he was supporting John Lee Hooker. A few months down the line he had signed a fiveyear record deal with Columbia. In 1962 Dylan released his debut album, Bob Dylan. Despite consisting mostly of covers of traditional folk
song,this solo acoustic effort, with its rough vocals and chunky guitar sound, illuminated a very promising talent. Only one year later Dylan would confirm his skill as a songwriter as well as a performer. With the release of The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, the world at large (including the Beatles) was witness to the blistering pace of Dylan’s evolution. Arguably the best of the acoustic albums, it was laden with deep songs of political protest including the legendary ‘Blowin’ In The Wind’. Dylan was beginning to establish a position as the voice of a generation through his association with freedom
THOSE OF you who have read Wild Swans – by York University’s own Jung Chang – will not forget the brutal image of the old Chinese tradition of foot-binding inflicted upon her grandmother. This ancient practice dates back to 950 AD. Although it was outlawed in 1912, cases were still seen as recently as 1945, when Mao Tse-tung officially banned it. Between the ages of 3 and 8, a girl’s toes were broken and then wrapped tightly under their feet. In some cases, the toes even fell off during the process. By preventing growth, these girls grew up with feet as small as 3 inches. These women submitted to such pain in the name of fashion. These tiny feet and the mincing gait with which the women consequently walked were thought to be erotic and sexy. Enduring such pain in the name of appearance seems ludicrous, not to mention the undertones of female submission to male expectations and pleasures. However is this not what goes on when women wear high heels? Daily, women are inflicting pain, but more importantly long term health hazards, upon themselves – often in the name of fashion and to improve their appearance. Nonetheless, being one of the more diminutive members of this university, I am very grateful for this invention. As William Rossi put it, ‘Not diamonds but heels are a girl’s best friend’. Reputedly invented in 1533 for the petite Catherine de Medici, heels not only make me taller, they are proved to improve the shape of the lower leg. For this reason, male courtiers were wearing heels in the 1700s. They also improve the appearance of one’s posture. They arch the back and are said to increase the protrusion of a woman’s buttocks by 25% on average. Hence why Marilyn Monroe claimed, “I don’t know who invented high heels, but all women owe him a lot.” But do we owe him? The high heel has become so much of our lives that one in five women wear heels to please their partners or employers. They have permeated society so much that there is even a ‘Yo mamma’ joke about them (Yo mamma so fat she went on a date
Every time you wear heels, you seriously damage your feet. What price are we paying in pursuit of slightly increased height? Little Marie Bates finds out...
over fit priority extends to children. As children’s feet are not fully developed until they are 18, it is potentially hazardous for young girls to wear fashionable shoes. Yet again, though, the lure of fashion proves to be too strong. The pressure to look good is immense due to the hundreds of images we are faced with daily of models and fashion. What shoes we wear is only one of the resulting problems. With far greater concerns over eating disorders, foot health remains in the background. As the old Chinese foot-binding tradi-
tion proves, fashion over comfort is not a new problem, especially among women. Victorian corsets were not only uncomfortable, but used to alter internal body organs. Women from an African tribe have had their neck elongated. And today women continue to have facelifts, breast implants and most pluck their eyebrows and wax, all in the pursuit of beauty. This will not change until society changes. At a microscopic 5”1/2’ I certainly do not intend to bin my heels yet, but can take some comfort in the fact that I am alleviating neck pains caused by constantly looking up at others.
movements and regular performances at peace rallies. His next album again illustrated his literary prowess with regards to the political state of the world. The Times They Are A Changin’(1964), however, would be the last of the protest albums. The small infusion of personal emotion present in this album grew into a fully-fledged collection of selfishly poetic songs in Another Side of Bob Dylan (1964). The first four, or the ‘acoustic’ albums, demonstrated an emotional, although rough voice, a deft songsmith and a powerfully skilled poet. He had revived the folk music movement and been declared the spokesman of a discontented generation. The poet Brendan Keneally said “The best way to serve the age is to betray it” and that’s exactly what Dylan was about to do. At the 1965 Newport Folk Festival Dylan went electric. Oh heresy of heresies, he was booed off stage and the tour that followed in 1966 Dylan faced calls of ‘Judas’, riotous crowds, most in damnation, some in worship, every night without fail. Dylan proceeded to release a breathtaking trio of albums (Bringing It All Back Home (1965), Highway 61 Revisited (1965) and rock’s first double album, Blonde On Blonde (1966)) that encapsulated Dylan’s genius and knocked on the door of perfection. Inspired lyrics coupled with both electric and acoustic music, big hair coupled with copious amounts of drugs. This was Dylan’s finest hour. A near fatal motorcycle nightmare inhibited Dylan’s production rate as well as his inspiration. He returned in 1968 with the release of John Wesley Harding, the “first biblical rock album”. The slightly countrified third coming of Dylan continued with the arrestingly honest and direct Nashville Skyline (1969). However, Dylan now descended into a disappointing four year drought, punctuated only by New Morning (1970). This lean creative period began to recede with the release of the exquisitely emotional Planet Waves. The real marker of Dylan’s fourth renaissance is, however, the unassailable masterpiece Blood On The Tracks. Charting the emotional turmoil of divorce and painful nostalgia as well as containing a classic Dylan song-story, this is truly is a wonder to behold, Dylan’s in high heels and came back in sandals.) But are they simply a harmless fashion accessory which we can joke about? Our average life span and working day are much longer than they were 200 years ago. The long hours we spend on our feet have made a big impact on heel wearers and their health – the average person is said to take 5,000 steps a day. In heels the foot naturally slides forward with each step. Such pressure on the toes not only leads to discomfort, but far greater problems. The first problem faced by those who wear heels for a long period of time (6 months to a year) is the permanent shortening of calf muscles and the Achilles tendon, creating discomfort when the muscles are stretched in flat shoes. Hence, many of you may know high heel lovers
Marilyn Monroe claimed ‘I don’t know who invented high heels, but all women owe him a lot.’ But do we owe him? who claim that they now find flat shoes uncomfortable. The shortened muscles are used in normal walking, therefore, require other parts of the foot or leg to compensate for the shorter length. Although you may not notice this at the time, in the long-run it may create painful aggravations in the feet, leg or back. There is a simple test to see if your calf muscle has been shortened. Stand on a slope, with your feet facing uphill and slightly towards each other. If you can stand upright, your flexibility is adequate. However, if you have lean forwards, then your muscles are tight. High heels have also been proved to create back problems. For us to balance, our centre of mass must be located over a stable base. However high heels will
genius in full and glorious flight. With one last great display of majesty in Desire (1976), Dylan plumbed the depths of his own tortured psyche. Suffering an 80’s that combined dazzlingly vociferous Christianity with equally committed alcoholism, this was Dylan’s darkest period, frighteningly so, and he would not arise until 1989. Oh Mercy (1989) was a flash of brilliance that reminded us that a messiah still roamed the earth, it was, as was too often the case with Dylan’s resurrections, all too short lived. He suffered a painfully sparse 90’s, everyone was led to believe that one of music’s greatest legends was dead and buried, until……… Time Out Of Mind.
Combining dazzlingly vociferous Christianity with equally committed alcoholism, the 80s were Dylan’s darkest period.
1997, he has risen. Time Out Of Mind is one of the greatest comeback albums in musical history, acclaimed worldwide by critics and fellow artists alike it earned three Grammy Awards; Dylan accepted the praise and simply continued with the ‘Never Ending Tour’ that has been running since 1988! His Recent single ‘Things Have Changed’ (used for the film Wonder Boys) also picked up an array of accolades including an Oscar. Dylan has been working now for 40 years, on 24th May he will turn 60, yet he surges on. As always he shies from the press and from public expectations. Where he will go from here one would struggle to guess, I’m sure Dylan fans would like to see one more masterpiece to confirm his return to luminance. It seems certain that the ‘Never Ending Tour’ will roll on as Dylan recedes further into the shadows of his own myth, however, to paraphrase the source of so much of his inspiration: ‘Dylan works in mysterious ways, his wonders to perform.’
throw the centre of mass forwards, putting more pressure on the ball of the foot and on already cramped toes. To prevent us from falling over, though, the centre of mass must be adjusted back. Hence the protruding buttocks. All very nice. However, shoulders also come back, bending the spine backwards. The result of this is that by their sixties, three quarters of women who wear heels have serious foot or back problems. This is not mentioning the more common but unsightly aberrations formed on the feet such as calluses and corns, hammer toes, and painful bunions. I am sure everyone can sympathise with the unbearable pain caused by blisters on the feet. Every week in Ziggy’s, girls are seen braving the filthy, glass-ridden, shoe-thumping dance floor and the hazardous pavements of York barefoot, rather than suffer the pain of their heels. And yet the problems persist as women endure pain in the name of fashion. Podiatrist, Philip Joyce, says that “Fashion has a strong influence on the choices we make, and for many, the sense of empowerment and improved selfesteem they gain from wearing high-heels and other fashion shoes outweighs concern over foot health”. This is why 80% of women in the UK would not change their shoes to improve a problem. What is worrying is when this fashion
The Heel Test Stand on a slope facing uphill , feet together: if you can’t stand upright and lean forwards, your heels have shortened your calf muscles.
And now, the end is near...
May 30th 2001 yorkVision
FEATURES : 17
Before heading-off into the sunset, Vicky Kennedy pauses to reflect upon the past, and look to the future. “YOUR UNIVERSITY days will be the best days of your life,” my mother promised as we set off down the A1, careering 200 miles away from my family, my boyfriend and my cat, to start a new life in York. As it turns out, my mother’s cliché was right. Yet now, as I prepare to pack up my life in York, I find myself looking at life with an unusual gloom. If I have, as I fear, experienced the best years of my life by the age of 21, what can prepare me for the surely ‘somewhereabove-average’ days that lie, stretchedout, waiting for me at the end of June? It is sadistically reassuring that this is a situation that hundreds of other students are similarly facing at present in York. Helen Carlow, a third year Psychology student, states that graduating promises a mixture of pleasure and pain: “It’s nice to know that I’ve g o t
degree and achieved what I set out to do, but on the other hand it’s scary because there is nothing to depend on anymore, there is no natural step to take. “I thought that when I got to the end of my degree something would happen to make me decide where I wanted to go but now I realise that it is a decision I will have to make myself.” For many the prospect of facing an existence in a university ‘afterlife’ is carefully avoided through applications for further studies. Statistics reveal that approximately 19% of graduates across the country opted for further studies in 1999, resulting in over 9,000 students pursuing further training. Whilst further study is a necessary route for students following a chosen career path, the courses also boast a solution to any student who is not eager to confront life outside of university: extended studentdom. Helen has accepted a place on a Teacher Training Course to pursue a career as an Educational Psychologist. However she also sees the course as an opportunity to stall the prospect of finding a job: “I now know what I want to do but I would probably have done a course anyway, just because I know I’m not ready to get a proper job yet.” The end of university not only forces graduates to find a career choice however. It also forces them to find a new way of life. On a recent visit home to celebrate the end of my exams, the front
door was opened to me with the confronting words from my mother, “So how does it feel to no longer be a student?” No cursory “Hello, how was the journey?” this time. I was stumped but managed to quickly mumble, “I’m still a student,” with a laugh which tried to suggest that parents don’t know anything about student life anymore. But somehow she had hit upon one of the greatest fears of all graduates: the prospect of an end to the superior life as we know it before the inevitable slog of reality. Hannah Evans, a third year Social Policy student is not sure what she wants to do next year yet, but knows what she will miss the most after university, “I’m looking forward to graduating but I don’t want to leave my friends here. I want to be able to watch This Morning for the rest of my life. I will make my money by winning Midday Money.” Student life does begin to lose its attraction however. There comes a point when everyone want to move away from overdrafts and lectures. James Stevens, a fellow finalist, see his days at York as a stepping stone towards even better times: “I’ve had a great time, but I’m now ready to move on and to start thinking about making a career for myself. Whilst it will be strange to leave, it feels like the right time to start life in the ‘real world’. “The prospect of spending another year studying does not appeal at all and I want to go and do something which will make more of an affect on the world.” As I begin to find boxes to put my collection of three years’ worth of life into and try to find a disguise for the mould in our bathroom before our landlord’s final inspection on the house, I am beginning to feel that my days at York are coming to a natural conclusion. And with all the doubt currently in our lives comes an added excitement that now is the time that we can all do anything that we want, be that to travel, to work, to study or to ponder. We are free to choose our own next move. Amidst all this uncertainty, one thing remains constant: the day that I drive my child to university I will not miss the opportunity to reflect with smiling nostalgia, “These will be the best days of your life.”
All dressed up, but have they anywhere to go?
COMPETITIONS! COMPETITIONS! COMPETITIONS!
Aware, a new magazine aimed at informing men of the dangers of male cancer, launches this month in association with men's retailer, Topman. Male Cancer Awareness Month has been launched by the Male Cancer Foundation to raise male awareness of these diseases. Topman have taken a tongue-in-cheek approach to this serious issue by creating four T-shirts, designed and sold exclusively by Topman in support of MCF's Campaign. The four eye-catching T-shirts, with slogans such 'Have you checked you balls recently?', and 'Who's looking after your Crown Jewels?', will go on sale in Topman stores nation-wide on June 13th and will retail at £12. Topman will be donating £5 from the sale of each T-shirt to MCF. Vision has a first prize of £200(!) of Topman vouchers to give away to one very lucky reader. We also have two runners-up prizes of a Cancer Awareness tshirt each. To win, simply complete the following simplistic phrase: ‘Never mind the ....’ Email firstname.lastname@example.org
WIN! A YOUNG PERSON’S RAILCARD Set the summer term sizzling with the thought that once exams are over you can catch the train ‘outta here’ and enjoy the freedom of weeks of partying! At just £18 for a whole year and entitling the holder to 1/3 off most rail fares in Britain, the Young Person’s Railcard allows you to get out and about for less. What’s more, if you buy a card after May 20th (and before May 18th next year), it’ll be valid for 15 months instead of 12. Vision has five railcards to give away. To win, simply complete the Vision Crossword on page 15, and send through the internal post to Vision, Grimston House
EVERYONE’S A WINNER
Congratulations to Anna Cheshire, who’s won a case of Highland Spring water for correctly identifying Oxygen as the missing component of water, and to Jenny Gordon, who’s won two tickets to the Ministry of Sound festival at Knebworth this summer
It is a question every frustrated male has asked himself. Offering no easy answers, Stoke’s Leanne Rogers nonetheless offers some sage advice on impressing the ladies… WHAT DO we want? Simple. One word… PERFECTION. I hope I’m not the only one to crave the days of Clark Gable, Audrey Hepburn, chivalry and no bloody Spice Girls selling watered down feminism and breast implants. Surely women in the twenty-first century have been dealt a raw deal. What did Scarlet O’Hara get? Sweeping romance and some of the best chat up lines known (or not as the case may sadly be) to man. What do the women of York get? Groped by an over zealous rugby player in Ziggy’s! Is romance really dead? The use of the line “Nice top…but it would look better on my bedroom floor” suggests so, and girls, please share in my disdain that this was actually utilised just last week by a wannabe stud! Needless to say this was a waste of perfectly good oxygen, but do not despair boys, as what doesn’t kill you can only make you stronger and help is at hand. Thankfully, women are a surprisingly forgiving species, honest! So, how do you woo your chosen foxy lady? A good start would be to buy your target a drink. Please note: the women of York University are sophisticated, classy ladies so VK Ming for £1 in Ikon and Diva simply won’t cut the mustard! Next it’s time to exercise your mouth
When men say... “Do you want to go to the cinema?” “I’d eventually like to have sex with you.” “Can I take you out to dinner?” “I’d eventually like to have sex with you.” “Are you feeling any better now?” “Has that pathetic headache gone now because I want to have sex.”
– NO! Supress your hormone-ridden urges just a little longer. I mean strike up a conversation. Now, while it may have been funny in the eyes of your chosen one the time you drank so much you attempted duckicide before vomiting on an unsuspecting porter, it’s not big and it’s not clever! What girls want can only be described as blatant ass kissing. Yes boys, its time to be painfully attentive. Repeat after me; “REALLY!” “YOU’RE KIDDING!” and “OH MY GOD, THAT SOUNDS FASCINATING!” Finally, never compare us to your exgirlfriends, our sisters, our mothers or Jennifer Lopez. You’d be amazed what girls can let slip when they’ve had a bit to drink – that boil on your bum used to be an intimate secret!
When women say... “We need to talk” “Brace yourself! I’m gonna kick your ass!” “I’m not upset.” “Of course I’m upset you idiot!” “You have to learn to communicate.” “Just nod and smile!” “You’re so manly!” “You need to shave and smell of sweat.” “Do whatever you want darling.” “You’ll pay for it later!” “Do you love me?” “Let’s move in together/ get married/ have a baby/ buy a dog/ chose curtains” or all of the above!! “Are you listening to me?!” “Bang! Crash and burn – you’re dead in the water!”
6 things to remember 1: A simple and easy key to success is remembering her name! 2: Women have amazingly long memories – anything you said eight months ago can and will be used against you! 3: Women are life’s biggest hypocrites. It’s okay for us to have random snogs in a night-club (“He didn’t mean anything to me! I was so drunk I didn’t know what I was doing!”) But don’t you darn well dare! 4: If we want a one-night stand you should oblige. If you want a one-night stand you should expect to be seen by all our friends as “that using male tart!” 5: The words “I like your breasts. I just wish they were more like hers” will always end in a slap. Be warned! 6: You can explain the offside rule ‘til you’re blue in the face, we won’t get it and you will seem less attractive with every syllable. Shock Horror! You’ve been sprung and once again the female of the species has proved considerably more deadly than the male. Happy hunting boys!
