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April / May 2014 - Issue 10

Music Collective

History Of Easter Neknominate

The Year of the Horse

ISSUE

2014:

10


goes on and one of the System.

very different se same crime.”

debate grows that the Now more than ever the ine whether you are I personally would like to think the Criminal Justice colour of your skin will determ more harshly or less system determines whether a person no matter uted arrested or not, prosec ce, gain probation or what skin colour, gender or based on wealth harshly or receive a senten extent of the crime is is sentenced but on the entry into treatment. more and more stories what they go on. But with this to the Justice st evidence ay providing evidence that One story that could sugge 35 year everyd black wealth it is now more the r, and Race Gaithe a by go Lakish do system allegation is g in a huge warnin a doubt firing the for ed than ever starting to put old mother who was arrest a group of teenagers amount of people’s minds. v gunshot in Virginia to stop a. Briann ter daugh old year assaulting her 15 gun owner and really Lakisha who is a registered what she did to had no option but to do has her final a protect her daughter, Lakish which will court hearing next week ced or senten be will she determine if not.

Issue 10

Contents

April / May 2014 Issue 10

es Ethan Couch’s story provid tion, more evidence to this allega who er teenag male rich a White killed four people in a drink y driving accident. Usuall manslaughter would come ce with a lengthy senten to but Couch was admitted he probation as apparently which suffers from “Affluenza” his means rs lawye to ing accord

Contributors VXM Project Coordinator

14

6

Darren Mann

Project Officer Justina Raistrick

Youth Engagement Officers Ashley Rose Sharna Michael

03

VXM promotes media education, wisdom, participation, production and dissemination initiatives targeted at 16 to 25 year olds, focusing particularly on cultural identity.

Thank You!

Has Social Media and the Inte

s. anding International Conflict An Introduction for Underst

06

Shannon Noy

Eva Avrillon Sam Rothwell Perez Nicholas Pond Ben Driver Anonymous Hannah Peck Daniel Offley

h People Music Used to Live Throug rnet Ruined Music?

Contents Strategy Computer Games 04

Designer / Editor Writers

18

tem Racist? Is the Criminal Justice Sys are treated will determine how harsh you

Does the colour of your skin tem? in the Criminal Justice Sys

ed True Fame Social Networks Have Kill e? how many followers you hav

10

Can you really be judged by

12

rse 2014: The Year of the Hobor n in Horse years?

se Does life look good for tho

The Music Collective

14

ic Collective!!! Finally! An update to the Mus

17

scary? When did eating become so

18

The Truth Behind the Dare.

22

t Easter is about. The Why’s and How’s of wha

The Monster

Neknominate

History of Easter

On the Cover

. se in the Chinese tradition 2014 is the Year of the Hor historically, lts resu ed mix had has se The Year of the Hor best moments and worst breeding some of humanity’s 4 look any better? 201 s Doe . vely ecti atrocities resp

April / May 2014 - Issue 10

Music Collective

History Of Easter Neknominate

The Year of the Horse

U ISS E

2014:

10


April / May 2014 - Issue 10

Page 03

Music Used to Live Through People, Now it is Kept on the Wrong Side of a Screen… I’m Ben Driver. I write mostly about art/culture in its broadest sense, expressing my own views and ideas where I can. I think the expression of ideas is incredibly important as they enable us all to understand the world or space in which we live. If we understand something fully and genuinely we can then develop it.

