3 Shopping Up North
4 There Will Be
Within the last twelve months the world has changed dramatically. Economies are crumbling, banks have collapsed and political instability is everywhere. Even the beacons of calm and reason that are Dublin Taxi drivers are unhappy. So what hope do the rest of us have? For the ordinary person, the day to day slog is getting tougher. There is very little good news to inspire us. One of the few recent reasons for optimisim is the man whose face you see on the front cover of our magazine. Amidst all the chaos Barack Obama has become a symbol for hope. A symbol for change. We at ‘11th Hour’ understand the importance of change and hope. We know things are changing constantly, we also know that change is needed. We can’t promise that by reading our mag we will change your lives, but we can promise we will make you thin, good looking and very very rich. Actually, the previous sentence is a complete lie. We will not change you physically or financially, you poor, ugly, fatty. We will, however, change your lives with the best student journalism you’ve ever read. I would suggest you use ‘11th Hour’ as a guide for the next 12 months, keeping it on you at all times. Let our team inform and inspire you. Our team will tell you how not to vote, how to eat, how to choose holiday destinations, how to change your view of women, how to be concerned about the future of health systems, how to choose a good music festival, how to shop for less, how to speak confidently in public, how to reform international cricket, why the League of Ireland is a complete mess, and finally, some might say most importantly, how to choose an enjoyable 2nd World War movie. So don’t be intimidated by our eclectic minds. Embrace the opportunity. Finally, think twice before using ‘11th Hour’ for something other than a personal guide (e.g. wallpaper, umbrella, flyswatter, contraceptive). The theme of change runs throughout and you will need it. Read and enjoy. Yours in Poverty, The Editor.
People to Blame: Editor - Sean Farrell Deputy Editors - Ian Gaughran & Joe Heeran Chief Sub Editor - Katrina Devine Sub Editors - Eoghan McLaughlin & Philip Margetson Chief Layout Designer - Fiona Donnellan Layout & Design - Tara Leigh & Emilie Leroy Advertising - Ronan Doyle Front Cover Photo - Natasha Rocca Devine
Disclaimer - The articles contained within this magazine are entirely the opinion of the respective writers, and in no way reflect the views of the editorial team or Griffith College.
6 Pay Or Die Sean Farrell
8 Freedom From
9 Cookware Aware Emilie Leroy
10 Viva La Diversidad Phil Margetson
11 Fear Factor
Natasha Rocca Devine
13 The Fall Of Berlin Ronan Doyle
14 Living Beyond
15 A Gentleman’s
Game, No More
11th Hour was produced by students of the Media Faculty of Griffith College Dublin., SCR, Dublin 8. Tel. 01 - 4150400
SHOPPING UP NORTH! Tara Leigh investigates whether planning a shopping trip to the North is worthwhile
Earlier this year we saw the closure of a number of retail outlets; Superquinn Dundalk, Sasha, Zaavi and Principles. The Minister for Finance, Brian Lenihan has apportioned some of the blame to the growing numbers travelling to shop in the North.
The first thing I noticed upon arrival was a distinct lack of parking; it was as though the entire population of Ireland had chosen this particular Saturday to make the trip; the holy grail of shopping trips in fact, and every radio station for the entire journey had one official or another mouthing off about the severity of the injustice I was about to commit.
However, the Minister can’t in his right mind blame anyone for doing so can he? The depreciation of the pound means that there has never been a better time to do just that.
n a cold Saturday morning, like hundreds of Irish people every week, I readily exchanged my Euro for Sterling, filled my car with petrol and hit the road, towards the shopping haven of Newry.
The trip, ultimately, proved successful. While my friends crammed the car with food products and alcohol, my big shopping spree comprised of exactly four items: a Bruce Springsteen CD, Maybelline make-up, a beautiful Marks and Spencer overcoat and a copy of the Irish Times. Taking exchange rate differentials into account, my savings amounted to €51.42. A rather substantial saving in anyone’s book, and definitely a trip worth making.
Today, over 300,000 people in the Republic are unemployed due to the economic downturn. Obviously, generating money within the economy can ease such problems and many companies have been working to encourage people to shop within state lines. One example is the introduction of a loyalty card in County Kildare. The loyalty card offers consumers who shop in Kildare town regularly a ten percent discount on all goods and services. Surely if we are serious about keeping business in our own counties, and country, such initiatives should be imitated .
