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Issue 29 November 2008
Issue 29 November 2008 Editor Noel Burke Photography Nathaniel Doyle Contributors Natasha Rocca Devine Suzanne Fitzpatrick Aaron Rogan Zara Burke Oscar Finn Sandra Morris Sean Reid Oisin Collins Roisin Trait Cormac Murtagh Ciara Healy Fiona Donnellan James Walters Lidia Okorokova Layout & Design Noel Burke
5 The Genuine Article 6 Party People 9 Razorlight 12 Seth Lakeman 13 The Wire 14 American Idols 17 Wells for Zoe 18 The Ugly face of Western Society 20 Blonde Gemini 28 Reviews
For all advertising enquiries please call 01-4150463 Printed in Ireland by Impression Design & Print Griffiti Magazine Griffith College Dublin South Circular Rd Dublin 8 e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org All contents copyright of Griffiti magazine. Reproduction of any part of Griffiti without permission from the publisher is strictly prohibited. 3
Student Union News ey all! I hope you are all enjoying this year as much as everyone here in the SU is. The past few weeks have been brilliant. Fresher's Week was a roaring success, with 750 of you filling up Club XXI. The bands and comedians that came in during the week have been singing your praises and loved performing for you all. If this was anything to go by, this will be an exciting year for everyone!
S.U President Sean Reid
November is usually a quiet month here in the SU, but we are changing all that this year by having a 'Glitter and Trash Ball' this month in Sin at the end of the month. This is the one event where you won't get turned away from a club by dressing down, in fact brining out your old rags is encouraged! There will be some exciting things
i Guys! Hope ye are all enjoying the year in college so far! So far we have had a few good nights out and as I am sure Séan has mentioned there is going to be many more events during the year.
The most important thing is to make sure you are all aware of the Poly Clinic where our new Griffith Doctor is based. Any student from G.C.D who has a student card can avail of special price discounts. This is a walk in service and is easily located at the Traffic lights at Donore Avenue Bridge. There are a few important dates coming up in my diary which will be advertised through out the next few weeks. From the 3rd-7th of November we have Mental Health Awareness week and again on the 24th-28th there is welfare week. We have also organised a trip to Malawi for the end of January where 17 students have
On a more serious note we are all aware over the next few weeks there is Assignment week. This can be a stressful time and I would like to reiterate that my office is here if you are having difficulties. You can also contact the college counsellor Carole Wardlaw. Her contact details can be got from the SU or from many of the lectures. Thanks again for all your support!! I look forward to seeing all over the next few weeks and wish you all the best of luck with your assignments.
s most of you now by now, my main responsibilities in the Students' Union revolve around sports and the societies which are shared with our President Sean and our ever reliable welfare officer Jacquie. Soccer, our biggest and most popular sports club led by manager Leroy Rhodes was the colleges' first involvement in competions this year. The new season kicked off with a disappointing defeat to I.T Tallaght but was soon back on track with a well deserved win over Mater Dei, where we came from behind to defeat them 2-1 with goals coming Shane Mooney and Stephan Griffiths. Hopefully as the season moves on we can push for promotion. The Rugby season is due to kick-off next month. This year we face tough opposition but under the guidance of new coach Kevin McKensie hopefully we will have a successful season. Training takes place in
I'll leave it at that for this month. Don't forget if you want to talk about anything, my office is always open. See you all at the Glitter and Trash Ball!
volunteered to raise money and get involved in a project set up by the charity called ’Wells For Zoé’. So far we have had a raffle and have been bag packing in Dunne’s in Cornells Court. We have so far raised over €2,000 and would like you all to keep an eye out for upcoming events. We are on Bebo at the following address: www.bebo.com/Malawi2009.
Sports Officer Kieran Hickey
happening during the night also, so it's an event you won't want to miss and the perfect way to celebrate the end of your assignments! Keep an eye out for posters which will have more information. This month also sees the first meeting of the Students Council. Your class reps will be letting you all know when the dates of these meetings are, so make sure you tell them what issues you want brought up in the meeting, no matter how small they may be. This is the best time to let your voice be heard, so don't let it slip past you.
Welfare Officer Jacquie Ryan
the Iveagh grounds and anyone interest in playing this year, just pop into me in the SU building. Pool, like the last few years has again commenced with great success. Philip Murphy and Will Flynn claimed the first two victories in the weekly knockout competitions. Pool takes place the SU every Monday at 18.15, and everyone is more than welcome to join at anytime. Poker, arguably one of our most popular societies has also begun with the help of chief organizer Brian McHugh. With competitions on the weekly the thinking caps will have to be at the ready. Poker takes place every Thursday at 18.30. Contact the SU for the venue. If you haven't seen a sport or society that interests you, not to worry, many more will be starting in the coming weeks.
The Genuine Article With Star reporter Drew Peacock
Arthurs Bar Unveils New Schedule at Launch
t a recent press conference which was attended by Griffiti and Reuters outside the toilets in Arthurs, Bar manager Dominic Lodola unveiled his latest 'timetable' for Arthur's events to stretch from December 08 - February 09. "I'm keeping with my themed nights as I believe they are the most popular. But there are some right dirty bastards in this college, have you ever seen the women on a night out here? You'd find more clothing on a spool of tread, so I decided I better start catering for these lads and lasses" said a perplexed looking Mr Lodola. "Basically I'm going to be really going out there with the themed nights. 'Monday Madness' is just not mad enough so I'm changing that to 'Monday Molestation'. Basically we will have all the young ones in the room, lock the doors, throw on a bit of hardcore techno/house music and strobe lighting and then bring in all the auld lads from Leonards Corner. It will be pure filty but I reckon everyone should leave with a smile on their face" said Mr Lodola. Lodola continued to explain that his popular 'Wacky Wednesday' will be rebranded as 'Wankered on Wednesday'. However in his most controversial move (not his first one) Mr Lodola announced that Resturant Manger Chris Brownill will be hosting his very own themed night on Fridays called 'Frantic Friday Fisting'.
"I don't expect a huge crowd at this one, as it is a very niche event, plus most of the college is off on Fridays. However basically what's going to happen is, we are going to pull the curtains, Declan from the Kitchen is supplying the chip fat and well, I'll leave the rest to your imaginations!" said an excited looking Mr Brownill. Arthur's Bar is set to continue its great drinks promos: Single Vodka Red Bull : Only €14! Pint of Amstel : Only €7! Jagerbomb: Only €12! Tap Water: Not available unless you are literally dying
Brownill : Loves New Timetable
GODZILLA IN 'SEX-TAPE' SCANDAL Fading film star's latest release leaked onto the web...and bed sheets
apanese film monster, Godzilla has become the latest celebrity victim of a leaked sex-tape. The tape, which appeared on several websites on Monday evening, is believed to have been leaked from CCTV footage of a Dublin car-park. Its grainy black and white images allegedly depict the legendary 'King of the Monsters' engaged in a sex-act with a male prostitute dressed as long time nemesis, Mothra. This will no doubt come as a blow, no pun intended, to the B-movie star who is trying to get his career back on track following a string of box-office flops and a lifelong battle with alcohol addiction.
The irradiated lizard reached stardom in the 1950's when one of his booze fuelled romps, which destroyed much of downtown Tokyo, was captured by a Japanese film maker. Several documentaries were made and the unknown reptile was thrust into the limelight. His career began to slump in the late 1970's when he slipped into drug and alcohol addiction and faded into near obscurity. His hopes of a comeback were dashed in 2000 however when critics mauled his self-titled biopic 'Godzilla'. And his latest screen venture will no doubt damage his waning Hollywood credibility. Godzilla refused to comment on the sex-tape when questioned at his Christmas Island home today, instead preferring to incinerate reporters with his atomic blast. The Genuine Article did, however, manage to track down Godzilla's co-star in the film. The man-ho, known only as Dr. Dusty Ringlove, rejected claims that he was the one who had leaked the video onto the internet. Speaking from a corner on Wexford Street a defiant Mr. Ringlove stated: "Sista, puh-leeze. I din't do dat shit. Dat trick was its own reward - he's a monster in mo' ways den one, honey!"
In Brief GCD Security squad shoot 6 students in first month for looking overly content with themselves. Sports Officer accused of cross-dressing after being seen wearing a normal tshirt GCD gardener accused of 'missing a spot' on the green
American Students continue to break decibel levels while having a 'quite conversation' SU Common Room now more popular pisshead spot than Coppers Govt considers moving Mountjoy inmates to GCD Rez as they share a 'remarkably similar' set of rules Inefficientcy in International Office skyrockets as Paul Mullally returns to work Robbie Smyth wears balaclava to Staff Halloween Party - later states he didn't realise it was fancy dress Hot Maintainance Guy continues to 'tighten the screws' in the residence.
The contents of this section are satirical and may offend. The views espressed here do not represent the views of GCD Student Union*
Photography by: Sam Burgees & Carmen Caballero 6
Whatâ€™s this Protest About?
