Friday, 14 December 2018

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Editors of Portsmouth Point

The Portsmouth Point editorial team wish all of our readers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. 

Image by Thomas Beattie

We hope that, over the holiday, our readers enjoy journeying through the 'Destinations' issue of Portsmouth Point magazine (published today), whether embarking upon a leisurely browse or a dynamic binge-read.

You may, of course, begin at the beginning, proceeding purposefully to the end, or you may choose to dip in at random, exploring the magazine in all sorts of different directions.

If you are travelling over the festive season, we hope that the printed magazine can help engage or divert you on your way to your ultimate destination.

Best wishes,

The Editors
December 2018

Thursday, 13 December 2018

Poem: 'More'

by Anushka Kar

You couldn’t get enough of her.
When the greased dishes,
Still not polished to the edge
Laid dead against the side.
So you’d tell me

When the stacks of lined paper
And heeled shoes
Rested beside my bed
all without purpose,
You’d tell me,

When mornings were late-
much like the night before,
my bed still unkempt
Or the floral scent of chemicals
still in the basket,
You’d tell me,

There an evening,
You thought you’d lost me.
But I came home;
‘I always do.’
Busy, I was
Yet somehow she crept forward,

Her name said, called, demanded
more so than mine;
Maybe it was thrilling,


Musical Composition: Blizzard

Benedict Blythe introduces his new musical composition, 'Blizzard'.

(with thanks to Jeremy Cooke for his technical expertise)

Should Toys be Segmented by Gender?

by Honor Davis

I would and actively do argue that the need for gender market segmentation is increasingly irrelevant in everything but hygiene products, contraception and (arguably) form-fitting clothing. The definition of gender is "the socially constructed roles, behaviours, activities and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women" [Wikipedia]. The trouble with having two pretty boxes to tick is that history has shown, time and time again, that that structure does not work.

For example, Hijra and Two-Spirit are gender identities found in multiple ethnic and cultural groups dating back to before the eighteenth century. These identities are often considered to be comparable to gender-nonconforming identities, as they do not coincide with Western gender constucts. In addition through the fourteenth century 'a' was a gender neutral pronoun which is still used in some English dialects that are alive today; people not identifying with binary genders is not a new concept whatsoever. Before the early twentieth century, clothing worn by infants and children lacked any sex definition. This shows that gender constructs are ever-evolving and are not genuinely necessary in society.

Furthermore, the very term 'gender market segmentation' implies that gender can be segmented at all and is not in actual fact a spectrum, redefined by every individual. How can the market account for every, single person's gender identity?

A case study of Lego shows Lego's advertising to become more and more gender normative from the founding basis that lego is for all. Lego had been failing to sustainably increase sales since 2003, and thus in 2008 launched a four-year market research project into why Lego had failed to reach a sector of the children's market. Lego Friends was subsequently released in June of 2012 and received significant backlash -amounting to a petition signed by thirty-five thousand people- for enforcing gender stereotypes, yet despite this it was seen to be successful with children nonetheless. To some the sales recorded would entail that Lego friends had been exactly what was needed, but the sales acceleration had begun before 2012. In 2008 Lego earnt 1.6€ billion and in 2010, 2.2€ billion. This proves that the revenue increase had already begun three years prior to the Lego Friends release in 2012.  The sales jump seen in 2011-2012 was from 2.5€ billion to 3.1€ billion, however, it may be said that this can be put down to other releases made that same year.

In 2012, Lego released; Lego Friends, Star Wars: Battle of Hoth, a range of firefighter and police equipment lego, Avengers action figures and much more. The most notable children's toy released would definitely be the Team GB sets in wake of the 2012 Olympic Games. Conclusively Lego Friends can not be put down as the reasoning for a sales increase seen in 2012, as there were so many other factors. In addition there was evidently no benefit from enforcing gender norms but the opposite (in light of the petition formed rejecting the Lego Friends sets).