One major problem arises when retail outlets adopt a strategy of openly deceiving their customers. An example of this is seen on goods carrying both a Euro and Sterling price. Retailers cover the Sterling prices on goods, and the consumer must go to great lengths to find out how big the price differential is. Among the culprits are Oasis, River Island and Marks and Spencer. Oasis’ Customer Service administrator, Aurora Fashions, accounts for the difference due to the fact that their “exchange rates are set in advance of each season and because of technical reasons can not be altered during the season.” They also state that the differential can be accounted for due to the higher VAT rates in Ireland. The VAT rate on clothing in Ireland currently stands at 21.5%, while the British rate is 17.5%. An Oasis skirt costs €66 in the republic and the equivalent of €40 in the North, amounting to a 24% differential. Accounting for the higher VAT rate imparted upon the Republic of Ireland, the differential should only amount to 4%. In economic theory, decreasing demand amounts to a decrease in price, yet my incredible saving in
Newry suggests that this is not the case. In fact, prices of many goods, such as petrol, are actually increasing. People are driving to the North in search of cheaper goods and manufactures are responding by increasing the prices of local goods. Manufactures who blatantly refuse to uphold the laws of demand can be said to be at least part of the problem. Until retail outlets in the Republic of Ireland drop prices and attempt to compete with the foreign market, consumers cannot be expected to shop locally. The very first person I spoke to on the subject while shopping put it all into perspective. Dublin born Orlaith, currently studying in England says that she can’t even consider moving home at the moment saying that “while prices remain so high it’s just not an option for me.”
l l ll l l l l l ll l l l l l There Will Be Bloodlines Eoghan McLaughlin
t the tender age of 24, Brian Cowen ran for Fianna Fáil in a Laois-Offaly by-election caused by the death of his father, Bernard.
Bernard was a publican and auctioneer from the town of Clara, Co. Offaly, and had been elected to the Dáil five times and the Seanad once. The highest position he attained was junior minister. Bernard’s father, Christopher, had been a Fianna Fáil Councillor for Clara, a position now held by Brian’s brother, Barry. That Brian’s bid for Bernard’s seat was successful bodes well for a 34-year-old Anglo Irish Bank employee hotly tipped to run in another upcoming by-election – this time in Dublin South. This by-election results from the death of Minister for the Arts, Sport and Tourism Seamus Brennan, who passed away last July. The banker is, of course, Seamus Brennan Jr. – he’ll take heart from the trajectory of Cowen’s career once he’d decided to follow in his father’s footsteps. Upon winning his late father’s seat, Brian Cowen became the youngest member of the 21st Dáil. Prior to his election, he had studied law in UCD and qualified as a solicitor. In a 2005 Daily Mirror interview about his ambitions, he is quoted as saying, “I’m in politics because another person dropped dead. I don’t get up in the morning wondering if I’m ever going to be Taoiseach.” At that time, he was Minister for Finance. And there’s more to raise Brennan Jr’s confidence… Three years after Cowen had first been elected, Mary Coughlan ran for Fianna Fáil in the 1987 General Election. Following the death of her father, Cathal, the previous year, Mary had been co-opted into the Donegal South-West County Council. It was Cathal’s seat in the Dáil that she would stand for in ’87. Cathal had only been a TD for 3 years himself, having won the seat in a by-election caused by the death of his brother, Clement. There had been no by-election held to fill the position Cathal had vacated, as there was a General Election just over the horizon. When Mary won it, she was the youngest member of the 25th Dáil - just 21 years old. Mary is currently Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment and is the nation’s Tánaiste, having replaced Brian Cowen.
Brian Lenihan Jr.’s father, Brian Sr., was a much-loved and controversial Fianna Fáil politician since 1957, when was appointed to the Seanad by Eamon DeValera. Between 1957 and 1995 he he had served as TD for Roscommon-Leitrim and West County Dublin, and been Minister of five different departments. He also made an unsuccessful bid for the presidency, losing to Mary Robinson in 1990. In the 1996 by-election caused by Brian Sr.’s death, Fianna Fáil chose to run the eldest male heir, Brian Jr., for the seat. The victory, by 252 votes and announced after the 11th count, was the first by-election victory for the party since 1985. Brian Jr. was 36 at the time, and had never shown much interest in politics. He did, however, have an admirable academic background and was a respected Senior Council member. However, Lenihan Jr became Minister for Finance after Brian Cowan was elected Taoiseach. His grandfather Patrick was also a TD, and his aunt, Mary O‘Rourke was a prominent Minister throughout her career and had been Deputy Leader of the Fianna Fáil party. His brother Conor followed him into the Dáil in 1997, and is currently a Junior Minister. So, given that the three most powerful positions in Irish politics all inherited their seats, Brennan Jr. can probably have high hopes for his future in the Party. He needn’t worry about Anglo Irish Bank’s current problems being traced back to him. He only needs to look at the example of Beverly Flynn - Fianna Fáil’s Mayo TD, National Irish Bank’s tax evasion advisor and daughter of Pádraig - upon whom the honour of dynasty has blessed with the ability to sue the national broadcaster for libel, lose, and then leave the taxpayer to pick up the tab. What is interesting here is not the idea that people from political families find their way into politics - understandable, in many ways - but that the logical choice of candidate in a by-election caused by death is a relative of the deceased.