WHO RULES THE ROOST? Power List 2001
THE TOP 10 1: Andy Macdonald Director of Facilities Management 2: Elizabeth Heaps Head Librarian 3: Bruno Araujo Current Services Officer, effectively runs the SU 4: Roy Whittaker Head of Catering, i.e. Campus Fare 5: Sue Hardman Academic Registrar, in charge of student discipline 6: Allan Warren Both Provost of Vanbrugh and Head of History 7: Tom Smithard Editor of Vision, York's bigger campus paper 8: Owen Rodd AU President, effectively controls UGM quoracy 9: Tom Connor Goodricke JCRC Chair - York’s most powerful college 10: Julia Bailey Licensee of the Charles, the most popular student pub
Where’s the real power? Who has the most influence over York students' lives? And who cares? Probably very few of us. But if you ever wake up in a cold sweat one night wondering who has the power to shape your destiny whilst in York, look no further than this list, the definitive account of York power in 2001. This list was compiled by a panel of Vision writers and editors, taking into account the following criteria: the number of students influenced by a figure, his/her ability to alter their day-to-day lives, his/her public profile, and, the budget under his/her control. Obviously, such rankings can only be subjective, and should not be taken too seriously, although it is interesting to note the apparent negative correlation between self importance and placing on the list. 11: Ben Youdan: President of YUSU, public face of the Union 12: Steve West: In charge of Ikon and Diva, Toff's and the Gallery, three of York students' favourite clubs 13: Mike Jinks: Director of Computing Service, controls all networked computers on campus. 14: Lizzie Tate: Education and Welfare Officer, quietly and effectively looks after students 15: Andy Plowman: Editor of Nouse, York's longest-established newspaper. 16: Jo Radford: Alcuin's JCR Chair 17: Mike Osborn: Manager of Foss Bank's Sainsbury's, students' most popular supermarket 18: Ken Todd: Provost of James, the largest college 19: Nick Besley: Chair of Derwent, traditionally the best college for ents. 20: Kel Fidler: Alciun Provost
21: Claire Rees: Head of the Careers Service, helping make third years employable 22: Ken Batten: Head of security under Andy Macdonald, in charge of portering 23: Emma Powell: Chair of Vanbrugh, the centrallylocated college known for its events 24: James Byron: Halifax Court's JCR Chair 25: Tom Crittenden: President of the notorious Rugby Union Club 26: James Hotson: In charge of York Pride 27: Dan Simon: Next year's Services Officer 28: Ffion Evans: Will become President of YUSU in July 29: Ron Weir: Provost of Derwent 30: Mark Evans: Halifax Court's Dean 31: Ron Cooke: Officially most powerful, a figurehead of the University 32: Cath Macaulay: Manager of beloved supermarket KwikSave 33: Mark Legg: Langwith's JCR Chair 34: Ron Clayton: Langwith's respected and influential Provost 35: Stephanie Marshall: Goodricke's Provost 36: Peter Lee: Wentworth's Provost
37: Simon Hildew: Acting Controller of URY 38: Ali: Proprietor of the University's favourite takeaway 39: Alison Renee: James's JCR Chair 40: Andy Baldwin: Wentworth's last ever JCR Chair 41: Phil Grayshon: Landlord of the beloved Victoria Hotel 42: Zaf: Heslington Road's Mr Monopoly also runs a take-away business 43: Ziggy's Bouncer: Can ruin your evening every Wednesday 44: Brian Odre: Manager of Ziggy's 45: David Milne: Chair of Drama Soc. 46: James Byrne: President of the popular Boat Club 47: Nick Toms: Chair of Campus Conservatives: despite more students supporting Labour, the Tories are a larger society, and Toms does not share his rôle 48= Rory Palmer: Internal Secretary of Campus Labour 48= Frank Young: Tory famous for heckling Anne Widdecombe and egging John Grogan - surely future Chair 50: Richard Leney: Chair of the Christian Union, part of the biggest national Union in the country
THE BIG PLAYERS
THE BIG PLAYERS
THE BIG PLAYERS
THE BIG PLAYERS
THE BIG PLAYERS
As President of the University Rugby Union Club, Tom has the unenviable responsibility of being held accountable over the actions of the club’s 70+ members. Acknowledged more on campus as a social club rather than a sporting one, the Rugby Union Club is perhaps better known for its cross-dressing nights out and dominating presence in Ziggys than its action on the field. An ambitious man, Tom has high aims for the Rugby Union Club... although he could be seen more as a figurehead for his legendary drinking capability and lack of vision once the old Rosie kicks in. As President, Tom has the power to take disciplinary action against any member. A man to know if you want (or need) to get on the right side of the rugby team.
By far and away the most powerful man in the University, Andy Macdonald, as Director of Facilities Management, controls pretty much everything in sight. From the buildings to the cleaners, porters and administration, Macdonald oversees his empire from the very best suite in Heslington Hall. Still a reasonably young man, Macdonald remains ambitious, and would be unlikely to turn down the role of Vice Chancellor, to which he has been linked, if it was offered, despite it actually being a reduction in his power. As an administrator who wields great influence over the University’s budget – he is seen by many academics as a bit of a dark shadow… perhaps a career in politics could be the next step?
As the Senior Assistant Registrar, Sue Hardman is in charge of all student welfare. You may never come across her whilst at University, but if you’ve been naughty, it’ll be to her office you’re ultimately summoned to to hear your punishment. As such she has control over the 8,400 students here at York. Not particularly ambitious for promotion, her top ten placing suggests that there aren’t too many places to rise anyway. However, it must be noted that Hardman has made it certain that she has become the face of University administration for most students as a large photo of her graces page one of the Student Support Services Handbook that all soonto-be freshers receive over the summer vacation.
The name of Julia Bailey sits above the door through which hundreds of students pass weekly. The Charles, easily the most popular student pub, has been known to take over £4000 in one night, mostly money from York students’ pockets. Bailey is known for her courtesy to her increasingly loyal customers. However, employing at least 12 students at any one time, rumours of ‘yellow cards’ handed out to unhappy staff persist. Having worked behind the bar before taking over, Bailey has shown clear ambition in rising through the ranks. Traditionally fast turnover of company pub managers means that the Charles may well have another proprietor this time next year. Bailey plays an important role in York students’ lives.
TOP 5... 1: Tom Smithard, Vision’s Editor 2: Tom Connor, Goodricke JCR Chair and next Services Officer? 3: Andy Plowman, Nouse’s Editor 4= Jo Radford, Alcuin’s JCR Chair and next President? 4= Nick Besley, Derwent’s JCR Chair
1: Andy Plowman, editor of Nouse after just over a term 2: Andy Baldwin, Wentworth’s fresher Chair 3: James Byrne, President of the Boat Club 4= Rory Palmer, Labour’s Internal Secretary 4= Frank Young, prankloving Conservative.
1: Elizabeth Heaps, Head Librarian 2: Sue Hardman, Academic Registrar 3: Julia Bailey, the Charles’s licensee 4= Lizzie Tate, YUSU Education and Welfare Officer 4= Jo Radford, Alcuin Chair tipped as next President.
1: Julia Bailey, the Charles’s licensee 2: Steve West, York’s nightclub supremo 3: Mike Osborn, makes life taste better for students and taxi firms 4: Cath Macaulay, KwikSave’s manager, likes pennies 5: Phil Grayshon, Licensee of the Vic.
Who has the most influence over York students' lives? Several groups seem to CONTRIBUTORS: dominate. Most important is Admin. With their members in four out of the top Adrian Butler five, it’s clear that it is those behind the scenes that truly hold the power. With seven entrants on the list, the historians are the next most powerful Wesley Johnson group - any particular reason they’ve so much time on their hands? So where are the campus hacks? The few on the list seem to be languishing Becca Smith close to the bottom. Whilst student apathy remains so high, that’s where Tom Smithard they’ll remain. It seems that this year, it’s the quiet, rarely-heard, and seemingly unambi- Gareth Walker tious figures that have won the battle over the noisy, self-promoting, campaignA coalition of ex-editors ing hacks. Roll on 2002.
As JCR Chair of Goodricke Tom has much in terms of influence going for him. He is ruler of the undisputed centre of SU politics - the SU building is based in Goodricke and the Dining Room currently hosts the UGMs. Goodricke events are also some of the most popular on campus, particularly The Cooker and the annual York Ball. Finally Goodricke is at the centre of the Bar & Venue row, where it will probably be based (if it ever gets built). Connor has been heavily involved in the discussions since taking over as Chair, making him a pretty influential person. Clearly ambitious, Connor is currently favourite to win the sabbatical role of Services Officer next Easter. One to watch out for.
TOP 5... 1: Allan Warren, Head of Department & Vanbrugh Provost 2: Tom Smithard, Editor of Vision 3: Jo Radford, Alcuin JCR Chair 4: Tom Crittenden, President of Rugby Union Club 5: Ron Clayton, Langwith Provost
Will you make it next year? Find out who’s up, who’s down, who’s out and who’s new, May 2002
20 : FEATURES yorkVision
availability of an electric source, but also the need for all gap year students to attempt to grow a beard. There must be a time at school when all boys considering a gap year are pulled to one side. It as at this moment the secrets of the gap year are revealed. In hushed tones the sandal wearing teacher informs you that no matter how patchy, or roguely ginger it gets, persevere. “It is you see” the teacher continues “The peak of the gap year, when you return to your small village, and can now impress the ladies with you prolific body hair, you never have to let on that it only began to link up on the plane on the way home.” Indeed perhaps crazy facial hair is the point to a gap year, only away from prying eyes can the great side burns we see around campus be developed. If you ask any random with improbable hair whether he went on a gap year, the answer will always be yes. My hatred for gap years does not just come from hair, it is much deeper than that. Back to the scene again of the natives playing in rubbish on the East side of Delhi. They now barely bother to look up as the umpteenth soulsearching teenager walks by, Gold Card protruding from his or her back pocket, and the number for the embassy written in permanent marker on the shiny new travel sack. What makes a gap year is wherever you stay, there are many alternatives, but without exception they sanitise the conditions of the masses. I had a friend who went to India, and spent his time living and teaching in a highly privileged school, not exactly roughing it, and though the food was less than inspiring, he was none the less safe and indeed very removed from his surroundings. A girl that I know went to China, she stayed with a fellow westerner in a flat. She also taught in a school, again privileged children, and though some were on scholarships and came from poor backgrounds, she didn’t see the background, just the children as they were in the school. With this in mind, when people talk about their gap years I am always reminded of the Pulp song ‘Common People’; in particular the bit that goes ‘You’ll never live like common people, you’ll never do what ever common people do, and when your laying in bed at night watching roaches climb the wall, if you called your daddy, he could stop it all’ and that is why the post gap year stories are so very pretentious. ‘You will never know what it’s like to live your life without meaning or control’ - more Pulp I know but still true. As you wonder along the banks of the Ganges catching a sanitised glimpse at the lives of the masses, safe in the knowledge your stay is not permanent, and the dull ache in your arm reminds you of the hundred or more injections you had to protect you, just in case you came in contact with something real. Indeed the friend that went to China summed up the worth of gap years, “Well you see,” she said to me. “When I came to Vanbrugh on the first day, I thought I could live here, it’s cramped but at least it doesn’t have cockroaches.” So there you are, spend six months abroad in slightly sub standard accommodation, and you can cope with life in halls, well done you worldly travelers.
Adam Curran looks into the subject of gap years with his usual cynicism. Are they just for public YEARS, the jourschool neyGAP of discovery, what a marvellous thing. Then again is it loafers? not just the greatest farce?: the over privileged, overly pretentious western traveller going overseas for a few months to experience the world as it once was. The whole idea of a gap year seems strange to me, but it must seem stranger still to those that call India their home. Picture the scene, each year at about the same time, say June or July, a whole bunch of pasty faced eighteen year olds turn up on the doorstep of Delhi. The true gap year traveller sticks out like a sore thumb, amongst his more travel wise bohemian counterparts. He or she will have the travel sack, bought straight from the nearest Basingstoke Millets, the airport tag will still be attached. Further more there will be items that you know will be discarded at the soonest opportunity, the personal stereo, when it is realised by the public school loafer that peasant farms are not a Mecca for purchasing of electrical equipment, the electric razor will soon follow suit. To go on a slight tangent the razor will be thrown as a result of not only the lack of
May 30th 2001
My Rough Patch Kat Simington found it harder than she could have imagined to leave India after 6 months `SIX O’CLOCK in the morning and the city of Chennai in Southern India is already buzzing with people going about their daily business. The cows wander aimlessly while dogs sniff at the plentiful rubbish thrown carelessly to the side of the road. There is an unpleasant scent of decaying rubbish sprinkled with urine and mixed with traffic fumes. Men stand about in their lungis smoking beadis, while striking women in colourful saris rush around. Children dressed in rags come begging for money staring up at you with beautiful big brown eyes closely followed by the adults who society try to ignore, such as the disabled and ill including leapers, slumped at the side of the street holding out a stump where a hand used to be. A few hours later mixed in with this traditional Indian scene are businessmen rushing to work in their chauffeur driven cars, wearing their westernised suits with their westernised way of life. In June of last year, I was standing in the middle of this world with my life on my back, sandals on my feet and looking like a true western traveller. I was on my way home after six months and I should have been happy, but I wasn’t. The sky was blue, it was thirty-five degrees Celsius
and I was surrounded by a society that I loved. As I rushed to the airport in a deathdefying rickshaw I watched the Indian world go past for the last time. Brilliant colours flashed by with different metals twinkling in the bright sunlight and children played happily on the side of the road. The smells flooded my nasal passages for the final time. Scents of spices, herbs, cooking and incense all mingled together to make that typical Indian aroma. I could feel the warm air pulling my hair back from my face while the hot sun shone on it. All around me, over the buzz of the rickshaw and constant hooting of the traffic, were sounds of happiness as friends called to each other and children shrieked with delight. People were optimistic and content. I think I must have been the only foreigner to have sat down and wept at the airport. Why was I leaving this lovely, friendly world? I had said good-bye to the people who had been my best friends for the last six months as they were lucky enough to belong to this wonderful country. I had to fly via Sri Lanka to Heathrow and I sat on the hour-long flight feeling
numb. It was only when I got to Sri Lanka that the harsh reality of what I was going back to kicked in. Here was where the tanned, scarcely dressed bodies joined us. In their ignorance they managed to reject every local tradition and etiquette that they possibly could. As they wandered around in little string tops and even smaller shorts, showing off their new tans, they wonder why the local men stare at them. If they had bothered to find out anything about the country and society in which they were intruding instead of just looking into hotels, they would realise that women do not show their shoulders or knees and men do not wear shorts. This, I am ashamed to say is the typical attitude of the British general public abroad. I could feel the disapproving looks being shot at me from my fellow countrymen about my traditional Indian clothes. Admittedly I did look a mess but this did not matter in the society that I was leaving. Why was I leaving a culture that had allowed me to be an individual? The tanned British children could not keep themselves happy for the short wait that we had at the airport without the aid of the latest singing, dancing, crying dolls or the most bloody, violent, horrific action man, while their counterparts that I had just left could keep themselves occupied for hours with pieces of wood or junk that they found on the side of the street. Yet still they moaned and behaved badly. I could not help feeling embarrassed about being British. Why was I going back to such a materialistic society? We arrived in Heathrow nine-hours later. I have never felt so low. The sky outside was grey and it was cold and rainy, even though it was supposed to be summer. I stood waiting for my scruffy backpack to arrive as the spoilt tanned natives collected their pristine matching luggage. As I walked out into a sea of unhappy faces I had to ask myself why again. Then I saw my wonderful happy family all smiling out excitedly at me from the miserable facade and answered the questions that I had been asking. This is why I came home. Not for the country or the people but for my family because they are the centre of my life no matter which country I am in.
May 30th 2001 yorkVision
A SHining Light Ash are at the top of the charts for the first time in five years with new album Free All Angels. Rachel Stacey met bass player Mark Hamilton to find out how it feels... ASH ARE a band with a history. They are young, they are talented, they are rich, and they have done enough “stuff” to make Ozzy Osbourne look like a small cuddly bunny. As if this wasn’t enough, they’ve managed it before reaching the very tender age of twenty five. With four albums under their belts and no plans for stopping just yet, it seems Ash are destined to churn out songs and bodily fluids for a few more years to come. So it is no wonder then that I am nervous as I approach the ironically goldencoloured tour bus where Ash spend most of their time on the road, and wait for the tour manager to take me into the Leeds Metropolitan University venue where I hope to get an interview with someone from the band. The stories surrounding Mark Hamilton in particular, the band’s bassist, fill me with a fear you can only get when you are faced with the prospect of meeting someone who has nearly drunk and drugged himself to a nervous breakdown. Visions of trashed hotel rooms and the memory of secret tracks in the band’s 1977 album, which featured Mark spewing his insides out through his nose, add a unique awe to the individual who has also been known to leap from venue balconies onto a heaving crowd of sweaty fans. I really didn’t want to interview Mark, so naturally it is Mark, the boy with the “presence”, who is lead towards me as I stood next to the stage and looked, very probably, horrified. Yet, the Mark that leads me to a small room off from the stage area is not quite the hard man of rock I expected. He swigs from a large bottle of Evian water and clutches a half eaten pizza and looks, basically, knackered. He has a cold, and somehow seems smaller than his imposing six foot one. Today at least, I couldn’t see Mark crowd-diving from any balconies. Well aware of the media attention surrounding the band’s drug problems, I make a hasty decision to avoid the subject. The release of the new album, Free All Angels, also represents the re-birth of the band and their attempt to move on from the darker period in their careers that gave birth to the allegedly heavy vibe in Nu-Clear Sounds. In order to move on and concentrate again on the music that is the fuel for as ravenous a band as Ash, the group don’t need eager students like me asking them to re-live and re-tell the acidtinged moments that nearly saw to their early demise. Yet, as tactful as I am, it is not a subject that is easily escaped from, especially as the man sitting before me was perhaps at the centre of it all. When asked about the new album Free All Angels compared to the previous Nu-Clear Sounds, Mark
“Our old manager, in particular, did the production on the last album and he was self-confessed tone deaf. So we got in Alan Moulder, who’s done Eels and a lot of smooth guitar sounds and stuff like that, and I think he did a great job” Mark Hamilton, Ash
acknowledges the difficult period in the bands life: “Nu-Clear Sounds was quite a struggle to write, and quite a struggle to make,” Mark shrugs. “There’s a lot of tiredness behind it and we had to push ourselves to get it done. We had problems in the studio, and we had to fire the first producer and it was quite a dark time for the band. Half the album’s quite heavy and half the album’s quite ‘ballady’, and there’s no middle pop ground. And then I suppose on this album we took a long break and Tim went home, and the songs started to flow again.” Free All Angels is, as Mark put it, “Naturally the next step on”. There is more of a balance between the ‘middle pop ground’ perhaps lacking in Nu-Clear Sounds, and clear evidence of the songs that started to ‘flow again’. Written partly on the Nu-Clear Sounds world tour, and partly in a productive eighteen months at Tim’s parents house, the album flows well and is noticeably more ‘pop’ than its predecessor. But how does Mark feel about the new pop sound? “I think Free All Angels is definitely a new sound, a more pop sound, it’s a rock album with pop songs.” And part of that ‘pop’ is the smooth tone to the new tracks, quite unlike the raw
guitar riffs that grace previous songs. “Our old manager, in particular, did the production on the last album and he was selfconfessed tone deaf. Se we got in Alan Moulder, who’s done Eels and a lot of smooth guitar sounds and stuff like that, and I think he did a great job.” A ‘great job’ is perhaps an understatement; the album is doing well. “Quite fucking well considering it’s number one!” A smug Mark jokes. Yet one of the joys of the album is its variety of song styles. ‘Shining Light’ and ‘Burn Baby Burn’ were obvious single choices and would be quite at home on the 1977 track listing, yet songs like ‘Candy’ illustrates the band’s ability to experiment with different musical sounds. The track is almost Hip-Hop, and I wondered if it was intentional. “Yeah we’d written ‘Candy’ and recorded it about four different times in different styles, and we were in the bar one night and we said, ‘This fucking song’s boring’, and we decided we’d try it different, experimental y’know, and we tried some different timings and we just turned it all out.” Like so many songs on the album, this one just turned out right. But does this Hip-Hop experiment mark a new phase for
the band? Will Ash be writing Hip-Hop tracks next and jumping on the Lauryn Hill bandwagon? “Hip-Hop is evil,” Mark laughs. “We’ve flirted with a lot of different styles. We don’t like to stay stale.” No - you’re not even near your best-before date, and the new album is simply proof of that; Ash’s ability to produce new material that doesn’t simply pander to the punkrock equation. And what could be less Ash-like than an acoustic set? They’ve tried dark and heavy, they’ve even tried Hip-Hop; why not an ‘Ash Unplugged’ session, like Mark’s boy-hood idols Nirvana? “Well, Tim and I have a lot of stuff going on with the regional radio stations, and acoustic is just playing live ‘cos the radio stations seem to like that. We haven’t got any plans to do an acoustic album or anything, but I wouldn’t say no to it, ‘cos I think that one Nirvana did was fucking great!” It’s not just with the radio stations that Ash have a hectic demand - the group have a busy summer ahead and an eager fan base to greet. “We’re doing some big radio festivals, but that’s more like going on and miming a couple of songs, keep the radio people happy,” says Mark, smiling. “But I think we’ve got forty-four festivals
MUSIC : 21
already booked for Europe, so it’s a busy summer but we’re looking forward to Reading. I think it’s gonna be the highlight of the year. There’s a good vibe on the day, and there’s a lot of time just banging around so you usually end up in trouble.” Another grin from Mark. “It’s good. You see a lot of bands as well that you really wouldn’t get the chance to see.” Like who? “I’ve always wanted to see Daft Punk actually, so we’ll get to do that at some festivals if they’re there. And Weezer are coming over from the States to do some festivals, and we’re planning on doing a few shows with them.” Mark actually seemed eager to play to the large crowds expected at this year’s festivals, yet their previous tour, prerelease of the new album, saw Ash playing smaller venues again, strange after the jetset life of their world tour. So why return to small venue roots? “Well, the whole point of that tour was to go out and learn to play live again because we hadn’t toured for about a year and a half. We’d been in the studio and I think we just needed to get back and get the fans back on board, make them feel involved, make them pick a tour where we were playing. I reckon if we’d come on this production tour without doing that tour, it would’ve been absolutely shambolic. So that was great to do.” I wondered how the current tour was going. “The tour? I think it really came together last night. It’s early days and we’re starting to kick back a bit and we should be on a roll from now on.” If the performance that night was anything to go by, Ash really will be on a roll. The new album has given them a well needed lift to their music; although it’s obvious from the opening song at their gig (‘Girl from Mars’) they still enjoy playing their old stuff, the new material has unleashed the vigour the young Ash began with, when everything was new and each song performed came attached with its own preworld domination buzz. For a band that managed to hit near enough rock-bottom and tread a precarious path towards selfdestruction, they have managed to pick themselves up and return again to the fans with a new album that is in no way a disappointment to even the most die-hard Ash groupie. Mark on stage that night looked nothing like the flu-filled individual that was slumped hours earlier against the interview room wall. He, like the rest of the band, seemed to enjoy playing to the fans that surged and swirled to old Ash, Nu-Clear Sounds Ash, and finally “We’re back and we’re still fucking good” Ash. The album Free All Angels (which recently made number one in the charts) is out now, and I advise you to spend some of your student loan on getting it. And, if you have any money left at all by now, go and see them at this year’s Grad Ball 2001. They are worth it.
