Yes/No | Autumn 2007

YES
The John Mac Vending Machines

There’s a robot arm, and it, like, grabs the bottle you chose, and then moves it to the opening. No more over-fizz. A technological development that’s a complete waste of time and money, and that we just love.

Hollyoaks

At first we watched it because it was awful and reminded us of the annoying students we know with their annoying parties and their annoying involvement in storylines of assaults, gangsters, alcoholism and pub explosions, featuring their annoying families and friends. We deluded ourselves that the ropey characterisation and sympathetic acting had a charm about them but then something changed. We developed a rapport with the characters. We want to jump into fictional Chester and give JP and Hannah lots of hugs for different reasons. At the same time, we want to give those who play the Valentine family redundancy payments. We are beginning to watch Hollyoaks for non-ironic reasons.

Autumn (in Theory)

Autumn is probably the most under-appreciated season in all the natural calendar. Winter is characterised by over-indulgence and painful detoxification, Spring gives us the horrible contradiction of nice weather and nasty revision and Summer is a perennial disappointment either being too hot or too rainy. Autumn provides pleasant surprises and beautiful images of grey squirrels amongst the leaves of University Avenue – the perfect time for Freshers and hardened Finalists to trudge back up to university. Somebody start the Facebook group demanding a change in the calendar to make New Year start the day after the September Weekend… What do you mean the date changes?

One for the Geeks

“A film about fonts? You want us to go see a film about fonts? How much time have you spent on this magazine?” you’re probably thinking, but hear us out. Helvetica—the film—isn’t just a 2-hour long discussion of one font and all the geeky things like paper texture, page spacing and typography. With interviews with designers, artists, and advertising moguls throughout the world it’s an exploration of cities and their inhabitants, the creative process behind marketing, and an in-depth look at how society communicates. This film will make you think about what you see from day to day that you pay attention to but never knew existed. Screenings around the country from September 1st. Go to www.helveticafilm.com

I’m not Checking You out,
I’m Keeping up with Current Affairs

Since George Bush has revealed his plans to re-start the space race, Japan have launched a satellite that can monitor the goings on of the entire world. You know how we found that out? By reading the latest issue of T-post: a Swedish magazine that has subscribers in over 40 countries. If you’ look at the picture of those attractive people over there, you’ll read it too. T-post is a magazine in t-shirt format.

The brainchild of a group of friends who wanted a new way to engage people in forgotten and important news stories, T-post translates news into graphics to encourage people to communicate and interpret the stories in their own way.

What’s more, it’s exclusive: copies are made only for subscribers, and no extras are made. If subscription rates continue to increase (the latest figure was 2000), T-post will operate a ‘one-in’, ‘one-out’ policy to ensure that you don’t bump into anyone with the same T-shirt in the pub.

Magazines cost 26 euros, and are released every 6 weeks. Sure, it’s about 15 quid more expensive than the Economist or the NME, but we think it’s worth it.

No:

To Catch a Predator

It was top of the ratings charts in the US for a while. A show based on entrapment, To Catch a Predator lures ‘real, live’ pædophiles to a staged house only to record their reactions when a man with a clipboard tells them they’ve been busted and reads out all their seedy conversations with under-agers. They usually break down into tears. Then they’re tackled by armed policemen. Pretty funny, eh?

Autumn (in Reality)

Yet some of you would be quick to point out that there is a reason that nobody rates Autumn as a season that much. This Summer’s rainfall shows no sign of abating. The nights get darker and bus journeys home on the 44 become much more fraught. Panicky students at the workstations in the Library during the bulk of Week 8, give rise to the burgeoning ‘Emo Wednesday’ phenomenon. The ongoing quest for Christmas employment. Aggressive marketing of the back to school season one week and unloading the tacky Halloween decorations onto the shop floor the next. And did we mention Christmas employment?

Matriculation Narcissism

Everyone tells you to take extra special care of that face of yours the night before your matriculation photo is going to be taken. Don’t get too drunk, don’t get in a fight, and don’t wake up 7 minutes after you should have been in a snaking queue. After all, that picture’s with you for 4 years. But trust us, it’s not worth it. No matter how much sleep, hair gel, or make up you have, the lighting and queuing in Bute Hall will make you look like Cher on a bad day (minus the lack of clothing). Embrace it: it’s an essential university tradition to compare horrendous photos in matriculation cards.

Seagulls

Fast replacing pigeons as GUM’s official Most Disliked Bird. At least pigeons don’t hang out in our backyards yelling at each other at 4am. Pigeons may be more disgusting creatures, but there’s nothing quite as irritating as a seabird, miles away from the coast, waking your ass up so he can chat with all his buddies about how much easier it is to eat our leftover chips and cheese than it is to go fishing. Urban seagulls, your place is on the coast. Go home! Are you too good for your home?

Fopp Reloaded

Our ever decreasing finances and experiences with patronising sales staff smugging it up about getting to see the bands that you just got into put us off shopping in Fopp for a while. Then it had an extraordinary ‘stock take’ and it later closed down. We felt upset and guilty for a while but still secretly comforted ourselves with splurges in Amazon or HMV (‘Fopp killer!’ – the GUM readership). Then HMV ‘resurrected’ the two Glasgow stores. The reloaded Fopp stores were alright but they just were not the same, down to the pricing label. We are still feeling really really guilty.

Street Collectors

You know the drill. They give you too much eye contact, do a funny walk, smile madly and you talk to them because you’re a decently-raised young ‘un and don’t want to appear rude (and if you don’t talk to that one, there’s another 10 yards up the road). After about 30 seconds you’ll feel super uncomfortable for not saving all the children by donating a tenth of your student loan to an obscure charity. It’s a pretty disastrous 77 seconds. Unless you see how long you can talk to them for, and explain that you don’t actually believe in children, or charity, or, indeed streets. Be smooth and charming, and always appear knowledgable. Then offer to sign them up to your club.

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