Odd Beasts by The Menagerie

[Written By: Jen Hughes]

The Menagerie is a hip-hop trio from Brighton consisting of rappers Professor Elemental and Dr Syntax, as well as producer Tom Caruana. The group made their debut in 2005 with their album  Wild Kingdom, which is also worth a listen. After their second album, they took a long break for their own solo projects and collaborations –  until they released Odd Beasts this September.

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Events Recommendations 4th – 10th December

Dracula @The Art School

4/12/17-6/12/17- 7pm- £8.80 general admission/ £7.50 students.

Adapted from Bram Stoker’s hugely influential 1897 novel, Liz Lochhead’s stage version of Dracula marries Stoker’s fantastic imagery with modern questions about the battle between faith and reason, sanity and madness, gender roles and women’s sexuality. Examining the relationship of women to the vampire legend, and what this means in terms of women’s relationship with men in general is certainly still relevant in 2017.

https://www.facebook.com/events/168009527132750/

 

The Glasgow Vegan Christmas Festival @ The Briggait

9/12/17- 10am-5pm- £2.56 online ( £3 at the door)- Free for under 16’s

Promising a delicious blend of carol singing, mulled wine and Yuletide spirit, Vegan Connections invites you to shake off those winter coats and enjoy the festivities with a vegan twist.

https://billetto.co.uk/e/glasgow-vegan-christmas-festival-tickets-211312/select

 

Kodaline @02 Academy Glasgow

9/12/17- 7pm- £31-£54

The Irish quartet, Kodaline come bearing fresh material – the first since their UK gold album, Coming Up For Air in the form of their latest single, ‘Brother’ as they perform a string of dates this December.

https://www.getmein.com/tickets/kodaline-tickets/glasgow-313000.html

 
 

ZEITGEIST // Making Friends Online

[Written By: Amy Shimmin]

Long gone are the days of never using your real name or image online. Our lives come with a lengthy virtual footprint, and for the generation emerging their lives from the womb can be traced. With our relationship with the Internet deeper than ever, it’s not just our faces that are visible – it’s our personalities and interests, too. Making friends online seems like a natural progression – but why is this still, in 2017, frowned upon?

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Review: Spice World

[Written by: Lucia Marquez-Leaman]

 

I am a second generation Spice Girls fan, a sacred obsession carefully passed on by familial elders. Having come 20 years late to the party I have been deprived the luxuries of the super- fans back in their heyday alas, I will never be able to throw my balled up pants at Geri or whatever crazed fans used to do before twitter. So when The Grosvenor cinema advertised a special 20th anniversary screening of ‘Spice World’ I ditched my very real plans that were definitely happening at the altar of the Spice Girls and their great work.

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ZEITGEIST // Missing: Youth Subculture. If found please return to 2017.

[Written By: Rachel Gillett]

[Photographer: Annegret Maja Fiedler]

 

What happened to youth subculture? In 2017, the defining characteristics of dress and music – which made subcultures easily identifiable – are largely missing. Clothing and music taste has become a lot more homogenous in recent years. This has largely eradicated the distinct groups that were present in the 70s and 80s. Films like This is England (2006) highlight the significance of subcultures, with the film exploring early and later skinhead culture in the 1980s, and the creation of identities through being a part of these particular groups. Personally, I do not think in 2017 we have the same level of subcultures – however, have they completely disappeared all together?

Continue reading “ZEITGEIST // Missing: Youth Subculture. If found please return to 2017.”

ZEITGEIST // The Future Is Vegan

[Written By: Lynsay Holmes]

[Art: Aike Jansen]

 

Veganism. We’ve all heard of it, you’ve probably got a friend or a neighbour who identifies themselves as this “strange” creature. But in this article I aim to debunk the myths surrounding veganism; that it’s an “extremist ideology” or an expensive and elitist lifestyle for health conscious, 40-year-old yoga mums. Instead, I will reiterate its real roots and true core as a socio-political movement. Lesson one: Veganism is not about food, it’s about politics. The aim of the vegan movement is to make a permanent, ethical change that filters into all facets of our daily lives. It is everything you consume: food, clothes, beauty products, furniture; the thing we all consume most is food and thus why the image of veganism is food centred.

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Podcast Popularity

By Anna Shams Ili

 

Most of us remember audiobooks from our childhood. Depending on your age, it was either CDs or cassettes back then – but most of us let them go once we passed into adolescence. In a sense, these were rather similar to the podcasts we enjoy now. So too are radio segments such as ‘Kermode and Mayo’s Film Review’. In recent times, however, the podcast has grown as a medium in itself. Published in episode format, it’s a type of entertainment that’s speedily increasing its popularity.

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H. L. Mencken’s Fight for the ‘Great Truth’

By Gustav Jönsson

Henry Louis Mencken once wrote, “The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one’s time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.”

How right he was. It is hard to find a pithier summation of the difficulty defending free speech. How easy it would be to stand up for freedom if it only meant supporting people of Salman Rushdie’s ilk. Often, you will find yourself supporting unlikable scoundrels, but you must, nevertheless, fight against the abridgement of their civil liberties. For Mencken, this led him to defend Henry Ford’s right to print antisemitic nonsense.

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Valid Love

By Diana Wei Dai 

 

We didn’t believe the nice things we said to each other

 at the same time, we took it too personally when we were being mean.

We always focused on what we want 

but ignored what the other person wants.

We love them the way we want to be loved

but we never ask how they want to be loved.

The love is always there, and valid.

We put our eyes in the perfect faraway future

and the beautiful image blurred our eyes of seeing the true meaning of each other. 

Of living in the moment.

We tried so hard to let the other person understand us,

but we never saw what the other person wants to express

We were hard on ourselves.

We were also being too hard on each other.

We use excuses and personal histories, 

projecting the unsatisfying part of ourselves on to each other,

and then we ask;

Why it wouldn’t work? 

The award for worst speech goes to…

Written By: Elspeth Macintosh

Illustration: Lara Delmage

From hysterical Oscar winners to out-of-touch politicians, many people on this planet are given a large-scale platform on which to run their mouths. It’s only natural that a few of them will really, really miss the mark from time to time.

