It is a truth universally acknowledged that an Oxford student, disdainful towards the populist excesses of Atik or Bridge, and in possession of a fiver, must be in want of a Cellar night.

The booming synth bassline kicked in, and their eyes met. Not even the sweat visibly dripping off the ceiling could break their staring. His eyes found themselves drawn to her baggy navy sweater, emblazoned on which was the name of a university located somewhere in the far-flung thirteen colonies.

Occupied in observing his attentions, she did not suspect she was also becoming an object of interest in the eyes of another. This gentleman had looked at her without admiration at the ball – for he had taken a gram of MDMA. Now, he was forced to acknowledge the pleasing nature of her garments – and that he could at least tolerate her disturbing inability to differentiate between vinyl RPM rates.

Across the floor, her friends, Claret Stripes in hand, sneered:

“That fop over there shows no familiarity whatsoever with the work of the great Scandinavia composer, Terje”.

So mainstream

So mainstream.

They also took exception to his clothing, only one of which did not come from a shop, classed as “high street”. After all, our young gentleman was not an alumni of even a middling public school, and therefore could not afford to fritter his modest income.

Neither the attention of another man, nor such cutting comments bothered the lust-struck pair, though.  As they pulled shapes of the most serious nature, the questions flowed back and forth.

“Are you au fait with the cinematic majesty of Bergman?”, he earnestly enquired. This was in spite of his only having seen Winter Light and Autumn Sonata. A brief nod indicated she was. He need not know, she thought to herself, that her knowledge of Bergman had been garnered primarily from IMDb.

“What are your opinions on the current trend of gentrification?”. Again, no words were needed, both their faces contorting in disgust at the forces of free trade (so doggedly championed by Mr Cameron) and the decline of the charming prole in industrial cities. 

The irony escaped them, however, that by being clad in garments hitherto deemed emblematic of the great unwashed, and by using their VISA Mastercards to purchase Claret Stripes (contactless, of course), they reinforced the mainstream orthodoxies they so railed against.

In fact, were any leading physician present, they would instantly diagnose such ostentatious dilettantism as a severe case of pride and pretentiousness – a condition wont to arise upon entering such an establishment as Cellar.

Here then, we conclude – upon the hoary old adage of be yourself, something a lot of scholars in this fair seat of learning might wish to consider trying once in a while. 

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