22 : MUSIC yorkVision
May 30th 2001
Kloot: making ‘History’ Manchester’s finest new band I Am Kloot discuss Starsailor, the so-called New Acoustic Movement and their ‘unusual’ name with James Kelly “YOU KNOW, I think most peoples’ impression of acoustic music is that it’s pretty fucking crap.” I Am Kloot’s drummer Andy Hargreaves certainly doesn’t sound like the namby-pamby bed-wetting stereotype of the New Acoustic Movement. In fact, nothing about them lives up to the stereotype. Singer and guitarist John Bramwell delivers retorts with acid wit during gigs whilst bassist Pete Jobson appears to be a latter day fop who just happens to know some of the bluesiest bass licks going. You wouldn’t imagine that they like being called part of the New Acoustic Movement. “Well, we’ve fucking denied it from the word go,” spits John. “The NME rang us up just to do a quick interview and the next minute they’ve put us in an article containing all these other bands. And we were the only ones to kick off really; everyone else was saying how nice it was.” Pete continues, “The bands saw the music not just the acoustic guitar. The tag New Acoustic Movement sounds really shit doesn’t it? It doesn’t really get you excited does it? We’re not into that.” “It’s bollocks, fucking bollocks,” concludes Andy, before cheekily adding, “We get the tags because we’re talented.” Well, they don’t like that tag. Better take it tentatively; um, so, you know, what about being leaders of the Manchester Renaissance? “They can’t wait to get us in all kinds of things can they? I think of it in the same way as the other,” laughs John. “Our first two singles were limited edition and sold-out on the back of gigging. So it always feels insulting really. It makes people who haven’t seen us think that we’re getting on because of that movement. But it was fucking happening before that.” “There’s this idea that there are a lot of bands in Manchester hanging around together and I think if there is anything going on, it was way back, not now,” adds Pete.
Hum, I think I just about got away with that. One thing seems certain; surely these boys don’t fear for their album being launched into the nu-metal dominated world? John again takes the lead. “Well, I’ve always listened to loads of different kinds of music so you can own a Motorhead record and a Simon & Garfunkel record at the same time. I mean, if you look at everyone in rock, At The Drive-in are something brilliant but Limp Bizkit are crap. It’s a case of, well, some people are fucking excellent at it and some people aren’t. “We recorded the album in various rooms because we didn’t want to record in a studio. One song is recorded in a disused old peoples’ home. Why? Because it was a nice big echoey room.
“Most of the album’s like that. Just finding nice rooms and capturing those moments,” asserts Andy. “And it’s worked. There aren’t many albums you can listen to from start to finish and want to put back on again. here there aren’t any shit tracks. I haven’t heard a record like it for a while.” Such confidence is justified, but they’re playing venues like Fibbers whilst newer bands such as Starsailor are already further up the ladder. “Well, they’re the chosen ones,” theorises Pete. “ It doesn’t really matter about the size; it depends on the audience.” “We like the fact that it’s growing organically,” interjects Andy. “I mean, if I was in Starsailor, I’d be shitting bricks. You know you’ve shot your bolt.
“And they’re drab,” John pronounces with little love. “It doesn’t annoy us; we’ve had a lifetime of watching wankers come and go.” For a band that sounds so miserable on record they do seem very optimistic. They’re not even knackered after touring relentlessly, Andy destroying another myth. “It’s a big myth, the old moaning pop people going ‘Oh, it’s so hard on the road’. I know what hard work is – that job I used to do is hard work. This isn’t.” So finally, John, what the hell is the name about? “Intriguing isn’t it? It’s a mystery. We found out after we’d called ourselves this that in Holland, the interpretation is ‘I Am Bollock!” If you’re wondering, they’re not bollocks. They’re rather special; just don’t label them.
“Starsailor are the chosen ones. If I was them, I’d be shitting bricks. You know you’ve shot your bolt. They’re drab. It doesn’t annoy us. We’ve had a lifetime of watching wankers come and go” I Am Kloot: Smokin’
Heroic Buzzards have Midas touch Laura Hamilton
Heroic Trio/Fay Buzzards/ Midas/Indeo York Fibbers Thursday 17th May THE PROMISE of this showcase of campus talent - organised by students to raise awareness and funds for the Tenteleni project in South Africa (see Features section) - drew a large crowd, and the pub was soon full to capacity. First up were Christian rockers, InDeo. With their upbeat, summery sound and enthusiastic stage presence they started the night off in great style. The upbeat ‘Giving It All To You’, with its infectious guitar riff, soon had the audience bopping like teenagers in the mid 90s. Indeed InDeo’s music fits nicely into the Britpop mould - especially with the Boo Radleysesque ‘It’s a Crazy World.’ T h a t InDeo’s songs are about, and inspired by, their Christian faith is well-publicised.
But tonight InDeo simply state their influence in the same way as any other band introduce their songs: positively and unobtrusively. The competent live string playing added a great dimension to many of the songs, and all in all InDeo gave a wholly spirited performance. Assaulting the eardrums considerably more than InDeo were Midas. Although I must confess that Midas’ particular brand of heavier, frenetic rock was not really my cup of tea, they certainly prompted an enthusiastic reaction from the crowd. Although the band was obviously wellrehearsed and their performance slick and tight, the songs couldn’t help but sound a little same-y. Having said this, the band obviously have a core of fans who were
much in evidence. Frontman - Luke Mersey - endeared himself and his band further to the crowd when he threw minifurbeys into the audience. In contrast to the heaviness of Midas’ set were the irrepressible The Fay Buzzards. From their first song - the catchy ‘Honey’ - the band had the crowd glued to the front of the stage like a mecca, in happy reverence. Their songs are a delightful and unpredictable cocktail of funk, jazz, blues and rock. The variety of the songs provided the lead singer, Chris Hodges with the ideal medium through which to showcase his strong and flexible singing voice. It was the ballad ‘Firefly’, however, which ultimately brought the punters to a standstill. The achingly sweet, dissonant piano chords
From their first song - the catchy ‘Honey’ - the Fay Buzzards had the crowd glued to the front of the stage like a mecca, in happy reverence
that accompany the vocal line are reminiscent of early Tori Amos. But with The Fay Buzzards you never know what is coming next, and in this case, it was a rousing performance of a new Latin-flavoured number. Finally came the well-established allgirl group Heroic Trio. Battle of the Bands finalists in 2000, the ‘Trio’s performance proved that the group’s creative, bold and individual sound just keeps on going from strength to strength. The dark, penetrative tone of many of the s o n g s was complemented perfectly by the frontwoman Sarah Moore’s extraordinarily rich-toned and occasionally gravelly singing voice. The Heroic Trio manifested the confidence and sense of being at ease in front of their audience which surely comes from the popularity that they have enjoyed so far. The spectacular drumming of Jane Boxall was as powerful and impressive as ever. Their varied set mixed harder, thrashy numbers with gentler ballads, all the songs displaying the same degree of competence and polish.
Gig Guide with James Kelly
AH, WHAT it’s like to be a loner. Going to the cinema by yourself, laughing at your own jokes, having pretend mobile conversations in public, or hanging about with Goths. Oh, poor Clearlake; stood up by their joint headliners Terris at the last moment. Still, their Delgados-influenced guitar pop should make a few acquaintances at Fibbers on 31st May. Lost Prophets and Tung follow on 7th June but they don’t need mortal friends. No, the Dark One will guide them through their moments of solitude that they like to call life. Outside of York though, some people have friends. In fact, J. Mascis & the Fog used to have a few. The ex-Dinosaur Jr. frontman plays at the Cockpit on 3rd June, but he might be too cool now to bother making friends. Mark Eitzel; well he’s an American singer-song writer, meaning he had so few friends at school that he couldn’t even get a band together. Still, he’s venturing out into public on 6th June at the Cockpit so make him feel unwelcome and give him something else to moan about. However, Mark B & Blade, ha ha. They even make me feel loved and I’ve never even had to stoop to make friends with Feeder. This duo recently had their single remixed by Grant Nicholas of said mediocre indie group and still couldn’t get a top twenty hit. Make of that what you will. In contrast, Manchester sees a group of musicians who deserve to be popular. You know, they’re the ones at school who are actually alright if you get to know them but you don’t want to be seen hanging about with them. So Regular Fries, perennial under achievers play at the Life Café on 30th May with The Toes supporting. Well, they will be playing if their dope habits have left them enough money for the bus fare. On 5th June, Medal play the same venue. Similarly, they’ve also recently been dropped by their record label and are now looking to make friends at a new school with their particular brand of miserable guitars and hip-hop beats. Tindersticks don’t need to make friends on 5th June at the University MDH because they’re quite happy to sit by themselves, wallow and write poetry. Should be a barrel of laughs for support band Mull Historical Society. Possibly the world’s twee-est band, the ‘society (as we shall know them in future) hail from Mull and write downbeat but deceptively tuneful laments about the minutaie of small island life. Alternatively, Roni Size represents the kid who used to be popular but now no-one bothers talking to. Still, he’ll be drumming and bassing all over the place on 7th June at the Academy. Yeah. Then the heavy boys arrive. Not content with being loathed by everyone over the age of twelve, Incubus will rock this mother on 8th June. Singer Brandon Boyd has been labelled ‘Rock’s next star’ by no less an authority than Kerrang! magazine. You have been warned. Limp Bizkit hit the Evening News Arena on 10th June, probably well aware that the audience will be younger than at an S-Club 7 gig, and will probably want to skate board before the show whilst getting drunk on a couple of shandies. Then Fred “I’m working for the Man” Durst will come and steal their money and give them a tee-shirt so rebellious that their parents will disapprove. Whoo-ha. Oh yeah, Thirteen: 13 play at the Roadhouse on 12th June but that doesn’t matter because they’re sub-Teenage Fanclub nonsense. New single ‘Truth Hurts’ has been described as having the same impact as Travis’ Driftwood. Does that mean it’s a dreary, forgettable, overrated dirge?
May 30th 2001 yorkVision
MUSIC : 23
Chan’s Orchestral Manoeuvres York Campus band Waiting for Chan wowed the Jack Lyons Concert Hall on Sunday 20th May with a 40-piece orchestra gig. Simon Keal speaks to their singer and reports from the show IT WAS a hard one to miss. Weeks before the gig itself, Waiting for Chan frontman Tay was busily promoting his band’s Orchestra-backed Jack Lyons concert hall gig in extravagant style. “40 PIECE ORCHESTRA GIG!!!” screamed the subject heading on the University newsgroups – a boast that attracted some hilariously vitriolic responses, mostly questioning who the band were and how they could possibly dare to be so imaginative. Shortly afterwards followed the posters; we would, they assured us, be witness to the Chan’s ‘Orchestral Sessions’ – all for the modest price of three pounds and fifty pence. Not only that, but everyone in the entire music biz seemed to be coming – from sundry members of Elbow to the NME. Waiting for Chan frontman Tay spoke to Vision before the gig. He says that, “I got the idea when I did the arrangements for a gig by Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran. I thought after that it’d be good to try something like that with my own band. I think it gives you more scope to do something with a different style.” Despite having thrown himself open to cynicism, he was unrepentant about the gig’s possibilities. “I think in life if you try to do something interesting, people will try and play it down. If there was another band doing something similar, I’d be really excited to see it but there’s always going to be criticism. A lot of it seems to be coming from other musicians, as well. On the other hand that’s only 50% or less of the people, you know, and a lot of others are really into it. It’s disappointing when people knock it but I don’t give a fuck really.” Before the gig Tay appeared to have few concerns about how smoothly it would run: “We did a rehearsal the other day and the arrangements were working really well, though a lot of the time was spent with me shouting my bollocks off at
the performers, trying to get everything right. The orchestra is basically the best players from the University orchestra. All the leaders are particularly strong, I think.” Perhaps unsurprisingly, there has also been talk of record company interest. However, Tay doesn’t think this is the main aim of the concert: “There’s been some interest on the basis of the demo I did which was basically made up of three minute versions of the songs, but on Sunday they’re going to be much longer. The sound we are trying to create is completely different from what we were doing before, I don’t really think it’s marketable.”
Voodoo Glow Skulls/Union 13/Mr Shiraz Leeds Cockpit 5th May PUNK ROCK is one of the most frequently pre-judged styles of music around today. Often, telling people that you like punk rock produces a similar reaction to saying that you eat coal; people stare at you, wonder if you’re joking and gradually edge away muttering “Hmmm, how.... erm...interesting.” The sad fact about this is that many bands who fall under the punk banner also escape the attention that they rightly deserve. Tonight’s show, however, went some way to putting this enormous injustice to rights.Despite their relatively low-profile, the Voodoo Glow Skulls warranted a poster in Leeds bus station, mysteriously promising ‘special guests’ too. Mr Shiraz continue the trend of cool ska-rock coming out of Huddersfield. Although acclaimed as ‘the next big thing’ in rock by everyone from the BBC to the Yorkshire Evening Post, opening acts at punk-rock shows tend to be cannon fodder; shoved on stage so the hecklers can use all their best swear-words before the main acts start. Mr Shiraz obviously had other ideas, providing a great set of shoutalong, melodic, ska-punk with at least
turns haunting and uplifting, sometimes reminiscent of Nick Drake’s Five Leaves Left highpoints ‘River Man’ and ‘Way to Blue’, at others the grander pop of Neil Young’s occasional experiments with the London Philharmonic like ‘A Man Needs A Maid’. Despite the occasional technical hitch, Waiting for Chan succeed in holding the audience’s attention for over an hour, despite some of the songs’ inordinate length. Though they’re a four-piece, Tay is indisputably the leader, and though he rarely talks to the audience he effortlessly holds the attention with his intense performance, particularly when accompany-
The Jack Lyons concert hall: Quite literally Waiting for ‘Chan’
Voodoo magic Steve Pewter
There’s a clear self-confidence in Tay’s demeanour which would be unjustified if the performance didn’t live up to it. However, it’s probably not overestimating things to say that their performance in the Jack Lyons hall was the best gig campus has seen in some time. The orchestra provided a firm backing for many of the songs but wasn’t over-used, allowing the songs to breathe through the arrangements. Tay’s voice is superb, recalling Tim and Jeff Buckley but with a calibre of its own, while the music fluctuates from occasional Spiritualized grandeur to the more spectral atmospherics of Sigur Ros. Meanwhile, the strings, when used, are by
three vocalists screaming alternately. Mr Shiraz showed just what a warm-up act should do; warm up the crowd. Union 13, Los Angeles’ premier hispanic street punks, came on next and were greeted with a big wave of apathy. Despite telling the crowd to “show some fuckin’ energy” after several songs, they never seemed to grip the listeners with their structured hardcore sound and ended up sounding slightly amateurish. Union 13’s set showed a number of good ideas drowned under the repetitiveness that can plague hardcore bands and in the end, only their cover of Rancid’s “Roots Radicals”, sung in Spanish, attracted the attention they would have hoped for. Of course, the reason that everyone had turned up was the Voodoo Glow Skulls, as evidenced by the way that the room packed out as soon as they took to the stage.Mixing high-speed ska timing, metal guitar leads and Mexican bandstand-style brass, the Glow Skulls showed everyone present how ska-hardcore should be done. From their opening with ‘Shoot the Moon’ to the final song, their classic ‘Band Geek Mafia: The Horn of Justice’, the band thrashed through a set even faster than their recordings. Despite occasionally seeming slightly perturbed by the never-ending stream of stagedivers, the Glow Skulls were not put off their pace and, with all the harmonious trombone and trumpet riffs marking their distinctive sound, left no-one unsatisfied. Long live punk-rock I say.