To summarise, gender market segmentation is (and has been) potentially harmful to enforce onto children and also financially unnecessary. With so many ways -that are possibly more profitable- to advertise a product, there is no reason to use the form that has the power to cause harm, furthering gender normativity and the exclusivity of binary genders.

“Io Saturnalia!”

by Rebecca Stone

The celebration of Saturnalia
Before the birth of Christ, there were many festive celebrations around the time of the winter solstice that had been occurring for hundreds of years. Saturnalia was the oldest, and most popular festival of the ancient Roman calendar. The pagan celebration for the god, Saturn, was held on the 17th December in the Julian calendar. By the late Republic (133-31 BC) the festival had lengthened to finish on the 23rd December. Saturnalia was a celebration of gift-giving, gambling, feasting, and role-reversion. The social norms regarding hierarchy and classes were overturned and everyone celebrating in this festival wore a simple and plain tunic, so that class was not asserted. Saturn, to whom public sacrifices would have been made during this festival, was the Roman god associated with agriculture, wealth, and liberation.

During the festival, shops would close their doors as well as courts of law and schools, and the people of Rome would gather in front of a large stone statue of Saturn. Priests would perform a sacrifice outside the temple in the main forum, and remove wooden cloths from the statue’s feet, symbolising the loosening of liberation. This marked the official beginning to Saturnalia. Near the stone statue of Saturn, a wooden statue of the God would be brought out by the senators of Rome, and carried to a large outdoor banquet area. The senators positioned the god on a large recliner. With the god positioned to look over the feast, the banquet would begin, and the wine started flowing. All the citizens of the city could enjoy the feast, and the class system was upended for the day. There were gladiatorial games held during the day. To continue the theme of social disarray, all classes could fight, and there were often games of women fighting, and even dwarfs. Not all romans found these games very tasteful. There were some who detested these games, and tried, if they could, to not participate, for example, the famous orator, lawyer and philosopher, Cicero.

Tony Hicks is in the News

PGS' Marshal, Mr Tony Hicks, is an accomplished photographer whose work has graced Portsmouth Point blog and magazine over many years.

He has also had many of his images published in Portsmouth's local newspaper, The News over a long period.  This week, The News has celebrated Mr Hicks' work with a special feature that showcases some of his most popular work. The images are also featured in The News' web version, which you can find here:

PGS Pupils' Perfect Christmas

Some of the Portsmouth Point editors share what they enjoy most about Christmas.

Sudeep Ghosh

What is your favourite Christmas song?
Band Aid - Do They Know It's Christmas? : The song captures the beauty of Christmas whilst also tackling some serious issues.

What is your favourite Christmas book?
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol : Ebeneezer Scrooge's transition from misery to happiness perfectly embodies the Christmas Spirit.

What is your favourite Christmas film?
Home Alone - It's a classic.

What were your best and worst gifts?
Best Gift: Beats Headphones.
Worst Gift: The infamous pair of socks.

What is your favourite Christmas food?
Advent Calendar chocolate, as it signifies that Christmas is near.

What do you like most and least about Christmas?
Most: 3 Weeks Holiday
Least: The bitterly cold weather.

Claudia Bishop

What is your favourite Christmas film?
My favourite Christmas film has to be The Holiday and I watch it every year with my family. It has that Christmas feel and a feel good ending that always makes me smile. I really recommended this film if you haven’t watched it.

Philippa Noble

What is your favourite Christmas song/piece of music and why?
'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas' is a personal favourite, but nothing beats the memories of dancing to 'Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree', decorating the tree with my family.

What is your favourite Christmas book/poem and why?
A Christmas Carol has followed me from childhood, through my Year 5 nativity, and into my teenage years.

What is your favourite Christmas film and why?
I remember sitting down as a child, with family friends gathered round, to watch Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer with hot chocolate. I don’t think any other memory of a Christmas film has stuck with me as much as that has.