The Unknown Student Column ou have to be on time. If you aren't this will reflect on your grades." Yeah, right! It won't when I can come to class 10 minutes late and still be there before the teacher arrives. How many times have we not been in the classroom, in our seat, on time and had to wait at least 15 minutes? Once even 30 minutes, that's almost half the time we have in class! In countries like Germany, Austria, Switzerland and especially in the Scandinavian countries there is a phenomena called the "academic quarter". This isn't the academic quarter used in the US for dividing the year into four different terms, instead of two like we have here in Ireland. This is instead an unofficial 15 minuets break used at university level. In practice this means that even if it says 9.00 pm on the timetable the lecture won't start until 9.15. Feels somewhat familiar, doesn't it?
here was great craic to be had last week when Dublin's students came out in force to protest the increase in registration fees implemented in the new budget. Despite their best efforts, the fun-loving students failed to match the levels of militancy on show from their much older fellow protestors- the old people. The old people, angry at the proposed means testing on medical cards for old people who are older than 70, put their youthful counterparts to shame with a far better and more sinister protest on the same day.
Sincerity is the key. The student's were mildly angry, while the old people were apoplectic with rage, summoning up the oldschool levels of discontent that sometimes lead to Communist revolutions. The students looked like they were having too much fun. There was zero Garda presence, which as all good protestors know is a gross insult; if the cops don't think you need to be supervised, you're just not serious enough. The student's chant was
a standard 'What do we want?! No Fees!! When do we want it?! Now!!' Whilst simplicity is important for all good protest chants, this one perhaps crossed the boundaries of what could realistically be achieved. Technically, the fees are already in place, and have been increased to a higher sum, so chanting for the abolition of them altogether seems a tad overambitious. By all accounts, the chant should have been 'What do we want?! A reversal of the Governments' decision to increase student registration fees in the budget, and bring it back to 900 euro, or possibly get rid of the fees altogether!! When do we want it?! Now!! The guy with the speakerphone chose not to got down this road though, and perhaps he was right. Whilst the wild passion was in his eyes, everyone else seemed to be thanking their lucky stars they were getting a day off college, and for a just cause too. Happiness is a warm placard.
Keeping time is a good rule and it's valuable to learn, not just for class. Keeping the time for the laundry room can spare you a lot of trouble and picking your little brother up at kindergarten in time spares you the feeling of guilt seeing him sitting all alone on the playground. Probably the most important reason to learn how to keep the time is for work. When you're working coming late is just not an option. Your are presumed to be there in time, ready to make coffee, answerer the phone or whatever your supposed to do. But why should we follow a rule when the teachers don't? We've paid a lot of money to be here, the least they can do is to respect us for that and come in on time. Even though they set the rules they should be applied for both parts. Hi, by the way. This is the
Unknown Student's column, as you've probably already figured out. It will discuss issues of every-day life as a student at Griffith College and bring up subjects that amuse and annoy you. This column will try to address things concerning all students and it would be great if you wanted to contribute with your thoughts and ideas. See it as a mode through which you can express your opinions. The other day I overheard some girls in the canteen queue. They were talking about the kindergarten on campus, you know just outside the reception. They were not too fond of it, so to say. One of the girls complained that she was sometimes woken up by them screaming early in the morning. All of them were seemingly living on campus and had experienced the same thing. "Why do they have a kindergarten on campus for anyway?" one of them asked. "They could have used that space for a new building, so we could have proper classrooms instead of the cold barracks we have to sit in all day." The other girls nodded their heads, paid their coffee and ran of in a hurry for class. I agree with them, it is weird to put a kindergarten on a collage campus. Far away from the park, with a couple of palm trees and an asphalt yard to play on, it is hardly the ideal environment for children. And the essential question; why let students sit in cold, smelly barracks when there's obviously room for improvement? I mean come on! Not even the teachers like them. Perhaps that's why they come 15 minuets late for classâ€Ś If there's something you feel this column needs to address or if you feel what I'm writing is a bunch of crap please send me and e-mail at email@example.com. I will answer all mails.
Griffiti Pictorial Special
We look at the best placards from the recent budget protests and applaud the sheer genius on display
There is alight Griffitiâ€™s Roisin Trait is on the couch with Razorlight guitarist Bjorn Argen azorlight's lead guitarist Bjorn Argen has made the dubious decision to lie down during our interview, in what he calls the 'therapist's couch. It is here that for the next forty minutes he talks about life with the band, recording the new album, and the general trials and tribulations of a world-famous rock band, turning to look up at me from the couch when making more serious points. Therapy being more of an American phenomena, I offer absolutely nothing in the way of emotional help, the state of relaxation allows Bjorn to speak more candidly about life in Razorlight than he might otherwise wish to.
Razorlight have been incredibly successful with their last two albums and have had a number one single with 'America' and huge hits such as 'Before I fall to Pieces' along with 'I Can't Stop This Feeling I've Got'. The band were only in Dublin for a few hours to promote their new album 'Slipway Fires' before they flew back to London to appear on the Jonathan Ross show. Speaking about the new album, Bjorn sheds light on the band's writing process. "Johnny writes most of the songs, basically how this album worked was Johnny went to Scotland for three months to a remote area and wrote a bunch of lyrics and separately Andy wrote some songs and then they got together and chucked some ideas around and then we just rehearsed for two months and then we recorded for two months and that was it really." I was also curious to know where the inspiration for these lyrics come from "Johnny has a great imagination and really writes from the gut and he writes what he feels and it's never tarted up and is always very brutally honest and I think he gets the lyrics absolutely right and he never ever regrets them, and the scary thing is when the album is done you can never change it unless
your Paul McCartney so I think he really wanted to nail it and also there's a bit of self irony in there too." jorn recalls answering an ad in a paper that was submitted by the bands lead singer Johnny Borrell looking for a guitarist. "The banana peel that I found was very golden, that's the thing in London there's a huge melting pot of people from everywhere and anything is possible basically, and when the chance comes along you have to pounce on it and start working really hard." The release of their debut album 'Up All Night' in summer 2004 followed by their second album 'Razorlight' brought them great success and gave them the chance to tour and headline gigs with some great acts such as 'Oasis' 'The Who', 'Queen' and 'The Rolling Stones' and played to a huge crowd at the charitable concert for 'Live 8'. Having shared the stage with some of the greatest music legends a down to earth Bjorn tells me what it was like working with them. "We didn't really hang out with them that much we probably hung out with 'The Who' the most actually, Live 8 was insane we were running around backstage googling at all the social crew."
aving played many top gigs around the world Bjorn tells me how he doesn't get star struck by the celebrity population. "I'm very unimpressed by anybody really, I think the only people that I was oh my that is- I think was Germaine Greer and Stephen Fry were the only two people where I was like "holy shit", and I did see Snoop Dogg hanging out with Bill Gates and I think after that I can die happily it was the funniest thing I'd ever seen, and a bit later I saw Bill Gates sitting alone in a corner eating fish fingers with ketchup with his hands which was really lovely to see one of the richest people on the planet doing this."
. "We were sandwiched between Kid Rock and Bon Jovi, playing in a big muddy field for forty yearolds with mullets and Bon Jovi tshirts and I remember thinking wow, this is fucking weird." n a recent interview the band have said making this album was easy "It was a lot of hard work but there was no weirdness it was one nice long curve from start to finish where things would continually get better and you record it and yeah I think it was easy but it wasn't like we custarded it up on an afternoon it was a lot of hard work but it felt like we were doing something good. Our only goal with every album is to surpass ourselves and get even better and hopefully end up with something where you go oh holy shit we just did that well done. It was exactly what happened looking back I go damn are we really this good, is the fact that we are and we're intensely proud of it." Having already listened to the album myself I found it hard to pick a song I was most found of, truthfully I thought the album was packed with great songs and wanted to know what was their take on the finished product. "At the moment my favourite song is probably 'Monster Boots' but I'm having this period where I'm trying not to listen to the album at all for a couple of months and listen to it again and see do I still like it."
After spending months working in a studio devoting themselves to this album he tells me what it feels like to have completed their third album. "Intensely proud, especially this one because I really thought we were going to have to sit down and talk about this one or are we going to have to think about it which is always dangerous doing that. You really got to trust your gut instincts and your spontaneous emotion." n 2007, Razorlight got nominated for two BRIT awards-one for 'Best British Band' along with 'Best Song' "America", followed by a nomination for two NME Brit awards for' Best Band' and' Best Album'. Being such a prestigious band on the London scene and throughout Europe they certainly have tasted the Rock n Roll lifestyle. "It's not quite as insane as they used to be, Andy's just had a kid and I've this weird stomach disease that I've had for two years so it's like physically actually can't go out and get drunk all the time. Since I physically can't go out all the time I'm just going to sit on the guitar and just write stuff." Bjorn gives me an insight into the relationship that they have with one another considering they spend so much time working
together. "The weird thing is we really are four weirdos who ended up in a band together. If you wanted to make a cartoon of a band I think we would be extremely easy to make a cartoon of. We all look very distinct and we all got very distinct personalities but there's always a bit of weirdness because everybody likes different things. But we don't actually hang out a lot. Which I think is pretty cool as it can be quite stressful and weird at times because everybody wants different things from everything. But I think it kinda keeps the excitement up." Ironically the band had a hit with their song "America" which has the lyrics "trouble in America". Considering the trouble America has been experiencing in recent times I asked what they actually thought of America itself. "It's very weird and very wonderful. There are so many good things about it but there are so many fucked up things about it, yeah it's like being in a huge amusement park." aving played in Dublin on numerous occasions I was humoured when Bjorn told me about one concert they supported for Bon Jovi. "We were sandwiched between Kid Rock and Bon Jovi playing for like a big muddy field with forty year olds with mullets and Bon Jovi t-shirts and I remember thinking wow this is fucking weird." And I was pleased to hear what they thought of the Irish fans also- "It seems like if you're a London band and fuck knows why but London crowds are like I might be having fun but I'm not going to show you. The Swedish are very reserved. But the Irish are like great and try to have as much fun as they possibly can."