The Cast-aways return to Power in Leeds Rachel Stacey
Cast Leeds Cockpit 21st May AFTER WAITING for nearly an hour outside The Cockpit where Cast were due to perform, a surprising mixture of fans piled into the small building where the once tipped-to-be-the-next-best-thing band had obviously been having technical difficulties only minutes before. The impatient crowd chanted and heckled its way into the building; indie kids, students with dread-locks, platinum blond teenage girls, and a small selection of drunken Liverpudlians, obviously proving some kind of allegiance to the Liverpool based foursome. It’s true though: Cast have always had a wide fan base. Their songs have always been upbeat enough, and John Power’s vocals unique enough, to guarantee that most people know at least a chorus of a Cast song. And somehow, bless the boys, they have managed to make three very good albums and retain very little kudos. Few people will actually admit to liking Cast, let alone to actually owning any of their albums. Yet a subversive crowd of surprisingly eager fans have managed to pluck up the courage to sneak along to see the band on their first tour in over a year. And I can’t understand why more people didn’t have the same idea - I had never seen Cast play live until that night, and the set was astoundingly good. The whole band, including the very hairy Liam “Skin” Tyson, seemed to enjoy even the drunk men from Liverpool and their constant jeering. Power’s voice can sound weak on record, but live, the rising octaves in old hits like “Guiding Star” prove the extent of his vocal ability, with the crowd throbbing in rapture to meet him on the high notes. The whole point of this small-venues tour seemed to have been to showcase some of Cast’s new tracks that will appear
on the forthcoming album “Beetroot”, due for release on 30th July. The band’s website had led me to expect an, “amazing and refreshing sound”. Well, the new stuff - like intended single “Desert Drought” was not startlingly different. Cast are still unmistakably Cast, only slightly more “funk” inspired. One song in particular had the distinctive quality of a reggae track, and the other new songs seemed to follow in this particular vein. However the lack of any dramatic change in direction doesn’t mean the tracks aren’t any good. Cast left the stage as the crowd cried out for more, not returning as I expected they would. Yet perhaps this was the point - Cast have returned with a worthwhile new sound that will probably ensure the continuation of their demure success.
Power’s voice can sound weak on record... live, the rising octaves in old hits like “Guiding Star” prove the extent of his vocal ability
ing his voice on piano. It’s quite clear that a huge amount of thought and preparation has gone into this. The concert climaxes with a 20-minute long song which eventually morphs into the Star Wars theme before reaching a stunning, percussion-led climax (by which time the band have already disappeared). Though the more dismissive reviewer might simply toss in a laboured prog-rock comparison here, there was very little actual self-indulgence involved; instead, a feeling that Waiting for Chan wanted to do something interesting and challenging with their music. By campus-band standards, this gig certainly represented something of an experiment, but it succeeded superbly.
The music fluctuates from occasional Spiritualized grandeur to the more spectral atmospherics of Sigur Ros. Meanwhile, the strings, when used, are by turns haunting and uplifting
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24 : MUSIC yorkVision
The World’s First Ever Review of
Belle and Sebastian’s ‘Jonathan David’ Tom Smithard
FINALLY THEY are back. After a disappointing last few years which have seen the release of a couple of mediocre albums and few live dates, Belle and Sebastian return with a UK tour and a damn fine single, out on June 18th. The A Side is another funky and upbeat northern-soul style rock, more ‘Lazy Line Painter Jane’ and ‘Boy With The Arab Strap’ than anything else they’ve done. No doubt soon to become a perennial favourite downstairs at the Gallery each Wednesday, the track tells a inconsequential tale of two friends fancying the same girl. It does have its drawbacks though. Unfortunately the singer is Stevie Jackson rather than the traditional front man Stuart Murdoch, and with the best will in the world, whilst he can play a slide guitar like a bitch, his vocal range just isn’t up to scratch. As with all Belle and Sebastian releases, it’s the B-Sides that make the release magical, and this is no exception. Track two sees Murdoch reprise his role as chief-storyteller, and ‘Take your Carriage Clock and Shove It’ is, as could be expected, a mournful, string-infested ‘We Rule the School’-esque number about an office worker forced into early retirement by an ambitious youngster. The CD really comes alive with the final track. ‘The Loneliness of the Middle Distance Runner’ has always been a live favourite, both for the band and their fans. Along with ‘Fox in the Snow’ and ‘This is just a Modern Rock Song’ it expresses perfectly today’s youth’s mild disenchantment with society – we’re unhappy but can’t be arsed to protest. ‘Middle Distance Runner’ takes a look at what has been achieved by one individual in a year and comes to some pretty negative conclusions, all with a background of whimsical, foot-tapping, folk rock. Brilliant.
May 30th 2001
Staples’ diet Isobel Todd
Can Our Love... Tindersticks (Out Now)
YOU SHOULD be able to re-think your life in the course of a Tindersticks album. Drink a few casks of wine, spoil a couple of suits, fill an ashtray, take a lover / write to your mother, sleep out an ice age and wake to find Stuart Staples still warbling pretty words into the back of your mind. Unfortunately the band seem to have taken accusations of pretentiousness right in the groin. They may have returned to Indie Label Heartland, after a spell on Island with ‘99’s Simple Pleasures; but gone forever, it seems, are the 16 mark
On stand out tracks Sweet Release and Can Our Love..., the band expand one spine tingling harmony into five minutes of yearning
Stuart, of course, still sounds like Vic Reeves’ club singer, performing to an audience of three in the back streets of Hackney, his vocals throbbing in and out of the realm of audibility as though something’s fucking with your reception epics and poncey French titles. Gone too, more positively, are those irritating fast instrumental fillers, which always threatened to wrench you out of a hard won state of morbid narcosis. But with this meagre eight track offering you’ve hardly popped a cork before final track ‘Chilitetime’ is weaning you off with the cautionary words, “Got this feeling now, it’ll never stay long.” Still, there’s plenty of melancholy to be had in the meantime, with an opener entitled ‘Dying Slowly’, followed by the agoraphobic ‘People Keep Comin’ Around’ (a song which, in anyone else’s hands, would simply be about fancying a quiet night in watching the telly) a n d , elsewhere, on ‘No Man in the World’, the Tindersticks’ staple spoken lyric about watching your house burn down and feeling, well, a complexity of fairly negative emotions, really. Stuart, of course, still sounds like Vic Reeves’ club singer, performing to an audience of three in the back streets of Hackney, his vocals throbbing in and out of the realm of audibility as though something’s messing with your reception. Helped along by that sophisticated new beard (unlucky in love, you say?) the Tindersticks front man remains a model of wasted dignity whilst, on stand out tracks ‘Sweet Release’ and ‘Can Our love…’, the
Crazy ‘Horse Simon Keal
It’s A Wonderful Life Sparklehorse (Out 11 June) AMIDST ALL the hysteria over Nu-Metal and New Acoustic music, another intriguing development has arisen stateside; that of the Neil Young impersonator. However, it’s a little more difficult to categorise and dismiss this new-ish breed, since they count many of the America’s finest bands among their number. So, just as Mercury Rev lit up 1998 with Deserter’s Songs and The Flaming Lips and Grandaddy provided the musical highlights of 1999 and 2000 respectively, so Sparklehorse – or specifically their frontman, Mark Linkous – are here to brighten a gloomy year for music so far (in the metaphorical rather than actual sense, of course). It’s A Wonderful Life is Sparklehorse’s third album, following on from debut vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot and its follow-up, Good Morning Spider. Linkous’ music has a history of miserablism, and he once nearly died following a
drug overdose, so it’s perhaps understandable that an awareness of mortality and a consequential downbeat tone runs through his music. It’s A Wonderful Life sees him once again plowing a similar musical furrow – sad songs sung in high voices – but two key factors prevent this music from becoming boring. Firstly, after a few listens it establishes itself in the listener’s mind as a genuinely affecting record – a slow-burner but one that rewards further listens rather than sacrificing interest for immediacy. Secondly, Linkous’ wracked vocals are complemented with a continually unconventional musical backdrop – one that fully conveys the grace of the music without ever lapsing into self-indulgence. The album opens with its title track, and immediately a mood is set; Linkous is morose, and wants to tell us about it. However, the title itself isn’t necessarily a misnomer; the album’s mood isn’t one of despair, and though it’s not exactly joyful either, the opener and second track Gold Day are both redemptive songs at heart. In the case of the latter in particular (“May all your days be gold my child” ,runs the chorus), Linkous’ mood is emotional but
positive. Meanwhile, the music has a country-ish tinge, though the occasional vocal effects and weird noises mean it’s far less conventional than that would suggest. If we were in the business of categorising, I’d say it had vague connections with alt-country, but I’m not, so I won’t. Featuring a selection of backing vocalists from PJ Harvey and the Cardigans’ Nina Persson to Tom Waits (who co-writes the album’s only really out-there moment, Dog Door), the album holds a melancholic mood throughout, but it’s not so bleak as to be unlistenable; indeed, the likes of ‘Piano Fire’ and ‘Little Fat Baby’ prove to be uplifting given the right mood. As with all the great albums of recent years, there’s a perpetual feeling that light exists at the end of the tunnel, and that this album is Linkous’ attempt to get closer to it. Tossing around descriptions like ‘album of the year’ probably isn’t very helpful given that we’re only in May, but it’s difficult to foresee another LP in 2001 that so effortlessly achieves its aims as this. Assuming Mark Linkous remains a miserable bastard for some time to come, the music scene will continue to reap the benefits. Long live Neil Young.
Sparklehorse: the miserable one is in the hat
band continue to expand one spine tingling harmony into five minutes of solid yearning. But there’s just not enough time for the Soul to get grimy here- so the violin’s a little too polished, the bass a little too jazzy a n d , Christ, my f o o t ’s started t a p -
With self-confessed Groove-Rock cretins Freaky Blue Monkey Freaky Blue Monkey are: Nic- Vox Merton- Bass+ b.v’s Graeme- Guitar Nels- Guitar Ned- Drums
Matthew Jay Please Don’t Send Me Away Graeme- Dreary indie bollocks Merton- Nice shimmery geetar Nic- Starts off ok, but doesn’t go anywhere…develop… Nels- I like this, but then I like everything. Manic Street Preachers Ocean spray Merton- Geetar intro sounds like ‘Coffee & TV’ (Blur) Nic- Very Predictable Ned- Boring drums Merton- Bored already. Gimme the Holy Bible any day Graeme- Crap Spacek How Do I Move/ Get Away Graeme- (swaying) It’s a good beat Merton- Bit different…could get into this Graeme- Drug smoking music Ned- Yep Nic- Not sunny day type music, maaaan Jason Downs Cats In The Cradle Graeme- This is boring shit they’ve given us- it’s all the same Merton- Oh dear, token rapping bits, kinda hip-hop beats. Nice tune, but then we knew that already. Nic- (hums to tune) Graeme- Everything’s b.b.q. musicbackground stuff.
ping… Button up those suits
The Airs of Prog Rock Isobel Todd
10,000 Hz Legend Air (Out Now) SOON EVERY university campus will be ringing with this, the follow up proper to 98’s critically and commercially adored Moon Safari. Of course, York still seems to consider DJ Sash the ultimate barbecue soundtrack; but you won’t find him rhyming ‘cosmetique’ with ‘arithmetique’ will you? Air, at worst, make wall paper dance music- but with 10,000 HZ Legend they’ve done away with the saccharine gloss of their debut, and replaced it with an eerie and often bewildering collection of multi facetted space shanties. Beats and synths continue to float and shimmer, and the pristine female vocals of past hits like ‘Kelly watch the Stars’ still adorn many of the tracks. But elsewhere they draft in their mate Beck, who contributes harmonica and offkilter vocals to the Gomez groove of Vagabond, and a bout of whistling on ‘Don’t Be Light’. It’s clear from the outset with Electronic Performer- where machine beats shift and a cold robotic voice intones, ‘I want to bash my soul out on your brain’- that this album won’t sit quite so comfortably alongside Morcheeba. This may not be as conceptual as Daft Punk’s 80’s subversions, and their names may not rival Zoot Woman’s Jacque Lu Cont, but Jean-Benoit Dunckel and Nicolas Godin have cultivated their very own brand of unashamed and thoroughly listenable continental prog rock; wizard costumes included. Like most casuelle dance, this isn’t going to take you anywhere when consumed alone- but with such insidious grooves as are to be found on single ‘Radio#1’, it should make you feel more capable of moving.
Koot Dentist’s Chair Graeme- Got a Motown vibe Nic- I can imagine driving to this Merton-this is quite cool. Might check this band out Nels- yep Dandy Warhols Godless Merton- I hate this band. Gimme Def Lep any day Graeme- And it sounds the same as the others. Surprise. Nic- Background music. Boring. And I object to her dopuble-barralled name (Taylor- Taylor) Robert Miles Paths Merton- Not quite what I was expecting. It’s more Massive attack than the Robert Miles I know. Still don’t like it Graeme- (Shakes his head) It sounds the same as , er, stuff that sounds the same. Not like anything else we’ve reviewed, mind. Nic- Disappears into the genre. Nothing special. Voy Missile EP “Running Out” Graeme- Def Lep bassline, Merton!! Merton- Fuck you. I like this. Reminds me of western Sci- Fi. Dunno why. Nic- (giggles) Ned- I like this band
Nels- Yep “Storm Before The Calm” Graeme- Very angst- rock Merton- You can hear some classic rock influences though. Nic- Needs more bite and drama. “Just slip” Graeme- I liked the drum Beat, but then it went all Robert miles with vocals Merton- Not as good as the other songs. Ned- Yep. “Nothing shocks” Merton- Yeah. Cool. Graeme- Mmm, better. Even more Western Sci-Fi. Can understand why Ned likes this Ned- Yep Nels- Yep. Nic- Still lacks, er, something… But it would appeal to people who like this music. Ned- Helpful comment there.
May 30th 2001 yorkVision
WIRED : 25
Idolising the Internet
Triston Attridge dreams about fast and Internet access - where the air is pure and proper content runs free. Some time ago, I had a dream. A dream which many shared. A mystical place, where your computer could take you to worlds unimagined, and you did not even need to leave the room. Yes, the Internet, where everything is possible. In the early days when the idea was still new, it was a mystical place. Surfing was becoming the vogue, and everyone wanted a slice. A new age was beckoning, the Information age. Due to British Telecom's steadfast refusal to unravel the local loop (this was some years ago), you still had to pay per minute for the phone call to connect to the beast. The service providers, the company that jacks your phone calls to the main web, performed at a charge. Rather than making the whole business annoying, this added to its attraction. You must be having a good time when you end with a fifty pound bill at the end of month. Soon many were wired up. Though the high costs of actually staying online meant the event of jumping into your virtual information car was usually a short treat. Due to the added interest, a whole range of media and services came into being to help guide people on to the net. Service providers were compared, sites reviewed, and tips offered. A section of the populace was turning virtual. Surfing the Web. Hitting the Chat Rooms. Joining the Information Superhighway. It was fantastic, wasn't it? If research was required, you could think briefly about your problem, and then retrieve the solution from the huge Information Lake that the Internet surely covered. Imagine. A quick click of the mouse and the search engine page jumps up. Type in your query, and it hits like a hammer. Absolutely nothing. Or should I say everything? It is quite confusing to categorise, as I am unsure where the numerous porn links fit in, which though are annoying, should really be expected. In the order of 30% of all internet traffic is taken up by this sort of data, and I am now, eight years on from when I first had internet access, absolutely convinced that the other 70% is mostly rubbish. The Information Superhighway is incorrect, a more apt term is 'The Information Super Traffic Jam'. I am not denying that the target of your search does not exist - just that it is so hard to get to. What does Jenny's Fan Club, which transpired to be a picture of the aforementioned Jenny, and her hobbies, have to do with the inner mysteries of Entropy? And more importantly from my point of view, why did it keep appearing in my search? If you don't get an irrelevant page, or a 'naughty' one, you will often land in the commercial. One search will time and
time again fulfil your modified criteria, and seems to be precisely what you are looking for - for the price of fifty pounds that is. This could be viewed as a slight antithesis in concept. The Information Superhighway, the biggest information store that has ever existed. They said that all you needed to do was to pay your phone bill and connect up. They even said that all you had to do was insert the CD-ROM. They said nothing about paying on a per item basis to retrieve what you need. I think I can be fairly confident that my actions immediately after finding such
did burst. Rather selfishly, I am not moaning about their loss of millionaire tags, but now the rapid rise of the annoying popups. In the beginning, advertisers were content with banners at the top and bottom of every web page. Then, they noticed that not many people were actually looking at the adverts and going to the corresponding website. The marvellous solution was to pop the advert up in other window, so that your attention was forced to it. They even changed the advert so it looked like a window's dialogue box, so that when you try to send it to the darkest pits of hell by
they assumed that people would only use the net for a few hours a day, and they could make a profit. Everyone of course did what is to be expected - they left their computers on permanently, which understandably the providers could not cope with and ceased the service. Although the Internet isn't what it was cracked out to be out the start, it is still addictive. The information on there might not be one hundred percent relevant, but it is still an overlload of information, and that can’t help but fascinate. Many sites do provide interesting content for free, but they are of a certain type only. People's
this idea distressing. They would like to earn money through the net, and would provide a respectable service in order to do this, but at a cost. The third is the net of the majority. At one end we have the 'Hello, I am Jenny' webpages, and at the other dedicated sites providing useful, fun information for free. Movements have been started towards all three extremes, supporting their ideal only. Which type will prevail is hard to guess, but whatever happens, the Internet is not the all-beating, perfect paradise it was made out to be.
Web Watch John White
a page are the actions of the majority. The page is closed, maybe with a choice expletive, and we either try again or give up. This is why I find the recent dotcom bubble so confusing. I can understand spending money online to ease the purchasing of some physical goods, such as groceries, books or videos, but other ideas were plain idiotic. They seemed completely set on the idea that net users spend money like water. The best site on the web is one that provides a service, and provides that service for free. Unfortunately, society being what it is, people noticed, and the bubble
clicking on the close button, you instead are transported to the advertiser's webpage. Now, unlike those early years, we are bombarded with pop-ups while struggling through our searches. It is admittedly a lot cheaper now to access the net, helped by BT’s slow unravelling of the local loop. Last year was a particularly a good one. Some service providers appeared that were willing to offer net access for at a monthly fee - sometimes as cheap as ten pounds a month - and no charge for the phone call. For some unknown reason,
net habits are very predictable, they know what sites to visit, and these usually exist in the bookmark file. Rather than ride the Information Superhighway, we stroll in the Information Backyard. The future is hard to predict, as we have a number of different ideas fighting for dominance on the net. One is that everything is that information should be completely free. In this world copyright is a grey issue and one can quite easily travel the dark roads to pick up some mp3's, or even more. The opposite of this is the corporate ideal, who understandably find
Tired of lugging shopping back from Kwik-Save? Do you often forget your groceries, and have to egg out your existence on marmalade sandwiches for weeks on end? Well, remember that you can online shop! Both Iceland.co.uk and Tesco.com both deliver to campus and the surrounding area. With Iceland, you have to spend at least forty pounds, and with Tesco's there is a five pound delivery charge. In both cases, you get your shopping delivered to your kitchen, with a minimum of fuss. Studentwatchout.co.uk have announced a 'unique' new policy which focuses on students - which essentially amounts to insurance on desktop or portable computers. This service is offered worldwide, and therefore is particularly useful for all international students. Thinking towards your career? Gradunet.co.uk are holding virtual career fairs starting in June, where you can chat live with top graduate recruiters. As I am sure the whole world is aware, it is Sonic the Hedgehog's tenth birthday this year, on June 23rd. This just so happens to coincide with the release of Sonic the Adventure 2. Visit www.sonicteam.com to find more about the hedgehog hero.