The internet has given everyday people the ability and more importantly the accessibility to both download and stream music like never before. The amount of people making this music at home, so called “bedroom producers” has also had a major boom in more recent years. I want to know whether this digital landscape needs to be questioned. In any form, a ‘DIY scene’ is a creative one. They can even have charm when compared to artists who have massive production values behind their music regardless of whether they do or don’t live up to the money put into them. The Do It Yourself concept is very much apparent in today’s music industry because of the multiple online platforms/profiles which are used to promote sound and get some sort of exposure. Having these online profiles has become a necessity generally in life and is infiltrating younger generations earlier and earlier in age. The innocence of youth is increasingly being broadcast via social media, though it is something that shouldn’t bring a high number of results when searched into Google. For music there is this idea that to be something special in the “real world”, as in the one where you would usually do open mic nights and gigs with the hope of being spotted, you just have to drum up the hits on Youtube, the plays and shares on Soundcloud or use any other supposed fame inducing platform. Of course sites like these can be used as a tool to gain greater exposure as an artist but with this accessibility culture which the internet has brought people seem to think popularity and dare I say fame will come a lot quicker and a lot easier to them just by uploading a bit of audio. For listeners, services like Spotify, Beatport, YouTube and Bandcamp try to get people connected, whether that’s fan-to-fan, artist-to-artist or artist-to-fan by making these profiles. And once again they can be used as a tool for e.g. immediate/first-listen feedback. But beyond this I fail to see value. There is the fear that we are not genuinely connecting with the music we listen to. We go

from track to track to track without necessarily noticing the value of that production, the effort that has gone into perfecting the melodies, vocals, formulating the idea of the song in the first place. And then there is the issue of memory. With our heavy consumption of music the majority of tracks we listen to are soon forgotten. We are fostering a climate whereby if we like something we recycle it by posting it on a blog, or by retweeting it. We don’t necessarily form a genuine connection to that sound or artist. Conversations about music in person will always be outweighed massively by conversations online but which do you think are more genuine and which has some sort of legacy? Longevity is important for any artist. That is taken away from us by the internet and the way it is used. It feels like that there are fewer and fewer people who are actively encouraging a genuine experience of music. Or rather we are now so saturated with music, streaming services, blogs/websites and social media that it is hard to see past the screen or indeed move away from it. The personalities and acts encouraging a music scene in physical as opposed to virtual venues are just not being recognised. This idea of saturation is something that really needs to be acknowledged. Obviously there are many authorities of music which sift through an ever-expanding sea of home grown audio, with the presumption that record labels have the final say. But even blogs, magazines, and record labels are springing up everywhere. This trend of independent organisation does show that there are people willing to contribute to some sort of music scene and ideally bring quality music out from behind the laptop but I fear that the more that come into existence the less impact and worth they will have. From music production to promotion there appears to be an endless cycle of saturation and it is damaging the coherence of the music industry. A wider appreciation of music is something that could come from this level of accessibility. But in order for that to happen we need to stop this reliance we have for the internet. We should acknowledge the strengths it brings in the distribution of music but move music back into the streets and start forming genuine connections with people and sound. v


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April / May 2014 - Issue 10

Strategy computer games: an introduction for understanding international conflicts I’m Eva, I was at CSV from Sept. 2012 to Feb. 2013. I devoted articles to geopolitics and politics. Since, I’ve created 3 blogs – a serious one, Easy World Portfolio and 2 others under a pen name, R. Bl.-Mt.Cl. I about sci-fi, fantasy and supernatural universes, and R. Bl. Mt.Cl. II devoted to my personal creations.

If your parents or your sweetheart are worried about the time you spend playing at your computer, I can give you a good excuse. Recently I read that a very serious study ran by psychologists and neuroscientists proved that some kinds of computer games, especially strategy games, are good for anticipating and quickly analysing the situations. If I want to talk on my personal experience, I would say that strategy games awakened my interest in international issues. Maybe you already played: you build a town, you gather resources, and you train your own army to beat your adversary… I realised later that a lot of my mates who have a particular interest in international issues begun with these games. I asked myself why they represent a good introduction to this area and why the news sometimes reminded me Age of Empires… These games and even fantasy strategy games like Age of Mythology for instance, explore one particular dimension of the international relations: WAR. Most of time, they can be historical or futuristic, but the problematic has remained the same for ages, and it will remain the same for a long time: how can I keep the upper hand on my adversary? To take the advantage, it is important to clearly understand the situation – and most of the conflicts around the world – by asking yourself several questions. Who is taking part in the conflict? The pompous language of the international relations calls the participants the “stakeholders”. In most of the strategy games, two or three different civilisations, or different factions, with their allies, take part into a conflict. Every civilisation has its own identity, strengths and weaknesses, and way of making war. For instance, in games like Age of Empires, apart from the style of the buildings according to the civilisations, each one has different elite troops (jaguar-warriors for the Inca, archery for the English, Celtic warriors for the Scottish…). They develop different specific technologies through infrastructures like military buildings or technological ones to strengthen their army. Having an ally can be a positive point in terms of technology transfer: in real conflicts technologies can be