Continue reading “The award for worst speech goes to…”

Event Recommendations for the Week

Blondie @ The SSE Hydro

14/11/2017 — 18:00 to 23:00 — £48.25/£53.90

Yes you read right — flippin’ Blondie. Back in the 70s and 80s they produced some unbelievable hits, such as ‘Call Me’, ‘Hanging On The Telephone’, and other songs not related to phones like ‘Atomic’. Some say all of the hits are powered directly by front woman Debbie Harry’s big blonde hair. This may or may not be fictitious. Tickets are a little steep, but come on… it’s heckin’ Blondie!

Tickets: http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/blondie-glasgow-14-11-2017/event/360052E384881654?brand=uk_ssehydro&camefrom=CFC_UK_HYDRO_blondie_hydro_artist&_ga=2.73874389.617232625.1510561741-1448902490.1510561741&bba=1

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Getting into Character

Written By: Louise Wylie

Illustration: Skye Galloway

Twitter – or, as my mum calls it, ‘that place where I can argue with Trump supporters’ – is making a drastic change. Tweets will no longer be confined to a miserly 140 characters as a new gargantuan 280 character limit is being phased in. The reactions have been mixed, to say the least. Personally, I am deeply offended that I haven’t been deemed worthy of the added words yet, though my followers might not be all that surprised. Some argue that the expansion will solve some of the frustrations of trying to squeeze a point into a teensy space. Others claim that more characters aren’t necessary, and that wordier tweets have less impact.

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Event Recommendations 6th – 12th November

Photographer: Florence Bridgman

NOTHING BUT THIEVES @O2 Academy, Glasgow.

 07/11/2017 — 19:00 — £21.35

Nothing But Thieves are set for a UK tour after the success of their almighty self-titled debut, an intimate headline show at O2 Academy Birmingham, and an incredible Glastonbury performance. Don’t miss them as they showcase new material from their second album, Broken Machine.

http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/Nothing-But-Thieves-tickets/artist/1939994?tm_link=edp_Artist_Name

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Sex and the University: Landslide

Written By: Charlotte Dean

We find ourselves adjusting to new routines with the constant changing of seasons.  After spending four months in the Italian Dolomites I’ve had to adjust to lower ground, and life in Glasgow doesn’t share the same peaks my Italian stay had to offer. Once in Italy it was not difficult to forget about Glasgow – its dark grey cloud and lack of adventure a distant memory when working in the Dolomites. People would appear to think that when you travel away from home for long periods of time that your patterns won’t follow and that you can de-root yourself entirely from the past. Is this the case, though?

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Share My Table: ‘I Hear the Image Moving’

Written By: Arianne Crainie

 

Tramway, 20/10-29/10/17, Open daily, 12-5pm. Free.

What will it take for people to recognise that refugees are equal and human? That they too are living, breathing individuals with homes, jobs and families? Correspondingly, how does the mainstream media feed into these ideas and who voices these narratives?

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Poetry @ Inn Deep (#notacult)

By Jen Hughes

If there was anything that could perfectly encapsulate ‘punk’, it was Poetry @ Inn Deep. It was on Tuesday 24th October it celebrated its 5th birthday, and it was a night of intelligent prose and rowdy audience participation. As it was a special occasion, they had a projector up with a social media feed where the audience could post pictures of themselves on Twitter and Instagram at the event under hashtag #spec_books. It filled up pretty quickly, not just of pictures from the event but also with memes and pictures of cute animals.

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First Love

By Annegret Maja Fiedler

 

“I only care about what happens ten minutes within a moment”

I just wanted to hold you

I didn’t want you to be left in that Southside McDonald’s in a drunken haze

 

And so

You let me hold you

You let me draw you

 

From freshly developed film, I found you sleeping in my bed

There was a smirk on your face, before you left, supposedly, for good

“Do you think I care about you 10 minutes within a moment?”

 

Feeling numb and empty isn’t foreign to me

That night is an involuntary photograph engraved in my fragile heart

 

“This will be the last time I ever see you”

I knew you would apologise a month later

 

But your words still sting

Review: Blade Runner 2049

Written By: Arianne Crainie

Illustration: Michael Paget

 

Warning! Spoilers ahead!

Thirty-five years ago Ridley Scott’s cult classic Blade Runner illuminated the big screen with questions on modernity, humanity and identity. Now its offspring, Blade Runner 2049 dir. Dennis Villeneuve, is updating these ideas to run with our contemporary society. Or at least it tries to.

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Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival: Youth Perspective

By Aike Jansen

CCA, 13 October ‘17

Thinking about representation of mental health in mainstream media brings to mind either exaggerated, judgemental, or overly comical portrayals that often don’t have a positive effect on the way people experiencing mental health in their day to day life are regarded by others. It is thus excellent to see two young filmmakers tackling this subject in a sensitive yet highly artistic way .‘Northern Lights’ and ‘OverLove’ are presented together as ‘Youth Perspective’ at this year’s Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival. Both films are not perfect, as no film about a subject that is experienced in so many different ways will be, but they are emotional, tense, and contributing to a more honest portrayal of what mental health is like.

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Review: Loving Vincent

By Amy Shimmin – @amylfc

GFT, 17/10-19/10 ‘17

First of all, it is not enough to consider Loving Vincent solely as a film. We are reminded before the picture starts that ‘the film [we] are about to see has been entirely hand painted’; this is the fruit of over one hundred artists. Each frame of the movie has been painted in Van Gogh’s signature style: swooping brushstrokes of oil paint. This, in itself, is an unprecedented achievement, and worthy of merit. There is a silent awareness amongst the audience that we are watching something that goes beyond mere camera and film.

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Halloween Events Recommendations

Photograph: Silvia Sani

Halloween Movie Drive In @ Riverside Museum

29/10/17- 18:00 - 23:00-  £25 per car.

Give your Halloween in Glasgow an old-school makeover with this drive-in movie night. Taking place at The Riverside Museum, you can catch either Scream (9pm) or Ghostbusters (6pm) and all money raised will go to The Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice.