What are the best and worst Christmas gifts you ever received?
The best gift I’ve ever received has to be from this year (in my friends’ Secret Santa). As I’m learning a language, my friend got me a bilingual book of short stories - with translations underneath each line. I am so excited to get stuck into it this holiday. I’m not sure any gift can really class as the worst that I’ve ever received - or at least, none of them were so bad that I can remember them.

What is your favourite Christmas food/drink?
Around Christmas, I fully enjoy the acceptability of eating gingerbread at all times of day. Spices, for me, are the best thing that Christmas brings to the table (literally) and I make sure I never miss a spiced drink/snack opportunity.

What do you like most/least about Christmas and New Year?

For Christmas and New Year, the one thing I like the most is the weather. Yes, there might be some rain and stormy weather, but there’s always sunny but frosty mornings that are perfect for a family walk.

Zoe Rademacher

Why Do Onions Make Us Cry?

by Mozhy Hosseini-Ashrafi

The onion is a household staple vegetable used in a large number of savoury dishes to enhance flavour. However, despite the fact it is easily available, cheap and very flexible in the way it can be used, onions are renowned for making people cry when they are cut open. Many have asked the age old question, why? And can we stop them from making us cry?

Many old wives tales circulate about the best way to cut onions, ranging from wearing goggles to keeping a spoon in your mouth! Whilst these methods have varying success rates, it is difficult to come up with the perfect solution when we don’t know the science behind it.

We can assume that onions use their tear-jerking properties as a defence mechanism against predators that might, for example, cut them up into tiny pieces.

Onions contain amino acid sulfoxides, which form sulfenic acids when sliced. These enzymes are free to mix with the sulfenic acids to produce ​propanethial S-oxide, a volatile sulfur compound gas which wafts upward and into your eyes. This gas reacts with tears to form sulfuric acid. The sulfuric acid burns, stimulating your eyes to release more tears to wash the irritation away, and before we know it, we are reduced to a weeping mess!

Musical Composition: 'An Unexpected Chase'

 Cordelia Hobbs presents her new composition, 'An Unexpected Chase'.

(Thank you to Douglas James and Jeremy Cooke for their technical expertise).   

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Portsmouth Point Christmas Party

Portsmouth Point editors and contributors celebrated the launch of the new 'Destinations' issue of the magazine at our annual Christmas Party this week. Celebrants enjoyed festive food and a glass or two of Schloer. 

Monday, 10 December 2018

Can You Run the Country on a Weight Watchers Diet?

by Shapol Mohamed

Interesting . . . but wrong
Brexit has got everyone distressed. There is not a single person in the world who knows what will happen with Brexit and that could be due to a lack of stable leadership.

We have a Prime Minister who doesn’t have a clue about what to do. Recently, I heard that she had been spotted in Ikea because she wants to get a new cabinet.

We also have Boris Johnson who is trying to tiptoe his way to 10 Downing Street. Then we have Sir Vince Cable who doesn’t understand what democracy is. There also is Jeremy Corbyn who has a six-point plan for Brexit that is shorter than a shopping list. 

However, I think the most interesting of all these politicians is Jacob Rees-Mogg.

Jacob Rees-Mogg is offering us a deal that is like a Weight Watchers version of a McDonalds Big Mac. He is telling us that we can have everything without any negatives. Jacob Rees-Mogg is supposedly an intelligent man who went to Eton College and the University of Oxford. However, I am really sorry but I cannot see how someone intelligent thinks that running into a brick wall at full speed is a great idea. He is arguing that on the 23rd March 2019 we can walk away with no deal at all and thrive. He doesn’t understand that it is essential to make a deal with our biggest trading partner.

One thing that I want to make clear is that I don’t think that this is the biggest flaw in his plan. The biggest flaw is that he wants to transform Britain into a tax haven. It is incredibly sad to see a man who is supposedly smart think that by reducing taxes to incredibly low rates it will make all the super-rich individuals in the world to rush over to the UK. Rees-Mogg is pointing his finger at tax havens and is shouting “Look at Singapore! Look how wealthy they are! Lowering taxes does work!”