A knock at the door had told me the session was over; and while I'm not sure we made any emotional break through, I at least found myself in good company. Razorlight's eagerly awaited new album 'Slipway Fires' is released on the 3rd of November; they will be playing live at the Olympia Theatre on the 26th of November.
Seth Lakeman The UK singer-songwriter, is credited with bringing folk music to a whole new audience. He was nominated for a Mercury award in 2005 for his debut album "Kitty Jay" and he released his eagerly anticipated album "Poor Man's Heaven" in June to coincide with his tour this November around Ireland and the UK. Introducing the "Poster Boy of Folk," Seth Lakeman.
affected all the people around this areas. If you can imagine, it would be like if it happened in Dublin. It really shook everyone, anyway, it really inspired me to write about it, it's inspiring.
Interview By Fiona Donnellan
Do you think there is a growing market for folk music at the moment?
Hey Seth, you're over to play in Dublin, November 15th, do you come to Dublin often?
Yeah I really think young people are getting into it. In this country, definitely, without a doubt. And I'm really glad to be part of that. The way people are getting excited. It's a really good time for it at the moment.
Yeah, I come over quit a bit, I played Whelan's a few times, I've played on my own, played the violin there. I played Vicar Street, I've been there a good few times, yeah, I played with Brian Kennedy in the Olympia, he's cool, lovely guy.
You were born into a musical family, and you were brought up on folk music, if you weren't doing this, what could you see yourself doing? It's hard to say really, maybe selling Christmas trees, I worked in that, or ripping up carpet I did that for a job before. But to be honest I've always played music, Its a big part of what I do, big part of my life so I'm sure id be doing something in the music industry.
There is often a stigma that surrounds the idea of folk music, even contemporary folk music, do you do anything to combat this stigma or do you even care? Well I've always been part of folk festivals. The influence of traditional music has always been there. I think I manage to draw from that and push the boundaries a bit further and really just use the kind of energy I have as a performer and a writer to convey that.
Folk songs often tell a story. What is the story behind your new single "Soloman Browne?" It is a story from back in 1981, when a boat went out to sea to try and save this other vessel that was in a lot of trouble, in a real bad way, taking on a lot of water. But, unfortunately both of them were lost and 16 men died that day trying to save them, but it really shook the whole community, this tiny fishing village in Cornwall. My father told me this story. It's really
Who were your influences growing up? I guess mainly friends and family from an early age, but artists like Richard Thomson, Randy Newman, Neil Finn, Tom McConvil, and Frankie Gavin. Then Christy Moore is a great songwriter and I would have listened to Paul Simon growing up as well, I guess.
Who do you think is a good role model for young people these days? Katie Tunstil, she's cool, clean and really good, she can play, she can sing, she can write, she's got the whole package. Then, there are people like Damien Rice, Damien Dempsey, he's a friend of mine, I think he's a good role model, he's a real cool guy.
You've played in a band and solo, what are the major differences and which do you prefer? They're both so different, really different, the band are great. Playing with a band is great 'cause you feed off each other. I wouldn't say it's more powerful playing on your on, its different, like I'd pick different songs, I'd play more ballads if I was playing on my own. It's a whole different dynamic to playing in a band. I prefer playing in a band as I said.
Seth plays the Academy November 15th as part of his Poor Man's Heaven Tour. Check out his myspace for more details http://www.myspace.com/sethlakeman or his website sethlakeman.co.uk for more details.
Down To The Wire Cormac Murtagh on the best T.V show nobody has seen he Wire is a TV show that, during its highly-praised 5season run, has been more heard of that actually seen, a show that has caused obsessive devotion among some people, and bemused shrugs from others. It's been widely claimed by many influential TV critics as one of the best shows ever to appear on TV, but a more fitting epithet has been found in the prefix: 'The Greatest Show You've Never Seen.' With all of its 5 seasons now available to buy, there's never been a better time to catch up on the show, and find out why so many people, me included, think it's the best TV show around.
Ostensibly a show about drug dealers and the police intent on bringing them down in the city of Baltimore, to call The Wire a 'cop show' is a gross simplification. Created by David Simon (a former journalist who previously worked on Homicide: Life On The Streets) for HBO in 2002, the first season was a breath of fresh air in the largely noxious, stale land of TV, and TV police shows in particular. It was hugely unconventional in its depiction of the socalled 'war on drugs' as it split its screentime down the middle between the police and the drug dealers who are the subject of their attentions. With its cast of mainly black actors, the show was the antithesis of any delineation of urban drug-dealing that had traditionally been portrayed in American TV. By immersing itself in the minutiae of the drug-dealer's lives, it allowed us to appreciate the humanity of these characters, and how they are as much a product of their environment as anything else. In fact, they were so vividly portrayed that it blurred the lines of good and evil, to the point where some of the drug dealers emerged as more sympathetic than some of the police. By the end of the first season The Wire's future was in doubt, after a run of low ratings. This wasn't a show that embraced the traditions of television, favouring to depict one police investigation, which in other shows would be wrapped up within one episode, across a whole 13-hour season. It made no concessions to viewers with little time for exhaustingly detailed plots - as Simon succinctly put it recently: "Fuck the casual viewer." Characters spoke like they do in urban Baltimore, their conversations littered with initially indecipherable colloquialisms, with no pauses to explain the at-times alien language. But as the first season progressed, the slang and thick Baltimore brogue began to make sense and almost became a bastardised form of urban poetry. This, along with the lack of big-name actors, authentic locations and an aversion to the histrionic coalesced to form convincing and realistic depiction of life in urban America. Buoyed by critical praise, it would have been easy for the writers to rest on their laurels and continue with the theme of the first season. Instead, with huge bravery, the show did a complete 360, refocusing its attention to Baltimore's docks and the plight Page 14
of the working-class stevedores, whose problems are exacerbated when a container is found with the bodies of illegal immigrants inside. It was from this point onwards that the show revealed what it was all about: it's an unflinching depiction of the degradation of the modern American city, in this case Baltimore. Simon has previously stated that The Wire is "really about the American city, and about how we live together. It's about how institutions have an effect on individuals". Each subsequent season shifted its gaze to these different US institutions: the political machinations of the mayor's office in season three; the iniquities of the school season in the fourth, and arguably best, season; and finally, season five looked at the many failures of the modern newspaper. Over these five seasons, 60-odd hours and a complex, novelistic tapestry of plots, The Wire showed up America, the promised land, for what it's really like for the urban poor: harsh, uncaring and virtually inescapable. If this sounds like a touch watch, it's because, at times, it can be. But a strong, tar-black sense of humour courses through The Wire, alleviating, at least partly, the heavy sense of pessimism. There are numerous scenes that, among the scenes of killing and urban squalor, will have you in fits of laughter. It's the characters that really make this show, however. There's the sagacious homicide detective Bunk Moreland with his caustic sense of humour and his pithy put-downs, or the drug addict simply known as Bubbles, whose journey from the lows of street life to something approaching redemption is one of the best examples of the show's humanity, which can often be obfuscated by the heartbreaking tragedies that occur to many characters. The cast is so large that pinpointing any one person is an arduous task, but there are two characters that are most likely to have Wire devotees speaking in hushed, reverential tones: Stringer Bell, the charismatic leader of a drug organisation and one of the show's 端ber-villains, and then there's Omar Little, a gay, moralistic gunslinger who only robs drug dealers, and someone who has to be seen to be fully appreciated (and who just so happens to be Barack Obama's favourite character in his favourite show). The Wire may not have had the impact or popularity of The Sopranos, but it's a show that's utilised TV's unique advantages like no other programme. More like a novel than a typical show, it is best viewed on DVD, at your own leisure, taking time to fully appreciate the unparalleled quality of the nuanced writing. Now, more than six months after it has finished the show is still being debated and discussed at length in numerous forums, its small but devoted following still dazzled by the show's brilliance. This is more than a TV show - David Simon likes to talk about The Wire as being a 60-hour movie. If that's the case then it's better than most of the films that pass through cinemas. Just make sure you don't let this show pass you by.
The U.S Presidental election will not be decided on politics alone; celebrity, charisma and having an â€˜American storyâ€™ will play a much more important role By
Aaron Rogan hen the Democratic Party nominees emerged last year, it became a possibility that for the first time in modern history the most powerful person in the world may not be a white man. The challengers to this dominance stood toe-totoe as Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton contested the Democratic nomination. While the Democrats had a struggle on their hands to determine which glass ceiling would finally be shattered, the Republican primaries tackled the less daunting challenge of which white-male-multimillionaire would best lead America in such trying times.
