Merton College Winter Ball, whose ticket sale went live last week, bears the unique privilege of being the only unproblematic College Ball of 2016.

The College has opted for a ‘Winter’ theme, cannily placing the Ball in mid-November to give it a winter context, thus sidestepping any potential allegations of seasonal appropriation.

Not so Pembroke Cambridge’s ‘Around the World in 80 Days’, which had to be rebranded after students were reportedly caught buying up the town’s whole balloon supply with intent to appropriate a hot air balloon.

Of course, the cancellation of the theme meant that there was rather a terrifying surplus of hot air in the town, originally intended to balloon elevatorary purposes, which had to be directed – in the form of angry JCR motions and frothing journo-hackery – at toppling every other Ball theme in the Fens.

Meanwhile, in Oxford, the thematic battle-ground (somewhere in University Parks, presumably) is littered with the corpses of the negatively connotative and potentially upsetting. A phalanx of brave new themes inevitably replace the old, however, with ‘Orient Express’ giving way to ‘a non-specific, non-dichotomising theme replacement service’, while Magdalen’s attempt to repeat the past has been consigned to it, with a ‘25th June, 2016’ theme drafted in. The negative connotations of the present, however, have already proved too much for some, with all associated images of ISIS, Tories and Chris Patten causing a veritable maelstrom at party-pooper HQ*.

Luckily for those of you who have already bought Merton tickets, the ‘Winter’ theme is unlikely to ruffle any feathers – although there are reported rumblings with regards to the theme’s associations with disappointing slush, general poorliness and the Siege of Moscow, which has already been branded ‘unhelpful’, ‘potentially not un-problematic’ and ‘not Christ Church so we don’t care’.

*Rhymes with Sod ‘em.

This article has 4 comments

  1. Lord Patten is bae <3 <3 <3

  2. HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

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