Thursday, June 20Royal Holloway's offical student publication, est. 1986

Tag: Culture

Have We Invested in Intimacy?
Lifestyle

Have We Invested in Intimacy?

By Tia Martello In an era where technology reigns supreme and the desire for immediate satisfaction prevails, the search for genuine connections has become more pressing than ever before. In a rapidly evolving world, the conventional criteria for measuring relationship success are undergoing a major transformation. As we navigate the complexities of modern romance, a fascinating question emerges: could intimacy be the new currency of our generation?  As we venture into the intricate realm of contemporary romance, it becomes increasingly clear that the traditional notions of love and connection are undergoing a significant transformation. In the era of current intimacy, dating apps have become the go-to method for finding love. With their enticing promise of a vast array of pote...
A Closer Look at Alex Scott’s Inspirational Memoir, ‘How (Not) To Be Strong’
Culture & Literature, Literature, Sports & Socs

A Closer Look at Alex Scott’s Inspirational Memoir, ‘How (Not) To Be Strong’

By Beth McCowen *Content Warning - discussion of domestic abuse* Now a highly-respected pundit, and ambassador for the domestic abuse charity Refuge, Alex Scott MBE became the best right-back of her time during an illustrious career as a high-level football player. The former Arsenal and England captain’s memoir was published in 2022.  ‘How (Not) To Be Strong’ details not only Scott’s football journey, but also the story of her life so far. She may have gone from strength to strength as a player, and then as a broadcaster, but that is not to say it was easy. Scott describes some of the difficulties that came with growing up with a father who was an alcoholic, and became abusive. One part of the book which really struck a chord with me, was when Scott explains that her decis...
From Adolescence to Adulthood: an ode to Sally Rooney’s Normal People
Culture & Literature, Literature

From Adolescence to Adulthood: an ode to Sally Rooney’s Normal People

By Madeline Sidgwick “I found it all moving and emotionally wrecking, in the best way.” James Poniewozik perfectly articulates my feelings upon discovering Sally Rooney’s 2018 novel Normal People. I came across Normal People after reading Rooney’s debut novel Conversations with Friends, which I consumed in two sittings, and was hoping to have the same gut-wrenching connection to the characters - I was more than pleasantly surprised. The bildungsroman arc follows Marianne and Connell from their final years of high school, through university, and into adulthood, both individually and within their ever-fluctuating relationship. Rooney perfectly depicts the anxieties, changes (both positive and negative), and frustrations of this period of life. The character-driven plot allows readers no...
Hopeless Romantic by Dolly Alderton
Culture

Hopeless Romantic by Dolly Alderton

I have held myself back from discussing Dolly Alderton for quite some time now. I first read her debut memoir Everything I Know About Love three years ago, during lockdown, and I have not shut up about it since. I’ll admit, her fictional debut, Ghosts, did not impress me as much; I quickly realised it was her confessional tone that caught my attention, hence why her autobiographical work and her ‘Dear Dolly’ advice column have left such a lasting impression. Since reading Everything I Know About Love, I have continued to stay up to date with her work, but I only recently found an essay she wrote for The Pound Project in 2018 titled ‘Hopeless Romantic’.  The Pound Project is an independent publishing company founded by JP Watson. Their message is to shout about ‘the value of readin...
A Love Letter to Four Weddings and a Funeral 
Culture

A Love Letter to Four Weddings and a Funeral 

A romance film where the romance is incidental. I watched Four Weddings and a Funeral for the first time relatively recently. I was expecting another Notting Hill–and indeed, there are parallels and similarities, in that Richard Curtis directs while Hugh Grant attempts to win the affections of a seemingly-out-of-his-league American, accompanied by a zany, tight-knit group of friends. Four Weddings, however, is a different film entirely, and quickly became one of my favourites. Four Weddings stands apart from the usual romcom genre in my mind for many reasons–not least because the romance that the film ostensibly follows is one of the least interesting aspects. It seems almost cliched now to reject Charles and Carrie’s central love story. After all, in the era of “hot takes”, it’s be...
<strong>The Self-Help ‘Genre’: Reading Towards a Fresh Start</strong>
Culture