transferred by providing sophisticated weapons or sending advisors to your allies. If you look at a game like Age of Empires III, you benefit from the military units and knowledge of the native populations if you establish a trade post in their villages at your arrival in the New World. So it is important to know your enemies to know how they can harm or even defeat you, and what you could do to counter them. It is the same with your allies to know what useful knowledge, weapon or resources they can share with you… In this case, the “diplomatic options” of the games allow you to implement some exchanges and offer them an alliance. What are your purposes and the ones of the adversaries? The least we can say is that the adversaries’ motivations in the games are not really… subtle. In Age of Mythology, your enemy is just a megalomaniac baddy who wants to rule the whole world… and you’re the valiant hero who defends the Human kind. In Age of Empires II, you’re one of the greatest war chiefs in history and defend a “just” cause: I you choose to play Joan of Arc, you want to free France from the English invaders… If you prefer Empire Earth, the English campaign allows you to replay the most glorious battle in the British history and beat French arrogant Napoleon (I told you in my last article that France and UK had a very “passionate” relation in the past!). On a more futuristic way you can make from Russia the great power of the 21st century… Even if history is really simplified, the objectives of the battles are quite realistic. It can be killing the enemy leader to crush the morale of his army, destroying a specific vital building – for instance a military factory that provides weapons or the camps where soldiers are trained – or stealing an important source of resources like a gold mine… Without military support or new resources to allow them to feed soldiers or to pay for the development of new weapons, they’re more vulnerable. To fill this kind of purposes you have to know your adversary, as I wrote in the first part, and adapt yourself to him: for instance, by training troops capable of destroy enemies’ equipment and protect your more vulnerable units, and by improving your troops by the development of new technologies like a stronger armour or a longer range for guns and bows… Which environment? To have the chance on your side and developing an efficient army, you have to know your geographical environment. It is the same in real conflicts: knowing your region can give you an advantage in a battle


April / May 2014 - Issue 10 if you want to hide, or catch your adversary in a trap… Furthermore, on your territory, you can discover new sources of riches and resources. It is simpler in strategy games, but the principles remain the same. If you’re used to play, you remember that beyond the zone you are, the map is dark and invisible to you: the only way to change that is the exploration. You have several means for it, but the least risky is to send a small military group – in case of an attack – in the vicinity of your camp. Step by step your map is completed: you will find several places favourable for building an observation post or a trade post, and several resources. A forest will allow you to provide wood for construction or food for your villagers, workers and soldiers, a mine gold for soldiers and technologies, iron for warfare… A big river or a sea is a good source of food and your boats can explore the coasts. So exploration has not to be neglected because the resources you have into developing your army and your town is not available for your enemy. Resources management is a keypoint in a conflict: a war, especially a long one, demands money and resources to pay your soldiers and your weapons, and maybe to “buy” some allies. In most of cases, a country is defeated because its resources are exhausted and it cannot sustain the war anymore. So convinced or not? I only mentioned Age of Empires, Age of Mythology or Empire Earth because they’re my favourite ones, but there are a lot of games of this nature (Pharaoh, Total War…), involving different civilisations or environments. You can develop by playing and entertaining certain reflexes or even methods to understand quickly what you have to face and how you could adapt… If you’re interested in some current conflicts around the world, the news won’t give you all the keys to understand exactly what’s going on. Just ask yourself the same questions as when you play: who is involved and what are the advantages and flaws of each one? Why do they fight and what are their purposes? By what means do they want to take advantage on each other? Where does the conflict take place and what are the potential advantages of the territory for each one? If you have these questions in mind, you have the keys to look for the right information. Strategy is not only for the elite, for big brains in universities; maybe you already practice it by playing some of your favourite games. How could you apply it yet? v

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April / May 2014 - Issue 10

Is the criminal justice system

racist?