The three most powerful positions in Irish politics all inherited their seats
This is not because Fianna Fáil is a cynical party. This is because the electorate follows the pattern of voting for that person regardless of their age or experience. Anybody charged with running an election campaign would be irresponsible not to act on this knowledge. Regarding the Dublin South by-election, the Irish Independent has even said: “Anything but a Brennan name on the ballot paper could endanger the Government’s seat in this volatile constituency…” Perhaps we desire the comfort that feudalism brings - the certainty that the right person is in the right role if they have been bred for it, as opposed to the chaos of choosing representatives on their own terms. Charlie Haughey, himself the son-in-law of his predecessor as Taoiseach, was fond of relating a story in which he stood at the edge of a cliff on Inis Mhic Uileáin - an island in the Blaskets that he privately owned - with the then French President, Jacques Chirac. He claims Chirac turned to him as they took in the windswept Atlantic vista and said, “Charles, you are a true chieftain of Ireland.” We all know Charlie believed it, but we were happy to believe it too. Haughey’s son, Seán was promoted to junior ministry in December 2006, only days before the Moriarty Tribunal published its preliminary findings on his father’s financial affairs. Seán’s father and grandfather (Seán Lemass) were both Taoisigh. His Uncle Noel TDs. Along with Brennan and Flynn, I’m sure he has a bright future. We the people, on the other hand, will get what we deserve.
and Aunt Eileen were also
‘Pay or Die’
The Grim Reality of the Chinese Health System by Sean Farrell
e don’t often make comparisons between China and Ireland. The cultural differences are as vast as the geographical distance between the two countries and while Ireland’s inhabitants represent 0.07% of the world’s population, the Chinese account for 19.84%. The fact that the United States represents 4.53% emphasizes the sheer potential of China as an economic force. In the 21st century China is expected to become the new world power both in economics and military.
There are some remarkable similarities in the recent economic development of China and Ireland. Both have experienced unprecedented economic growth within the last 20 years. While Ireland was experiencing the Celtic tiger years, China’s economy grew dramatically; their GDP increased thirty-fold from 1978 to 2008. In terms of purchasing power the Chinese economy is now considered to be the second largest in the world.
There is another striking similarity between China and Ireland which will affect future generations in both countries. They both have a struggling healthcare system which at the moment seems to be getting worse rather than better. Ireland’s healthcare problems have been the subject of much political commentary. To reform the health system, the HSE will have to exceed its annual budget by several millions of euro. It is sad that at a time when the country was at its most prosperous, we failed to develop an excellent national healthcare system which could and should have helped the elderly, the young and future generations. This would have stood as a legacy to the administration. Instead, our health system is arguably worse than it was before the dawn of the Celtic Tiger, and the money required to cure it is fast being distributed elsewhere.
Given the size of China and the influence it is expected to have on the world in the coming years, the Chinese health crisis could verge on catastrophic over the next decade. China is the only society in history to switch from a basic universal healthcare coverage for citizens to a private system whereby only 20% of citizens are now covered (mainly civil servants and soldiers).
The Lancet, renowned British medical journal, referred to the Chinese health system as having a ‘pay or die’ policy. This policy even extends to vaccinations for children, in a country where the effects of measles and TB are still visible in epidemic proportions. Citizens in need of medical assistance literally have to pay before they are treated, otherwise they are sent home from hospital without treatment, no matter how sick. A country that wishes to be seen as a world power cannot have such a disgracefully elitist form of healthcare. Some of the consequences of the ‘pay or die policy’ are quite alarming. World Bank data shows that in China, people’s out-of-pocket costs now account for nearly two thirds of all healthcare spending. It also estimates that half of all Chinese who are injured or ill go untreated because they can’t afford healthcare. Again, the World Bank reports that in 2003 the average hospital stay costs the equivalent of 43% of an average family’s yearly income.
So in a country where healthcare is no longer free and in many cases government decision making has been de-centralised, the policy makers are now confronted with the immediate problem of having to build a modern health system to cater for over one billion people. Political scientist Dr Robert Shapiro, former advisor to President Clinton, points out that the enormous resources that this will demand will distract from the Chinese government’s current agenda of ‘industrial modernisation’.