The nomination of Barack Obama promised a presidential contest that would at last supply a stage for a hallmark of American politics, race. Instead another trait of American politics took centre-stage. Celebrity emerged as the compelling force of the US presidential election. It is now crucial that candidates perform as celebrities because it is the only way to keep people's attention. They must project something behind which to hide the humdrum politics. The candidates occupy common ground on many policies and the divisive issues have remained the same for decades. The contest rumbles on too long to be simply political. Debates have to be bright, bawdy events. Millions must be spent on ads slandering, belittling and scorning opponents. Celebrity is epitomized in the huge whooping events of grown men and women gushing over public representatives that are 'political' rallies. Policies don't garner airtime; it's of greater consequence whether or not someone has been compared to a pig wearing lipstick. The sideshows and vaudeville of old campaigns are now the deciding factors. If there is one attribute revered by Americans, both as a people and an electorate, it is charisma. Those who possess it are lionized. The first celebrity president, John F. Kennedy, exuded the hallowed trait. And it is in no small part due to his charisma that the general incompetence of his presidency is routinely overlooked. His good looks, oratory skill and downright charm allured Americans, he is said to have won the 1960
debate on TV but lost it on radio. The priapic president, his extraordinary extramarital activities are a who's who of 50's and 60's pin ups. What more could one want from their president? An ABC poll ranked him as second only to George Washington as the greatest American president. ore recently, Bill Clinton used the bond between celebrity and politics when, trailing in the polls, he appeared saxophone in hand on the Arsenio Hall Show. He did his party trick for the nation and turned the polls. Despite a huge scandal, his presidency is often looked upon with fondness. Hell, he was good fun; he blew a saxophone and got blown by a secretary. He, like every celebrity worth their salt, played out his bedroom/Oval Office activities in front of the camera. The "MTV president" is not remembered for his policies but instead for a stain on an intern's dress.
The Grand Old Party is no slouch when it comes to celebrity politics either. In the 70's Nixon tried to relieve his gruff image by palling up with Elvis. Ronald Reagan honed his charisma in Hollywood before employing it on the world stage. Most strikingly, celebrity has seen an Austrian bodybuilder turned actor elected Governor of California, after announcing his running on an episode of Jay Leno. While it would be too much to say that Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected solely because of his celebrity, his Hollywood profile helped gloss over his inexperience. The silver screen familiarity of Schwarzenegger's accent also afforded him some good grace from voters often apprehensive of outsiders. But the Republicans have got it wrong this time. McCain's foray into the celebrity limelight has been disastrous and often embarrassing. After he cancelled an appearance on the David Letterman show, Letterman assumed the role of a teenager stood up on a big date and spent three weeks taking pot shots at McCain, calling him "squirrelly" and questioning how trustworthy he was. McCain's team scrambled to stop the fallout and what followed was a perfect instance of the power of celebrity in American politics.
American Idols "America's politics would now be also America's favourite movie, America's first soap opera, America's best-seller." Norman Mailer, 1960 15
he presidential nominee emerged sheepishly from behind a velvet curtain; he was here to face the music. What followed was extraordinary. In the final stages of a campaign he was trailing, McCain explicitly admitted a wrongdoing. "I screwed upâ€ŚI screwed up" he said. Here was a man trying to prove his fitness for the highest office in world politics grovelling before a chat show host. "I'm willing to put this behind us" Letterman instructed, like a mafia boss calling off a hit. "Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you." said McCain with palpable relief. He was prone and they both knew it, McCain was going to have to take it on the chin. His payment for the snub: Letterman subjected him to the toughest questioning he received throughout the campaign. Letterman pressed, challenged and cornered McCain. If McCain didn't appreciate the authority of celebrity before he sure did now.
The biggest talking point of McCain's campaign, Sarah Palin is the American Idol of this election, an incidental celebrity. Thrust into the spotlight to counter Obamamania, here she is - allAmerican woman: hockey-mom, beauty queen, huntswoman, working mother of five. She is undoubtedly telegenic, winking at the camera and talking endearingly of "folks" in a quirky accent. It is not merely a case of gender bias that has her largely portrayed in this superficial light. Politically she has appeared wholly out of her depth, tripping over simple topics in interviews. So much so that the vice presidential debates became a success for Palin when she did not fail utterly. As with celebrities, people came to expect a certain product from Palin. It was treated as though Jessica Simpson had appeared on Mastermind, not that a potential world leader had answered a few questions on her political principles. The impetuous decision to appoint Palin has backfired on McCain. She has become the laughing stock of the campaign, satirised and caricatured so much that she has become an act all in herself, defined by a joke. The Republicans had failed to control Palin's image. When she appeared on Saturday Night Live it was not as a politician trying to show a lighter side of themselves but as someone braving a joke at their expense. Again McCain's campaign miscalculated the value of celebrity and ultimately, this may prove to be the sword on which he falls.
he nomination of Barack Obama was a genuine historical moment and since it he hasn't put a foot wrong. He has brushed off everything thrown at him, the skeletons in his closet not enough to stem a wave of such enthusiastic support. Obama is fresh and unique, a heaven sent for the American media. But it is not just novelty that has made him a media darling, his image is meticulously maintained. He is always photographed with collar open, sleeves rolled, ready for action. He is rarely seen in some stuffy office or board meeting doing boring old politics. His fundraisers are concerts, photo shoots are in local restaurants. He appears as McCain's campaign adviser noted, like an actor releasing a new movie. It is quite clear that this image is no accident; he has appeared on the covers of Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, People, Men's Vogue, Vibe, GQ, and Esquire not because politics has suddenly become fashionable. But because Obama has become fashionable, and the media is starry-eyed. The McCain campaign has attempted to tar Obama as a mere 'celeb' not resolute enough for the presidency, peddling nothing more than empty rhetoric.
As it happens the method of celebrity plays to the strengths of Obama. He doesn't sweat in the limelight, oozes confidence and has that coveted charisma. But his political career proper is only four years old and his policies are not widely held. So his campaign concentrates on image and crowd-pleasing platitudes that he is pro-hope, campaigning for change and daring to dream. The republicans are right; Obama is a celebrity offering little more than empty rhetoric. He's a shoo-in.
â€œObama has appeared on the covers of Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, People, Men's Vogue, Vibe, GQ, and Esquire not because politics has suddenly become fashionable, but because Obama has become fashionableâ€?
Making a Difference Imagine Ireland hundreds of years ago, no mobiles, no bebo and more importantly... no clean drinking water. Where would you be? How would you cope? Can you even imagine? Well unfortunately, it is still happening in parts of the world. Why am I telling you something you already know? Because GCD has students that want to make a difference... Are you one of them?
Ciara Healy fter visiting Mzuzu in Malawi in 2005, retired couple John and Mary Coyne, a property developer and a teacher, decided to set up the Wells for Zoe charity. The name for the charity came from Richard Cansdale, whose daughter Zoe was killed tragically in a motorcycle accident. Zoe is also the Greek word for life, so Wells for Zoe means "Water for Life". Richard was the man who finalised the design for the Cansee pump. The group focused primarily on providing the region with fresh clean drinking water, however now they have branched out into a wide range of different projects in order to develop the area. But two people can't fix an entire country's problems, but fortunately, that's where Griffith College students come in. Two first year students, Paul Durning studying Business and James Walters from the Journalism faculty have already made it over to the African state and it has made such an impression on them that have decided to go that one step further. Together with the help of the Griffith Students' Union, they have decided to get a group of 17 students from all 5 faculties over to Malawi in early 2009 to help make a difference to the lives of hundreds of people.
Where are we going? Malawi is said to be the heart of Africa, the people are so friendly and welcoming impression to their visitors. It is roughly 4 and half hours from the airport in the capital Lilongwe where the students will fly into. Once we arrive there, we will be collected by two army jeeps donated by the Irish army earlier this year to complete the journey to Mzuzu. The original idea of giving the people fresh clean water came from the fact that only 19% of pumps over 25 years do work. 60% don't work on any given day. Imagine walking 6 miles for a bottle of water only for the shop to be closed, and not having a mobile phone to call someone to come and fix the well. The Wells for Zoe charity's goal is to supply the region with the Cansee pump. These pumps are easy to set up and quick to repair, they are also cheap at just $30 each. The charity are now in the process of setting up a pump factory, which will bring jobs and wells to the country. hey are also setting up an agricultural college in order to educate the people on how to farm and generate their own business and capital. At the moment Malawis' agricultural sector is where Ireland was 100 years ago. The college is about people
learning about different methods of farming, for example, compost making, crop rotation as well as a whole wide range of new innovative farming techniques. Wells for Zoe is based on a very simple concept "A hand up, Not a hand out". They believe in inspiring, educating and challenging the people of Malawi in order to help them, help themselves. Some of the stories Paul and James could tell us were amazing. One woman got a 0% interest loan in order to set up her own charcoal selling business, she became very successful in her venture and is now in the process of returning her 0% interest loan. This woman came from nothing and is now an entrepreneur in her own right and all because of just a little help from Wells for Zoe. o what will Griffith students be doing there? Last year, when DIT students went there they worked with the Malawian people to set up a school and garden in the community of Luvuwu. Since the school was set up, the community has set up a youth society and an AIDs support group as well as the garden being developed further. When Wells for Zoe visited the area in August, the drama society in the youth group was able to put on a play for them promoting awareness about HIV and AIDs. Our aim is to undergo a similar project and hopefully name the project after Griffith College with the aim of achieving the same self sustainability.
