The Final Frontier’s Fishy Festival

Between concerts – Salmonfest, 2014

For many, Alaska is synonymous with rough conditions and impenetrable nature, and when thinking about Alaska, our mind wanders to the guy from Into the Wild falling into a gushing river and Don Rosa’s Scrooge McDuck staring at the white topped Yukon Mountains during the Klondike Gold Rush. People who travel to Alaska are often thought to be crazy athletes, and/or passionate fly fishers. It comes as a surprise for many that during the summer time, the Kenai Peninsula is pretty easily accessible from Finland and it offers one-of-a-kind cultural experiences, full of that Alaskan craziness and humor that is exclusive to this great state.

One unique Alaskan happening is definitely Salmonfest, an annual festival dedicated to protecting the wild sockeye salmon. Describing the festival’s atmosphere is difficult with just adjectives – a tiny narrative from when I visited the festival works better.

Picture this, it’s a warm Saturday – well, Alaskan warm, so not too hot. On a low stage painted with huge pictures of red and green salmons, there’s an artist with shoulder length locks, steel guitar, and a melancholy yet hopeful rock sound. There are women with Janis Joplin hair hula hooping in front of the stage accompanied by dancing kids whose hair is colored with spray-on blue and purple.

Between concerts – Salmonfest, 2014

Between concerts – Salmonfest, 2014

The festival area is full of both exotic food trucks, with spreads that would make Flow festival jealous, and little booths of local people making you cheese toasts and lemonade. From the merch booths, you can find the raddest tie-dyed t-shirts, but also a lot of crafts made by the local artists. The area is full of young people in groups, families, and old couples who’re enjoying the music on folding chairs. In between American and Alaskan artists, there’re talks about the importance of protecting the wild salmon.

Salmonfest, in addition to being a fun event for everybody, is one of the most upfront adversary parties of the famous Pebble mine discussion. Most cars, coffee houses, restaurants, hotels, and shops I saw during my trips to Alaska had a red and white sticker opposing the Pebble mine. Salmonfest takes it a step further with their t-shirts, beer koozies, and tents that offer information about the mine and its ecological effects.

If you do decide to take on the Kenai Peninsula and Salmonfest, it’s easiest to fly to Anchorage, rent a car from the airport, and drive to Ninilchik. The drive takes approximately four hours, but since the roads are tiny and there’s plenty to see, and places to sleep during the drive, you might want to take your time. Salmonfest is an annual event, so if your travel plans and budget is set for this summer, it’ll be there next year as well. From Salmonfest, you can continue your road trip to gorgeous Homer, the cultural hometown of Kenai full of restaurants and galleries. Another great Kenai road trip destination after Salmonfest is the town of Seward. Seward is home to Alaska SeaLife Center, a combination of research facility and aquarium, and the port of call for many day cruise ships that can take you killer whale and glacier watching.

While traveling from Europe to the US has become pretty common vacation option, Alaska is still, in many ways, the Final Frontier for tourists. This might be due to the fact that there are no direct flights to Anchorage from many countries, and Alaska’s tourism industry is mainly focused in getting American people to the giant cruise ships that sail to Alaska. In spite of this, Kenai Peninsula is very welcoming for visitors, since the hard winters mean that businesses must meet their annual financial goals during the summer months. Alaska is a wonderful option for travelers who wish to experience local things, not spoiled by the tourist industry.

Alaska and its people remind me of Finland in many ways – they’re quiet, love nature, and go a little crazy during the summer time. Salmonfest lies in the heart of wilderness on the Kenai Peninsula, ready to surprise even the most experienced travelers.

Meet the Freshmen

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Fall at the university is wonderful. The beginning of new courses, trees on the Metsätalo courtyard shimmering with coppery colors, and most of all, excited freshmen running around and wreaking havoc. But who are these newcomers and what are they up to? BTSB interviewed four of them.

 

Illustration by Kaisa Leino (c)

Illustration by Kaisa Leino (c)

Axel Meyer, 18, comes from Helsinki and has enjoyed his time at the university so far.

What made you choose to study English at the University of Helsinki?
Though I might have less of a humanist background than most people here, I’ve always had it as an option for building a possible teacher’s career. It became a reality when I found out I wasn’t accepted to the Class Teacher Program at the University of Helsinki, which was my first choice. I wouldn’t want to try getting there again now that I’m here, of course!