Book online here: https://www.princeandprincessofwaleshospice.org.uk/event-article/community/halloween-movie-drive-in

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Autumn with a low sun //

Written By: Rachel Shnapp

On the first of the month, write a letter. It doesn’t have to have an address, it doesn’t have to be finished. Write a letter and find out what it is you haven’t let go. Don’t let it eat at your mind, but breathe in fresher air. 

I don’t like to leave trails. I see myself as a piece of string, getting longer and longer the more traces I leave. An unused email address. Three library cards. Two copies of the same book. The truth is closure does not exist, but time brings with it peace, and the knots slip away. What you don’t keep will erase itself eventually. 

Try new things all the time; coffee, people, music, theories, places. Treat yourself like a stranger you want to know everything about, and let that person change as easily as the leaves on the trees.

The fast way isn’t always the best way. Slow down. You aren’t in a hurry. To feel and smell and hear is part of being. I don’t take trains because I don’t want to stay on the tracks, a lonely A to B, as though there aren’t a whole other 24 places to see. Take time to be as happy as you can. Moments of grace come to those who have time for them.

The lesson is old, and often told. Let yourself be filled with all the best things. Pick yourself flowers, make yourself a cup of tea, and be bold and kind, always. 

 

Dear Aung San Suu Kyi

Written By: Margot Hutton

 

Dear Aung San Suu Kyi,

I always have admired you for your engagement in the effort to bring peace and democracy to your country. I believe this fight needed your bravery, patience, and devotion to make Myanmar a better place for everyone living there.

Those decades of fight, of sacrifice, of house arrest, as you dared to promote a better world and speak out against a dictatorship, were not for nothing. It was a victory when you took office as foreign minister and state counsellor last year.

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Millennial Magic

Photograph: Silvia Sani

It seems millennials can’t even have a cappuccino or a slice of avocado toast on a leisurely Sunday without someone dubbing them entitled, lazy, and wholly responsible for the state of the housing market these days. Four contributors celebrate millennial strengths by telling us why the constant criticism is unreasonable, and by explaining the ways in which millennials are trying to change the world for the better.

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Review: Brothers Karamazov

Reviewed by Hamish Stewart

Tron Theatre, 13/10/17

Religion and power, amoralism and sex, scandal and murder- all awash at Richard Crane and Faynia Williams’s ‘The Brother’s Karamazov’ reboot at the Tron Theatre this Autumn. And what else could be playing with that thematic lineup? This impressive feat of distillation, where the essence of Dostoevsky’s tone remains perfectly intact in the two-hour show, leaves the audience wondering what exactly the world’s been doing for the last 150 years, given the narrative could have been written yesterday.

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SQIFF: Sad Girl Cinema

Reviewed by: Clare Patterson

30/9/17, CCA Glasgow

Created by artist and writer Claire Biddles and writer and ‘Doll Hospital’ zine editor Bethany Lamont, ‘Sad Girl Cinema’ is a documentary that combines representations of mental illness on screen with analysis from contemporary female writers. The film is still in production – the event, examining numerous representations of mental illness on screen, is bookended by two short clips from the film itself – and even for just the first glimpse of this ongoing project, the CCA Theatre is packed, showing the ravenous appetite for this kind of representation, for perspectives on women with mental illness outside of harridan mothers and ‘tragically beautiful’ teenage girls.

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SQIFF Shorts: Defiant Dykes

Written by: Amy Shimmin – @amylfc

Back for its third year, Scottish Queer International Film Festival is renowned for its diverse programming. From following pregnancy while trans to a queer anarchist punk musical, to workshops on LGBT working class cinema wrapped up with late-night parties, the Festival promises a scream of a line-up every autumn. SQIFF Shorts: Defiant Dykes presents a collection of six short films, focusing mainly on lesbian identity, in the UK and overseas.

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Event Recommendations 9th – 15th October 2017

Written by: Ruarí MacManus & Alkmini Nikopoulou

The Mackintosh Festival

1/10/2017- 31/10/2017 – Free Entry – (see more information in link below)

Once again, the annual The Mackintosh Festival invites you to celebrate the life of Charles Rennie Mackintosh through a series of exhibitions, events, workshops, talks & tours in venues throughout Glasgow and further afield. We’ve attached a link down below for the full list of events!

More info: http://www.glasgowmackintosh.com/festival

 

Continue reading “Event Recommendations 9th – 15th October 2017”

Review: Looking Awry: Presenting Bisexual* Desire on Screen

Reviewed by Aike Jansen

From 27th of September until October 1st, Glaswegians can again delight in the best of queer film during SQIFF. For the third year in a row, Scottish Queer International Film Festival is promoting LGBTIQ+ cinema – getting people to watch and talk about films they would otherwise not have the chance to see, whilst creating informative events alongside it. Perhaps symbolic for the neglect of bisexual experiences within LGBTQ+ politics, activism and communities, representation of bisexuality in film was completely lacking in the first two years of SQIFF. To make up for this “fuck-up”, there is now a bi-specific programme, kicking off with a ride through cinematic representations of bisexuality presented by Jacob Engelberg, the programmer of Brighton-based queer film strand Eyes Wide Open Cinema.

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“Get over yourself”: The Blurred Lines Between Vanity and Body Dysmorphia

Written By: Jennifer Bowey

Photograph: Léa Cyrielle

Being insecure is, unfortunately, increasingly prevalent in our social media obsessed society. Young people in particular are often dissatisfied with their own appearance and, on top of that, preoccupied with what their peers’ opinions on the matter might be. Poor self-image is, then, one of the most common problems facing individuals today. In its most extreme cases, however, it could be attributable to body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) – an anxiety disorder that causes people to have a warped perception of their own physical appearance resulting in extreme distress. This condition, according to NHS statistics, may affect as many as 1 in 100 of us, yet is given minimal consideration.