In Ireland, protests against government health policies will become more commonplace over the next few years. The Irish health system needs serious reform and with a faltering economy, it is difficult to see where the finance will come from. Indeed, one wonders if the resolve to mend the system exists.
In China, the fear is that the ambition to become the global business leader will result in the neglect of health system reform. There is unrest among Chinese citizens with reports of riots in hospitals as a result of patients being refused care simply because they couldn’t afford it.
Analysts predict that China and the USA will compete on a global scale over the coming decades. However, for China to truly be a world power and to be recognised alongside the USA, its citizens must be given a modern, extensive and accessible health system. It’s ironic that the USA, a country that defines capitalism, currently has a better and more accessible health care system than China, the socialist workers country.
“The Chinese health crisis could verge on catastropic over the next decade” So when you are aggrieved at the Irish health care system and wondering where the white knight of reform will come from, be grateful that you will not have to pay before they pump your stomach or fix your broken bones. Perhaps too, spare a thought for the Chinese who can see the vast economic growth throughout their country yet still have to worry whether they have enough money set aside for the family member who may someday become ill.
freedom from pornography katrina devine takes a look at the world of pornography and its effects
that most women in the sex industry have suffered some previous abuse or social deprivation. This brings a new dimension to the argument that these women are empowering themselves.
young couple sit down together to watch a dvd. The film is “Please Cum Inside Me” starring world famous ‘porn star’ Jenna Jameson. This has become a normal scene in the lives of couples all over Ireland. It is presented as harmless by the media and is regularly the advice given by agony aunts in newspapers and magazines to spice up sex lives. The Freedom from Pornography Campaign warns us this may not be as harmless as we have been led to believe. One of their messages is that the widespread acceptance of pornography is harmful to womankind all over the world, and can be linked to increased sexual violence. However, the anti-pornography movement understand that it may be difficult for some to comprehend that pornography has a direct effect on the view of women in the world. Imagine a girl of 16 in rural Montana, USA on her way home from a football game. She is brutalised and gang raped by four men. Later that year, a middle-aged family friend rapes her again. This poor girl is none other than Jenna Jameson. The figures show
More directly worrying for women in Ireland are the reports from rape crisis agencies directly linking pornography and sexual violence. A sample case from the South West of Ireland involved a woman who was forced to take sexually explicit photographs while other men watched, and she was made have sex with these men on video. She was threatened with the images being placed on the internet if she tried to leave. It has also been documented in several women’s magazines that girls feel they must be willing to submit to acts they see as demeaning because it has been normalized
should be treated as such. Another idea, which seems more viable than a complete ban, is education. Men and women need to be educated from a young age about pornography. Men need to be educated that pornography encourages the negative portrayal of women and, that by providing the demand, you are in turn adding to a cycle of sexual violence. Women also need to be educated about empowering themselves to demand respect. Of course, there are those who claim that pornography is empowering women and allowing them to make money. They claim that pornography is another example of free sexual expression, and certainly the pervasiveness of the multi-billion dollar pornography industry has resulted in greater profits for those involved.
pornography has a direct effect on all women by the increasingly pervasive pornography. The advice in columns or even found in Sex and the City is to embrace pornography as positive way to explore sexuality. Many campaigners believe the answer lies in legislation. They say pornography is incitement to hatred against women and
In an ideal world, that 16-year-old girl would not have been afraid to seek the appropriate help to cope with the trauma in her life. Instead, she was drawn into a world where the trauma she experienced became her everyday life and ‘normal’. Moreover, countless men and women have enjoyed watching her degradation.
Emilie Leroy explores the way to a healthier lifestyle Aoife was fed up with the weekly trek to the supermarket, carrying twice her weight in groceries. She felt overwhelmed with ads for ‘green’ brands, questioning what ‘organic’ food actually meant, but never finding what she wanted. This was a clue for
her to change from our Globalised food supply. Farming is one of the biggest causes of pollution. Our choice of food products c a n make a
“we are throwing away 40% of all food produced”
difference. Organic farming uses 30% less energy than intensive food production. The use of pesticides in the world creates more than 400 costal oxygen-starved dead zones. As consumers, we are the cause and the consequence of this.