Did you take some time off school before starting at the university or did you come directly from high school?
I wanted to keep my study routine firm so I took no time off in between. Now I’ve just got to figure out when to slot in military service and all that stuff.

How have you liked being here thus far?
I’ve enjoyed my time here for sure. I’d say this is the right place for me with interesting lectures, fun leisure activities, and nice studying friends. The tutors have been great, too.

Have you had a chance to check out any parties or SUB events?
I’ve attended all but one or two of them so far, I think. They’ve been lots of fun!

Which minor subjects are interesting to you?
I was actually thinking about Philosophy at first, but I’ll probably end up taking Swedish in some form. It’s my mother tongue, after all, plus it’s a good combination for someone interested in becoming a teacher.

Which area of English philology do you find interesting now?
I’m a big fan of Ernest Hemingway and William Shakespeare, so naturally the literature courses appeal to me. However, I can’t put my finger on anything that wouldn’t have been at least a bit interesting to this point.

What do you plan to do in the future?
Well, I do plan to become a teacher someday as I think it would be a suitable job for me. If that doesn’t turn out too good, I guess I’ll just use my English degree to create memes or whatever. I hope to permanently move to Canada one day too. That would be pretty cool, eh?

Any greetings you’d like to send older students and other freshmen?
“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.”

 

Illustration by Kaisa Leino (c)

Illustration by Kaisa Leino (c)

Mira Pohjanrinne, 19, comes from Karigasniemi.

 

Where are you originally from?
From this little village called Karigasniemi, but I usually just say that I’m from Utsjoki since I went to upper secondary school there and, well, it’s basically the same: cold and far, far away.

Are you living in Helsinki now? How has it been to live in Helsinki (if you haven’t done so before)
I am. It’s been fun! I was already really familiar with Helsinki when I moved here, since many of my friends live here and I’ve visited the city a lot. What surprised me the most was actually that that a place that is as different from Utsjoki as possible can feel like a home so soon.

How about studies?
It’s been interesting. It’s fun to use English every day, and the teachers are really nice. So far there hasn’t really been anything that wasn’t in the entrance exam books, but I’m sure it’ll get harder soon enough. All the fellow freshmen seem nice too!

What made you choose to study English at the University of Helsinki?
Well, like I said, I was already very familiar with Helsinki. It’s also really easy to visit Utsjoki from here, because I can fly straight to Ivalo or Rovaniemi. I also wanted to live somewhere where students have something to do, and Helsinki has really active student organizations among other things. And yeah, I kind of like really wanted to get as far away from Utsjoki as possible.

Have you had a chance to check out any parties or SUB events?
Well I’ve been to a few of PPO’s parties and SUB’s orientation week and Fuksiaiset.

Which minor subjects are interesting to you?
I’m going to become the coolest teacher ever, so pedagogical studies and maybe Swedish? I kind of want to study Asian studies as well, especially Japanese.

Which area of English philology do you find interesting now?
You’re asking this way too soon.

Any greetings you’d like to send older students and other freshmen?
Thanks to our lovely tutors who made sure we knew what to do and where to go! And thanks to everyone who made Fuksiaiset happen! And for the freshmen: I’d really like to get to know as many of you as possible.

 

Illustration by Kaisa Leino (c)

Illustration by Kaisa Leino (c)

Venla Siikaniemi, 19, is half Finnish, half German student from Helsinki.

 

How have your studies have been so far?
I have really been enjoying them so far. Although the lecture format is new to me, I’ve quickly gotten used to it and learned to stay focused for the whole 1,5 hours. The homework assignments aren’t that difficult either, but they tend to be time consuming.

What made you choose to study English at the University of Helsinki?
I’ve always been interested in languages, because I am bilingual myself. English happens to be the language we get to hear the most. It is presented to us through movies, music, tv-series and social media. I fell in love with the language many years ago, and the technical side of language studying – meaning phonetics etc. – has also started intriguing me lately.

Did you take some time off school before starting at the university or did you come directly from high school?
I came directly from the German high school of Helsinki. Although I did do a mini “gap year” during June, as I went on an epic Interrail adventure with my best friend.

How have you liked being here thus far?
I couldn’t be happier about my choice to come here. I’m so glad I get to study the language I love in the city that I love and with people that I’m beginning to love too.

