Vice issue cover artwork by Yury Aleksanyan.
As darkness makes itself known across Edinburgh and winter begins to bear its sombre face, we enter the fifth year of The Rattlecap. From the depths of the shadows emerges the very first issue of the academic year.
Vices – we all have them. Whether it’s the pack of cigarettes hidden in our bedside drawer, that one person we probably shouldn’t be texting, or the infamous late-night kebab. Vice is something we don’t like to admit but when we get bold enough to, it reveals an incredibly human part of ourselves. Vice, although defined as wicked or immoral behaviour is also a source of liberation and solidarity. By transforming shame to celebration we can all experience a reframing of sorts.
Scarlett Smyth burrows into the complexities of the position women held in the mind of Leonard Cohen, and asks to what degree this might or might not be interpreted as a vice. Lyrics are examined, contradictions are addressed, and the ongoing question is asked, “Isn’t all writing just using people for your daydreams?”.
Our Creative Writing section bears the fruit of such daydreams. Lola Weisselberg, for example, reimagines the second coming of Christ as a uniquely human experience, and our very own Jessie Irvin Rose presents herself standing in the sea, as in her queerness, “intangible and unconfined to the straight line of a horizon”.
If you’re feeling philosophical today, take a look at Emily Tennant’s discussion of the lasting impact of Dante’s notions of heaven and hell from The Divine Comedy, or Caitlin Tambini’s account of how the notion of vice has been feminised from its conception.
If you like to keep your Affairs knowledge Current, consider what Mehrunissa Malick has to say about prison privatisation and the global inability to effectively reform the prison system, or Ruth Stainer’s exploration of the infuriating gendered censorship of bodies on social media.
We’ve been truly spoiled with this month’s issue. Both our writers and illustrators have made for a diverse and raw October publication; for this, we want to say a massive thank you for all the hard work (and fun, of course).
The Vice issue marks our first ever issue as Editors-in-Chief - how exciting! We cannot wait to see the gems that are submitted to us throughout the upcoming year, and we ask for your patience as we attempt to fit into the gigantic and impressive shoes handed down to us by the past five years’ worth of Rattlecap committees. A huge thank you to our predecessors, Isi and Justine, for guiding us into our positions with kindness and answering all our questions. To our incredible committee of 22/23, we also want to say a special thank you - you’ve really outdone yourselves with this issue, and we’re looking forward to picking your brains for the next year.
With all that being said, please enjoy the Vice issue, and anticipate another year of radical writing and art. Great things are coming!
Ali and Rebecca