Our power to purchase is like voting for products. The current ethical turn and a certain surge of ethical concern in our daily lives make us worry about what’s on our plate. Some easy tips can help you move forward to ethical cooking. It starts when you shop. Or rather, where you shop. Avoid travelling far to the biggest supermarkets. Shopping locally has small advantages, such as carrying less weight. Try your hand at shopping locally: beside Griffith Campus, the Dublin Food Coop Market opens in Newmarket and the Irish Farmers Market in Ranelagh. There, Irish products and organic food fulfil the most important eco-friendly obligation; that is low carbon emission. Traceability in local shopping is directly represented through the producer himself who speaks to his first-hand consumer: you! You know exactly your food’s journey from plot to plate. In addition, these markets avoid useless over-packaging. In choosing your ingredients, check the origin label first. Do we really need kiwis from New Zealand, tomatoes from Brazil, potatoes from Morocco? We should avoid long-distance shipping, carbon emissions and unsustainable productions. For instance, each Kenyan green
bean stem represents 4 litres of water. Meat production is responsible for 18% of CO2 emissions. Even the French Agency for the Environment advises you to become vegetarian as 2.2 pounds of beef is the equivalent to the average car travelling 155 miles (250 kilometres), in terms of amount of CO2 emitted.
Moreover, we are throwing away 40% of all food produced. Obviously, this has an economic and ecological cost. However, it is an easy and logical change in our day-to-day actions. Planning food for a few days leads to less food that died in the fridge. Back in your kitchen, why not continue your new ethical and eco-friendly life? Cover your pan when cooking to save energy. Fill your fridge with tap-water bottles; a full fridge uses less energy to chill. Don’t open your oven while it’s roasting; you lose 5°C each time. Now going twice a week to a farmers market in Dublin, Aoife, mother-of-two, enjoys her new way to consume. “I’ve only found benefits from buying local organic food.” Rediscovering the joy of cooking is to become the new fashion. Moving to homemade food away from pre-cooked supermarkets food saves money, saves the Earth, and saves your health.
d a d i s r e v i D a L a Viv
TRAVEL WITH PHIL MARGETSON
t is a place where a footballer is held in similar esteem to a religious figure. It is where one of the most iconic revolutionaries in history was born. The only glacier in the world that is still growing resides there. It is where the tango was born. And there is a cowboy scene there to rival that of anywhere in the United States.
To describe Argentina to someone who has not been there is very difficult. While travelling there you will hear phrases like “the perfect cultural mix of Europe and South America”, or “it feels like Spain with third world prices”, but these do not do justice to one of the most fascinatingly diverse countries in South America, and arguably, the world. It appears that since the last economic crisis in 2002 Argentina has begun to flourish again, with tourism one of the areas that has thrived in recent years and it is not difficult to see why. The cynic might say that the favourable exchange rate for Europeans and Americans is reason enough to go, but that is to gloss over what is on offer. The starting point for most visitors is Buenos Aires (BA), Argentina’s heaving metropolis and capital city. On the outside, it appears to be like any European city, but dig a little deeper and the rewards are plenty. Whether it’s the bright buildings and lively atmosphere in the lively working class suburb of La Boca, or the upmarket shops and cafes in La Recoleta, there will certainly be something for everyone. World famous in BA are the Tango shows, where an evening can be spent with fine dining and world class dancers on stage, and often a lesson will be thrown in for free. But make sure it’s after you eat because dining is something Portenoes (BA residents) take very seriously!
Tourism has really thrived in recent years
Steak and red wine are the order of the day all over Argentina, not just in Buenos Aires. The quality of the fare is not reflected in the prices either, but in a good way! Both products are quickly gaining a reputation as being among the finest in the world, and once you have sampled them it is not hard to see why. Tasting trips to wine regions are commonplace in Argentina, especially around Mendoza in the West of the country. And to see where the prize winning beef comes from, you can also spend a few days on a ranch in the Pampas area in the centre of the country. A world away, and literally at the end of the world, is the famous Patagonia. It has stunning natural parks with glaciers, mountain ranges and lakes. It is considered to be among the best places in the world to go whale-watching, with penguins and sea-lions plentiful. If you prefer to stay a bit warmer then the awesome power and beauty of the Iguazu Falls and its surrounding National Parks that border Brazil and Paraguay could be more to your liking. Despite Argentina’s recovery in recent years, social problems, like poverty, still exist that are inevitable as a result of the nation’s difficult recent past. For a nation to overcome what Argentina has shows a real strength of character. There truly is something for everyone there, from posing in Buenos Aires to trekking in Patagonia to fine dining just about anywhere!