Have you had a chance to check out any parties or SUB events?
Yes, many actually. We were partying through the whole orientation week of course, but also after that I’ve attended things like “fuksiaiset”, “sub goes hiking” and other fun events.

Which area of English philology do you find interesting now?
The spoken English lecture and small groups are my favorites at the moment.

Are you interested in doctoral studies?
I’m not sure yet. We’ll have to see about that.

What do you plan to do in the future?
I want to become a multilingual teacher in a Finnish or German high school.

Any greetings you’d like to send older students and other freshmen?
It has been great to get to know new people here and I hope we will all continue to be social and open towards new students and generally all the people we come across during our lives, let’s make a positive difference at least in our own environments.

 

Illustration by Kaisa Leino (c)

Illustration by Kaisa Leino (c)

Samuel Onatsu, almost 19, from Kerava.

 

Are you living in Helsinki now? How has it been to live in Helsinki (if you haven’t done so before)?
Yes, I actually just moved in last Friday and it’s been quite crazy. I have an amazing view of the city and the sea, I love it. Helsinki is not unfamiliar to me, but it’s been quite strange living by myself. There’s no one to talk to! And all the work work work work work.

What made you choose to study English at the University of Helsinki?
English has always been my strong suit if not my strongest suit. I love the language and I needed some place to belong. What pulled me in was the study of literature, drama and poetry.

Was the entrance exam hard?
I wouldn’t say so. If you studied hard, which I did, it was quite easy. There were some challenging parts, but that was mostly on the translation side, which I did not have enough time to spend on.

How have you liked being here thus far?
The student life is an exciting new chapter, maybe just the fresh start that I needed. There’s so much to learn, many new people to meet and too much going on at the same time. It’s a lot to deal with, but I’m sure I’ll get used to it.

Have you had a chance to check out any parties or SUB events?
As much as I’ve been able to. Love it. More parties, please!

Which minor subjects are interesting to you?
I’ve been thinking about TV and Film studies, maybe theatre studies, because what I really want to do is acting and film-making. Oh, maybe even some kind of literature. That would be amazing.

What do you plan to do in the future?
Hard to say, but as much as I can. More theatre, more writing, more arts in general. I aspire to be an actor one day, that’s my plan.

Any greetings you’d like to send older students and other freshmen?
Be spontaneous, be courageous. I think university is the best place to embrace who you truly are. Here you will find your people inevitably.

Color Me DC Lassies

Kaisa_Huntress

I am both excited and terrified about the upcoming Suicide Squad film since Deadpool and the new X-Men movie lulled me into thinking that superhero movies actually CAN be awesome, even for a superhero snob like me. In any case, I cannot wait to see the new Harley and Enchantress.

That inspired me to draw Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy and Huntress coloring pictures in the 80s Barbie comic style (yes, these ideas come to me in visions). So, enjoy!

You can either color them in on your iPad or print them out. Also, all copyrights belong to me, Kaisa Leino. If you wish to publish your fine coloring art, contact me first.

 

Sorry Not Sorry Ylioppilaslehti, You Sucked These Past Weeks

So we have this proud tradition in BTSB on calling Ylioppilaslehti out whenever they act like morons and it seems like this year’s editor-in-chief Antti Pikkanen is going to have his share of this glory – congratulations!

You might have heard about Ylioppilaslehti’s feature where they send a public figure an item they think comments sharply on their opinions. Deputy Mayor of Helsinki, Laura Räty, received a tent. Ice hockey institute Juhani Tamminen received a subscription of a gay life-style magazine. I think that these acts were properly thought out pieces of criticism. Many people think that Räty is responsible for sending a group of women to sleep in the freezing cold winter night and Tamminen made an ignorant statement about not “noticing gays in ice-hockey circles for 60 years.”

These well-put statements make it even harder to understand what was the logic behind sending Maaret Kallio, psychotherapist and novelist who writes about relationships in Helsingin Sanomat, a vibrator. So far Ylioppilaslehti hasn’t offered any proper explanation on their article other than that “its purpose lies somewhere between humor and criticism.”