My name is Perez Nicholas I am currently doing my work placement at CSV Media for the course I am taking at college which is Level 3 Business and Entrepreneurship.

With such strong black characters and role models such as Martin Luther King JR, Nelson Mandela and Malcolm X you would think inequality would have been completely abolished. Which in some circumstances it is but others the debate still goes on and one of them is… the criminal Justice System. Now more than ever the debate grows that the colour of your skin will determine whether you are arrested or not, prosecuted more harshly or less harshly or receive a sentence, gain probation or entry into treatment. One story that could suggest evidence to this allegation is Lakisha Gaither, the black 35 year old mother who was arrested for firing a warning gunshot in Virginia to stop a group of teenagers assaulting her 15 year old daughter Brianna. Lakisha who is a registered gun owner and really had no option but to do what she did to protect her daughter, Lakisha has her final court hearing next week which will determine if she will be sentenced or not. Ethan Couch’s story provides more evidence to this allegation, a White rich male teenager who killed four people in a drink driving accident. Usually manslaughter would come with a lengthy sentence but Couch was admitted to probation as apparently he suffers from “Affluenza” which according to lawyers means his

wealthy parents let him get on with anything and has never been limited from doing what he wants. Barrack Obama also had his say on the current situation:

“Blacks and whites are arrested at very different rates, are convicted at very different rates, and receive very different sentences ... for the same crime.”

I personally would like to think the Criminal Justice system determines whether a person no matter what skin colour, gender or based on wealth is sentenced but on the extent of the crime is what they go on. But with more and more stories everyday providing evidence that the Justice system do go by Race and wealth it is now more than ever starting to put the doubt in a huge amount of people’s minds. v


link up Do you care for a relative, partner or friend?

We Can... Help you fulfill your education and employment potential For more information, contact Claudia Parrino on 01473 418034 cparrino@csv.org.uk


Villa Cross Media (VxM) Giving a voice to 16-25 year olds in the UK and Belgium via: ICTV: film production, digital stories, & short courses. IO Radio: work experience, training, show presenting, & sound editing. VxM Magazine: writing articles, design, Photoshop and InDesign workshops. Black Forum: Amari magazine, weekly meeting to discuss topics that affect black youth. Photography: one off training sessions and shoots. Music Collective: a group of young talented musicians who come together to perform and record their own music. Track 24 studio: music production, sound engineering, & recording studio. Youth Empowerment Groups: building confidence & life skills. Kitchen Invaders: small groups working with a chef to show how to cook cheap and nutritional meals.

For More Information Contact Jussy JRaistrick@csv.org.uk CSV Media Clubhouse, 120 Princes Street, Ipswich IP1 1RS


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April / May 2014 - Issue 10

Social Networks Have

Killed

True Fame

Anonymous

Can you really be judged by how many followers you have? Does it really make you special? I believe that true fame is not recognised by this, it is measured by your true worth and whether you, whatever your craft is, brings a fresh new long-lasting presence to your chosen arena. All in all most people these days are famous for no real reason and have no real talent or what I would call ‘standoutability’ they are the here today gone tomorrow people, who probably won’t even be remembered when they die. A lot of artists these days are hanging onto what I call ‘fake fame’ believing that their star quality is shining bright but in reality it is more shadowy. Before social networking artists and entertainers had to really graft to get to their pinnacle, through this graft they touched many people and through this engagement built up strong fan bases whom sometimes like in the case of let’s say the Rolling Stones will rock with them through life or let’s say Tupac Shakur even through death. This fast fame does not breed legends in the entertainment arena and makes the industry saturated with a lot of mediocre to low quality artists just filling up space and getting ‘Gassed’ because they have a heavy internet following. But I doubt those many followers would even notice their favourite internet star if they walked past them in the street and even if they did would they be mobbed. Let go of the followers and social networks, they are for you to gauge a response after your performance. After you are established get out there and meet people. Do things. Don’t think you are high and mighty because you have x amount of followers or likes on your ‘selfie’, you are just delusional and need to check yourself. v


girls

young group women’s

rules

Relationship Fashion self-esteem SCHOOL LIFE APPEARANCE MEDIA CONFiDENCE Interested in getting involved ? contact Sharna Michael Smichael@csv.co.uk 01473 418034