How can you help? Each student will be funding their costs both from their own pocket and through support by sponsorship. Between now and the end of January, we shall be doing various fund raising events which we need everyone to dig deep and support what can only be described as a great cause. We hope to raise more than the necessary amount so we've more than just our physical efforts to give to the people. So even if you're not travelling with us you can make a difference. If you wish to just make a donation, or know someone who would like to make a donation, the Students' Union are setting up a bank account where you can lodge money either anonymously, or through us. Remember, every little counts. You can give a hand up to those who need it without even going out of your way. If you want to know more about the Charity they are online at www.wellsforzoe.org
The Ugly Face of Western Society Waif thin models feeding anorexia; airbrushed beauties cultivating insecurities - who are the media to tell us that we are not beautiful? Amy Byrne reveals her secret battle with the mirror. By Zara Burke magine this…an angular chin so pointy it could cut bread, a witch-like nose, skin so blotchy it causes cars to crash! Every day Amy Byrne, a 15-year-old student does.
She sits uncomfortably in her chair, shifting from side to side, her face half hidden behind a tiny hand. Her olive skin glows beyond a heavy mask of foundation, her bright blue eyes weighed down by a layer of thick black mascara. Long dark hair tumbles in loose curls to just beyond her shoulders and her petite curves overshadowed by a long dark coat. She catches my eye and looks embarrassed, terrified even. "I know, they're tiny", she says timidly, covering her barely formed breasts with both hands, "I'm not allowed to get them enlarged until I'm 18". I sit there in stunned silence taking in the haunting words of a 15-year-old girl, a young chick barely hatched from the egg and I cannot help but feel sad. my suffers from Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), a little known but very real disease. The sufferer becomes preoccupied with one or more imagined defect in appearance, most commonly the hair, skin and nose. Believing her breasts to be hideous, two tiny dimples mislaid on a misshapen canvas, Amy has already taken the knife into her own hands. Almost two thirds of B.D.D. patients are clinically depressed and maintain the highest rate of suicide of all mental patients - a shocking 22-24%.
Covering up her chest and smoothing down her hair for the seventeenth time she tells me, "All of my life I have been told how ugly I am, not directly, but by the beautiful people in magazines, by the articles I have
read on how to transform your face and by the pretty lady who gets served first in the shop queue". For the first time she shows wisdom beyond her 15 years and it makes me think. We do live in a culture that tells the average looking among us that we are ugly. keletal celebrities and waif thin models reign supreme in the land of Hollywood. Perfect bone structure, voluptuous lips and immaculately smooth hair are seen as essentials for prowling the red carpet and gracing the covers of glossy fashion magazines. But at what point was it that perfection was demanded of us ordinary folk? Teachers smothering themselves in fake tan to obtain that sun kissed glow, lawyers plumping their lips with collagen implants, 15-year-old girls seeking cosmetic surgery. When was it that we, Western Society, signed the Hollywood contract?
It would appear to have been about the time mass media bombarded us with images of perfection, articles on how to get the 'perfect body' and advertisements for miraculous creams that claim to iron out wrinkles. Greedy advertisers brainwashed us into thinking that we are not whole without these lotions. Magazine articles and advice implied that success, boyfriends and careers followed only in the aftermath of an ugly duckling transformation. Images of deteriorating models fed anorexia faster than a hot meal feeds a homeless man. Pictures of airbrushed celebrities cultivated insecurities, provoking the rapid increase of young girls seeking plastic surgery.
quarter of B.D.D. patients have had plastic surgery, their social phobias, lack of selfesteem and pressure from Western media thrusting them to stride for 'perfection'. However, most patients are unhappy with the results when they realise that their lives have not been drastically transformed. Who was it that buried images of disillusioned perfection in their mind to begin with? The media of course! Perhaps the disease was not directly formed as a result of media intervention but a magazine or two certainly gave it a shove in the right direction. Studies through the years have proved that constant exposure to images influence the individual's moods and attitudes.
With suicide rates and depression soaring to staggering heights, one must wonder why B.D.D is such a newly recognised disease. It was formally recognised in 1977 in the 'Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders'. Reports of B.D.D. go back 100 years, according to Katherine Philips, M.D Chief of outpatient services and director of the body Dysmorphic Disorder Program. Why then has the disease been largely ignored by the mental health community? The surge of new patients diagnosed in recent years has forced the health community to acknowledge the real implications of B.D.D. The majority of sufferers are unable to sustain a romantic relationship, while almost two thirds are unmarried. Performing well at a job becomes an impossible task for B.D.D. patients. A third become isolated, lonely and housebound. ose A Yaryura-Tobias, M.D. director of the institute for Bio- Behavioural Therapy and Research disagrees that the increasing cases of B.D.D are merely a result of our Western media. "It's a brain disorder. We're starting to research come somatic factors- that the belief is actually a physical misperception. You see yourself but the visual image that reaches the brain may be misinterpreted or reformed there." This may be the case but with research in such infancy the topic is open to much debate.
I'm not one to argue with science but when you have the words of a 15-year-old patient, what more proof does one need? Western society and the accompanying media have set impossible standards for us to obtain. Images of airbrushed girls and rake thin models tell us that we are not beautiful. Some girls listen harder than others and that's where the trouble starts. Amy stands up, thanks me and turns to leave. I call after her and tell her that she is beautiful. She doesn't turn back and her svelte figure soon disappears into the distance, darkness merging into dark. That's when I realise that she doesn't believe me. And why should she when all of her life she has been told differently.
â€œA quarter of B.D.D patients have had plastic surgery, their social phobias, lack of selfesteem and pressure from Western media thrusting them to stride for 'perfection'â€?
N A B d R n u u O r G R e d n U Griffiti magazine presents the stylings of new boutique Blonde Gemini
Roisin - Black dress 220euro by Razvan Ciobanu DK - Wool coat 295euro by Shyde Ankle boots 90euro by Friis & Co EarringsSwarovski Stones 186euro Page 20
Long jumper dress 335euro - Cecilie Maria Martensen Black leggings 30euro - Shyde Page 21
Red cropped jacket 225euro by Les Chemins Blancs Multi-coloured stones necklace with vintage Scorpio pendant attached- 205euro
Photography by Nathaniel Doyle www.nathanieldoyle.com Styled by Natasha Rocca Devine www.nrd.ie Hair and Makeup by Laura Canavan
Knitted Poncho/Cape 500euro by Cecilie Maria Martensen Ankle boots 90euro by Friis & Co
Mustard cardigan 110euro by Shyde Cream Jeans 95euro by N.T.S Green polo 45euro Jewellery: One-off vintage piece, ceramic flowers, carved flowers, white agate, fresh water pearls 180euro
Blonde Gemini Boutique 23 The Quay New Ross Co. Wexford www.blondegeminiboutique.com
Natasha Rocca Devine meets the girls behind stylish new boutique Blonde Gemini
Q.1 Where did you come up with your name 'BlondeGemini'? Was it a joint effort? Aileen - Well we were throwing ideas at each other over a period of time, as we wanted something that had meaning to us and not just having a word that was cute or stylish. So, I started to scribble down things and as Mary had blonde hair and my star sign is Gemini, it just clicked straight away. We love it.
Q.2 You have recently opened your boutique in New Ross , can you tell us what your background in the fashion industry is? Mary - I have had 4 years previous experience working in a boutique. Aileen - I've had an interest in fashion since around the age of 12. I was always going to work in some area of fashion. After my leaving cert I did a PLC in fashion design in Waterford followed by a 6 month styling course with The Style Coaching Institute in Cork, whilst working in a boutique for 5 years. It was all very basic training but our interest, determination and knowledge in fashion shone through
Q.3 It is imperative to have similar visions when starting up a business, how you do balance your outlooks? Are one of you the business side and the other artistic? Aileen & Mary - We definitely had similar visions where opening the boutique was concerned. Aileen - Personally we both like sharing the work load of business and fashion but I am definitely more artistic than business minded where Mary is the opposite. We are the perfect combination!
Q.4 New Ross is a small town which means you probably know both your customers and competitors . Can you tell us about the advantages and disadvantages in setting up your business where you have been brought up? Mary - Our biggest advantage was the fact that New Ross had a big opening for a boutique. It is an up and coming town between Waterford City and Wexford town. We want to put it on "the fashion map" in that perspective... We feel
we've had no disadvantage as we are from this area and people know us and that can only be a positive thing really.
Q.5 How would you describe the style of the shop? Aileen & Mary - The style of our shop is based on our own personal style. We sourced and chose our brands carefully with a mix that will suit different age groups. People's perception of fashion has changed in the last 20 years in Ireland; your average 50 year old woman is quite trendy now so we wouldn't like to prevent anyone coming to our shop because we are young. Our style is a mix of casual stylish day wear and evening wear with a quirky European feel.
Q.6 What are your plans for the coming year? Do you ever see a move to Dublin or will 'blondegemini' fans have to make their way to New Ross to buy your collections? Aileen & Mary - Our main aim in our business plan was to make 'blonde Gemini' known throughout Ireland. Our passion goes way beyond owning a boutique; we are continuously trying to think of new ideas to make it a haven to shop in and always searching for new styles and brands to offer our customer. We don't see ourselves expanding to another county. Our main aim is to make this one as successful as possible. Our website, which is currently being created, will give customers outside of Co. Wexford a better insight to our store before they travel to see our fabulous collections in person.