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Event Recommendations 2nd – 8th October 2017

The Internet’s Own Boy @ The CCA

2/10/2017 – 19:30 to 22:00 – Free Entry 

The Internet’s Own Boy tells the story of a programming prodigy, information activist, and Reddit founder Aaron Swartz. The filim generates questions about academic freedom, corporate power, and the impact one person can have on society – a personal story about what we lose when we are tone-deaf about technology and its relationship to our civil liberties.

http://www.cca-glasgow.com/programme/open-rights-group-scotland-the-internets-own-boy

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Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

SSE Hydro, 27th September

Nick Cave’s legendary status precedes him. With 16 studio albums under his belt, and a global reputation for his dark, unsettling and existential songwriting, expectations are high for the 60-year-old Aussie and his band of eccentrics, The Bad Seeds, to deliver an affecting and memorable performance. And deliver they certainly do.

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Say Hello to Tech-Beauty

Up until now, you’ve probably bought your beauty products – be it a hairbrush or foundation – from the Superdrug down the road or online. But as you might have already heard, technology has and is revolutionising everything from the workplace to how we interact with each other and that goes for the beauty industry too. There’s now magical mirrors, apps like dermatologists and more customization than ever before.

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The Trials and Tribulations of the Graduate Job Market

As a fourth year student, set to graduate in June, I am thrilled that my life will no longer be plagued by essays, exams or perhaps worst of all, The Dissertation. However, despite the jubilant sense of freedom my friends and I experienced upon completing our exams and throwing off the shackles of never-ending study, there remains an overriding sense of anxiety bubbling away under the surface.

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Sex and the University: Ciao Bella!

As I prepare for four months away to the land of Italians, where the men are famously known for their romantic tendencies, golden skin, flowing dark hair – and where the relationship between the Greek and the Roman Gods becomes a little fuzzy – I can’t help but feel excited to escape Glasgow. I have never left the city for longer than one month at a time – I, like everyone from here, have the infamous ‘fomo’ condition. Nights out in Glasgow can alter according to the choice of club, but we all have our favourite bars, our wee hotspots where we just know we’re bound to bump into people. For first and second years at university this inevitably becomes the Glasgow University Union, where we all happily charge down the sticky tiled floor and bump into a handful of our ‘closest’ pals. Now, older and ‘wiser’, we appreciate the smaller things in life – maybe not the small and overpriced cocktails from the Finnieston strip, but our tastes have certainly become defined over the last few years.

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What has happened to UK Party Politics?  

The recent council and mayoral elections held across the UK on the 4th May have made one thing very clear; party politics is in a complete muddle. Most parties suffered losses at the ballot box, no one more so than Labour which lost 320 seats across the country. Indeed, Professor John Curtice concluded that the local elections demonstrated a 7% swing from Labour to the Conservatives, who were the only triumphant party of the night, gaining a crushing 558 seats across the country.

Continue reading “What has happened to UK Party Politics?  “

High Fashion, Street-Level

When I was a teenager, I was taught that the outfits created by a small coterie of fashion designers set the trends for the upcoming season. The prevailing theory at the time was that the styles displayed on the catwalks of Paris and London, New York and Milan would dictate Britain’s fashion for the next few months; that these outlandish (and expensive!) creations would trickle down to the high street stores in a more palatable, affordable and practical form. There are obvious flaws in this programmatic view of fashion – just think of influential subcultures, historic movements like the Swinging Sixties, even the potential for popular culture to sway fashion. But, more or less, it proved truthful for many years. The road from exclusivity to mass market was pretty straightforward. High fashion dominated. Street style did not.

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Get involved with GUM – Applications 2017/2018

Applications for the GUM team 2017/18 are now open! There are many exciting roles to apply for. Applications will close at midnight on the 22nd May; don’t miss out on the chance to be part of one of the best media teams at Glasgow University! 

Why should you join GUM?

If you are considering work in the media industry in the future, it is vital that you start to build up experience at an early stage. GUM is a wonderful platform for you to show your talent and commitment, get your work seen, and it is an incredible experience to put on your CV. Our website this year has grown in popularity, with over 4000 views each month, our Facebook page has over 2000 followers, our Twitter, 1,497 followers and our Instagram has 375 followers. On top of that, each issue of GUM is read by thousands across the city. We pride ourselves on being the oldest student magazine in Scotland (beginning in 1889!) and we are a recognised name with employers throughout the UK. This year GUM was shortlisted for ‘Best Design’ at the UK wide Student Media Awards and has previously been awarded ‘Best Magazine’ twice by the Herald Student Media Awards. A role in GUM will prepare you for jobs within journalism, media production, editorial work, publishing, events management, graphic design, photography, the fashion world or social media management.

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Gig Review: Gregory Alan Isakov at King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut supported by Leif Vollebekk

Gregory Alan Isakov writes stories, seamlessly interwoven into raw melodies, creating hypnotising and beautifully poetic songs. Hailing from Philadelphia, Isakov’s music is quickly gaining popularity over here, with the success of singles such as ‘Black Car’ and ‘The Stable Song’. However to appreciate the full scope of his repertoire, and talent, you must experience the energy of his live performances. Accompanied by an outstanding group of musicians- a violin, banjo, double bass, drums and an equally talented support act- an uplifting and intimate gig awaited me at King Tut’s.

Continue reading “Gig Review: Gregory Alan Isakov at King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut supported by Leif Vollebekk”

Sex and the University: Quick, Act Cool?

 While the university exam season has begun and our blood pressure rises astronomically at the sight of exam rooms, we all have one thing in common: the strive to make ourselves have that little edge that says “we’ve got this” to our tutors. This led me to wonder, why is it others succeed to get noticed more than others – not just at university but in everyday life? We each fight with the disco ball for a little stardom and spotlight during a Saturday night boogie. A statement designer top which one couldn’t simply purchase from Urban Outfitters can prove to catch the eyes of a few, and while some use clothing, others use vibrant hair dyes, statement piercings, or twist-and-shout dance moves.

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Cultural Appropriation

Right now you might be thinking another article on cultural appropriation? Haven’t there been enough already? Short answer: no.