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April / May 2014 - Issue 10

2 14

Year of the Horse Sam Rothwell 2014 is the year of the Horse apparently. This means that for those quick witted, centre of attention types who ooze intelligence and sex appeal, it’s time to shine. Life looks good for you and your celebrity circle of friends over the next twelve months. Unfortunately as a sheep I have less to look forward to. Weak willed? Well…Over sensitive? Little harsh… Moody, shy, lonely and too quick to fall in love? Roll on 2015. 2013 was a turbulent year to say the least what with conflicts erupting all over the world like spots, executed North Korean uncles, sun in the British summer, and the death of a truly great man-dela. Onwards and upwards though right! Gym owners everywhere will be taking record profits over the next few months as per usual. The fickle ‘New Year’s Resolution’ will get thrown away just as quickly as the gym membership. The world cup looms ever nearer; David Blaine has come out of hiding with a Dynamo sized chip on his shoulder. 2014 looks to be an exciting year. The Chinese year of the Horse has had mixed results historically, breeding some of humanity’s best moments and worst atrocities respectively. The accepted parameters of the year of the horse over the last 100 years are as follows; 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002 and 2014. It makes sense to begin at the beginning, so let’s go from there. In 1918 at least 50,000,000 people worldwide were recorded dead from three waves of a flu virus that became known as the Spanish Influenza Pandemic. Coupled with a world war, this was not a good year for the horse, not a good year at all. But more was to come…

In 1930, Astronomers discovered the official ninth, smallest and farthest planet from the sun in our Solar System-Pluto. The discovery sparked worldwide attention and provided grounds for even greater speculation for the possibility of life outside Earth. Where one thing is found another is lost. On the 6th August New York Supreme Judge Joseph Crater kissed his wife goodbye, promising to be back for her birthday on the 9th August. He emptied his bank account and seemingly disappeared off the face of the Earth, completely off the radar. The Radar consequently went operational in the next year of the horse, 1942, 12 years too late for the elusive Joseph Crater, who was officially presumed dead nine years after disappearing. 1942 was arguably the darkest year of the horse thus far. Adolf Hitler and his Nazi party laid waste to great swathes of Europe, systematically murdering hundreds of thousands of Jews, Christians, Gypsies, Homosexuals, Disabled people and seemingly everybody else in between, in this one year alone- a low point for the Horse. Though actually an Ox in the Chinese zodiac, Hitler fit the Horse profile well as an egocentric who needs to have the loudest voice in the crowd -somebody who needs to work alone and implement their personal views. Craving intimacy, but rebellious and unwilling to be cornered or tied down. Fiercely energetic and relishes travelling. Coincidentally, Saddam Hussein too was an Ox. 1942 also saw the formation of the United Nations, Anne Frank received a diary for her 13th birthday and probably most importantly of all, Walt Disney released the animated treasure, Bambi. Little victories. 1954 saw the first edition publication of the first instalment of J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic masterpiece The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. 48 years later, strangely in another phase of the horse, 2002, the second film in The Lord of the Rings saga, The Two Towers, hit our screens for the first time.