The Ultimate Battle: Tank Versus Submarine Andrew Eliot takes a look at JVC’s latest offerings for the playstation. Submarine Commander and Panzer Front. Should they sink to the depths or rise supreme? Submarine Commander starts off with an introduction explaining how a nuclear submarine, involved with a peacekeeping mission, emerges to find everything underwater due to global warming. Subsequently one learns that those who have survived have become hostile and one goes up in battle against others who survived when the land became submerged. The introduction gives an idea of what is to follow in the game, a slow start with blocky graphics doesn't fill one with impending awe, and the game is no different. It starts with a slow introduction explaining the controls required to play the game in the form of an onscreen tutorial. The only downfall of this idea, is that the controls seem to have been muddled, which only adds to the confusion, as trying to figure out what one is
meant to be doing becomes trial and error. The interface is very bland, with the aid of horrendously poor graphics explaining the story line, which is slow and tedious; Chuckie Egg revisited - except without the playability. The 1st mission involves attacking a submarine, basically, load the torpedoes, aim and shoot. There seems to be very little else to do and about as much thought was put into the game as in a school project. I expect that the only improvements to be made later on in the game would be improved weapons, better armour, etc. which you can buy after completing the mission, if
you can find the right key to access the shops. The game doesn't appear to allow one to go any further. So, from the small amount of the game that I have seen, I would have to say that it is not really one that would rank among the all time greats. The interface is bad, the graphics blocky, and the game play non-existent. It is a dull game with very little to get into and would definitely be one to avoid. Panzer front is a game based upon the tank battles of WWII and involves spearheading an attack. The game starts with a short FMV sequence and then goes to the menu, giving one the option to start the game or run through the tutorial. The tutorial is clear and lays out the commands needed to play the game, a positive advantage over Submarine commander, being the controls are correct. The game starts with you choosing from a selection of tanks and then gives a very brief mission briefing, just a few lines of text. It certainly doesn't drag one into the game. I suppose the only advantage of this is that the game is quicker to start. However, the menus are badly done, and it just gives a tacky feel, which you take into the game
with you. The first mission starts with the objective of destroying five enemy tanks. This is a short training mission, which gives a feel for the game. The graphics have improved from Submarine Commander, but are still a bit blocky and the background scenery is not up to much. The game is easy to play, but from my perspective, it is a game that is difficult to get fully involved in and one that always has me reaching for something else to do. It's not enthralling, although it is a vast improvement on Submarine commander. The mission later on in the game may
Most tank attacks apparently took place in picturesque villages.
improve, but I think the best one could expect is a change of scenery and a few more tanks, and then more of the same. The interface isn't appealing and doesn't invite one into the game with the impression that it is a good game, and subsequently one's impression of the game whilst play is always tainted and it is difficult to maintain ones interest. So, once again, as for Submarine Commander, there are better games to spend ones time and money on. Give it a miss.
That is, assuming they didn’t get bombed before they got there.
26 : FILMS yorkVision
May 30th 2001
Film failings officially YOUR fault
WELL OK, it wasn’t all a failure and it wasn’t just your fault. Last issue we told you about the upcoming first York Independent Film Festival on campus, and warned you that ‘however dynamic and well-organised this festival turns out to be, its success relies on the attendance and feedback of York students’. You didn’t listen. You were wrong. The festival, held over the weekend of May 19th and 20th, was professional, eclectic and inspiring. Perhaps there is no way of getting through to you people, but we intend to try. Over the next two pages, Vision looks at the highs and lows of the festival, adopting the spirit of persistence that will hopefully keep this event alive for years to come...
Adam takes action Lisa Forrest and YSC Chair Adam Amara wonder if York and Independent Film can ever live in harmony WHEN ADAM Amara first suggested the idea of a film festival to innocent York Student Cinema members last October, he was envisaging one room showing whatever independent videos they could get their hands on. He is still amazed that the
Adam reckons that all campus societies would have a better chance of succeeding at ventures like this if there was more co-operation among them. The festival has done something to improve this situation: YIFF arranged through BandSoc for
event could have become well-known to film-makers around the world, simply as a result of fifteen devoted students sending out e-mail after e-mail for the best part of an academic year. Adam is ‘incredibly proud’ of the work done by all the festival volunteers. The fact that everything ran so smoothly and that the students and directors who attended couldn’t emphasise enough what a great time they had is still overwhelming him. But he shouldn’t be surprised, because last year, while studying at the University of Davis in California, he pulled off a similar festival all by himself. Literally. While working on that, he was planning ahead for the huge support he knew he would get from YSC when he tried the idea out on them. Having so many helpers meant the first York Independent Film Festival just kept growing. Though they acknowledge that there was a lot of administrative red tape to overcome, YIFF have clearly shown that large-scale events run entirely by students aren’t an impossibility.
“The festival will definitely be going ahead next year”
ward is to keep running the event, to overcome the wall of resistance by simply refusing to go away. Although Adam himself will graduate this summer, he maintains that ‘The festival will definitely be going ahead next year’. He acknowledges that while the summer term may not be the ideal time for an indoor, weekend event, it couldn’t have been done any other way because it really
Vision’s picks of YIFF’s maddest movies D - Program 67 minutes of short documentaries, mostly monologues by Californian radicals or academics on the joys of hallucinogenic drugs or the reality of UFOs. Also some intellectualising about buffaloes. My Job & My Job 2
The awesome Ingvild Soederlind tells us a bit about her careers as pilot/ caver. Luckily, she’s insane, using an oven as a dashboard and some sofas and sheets to go caving in. Tiny comedy nuggets.
Dog Eyes Certainly the worst film I have ever seen. Brat’s handycam is stolen by dog who then solves crime!! Punchline: “The dog’s a really good director”. Like Sesame Street in Hell. Daddy’s Little Girl Very slick Dutch fable of a father’s dodgy, depressing activities - observed by his toddler from the back of the car. Brickannia Horribly magnetic Latvian animation about a crazy bunch of wooden birdcreatures on the moon, living, eating, and hurting my brain. Respectable In the great Chris Morris tradition of genius, poker-faced comedy, toff Charles explains that to retain their millionaire lifestyle, he has become a pimp and his wife a prostitute... In Search of the China Hat Two frisbee players glide through this fantastically simple ‘mockumentary’, dreaming of the ultimate trick.
Students are overwhelmingly self-satisfied about their propensity for experimentation - why doesn’t this extend to their filmwatching habits?
Adam Amara, YSC Chair
local bands to play acoustic sets in the concourse to entertain filmgoers between screenings, and YSTV helped them out by lending video equipment. Despite these endeavours, Adam has even greater plans for the future. What most people have heard about the festival is its low attendance numbers, and Adam is contemplating teaming up with City Screen for next year’s festival in order to shift the focus away from campus and hopefully attract a bigger audience. There are proposals to show some of the festival shorts before ordinary films at YSC during the coming months, which should add some olde atmosphere to the weirdly plush PX/001. YSC are clearly not a society put off by the disappointment of a low turn-out and they all seem very keen to come back for more next year. Adam and I agree that audiences are put off by the hit-and-miss nature of short films. But in a university context this doesn’t make any sense. Students are overwhelmingly self-satisfied about their propensity for experimentation - why doesn’t this extend to their film-watching habits? We could conclude that York students are just too lazy to bother with new events, but Adam notes that he encountered the same apathy at Davis. I can understand YIFF’s conclusion that the only way for-
has taken the whole year to plan. They may not have made a profit but those who attended were impressed. Moreover, YIFF have shown the University administration that students can hold events of this kind - taking over the entire Physics concourse and inviting in members of the public – in a responsible and professional way. Word-of-mouth should be enough to ensure a better turn-out next year. Who knows? - maybe one day we could be up there in the league tables for our entertain-
Adam’s picks of the festival:
Thoughts on Ray Vibrations Only 5 minutes long, this short experimental film feels like it goes on forever. The combination of undulating, hypnotic waves and a mesmerising voice-over intoning excerpts from scientist Michael Faraday’s writings did it for Adam anyway. He admires the experimental that takes pride in making no sense... Wise Words ‘T’ai chi with a wicked twist’, this short and sick two minute shocker won Adam’s approval for its amusing ability to get straight to the point.
York Independent Film Festival 2001
May 30th 2001 yorkVision
FILMS : 27
Coming soon to a cinema near you... oops, my mistake, you’ve missed them. Just to rub it in, some highlights of the first York Independent Film Festival... The Homeboy,
directed by Dave Gebroe
The Homeboy is a neat piece of work. From the first scene, where ‘MC-squared’ is mulling over his long-past, first hit single 'On a Scientific Tip' and decrying his need for more of a 'Mobmentality', to the last scene, where MC-squared and ‘Hooly Hooligan’ set off to England with guns, because the 2nd amendment encourages it, the film is funny. It is funny above all. Perhaps nothing but funny. The script is brilliant and includes such gems as (to the lyrics of one of the songs of Hooly Hooligan): "There's coppers in London, There's coppers in Leeds, but my favorite copper is a copper that bleeds." There is deranged physical comedy from the character of Hooly Hooligan, a veteran rapper from the Davy Jones school of English. There is a fancy-assed sink named 'The Wentworth' - which, of course, lends the film relevance to the student population of York. I suppose here MC-squared would say "I was being ironical." But despite it's unusually above-par sense of humour, The Homeboy does have some lapses. For example, the much-used-Dumb and Dumber-throwback-of-adiarrhoea-scene. However, if released more widely, I would have no doubt that it would be huge; especially on the back of the Eminem/Ali G mania of late.
Mannen, director unknown Mannen is a short film. It seems to be more of a parable: the story of two girls. One girl is in a happy relationship, the other has just got dumped by a guy with dreadlocks, apparently. The girl in a relationship takes the other out to the park to catch a man - they try several, but fail. All of them turn out unsuitable somehow: one’s gay (I mean two), one’s got a girl, one’s just too scary. So, in defeat, the girl in a relationship wanders off to buy an ice cream and whilst she’s doing that, who does she bump into? It’s her boyfriend romancing someone else! Oh no, men are awful. So she goes home (the one that’s in a relationship, or was) and confronts him. They appear to break up but then the next shot is of them getting out of bed. Curious. But then the punchline hits: the girl walks outside to have breakfast with the girl next door and kisses her good morning! Oh so that’s the solution; men are awful, go get yourself a woman. But who’s this girl next door ? Didn’t she come out of nowhere? No, she didn’t - well, there were a couple of shots of her earlier; looking at the girl in the relationship. “Mannen”. Ridiculous?
The Girls’ Room, directed by Irene Turner AT FIRST glance, The Girls’ Room appears to be a typical American coming of age comic drama. But on reflection, although it shares similarities with many of the teen flicks that have invaded our cinemas in recent years, it displays more depth and engages the viewer to a greater extent than its more popular counterparts. The film does not boast a famous cast; though they may have been more recognisable to a US v i e w e r, the only name and face I recognised were those of Will Wheat-on. But it made a refreshing change to watch a film without the preoccupation of starspotting and watching for typecasting. The plot centres on two girls at college who share a room but are the complete antithesis of each other: Grace is a Southern Belle who is
to be married to her sweetheart as soon as she graduates, and Casey is a wild-child with issues who sets out to make her roommate’s life hell. To get revenge on Casey for stealing her notebook complete with revision notes, the night before her exam, Grace decides she must get close to her. But in doing so she learns that there is more than one way to live your life. Correspondingly, Casey realises that despite her posturing, she would like to have some stability and that for her, the alternative lifestyle is not all it is cracked up to be. Not wanting to spoil the ending, in case you are ever given the opportunity to see this enjoyable independent film, I will say that there are not too many surprises, but perhaps this gives the film an edge of realism, as life often does not end with the entrance of a White Knight on a steed. For all its likeness to saccharine sweet, teen flicks, The Girls’ R o o m stands apart because it does not approach the dreaded subject of ‘coming o f age’ with the view that there are winners and losers, those who are good and those who
are bad. Instead it opts for the position that we are constantly learning about ourselves and to be different is okay as long as we can see the world from others’ perspectives and learn from them too. Despite its low budget, the film was well-acted and the soundtrack chosen expertly: unobtrusive but a muchneeded ingredient in the modern teen flick.
Woodstock for Capitalists, directed by Ian Darling A SHAREHOLDERS’ meeting does not seem like a particularly fascinating starting point for a documentary, but this memoir of one man's pilgrimage to a huge company’s AGM is nothing short of compelling. A Sydney investment broker, Ian Darling's documentary account of his pilgrimage to Omaha, Nebraska, to meet his hero Warren Buffet, head of Berkshire Hathaway, one of the world's most successful investment organisations, is uncritical but the viewer cannot help but be moved by the naïve adoration for Buffet. Such affection is unsurprising, as shares in Berkshire-Hathaway provide amazing returns for investors: a person who invested $5,000 in Berkshire Hathaway 22 years ago would be sitting on $2 million today. Buffet invests successfully and (reasonably) ethically, in good old-fashioned American businesses. He owns around 10% of CocaCola and American Express. Thus the shareholders’ meeting, the largest in the world, is a millionaire's convention -hence Buffet's quote: "a Woodstock for Capitalists" with an atmosphere somewhere between a rock concert and a revivalist Christian meeting. There are quasi-religious overtones to much of what goes on in Omaha. Certainly Darling and his colleague, Mark Nelson, are devoted disciples, both having constructed full-blown shrines to Buffet in their officesn and partaking in bizarre rituals over the weekend. In one simultaneously hilarious and disturbing scene, grown men Velcro tennis balls to their head, speak Latin and drink Champagne, all in the name of Berkshire-Hathaway. Darling has created an interesting, if sycophantic, documentary which never questions the logic of travelling from Sydney to Mid-West America simply to meet Buffet, nor the morality and consequences of multinational investment. Such trifling considerations won’t get you anywhere in this world…
POV, directed by Lesley Manning POV FOLLOWS the efforts of documentary filmmaker Harry (Shane Taylor), making a docu-soup in a supermarket. Although the film is now two years old its relevance has not diminished, since POV's first release in 1999, British TV has been awash with the kind of docu-soap that provides the plot for this film. Filming for the documentary initially goes well for Harry with a schizophrenic "goods intake manager" seemingly providing a good focus for his series. However when this fails to impress his production company he is forced to fabricate a love interest between two of the store's employees. The mismatched love affair between the intellectual Gloria and the scum-bag Shaun helps to boost ratings, but poses a number of problems for film-maker Harry - not least because he finds himself falling for Gloria. Harry is forced to wrestle with his conscience about the artistic integrity of engineering a relationship for so called "Reality TV", whilst
also placing Gloria in increasingly intimate situations with Shaun, much to his personal consternation. POV is a perceptive insight into the interaction between art and life and media manipulation. However, POV is essentially a very funny film, finally finding some use for the mundane medium of the docu-soap.
York Independent Film Festival 2001
28 : FILMS yorkVision
May 30th 2001
Mummy Happy Returns Paul Hirons
The Mummy Returns Director Starring
Stephen Sommers Brendan Fraser Rachel Weisz
IT'S THAT time of year again. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and you can't turn on the TV without seeing the perfectly groomed face of some megaceleb beaming radiantly at you as they promote their latest 'project'. Yep, you guessed it, it's Summer Blockbuster Season, and kicking us off in spectacular - albeit rather shallow - style this year is the movie that thousands of twelve-year-olds will be dragging their begrudging parents to see: The Mummy Returns. It's got explosions in it, you see. And monsters and stuff. Cool. Okay, so sequels aren’t known for their massive contribution to the film industry. And let’s face it - the original Mummy wasn’t exactly a cinematic masterpiece. It was, though, an enjoyable - if ultimately nonsensical - good old-fashioned family adventure. And at the end of the day, those of you who lapped up the non-stop action of the first movie will be pleased to learn that the formula hasn’t been radically altered. So let's put our cynicism to one side for a moment. After all, just because a movie is a sequel, and described in the press release as a 'fantasy action comedy' (probably), you can't automatically assume that it's going to suck, can you? Well yes, actually, you can, but bear with me because The Mummy Returns is nowhere near as dire as you might expect. In spite of what many critics would have you believe, the movie is not an offensive travesty of epic proportions. In
fact, it's actually quite entertaining. Of course, it's very much a case of style over substance, with visual appeal playing a far more integral role than depth or originality - a cinematic equivalent of Britney Spears if you will. But who needs depth when you've got a computer generated army of hell-hounds tearing across the screen? Of course it's cheesy; that's the whole point.
It’s very much a case of style over substance, visual appeal playing a more integral role than depth or originality - a cinematic equivalent of Britney Spears if you will. But who needs depth when you've got a computer generated army of hell-hounds tearing across the screen?
The plot, wavering as it does between vague incoherence and utter nonsense, has clearly not come from the collective fountain pen of Hollywood's greatest scribes. Some drivel about reincarnation and pacts with the devil seems to be at the centre of it all, but the inconsistencies and irrelevancies of the storyline are forgotten when the real stars of the show - the special effects team - are let loose with the computer graphics software. The result is a brilliantly nauseating series of eye-popping set-pieces that become increasingly ridiculous and overly dramatic as the movie progresses. The problem here is that the creators constantly have to surpass their own creativity, which means that the audience eventually becomes a little immune to the everincreasing hordes of rotting corpses and sword-wielding demons. But, hey, you can't have everything. The acting, as is to be expected from this kind of thing, is of course uniformly dreadful. Brendan Fraser is hammier than a butcher's window display, and Rachel Weisz isn't much better. What saves them, though, is the fact that the entire cast is obviously having a huge amount of fun playing with big swords, desecrating sacred tombs, and giving way to Sunset Beach-style hysterics whenever the mood takes them. They know it's nonsense, but they couldn't care less. And neither should you. Keep a look out for TV's Donna Air, too, as a vacuous bimbo in search of cash. Typecast? Surely not. The Mummy Returns, is, in the end, a film aimed squarely at the younger end of the market. Its 12 certificate, and lack of any real violence or bad language (the occasional 'arse' aside) means that older cinema-goers may well be put off paying good money to see what basically amounts to a 'kid's flick'. But cast those age-ist doubts aside, swallow your pride, and join the twelveyear-old masses who know entertainment when they see it, and you won't be disappointed. Go on. You know you want to.
Ultimately, The Mummy Returns offers everything you could possibly want from a Hollywood blockbuster. It's loud, it's colourful, and every penny of its multi-million dollar budget is right up there on screen. Mindless, shallow entertainment doesn't come much better. Sit back and enjoy Summer's here.