Let’s think about that for a moment. It is an age-old technique to try to embarrass women and minimize their opinions by connecting them to their bodies, taking the attention away from their minds and thoughts. Kallio’s blog in Helsingin Sanomat might be full of feel-good aphorisms, but implying that she writes these kinds of blog entries because she “just needs to get some” is low. It is also the oldest explanation in the book (actually, “boys will be boys” might be the oldest, sorry about that) to tell the victim of bullying that the offender was just joking around. This makes the victim the bad guy, “the humorless lesbian feminist” character who just couldn’t take the joke.

And hey, let’s talk about that apology Ylioppilaslehti sent to Kallio. Editors who probably study or have studied some media and communication studies or languages might be familiar with the concept of fake apologies. All of us have probably encountered this, especially these days in Finnish political discussions. Our Finance Minister has demonstrated his understanding of how important proper public apologies are by responding to him getting caught on a blatant lie to the Parliament by saying, “Sorry about that.”

Ylioppilaslehti’s apology goes on saying that “if Kallio feels like she has been sexually harassed”, they are sorry.

Dude.

By using words like “if”, you don’t own up to what you’ve done but instead put the blame on the victim. Kallio clearly stated in her blog that she feels that this is harassment and that this act is directed towards her gender. If you actually read her statement, you cannot miss the fact that she actually did feel harassed. Also the whole “joke” should be condemned, even if the target didn’t express their feelings. This is what is infuriating about this case – sending a sex toy could make the target feel ashamed and not speak out.

And Pikkanen, if you need help in forming a real apology for Kallio, here’s a vlog entry by one of my favorite feminists, Franchesca Ramsey, who presents guidelines to follow in order to make a real apology.

Don’t be that guy, who thinks that just because someone finds your joke offensive, they are the ones to blame. Don’t be that guy who demonstrates that if you’re a woman talking about sex or relationship, you’re open for anything. Don’t be that politically motivated guy who thinks that being a public figure makes it ok to sexually harass someone and that trying to silence them with embarrassment is ok.

Read more: “Sexual harassment is not journalism”

Humanistispeksi 2016 Review: Seeing the Forest for the Trees

The Logo ©Juho Kajava

Some faculty speksis, or academic improv-musicals, enjoy cult statuses and their productions have no problems getting audience or commercial visibility. Humanistispeksi, or the annual Faculty of Art’s speksi, is however only a newbie in this field. This is the sixth Humanistispeksi in history and BTSB would not miss it for the world especially as over a dozen SUBbers and BTSB people were involved in the production.

One thing Humanistispeksi – Metsä (Forest) cannot be praised enough for is the social media visibility before the show. From the beginning, it had a sense of professionalism that, along with its historical location at Kansallisteatteri, set expectations extremely high for the show.

The high expectations also pose a problem for reviewing the show: Speksis are in their very essence amateur theatre, but it would be intelligently dishonest to critique a production of this scale, with 130 people participating in the production, as an amateur production. Comparing it to professional theatre would be unfair as well, but simply taking it as yet another high-school musical does not seem right either. But balancing acts aside, from the furry-approved animal costumes to the hair and make-up work, this year’s speksi felt very professional.

The Logo ©Juho Kajava

The Logo ©Juho Kajava

Humanistispeksi, despite suffering some technical kinks in the beginning, managed to make the audience forget they were watching a non-pro production and made some real theatre magic happen. I felt the audience actually started to care about the main characters’ fates and lives, which can be quite rare for any piece of theatre.

The song selection was mostly good and some of the songs, such as the Queen, Dream Theater, and Apulanta covers, were magnificent. Also, the casting was spot on this year, and some actors deserve special acclaim, such as Hannu Hästbacka as the Seagull, Sonja Palmu as the Owl and Henrikki Pöntinen as Elias. However the star of the show is without a doubt Helena Lahtinen who plays Näkki. Her deep, Adele-like singing voice and her proud yet tender facade won the audience over right from the start.

What sets “our” speksi apart from other faculties’ speksis is the spontaneous, not rehearsed Omstart! -calls and I think all students in the humanities should be very proud of this. The improv skills of actors have amazed me from the very first Humanistispeksi on. Wednesday’s performance had some golden improv moments, but suffered from the flip side of the non-rehearsed omstarts: crappy hecklers. I mean, come on. The fact that you have the permission to yell in the middle of a theatre performance doesn’t mean you should do it all the frigging time. The idea of an “omstart” is to make people laugh and make the piece funnier, not to delay its story to the point where it’s only making you laugh. But the actors pulled through with grace and like I said, some of the omstarts were excellent, such as the role changes between two characters, the more sensual striking-in-the-head with a rifle butt, and, of course, the second rounds of the songs.