April / May 2014 - Issue 10

1966. Now there is a year to remember, with England’s last (and only) successful World Cup campaign. So, football fans, perhaps this year, with the help of some ancient Asian astrology, we might be celebrating the stitching of a second star onto that shirt. Maybe… The 1970s saw the dark side of the Horse rear its ugly head once more. On a piece of land named Jonestown, Guyana, in a South American Jungle, over 900 people were found dead in a small area. What looked like a massacre of some description transpired to be a mass suicide orchestrated by cult fanatic Jim Jones. Followers of Jones had murdered a US congressman who was visiting the site to interview inhabitants. When some of the party escaped Jones, he ordered the suicide of every member of his following, the ‘People’s Temple’. On a lighter note, Sony released the first portable music player, the Walkman the same year and the first test tube baby, Louise Brown, was born in Oldham. Always a silver lining. 1990 saw the release of Nelson Mandela from prison after 27 long years, as well as the resignation of the Iron Titan Margaret Thatcher who labelled him a terrorist. East and West Germany reunited once more and the Hubble Telescope was launched, enabling unprecedented access to the cosmos that was never before possible. 1990 also saw Matt Groening’s animated yellow family storm onto our screens for the first time, becoming an instant classic. The next and last year of the horse before this year was 2002. In that year, French archaeologists unearthed remains of a skull in the desert in Chad, Africa dating back 7 million years. Dubbed ‘Toumai’, the skull showed both human and ape characteristics in the same species, sparking debate about its origins that continue to this day. At the end of the day this year will be what you make it,

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whatever you want it to be. For the keen astronomer and believers in hocus pocus it could be something wishful, but 2014 doesn’t have to be at such extremities as those listed above on a personal level. This year, instead of making a resolution that you neither can nor want to keep, embrace the year and its challenges and face them head on, and remember there is ALWAYS someone who has it worse. v


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April / May 2014 - Issue 10

Music Collective Daniel Offley

Since 2011, vxm has given the youth of the local community the chance to expand their knowledge in media training and their chance for their voice to be heard. I joined this music project at the end of may 2012 after being told by a friend who was already a part of the project at the time. The members of vxm had written all their own music of which some of the songs had been recorded in the studio and were ready to perform at music in the park which was held at Christ church park in July 2012, which was a massive success.

The music collective is a chance for young people, aged 16 – 25, to increase their creative potential by working with other musicians with different styles and different backgrounds. The collective is a big pot of talent where individual’s skills are combined to increase each young person’s potential while learning more about each other and themselves. At the end of all of that we are going to be playing at Ipswich’s May Day festival and Music In the Park, which is a great opportunity for young people to come along and play with people that they may have not worked with before and create new music.

- Goerge Fothergill

I already had some musical knowledge prior to joining vxm of being at the time a drummer for 12 years and a bass guitarist 4 years but since being a part of the project my mu-


April / May 2014 - Issue 10

Page 15

sical knowledge has grown significantly and making friends wasn’t an issue as I have gone on further to form a band with a few of the members from last years vxm. As I had only joined the project nearer to the end of last years vxm, I got to come back for this years vxm. We have all came up with a good variety of music which we have written ourselves and have begun to record and will be performed at the May day festival in Alexandra park and then at music in the park which will be held at Christ church park in July. v


Are you a... Lyricist DJ Guitarist Drummer Violinist Singer Beat Boxer Pianist Dancer

We are looking for talented young people between the ages of 16 - 25 to join our

Music Collective If interested please contact Ashley by phone or email

TEL: (01473) 418034 Email: arose@csv.org.uk


April / May 2014 - Issue 10

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When did eating become so scary? I thought I had it under control, Years & years I struggled. My life the monster stole, Secrets & lies, Some could see the pain in my eyes, Friends & family gone. Pushed away, Sadly I was imprisoned. The other head to stay, Lonely & everything a fear, Pressure, rituals & punishments. I cried tear after tear, Never ending counting & children’s clothes, The adrenaline buzz. But still she wants another bone, Woman not a child, woman not a child, I ran, but still no success the further the mile, Anxiety, OCD & tiredness. Still she wants to win, Weaker & more frail I became. My passion went in the bin, Missing out on everything. I couldn’t take it anymore, Everything a rush, shock & blur. Next thing I know I’m out the door, Petrified of hospitals. A threat of a tube, I was an old woman, alone with my mind, alone in my own room, I was a pin cushion, wire after wire, Oh the pain, 4 drips. I’d became the world’s best liar, She was happy, over a week with no water or food, I was out of it, she had taken over. Nothing would change this mood, Faces, messages & tears, I couldn’t do another minute.. another year, I was useless, held down by both her hands, I wanted it to end, I had no plans, I wanted help, a miracle happened over night, I wanted to drink. There she returned my sight, Falling blonde long hairs. It’s hit me, I must fight, Alone in the ED Clinic, petrified & having to take my first bite, If I could kill her I would, just like she nearly did me, New Year’s I’m home, grateful to be alive.. grateful to see a tree, She’s slowly fading away. I’m happy, I’m all brand new, Every days a battle, but I now choose life because of all of you. Hannah Peck A recovering patient from Anorexia Nervosa


