Christmas Shopping by Luke Cremin, 6th Year...

It is dark outside when I push the trolley through the opening doors.  The place is vast and has a high ceiling, lined with an almost blinding white light that reflects off the floor. The only colours are the blue of the hanging signs and the red and green of the pathetic tinsel strewn across the endless line of shelves. I look left and see that there are only two tills in operation. A very bored looking girl sits examining her nails. Behind her is a man scribbling something. They are both wearing a blue t-shirt. Thankfully, the place seems empty. The only sign of life is Mariah Carey singing from above. If I remember correctly, the turkeys should be on a separate shelf in the meat section at the very back next to the dairy aisle.  Wasting no time, I push the rattling trolley deeper into the white maze. I pass sweets, cereals, pyramids, signs, more tinsel and I finally reach the milk aisle. They should be right here. Mariah sings louder. My heart flutters as I turn the corner. “Baby all I want for Christmas . . .” The shelf is empty. ON SALE and BEST VALUE signs point to nothing. “一IS YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU一” Her voice is shrill and it stabs my skull. I cover my ears and grimace my face. I feel an anxious pang in my stomach and my throat dries as the lights start glaring and my temple is about to burst and the room is spinning and I need to steady myself on the trolley so my quivering legs don’t collapse.  I take a deep breath and steady myself. This cannot be happening. I am still trembling and my temple is pulsating. Surely there is another one somewhere? The...

The Tom Crean Diary of Polar Exploration...

Dear Thelma Books, books and more books! Unbelievably, Tawny Owl’s secret chest (which nobody was allowed touch upon “pain of maim”) contains nothing but books on chiropody and some finely-bound tomes on French petticoats before the Revolution. You can imagine our chagrin upon learning that what we’d suspected was emergency food supplies or “literature of a distracting nature” (Scott’s words) turns out to be this awful drivel. Cooper reserved an especial derision for the publications’ proprietor, arguing that Tawny Owl should be made to clean the latrines for the remainder of our time in the frozen north. Scott was slightly more sanguine and argued that we should remould the Owl as a footstool; at least then we’d make some use of him. Bloom for his part quite enjoyed the article in one of the books about toenail jam and how to eliminate it with certain ointments derived from fermented seaweed. Palmer came to me the other night in secret and said he had begun to doubt Scott’s authority and worried that we’ll never reach the Pole. “I mean, where are we anyway? Does anybody even know?” “Hush now, baby,” I assured him, stroking his little cheek, “didn’t Scott tell your mammy he’d get you home safe even if it killed him?” “Yeah, yeah,” he said, clearly disillusioned with the whole project (but not swatting my arm away either I should say), “Scott says a lot of things. Remember when he told Bloom that marmalade can be made from any fruit and that it wasn’t an exclusively orange-derived condiment and Bloom wrote home to his mother, calling her a liar because she’d perpetuated the fallacy that reading makes you stupider. He’s writing to her again today; God only knows what.” “What’s the harm when there’s...

Che by Steven Soderbergh...

(Soderbergh’s latest movie, Side Effects, threatens to be his last. That would be a terrible pity. If he never made any movie besides Che, his name is secure, in my opinion.) Soderbergh’s two-part film is a work of genius. His take on it all is, despite some of the iconography on the box, pretty balanced. There’s a fanaticism in these people, that, although inspired by a need for equality and a deeper moral urgency that Batista probably perceived, involved great suffering and death and also no small measure of propaganda. This is usual in war. But whatever about the historical veracity, the film is utterly engrossing and is a great example of how to portray a struggle on film. The director shows us the legwork, the slow, deliberate, sometimes extremely arduous and challenging ordeal of organising a revolution. But detritus broke off and caused misery. In one scene, a few of Castro’s men strike off on their own, steal and rape. It’s often like a film set – lots of sitting around, waiting for something to happen, much reflection and discussion but a liberal dose of excitement too. There were slips too, for instance with the urban movement who wished for negotiation while Fidel’s rural agrarian force wished for military force and an engagement on violent terms with Batista’s army. Fidel saw the power of the urban movement though. In the film he advises Ernesto “Che” Guevara that they have a lot of followers while Che refers to them as clowns. Watch this movie on a lazy Saturday afternoon, maybe when it’s raining outside and you have a spare three hours or more. It’s fabulous viewing....

Nun the Wiser by Cormac Larkin...

A review on the play Nun the Wiser by MMC students. I went to see this play on Thursday 7th of February with my parents and my sister. This play is about a singer, Dolores, who is trying to escape from a vengeful ex-boyfriend who is trying to kill her because she has agreed to testify against him. To evade him, she joins a convent but struggles to adapt to the lifestyle of the nuns, which is the polar opposite to the life she previously led. After settling in, Dolores revitalizes the convent choir and they gain fame and fortune. They become so famous that they are asked to perform for none other than his holiness himself, the Pope! The night before however, the ex-boyfriend shows up and tries to get Dolores but she runs away. She is overcome with guilt though as she sees how much the nuns need her, and she returns, and the police apprehend her ex. The quality of acting in this play was of a high standard, as was the singing. The play was billed as a comedy, and didn’t disappoint, as the show was jam-packed with humour. I would recommend seeing this play to anyone. I would give it a...

The Future is Free by Osama Shammary...

The future is bright, the future is green, the future is… free? People have always dreamt of free clothes, free money, and most of all free food. There certainly seems to be progress towards that: now there are free papers, free-to-play games, your favourite social networking site, and in one case, a hotel which let people eat and repay by working it off on bikes connected to the electric system to create a better source of energy; it isn’t exactly free but it’s good, since you can eat your favourite foods, then balance your health by exercising when you see fit. People nowadays spend 40 euro plus buying games while not having checked out the free-to-play equivalents, with Battlefield play for free, CoD personified in Blacklight Retribution and Halo in Halo online, or play the mix in Planetside 2. People have tried boycotting things until they became free but it hasn’t worked… yet. MIT currently provides free online education, where you could learn quantum physics or get a head start on what you really want to study. You can take student notes, online lectures, and read the online textbook, but it won’t account for any actual college credit. Sites like Pet Finder allow you to adopt animals for free, from rabbits to horses. So whatever you might be hoping for, it must include a free, green and bright...