Depp and Demme Do Drugs Phil Diamond Blow
Director Ted Demme Starring Johnny Depp Penelope Cruz Running Time 124 mins SO AS not to get sued by the head honchos at New Line cinema, I might just clarify that headline for you. Drugs - a hot topic in cinema - are re-visited by director Ted Demme in Blow. Blow (an alternative name for cocaine), traces the life of George Jung, the man held single- handedly responsible for introducing cocaine to the US. The
The rich heritage of drug films has clearly not passed director Ted Demme by. He tries to be Martin Scorsese from the presence of Ray Liotta to the use of voice-overs and camera angles
film’s action follows George Jung (played masterfully by Johnny Depp) from his birth in poverty, through his ascension to Drug Lord, and finally to his inevitable downfall. Enhanced by a magnificent cast, including Penelope Cruz and Ray Liotta, the film very nearly wins the audience over. The first 45 minutes are stylish, humourous and absorbing. Yet ultimately Blow disappoints. The director commits a fundamental flaw in trying to make the story span over thirty years. As a result the characters are left over-stretched and under-developed. The film is also mistaken in trying to create sympathy for the lead by showing him as generous and ambitious. His goodnatured personality simply does not cut it with the rest of the film. Drug dealers on celluloid are typically portrayed as paranoid and nervous and it seems to me that Depp is simply not ruthless enough to pass as a top level dealer. Yet this in itself does not condemn the film. What does is that the story’s premise of the rise and fall of drug dealers has been over-exploited, and films such as Goodfellas or Scarface handle the idea better. The rich heritage of drug films has clearly not passed Ted Demme by. He tries, and nearly succeeds, to be Martin Scorsese. This is evident throughout the film from the presence of Ray Liotta to the use of voice-overs and camera angles. This un-original style of directing makes the film unworthy of its two hours of screenplay. If it wanted to be compared to Scorsese it would have had to be something special. Compared to those great movies, Blow simply comes out as average. Put simply, it’s Goodfellas without the colourful characters or memorable dialogue. Save time and money and simply rent that out on video instead.
SCHEDULE Weeks Six - Eight All films are shown at 7.30pm in P/X001
Thurs 31st May Finding Forrester Fri 1st June Vertical Limit Sun 3rd June Back to the Future Mon 4th June Requiem for a Dream
Thu 7th June What Women Want Fri 8th June Enemy at the Gates Sun 10th June Back to the Future II Mon 11th June The Claim Thu 14th June Remember the Titans Fri 15th June Proof of Life
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Festival of Fun
30 : ARTS yorkVision
May 30th 2001
ARTS Wedded bliss? Taking positions The next installment of Jayne Rimmer’s heralded theatre reviews: ‘A Respectable Wedding’
Frances Lecky reviews The Henry Moore Institute’s new exhibition, ‘Figurative Sculpture and The Third Reich’
HAVING JUST recently been to see Bertolt Brecht’s play ‘The Mother’ at York Theatre Royal, I was looking forward to seeing more from this German playwright. I must confess though, an easy mistake to make by any theatre go-er I think (hope) you will agree, I went into the Drama Barn with a pre-conceived idea of what I was to expect. I admit wholeheartedly that I found, yes, you guessed it, the complete opposite. ‘The Mother’ was first performed in Germany in 1932; a politically charged play detailing the rise of the Bolshevik party in Russia from 1912 onwards. It zooms in on a young man whose mother is determined to join the party to protect him from mischief and somewhat ironically becomes a figure head. Now, skipping a lot of plot line and many, many, sad propaganda songs, ‘The Mother’ is charged with a controversial attack against the system and given the mood of the audience (this was performed during the May Day Riots against Capitalism) provoked a substantial reaction a good sev-
WALKING THROUGH the tunnel that connects Leed’s City Art Gallery and The Henry Moore Institute, I slowly realised that something was seriously awry. Firstly, everyone in the room was extremely well dressed: the gallery was filled with smart people in suits, milling round sculptures and sounding suspiciously erudite. A camera bulb flashed on my right, and I noted the wine, coffee and food laid out on the table. A lady approached me and inquired which newspaper I was from. Suddenly, I realised that I had stumbled in on the press opening for this new exhibition. Because I had come through the tunnel from the main art gallery, I had avoided the front entrance to the Institute. I stammered York Vision, grabbed a glass of
The Drama Barn was a great setting for this short play enty years after it was first performed. What’s this got to do with the Drama Society production I hear you cry? Well, I’m just getting to that. ‘Respectable Wedding’ was also, retrospectively, a play charged with controversial emotive implications not about politics, but, more closer to home, the delicate subject of male power and female subversion. Instead of the dark, sympathetic tone of ‘The Mother’, this earlier play is initially light-hearted and witty. Imagine your wedding night. Family and friends return to you nuptial abode for some light hearted celebration. Instead you are faced with the family and friends from hell who are determined both intentionally and inadvertently to ruin your evening. Tom Cooper is brilliant as the eccentric father of the bride who intends to steal all the attention away from his daughter, entertaining the party with age-old stories from his youth and beyond. The bridegroom’s mother (Natasha Harrisson) was also good as the stereotypical fussing mother, who has not yet grasped the fact her son is now an adult and does not need reminding about buttoning up his waistcoat and straightening his tie.
The dinner party becomes a war-field of snide remarks between the guests; a couple whose marriage is well past its sell-by date are intent on ruining the evening with their arguing and back-biting. A young friend of the bridegroom insists on singing a very bawdy joke about pre-nuptial arrangements (which is most upsetting the bride herself, who we realise at this point is at least 4 months pregnant) and to top it all off, two young characters (played by the excellent Jenny Jays and Giles Rushton) disappear behind the scene for a little bit of hanky-panky, the dulcet tones of crying and screaming emanating onto the stage much to the embarrassment of the elder sister. The set was a bit of a mine-field with the groom’s most treasured home-made furniture falling apart to the enjoyment of the most cynical of the guests. The comedy value was often well conveyed however there were times when it suffered from a bit of over-acting in places. The Drama Barn was a great setting for this short play as it provided an intimacy that included the audience in the jokes which on a larger stage may have had the opposite effect. The twist comes as a shock as you realise that the comic, farcical scene in front of you is not actually that funny anymore as one of the guests lashes out at his wife with a chair-leg. Pulling her off the stage to his own home the audience is left dreading her possible fate at the hands of her violent husband. In that respect, Brecht is able to bring home the moral of his play. Subtly done, it definitely makes the audience stop and think about the issues involved, something which he is very good at. I spoke to the director Max Brode about such issues and asked him whether he himself felt awkward about including such a scene and he stressed its importance at conveying the satire of the German bourgeoisie the play is aimed at. I agree that the scene needs to be as strongly portrayed today in order to get the message across. It is, as we all know, something that is highly controversial in the present controversial debate on gender issues. The onstage relationship between the bride (Madi Pennell) and the bridegroom (Jo Godsal) is put to the test in the final scene as their persistent arguing becomes quite awkward for the audience to watch. Brecht, as only Brecht can, lifts the tone again and we leave the performance laughing at yet more surreptitious sound effects of squeaking mattress-springs and creaking floor boards as the couple end their wedding day in the traditional way. A definite roller-coaster of a play but
What’s On! Grand Opera House, York Tickets : 01904 671818
West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds Tickets : 0113 213 7700
4 June - 6 June: ‘Ladie’s Night’ 14 June: ‘The Wizard of Oz’ 15 June: ‘The Marriage of Figaro’ 23 June: ‘Paul McKenna - Hypnotic’ 24 June: ‘ABBA Gold’ 26 June - 30 June: ‘What a Feeling!’
4 May - 9 June: ‘Broken Glass’ 25 May - 16 June: ‘Inconceivable’ 11 & 12 June: ‘Large’
Brecker’s ‘Predestination wine and began to circulate round the room. As the eloquent voices of the press faded into the background, I began to focus on the immense bronze and castiron sculptures that dominated the room. To support his vision of ‘A One Thousand Year Reich’, Hitler ordered an extensive building programme that saw the construction of sports arenas, stadiums and public monuments. Many of these were adorned with sculptures, mostly of neoclassical men and women, athletes and glorified heroes. The Henry Moore Institute has collected a number of these sculptures and presented them in a thought-provoking manner that reveals a great deal about the ideology behind this form of art. Focusing on sculptors who remained in Germany, rather than those who went into exile, this show represented the artists who created the symbolic figures of National Socialism. One room contained a collection of
Exhibitions @ Civic Theatre Exhibition Room, 10am - 5pm: Arne Jacobsen, 60’s lighting, Knoll design classics, 60’s furniture classics & New designers Friargate Theatre Tickets : 08459 613000
Loft Design Week, Leeds 20 - 26 June More info: 0113 3051515
17 May - 30 June: ‘Dick Turpin’
Exhibition @ Harvey Nichols: Vitra Classics
8 - 10 June: Yorkshire Pudding Boat Race
The Shed, Malton Tickets : 01653 668494
seven nude female figures, arranged in a horse-shoe shape. They were all actual body size, so you stared straight into the eyes of each created woman. Most of the sculptures that were from the Third Reich were perfect classical ideals: smooth, well-proportioned, equal impressions of the feminine form. This ‘perfect physicality’ suggested all the Nazi doctrines that preached the importance of healthy woman who would be the future mothers of Hitler’s Germany. Arno Brecker’s ‘Victory’ (1936), built for Berlin’s Olympic Stadium, was particularly striking. Looking at these figures, I felt little emotion as they seemed so unreal. This was partly because they had been cleverly contrasted with normal depictions of the female form like Ernesto di Fiori’s ‘English Woman’ (1923): a scrawny, malnourished form that caused a stir in its time for being sculpted as if it were ‘naked not nude’. Karl Albeiker’s ‘Ursula’ was also composed of more realistic stuff as it showed the body’s natural bumps and curves. This clever contrast emphasised the relentless uniformity of Nazi ideology. Again, it was Arno Brecker’s sculptures that attracted the eye in the room of ‘Standing Men’. Unlike the female forms, these statues were colossal. One stood at over 3m tall. They displayed the male form in strange, impassive glory. Each perfectly moulded figure just dwarfed the individual, and again, each ankle, leg, thigh, penis and eye had been carefully constructed to appear aesthetically perfect in classical terms. Each statue had been created to dwarf the individual and overwhelm the viewer. What was really interesting was the way that sexuality was so potently carved into each creation: the sculptures oozed perfection, strength. But looking at them, you become strangely conscious of your own imperfections and the relative weakness of your own body. I guess that is the process of manipulation at work. The kernel of the exhibition was Eric Kennington’s sculpture ‘War God’. The critics were gathered around it likes bees drawn to a honey-pot. First unveiled in 1935 as part of an exhibition Artists Against Fascism And War, the sculpture showed the antithetical response to the glorification of the military body. The British sculpture uses the same neo-classical figure as Brecker and Kasper, but inverts it into an over-fat, glaring, ferocious image that exhibits the desperate fear of war. Again, the body and masculinity is woven into the message: the War God’s penis touches a skull at the base of his legs. This ‘stone sermon’ almost assaults the observer: it is crude, violent
and disarmingly physical. Clenched fists and bulging eyes bore its ferocity into you. His other sculptures were formed around the same type of body and shape: an aggressive, crouched form. ‘Boy on A Train’ is a sculpture based on his own son, yet it is essentially the same prototype of the ‘War God’. It showed the child riding a train, but simultaneously merging into it. It seemed to suggest that even childhood was corrupted by the mechanical destruction of the age. Despite the fact that Kennington’s sculptures protest against the spirit of war, they also use the same uniform image of the classical nude, although it is strangely inverted and satirised. A German sculptor pointed out the amazing crafting of the Portland stone that has created the taut, stern mouth and the clenched fists. Kennington used blunt, simple lines to create this powerful, yet
simple sculpture. Stepping out of the Institute, (leaving by the front door), I was immediately struck by how different everyone looked in the street. Despite the fact I was in a business area of an inner city and people were rushing home from work, the street was full of different types of faces, clothes, colour and individuality. This was a sharp contrast to the stifling uniformity of the sculptures I had seen in the gallery. The Henry Moore Institute presented this exhibition in a way that impressed the extremity of the age and the celebration of physicality, war and ‘ideal form’. It was a brilliant collection that forces you to think about self-identity in the face of manipulation. However, on leaving the Institute, it was a relief to observe life as it really is. The exhibition is open to the general public from 26th May-26 August, The Henry Moore Institute Leeds. Tel 0113 246 7467 for more details.
York University Drama Society email@example.com
1 June -3 June: ‘The Misanthrope’ 8 June -10 June: ‘John Kelly's Shorts’ 15 June -17 June: ‘Company’ 15 June -17 June: ‘The Taming Of The Shrew’ (in The Quiet Place, near Derwent College)
Cookin with Adrian Wednesdays @ Hussars
30 May: Akimbo Percussionist 6 June: Dan Webster 13 June: Nic Hall 20 June: James Christie ‘Pure Rhythm Theatre Opera North, Leeds Tickets: 0113 2430808 15, 16, 18 & 19 June: ‘Hansel and Gretel’
May 30th 2001 yorkVision
ARTS : 31
The allure of the English Country House Immersing herself in the grandeur of a bygone era, RaeJean Spears visits many of England’s historical treasures IT’S A type of historical voyerism - peeping, poking and prancing about the homes of England’s elite. The wealth, grandeur, pomp and glory of places like Chatsworth or Castle Howard cannot be matched anywhere else in the world. Sure, France has Versailles, but it’s not the same; it’s not English. Interestingly, more Britons than foreigners visit the plethora of stately homes scattered across the countryside. And they’re visited for more than aesthetic reasons too. These homes stand as testaments to a bygone era, one of decadence and power unrivaled even by today’s nouveau riche. People flock to them in droves because they’re interested in history, or architecture, or because they want a pleasant day out with the kids or because they want to pretend to be an aristocrat, even if just for the day. Or maybe it’s a combination of all of these. Whatever it is, the country house is doing a thriving business. On a warm sunny day a day spent at Chatsworth in
These homes stand as testaments to a bygone era, one of decadence and power unrivaled even by today’s nouveau riche.
Derbyshire is likened to a day spent at DisneyWorld - the crowds are that bad. Some of the homes are under the care of the National Trust, others remain in the hands of the very families who built them. But in most cases they were opened to the public to help fund the immense costs of their maintenance and day to day operation. Imagine heating a three story mansion placed atop a hillside. The cost would be astronomical. To help lure in the crowds, the trustees and appropriate governing bodies have filled the houses with more than just furniture. For instance, at Burton Agnes Hall and at Chatsworth there are impressive art exhibits as well as play areas. Cafes have been built, the lawns meticulously manicured and gift shops added. The houses are for all intents and purposes historical tourist attractions. But for all their kitsch qualities, there is something charming and old fashioned, if not relaxing, about visiting one of the houses. Sure you can buy ‘Chatsworth brand’ lemon biscuits or all the homemade fudge you can eat, but you can also find a secluded corner and dream whilst soaking up the often amazing scenery. And despite foot and mouth fears, most of the countryside is open and visitable. It really is lovely, and makes for a refreshing escape from the concrete and construction of campus. So in case you fancy a day out frolicking amongst the rich and famous, read on. Here are all the details you need for a day trip to the countryside and its stately homes.
Burton Agnes Hall, near Bridlington, Yorkshire
Castle Howard, near York, Yorkshire
A lovely Elizabethan Hall filled with treasures collected by the family over four centuries from the fascinating original carving and plasterwork to a large collection of Impressionist and contemporary paintings.There is also an ancient Manor House and medieval chruch on the land. Open 1 April - 31 October daily 11.00am - 5.00pm Admission: House & Garden: Adult £3.50, Garden only: Adult £1.80. Tel 01262 490324
Set in over 1,000 acres of parkland, lawns, woodland gardens, lakes, fountains and magnificent Rose Gardens with collections of old and modern roses, the house also has superb collections of furniture, paintings, porcelain and statues. It was also the setting of ‘Brideshead Revisited’. The House and Grounds are open to visitors from 16 March daily from 10.00 am until 4.30 pm. Admission: Fully Inclusive Individual Tickets (Grounds, Gardens & Castle): Students£6.75, Grounds only: Students £4.50. Tel 01653 648333
Chatsworth House, near Chesterfield, Derbyshire
Hardwick ‘New’ Hall, near Chesterfield, Derbyshire
Known as one of the wonders of the Peak, it is the home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. Throughout the house there are paintings, tapestries and fine pieces of furniture and the gardens are extremely enticing. Open 21st March to 28th October, daily. House open 11am to 5.30pm, last admission 4.30pm. Gardens open 11am to 6pm (10.30am June-August). Farmyard and Adventure playground 10.30am to 5.30pm, last admission 4.30pm. Admission: House and Garden: Students £5.75, £6.75 including Scots Bedrooms, Garden only: Students £3, Farmyard and Adventure Playground: Adults and children £3.50, groups of 5 or more £3, Car park: £1. The 1,000 acre Park on the banks of the River Derwent is open, free, throughout the year. Tel 01246 582204
Largely completed in 1597, it is regarded as one of the finest and most complete examples of Elizabethan architecture. Undoubtedly, it was built to reflect Bess's wealth and status, with six imposing towers (further heightened during construction) and a vast array of windows using more glass than in any other Smythson building. At the time, glass was an extremely expensive material, and to use it on this scale was a display of extravagance. House, restaurant and shop open from 31st march to 28th October, Wednesday,Thursday, Saturday and Bank Holiday Monday 1.30pm to 5.00pm, last entry 4.30pm. Gardens open daily during the season 12pm to 5.30pm. Admission: Hall and Gardens Adults £6.20, Garden only Adults £3.30 Tel 01246 850430
SSSHHHH! Turn the noises off, please! Peter Edwards
Noises Off By Michael Frayn Piccadilly Theatre, London TRANSFERRED TO the Piccadilly, after an acclaimed production at the National Theatre’s Lyttleton, ‘Noises Off’ has been praised as a skillfully comic work. Could I throw myself with gay abandon into the hilarity of this farce? No. Unfortunately, and it was unfortunate, because I had gone in ready to be entertained by its quick-witted humour, ‘Noises Off’ was simply not funny. Despite the best intentions of a decent cast, the writing was cliché-ridden and the jokes cringingly obvious.