Q.7 Lastly, what advice could you offer to any designers or buyers starting out? Aileen & Mary - Don't over buy! It is one of the biggest mistakes boutique owners make. No one wants a shop packed with rails of clothes that take hours to go through. Boutique shopping is supposed to be a pleasant experience, not a back breaking effort for our customers. It creates more expense on us also, as alot more stock will be reduced during sale periods.
LARA BOUTIQUEâ€Ś.HIGH HOPES FOR AUTUMN/WINTER 08 he show began with a magnificent array of winter coats, moving onto dresses which were cleverly seasoned with bright tights and sky-high wedges. The casual Knitwear kept its feminine edge, before the catwalk was filled with blissful elegance with the presence of the embellished evening wear collection. Last but not least. The leather, studs and denims, which are key items to keeping your cool in these winter months! Overall, the main designers seen were Almost Famous, American Retro, Gestuz and wedges from Terry DeHavilland.
Natasha Rocca Devine
Breakfast at Bt's? Christmas is coming early this year as Tiffany's arrives at Brown Thomas Dublin in November. Sandra Morris
he 1,300-sq.-ft. boutique will sparkle like a diamond in "our prominent location on the store's elegantly redesigned ground floor" said Melvyn Kirtley, group vice president, Tiffany & Co. Europe.
Tiffany's was founded by Charles Lewis Tiffany and Teddy Young and first opened for business on September 18th 1837 in New York. On its first day it made $4.98 and revolutionized the business world by offering non-negotiable prices which was unheard of at the time. The brand has been synonymous with wealthy American families and endless celebrities throughout its 171 year existence, but it was only when Audrey Hepburn's character Holly Golightly catapulted the brand to international fame in the 1961 classic film "Breakfast at Tiffany's" did the world take notice. Her character ever declared "What I've found does the most good is to get into a taxi and go to Tiffany's. It calms me down right away, the quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there."
questioning the â‚Ź10 million revamp that Brown Thomas is teasingly unveiling. Nigel Blow, Chief Executive of Brown Thomas commented that ''Top-end luxury brands perform better when business is poor, Louis Vuitton, HermĂ¨s and Chanel are totally outperforming other brands at the moment," he said. No doubt Cartier and Tiffany's will help drive the retail rush back into BT's and higher their Christmas profit! Both Cartier and Tiffany have been stocked in Ireland before courtesy of Weir's. Cartier is renowned as a fine French jeweler and watchmaker and will add a certain old world class to Brown Thomas's brand directory. Tiffany's on the other hand will stock their legendary diamond engagement rings, while the hugely popular and affordable chunky silver chain links and pendants will no doubt attract a beeline of teenage girls to rival the MAC concession! And for those lucky enough to be greeted with an infamous Tiffany Blue or Cartier Red and Gold box on Christmas morning it will be a very Merry Christmas indeed.
The Ground Floor of Brown Thomas already houses a selection of the world's most exclusive designer boutiques so when Tiffany & Co. and Cartier arrive to their new home they will be in good company, now that menswear has made space for them by relocating to the lower ground floor. Considering the recession Ireland is currently storming and the big, bad Budget Brian Cowan delivered, many are
Reviews Body of Lies Director: Ridley Scott Starring : Leonardo De Caprio, Russell Crowe, Mark Strong Release : November 21st
ver the Years Ridley Scott has put together a very efficient movie making team by sticking with the same people, which can be a good thing but when was the last time you saw a Ridley Scott film without Russell Crowe? It has been said of Scott that for every film he makes for himself (Alien, Blade Runner, American Gangster) he makes another to keep the studio happy (Thelma & Louise, GI Jane, Hannibal) this film is,sadly, one of the latter. After the first fifteen minutes I was afraid that this was going to be little more than blatant war propaganda the likes of which has not been seen since Berlin in the forties.
This is a tale of the covert operations of the C.I.A. In the middle east. The story follows the events of the agent on the ground Roger Ferris (DiCaprio),the obligatory best of the best, as he tracks the movements and activities of the evil stereotype Islamic extremists, his operations are watched and guided by CIA veteran Ed Hoffman (Crowe) in the safe confines of American suburbia. It wont take you long to see how well defined their characters are, any more and they would have Democrat/Republican tattooed on their foreheads, I'll leave it to you to guess which is which. They are however a likable pairing, with the world weary Crowe providing much of the comic relief (of which I would have liked to have seen more) spread lightly throughout the film. But this film is definitely not about the comedy it is a violent spy thriller, the violence does not dominate the film but when it does kick off it is intense. DiCaprio is a good leading man in the film and the majority of the work is on his shoulders. His character is smart, streetwise and capable of thinking on his feet, which is a useful skill to have when your strolling around Baghdad. Being the best field agent the CIA
has he speaks flawless Arabic and seems more at home making contacts on the ground then relying on the ever present eye in the sky that is Crowes character with whom he has most of his confrontations over the phone. This film doesn't stretch Crowes acting muscles but he is entertaing to watch. s with most thrillers being churned out by Hollywood lately you can't trust anyone with characters being good in one seen and evil the next and back again to the point were you want them to make up their mind and get on with the story which seems to get wrapped up in it's own complexities. With a running time just north of two hours I found myself looking at my watch a few times, the problem I think is the core story got sacrificed because they spent to long trying to sell the message that the middle east is a mess and this war is more complicated than it looks which is what we see in the news everyday. This film could have been much shorter and much sharper if they focused more on the characters. This is not a date movie and theres a good chance you'll be left sitting on your own if you attempt to subject another person to this flick. I was expecting more from this but found it to be typical studio fare so I rate it.
Snow Patrol A Hundred Million Suns Released Oct 27th
ome of you out will be weak at the knees at the prospect of the new Snow Patrol album, A Hundred Million Suns, released this week. For others this will make you quite nauseous. Anyway to cut a long and boring story short Griffiti was invited to a preview listen to the new record in an elite club in Dublin's city centre where membership is €37 per month just to get into the place and a bowl of soup will set you back a recession busting €5.50.
We're lucky today, we're being treated to freebies, and well, to be fair Griffiti has been in worse places with worse music for more than a few hours and had to throw away our hard earned dough on crap beer. But, wait, we're here for the music, surely and not the free booze, which is flowing freely and served by friendly staff. (in this place they actually smile at you and not grunt when you ask for more). On entry we're given a press release about the band and a printed Q & A with Mr Lightbody. Also each song is detailed and explained by Snow Patrol's mainman, which sort of ruins certain aspects already. Isn't it better to discover the music and meanings yourself rather than have someone tell you what it's all about. The album's got 11 songs and runs to over an hour... an hour? Have Snow Patrol gone Prog-Rock? No, they haven't but the last song on the album, The Lighting Strike comes in at a weighty 16 minutes. Nice, maybe they've been listing to some Mogwai lately. Track 1 If There's A Rocket Tie Me To It, should have been the first single, it's got a great start that U2 would've been proud of, instead of the current choice for single, track 3, Take Back the City which is a bit like Kavanagh's Stony Gray Soil. You know, the kind of... “Oh I hate where I'm from but it's made me who I am” bullshit, who cares and why does every Irish band try and do a song like this, did Paddy Kavanagh really have such a nasty effect of the youth of Ireland?
Track 5 The Golden Floor sees Snow Patrol going postrock, no verse-chorus-verse here friend, it's slow and dreamy and stands out a mile from all the other tracks. Everything else rolls off the record but nothing sticks out until final track The Lighting Strike, 3 songs rolled into one, an epic that will never get any airplay, which is a pity. If you liked Final Straw and Eyes Open you will love this album because it's better, and yes there are still the sloppy love songs. Track 7 Set Down Your Glass, is the kind of song that chicks like to have playing in the background when they make love while there's a thunder storm going on outside. On A Hundred Million Suns, Snow Patrol actually make an honest effort to push forward with their sound, now it's not mad experimental, but at least they’re not staying with the formula which made them into the 2nd whiniest band in the world after Coldplay. Although much of it is filler, Snow Patrol fans of old will buy A Hundred Million Suns, play it to death and they won’t be disappointed. New fans buy singles off the internet and there is going to be at least three massive ones from this album. They're already destined for even greater levels of stardom, so we may as well just sit back and enjoy the free booze coz there ain't jack shit that you can do about it.
This Will Destroy You Whelans Oct 12th, 2008 Fiona Donnellan
cannot think of a better way to spend a Sunday evening than listening to the unique stylings of experimental rock quartet, "This Will Destroy You". Their sound is not for the light hearted but this Texas born band seemed to grab the attention of everyone in a packed Whelan's on October 12th. They played songs from their first album Young Mountain and songs from their more technically mature, self titled, second album released earlier this year. They also promoted their current album "Field Studies" which is a joint venture with band Lymbyc System, who have a more electric, synthesized sound and who toured with them around America.
The show was impressive, the support acts managed to create the perfect atmosphere for "This Will Destroy You", to quite literally, destroy the audience. The band took over the stage, their presence was amazing and the audience fell silent as they created these powerful post-rock, uplifting songs, with dense drums and guitars. The band were completely enthralled in their performance, you could feel their intensity, they barely acknowledged each other on stage but yet they were completely in tune with each other making their delivery flawless. hey are often compared to bands such as "Explosions in the Sky" and "Mogwai" purely because they use similar criteria for song creation, using captivating instrumentals, starting off soft and cascading into an epic conclusion. It's no wonder "Explosions in the Sky" were commissioned to create the soundtrack for the Film "Friday Night Lights" because like "This Will Destroy You" they have this cinematic quality to their sound.