It’s 2017. I am still serving drinks to “Native Americans” on Halloween at work despite the current ongoing Standing Rock protests. I am still seeing authentic designs of various indigenous ethnicities being crudely rehashed “ethnic” and “tribal” for financial gain. I am still seeing black friends being reprimanded for their “dirty looking” hair whilst designers such as Marc Jacobs are kitting out white models with a near-identical hairstyle and profiting from it.

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Pale Blue Eyes

“You might want to pad that box with tea towels or something, to soften the blows if it gets knocked about a lot in the van.”

            “I know that, do I look like I’m five? I was just about to get to it.”

            “Fuck, Emma, sorry, I was just trying to help. I know you can get a bit absentminded. And that’s the box with your grandparents’ wedding china, right?”

            “Yeah, I know, I know. Shit. Sorry. This is…”

            “Really weird.”

            “Yeah. Super weird.”

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Look on Me a Little Child

I stood in the car port waiting for your hand on the handle. Through the blur of glass, I could see your chair-lift slowly descend knowing your legs couldn’t reciprocate their desire to run and see me. You greeted me with the warmest smile and a loud hello in your Irish accent making all the cold bones that structure me feel heat. I slowly pushed myself up the stairs ensuring you didn’t feel left behind whilst we exchange our recent news. Your home was warm, pleasantly cosy and comfortable. It wasn’t because your love of the heating being on for 12 months of the year but it was because you filled me with heat. Everywhere smelt faintly of your home-cooked meals and as you brushed past me your Lancôme perfume comforted me. As we walk into the living room, the green carpet was lit by your four gold art-deco lamps that were spotted around the room on the mahogany cabinet and desks. I then walked into the kitchen from the living room and made us tea while you ambled your way to your chair. To all the family it resembled a throne, it stood alone and didn’t match any of the rest of your aqua blue settee suite.

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Mist-ery Behind UK’s Failing Air Pollution Efforts

Almost every year the same topic hits the headlines – the serious and pressing issue of air pollution in cities across the UK. Since 2010, the UK has exceeded the EU nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution limit every year, often or not within the first few weeks. In London, this troubling pattern continued into 2017, this time breaching the limit in just 5 days.

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The Internet and Empathy

Despite the extent to which it has become intertwined with our twenty-first century lives, the Internet is often regarded with caution. The recent election of Donald Trump and the notable rise of the alt right across Europe has only brought criticism against online culture into sharper relief. It is undeniable that the Internet can be a breeding ground for hate. Online chat forums lead angry young men to believe that white masculinity is under threat from those who don’t agree with them – feminists, the LGBTQ+ community, etc. – and a space such as the Internet naturally provides an echo chamber in which hateful subcultures fester and churn out trolls. On an individual level people worry that excessive use of social media can have an adverse effect on mental health, that genuine empathy is being replaced by the angry-face react button. Millenials, the world’s first ever Internet generation, are seen as ‘self-obsessed’ and unable to have decent conversations IRL.

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Empathy in Culture

When was the first time you really put yourselves in someone else’s shoes? I mean, really thought about and felt what someone else was feeling? Empathy and sympathy are key skills we tend to learn growing up, and one of the first times we are asked to actually consider a different person’s viewpoint or situation is through the media we consume. Culture does a great job providing a ‘window on the world’; giving us access to places and the lives of people we may have never had the chance to witness before – from nature documentaries showcasing penguins in Antarctica to novels detailing the life of an astronaut. Culture can also show us ideas and life experiences far beyond our comfort zone, forcing us to confront our own preconceptions and build empathy for someone we may never have met, or someone who might not even exist. 

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Empathy in Music

Our editors reveal the albums they have connected with personally. Look out for more album reviews in our upcoming issue!

Mylo Xyloto (2011)

Coldplay

I was tempted to listen to Mylo Xyloto after seeing the beautiful album cover; colourful watercolour designs with graffiti inserts looked rather unique and promising. When I researched the album before listening to it, I knew it was going to be different from what I had heard before, but what I didn’t know was how it would make me feel. This might sound ridiculous but Mylo Xyloto is like a friend to me when I need company in an unpleasant state. The vast majority of songs are relatable, therefore, listening to them makes you feel as though you’re not alone. If someone manages to write songs about the feeling I am experiencing that means that they had to feel the same at some point and they managed to make it into a work of art. Also, the album has a positive vibe while speaking about heart-breaking experiences. For all these reasons, this album helped make me feel understood.

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Sex and the University: One is Not the Loneliest Number

As the sun appears to have emerged for the start of the Easter holidays, everyone is shining up like a new penny. Our white 60s shades can be worn, our wax appointments are booked and it seems we are feeling a little more prone to putting ourselves out there in the search for a mate. Just like this week’s hot topic – the one-pound coin was given a revamp due to its apparently dated appearance – we are also casting off our old shells.

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In defence of the Arts!

When we come across people at University, one of the frequently asked questions that crop up in conversation is “what are you studying? “. When I answer “History of Art” I’ve often received responses like “oh… right” or “must be an easy ride for you” – words which indicate that such a degree has little, if any, relevance. 

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An Interview With GU Green Party

In an increasingly turbulent political climate – Trump, Brexit, and rising right-wing populism across Europe – that seems to be turning away from caring for our fellow human beings, it can be hard to know where to go next. How best should we respond to these upheavals? How do we voice our dissatisfaction when we don’t like where things are going? And what can we do to protect the most vulnerable members of our society? we sat down with Chandler and Frida, members of the green party, to talk about student activism, the future of the left, a more empathetic kind of politics.

Which demographic in society do you think is shown the least amount of empathy?

Frida – I definitely think migrants and asylum seekers, a lot of people tend to target them because it’s easy to target people who are unfamiliar to you.

The working class is a target group as well, especially with the Conservative government. It’s easy to target them as well. They cut down on benefits and taxes, and then demonise that group so it’s easier to justify those things.

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Review: Glasgow University Charity Fashion Show 2017

Admittedly, my expectations for the Glasgow University Charity Fashion show weren’t high, due to it being the first student-run charity event I had attended. I confess, however, that I was wrong: the effort and production that transferred the harsh brick and steel interior of SWG3 into the 2017 show was flawless.