The main problem in this Humanistispeksi can be spotted already in the subheading (Free translation: “Help your enemy. Accept your fears. Break your world.”) – It is too long and too complex. There are wonderful elements, but the production suffers from the classic syndrome of not killing your darlings. Each of the wonderful animal characters deserve their own short animation movies, but giving every single character (over 20) their own spot in the show was simply too much. The play lasted over three hours and was thus painstakingly long. Add to that the extra applause rolls in the end that clearly belong to the final night, not the second, and you had exhausted audience members who started to really just want to get out and go home.

The transitions from one scene to the next needed work as well. I think that if this wasn’t a speksi, the slow and often quiet endings of scenes would have worked better, but now they felt stiff.

For the most part, Metsä followed the old fashioned tracks of classic American musicals. I was then surprised that several songs that came back to back were tremendously similar to each other, such as “Valon voitto” and “Metsäämme jää”. It was a shame that some of the more impressive songs, such as “Ikihonka” felt buried under other songs. The same happened with the dance numbers, there were simply too many and the ones that were great had the danger of being buried alive by the numbers. Also. What is up with those dancer costumes? Come on. They would have deserved something more designed and special.

Despite some of the negative aspects mentioned here, Metsä was an ensemble the audience enjoyed tremendously. Some final touches and more importantly the painful process of deleting scenes and songs would have improved it, but the joy that you could read from the student actors’ faces made up for it. The love for theatre was tangible in Humanistispeksi.

I also want to applaud the brave, Tom of Finland-styled, love story. Although my old, mean Master of Arts companion did point out that an allegoric reading of the play suggests that homosexuality cannot exist in the realm of reality, within family and home, but has to exist in a fairy tale world. However, it can also be stated that the play suggests that homosexuality is a natural fact and its “spirit” is accepted to the company of age-old animal spirits, to the realm of holiness and purity. Elias+Aleksi Fanfic on demand.

Photo of the Cast. ©Susan Heikkinen

Photo of the Cast. ©Susan Heikkinen

Halloween for Pussies

Boo!

Kitty: Hi Ippy! Whatcha doing for Halloween this year?

Ippy: Hey Kitty! Basically avoiding it.

Kitty: Really? How come?

Ippy: Halloween parties are really awkward for me! There’s a story behind this, but it’s kind of embarrassing.

Kitty: Well this is the internet, so your secret is totally safe! Do tell!

Ippy: Haha yep, the safest place on earth, as Snowden would say :D

Ok, so here’s thing. I can’t watch horror movies. I was hijacked into watching a Japanese horror film at a friend’s birthday party when I was 15. I “braved” the first ten minutes of it, peeking between my fingers and trying to puncture my own eardrums to silence the creepy music. About 10 minutes into the movie there was a scene where someone’s fingers were slowly cracked, one by one by an unseen evil force. At that point I excused myself and left the party pretty much in tears. (mind you, it was like noon when we started watching the movie.) Anyway… I CANNOT watch horror films!

So at Halloween parties, everyone is always dressed up as some iconic character from a horror movie, and I never have a clue about who they’re supposed to be.

I end up avoiding small talk, stay near the breadsticks made to look like maggot-infested fingers, and make up excuses for why I’m not in costume.

Kitty:  I’m sorry to say I laughed a little at your story, but in all honesty, I have a confession to make.

Ippy: Oh please share! I honestly feel like a freak of nature. All the cool kids are into horror…

Boo!

Boo! © Kaisa Leino

Kitty:  Well, for me, I love costume parties, but I’m terrified of Halloween costumes and yes, horror movies. My fear of scary movies actually started when I was pretty young. I had a crazy teacher in the elementary school who let my whole class watch popular horror movies while she was in the teachers’ lounge… So, in short, I’ve watched all three Screams, Congo, Urban legends etc. before I was 12.

Ippy: Oh, you poor unfortunate child!!

Kitty: Yep! What makes Halloween particularly difficult and embarrassing for me is that I’m afraid of masks. If anyone would show up in my party with a Scream mask on, I wouldn’t let them in…

Ippy: Hahahaha! Finally, a kindred soul!!!

Kitty: I know right! I honestly thought I was the only one!