The plot revolves around a struggling theatre company, about to open in an end-
Could I throw myself with gay abandon into the hilarity of this farce? No of pier farce called ‘Nothing On’. Their play is set to take in other glamourous venues, such as Ashton-under-Lyne and Stockton-upon-Tees, indicating the limit-
ed horizons of the fictional production company. The play within the play is directed by the world weary Lloyd Dallas, played well by Peter Egan. Frederick Fellowes (Jeff Rawle), Dotty Otley (Lynn Redgrave) and Garry Lejeune (Stephen Mangan) play the leads in this standard comedy of harassed lovers rushing in and out of doors, and constantly disappearing sardines. These three all perform their roles to a decent standard, but are let down by the script. Frayn, a writer of such heavyweight works as Copenhagen, detailing the discoveries behind the nuclear bomb, could have written an intelligent satire on the difficulties of performing bedroom farce. Instead, he succumbs to the temptation of simplistic jokes, the repetitiveness of
which is laid bare in ‘Nothing On’. Falling over, confused loved triangles and hapless Casanovas do not make an intelligent
Some have suggested that of the disgrace that is Andrew Lloyd Webber
comedy. The inter-cast romances are exposed long after the audience has guessed what is going on backstage. The incompeten-
cies, alcoholism, and pretensions of the Nothing On actors are well played, but are agonisingly predictable. The disputes raged amongst the cast, and with the audience rolling with hilarity, my head slumped further into my hands. Frayn’s jokes were as laboured as those of the fictional Robin Housemonger. Surely a work as popular as this, written by such a successful writer, must not be completely devoid of merit; but some have suggested that of the disgrace that is Andrew Lloyd Webber.
32 : BOOKS yorkVision
May 30th 2001
The not-so-dead poets’ society Donald Makin WHEN EXCESSIVE alcohol consumption is no longer enough, and you're looking for something else to fill the void, look no further than… the Creative Writing Group! If you have always wanted to write, and enjoy the company of likeminded people, then this is the place to be. The Creative Writing Group on campus is made up of about a dozen writers who are wanting more members. Don't worry about the group being full of English students; true, there are a few, but there are also students from many other departments. The group was actually founded by chemists (yes, Chemistry students!) and the author of this article is an Archaeology student. So, whether you study genetics or ancient history, as long as you want to write, you will get on with us. It doesn't matter what you study, what matters is that you write. In fact, the diversity of characters adds to the creative atmosphere. Discussing your work with others from different backgrounds helps you to see it from a new perspective, and can add another dimension to your writing. It can be especially helpful when you're in need of technical detail for your computer crime thriller to be able to consult a computer science student, or when writing a murder mystery set in Ancient Rome, to run it by an archaeologist. Rather than studying an encyclopedia, there are plenty of friendly people here who can answer your queries. Furthermore, if you are suffering, like many of us from writer’s block, then a lively discussion may stimulate your grey cells and provide you with the idea for the perfect bestseller. You should not be worried whether
Creative writing group: bringing forth the fruits of the imagination
your writing will "fit" since there is no "fitting in". Whatever your style, however new and inventive, your writing will be a welcome addition to the variety of genres already represented in the group. The more unusual and unique the better! We have people writing fantasy, comedic poetry, and dark contemporary fiction; even if you write comics you can come along and join us. Believe me, if you think your stuff is different from what you see in a bookshop you are bound to find someone at the group who writes the same kind of thing as you. After all that, what do we do? We are an informal group which gives feedback and advice on writing. You are free to make constructive criticisms as long as you are prepared to receive them. We are serious about our writing but not to the point we'll storm out and cry if you don't like it. The criticism is usually fairly gentle, and of the form, 'I like that', or, 'why don't you try this word, it might work better?' It’s often hard, when looking at something you’ve spent weeks writing, to take an objective viewpoint, and this is precisely what the Creative Writing Group exists to give.The emphasis is on trying to help each other improve our writing. We don't make it compulsory to read your work out to the group; we all know that sometimes people find it difficult to share their work simply because it is so personal. If you do, however, we'll give you feedback on your writing, which is great as you can learn what works and what doesn't. The advice can be really helpful when you're struggling with a title, or trying to find just the right word. Reading out loud can help you to see how your work flows, what works and what doesn't.
Everything and the girl Sweeter than Honey The Full Montezuma Peter Moore £6.99 (Bantam Books)
Honey Moon Amy Jenkins £6.99 (Flame) Laura Hamilton
Emma Jones I WAS more than a little surprised (or should I say horrified) to discover that the enticing looking book I had plucked out of the hands of the Books Editor was actually a 450 page account of the author's travels around Central America. What had I let myself in for? Peter Moore is a 39 year old Australian who gave up a career in advertising to follow his life long dream of travelling the globe, just like his hero Alby Mangel (an Australian legend with a dodgy perm and a penchant for mortal danger). Having already lead the first Australian expedition around the equator and travelled from London to Sydney without stepping on a plane, as told in his other book The Wrong Way Home, this journey is his latest attempt at fulfilment. Unlike his previous adventures however, this one had a major difference. This time he had company. In the early stages of serotonin induced madness (or love as the rest of us like to call it) he invited his new girlfriend - the Girl Next Door - to join him. The book follows their travels through one of the most fascinating, and dangerous, regions on Earth. Starting in Mexico City, they make their way through Honduras, Guatemala, Belize, Cuba, Nicaragua and any other Central American country you might want to name. The Full Montezuma doesn't just describe the fabulous sunsets and majestic Aztec pyramids, although it does have them in vast quantities. It also gives a warts and all account of a region ravaged by civil war, poverty and, more recently, Hurricane Mitch which hit the continent the day they arrived in Mexico City. Moore has skillfully interwoven the story of his romance with the GND within
the narrative. He describes it with such flair that even if the numerous, long winded descriptions fail to keep your interest ,which is likely, you'll want to carry on reading just to find out if they make it to the end of the six months, or if they kill each other along the way. Unlike most travel writers Moore possesses something vital if you are to make a career out of entertaining your readers rather than just edifying them and that is an edge. His comments, while being poetic, are also witty and biting. Just imagine Bill Bryson with Tourette's and you'll be thinking of Peter Moore. If you can be bothered to wade through the seemingly endless narrative to get to the good stuff which is definitely there, then this is the book for you. However if like me you don't have an abundance of patience, this book has the potential to become more of a chore than a pleasure.
WITH A luminescent green cover, the minimalistic coloured figures in the artwork, and, most telling of all, the subject matter - dare we even say it - love, told through the eyes of a woman approaching her thirties; with all this, one could well be forgiven for instantly thinking to toss Amy Jenkins' debut novel on the evergrowing pyre of trashy contemporary fiction novels. This would be a mistake. Published in hardback in April last year, Honey Moon shot straight to the top of the bestseller lists, and it is not difficult to see why. From the opening paragraphs, Amy Jenkins' style of writing smacks of the redeeming virtue which the works of so many of her contemporaries in this literary genre seem to lack, that being sophistication. The speed of the storyline's progression is set perfectly so that it neither drags nor is hurried. Jenkins strikes a precise balance between narrative and dialogue which makes the novel one that deserves the cliché 'is hard to put down'. What is most refreshing about Honey Moon, put bluntly, is that it at no point falls into the trap of sugar-coating human relationships, a precipice which even the perennial 'Bridget..' teeters upon. In admirable contrast, Jenkins' story of Honey (our heroine)'s life-changing decisions with regard to the two most important men in her life is told with subtlety, and a poignancy that would touch even the most cynical of readers. The author's account of the agonies and the ecstasies of being in love is one so accurate, one that is expressed with such poignancy and tenderness that one cannot fail to identify with the character as she muses over her current, muddled predicament. This combines with the sudden,
expertly timed, and hilarious bursts of Jenkins' superior wit, to form an irresistible and original style, making Honey Moon a definite cut above the rest. Furthermore our heroine is refreshingly un-neurotic, which makes her all the more likeable. The emphasis is not on the woman's obsession about her weight, looks, personality, and attractiveness in general, because such an obsession does not exist within the mind of this character; she is the mere vehicle through and around which Jenkins builds up and delivers a study of the intricacies that exist and the contradictions that arise within the relationships between men and women. This is an excellent read; genuinely funny, tender and surprising. It is the perfect accompaniment to a sunny afternoon and the glorious Vanbrugh Bowl. As sweet as honey? The success that this novel has already enjoyed in hardback certainly has been, and with the anticipation of a similar triumph in paperback, Amy Jenkins should be over the moon.
We also do writing exercises. No, not running around in lycra doing aerobics! This involves writing on particular themes picked by members, or an inspiring sentence, for ten or fifteen minutes then reading what each other has written. This is great if you have a busy schedule: you can get the creative juices flowing even if it's only for fifteen minutes at a time. On a practical note, unlike other larger established societies on campus, the Creative Writing Group does not charge for admission. The meetings are free and very informal, full of friendly chat and cups of coffee. If you want to get a feel for our group before you come along, then visit our website at www.geocities.com/yorkwriter, where you can read a selection of our work. This ranges from contemporary poetry to rich fantasy, from fairy tales to vampire sagas, from dark to humorous and encompassing everything in between. So, there you go, the university creative writing group in five hundred words. If you want to meet writers, get feedback, fit some writing in, come along! We have meetings in Langwith Graduate Common Room at 8pm on Monday, and 6:30pm on Friday. If you want to know more, send an e-mail to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or check out our website at: www.geocities. com/yorkwriter. “It’s great” our own Vision poet laureate told us, “you don’t feel nervous or awkward, it’s like chatting with your friends. It’s totally stimulating, after I have been to a meeting the ideas are just flowing so quickly and so readily, all I can do is write! It’s great if you have something you want to test out on an audience, but also if you are looking for inspiration. I recommend it to anybody with a passion for words.”
Blackwell’s Book of the month
Alpha Beta by John Man
Man’s fascinating story shows how the alphabet developed from the Mesopotamian clay marks to Homer’s quest for lost culture. This sweeping look at the alphabet brings together a dazzling blend of characters and stories.
BLACKWELL’S PRICE £5.25
UNIVERSITY BOOKSHOP, UNIVERSITY OF YORK, HESLINGTON, YORK, Y010 5DU (TEL: 01904 432715)
May 30th 2001 yorkVision
BOOKS : 33
The Modest King of Urban Satire
The A-Z Guide to Authors HAVING STARTED this A-Z with Jane Austen, the mistress of Regency wit and satire, I knew that I was going to have to come up with somebody equally as good for the follow up. Now my choice may not seem like a natural one to many, but for me he was the only choice. One could go so far as to say that Alan Bennett is the natural heir to Austen's title of Queen (well King) of satire. That is if Austen was rather self deprecating and really did write about the working class rather than the middle classes whom she just pretended were lowly. Bennett was born on 9th May 1934 in Leeds. As was typical of families of that time Mother stayed at home looking after the house and the family while Father was the bread winner, owning a butchers shop. It was his father's job that secured Alan his first literary connection. In typical down to earth, Bennett style, this initial brush with the literary world was the fact that his father made a delivery from his shop to TS
Emma Jones tells tales of one of the most famous British playwrights, Alan Bennett Eliot's mother-in-law. He was plucked out of this comfortable Northern life when called to do National Service in the 1950's. After a stint in the army at Cambridge he was awarded an Oxford scholarship. He graduated from Exeter College in 1957 and worked for a while as a junior lecturer in medieval history at Magdalen College. His career as a writer began in the early sixties when he coauthored and starred in the Beyond the Fringe comedy review, a vital precursor to the anarchic comedy of Monty Python. Alongside him in this first theatrical endeavour were Dudley Moore, Peter Cook and Jonathan Miller. In such illustrious company it was expected that Bennett would not be the one to have a long-lasting career. He was undoubtedly talented but lacked the sparkle of the other three. These initial expectations have been proved to be completely false however. Bennett has outlasted his companions in a grand old fashion. Since Beyond the Fringe he has gone on to write countless plays, mostly for television and has even dabbled in the world of Hollywood. In 1993 he took his own stage play and adapted it to make the screenplay for the critically acclaimed The Madness of King George. For this he earned himself an Academy Award nomination but missed out to Eric Roth, writer of Forrest Gump. Despite missing out on this occasion, Bennett is no stranger to the idea of awards and glory. His plays have won countless statues and trophies and have been nominated for many more. This is more than a little ironic for a man as private as he is. The fame that comes with being a renowned play wright is not something that Bennett has allowed to go to his head. With such an illustrious career behind him one would be hard pressed to find a particular high point but for me I think it was the first series of Talking Head monologues written in 1987. At the time they
were hailed as masterpieces and typified Bennett's style. These monologues meant that Bennett had truly won the title of King of tragi-comedy. Since then they have continued to be popular, so much so that a second series was aired in 1998, featuring three of the original actresses. In the late 1990's the first series of monologues even made it onto the A Level English Literature exam. For all of his genius Bennett has now become one of the loathed writers who has tortured poor sixth formers with his meaningful prose. The 'Talking Heads' mono-
Talking Heads was hailed as a masterpiece and meant that Bennet had truly won the title of King of tragi-comedy. logues show Bennett not only to be a great writer, but also a fine actor. His performance of Graham in 'A Chip in the Sugar' was undoubtedly one of the highlights of the series. The only episode written for a man, the character of Graham reveals many things about Bennett's own personality. The bumbling man has a shyness to him which is very much like the writer himself. Graham's mother complex seems to be indicative of Bennett's closeness to his own mother. This relationship that he shared with his mother has been very influential over his writing. A very prim lady, many of his characters would appear to share this characteristic. Bennett himself has admitted that he finds it easier to write for women than men. Some years ago it was suggestEarth and water, flesh and blood? Walk away I hear myself say. Why not let it all fade away?
The Word Factory Walk Away by Jonathan Beaufort-Jones A little boy cries next door, I just want to hold his hand. Sometimes it gets so hard, with my head buried in the sand. His face is pale, he looks so poor but all that I can do is stand, ignore.
Walk away I hear myself say, as tomorrow is a brand new day. The holy squad is filled with hate As the earth erupts into a shallow grave. Terror strikes scare public state. TV blood, a crime rate swell, People laugh in times of hell. Society hands a suicide note. Who is right, what is good?
You have created a world of pain. Dumbstruck voices cry out to change, but all the innocent, disabled and lame stare as people grab their pay. Why don't I just walk away? The problems will go away? Or am I just reaching for hope Grabbing every chance that comes my way? Please tell me that this will change its face, Or that my cancer will take its course, and take me away to your hiding place. Please take me away ... I can't walk away.
What Friends Are For by Joanne Barrett
If you're ever feeling down; If you're ever feeling blue; Just call me and I'll come around, Because I'm always here for you. If you need someone to understand, When you just can't take any more, Remember that help is at hand, Because that's what friends are for.
by Gareth Davies Well it was a fair trade, after all. It
ed that he should write a series of monologues for men and call it 'Talking Balls'. He declined on the grounds that he doubted he could write a whole series just for men. Much of Bennett's writing comes from his own experiences. His most recent triumph, 'The Lady in the Van', is based on a Miss Mary Shepherd, a woman who lived in the front garden of his home. One day she moved her Bedford van onto the driveway and did not leave until her death fifteen years later. Many have taken this story to show his generous nature, he says that he just was too lazy to get rid of her. He once commented that 'It was like Eleanor Roosevelt moving in'. The first performance of 'The Lady in the Van' was by Oscar winner and Bennett favourite, Dame Maggie Smith. Bennett asserts that most of his work is on a very simple and lowly level. He even maintains that 'The Madness of King George' was basically a domestic tragedy. Father is dying what are Mother and the Children to do? He has no lofty ideals about the great value of his plays and has even commented that he is the last person anyone should ask about the meaning behind his work, in particular A' Level students, who have been known to bombard him with requests for examiner conwas a far cry from Africa. A fair cry, a fair try to raise help for starving people. All suckling piglets, letting out big teats stuck on the pig. The capitalist pig. Swine. S'wine? No. S'milk. The milk of human kindness. What did you expect from a pig's tit? The trick is to keep sucking. Well it was a fair trade, after all. After all that, it was a fair trade, the fur trade. Who'd have thought it? All that blood thrown around and posters peeling and supermodels getting their kit off, as a nice nicety nineties nuance. A clever ad campaign, I'll grant you. And you... I work my fingers to the bone so why shouldn't every other goddam species on this goddam planet, goddam it... and you do 2. 24 hours a goddam day. Oh oh oh, we'll send the niggers to the nicotine fields and the spicks to spick cotton, or the other way round. We'll snap spick spines for special filter smokes, but woe betide you strip seals of their skins. But we've learnt a valuable lesson about values, and the values of clever ads. The trick is to keep smiling. Well it was a fair trade, after all. A fair trade ferret-raid. Lot of ferrets crawling down rabbit holes. Holed on! That's a sexual innuendo. Ferrets crawl in-the-end-oh. Oh! oh! oh! That's for gratification, it's matter of course. Of course, everyone knows you have to keep your ferret down one trouser leg. Best place for a wriggling bulge. The trick is to keep fucking. Well it was a fair trade, after all. Fair trade, they give you money in return for a Big Mac. Sometimes it rains
The author of Talking Heads founding quotes. From the lad from Leeds in the 1930s and 40s to the established and critically acclaimed play wright he is today, Alan Bennett has moved a surprisingly short distance. He is still acutely aware of his humble origins and clings to the strong pull his quiet home life has on him. When asked where he would be on Oscar night back in 1994 he said "I'm not a big traveller . . . You know when the poet Phillip Larkin was asked if he'd like to go to Australia, he said, 'I wouldn't mind if I could come back the same afternoon'." It is this modesty which makes Bennett the and they want a big mack. You give them a back rub, or play them black dub. And if it's not a car wash it's a fake stosh, clam chowder washing powder, with a blackberry chuck berry cherry on top. It's a fair trade. Everybody's happy. For god's sake I'm sick of writing bollocks. But it's a fair trade, I write and you read. You're right and I'm red. What's the story, mourning tory? Everybody's happy. I churn it out, you choke it down. The trick is to keep reading. You can eat a mountain, if you take small enough bites.
by Gareth Davies The waves lap against land sand in a lined lake. Why now? Why now? I have a heavy soul. Pretty Pole, our world is on it's elbows, It fears that one mistake. Something grows out. Something warm inside me when I hold you. Something warm between us when I hold you. Imperious above land sand, That fills a lined lake, Snaked together, held close, stand with me Don't shake, don't hold your breath, Shake. Breath. But not alone. Shake. Breath. Above land sand in a lined lake, with me.
34 : SPORT yorkVision
May 30th 2001
College Sport Round-up
58 pts 53.5pts
Pts 4.5 1.5 6
Pts 2.5 6.5 5
Football 1sts Pts 4
Football 2nds Pts 5
Mixed Hockey Pts 3
1.5 1.5 6
Women’s Football 5s
6.5 6.5 4
THE LATEST college tables see Vanbrugh storm to the top with archrivals Goodricke pushing them closely, a mere two and a half points behind. The two colleges locked horns in both football competitions, but it is in the unlikely field of badminton where Vanbrugh have scored their crucial advantage, clocking seven points to Goodricke’s meagre three. At the other end of the table Alcuin have a lot of ground to make up, being
nearly twenty points behind the leaders. Other than pool, Alcuin have been found lacking, particularly in the racquet sports. With the summer upon us anything could change, so don’t think this competition is over yet. Vision would like to thank AU President-elect Martin Styles and vice-President-elect Brendon O’Donovan for the compiling of these tables.