The Self-Help ‘Genre’: Reading Towards a Fresh Start

Watching Sex and the City’s Charlotte York stumble through a bookstores ‘Self-Help’ section in search of Starting Over Yet Again, feels like a very accurate depiction of that particular experience, especially when you are a perfectly normal yet slightly unconfident and insecure person. Fortunately for both Charlotte and anyone else looking for novels like Starting Over Yet Again - which unfortunately isn’t a real book - Amazon exists. Therefore we don’t have to fumble through the self-help section shouting ‘travel… travel?’ in vain hope of masking any embarrassment.  But why should anyone be embarrassed of self-help books? Have we really created a stigma around reading for advice rather than asking? Whilst I haven’t (yet) bought a title similar to Starting Over Yet Again, I have r...
<strong>“We are the weirdos, mister”: Queer Identity and the Horror Genre</strong>
Culture

“We are the weirdos, mister”: Queer Identity and the Horror Genre

As the days darken and the nights grow longer, I find myself contemplating my fascination with the horror genre. Of course, the endless fantastical possibilities that the genre provides (along with a natural inclination towards everything macabre) piques my interest in the topic, but there must be something else that keeps me coming back for more. Horror must offer something altogether more crucial than a quick scare or an opportunity for escapism that makes these films appeal to an overwhelmingly LGBTQ+ identified audience, something that resonates on a profound level and keeps us invested in the genre as both filmmakers and spectators alike. Why is it that horror stories hold so many queer people entranced?  To determine why horror means so much to me, I’ll cycle back to where i...
Street Racing: The middle finger to motorsports
News, Sports & Socs

Street Racing: The middle finger to motorsports

The Midnight Club, Drifting, Fast and the Furious, NASCAR, and booze.  Yes, booze.  The staple ingredient to university life and the warm friend when life all goes south. This legal drug is weirdly responsible for arguably the most outlaw of sports– street racing.  Between the 1920s and 1930s, during the Prohibition era, a cult emerged of bootleggers, otherwise known as moonshine runners. They were the alcohol transporters, who drove like mad men to outrun the cops when smuggling alcohol.  Sounds like a blast if you ask me.  These moonshine runners would buy the latest and greatest cars of the era, modifying them to give them that extra bit of umph to outrun the police. This was the accidental birth of street racing, and believe it or not, would later ...
Class Inequality is Still Rife in Cultural Industries – But is there Reason for Hope?
Culture & Literature

Class Inequality is Still Rife in Cultural Industries – But is there Reason for Hope?

Picture it. Your best friend is interning at the [insert name of fabulous workplace]. You ask how they got such a prestigious internship when you didn’t even see it advertised. Your question is genuine. You’re not trying to catch them out. For half a second you really believe there’s some big job site you don’t know about or an opportunity you’ve missed. Your friend blushes and doesn’t answer.  Suddenly you understand. It’s one of those internships.  … The cultural industries are notoriously hard to break into. Every parent faced with a child who wants to be an actor will tell you. Even if we all have the same 24 hours in a day (thanks for the reminder, Molly-Mae) that certainly doesn’t mean we’re all looking at a level playing field. This is a world where unpaid ...
Wild Flowers: Frank Carter and Supporting the Artists that Do Matter
Culture & Literature, Literature

Wild Flowers: Frank Carter and Supporting the Artists that Do Matter

Frank Carter has become one of the main spearheads in the rock genre. He is sharp, ballsy and unstoppable. His new album Sticky, alongside his supporting band The Rattlesnakes, is a punchy, liberating, gut-blender of everything that is honest and impactful. This is the soundtrack to a group of underdog misfits who are unapologetically themselves. The album utilises their iconic British sound to piece together a drunken night out with your mates – it has the same warm welcome as a pub carpet.   After headlining Download Pilot Festival and smashing a killer secret set at Reading, he is out for blood with a fourteen-date tour across the UK this November and a further European tour in February. If you can't get tickets, you're missing out. As well as the brilliant music and bante...