Photograph by Allison Jackson
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The OxStu’s guide to surviving a family Christmas

Christmas can be stressful, particularly if a significant part of it is spent in an enclosed space with a large number of squealing children, drunken uncles, passive-aggressive parents, and those relatives from the South who never tire of observing how much colder it is up North. With that in mind, I offer my guide to surviving a family Christmas, and wish you the best of luck with your own.

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America’s integrity on trial

“I will never apologize for the United States — I don’t care what the facts are… I’m not an apologize-for-America kind of guy.” – George H.W. Bush

To say that America has something of a PR problem would be an understatement. The supposed bedrock of freedom, democracy, and all things good and holy has, with the release of the torture report, found itself again in a decidedly awkward position. Yet the activities outlined in the report were not, for the most part, a revelation. Certainly, having it laid out in detail reveals the horrifying scale of the torture, a project which doesn’t even have efficiency to allow for some limp-wristed apologism. Yet the fact that the US had been carrying out this sort of ‘Enhanced Interrogation’ has long been part of our consciousness – you only need to look at 24 to see America’s enemies being ground to a pulp by Kiefer Sutherland “for the greater good”. Perhaps the scale of international cooperation is shocking, but the willingness of America to commit these acts long ago was a well-known fact. (more…)

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Mediocrity, misogyny and malcontent at the BBC Music Awards

Last Thursday, almost 5 million people watched the Inaugural BBC Music Awards, the aim of which seemed to be to show exactly how dire British music has been in the past 12 months. Among the 22 artists performing at the ceremony, only three actually won awards: Ed Sheeran won British Artist of the Year, Pharrell Williams won International Artist of the Year and Song of the Year for ‘Happy’ and the BBC Introducing Award went to Catfish and the Bottlemen.

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Five easy ways to turn a great book into a crap film

So you’re a hotshot studio executive looking to churn out the next big thing (you’ve got that mortgage on your second LA beach house to be thinking about, after all), and, as usual, you’re flat out of ideas. And then one day it hits you: scripts have words in them. Books have words in them. So all it would take to make a book into a script is some slightly different words, in size twelve Courier font. Right?

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The Oxford Student

One Step Ahead Since 1991