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April / May 2014 - Issue 10

Neknominate

The Truth Behind the Dare By Pond Growing up when I did something silly because someone else has done it first my dad used to say to me “would you jump of a cliff if they did?” well now there is a whole new level to copying your friends play school behaviour and it’s viral. Online we can be anyone, do anything, say anything we want, and fame is easy to achieve especially with the new tradition of posting yourself doing something and challenging others to do the same or top it. Some of these have been daft things such as planking, where the person has to lay flat with their hands by their side in an unusual location, however recently they have taken a dangerous turn with the explosion of a game called Neknominate, a drinking game in which people record themselves doing an extreme activity while or after drinking large amounts of alcohol, they then nominate someone else to out do them. It started with things such as stripping down in a supermarket and downing a pint, leaping into the sea after chugging beers, downing mixes of spirits while people throw things at you, including one case where a guys shorts were set on fire after a live firework was thrown, and now people are mixing the spirits with dead mice, live goldfish, insects, engine oil and dog food, some people are even drinking out of the toilet but now the game has become fatal with a reported 5 deaths and several cases were the person is lucky to be alive, so when will people realise the danger and stop putting themselves at risk for a trend that is quite frankly as idiotic as walking into a fire naked.

People are now looking for someone to blame, most aiming it at social media sites that allow the videos to be shared but how much control do they really have? For every video they delete another 20 are uploaded, so does the blame fall on those who nominate in the first place? It has now been reported that those who nominated those men who lost their lives could face manslaughter charges, saying that people can not claim they didn’t know the danger since it is now such a widespread issue, at the moment none of the deaths are being treated as criminal but with the death toll rising this could soon change. However there has been those who have decided to turn the challenge into something good, some mock it by drinking squash instead of alcohol, others are using it to save lives, donating blood and nominating others to do the same, and then there is one man who has decided to take his nomination and turn it into something positive highlighting the poverty in South Africa by going onto the streets armed with a packed lunch, giving it to a homeless man and then challenging his friend to partake in another act of kindness within the 24 hour limit. Internet fads come and go, and hopefully this is one that will end without the death of any more people, we need to show those who think this is just a game, that they’re proving ‘who’s the boss’ that this kind of challenge is not big and its not clever! Please think twice before taking part in this, and remember just because others do it, it does not mean you have to. v


A

BL CK FORUM

Black Forum

is the place for you if you want some where to express your thoughts opinions in safe

Environment Creative mentoring spoken word

Drama

Poetry

Music

Drama

Drama

Poetry Word

Drama

Music

Drama

Creative mentoring

Spoken word

Music

Creative

spoken word Poetry Drama Peace Word

If you are interested to coming along to one of our group discussions contact us: 01473 418035 / 418034


