It’s impossible to write about Geography without slipping into the familiar cliches. But, it really does deserve all the shit that gets flung at it. Recently, I met one geographer friend with a clipboard at the Cowley round-about, recording how many cyclists wore helmets and how many did not. His grand, Nobel-Prize winning thesis? His thesis was that more women wore bicycle helmets than men.
Geography is surely the ketamine of Oxford degrees. Originally an anaesthetic tailored to knock out a dumb animal, it is now taken by thick public school kids and can be smashed out before a night out.
I know enough geographers who still wet their beds and I imagine a geography hole (a G-hole?) must come in the form of a trip to Dorset to study coastal erosion.
Oxford’s key subject? Yeah, in a roundabout sort of way.

Buller, Buller, Buller, blah blah blah

The Bullingdon Club have got into the Tabloids again — yawn. The Daily Mail, The Sun and The Mirror love it, reporting how Antonio Gottardello and Alasdair Macpherson each downed 43 glasses of port. 43? Each? It seems the papers have given up fact-checking these types of articles, only cutting out the sentence about Gottardello and Macpherson arriving on a magic carpet.
Surely, this is a different brand of Bullingdon from the 80s, when David Cameron and Boris Johnson would troop out to Christ Church to pose for its annual photograph. That was distasteful, smashing up restaurants, putting pot plants through windows and consequently spending the night in jail.
Today’s Bullingdon club are quite frankly just a bit sad; the Daily Mail reports them chanting ‘Buller, Buller, Buller’. What is clear is that these guys are above all obsessed with fulfilling the stereotype of a Bullingdon member, an exaggerated stereotype perpetuated by tabloids and the 2014 film ‘Riot Club’. The members who join today do not do so with the same reasons as their idols Johnson and Cameron, to be part of a debauched drinking society, instead they join in an attempt to make clichés of themselves. These chumps who ‘crash’ Oxford University Conservative Association’s Port and Policy to shout ‘I’ve got a better castle than you’, shouldn’t be treated with serious consideration, scorn or anger instead they should be laughed at.

Oxford United

If you have not been to Oxford United’s Kassam Stadium, it is worth a visit. The pitch sits down-wind of a sewage plant, and you can order a dish called a ‘Hommit’ at half time. After trying a mouthful, a more appropriate name for this Oxfordshire delicacy suddenly sprung to my mind.
The stadium is only three stands big and every time a loafing Oxford United player hoofs it over the bar, some poor ball-boy is sent to fetch it from the Vue cinema parking lot before they can restart the game.
Perhaps, you should not expect too much from a team who’s largest banner reads ‘Oxford United. Keep the Faith’. Indeed, at times, the players do seem to run around like a bunch of persecuted Christians in the Colosseum. But, at least the Romans were not so barbaric as to dress up their victims in such a garish yellow kit.

Fines in Library

The Cherwell lead this week’s edition of their paper with another ‘breaking’ scoop. This time about the Bodleian Libraries charging students £167,689.78 in book fines this past academic year. Bodleian Libraries are the Wonga of the University Library world. That much has been made obvious by the Cherwell. They hit those who cannot defend themselves the hardest. They force us students into spiralling debt, and push us towards betting shops and a life of crime.
I am particularly guilty of accruing fines, and currently owe the English Faculty Library £10. But, I have owed the EFL £10 since Michaelmas 2016. Admittedly, whenever I walk into the English Library I feel like Pablo Escobar on the run from the FBI. However, I wonder how much more the Bodleian Libraries would make if they actually enforced their fines.
I may be wrong. Perhaps at my graduation ceremony I will be tackled to the ground by the Bodleian bailiffs and forced to cough up the various twenty pence fines after all. I would not look forward to a showdown with some of the librarians here.

Sulking graduate fails in attempt to sue Oxford

Oxford have surely dodged a bullet in defeating Faiz Siddiqui in court, after he attempted to sue the university for a cool million pounds over not achieving a first.
A victory for Siddiqui would have been a worrying precedent to have set. Imagine the entire alumni of Queen’s or Pembroke realising that there were prizes to be collected from doing terribly in Finals.
Siddiqui was only suing for a low 2:1, colleges like Pembroke or Queen’s, that have been locked into a battle over who can claim the bottom spot in the Norrington and who have collected more two twos than a performance of The Nutcracker, could have suddenly hit the big money. A reunion dinner at either college would start to look like a gathering of the Sunday Times Rich List.

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