Ippy: Ditto!

Ippy: Although, now I’m starting to think there might be more closet Halloween pussies just waiting to come out.

Kitty: That might be true. Maybe it’s a cultural thing. We’re adults, so we’re not supposed to be scared of something we see in a movie?

Ippy: I think you’re right. Being able to handle horror is the epitome of coolness from middle school onward.

Kitty: Yes, I think that these franchises like Scream made it so that being a teenager meant to watch horror. Somehow it seems that people have forgotten that horror is just another movie genre. I don’t think that people would have any sort of “snort, what a pussy”- reaction if I told them that I hate American romantic comedies and don’t watch them.

Ippy: Yep! Horror seems to sit on this weird pedestal. Like if you’re REALLY a movie buff, you need to know how to appreciate gruesome violent deaths and demonic forces.

Kitty: And what I hate is that people might say they cannot handle scary movies, but they still watch them!

Ippy: I know! It’s such a lie though, I mean if you can’t handle them, you physically have to leave the room or be willing to do serious damage to your eyeballs and eardrums while attempting to watch one.

Kitty: Yup or be behind a pillow screaming ” OH GAWD WHAT IS HAPPENING?!” to your spouse.

Ippy: The maximum level of horror I can take, is the scene in LOTR when Bilbo momentarily turns into a monster!

Kitty: Wow, dude, that sh*it was scary! Like, hey, a warning might be nice?

Ippy: Yeah!  Frodo COULD have winked, just a teeny bit at the audience or something to say “something horrifying is about to happen, so please don’t take another sip of that coke!

Kitty: Disclaimer: “This movie contains Aragorn and Legolas who look nothing like the really good pictures in your head, but they are ok, and Frodo is really cute in his own wide-eyed way. But there’s this one scene where this sweet old hobbit gets really scary looking for a second with no warning and you are in danger of peeing your pants”

Ippy: Would have saved me a few pairs of underwear…

Kitty: Yupppp.

Ippy: Which is a pretty big deal for a student. So thanks Peter Jackson, thanks a lot!!

Kitty: BTW, have you ever thought about WHY you’re scared of horror movies?

Ippy: That’s a good question. The supernatural aspect of it really creeps me out. Anything hovering through the air on its own is just beyond my capacity. I can’t deal with it. What about you?

Kitty: Well, I’ve been thinking about this quite a lot. There was this one Finnish horror movie called Sauna (spoiler alert!) that I really wanted to watch because I had seen the trailer and I thought the visuals looked amazing and the story was interesting. Parts of it were really hard to watch, but then when the monster appeared, I wasn’t scared anymore. The thing is that there was a little girl the main characters took advantage of and killed, who came back from the dead. Somehow, the violence and horror the main characters went through after that all made sense.

In comparison, I tried to watch the movie called Hills Have Eyes and I just couldn’t. I felt nauseated and just plain scared and I think the main reason for that was because the violence didn’t make any sense.

So I think it’s the randomness of the violence in most horror movies which scares me the most. Well, that and the fact that I really get sucked into movies. The sound effects really work on me and I get spooked really easily…

Ippy: So you can actually watch one if the violence in it follows some (twisted) logic? Interesting!

Kitty: Well, I don’t really have that much evidence to support that theory.

Ippy: And I’m definitely not going to encourage you to formulate one!

Kitty: Thank you, please don’t.

Ippy: But yeah, I agree that the sound effects have an important role. I’m that person in the movie theatre who has to close both eyes and ears and burrow into the side of whoever is sitting next to me when a horror trailer comes on.

Kitty: I have been thinking about why is it so that we tend to be so critical about other genres using the “cheap tricks” but not horror movies?

Ippy: I really don’t know! Again, haven’t seen any, but from what I’ve been told about the plots, horror seems to have a pretty fixed repertoire of storylines and tropes. People watch horror to be spooked, and not so much for the deep insights the movies offer, which could justify the use of “cheap tricks”. By the way, I’m pretty much waiting for a group of angry horror fans to come tar and feather me for my ignorance ;)

Kitty: Haha, same here. Sorry angry horror fans, our aliases are bullet proof! But it might also be that the “cheap tricks” make the horror controlled. You get something out of willingly putting yourself into a position to be scared?

Ippy: But WHY the hell does anyone want to be scared??

Kitty: the adrenaline?