d d d Fear Factor? Features
If talking in public seems like torture, then here’s something that might help. By Natasha Rocca Devine
lossophobia, or a fear of public speaking, is believed to be the single most common phobia, and affects as much as 75% of the worlds population. For TV Presenter Emma Ledden, this was never the case. Cork-born Emma started out as a model. At 21, she surpassed thousands of European hopefuls and landed a job on ‘MTV Europe’. Following this, Emma replaced Zoe Ball as co-presenter of the hit BBC1 Saturday morning children’s show ‘Live and Kicking’. Like many presenters, Emma has faced highs and lows in what many regard a cut-throat business. What becomes clear as we speak is Emma’s unquestionable talent, and her genuine passion to teach others how to overcome ‘the fear’. Emma is fully qualified in Media and Communications, and being an expert in this field she has gone on to set up her own company, where she prepares people for auditions in which they have to speak in public. Her training varies from presentations, job interviews, conferences and events. Not to mention her work with individuals in the media who are preparing for their appearances on radio and television. Emma stresses the importance of public speaking, saying that “people lose jobs, promotions and opportunities because they did not develop their presentation skills”. She also points out the similarities between training individuals who are presenting to camera, to that of those speaking in school or at events.
Essentially, these are all methods of communication, with the key aim being the person’s ability to transfer a message to a broader audience. Subsequently, she says that “talking to camera, understanding television and what is required as a presenter is where the difference comes in”
“Being a good presenter is like learning to swim” So what are the requirements of this role? Emma says that, “being a good presenter is like learning to swim. Anyone can learn the technique, but not everyone likes the water. Some people are afraid of it, some people can’t be bothered getting wet. Others, no matter how many lessons they take, only ever manage to front crawl.” However, like in every skill, she says “there is one or two who love it, work
really hard at it and have a natural talent for it.” With this in mind, Emma suggests that “the sooner you start the better you will be.” She is currently coaching people from both the public and private sector as well as many students. Evidently, there is no boundary to which the fear of public speaking can reach. Hence, an integral part of Emma’s job is to help her clients embrace these nerves and channel them into the presenting experience. Enjoying the moment,whilst communicating the message is the end product she hopes to achieve. Whilst public speaking is something that Emma has always revelled in, we spoke about the serious issue of on-camera ‘image pressures’ and the size-zero argument, even for men. As a media coach, these are issues that must be taken into consideration. Emma admits that “there is a pressure for people in the public eye to look a certain way. Sadly, when they put on or lose weight, it is reported in the news. But who is to blame? The celebrities themselves, the media, or the people who buy the magazines? I don’t know the answer”, she concludes. Despite the fact that Emma enjoyed a long career in the media and has a new company in the pipeline, her modesty still remains intact. She says “I still feel blessed when I am offered an opportunity to present or contribute in the media.” With a downto-earth and honest approach to her career, it’s no wonder that she still soars above many of her peers. Her strong work ethic reflects the reality of the fast-paced media business to those interested in entering the field. She maintains that getting hands on experience, you learn to understand the business in a way no book could ever teach you. For more information, visit www.emmaleddencommunications.ie
oxegen Grab your wellies, sunnies and a sneaky nagin, ʻcause oxegen is fast approaching... by Fiona Donnellan
d d d
live performances.This alternative rock band have released eight studio albums including their latest releases Ghosts I–IV and The Slip, released in 2008 to coincide with their world tour.
Dave Sitek and this is evident on some of the tracks. TV on the Radio play Saturday along with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs so make sure you catch these synth yielding art punk rockers.
Another reason to grab your ticket for the festival now is Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds. Though they may not be to everyone’s taste, there is no denying their international popularity. Heavily influenced by jazz, blues and post punk, making their sound intense and their performance at Oxegen is bound to be an experience.
Next up is Foals, who play Sunday. Foals sprung to fame when they starred in a mini episode of cult channel 4 programme Skins, and since then have developed a huge following. The Oxford band have played in Dublin before to sold out crowds. Despite the fact that it looks like Topman exploded on them, these skinny jeans and plaid shirt wearing indie folk really have got talent!
he Oxegen 09 line up has been announced and it’s shaping up to be bigger and better then ever before; opting for a broad line-up with both Irish bands will be rampant at this year’s festival, most notably Irish trio, The Script. main stream, alternative and dance acts set to play. The Script have had a rapid rise to fame and not without just cause. The band aim to create soulThe top acts at this year’s festival are Kings of ful music and by listening to a couple of their Leon and Ireland’s own Snowpatrol, The Killtracks you’ll be hooked. Their debut single We ers, Bloc Party and Blur’s return. Cry and their follow up single The Man Who Bloc Party are no strangers to Oxegen. Since the Can’t Be Moved have been international hits release of their first album Silent Alarm in 2005, since their release. They are bound to be crowd pleasers at the festival when they play the main fans have been unexplainably drawn to these stage. lovable Brits and their anthems that have ruled the airwaves. Their third album release ‘IntiThe third album from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs was macy’ boasts more great hits such as Mercury released back in March. This time round they and Talons. have veered away from the sound that brought There is no denying that Nine Inch Nails are one them such success in 2002. Rebelling, perhaps, against many copycat bands who latched onto of those bands that you have to see before you die. Even if you’re not into this kind of alterna- this success, they’ve managed raise the bar. tive rock, NIN are notorious for putting on great They had input from TV on the Radio front man
So that’s it, six bands that are going to rock out this year but this is only the beginning, more bands are to be announced and with big acts like Blur and Kings of Leon bringing their unique stylings to the event, Oxegen is definitely not to be missed. So gather your pennies and put the recession in the back of your mind, because July 10th to 12th is going to be rad!