He couldn't be more wrong.

PGS' Teachers' Perfect Christmas II: Mr Rees, Dr Purves and Mr Doyle

Portsmouth Point editors asked PGS teachers to share what they most (and least) like about Christmas. We hear from Mr Rees, Dr Purves and Mr Doyle. 

Mr Rees

What is your favourite Christmas song/piece of music and why?
It has to be 'Merry Christmas Everybody'. I'm a big Slade fan!
What is your favourite Christmas book/poem and why? 
The Jolly Christmas Postman because it is very jolly.
What is your favourite Christmas film and why? 
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - so many funny moments, particularly the bit where Clark is putting up the Christmas lights on the roof. 
What are the best and worst Christmas gifts you ever received? 
One year, Mrs Rees gave me a ladder. It doesn't get any better than that.
What is your favourite Christmas food/drink?
I actually look forward to Christmas morning breakfast more than Christmas dinner. Smoked salmon and poached eggs!
What do you like most/least about Christmas and New Year?
The best thing about Christmas is being able to spend more time with my family and friends. The worst thing is New Year's Eve; it's like being forced to have a party.

Dr Purves

What is your favourite Christmas song/piece of music and why?
I am going to choose three. Oh Holy Night - don’t know why, I just like it.  Band Aid, Do They Know It’s Christmas - for the enduring poignancy. Fairytale of New York – Pogues and Kirsty Macoll, as it is just brilliant.
What is your favourite Christmas book/poem and why?
Aliens Love Panta Claus is a current favourite in my household.
What is your favourite Christmas film and why?
I am currently enjoying watching a whole host of films with my children, which I missed when they first came out, so would probably go for something like Arthur Christmas.
What are the best and worst Christmas gifts you ever received?
Best would be the family tickets to see the local pantomime last year, and to see my children enjoying the same jokes from the same actors as much as I remember doing many years earlier.  I wouldn’t be nearly so mean-spirited as to contemplate the worst; if someone has taken the time and given me a gift, then I would appreciate the sentiment, and value that!
 What is your favourite Christmas food/drink?
Roast goose – it is delicious.
 What do you like most/least about Christmas and New Year?
Time with my family, and good pantomimes!  And for what I like least – I think it is a time that can really highlight the great disparities between different people in society and that, while joyous for many, it is a very difficult time for some.

Mr Doyle

The Queen Returns Home for Christmas

by Tony Hicks

PGS' Teachers' Perfect Christmas: Mrs Jackson, Mr Goad and Mr Charles

Portsmouth Point editors asked PGS teachers to share what they most (and least) like about Christmas. We hear from Mrs Jackson, Mr Goad and Mr Charles. 

Mrs Jackson

What is your favourite Christmas song/piece of music and why?
Merry Christmas Everyone by Slade - it was released during my youth (yes, I am that old!)
What is your favourite Christmas book/poem and why?
'Twas the Night Before Christmas - my auntie used to read this to me every Christmas Eve and then I read it to my children every year when they were young.
What is your favourite Christmas film and why?
It's a Wonderful Life - classic film and must be everyone's favourite.
What were the best and worst Christmas presents you ever received?
Best - Sony Walkman: I was so made up. Worst - pack of cocktail sticks. Why would anyone give those???
What is your favourite Christmas food/drink?
Food - Duck in Port Sauce (a Christmas Eve tradition). Drink - hot chocolate with brandy out on the slopes whilst skiing. 
What do you like most/least about Christmas?
Most - going skiing.
Least - having to think about getting presents and sending cards.