"This Will Destroy You" formed in 2005 and is made up of Chris King and Jeremy Galindo on guitar, bass player Raymond Brown and Andrew Miller playing drums.
he band came on stage at about 920pm following support from fellow Texas band Mom and Dublin based band, Halves. Mom played a short set of what they describe as electro acoustic trance music. The duo were indeed multi talented playing violins, guitars and a cello to create beautiful and ambient sounds. The real surprise of the night, however, was Halves made up of Brian Cash, Elis and Tim Czerniak, Dave Scanlon and Sarah Pratt. They have played Electric Picnic the past two years and have played a handful of gigs around the country so it was great to eventually witness them first hand. It was worth the wait, they were remarkable, the stage was a hive of activity as they created their sound with drums, guitars, bells, vocoders, syths and a cello, to name afew. Their set was perfect, each song leading seamlessly into the next, starting out slow with the sound steadily gaining momentum, ending in an explosion of huge guitar and drum anthems.
"This Will Destroy" are completing their European tour over the next month with Mom. Their latest album is available through their my space page www.myspace.com/thiswilldestroyyou If you missed your chance to see Halves at Electric Picnic or in Whelan's this time around then they play a solo show in Whelan's on November 22nd and they play along with Bell X1 in Vicar Street, November 11th.
Gym Class Heroes
The Academy, Dublin Oct 11th, 2008
fter the Blizzards best selling debut album, A Public Display of Affection, a lot had to be expected of them. The lyrics seemed pushed and some songs sounded as if Niall Breslin was 'worse for wear' while writing them (you wouldn't hear Bono writing a song about Viagra). With time certainly does come maturity. The Blizzards newly realised '’Domino Effect' shows their new found maturity with songs having more meaning and less about writing what first comes to mind.
As I strolled into middle Abbey street on Saturday the 11th my mind pulsed with the songs we all know and love, Trust me I'm a doctor ( which is my new chat up line), She's trouble, Miracle drug and the unforgettable Fantasy. Yes the blizzards were on the agenda and I was as excited as a child on Christmas morning (well almost). The atmosphere in the Green Room before the gig was good but up stairs was where the magic was happening. As the Blizzards second warm up act, The Rivers a Briton based indie pop/rock band, walked onto stage, a half full Academy roared for entertainment. Although I'm sure if Aqua walked out instead the same applause would have followed, due to the half hammered crowed. All in good spirit mind you. The rivers played their set, full to the brim with catchy tunes, sure to get any indie kid bouncing. s we waited in anticipation for the Blizzards to come out on stage everyone started chanting, Trust me I'm a doctor and singing She's trouble as some (obviously hammered drunk) girl laced head to toe in vibrant pink danced as if no one was watching. Believe me when I say everyone was watching, even
if they didn't want to. Finally Breslin and the lads strolled onto stage and began what we all came to see. As the regular songs rolled out we also got a taste of some well known tunes. Sam Sparrow's Black and Gold was belted out to the crowds delight along with tastes of Kenny Loggins Footloose and Dépêche Modes (or marlin Mansons, depending what era your from) personal Jesus. However one majour disappointment of the night was the somewhat edited version of Trust me I'm a Doctor. The one song I was looking forward to all night and it lasted the bare guts of two minutes. This alone forced me to the bar. Well that and the fact the security kept pushing me back from the barrier because I was 'getting too close'... Whatever mate. My other disappointment was the fact the gig finished at a mere twenty to eleven. I was at the Rep. Of Loose gig, also in the academy, last month and it was half one in the morning before I had to stumble out onto middle abby street in search of a taxi. Never the less the Blizzards set was chillingly good. he Blizzards Domino Effect tour continues with an added date in the Academy in December along with a gig in the Royal Theatre and Event Centre in Castlebar also in December. I would highly recommend seeing either of these gigs as I'm sure I will.. The Blizzards have come on in leaps and bounds over the past year and we can definitely expect more great things from them in the future.
'The Quilt' being the most eagerly awaited album by 'Gym Class Heroes', yet it seems to be a long anticipated disappointment. The band seemed to have been more influenced by what sells, rather than what people actually want to hear. Their previous albums were incredible, catchy music and lyrics, which stayed in your head. Songs like 'Shoot down the stairs', 'Queen & I' and 'Cloths Off', coming from their 'As Cruel as School Children' album. This album reflects on the bands ability to make great music, also on their 'The Papercut Chronicles' album. But when it comes to 'The Quilt', things just don't seem to patch up. They seem to have lost their touch. Their first albums were more pop punk in genre, and appealed to everyone with their 'unique-ness', but now its fallen deep mainstream, and more like rap/ hip-hop, than anything else. 'Gym Class' have seem to have lost their sound, sure the album is better produced, but its a lot more 'synthetic', its doesn't sound as raw as their first albums. Travis seems to be doing things his way. Even their heavy sounding bass from Eric has been mixed in with the background music and doesn't have the same feel like in their previous albums. The drums are even synthed in most of the songs. It just seems to be a bit too over produced and they have lost their roots, which made them such a great band.
Despite all this the title track 'Cookie Jar' which features The-Dream, is quite a catchy song but it doesn't reflect the bands true potential and just sounds too fake and overproduced. There are no true instruments used in the song. Which is disappointing. Also in the song 'Like Father, Like Son (papa's song)', the repetition in the chorus is annoying ' Papa was a rolling stone, but I want to be the cover of a rolling stone', use some different lyrics, it just doesn't work. Also featured on the album is a star-studded line up with some well-known artists such as: like Estelle on 'Guilty as Charged', Busta Rhymes on ' Peace Sign/ Index down', also Daryl Hall on 'Live forever (fly with me)'. But regardless to all this, there are one or two good tracks on the album, like 'live a little', which sounds a lot like them, the stuff they are good at, because you can actually hear the real instruments being played, also 'no place to run, is more their kind of style, the true 'Gym Class Heroes'. Altogether the album wait was a bit of a disappointing one, but then again if you like catchy rap/hip-hop, this would be a good album. But for fans of Gym Class this isn't their greatest.
Lego Batman he Lego games series success is that it doesn't need gore and senseless violence to entertain so is suitable for players of all ages, it is also a return to form after the lackluster Indiana Jones this is due to it being so much larger and you get the chance to play from the side of Batman & Robin or for some real fun go rampaging with the likes of the Joker, Two-Face or the riddler. But after playing the game through once there is very little replay value, and you'll probably never wish to play it again.
PS2, Wii, PS3, PSP, DS
s it possible to have too much of a good thing? Travelers Tales, the games developers, don't seem to think so as this is the fourth time they have released the same game, the only difference being that this time the game is set in the universe of Batman. In all fairness when people keep buying the games why bother changing them.
The game takes place in Gotham City when the somewhat lax security at Arkaham Asylum for the criminally insane have yet again released the lunatics kept behind it's walls, all the characters featured in the animated series from back in the 90's are here with the likes of Poison Ivy, Mr. Freeze, and the Joker all lovingly rendered as little plastic figures. The charm of the Lego games is their simplicity in that you jump on many platforms, collect gold coins and kick the bricks out of anyone who gets in your way. The game works well as it strips the game play back to basics, the controls are simple and responsive and there isn't lots of complex button combinations, although the camera angles can be somewhat infuriating particularly for people with poor depth perception. Being a Batman game its set entirely at night so visually they have set all the backgrounds in a dark green with the bright primary colored lego bricks contrasting like some psychedelic vomit. The cinematic cut scenes before and after each level are quite amusing and it is a nice light hearted view of the world of Batman.
While I would like to rate this game higher I can only rate rate it a two star game due to a lack of anything new being brought to the series, ultimately I think it is time for the games developers to put this series to bed and come up with something new, but if you put any faith in rumors there is still a bucket load more of Lego based titles on the way, when will it end? Lego strip poker, Lego alqueda? Next month I'll be reviewing EA's Dead Space, a sci-fi horror epic with lashings of ultra violence, and Guitarhero: World Tour which is the latest attempt by some marketing monkey to get the lazy tweens believe their rockin' out to their favorite middle of the road bands, this one even has a drum kit which I'm sure will be great fun after a twelve pack of cheap dutch larger.
oly Fucks popularity shouldn't be. Not only do they have a name that would make a lot of people turn their noses to them, they use children's toys and 35mm film rolls to make their brand of indie-dance. But, somehow, Holy Fuck have broken the rules and become one of the most talked about bands of the year. The Academy is filled to the core with hardcore fans and people who are here just to see what all the fuss is about. Judging by the large amounts of dancing going on around me, the people who where new to Holy Fuck where not disappointed.
through a weird apparatus and had a look on this face that seemed to just scream out "Holy fuck". Walsh and fellow Holy Fuck member Brian Borcherdt shared vocal duties, but instead of just doing the regular old route of singing, the sang through a wide array of odd effects that where beneath the music instead of being the main part. They even go as far as to keep the vocal effects going when they talk to the crowd between songs. It's a nice touch that adds to the whole show, even if it leaves you wondering what the hell they are saying half the time.