City Watch Peter Dandy
York City's turbulent season ended on a high note with a win at home against Kidderminster Harriers. In a life-less game striker Colin Alcide produced the only moment of excitement when he delicately lobbed former City keeper Clarke, to score what was to be the first and subsequently last goal of a dull game. York City's Football League status had already been secured at Torquay United with a 2-2 draw and a point. Graham Potter's injury-time equaliser prevented fans from having to endure a nerve racking last week of the season. City's relegation fight-back of two defeats in fourteen games began just in time. Barnet who were a mid-table side at Christmas were relegated from the Third Division because their league form dipped in the last quarter of the season. A winning spell provided much needed respite for supporters, especially after
the 3-0 drubbing at home to Exeter. The season however was not without its highlights; the 3-1 win at Reading in the second round of the FA Cup will top most fans' list. City had played well at home to hold Reading to a 2-2 draw, Alex Mathie scoring the goal of the season. Mathie started the season as the first choice striker but faded as it went on due to injury. Christian Fox last year's player of the season was also an injury absentee. McNiven although not injured finished the season looking unfit. With questions asked about his commitment Terry Dolan has decided to release him. New arrival Lee Nogan scored six goals following his move from Luton Town, City fans will be pleased to hear he has expressed a desire to stay next season. Colin Alcide has also performed effectively in attack despite being thought of as primarily a defender. Dolan is keen to stamp his mark on
Extra-oardinary Sasha Cooleski
FOLLOWING THEIR outstanding success in Roses, when they scored twenty points from a possible twenty, the Boat Club will be celebrating with their forthcoming open day. The event will be held at the Boat Club on Saturday the 9th of June, and the President of the Club, James Byrne, promises there will be a “Barbecue, drinking, games, and fun!” The main attraction is the chance to take to a boat and race on the river. No
experience is required and anyone can form a team of four and enter the competition. Indeed, Vision’s own deputy sports editor joined in the fun last year and there is no doubt that any novice won’t be as bad as him! It costs £5 to enter a crew of four, and anyone interested should either e-mail James Byrne at jpb106 or simply turn up on the day and see how the mood takes them! Interested in racing or not, the day promises to be a great one so make sure to be there for a boatiful day.
Keep on running Amanda Z Hamilton SUNDAY 19TH May saw York Racecourse packed, not with four-legged Red Rums’, but with women of all ages. It was one of the ‘races for life’, organised by the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, which are taking place country-wide to raise money for women’s cancers. The exclusion of men from the race was deliberate, for as Ruberta Bowman, a volunteer for Imperial Cancer pointed out: “Many women wouldn’t come if it was a mixed race.” Whilst some may scoff at the idea that we women would be intimidated by overly competitive men, it is clear that the focus on women raised a lot of awareness for women’s cancers and tremendous enthusiasm for the event. Female staff and students from York University formed part of the 2,842 women running. Whilst none of us crossed the finish line first, and some of us became so enthused or confused that we did our final sprint 2kms before the actual finish, we all completed the
the first team before the start of next season and has also announced his intention to slim down the squad over the summer months. James Turley and McNiven have been released as the summer clearout begins with Wayne Hall next in line to have his contract paid up. Youngsters Richard Cooper and Chris Brass have been brought in. There is no question of Alan Fettis leaving though, Fettis a crowd favourite won all three player awards. In addition he completed a one hundred per cent playing record in the league. York City has increased match tickets by £1 for next season. It is three years since the last price increase. However, in a move sure to delight student supporters' York City has introduced a student season ticket which includes eight free games. The Club has also collaborated with businesses to offer season ticket holders discounts at various shops and restaurants.
5kms. Some had been training on the banks of the Ouse, others powering on the treadmill at the Barbican. But as Genevieve Horwood said: “Seeing the potential power of the mind over the body was so inspiring as we raced for bodies which are being debilitated by disease.” As we jogged along the track, cheered on by spectators, the smell of the disinfected hay and the pink signs on people’s backs which read ‘In memory of…’, served as two poignant reminders of tragedies. Foot and mouth disease and cancer are still being battled. The estimated £60,000 raised by the race in York will help alleviate the latter. Already, the better use of breast cancer treatments has reduced UK death rates by 30 per cent at ages 20-69 years old. To take part in raising money for the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, visit . The forthcoming Great North Run, 90ft abseil from Tyne Bridge, and Dragon Boat Challenge in Henley, are open to male participation beyond the capacity of spectator and sponsor.
“Run Forrest, run!”
In quad we thrust
Quad speed Paul Cosby
A CARNIVAL atmosphere prevailed in James College on Saturday week 5 as students participated in the annual “quad dash”. Jugglers, pie throwing contests and a bouncy castle all contributed to a pleasant, if somewhat surreal, summers’ afternoon for the under-socialised residents of James. The dash was first initiated in 1996 and is essentially a race around the quad formed by James blocks D, E and F. The idea, apparently, was originally derived from the film “Chariots of Fire” with James’ quad providing an approximation of Caius College, Cambridge. This year’s dash saw a number of new events including races based around alcohol and space hoppers, which to Vision’s knowledge did not feature in Hugh Hudson’s masterpiece. Despite a delay in starting caused by the late arrival of the bouncy castle the first races began just after 2.30. Max Goldsmith, James Entertainment Rep and make-shift DJ for the event (playing a selection of Beach boys, Hip-Hop and “Caribbean vibes”) commented to Vision that “There isn’t really much college spirit in James but this event gets people mingling and brings in 2nd and 3rd years who would not normally be around.” College Chair Allison Rennie was also pleased with the response of James students; “The committee has worked quite hard to make this event work and there has been a pleasant, relaxed atmosphere. This shows how James can express its college spirit.”
A combination of basic stupidity and, we would like to think, an errant spell checker on our computers, has meant that Vision must take this opportunity to offer an apology to Christal Seahorn, the Captain of the women’s basketball 1st XI, whose name we have consistently mispelled. Sorry Christal - it won’t happen again!
The Colonel The Colonel offers his first ranting opinion - this issue, the place of foreigners in British sport... LIVERPOOL WINNING a cup treble this year did, no doubt, warm every English football supporter’s heart, apart form those true Manchester United supporters who have only been to Lancashire once before in order to go walking with their parents, but nonetheless love Ian Brown and can’t stand Oasis. However the question is that how can a team so steeped in Britishness and history rely so heavily on overseas players. The point is perhaps best exemplified by this year’s FA cup final, the fact that it was in the Millennium Stadium made no difference, but to have the oldest knockout competition in the world fought out between two French managed teams, with more foreigners than British players on the field detracts from it as en event for the fans. It is not to do with a racist outlook from the fans, it’s concerned with them supporting players with whom they can relate, can say they went to the same school as, have the same backgrounds. This is far from the case with modern Premiership football, it appears to be a business, concerned only with the bottom line and making a profit. These are concerns which are also crucial to top flight rugby union and football teams, however they seem to
have a better blend. Although cricket is restricted in that county teams can only have one overseas player in their team, and rugby is not (due to tin-pot European law) they both manage to combine heritage with the demands of the modern game. Rugby teams do not bring in players of a lower quality than their British rivals because they have realised that £30,000 a week foreign substitutes warming the bench benefit nobody, except Jean-Paul Froggie, who pockets the strong pound with which he can buy more designer berets and onions than his native playing equivalent. Rugby teams realise the value that good overseas players can bring, look at the example of David Wilson at Harlequins, under whose captaincy they have won a European cup and look a much better side than the jazzers of a few years ago. Although cricket teams are restricted to only being allowed one overseas player, they make the most of it by offering rewarding contracts to the individual, resulting in experience being gained for the county, helping the development of younger players, for example Robert Key at Kent who has benefited enormously from overseas players and their guidance. English counties are taking on more Australian players than ever before, even in an Ashes Summer, the likes of Cox, Blewett, Lehman and Law are all plying their trade, and raising the standard of county cricket to the obvious benefit of the national team as they seek their fifth straight series win. So this is how the policy of overseas players must be judged, at the moment England’s cricket and rugby union teams are among the best in the world, the same cannot be said of the footballers. The answer is not to buy any old player who wants everything but gives little, every sport needs those who have experiences from outside, the crucial factor is getting the right mix, in that area at least, football has a lot to learn.
Bullseye Barry McLaughlin
IT’S TAKEN eight years but the York men’s darts team has finally done it – a Roses win! The action took place in the packed beer tent at the Deramore Arms. The atmosphere was charged as each side tried to out-chant the other with raucous yet good humoured banter. First up for York was Liam Sumpter. After losing the first leg he fought back to win 2-1 with two 140’s in the final leg. Victories by Chris Piling, Jack BeasleySuffolk and Dave German took the scores to 4-1. York were now just one game away from winning with still four games left to be played. It appeared that nothing could stop them now, but the team were taking nothing for granted. Next up was Barry McLaughlin.
Both sets of supporters were doing all they could to put the players off their game. The Lancaster player seemed to be affected more by the pressure and struggled to find any form. York however, thriving on the home advantage were able to keep the heads. Swift finishes gave York a 2-0 win. This gave a crucial 5-1 lead to York which denied Lancaster any hope of a comeback. Further wins by Paul Hayes and Jon Cousins took the final score to 7-2 and ended a memorable and tension-packed night. The women had played earlier in the evening. All the games were extremely close, and in the main went down to the wire. The three York victors well deserved their wins, and all the team fought to the end, but unfortunately York went down 6-3. Photo: Sam Dudin
Darts fans celebrate
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It’s just not cricket May 30th 2001 yorkVision
A TYPICAL English summer and a no little controversy has led to York Ladies being denied the chance to progress to the next stage of the BUSA competition. York’s women have developed into an impressive outfit in recent months. Under the guidance of coach Brendon O’Donovan, York were able to secure victory at Roses in style. York batted first on a good track securing 160/2, Captain Mairi Mclaren leading the attack, a performance that no doubt help her achieve selection for the BUSA Reps. team, along with team mate Lorraine Burlinson. However York have been denied the chance of converting their first Roses victory for five years into league success in controversial circumstances. Their BUSA campaign was due to start against Hull, but a waterlogged pitch meant the match was called
off. BUSA rules sate that 3pts are awarded for a win, 1.5pts for a tie and 1pt for a draw or match abandoned. Therefore York had a modest start, gaining just one point, especially as when Hull were played in a re-arranged friendly match York won with ease, bowling Hull out for just 30 runs. York’s next two BUSA fixtures were against Chester and Sheffield. Chester are widely seen as one of the best outfits around and so a narrow defeat was not seen as any disgrace. This meant the stage was set for a final day show piece. Sheffield were sitting in second place with Chester on top of the group having already qualified. The situation was simple: if York beat Sheffield, a feasible task, then York would go through. O’Donovan informed Vision that Sheffield cancelled the match a day before the fixture was due, citing bad weather. In the light of the facts that the weather was fine last week and that Sheffield didn’t wait unitl the day of the fixture to check the conditions, one can only assume that Sheffield were running scared, preferring to qualify for the next stage of BUSA, rather than face York in what should have been a g r e a t contest. Mclaren was upset with Sheffield’s attitude and the BUSA rules: “We were diddled, basically. Last year we reached the final of the BUSA Shield and our team this year was, in my estimation, a better outfit. It would have made more sense to be able to reaarange the Sheffield game.” In fact, York has tried to arrange a friendly with Sheffield, but their
There must be a watchful eye on tactical postponements before cricket becomes a farce
opponents have, one would imagine, rather sheepishly declined. Sheffield’s less than sporting attitude has thrown the spotlight on the BUSA rulings which state, in rule 29.22: ‘All fixtures shall be determined by BUSA and shall be played on set dates, unless both institutions involved and BUSA are in agreement.’ Surely this needs revision, in the a situation like Sheffield where there is a clear advantage for one side not to fulfill its fixtures it sours the whole competition. This alas has not been the only time that this situation has occurred. Last year the men’s team failed to progress after Hull acted similarly to Sheffield. There must therefore be a watchful eye on the use of tactical postponements before cricket reaches the stage of farce. To end on a positive note, it is great to see the women of York performing so well and next year luck willing they will progress to a much deserved next stage. Mclaren remained in upbeat mood: “The team spirit has been excellent all year and we deserved to do better than this. Everyone has played their part.” The club are seeking new players, and those wishing to join should e-mail Mairi Mclaren on mlm105.
Net gain for FDSO charity Sam Macrory went to the Netball Courts last weekend to see a day of Netball fun, all in the name of charity THE NETBALl Courts were host to a carnival atmosphere last Sunday as a variety of campus based clubs and societies sent teams to compete with the aim of raising money for The Federation of Disability Sports Organisations (FDSO), the charity for disabled people which the AU has embraced as its Charity of the Year. The FDSO relies heavily upon the support it receives from institutions like the AU for its financing of increasing ambitions of disability sport across Yorkshire, and are striving towards a focused approach to disability in the region, so the good work the Nerball Club put in last weekend should not be underestimated. The event, which raised a fantastic £250, proved to be a fine end to a very successful year for the Netball Club. Lorna Mitchell, a player on the York Women’s team and the chief organiser of the event was delighted with the way both the day and the season had gone. “The whole day was fantastic, from the actual Netball to the barbecue at the Derry afterwards. Its been a brilliant year all round – we’ve actually doubled our membership.” Amongst the teams playing were representatives the Boatclub, YSTV, RAG, Men’s Football, Wentworth, Women’s Rugby and Badminton. In the end the Men’s Football team were victorious, their success being attributed by Mitchell to “Their
The event, which raised a fantastic £250, proved to be a fine end to a very successful year for the Netball Club.
general coordination and sporty nature. It took a while for them to get use to it but when they did they were pretty useful.” Wentworth came runners-up and trailing in last place were one of the Badminton line-ups. Mitchell labeled YSTV as the most social club playing: “They were hopeless, but kept their heads up and weren’t rude to the umpires unlike some people. The umpires, girls from our team, were brilliant though – t h e y umpired a l l day
Photo: Sam Dudin
and did it really well.” After such a fine year, Mitchell confessed her worries for next season: “The three Captains, Kelly Robinson, Heather Powell and Laura Vickery are all fantastic players but are all graduating this summer. Unsurprisingly this will weaken the teams a lot, but it is the 2nds who willl suffer the most, with four of their seven players graduating. We need a lot of new first years next year!” The club are booming however. As said, membership has doubled, the new website has already received close to 2,500 hits, and the Deramore Arms of Heslington continues to provide much valued support. Next season should bring more success, and more fun and moneyraising events such as the enjoyed by one and all last weekend.
in association with
Hock ‘n’ roll lifestyle Sam Macrory
YORK SPORTS Centre witnessed a contest of immense skill and furious pace last Thursday as the York Indoor RollerHockey team took on the high-flying Nottingham Jackals in an exhibition match. The sport has been growing steadily in York over the last few days and its popularity with players and fans alike was evident for all to see. Mark West, the club President, arranged the match through the Jackals website, and though York were expecting an incredibly tough contest, the Jackals were unable to bring a full squad with them, and after an injury to key player Ash Moore, West had to fill in for the opposition. The final score of 11-3 was just reward for York’s dominance over the match, but does not do justice to the degree of outstanding stickwork and ballskills that both York, through the likes of Pickard and Captain Stoodley, and the Jackals, through Andy Chick and Paul Mayer, displayed throughout the game. Nevertheless, the Jackals players were of a higher calibre than York were used to – despite the opposition being a scratch team, two of their line up have played in the Midlands League and one in the Nationals – so the result should not be underestimated. An exhausted Stoodley was understandably impressed: “Personally I felt my own performance was mediocre but overall our team has come together well. Though this wasn’t the fairest possible game, their lack of players meant the ones that played were pretty tired by the end. It was certainly a very good experience for us and a real confidence booster.”
The Jackals’ players were of a higher calibre than York are used to the result shouldn’t be underestimated
Stoodley was pleased to be able to blood new players, such as Glyn ‘the’ Devilfish, and is looking forward to the future. “The club has been unofficial for about one and a half years but we’re getting together properly now. I’ll be leaving at the end of this year but next year, starting, I hope, with a decent stall at the AU Mart, the club can keep growing.” The club’s recent growth and success can in no small part be attributed to the contribution of their official sponsor, The Pitcher and Piano. Through the fine work of the club’s S o c i a l Secretaries, Lottie Maltby and Chloe O’Brien, the club secured a £1000 sponsorship from the bar which will go towards kits and g o a l p o s t s . Incredibly, this is the biggest sponsorship which a York University Sports Club has ever been given. President Mark West, who performed admirably for both York and the Jackals, was pretty pleased with how evening had gone: “The game was definitely too ones i d e d w h i c h w a s n ’t good for our audience, but it was still a good experience. Looking ahead, we’re aiming to set up a university league with Nottingham
30TH MAY, 2001 ISSUE 129
and eight other universities. We applied for a display match at this year’s Roses but unfortunately Lancaster didn’t have a team. Hopefully things will be different next year.” Though an uneven contest, the game was thrilling to watch. Stoodley, despite his modest assessment of his performance, scored
position, as the man of the match. He was also very impressed with the Jackals’ keeper: “He was outstanding; nine times out of ten you would expect our forward Frank Alson to score one-on-ones, but their keeper w a s awe-
four goals, while West singled goalkeeper Peter Smith, playing his first game in the
some.” This performance and the club’s
growing status should lead to brighter and better things for Indoor roller-Hockey at York. Stoodley is organising a re-match against the Jackals as soon as possible. “ It will be their full team next time – I’m definitely going to ask for an aggregate score overall!”
Battle of the sixes SINCE T H E l a s t edition o f Vi s i o n w a s p u b lished, t h e S po r t s section has had i t s attent i o n drawn to an unfortunate omis-
sion from the Roses special
Bottoms up - in no small part to some
ful reporting by one particular Vision hack – that omission being the sterling per-
formance put in by the women’s football team. Given that the club is forty members strong, angry, and tougher than your average Vision reporter it seems sensible to make amends. Luckily, this isn’t a problem, given that the club is currently enjoying a purple patch in terms of form both on and off the pitch. Roses provided a spectacular climax to the season, with the York players trouncing t h e i r Lancastrian counterparts 6-0. Two goals from Dawn ‘Dirty’ Carmouth and one from Rhian Gladman complemented a
hat-trick from Angela ‘Flange’ Barlow to ensure victory over a side Dawn described as “To be fair, less than formidable.” Dawn, who took over as captain from Lisa Smith following the competition, claimed that no man-of-the-match could be picked as the entire team had such a good game. She was not, however, too modest to gloss over the quality of one of her own goals, which “Flew like a rocket from thirty yards out into the top right hand corner.” The season has been a good one for the club, which finished fourth in a league of nine, containing strong teams such as Sunderland and Teesside. Membership is strong, and both a first and second team have been sustained. However, hopes are even higher for next season, despite the imminent loss of several third-year players such as Roses goal-scorer Rhian. The vibrant social side of the club is as important to its image as its continuing
Photo: Sam Dudin
sporting achievement. As Dawn says, “The best thing about the club is a combination of its success on the field and its drinking off the field!” The club goes on at least two weekly socials, which often become “Six or seven.” This is alongside special occasions such as a recent weekend social to Scarborough, the debauched details of which team members are curiously reticent about revealing! The club shows every sign of being able to combine their heavy living with continued success on the pitch, which could make it very hard for Vision to forget about them in the future.
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