     Mr Goad

What is your favourite Christmas song/piece of music and why?
The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl: Fairy Tale of New York. Rather depressing, I know, but I like the tune and the juxtaposition of Kirsty's clean vowel sounds against the growl from Shane MacGowan.
What is your favourite Christmas book/poem and why?
      Kipper's Christmas Eve - is it better to give or receive? An important question . . . (I also love the mouse). 
      What is your favourite Christmas film and why?
      Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger. An epic battle against evil villains, an Homeric journey . . . it has all the hallmarks of a classic.
      What are the best and worst Christmas gifts you ever received?                                                         I once gave Mr Ashcroft a slanket that smelled awful (does this count?). The slanket was intentional, but the smell wasn't.
      What is you favourite Christmas food/drink?
      Butter melting over i) mince pies, ii) Christmas pud and iii) frankly, anything else you can get away with.   
      What do you like most/least about Christmas and New Year?
      Most: singing carols (I wish we could sing them all year).
      Least: a sense of expectation/entitlement that can creep in.

     Mr Charles

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Photography: the Largest Living Indian Tusker

by Tom Cracknell

I travelled to Sri Lanka in the summer with the Yasmin Caldera Fund. While there, I was lucky enough to see Indian elephants, including Nadungamuwa Raja (the elephant with the large tusks, in two photographs below), known as an Indian Tusker, incredibly sacred in Asia and Buddhist culture. 

He has been the lead elephant at the Festival of the Tooth in Kandy where they pay tribute to the Sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha. Nadungamuwa Raja is 11.5 feet all and 65 years old and is considered the largest living Indian Tusker.

The PGS Christmas Concert and Wassail

by Oscar Mellers

On Friday, we had another successful evening in St. Thomas’ Cathedral in Old Portsmouth as The Portsmouth Grammar School showcased musical performers from across the school. The cathedral was packed with excited parents, guardians, teachers and The Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Councillor Lee Mason.

The programme was as follows:

The Senior Orchestra, directed by Nick Ingamells
PGS Brass, directed by Graham Brown
Close Harmony, directed by John Cotton
The Concert Band, directed by Sarah Heath

Then, after the interval, we were treated to Years Seven and Five, the Chamber Choir, Community Choir and Middle School Singers, singing, ‘Wassail!’ directed by Gareth Hemmings and accompanied by composer Alexander L’Estrange and his band.

Parents and carers were astounded by the incredible performances given in the concert. Anna Mellers, Year Seven parent said, “A full and varied evening, thoroughly enjoyed by all of us.” All children worked incredibly hard and all enjoyed it.

Poem: River

by Oliver Davidson

Water is life,

It is something that lives,
It keeps us living.
Rivers move and drag along,
Rivers get tired like us,
Rivers make new things like us,
Rivers help us.
What happens if we throw the beauty away,
The answer is we don't live,
We rely on rivers and they rely on us.
Rivers provide homes and resources,
As Well as power.
If we fight over rivers the beauty will go.
So why do we fight over rivers?

Photography: Winter Light and Shadow

by Tony Hicks

Friday, 7 December 2018

What Was the Greatest Failure of the Age of Revolution?

by Matt Bryan

The Age of Revolution saw a great deal of political and social change which set a precedent for our modern world;before, Europe had been stuck in the same situation of warring monarchies and barons since records had begun, and any rebellion against divine rule, like Cromwell's Commonwealth, had quickly lapsed back into the comfort of near-autocracy. With the emergence of radical new Enlightenment thinking, revolution against monarchy was to become more established and familiar across Europe and beyond; the execution of Louis XVI cemented a somewhat unrealistic desire never to return to this archaic system of rule. However, revolutions of this period, especially the French at the end of the eighteenth century, have one major failing in my eyes - and that is their illusion of change. 

Revolution in France broke out aiming to limit the power of the corrupt Ancien Regime. Many put the start of the ten long years of revolution down to long-term inequality and then the dramatic rise in food prices, but the revolution was fought for two distinct groups: those who sought an escape from poverty and those middle-class followers of the Enlightenment who strove to implement the perhaps rather bourgeois principles of equality and secularism. The Revolution may have lived by 'Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite' but most were more concerned with the principles of 'avoid du pain, de l'argent et de l'espoir', having bread, wealth and hope. 