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April / May 2014 - Issue 10


April / May 2014 - Issue 10

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History of

Easter

By Sam Rothwell

On a cold, overcast night in AD664, a Papal advocator named Wilfrid- fresh from a visit to Rome, came head to head with Bishop Colmán of Northumbria. The two clashed in a bid to persuade the Northumbrian King Oswiu on the accepted date in which the most important feast of the Christian calendar, Easter, was to be celebrated. This became known as the Synod of Whitby. Essentially a row between two opposing Christian Church forces- Colmán on the side of Ionan tradition, or that of the Irish monks of Iona (modern day Isle of Mull, North-West Scotland), and Wilfrid representing the rising mainstream Roman tradition. What ensued was a slanging match between the two parties, resulting in King Oswiu’s decision to affiliate his kingdom with the emerging European Roman Christian superpower. The Irish monks who had civilised much of Scotland and Northern England were sent back with their tails firmly between their legs. Why does the date really matter you say? Well among other things, sex was strictly prohibited during Lent, and unfortunately for the King, his wife was a devout follower of the Ionan tradition, whereas he followed the Roman. This meant that when his official Lent fast was over, he still had no hope of any sort of bedroom antics for the next week whilst his wife concluded her own Lent fast. Aside from this, the conflict seems to have boiled down, as is often the case, to an alignment of power and political standing in England. King Oswiu had abandoned the very British Church that had nurtured his kingdom in ages past, in a bid to be looked on favourably by the bigger bully of the age Roman Christianity. Power, politics and sex, sound familiar? Nearly 1500 years later chocolate eggs and rabbits line the shop shelves. Church attendance among people below the age of 70 is down en masse and gluttony has replaced reflection. Like Christmas, retail giants have hijacked a celebratory holiday of thanksgiving and twisted it into a nice, fat ten figure cheque to boost profits at an otherwise mundane time of the year. Hot cross buns for example, a traditional treat of the Easter period, are now available day to day throughout the year. And of course there’s a card that needs sending! A must for any day that is slightly different to a normal day. Now this isn’t a problem per se but it comes down to celebrating something that many people neither remember the reasons for which they are celebrating, or plainly do not know. Whether religious or not; nowadays it seems to be a cultural norm to celebrate various feasts selectively because big business is plugging it. Take St. Patrick’s Day. Its funny how, on that one day, every-

body suddenly has ‘some Irish in them,’ forgetting their prejudices about the same people they characterise as stupid for the rest of the year. They’re just drunken Leprechauns right? Wrong. These people were once among the greatest forward-thinking minds in Europe, almost single handedly civilising Britain after the hasty exit of the Roman Empire. Any excuse to indulge in a bit of decadence for a day however, and we grab it by the horns. The amount of people knocking back Guinness on March 17th will be grossly disproportionate to the people who know who St. Patrick was, and the great lengths he went to achieve his mission in Ireland. Why is St. George’s day not as important to English people? Because there is currently no excuse/opportunity to gorge on something we shouldn’t, or waste money on things we don’t need. Back to Easter and as I recall; fluffy, cotton-tailed bunnies and cute little yellow chicks didn’t feature much in the Bible, unless I missed the part where Jesus rose from the dead and handed Mary Magdalene a chocolate egg. In reality, the bunny tradition roots itself in 13th century Germanic tradition. At the time these people had firm beliefs in Paganism and the existence of a number of Gods and Goddesses. One particular deity named Eostra- Goddess of fertility and Spring- was revered and worshipped around this time; her symbol being a rabbit due to the high reproduction rate associated with the animal. Later in the 1600s, a story was published that told the tale of a rabbit laying eggs and hiding them in a garden. The story spread to America with German immigrants and thus was ingrained in the Easter tradition. The egg again is borrowed from early Pagan themes as a fertility symbol. So Easter has become a mash of different ideas, traditions, and religious practices to create the strange festival it has become. Ignorance and lack of knowledge spreads across society like a rash. We live in a world where more kids recognise pictures of Ronald McDonald than of Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa and Martin Luther King combined. It’s acceptable for a distinctly average man with few morals and an expensive wig to earn £300,000 a WEEK when more than half of the world’s population eats less than most cats and dogs in the Western world do. It’s widely accepted for scantily dressed airheads to ‘shake what their mama gave them’ to a song that a computer has written for them and make millions, but the man in the street who only craves a cup of tea is a tramp? Disbelief springs to mind. This Easter then when you’re on your tenth chocolate egg and are close to retching, spare a thought for the whys and how’s and take a minute to remember what Easter is aboutlove, forgiveness, generosity and inclusion. v


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VXM Issue 10