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Slumber Club presents: A Trilogy

In the last decade, there has been an exponential growth in the amount of participatory theatre being produced. What started as a new theatrical experience has now often become a tokenistic trait. Nowadays, participatory performances rarely provide the audience with actual agency and autonomy, but rather an illusion of such. We are Slumber Club, a group of third year Theatre Studies students at the University of Glasgow. From Friday the 17th until Wednesday the 22nd of March we are putting on a project titled Trilogy. We want to return ownership of a theatre performance to you. We intend to move audience interaction from the performance to the process, so the spectator’s active involvement is to contribute items and ideas during the show’s development. When we then perform the final show, created by the spectators, we hope to question these ideas of participation and democracy.

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Sex and the University: Spring Forward

As the days grow longer and the sun has awoken after a long winter, we all are expected to crawl out of our slump and begin our days early and with a determination to complete our assignments. Our focus is on – or should be – on our work, but a getting away from everyone and everything is necessary during this stressful time. While travelling around I got to reunite with some of my best friends, people who I used to be inseparable with before work and the world around us got in the way, before I focused my attention on succeeding and being the ‘best version’ I could be. Not only the best version I saw for myself, but also the one attractive in the world and its eyes and wishes from me.

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La La Land Review

“Maybe I’m not good enough.” It’s this constantly underlying anxiety that gnaws at Mia and Sebastian (Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling) as they chase their respective aspirations in acting and jazz music, compelled by the allure of Hollywood’s star-spangled promises of success and validation. It is not, however, a fear that director Damien Chazelle need pay any attention to, considering La La Land’s dazzlingly impressive, record-tying achievement of 14 Oscar nominations including Best Director – making him, at only 32 years-old, the youngest nominee to date. This kind of recognition (totally deserved, I might add) is something our protagonists may only dream of, and dream they most certainly do.

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GFF Film Review and Q&A: The Chocolate Case, 2015

This documentary about a group of maverick Dutch journalists investigating the possibility of ethically produced chocolate manages to be educational, depressing, and very funny all at the same time. The beginning half depicts the efforts of the core member of the group, Teun van de Keuken, to get himself imprisoned for the crime of consciously eating chocolate while knowing that its production has involved child slavery. Towards the end, the film shifts its focus to Teun’s (‘Tony’s’, as his name is commonly wrangled by anglophones) quest to create their own, 100% slave-free brand of chocolate, called Tony Chocolonely. As it turns out, there are massive obstacles on the way to achieving that goal.

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Fight vs Flight or Tend and Befriend?

My legs were shaking, palms sweltering, head banging and I knew what was coming. Stood there, in the middle of the shopping centre, I was having an anxiety attack. Again. Quick, run to the bathroom and nobody will even notice you…but I couldn’t; my legs didn’t want to move. Sweat dripped down my forehead and people began to stare. ‘What’s wrong with that man, mum?’, ‘Stay away from him’, ‘what a weirdo’, ‘haha loser!’

Eventually, I made it back to my flat. I locked my door and it was over. I didn’t need to think, talk or scrutinise it. Just forget it, I said.

How many people go through this every day? 15 million.

How many of those receive frequent treatment? 5 million.

It seems something isn’t quite right.

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Style Icons: Kate Bush

Nobody ever perfected the feminine as ethereal quite like Kate Bush. An influence on innumerable modern pop stars and style icons – Florence + the Machine, Bat for Lashes, Bjork and St Vincent, to name but a few, Bush is an icon of music, style, and feminism all at once. Incorporating costume wholeheartedly into her music videos and performances, she used her attire as an equal arm of her unbounded creativity as any other artistic medium. Her iconic, enormous wavy brown hair and angelic Wuthering Heights white dress cemented her place in pop culture iconography, and informed my relationship to femininity and performance more than any other artist.

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New Years Slump

How can we get out of the New Years Slump?

To break free from the post-New Years slump, we must first realise what causes it in the first place. 

The festive period can be a wonderful time, however it leaves us vulnerable to becoming deeply embedded in our comfort zones. First comes Advent- we indulge in streets illuminated by fairy lights; christmas markets made of woodhuts; winter wonderland themed window displays; concerts; christmas soundtracks (even the trashier tunes have an aesthetic tone to them) and films which work up a feeling of nostalgia within us, that traces back through many an encounter with the month of December – we already feel we’ve escaped reality.

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Positive New Years Resolutions

Last year, I succeeded in sticking to my first ever New Year’s Resolution. Until 2016, I was of the opinion that New Year’s Resolutions served no greater purpose than creating an easy topic for small talk in the first week or so of the year, to prevent everyone from having to think too hard whilst still bloated and lethargic from the previous weeks of festivities. Most New Year’s Resolutions, I think, fail because they are based on what people think they should be, rather than what they want to spend their time doing. Continue reading “Positive New Years Resolutions”

Starting Your Own Theatre Company

Me and my friend Sine Harris recently set up Figurehead Theatre together and our first production ‘Mr. Earhart’ goes up at the Flying Duck this coming Tuesday and Wednesday. We had worked together before on a small scale student theatre project but felt that it would be good practice to find out some more things for ourselves while also having the freedom to make the kind of theatre we wanted.

If like I was you are slightly daunted by the prospect of setting up and running your own theatre company, you might find this handy list of tips a good place to start. I definitely haven’t covered everything but this very brief four step plan should hopefully answer some basic questions, help you set up some timescales and give some very amateur business knowledge.

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Space and Place in Music

 

Our editors take us on a journey into the albums that transport them to a special place. Read more in Issue 2: Space and Place!