A series of attempts were made to rule the new republic, but amidst the chaos of the so-called 'Reign of Terror' panicked leaders exercised 'egalite' by executing seemingly anyone and everyone. To many it seemed as if the state of chaotic limbo would be perpetual, that was until the rule of the Directory. It offered stability and hope but the committed participants of revolution found themselves under a five man rule of nobility, military and political backstabbers, hardly a government of the people. Following a series of crises, Napoleon Bonaparte launched a bloodless and almost welcome coup, forming the French Consulate. By this time, the French people had been drained of the revolutionary spirit that they had championed so greatly, and were now too fatigued to fight the obvious emergence of a new military dictatorship. A revolution in the sense of a wheel revolving back to its original position. 

To the ordinary specator, the Revolution had seen a great deal of change; the tyranny and lethargy of the French Monarchy had been ended permanently and replaced by a new government that temporarily had the support of its people. But in a few years Napoleon had essentially founded his own hereditary monarchy. France has experienced a deja vu of epic proportions in 15 short years; revolution had started strong but its chaos had allowed a relapse back to the ways of old. There is a great deal of irony present in their beliefs, too; the so-called egalite did not stretch to women, the revolutionaries still continued to fight the wars that had brought about the downfall of monarchy and still tried to maintain Empire and slavery in contradiction with their liberalism, perhaps undermining the thinking of the Enlightenment and, more importantly, highlighting the absence of change. 

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Global Awareness in Biology

by Zoe Munday

Global Awareness Day greeted us on Friday 16th November and in Biology Year 9 were given the task of creating eye-catching murals to raise awareness of plastic pollution. 

To achieve this large drawings of marine animals that included killer whales, albatross, fish, seals and green turtles were clad with plastic to demonstrate the effect of the plastic pandemic on the health and livelihood of these sea creatures. 

Plastic of all kinds was brought in over the week by staff as well as collected from a beach clean on Southsea beach which consisted mostly of bottle tops, fishing twine, sweet wrappers as well as the increasingly ubiquitous microplastics.

Stan Lee - Remembering an Icon of the Comic Book Industry

by Alex Porter

Stan Lee - Comic Book Legend

Stan Lee is most well-known for co-creating Spider-man and Iron Man and set the standard for Comic Books and Graphic novels today. He was passionate and dedicated about producing engaging and well-written Comic books that everyone could read which lead to great fame and fortune World-wide.

Stan Lee was born as Stanley Martin Lieber on December 28th in 1922 in Manhattan, New York City Born to his Romanian-born Jewish immigrant Parents Celia and Jack Lieber. His career in comics first started (with help from his uncle Robbie Solomon) when he became an assistant in 1939 of the new TImely Comics division of the Pulp Magazine owned by Martin Goodman. He started low in the ranks of the company by refilling the inkwells, which the artists used to draw their comic strips with. Following this he became a Comic Book publisher. As he wanted to develop his own childhood ambition to be a writer, he was lucky to be able to produce his first comic story which was known as a ‘filler’ in the magazine and was called ‘Captain America Foils the Traitor’s Revenge’, in Captain America Comics #3 which was published in May 1941. He used the name ‘Stan Lee’, which afterwards became his legal name. In this story he also first introduces Captain America’s famous ‘shield toss’ which was to become a significant hallmark of the character. Two issues later Stan wrote his first full story, which was still a ‘backup’ feature ‘headline’ story ‘Hunter, Foreign Correspondent’.

Later in the 1950s, due to the previous success that the DC comics archetype superheroes had already created, their editor Julius Schwartz produced updated versions of ‘the Flash’ and introduced Justice League of America. So in order to provide opposition and a chance of joining the fast-growing industry, Martin Goodman, who had recently created his new company, ‘Marvel Comics’, ordered Lee to decide on a new superhero team. Lee’s wife suggested that he should test out ideas so that he could then decide which types of stories he preferred. 