Oxegen takes place July 10th to 12th. Tickets for the weekend are €224.50
The Fall of Berlin Reviewed by Ronan Doyle Dir: Mikheil Chiaureli
n the Pantheon of 20th century villainy, Joseph Stalin occupies a place of murderous distinction. Some 56 years after the death of this Georgian sociopath, it’s a bizarre experience sitting through director Mikheil Chiaureli’s paean to Stalinism, “The Fall of Berlin”. The plot concerns steel worker Aleksei Ivanov, who one day breaks the world record for steel production with his “11 tonnes per square metre” and is to be fêted with the Order of Lenin. Enter the beautiful schoolteacher Natasha, tasked with writing a speech to celebrate Aleksei’s, ahem, monumental achievement. The two fall passionately in love just as the fascist hordes of Hitler’s Germany burst onto the scene in Russia. Natasha is captured and incarcerated in a slave labour camp while Aleksei is conscripted into the army, vowing to fight into the heart of the Reich to rescue his beloved. However, its simplistic ‘love in the face of adversity’ narrative is merely window dressing for the deification of Uncle Joe as a leader of genius. Thanks to some pioneering
prosthetic effects, all the war’s principal players bear an uncanny likeness to their reallife counterparts. Actor Mikheil Gelovani made his career portraying Stalin on celluloid. So impressed had the dictator been by his performance in 1938’s “Diadi Gantiadi” (Great Glow), that it was decreed only Gelovani should play Stalin in all Soviet productions. Aside from Stalin, Churchill is presented as a shambling grotesque with an altogether Machiavellian agenda, and Hitler as a hysterical pantomime villain. The film’s battle scenes are choreographed with panache by Chiaureli, and are a sight to behold. Panoramas of massed armour rolling across Russian steppes, nightmarish columns of German motorised infantry snaking through blazing cornfields, red banners majestically waving, all beam from the screen in Agfacolour’s vivid pastel shades. Without a doubt the films crowning achievement is the bravura assault on Berlin culminating in the storming of the Reichstag. A more authentic recreation of this legendary battle will never be committed to film as the actual shell-pocked parliament building and its immediate environs were used.
a white suited Uncle Joe waxes lyrical as to necessity of world peace before the choral strains of “Glory, glory be to Stalin” drown out the cheers of his rapt audience. This orgiastic adulation is topped off by the reuniting of Aleksei and Natasha as the dictator looks on approvingly. Despite the picture’s obsequious preoccupation with the dictator, its legion artistic merits redeem the intellectual bankruptcy of its message. While not as visually audacious as the post-revolutionary works of Eisenstein, as a piece of Soviet Realist cinema “Fall” is nonetheless a staggering technical and logistical achievement, a totalitarian “Gone with the Wind”. Consistently entertaining and sumptuous to look at, “Fall” is a rewarding experience for the adventurous viewer and is sure to be treasured by film students and military history buffs alike. If anything, check it out for the sheer novelty value of seeing Hitler throw a hissy-fit in Russian!
“Fall’s” most painfully propagandistic scene is saved for last. Surrounded by adoring masses,
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In this current economic climate, are League of Ireland clubs...