 

Bulletproof Picasso (2014)

Train

I have been a fan of the band Train for years yet I have never been so attached to any of their albums. You rarely see any album names that directly refer to art, therefore, ‘Bulletproof Picasso’ really caught my eye. The album is supposed to be pop rock genre, although it’s more pop than rock, which I personally have no problems with. None of the songs are ‘go crazy’, ‘dance in your room like no one is watching’ worthy which is what I normally listen to, yet even I love every song in this album to bits: this is because it makes me feel different. Songs like ‘Angel in Blue Jeans’ and ‘Bulletproof Picasso’ relax me, make me lie down with my legs up on the wall, close my eyes and listen. While listening I drift away into the world where every emotion is valid, where you can think and feel anything you want. As funny as it sounds, it inspires me to live a fulfilling, versatile life. To be honest, I could blab random things about this album that probably do not make sense to anybody but you really have to listen to understand and even develop your own thoughts and feelings about this album.

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All in the Mind

In 1945, Jimmie G. was nineteen years old. He had his whole life ahead of him – the Second World War had just ended and Jimmie had his choice of what to do now. He could stay in the navy, where he had been thriving since he was conscripted at seventeen and keep working as a radio operator, or go to college. Years of peace stretched out ahead of him and Jimmie felt optimistic. He was young, bright, charming, totally in control of his future and flushed with the thrill of being part of a historic victory at such a young age. For now, though, he was talking to a doctor, although he wasn’t quite sure about what. But when the doctor held up a mirror, Jimmie’s easy confidence and light-hearted manner dissipated – what he saw was not a teenager, but the face of a man in his late forties, still handsome, but most definitely old, distinctly old. Jimmie was not dreaming, not in a nightmare. He was, in fact, forty-nine years old and it was 1975, and he was in the office of neurologist Oliver Sacks. Jimmie G. had severe amnesia. He remembered the events up to the year 1945 with exceptional clarity, but the rest of his life was a total blank, dissolved in the deep recesses of his mind. He was almost completely incapable of forming new memories, although occasionally he could recall recent events in a hazy way. Unable to remember his experiences of the present, Jimmie’s mind had latched on to what it could remember – his past – and created its image around him, even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Jimmie was living in a world of his mind’s creation – something that, though it sounds extraordinary, is not at all unusual.

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Keep Moving

Sometimes I think my favourite part of travelling is the spaces in between; the downtime, the long, sleepy train rides watching a place completely new to you crawl by your window, or absentmindedly taking photos through the window of the bus. The parts that are less often recorded in the travel diaries and gloss pictures, the time in between the iconic sights and photo-ops, the liminal spaces of the bus station or the airport can in some ways be the most memorable, the most quietly affecting. Over the last few years, whenever I’ve had the chance to travel, I’ve come back with countless photos, that have taken me hours to sort through, and often my favourites aren’t of the landmarks or of the breath-taking landscapes, as exciting as they are, but of the little details; the kind that just caught my eye for a second, or that I forgot the first time around. Here, I have collected a few of the pictures that really take me back to the places I’ve been.

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Space Age

The 1920s had the flapper; post-WWII saw the rise of Christian Dior’s New Look, but when it comes to novelty, it seems that the 1960s win the ‘otherworldly’ prize with the emerge of Space Age fashion. With the Cold War in full swing, the beginning of the 60s carried with it a strong futuristic spirit; people wanted to reach for the stars, and for the first time in history this was not just a possibility, but a certainty. Though space travel was hardly an innovative idea (one look at George Méliès’s 1902 film A Trip to the Moon will tell you differently), all at once it seemed accessible, and as politics reached new heights, the arts scene was quick to follow.

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Stories Sunday: The Bird Catcher

The Bird Catcher

 

He peaks,

out of withered broke feathers

 

He’ll jump Mr death

                                           one more day,                                           

sizing up the ripe horizon

where are those shiny pretty things?

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Sex and the University: The Lobster Effect

The new year has arrived, and some of our old leaves are back to where they were before as our New Year’s resolutions have fluttered away – much like our hearts with the anticipation or dread of Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re in a relationship, single, or seeing multiple people, you will all be aware of the many obligations that Valentine’s Day brings. Even the couples who say “we don’t do anything special, we just treat it as a normal day” are very much aware of the retail frenzy the day brings. If you somehow forget the date you’ll inevitably hear about it via friends, or through the Sky Movie selection. Or you can just look outside and see it on the streets, plastered on walls of shops, countless red hearts brushing against one another on banners. Basically, there is no escape.

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A Very Single Valentine’s Day

          As we shuffle through the months, leaving behind the bleakness of January, February arrives as a pleasing reprieve, somewhere between the icy beauty of winter and the greening optimism of spring. And yet, with all this potential for hope, with some resolutions still withstanding, in the middle of the month we come to a crossroads, that splits heads, hearts, and directions. Yes, that ol’ 14th February junction, with St. Valentine as the guardian of the crossroads, clad every hue of pink and red you ever thought possible. Valentine’s Day causes much division, many debating origin, practices, worth, and value. In the end, it partly comes down to this: partnered, or single. While those partnered whine over prices, last minute gifts, and forgetting to make dinner reservations, we, the loveless, the nuns and the monks, the maiden aunts and bachelor uncles, are faced with two options, two pathways, not strewn with rose petals to choose from. For us single people, Valentine’s Day has two possibilities: self-love or self-pity.

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Why is Climate change such a politicised issue in the US?

Year after year records have been broken for global average temperatures: without a doubt, climate change is well underway. The scientific consensus is clear – 97% of climate scientists agree that contemporary global warming is caused by humans. If only this clarity could be said about the politics of climate change.

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Bread Meets Bin

During my hectic week in freshers, my flatmates and I were invited down a cobbled path into a small festival where we painted rocks, created bags out of old shirts and had the delight of tasting Beetroot Humous made from ‘surplus food’. We got chatting to the girls who told us all about the Food-sharing organisation. They are a volunteer-run branch who aim to eradicate food waste by redistributing surplus food. As we devoured the vegan apple flap jacks made by the girls, they explained how they collect waste food from small shops and businesses and redistribute to people in need of food, this can range from hungered students to homeless people.

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Safe Spaces

What makes a safe place?

Just what can we define as a safe space? Is it our physical environment? or perhaps our emotional welbeing? Our mindset?  