Ippy: Then get a nipple piercing, go skydiving, eat dubious meat, jaywalk! There are so many other ways to get an adrenalin rush!

Kitty: Jump into a pool from 5 meters, go to Space Shot in Linnanmäki…

Ippy: drink one of those flame shots, hang out at the railway station around 2.00 am on a Saturday night.

Kitty: Eat wasabi. Or mystery sushi.

Ippy: Yes, a spoonful of wasabi is where it’s at! I mean, the list of adrenaline fixes that don’t involve watching people get beheaded by a chainsaw are endless!

Kitty: Although we have to admit that in many of our examples the possibility of actual death, injuries or pierced nipples is pretty high.

Ippy: True, but I think I’d take a spoonful of wasabi over another traumatic film experience any day!

Kitty: Same here, although I’m starting to understand something. With horror movies some people get that same rush from the safe distance.

Ippy: Each to their own, I guess!

Kitty: Agreed.

Ippy: So I never got around to asking about your Halloween plans this year. What are you up to?

Kitty: Well, staying as far away from masks as I can to start of with! And no Halloween candy or food that looks like something it’s not, like fingers or maggots, because that’s just gross. But I AM actually throwing an annual Halloween party. Guests usually dress up as something not that scary but otherwise awesome and we watch a non-horror Halloweenish movie.

Ippy: That sounds like a perfect Halloween party! Non-horror Halloweenish movies? Do tell me more!

Kitty: Well, my list of Halloween For Pussies- movies are Beetlejuice, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Interview with the Vampire, Nightmare Before Christmas, Corpse Bride and The Crow.

Ippy: Liking the list! And also, this conversation has given me enough courage to be more open about my horror disability. From now on, I’m just going to be like: ” Hey, I can’t watch scary movies, so don’t bother trying to make me guess your character, ‘cause I won’t know. I’ll be by the snack table if you wish to discuss non-Halloween related topics.”

Kitty: Haha, that’s awesome! Thanks for this soul-cleansing Halloween chat. Stay scared!

Ippy: Will do! Happy mask-free Hallows Eve!

By Kaisa Leino and Inka Vappula

In Space No One Can Hear You Clap

Doesn't get realer than that.

Or Why You Should Applaud in Live Theatres

Doesn't get realer than that.

Doesn’t get realer than that.

Recently, I had the pleasure to attend two filmed theatre pieces. One of them was filmed live from London (Rocky Horror, gasp!), but the other was just a recorded showing. When Frankenstein’s monster shouted, “Come on Frankenstein!” and disappeared into the fog, my friends and I started clapping in a relieved frenzy. This instantly aroused some snarky, supposedly-under-their-breath comments from our fellow audience members.

I started wondering afterwards why clapping is important, even when the performers cannot hear or see you. The obvious reason is that applause is not only for the people performing. They are big audible neon light signs that say “I DIG IT!” to everybody around you.

Of course, applause is for you as well. The best plays I’ve seen have made me forget everything about my life, they have taken me to another place, another realm. The greatest of actors have made me weep with them. Right when you’re almost falling off of the edge of your seat, the piece lets you go, and the lights go dark. When the lights go back on, you tumble down to your life, but just before that, you raise your hands and let it all out. The sound of hands clapping together grants catharsis.

A more anthropologic way of thinking about theatre is that it is a ritual, where every discourse and every act is exactly that, an act. And the audience has a role in this make believe ritual. Nothing you see is “real” on the stage, so why would your applause be any different?

But there is also the culture of applauding. I think that the actors whose work is broadcast across the globe know they are being watched by more people than the those inside their theatre.

Have you ever been applauded to? Nothing quite results in such a rush, relief, and joy. Now imagine that instead of your folks applauding at your elementary school’s Christmas play, you know that people around the world are applauding at and for you. I think I, the audience, ought to play my part in that feeling.

So, the next time someone snorts, “Ha ha, don’t they know the actors cannot hear them?” after a broadcast play, I just smirk, shake my head, and think, buddy, I think they can.

Chief Editor’s Note: Drop the Mic

kaisaleino

So, the moment to say “So long suc-…,” I mean, goodbye, is here.

This is my last Chief Editor’s Note. It’s been four years, and I am so proud to leave BTSB and you, our readers, in the capable hands of our next editor-in-chief, Jesper Simola and continue as one of BTSB’s editors.

