Welcome (or welcome back for most) to UCC! From all the staff here at Byline we hope you had a fantastic summer, either at home working or abroad working for slightly less money. I think it’s fair to say by the end of this week we will all be equally broke, tired, behind on college work and desperate to find any scraps of free food on campus.
In this, our first issue of Byline for the year (if we don’t count the freshers issue), we have tried our best to gather together some of the biggest stories and discussions from the summer and bring them to you in the best format we can. We were very lucky to have the opportunity to sit down with the Irish, all-female band Wyvern Lingo for an in-depth discussion on the history of the group, their writing process and what it’s like to be a woman working in a male-dominated music industry. We also heard the latest about their new single and their debut album, which is due to be released very soon.
As well as that, our Fashion Editor has taken a look into the recent John Lewis controversy and how the company’s stance on gender-neutral childrens clothing may not only have repercussions for them but could also pave the way for other large, international companies to also put an end to gender stereotyping when it comes to the labelling of clothes.
Personally, I spent a large part of my summer working in a sailing club in west Cork, but any time I wasn’t working I have been trying my best to avoid Game of Thrones spoilers on Twitter (as I’m sure many of you were) but with several leaked episodes and scattered releases, sometimes it was almost impossible. In this issue, our Film&TV editor takes a look at what he perceives as one of the great disappointments with the show. If (like the vast, vast minority at this stage) you weren’t hooked by the promise of dragons and armies, one of our writers has taken the time to look at why he feels that the leaving certificate has ruined some of the world’s greatest pieces of literature and is taking a look, one by one, at books you should reconsider reading now that your search for a H1 has come to an end.
Despite being gone for only four months, the world seems a far cry from the one I lived in when I was last in UCC. From the horror and devastation caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma to the deep political divides that have emerged following the riots and protest in Charlottesville at the beginning of August, the United States of America has gone from being the land of hopes and dreams, and somewhere that I personally have always felt drawn to visit and explore, and changed into a place that is a husk of what it once was, surrounded by fear of both internal and external threats and governed by the owner of a haunted mansion. From Guam to New York, there has never been a time that this writer can personally remember America being so volatile. Where this could eventually lead us is anyone’s guess. With North Korea creating and testing a different strand of nuclear weapon every day, it does carry parallels to Game of Thrones, two armies, one good and one bad, with the good side divided between those that want to step up and fight (through diplomatic procedures rather than weaponry) and those who want to take a step back and see what happens (and hope that the wall they’ve built to divide themselves will hold) and one (little) man who holds the faith of the world in his hand by holding the power to crumble whichever avenue he decides not to take. Except in Game of Thrones, it’s Zombies at stake, in the real world it’s civilians.
We just have to wait and see what happens, but in the meantime, take a break, put your feet up and take a moment away from the world to read through some of the fantastic content our writers have worked tirelessly for and are, as always, very proud of. I hope you have a great day and a great first two weeks of term!