Living Beyond Their Means? By Ian Gaughran
he 2008 League of Ireland season was one of heartache and turmoil for clubs, players and fans alike. At once stage in the season, most - if not all - clubs experienced financial difficulties of some sort, and in the main it was the players who suffered. It seemed like a weekly occurrence that reports would surface in the media regarding unpaid or deferred wages, and some of Ireland’s biggest clubs, notably Cork City and Drogheda United, were left with no option but to enter into a period of examinership. Without question, the League of Ireland in its current guise is a league in transition. After the strides made during the ‘Celtic Tiger’ era,
the economic downturn has taken its toll on professional football in Ireland. Last season’s problems were dubbed a “necessary adjustment”, and the FAI’s Fran Gavin used the phrase “short-term pain for long-term gain.” Strict measures were introduced to ensure that clubs couldn’t fall into the trap of overestimating wages through their gate-receipts, and end up in the situation of delaying wages or underpaying players. Under League of Ireland rules, clubs are not allowed to spend more than 65% of their turnover in paying their players, and will face strict sanctions if they do (point deductions, or even relegation). This month, however, the FAI were forced to respond to claims in the Irish Daily Mail that champions Bohemians have broken rules with
regard to the payment of players’ wages. It was alleged that, despite an income of €2 million in 2008, the Dublin club spent €1.95m on wages. In fact, a mistake was made in calculation. The club had received a non-refundable contribution from Danninger Ltd (proposed investors - an investment which has since fallen through) which meant the amount spent on wages fell below the 65% limit. But this doesn’t mask the fact that Bohs are in serious financial trouble. Budgeting for a League win this season, they expect to make a loss of €1.5m. Although players haven’t had a missed payment so far this season, they must surely be looking over their shoulders. The situation at Cork City is far more serious in its immediacy. When they came out of their examinership period last season, it was claimed the club was “debt free”, yet in March, wages were delayed. On the March 7th they took the unprecedented step of holding a “free entry” night for the home game against Drogheda, yet attendance didn’t even reach 2000 people.
City fans are becoming increasingly concerned that owner Tom Coughlan wants out, and there are murmurings on Leeside that supporters group FORAS (similar to the 400 Club at Shamrock Rovers) may step in to ensure the survival of one of Ireland’s major clubs. The question on every League of Ireland fan’s lips is “How long can the league go on?” With the country in economic turmoil and clubs’ income close to an all time low, these are extremely worrying times for them. Throughout the noughties, European progress was always the benchmark for Irish clubs. If we are optimistic, there is an outside chance of progress with Bohemians (the playing squad is one of the finest the league has ever assembled), but we must be realistic. Endurance and survival must be the long term goals.
Joe Heeran looks at events that shook the cricketing world
A Gentleman’s Game, No More O
n the 3rd of March this year the Sri Lanka cricket team departed their hotel in Lahore to play a test match against Pakistan. On the way to the ground the bus was attacked by terrorists leaving six security staff, and two civilians, dead. The reaction of many media outlets unfamiliar with cricket was understandably one of shock, considering the sports gentlemanly reputation. Those who follow cricket, however, know it was a grim reminder that this is a sport that lost its innocence a long time ago.
Pakistan, due to its uncertain political situation, has become isolated from the cricket community for the last few decades as teams refuse to tour there. This rejection, for a nation that still has not come to grips with the Bob Woolmer tragedy, casts a great shadow over Pakistan’s future as a cricket force.
Tragedy Woolmer, who died tragically while coaching Pakistan during the 2007 World Cup, was suffering from stress and was planning to write a book that would expose the corruption that he had encountered in his distinguished international management career. Woolmer, who, during his career coached India and Pakistan, was manager of South Africa when Hanse Cronje was captain. Cronje was much loved in South Africa, so when accusations began to surface in the Indian press in 2000 that Cronje had accepted money to influence the outcome of some matches, it was initially derided by everyone. However, when Cronje was summoned to the Kings Court to face these accusations he broke down in tears and admitted that he had accepted large sums of money to fix the outcome of certain matches.
Suspended Cronje was suspended for life from cricket. Tragically in 2002 he died in a plane crash, with rumours of a tell-all book on cricket corruption, that would name those involved, in the pipeline. Conspiracy theorists were quick to emerge from the woodwork. They believed he was murdered so he would not write the book, which could have had serious ramifications for the game and for those he had done business with.
Considering his stature, Cronje’s tragic story is still the most controversial but there have been numerous other players who have been in trouble for their dealings with bookies. More recently Australians Shane Warne and Mark Waugh, and West Indian Marlon Samuels have admitted to leaking vital information to the opposition regarding their respective teams in exchange for cash.
While countries had no qualms about boycotting tours of Zimbabwe and Pakistan, claiming security concerns, England agreed to tour India in the aftermath of the Mumbai bombings. Their stance was to be admired, but many suspect that with the lucrative Indian Premier League on the horizon, players were desperate to impress potential suitors watching.
There was no financial incentive for Sri Lanka to tour Pakistan this year. Their sole reason for the tour was a noble act of solidarity to help a neighbouring sporting nation who had been starved of cricket.
dark room exhibition by new media artists/from The National College of Art and Design/ presented at The Back Loft in Dublin/ from 13th - 16th May 2009
dark room exhibition by new media artists/from The National College of Art and Design/ presented at The Back Loft in Dublin/ from 13th - 16th May 2009