Tracks such as Milkshake and Lovely Allen are destined to become dance floor hits and are a great alternative to the boring and clichĂŠ dance records that you here every day on Spin. Seeing Graham Walsh use 35mm film rolls to create a brilliant and infectious bass line is something that will stick in my mind and ears for a long time and really is something that cannot be described. The best reaction to it I saw was the bouncer in front of the stage, who was meant to be looking for trouble in the crowd. Instead, he had his eyes over his shoulder, staring at Walsh run the film
The encore last around twenty minutes, as this was the last performance from the guys before they go back into studio to work on a new record. It was a brilliant gig and one that they could be proud of to end this part of their careers in. Hopefully, by the time album number two comes around, the band will become known to the general public not as the band with the silly name, but as one of the most exciting live acts you can see today.
If your new to the Lego series of games then I strongly recommend you give this game a go, If however you've played previous games you'll find nothing new here, but it's still a fun way to waste a couple of hours.
Holy Fuck The Academy Oct 20th, 2008
European Architecture Students EASA 2008 Lidia Okorokova
he Academy have just kicked off a weekly rock ‘n’ roll karaoke night. For a lot of you, this will bring a sigh of relief. A sweet, much-needed vacation from talent that matches that of The X Factor rejects. Abba, Dirty Dancing, The Village People. You won’t find any of that here. No embarrassing mothers telling you you wish you’re girlfriend was hot like them. No drunken uncles pulling shapes a-la-Robbie Williams. This is a proper dose of decent music and surprisingly some pretty decent singers. Don’t let that intimidate you though, it’s still a good laugh. Just a better batch of people it would seem.
At your table, you’re provided with a ‘Songs Of Praise - Karaoke Songbook’ which may just be the best line-up of songs you fellow true music fans will ever see. It offers, for example, Gary Numan, The Doors, Muse, The Cure, The Smiths, The Who, Iggy Pop, Amy Winehouse, Duran Duran, The Jam and The Rolling Stones to name but a few. No Lionel Ritchie or Tina Turner in sight. I was pinching myself.
magine now the Irish countryside. A small village filled with music, dancing, laughter….This reminds of traditional summer festivals, when locals gather together to drink, dance and have fun. But no, this is not what you would have imagined. This is the EASA 2008, which was held at the village of Letterfrack in the Connemara national Park from the 9th until 24th of august 2008. The Participants and organizers of the event say that the EASA spirit helps the Assembly stay as relaxed and fun as it is. This is true, created as European based event in Liverpool in 1981, the contemporary 'Hippie like' styled EASA each year brings together more than 400 young architects from all over the world. They unite under main principles of the architectural world: learn, create and collaborate. The official EASA 2008 statistics says there were almost 30 countries as participants and 24 workshops held during 2 weeks in Letterfrack. Within this period students were working on the creation of unique things such as a new vision on Traditional Festivals and Space in the "Adapt-a-lab' workshop or they were producing a newspaper and videos about the Assembly daily life in the
The venue also offers a few good deals on drinks. Plus whoever sings gets a badge declaring you a Songs Of Praise - Rock God! Good times! The only downside to the night was the amount of people - or lack there of. The Academy should really move this event to the weekend or even a Thursday. It really is a great night out but would improve immensely if there were more than the 30 people present as there was at this one. Although it was only the first night and word is just starting to spread. I would definitely recommend this to people wanting a fresh night out. It’s different. Great music, Great DJ (The fantastic Eamonn Barrett who sang karaoke himself) and a Great venue. It just needs more people and you can change that! Songs Of Praise - Guitarmageddon is on from 10pm every Wednesday in The Academy, Middle Abbey St.
"Umbrella". Each year brings something new to the EASA. This year wasn't an exception. he weather condition is a new thing and it should be said it was tougher than usual, thanks to Irish mild climate and continuous rain. Some participants were complaining about it, but bad weather was compensated by great fun that students, volunteers and organization team had during National Evening parties. Participants did their best to surprise and sometimes even shock people at the national evenings. Thus, Russian team created a new drink (one can't really call it a drink as it was a jellied vodka), participants were offered a pickle to consume with "the drink"! EASA's days were filled with energetic discussions of the workshops and idle relaxation in between. The EASA'08 organization team believes the whole thing was meant to be successful. It certainly was a well-prepared event with a hint of chaos, what made it even more entertaining and fun. Next year architecture students are expected in Italy! Everyone says "Ciao!" now!
Songs of PraiseGuitarmageddon The Academy Oct 15th
3/5 Suzanne Fitzpatrick
Ups and Downs For Griffith Soccer Team
Peter Molloy reports
he Griffith Soccer teams start to the new season has already had a few ups and downs. The team, a mixture of new guns and old veterans, hosted their first game to Tallaght IT. Tallaght thrashed a disorganised and lethargic Griffith 5-0 in a game that was hard for any Griffith student to watch. Manager, Leroy Rhodes said that in this team no one knew their position and the players lacked the basics to be successful in the game.
As the game kicked off, Griffith looked confident on the ball even opening up some chances. However, the game stayed level until 30 minutes in when Tallaght went up 1 after a free kick was awarded just outside the box. Directly after this Tallaght came back at a confused Griffith defence to score a second goal. Even with the addition of last years top scorer, Shane Mooney, the teams spirits were at an all-time low and Tallaght scored 3 more in the second half. Speaking after the game the manager said, "The performance was below par." He said that the "fitness level was a major concern as a lot of the team were struggling in the second half". It was apart that the players had no understanding of formation and thus were too hesitant to push up. Leroy was
however happy with the performance of his skipper Derek O’Brien and if it had not been for some excellent saves by keeper Nikolay Boner the score could have gone into double figures. Having gained some experience from the game against Tallaght, Griffith went on to play Mater Dai and dominated the match with 80 per cent of the possession. However, it was a lacklustre first half with chances few and far between. In the first 20 minutes Griffith had 7 corners but was unable to put the ball past the experienced Mater Dai keeper. It seemed that Griffith were falling pray to a game of de ja vu when Mater Dai went 1 up after 20 minutes when a beautifully delivered ball evaded the Griffith defence and was headed home by a Mater Dai striker. Griffith showed that they were not a team that would lay down and die however and with heads held high came back at Mater Dai and equalised 5 minutes later with a fantastic header past Mater Dai keeper by Shane Mooney. Griffith Didn’t let up on the pressure however and 5 minutes later Andy Griffis scored the winning goal with a superb lob over a baffled opposition Keeper. A well deserved 2-1 victory by Griffith saw the team move off the bottom of the table.
A series of unfortunate events International Rules ‘08 By Piaras Ó Mídheach iven the unsavoury incidents that reigned supreme in previous series you could be forgiven for turning your back on the series, as some in Ireland have already done. The annual series was last played in '06 and after a horrendous 2nd test the series was cancelled indefinitely and there didn't see anyway back. These were not the first example of violent scenes in the game with shocking tackles and mass brawls becoming more a key aspect of the event as the years passed. The Aussies lead the way with seven series to six since its conception in the GAA's centenary year 1984. The series continued in its three test format until 1990 with the series taking place in '84, '86, '87 and '90 with ongoing violence ending the internationals. After a hiatus the series was revived in 1998 and ran annually until the decision, in December '06, by the GAA to cancel the series until new guidelines had been drawn up and agreed by both sides. The GAA and their Australian counterparts the AFL met in October '07 and held further talks until rules were agreed with the series now being revived.
Some notable rule changes: -A team can only make three handpasses in a row before having to make a kick pass. -A player can only make three plays (ie. solo or bounce) -A dangerous "slinging" tackle will be an automatic red card. -Physical intimidation can result in a yellow card. -Any suspensions will be enforced in the players own sport -Only 14 interchanges may be made during each quarter, they will not effect changes made in breaks of play. After the tests in '05 and '06 many GAA figures were outspoken about the series. Then GAA President Seán Kelly noted in '05 that "... I
thought we had finally turned the corner but it degenerated this year and there is no point in saying otherwise..." This time around is no different with All-Ireland winning manager, and long time critic of the games, Mickey Harte refusing to even offer his talisman Seán Cavanagh congratulations on his appointment as captain of the national side. Harte also claimed that many players were more interested in the free holiday and playing gear than representing their country, something manager Seán Boylan took offence to."When I read in the paper what Mickey had to say... I just said to myself begrudgery is alive and well in Ireland'. "...There was never anything wrong with wishing fellahs good luck." "... I just think the comments were cheap and I was surprised and I was disappointed." The first period ended with Ireland leading 9 points to Australia's solitary one but the Irishmen were fortunate that Matt Campbell misskicked thirteenth minute penalty was saved by on-form keeper David Gallagher. During the second quarter Ireland went into cruise control and raced into a fourteen point lead at one stage, aided by a well taken Leighton Glynn six pointer, but were pegged back to draw at half-time 19 a piece. The third quarter, or the 'Championship' quarter as the Aussies call it went very much in favour of the men from the green Isle with the Irish scoring two pivotal goals, which are worth six points in this code, to outscore their opponents by 22 to 9 in the quarter. The final quarter did heat up in the physical stakes somewhat with Campbell Brown receiving the games only yellow card after a frontal charge with a raised elbow on Finian Hanley with less than ten minutes to go. Ireland's momentum did drop in the closing stages and they were more than happy to cling to their narrowest of leads as they played possession football.
Hoodies on sale now from The Studentâ€™s Union
Photography by Nathaniel Doyle