Certain dates stick with you for the entirety of your life. For instance, I always remember December 7, 1995, as I was born on this day. I remember it well. Golden Eye had just been released in cinemas. One such date has recently been scored in my mind: August 4, 2016. After a summer of evil, where evil Theresa May, the deporter, came to power on the back of the evil Brexit vote, I took comfort in the fact that surely no more evil would come around until at least 2017.
Unfortunately, this was not to be. It was on August 4 that The Tab took a well-earned break from discussing the major issues of the day to report on a heart-breaking piece of local Oxford news: Wahoo, Oxford’s premier nightspot, was to close after many years of happy business. This week saw Wahoo’s last hurrah, as the club shut its doors for the last time in a Halloween spook-tacular. I couldn’t actually attend the night, as I was busy buying milk. This makes reviewing the evening a difficult task, especially as Wahoo is famed for the diversity of its entertainment. Perhaps now would be a fitting time to cast my memory back over the many happy hours I have spent in the venue.
I will never forget Fresher’s week at Wahoo, with its ‘fish-tacular’ theme. What a night! The club gradually filling with seawater and kelp until we were all bumping jovially against the ceiling. It was then that the organisers began to release exotic fish and dolphins into the dancefloor, and we all thrashed about in a fit of fishy ecstasy. Wahoo’s weekly vomit party, the notorious ‘bile-tacular’, was a staple for me as a fresher.
I am sure every Oxford student has similar memories from Wahoo and is, like me, full of uncertainty and sick with worry about a university with no facility for weekly wet play. In their tear-jerking report, The Tab cited the all-too familiar phenomenon of property development as the reason for Wahoo’s closure. As with all of The Tab’s reportage, this may or not be true—I have reason to suspect a rather different motive for Wahoo’s sudden demise. It is common knowledge the UK is currently in the grips of a savage intergenerational conflict.
On the one side, the beautiful, fun-loving, Buzzfeed-reading youth. On the other, the corpse-like, Brexit-voting, biscuit-eating old people. The nightclub is the current battleground for this conflict. Accepted theory in Conservative circles dictates that the only way to erase the toxic legacy of young people having fun in a room is to convert that room into a place where farm animals have their throats slit and get made into pies. Within a few years, the space where we all once so willingly exchanged bodily fluids will most likely be occupied by a state-of-the-art abattoir—a common fate for the 21st century nightclub in Britain.
It has been known for many years, at least in the circles I move in, that the processed-meat lobby has been working tirelessly to kill off youth culture. I think it slightly more than coincidence that the closure of Wahoo was announced shortly after the accession of the Theresa May, who is notoriously passionate about the slaughter and roasting of living animals.
What, then, is to be done? Each of us will find our own ways to stand strong against the oppressor’s carving knives, but in the interests of solidarity, I will share my own particular act of resistance with the people of Oxford. Every morning at sunrise I have taken to climbing the college bell-tower and shouting ‘Wahoo!’ as loudly as I can manage across the rooftops. I keep this up until I am violently sick into main quad, at which point I stop and wipe the vomit from my mouth, reassured that I have done what little I can to help.