Usually, the place that makes us feel safe is the environment that is familiar to us. Having been a student for over three years now, a prime example for me is the University Library. It’s obviously not the most exciting or lively of places – however, there is something about it which encourages us to feel safe. Firstly, it offers peace and quiet, which is a “must have” when it comes to getting work done, especially during the build up to exams and deadlines when we are vulnerable to becoming consumed by stress.

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IndyRef 2: Might We Really Be Better Together?

Déjà vu, right? Just two years after Scotland voted to remain in the UK, here we sit with the prospect of another referendum. Recently the SNP released a draft bill showing the possibility for a second referendum for Scottish Independence – because this is exactly what we need, just a little bit more madness in a country seeming to implode each day. Of course, though, this was to be expected. The SNP made their point very clear throughout the campaign for the EU referendum; that if it did go the way no one expected, Scotland would revert to its independence mayhem. Continue reading “IndyRef 2: Might We Really Be Better Together?”

Can Twitter/Online forums help mental health struggles?

The author of So Sad today definitely seems to think so- through her poetry, published initially online, she charters her experience of twitter and the web, as a place where sharing about struggles with mental health was more easily facilitated than every day.

In some ways it should be basic, when posting to Twitter or Instagram you are accessing the potential for an international group therapy session, you don’t have 1-10 people who could identify and relate to you, you have 1 – 313 million. The physical silence of online provides equal possibilities to share vulnerable-making, or at least vulnerable feeling information, which many mental health related things can be. However, silence can as easily be interpreted as a rejection as any explicit message, and if a trolling hate reply is received (of which there are many) it could silence the speaker for good.

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A divination from coffee grounds

We are living on the threshold of so many transformations: witnessing the beginning of the Anthropocene, anticipating the loss of most of our wild animals by 2020, going through a cycle of technology-induced mass unemployment not witnessed since the Industrial Revolution. Yet in this whirlwind of changes, there are still people sticking their fingers in their ears and pretending none of this is happening. Continue reading “A divination from coffee grounds”

Gig Review: Beans on Toast

Rogue folk singer, story teller and cult legend Beans on Toast returned to Stereo last week. After releasing albums almost yearly for the last 8 years, Jay McAlliste AKA Beans on toastis on tour again in anticipation of his forthcoming album Spanner in the Worksthat is out on December first.

Beanss set starts with a rather sombre reminder of the terrible year 2016 has been, as he carefully lists the rise of Fascism, Brexit, terrorism, TTiP, fracking and the loss of all our heroes from Bowie to Mohamed Ali, in one of his new songs. Fear not, though, for while what Beans sings about is depressingly true, and he knows just wishing it all away wont help, he calls on us all to be the best we can be and change what we can to make 2017 a whole lot better. This is the draw to Beans charm, for despite much of the serious, politically charged issues discussed in his music, he always tries to find the humour or silver lining that will make life better, if not for the world, for yourself. Beans tells the crowd early on that all he can do amidst this doom and gloom is to try and have a laugh about it and spread a more positive message, and this is what he does. He also assures me privately that he is not secretly pleased about Trumps victory despite the song writing potential it offers him.

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Sex and the University: All I want for Christmas is…

 

Tis’ the season of giving and we must selflessly put the desires of others before our own. Naturally, we have to acknowledge that our own pleasures will have to wait another month. But does this act of giving not come with slight pressure? I cannot help but wonder if the only real hope for anything to ignite at University is the classic or not so classic one-night stand. We are all entitled to use and abuse our bodies in whatever way we see fit but do we forget that what we have is a gift? The need for a little token of appreciation or the general itch from essay writing frustration, can make us forget that our bodies and who we give them to, can be, significant. Truthfully then, any act of giving, inevitably brings about a degree of pressure.

During this time of advent, it’s no wonder everyone appreciates a gift or two. We were all impatiently waiting for essays and exams to finish, desperate to crack open the bottle of red- preferably Buckfast and mulled- to stay out until the sun decides to wake up. During this period of time between freedom and Christmas, we are all in advent of the birthday of Jesus, who gave us our life and our chance to have choice. Coupled with the desire to spend money on our loved ones, this period is also a time of reflection for many of us and amongst the numerous questions that Christmas time brings, one can think of another: when is the right time to give ourselves? We are all sexual human beings and in order to create an all round healthy relationship, you must give as much as you take. However, when you’ve given yourself to someone only to be disappointed by certain areas that might have been lacking or having overly high expectations of the opposite sex, it can make thick ice appear between you and your new flame. It really is a question of whether you are willing to get that bit closer and release yourself from your own past storms to open yourself up to a new setting.

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Lost Letters

Dear December. Your chilly nights are suddenly upon us and the festive spirit is contagious. Christmas trees have been popping up everywhere since mid November and stacks of sparkly cards are on the shelves, enticing us to take pen to paper and write to our family and friends. Whilst for many, Christmas card writing may be an annual tradition it is also true that, particularly for our social media driven generation, the practice of sending paper messages to our friends and families is disappearing. Many charitable card companies, such as Oxfam, have noted that in the past five year sales have decreased rapidly. One provider said that that in ten years time card sales will be consigned to history as people “simply move on”.

A decrease in Christmas card sales may seem trivial, and affected by the ever rising price of stamps but it reflects a larger, more worrying trend; the dying art of letter writing. We are a generation accustomed to the immediate; from the vast array of information available to us at the click of a search engine button, to the message we can send within seconds to anyone in the world. It is now even possible for us to know when others have viewed our messages and are replying. There is no longer any intrigue to our communications at all, and I do not think it reflects natural human connection. I cannot undermine the wonders of technology and, like everyone I know, I use it everyday: the internet allows us to maintain relationships across great distances, and opens up vast arrays of opportunities to share opinions with others around the globe. However, it also brings about, perhaps subconsciously, an anxiety in our relationships. We can easily become overly analytical about the text message we have just sent in a click, that we can later read over repeatedly or think nothing of delivering a flippant one liner, even to those we love the most. Our increasingly busy lives propelled by the pace of technology and the impatience coupled with it has led to a culture in which slow, long and thoughtful messages are becoming rare. Yes, I know I might seem like an old soul but I’m nostalgic for handwritten letters.

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