Blog updates (‘blupdates’) might be slightly less regular over the festive season, so to be sure you miss nothing, dunk your email address into the box on the right!
You know the week’s going to be an entertaining one when Sussex University lands on the homepage of the Daily Mail. Last time it was because some of m’colleagues threw rocks at a Tory MP; this time the coverage was about the Students’ Union’s Drama Society getting drunk and smashing up a bar.
This is very midwinter madness, but to be fair, the Mail didn’t report the full story; the daily doth protest too much. In fact, the Drama Society’s event was entitled Sh*t Faced Shakespeare, and featured a group of performers imbibing large quantities of alcohol immediately before [an attempt at] a performance of Macbeth.
Apparently the tradition of actors remaining sober during shows in the Brighton area is a custom more honoured at the beach than in the observance.
According to the Mail, the carnage was so bad that paramedics were called to the scene (Act II Scene IV) where they administered minor first aid: a bandage here, a sling of outrageous fortune there. A spokesperson for NHS Sussex said, “Our health advice to student actors is clear: screw your courage to the sticking-plaster, and neither a borrower nor on a bender be.”
I somehow doubt that the University will be listing this bout of media attention in their Sussex in the News roll of honour, but perhaps they think that the whole furore is simply much ado about nothing.
We had our first exam of the year this week. Although technically, it was described as a class test (personally I don’t think they should bring class into it at all).
The difference between an exam and a class test is that the latter is sat in a dark, cramped, crowded lecture theatre where you can easily copy from the students on either side and in front of you: in fact, there’s only one original essay in the whole room, written by some poor sod in the centre of the front row, and the remainder are Chinese-whispered variations of it.
As the Prof went round handing out question papers face down, he instructed us, “Please don’t turn them over yet. Just try your best to read the questions through the paper.”
He also reminded us, “This is a closed-book test. I’ll be walking round throughout so please don’t let me see you with any notes or I’ll have to take you outside and cuff you round the ear, or whatever it is I’m supposed to do.” OK; I won’t let him see me with any notes or with the copy of Hegel’s The Philosophy of Right that I smuggled in inside my pants.
Two of the questions on offer were:
1. Is property theft?
2. ‘Vive la révolution.’ Discuss.’
How could anyone say Sussex is left-wing?
A bit of a sing-song
According to the BBC, our enlightened government is likely to set up “citizen police academies” to teach ordinary people how to take the law into their own hands, eg. training on how to conduct a citizen’s arrest.
Just to prove how ignorant people can be, one person ripe for this training was asked about citizen’s arrests by an interviewer, and replied, “I was under the impression that there was no such thing.” That person is now running a large police force somewhere on the south coast.
Anyway, we asked our audience what lessons they think should be taught in these academies, and the answer is:
In other alcohol-fuelled and other police-related news, this week the Metropolitan Police raided a bar in Hackney and seized an expensive bottle of fine Scotch whiskey on the not-very-credible pretext that it had been infused with genuine whale skin.
Personally I think they just wanted a booze-up. I mean, whiskey mixed with whale skin? It sounds very fishy. And rummy.
Have I Got News For EU
During a particularly uninteresting pre-Christmas lecture last week, I ended up playing European Politics Radio Times instead of taking notes. Gems included…
- Strictly Come Danzig
- Lock, Stockholm and Two Smoking Barrels
- Harry Potter & the Unicameral Chamber of Secrets
- Do Not Diszczerbiak (Some people won’t get this. -Ed.)
- Taggart (Likewise. -Ed.)
- Top of the Popes
- The Spy Who Devolved Me
- It’s My Party System – broadcast on Lijphart Radio FM
- Scottish Independence Day