I kept thinking and thinking what I wanted to say in my last Note. I could have done this in a very cool way and just write about some cool current issues and in the end of the article just casually let you know that this is it.

But instead I’m taking the not-so-cool, but oh-so-very-important and personal road of nostalgia.

I can honestly say that being an editor and, later on, an editor-in-chief of a student paper was a dream of mine.

I first got interested in student journalism when I was only applying to university. I did 9 to 5 reading days in a tiny white building right next to Metsätalo, which back then had a really cool reading space. On my breaks, I drank Coke from a vending machine in the lobby, and found the student magazines of political science students. I was mesmerized: These very cool, colorful magazines, were free for grabs (like City-magazine which I loved) and they were full of articles about various topics. Also, they seemed to have this fascinating atmosphere of inside jokes that I really wanted to get into.

When I got accepted to study English philology, I found out that SUB also had a student paper. I headed to a meeting in pub Kaisla, filled with enthusiasm and ideas.

Now I’m supposed to tell you about my glorious journalistic road, full of supporting people and inspiring moments, from being a newbie editor to becoming an editor-in-chief.

And don’t get me wrong – the story is full of those things too.

But in all honesty, at first I was disappointed. There were no real DLs and we sat in the bar for hours, talking about nothing really (one thing I still don’t like when students meet. Come on, we all have a life. Let’s wrap things up in an hour and THEN gossip and make bad jokes. Or you know, get back to our lives). You received little to no critique about your pieces and generally among us newbies there was a general feeling of confusion about what was going on. After the meeting, I just felt irritated.

This could have been the end, but instead I gave BTSB one more chance, digging into its archives, finding some very cool, some serious and some delightfully funny, articles by different writers. I felt a spark while reading those pieces and thought that this, this is what I wanted to do.

To people who are familiar with me, it comes as little surprise that it didn’t take long for me to take charge. First, I was offering way too many ideas and making everybody crazy with them, then I started helping out the chief editor, then I became the co-editor-in-chief and, finally, I was the sole chief editor and decided it was time this baby had a makeover.

BTSB as it is today started to form through some rapid changes, like imposing DLs and meeting schedules and routines, expecting people, who promised to write for next issue, to actually write their articles, giving regular critique to other editors, thinking about how to get the freshmen excited and so forth.

And what often happens with every change happened here too. Some people loved them, some people hated them, and most were nonchalant. I’ve come to understand that some people even planned a mutiny against my reign of terror.

Nevertheless, more and more editors started to show up for the meetings and we actually started to publish almost nine full issues every year.

I know I sound like a dictator when I say that creativeness blossoms in a properly made and formatted frame. But in all seriousness, I do believe that having a clear format for the meetings and submitting your articles, having a proper and professional looking website to show around and a system to get freshmen interested in us, made all of this happen.

And of course all of this wouldn’t have happened without the wonderful people behind BTSB. I cannot thank every editor, old and new, enough who supported my task as your editor-in-chief and making these four years so exciting, challenging and exciting!

Also, I want to take this opportunity to thank you dear reader, for giving us your support by clicking our articles and by that help to sustain student e-journalism.

I ended my first official solo Chief Editor’s Note by saying that promises are nothing, and that’s why I wouldn’t make any promises, but rather just show what I can do as the editor-in-chief of BTSB.

Some time ago one of our freshmen editors told me that the reason he joined BTSB was because he saw and read one of my Notes. Others told me that the reason they’ll manage to cram BTSB into their busy schedules is the fact that the atmosphere inside the board of editors is so supportive and my guidance makes them feel at ease and inspired, even when making time to write feels challenging.

So, I think I have shown what I can do. Now it is time to thank you, drop the mic, and let loose the next editor-in-chief.

But before that, welcome to the Summer Issue of 2015! Spend your summer days by reading about Jesper’s thoughts about a graduation ceremony, why Eve loves Harry, what Milla thinks of passion and skating, Laura’s trip to Istanbul, Inka’s thoughts on white saviors, how is it for Sampsa to produce Humanistispeksi, Ari’s experiences from a music festival in Barcelona, which anime movies Elizabeth recommends to you even though you don’t like anime, why Esko got into PhD studies and what happens in chapter 7 of Ile’s ongoing story. After reading this giant issue, it’s autumn already and time for the next issue! See you then!