Following the advice, he made a decision to give his superheroes ‘flaws’, just like in humanity. This was a massive and unpredicted change from the ideal views/stories that were originally written at that time for preteens. Before this, superheroes were portrayed as perfect and had no weaknesses. Lee created complex characters that could be prone to outbursts of bad temper and mood changes. They also dealt with human problems like paying bills and characters that actually became ‘ill’.

The Danger of Censorship and the Oppression of Freedom of Speech in Today’s Society

by Isla Sligo-Young

Recently, certain members of the generation now at university have acted in such a way that young people now reaching adulthood have been dubbed the ‘Snowflake Generation’. In part, this name derives from members of the generation who feel extremely threatened when they hear views and beliefs that oppose their own, which has led to university campuses having to have an elongated list of people and groups who are no longer allowed to conduct speeches.

I am very careful in my description of certain members of a generation, rather than suggesting that the whole generation holds these viewpoints. This is because we are at a turbulent time in history, a period of unforeseen change; for example, the Government being defeated on three votes in the last day has been seismic, bringing a measure of uncertainty and fear into our society. This fear creates the perfect breeding ground for views that are normally those of a minority to be able to take control and try to restore some type of order in this world of chaos by silencing an opposition that may make them question their views.  

This censorship of those with a right to express their views is potentially very dangerous because whichever group has control of government/society at any given time can further impose their power over the people by deciding whose speech is classed as offensive. This was showcased at the start of the Communist Revolution in Russia just over 100 years ago: the day after the Bolsheviks took control of Petrograd and the government, Bourgeois papers and counterrevolutionary publications were banned from publication. This ultimately led to complete censorship of every part of Soviet life, even how people talked to one another- ultimately leading to death for those who did not agree with the ideology imposed by the government. This is poignantly reflected, today, in the multitude of death threats received by activist who do not follow the ideology of today’s society, which is predominantly left-wing.

Can the Art Be Separated from the Artist?

by Lewis Wells

“It should be, and must be, possible to separate the work of art from their artist at the appropriate time.”

Every piece of Art (I’m talking: Film, Music, Book, Design, anything created or crafted by a human being, organisation or entity) is created by an artist, or group of artists, and there lie our two focal areas when we apply, discuss and disseminate this artwork to the public domain. Director and Film. Producer and TV Show. Author and Book. The two are predominantly inseparable, right? The book resonates with the author’s personal and highly-informed experiences, opinionated and personalised reactions and verdicts on the very things that make ourselves interested. So is it ever possible to separate the book from the author, in the event that they do not connect with each other at some stage of the writing of the book? That they are wholesomely disjointed from their artwork? It could be that there is an area that author knows very little about, or rather has no real personal influence over within that piece of artwork which contributes to our cultural understanding of the subject as the audience. Secondly, to what extent do we judge, misinterpret, hinder and even prevent access to the material of such artists in the event they are convicted of wrongdoing in the form of distasteful outspoken opinions? Racism? Xenophobia? Poorly-informed historical knowledge? My answer to my original question. It should be, and must be, possible to separate the work of art from their artist at the appropriate time. Thirdly, our restraint of the material of an artist in the wake of an artist’s behaviour is growing. This is a cause for concern.

“We discuss the danger of increased censorship and withdrawal too little”
Introducing a case study in Roseanne Smith’s comedy show on ABC. I’ve not seen it, I don’t immediately plan to, and I have no real knowledge on the programme itself. For those of you unaware, she’s an outspoken conservative with a supposedly family-friendly television show in the United States. It’s frowned upon that someone who could possibly possess Conservative views is enabled her own television programme. Yeah, that’s clear. Most recently, in her free time on social media, she claimed an African-American was the product of “Planet of the Apes”. She later retracted and apologised for this racist remark. Within hours of the comment, ABC cancelled her television program. Would I be perhaps more accepting of this verdict had she propagated her comments via her show? I can understand the defence of reputation and ‘covering one’s back’. All I cannot understand however is that we discuss the danger of increased censorship and withdrawal too little and owe it to technological advancements and the fear of public backlash.

Photograph: PRS Meets Donald Trump

by Ruth Richmond