Pete’s week


    The first thing I ever wrote for Cherwell was an argument for shooting every student journalist in the face. This was an overt encouragement to the murder of thousands, and was perhaps taken too seriously. The next week, the paper printed a whinging reader’s retort: the complaint was that the piece was ‘uninsightful’ – rather than, say, that it was an encouragement to the murder of thousands. Another paper then printed an article naming me as an accomplice in Oxford’s ‘intellectual suicide’: I’d been mean and cynical, and not really very constructive at all. This, apparently, was the flaw. Rather than, say, that I’d encouraged the murder of thousands. To these people, everything we ever say has to have a constructive point: it has to be rational, supported by logical proofs – even if all this ever gives us is banal statements of the criminally obvious. Things like ‘Nick Griffin isn’t good’, or ‘Equality is nice’ – one reason why every serious comment piece is loathsomely trite. There’s no room for saying or doing something simply because it’s original or fun: to these carping killjoys, there’s no point. Give these people ten years in power, and by the end of them, the only reason we’ll fuck is to keep the thermostat down. We’ll smile – but just to keep our muscles from rotting, and our faces caving in. We might as well be dead. Maybe that’s extreme, but who cares?Balliol voted to bring The Sun into their JCR; within seconds, there were yells to yo-yo it right back out again, with various blaring busybodies blaming it for everything from ethnic warfare, through snails, to all human woe. One member said it would make an ‘unwelcoming atmosphere for women’, as if the copies planned to arrange themselves into a giant phallus whenever only women remained, and chase them down – sitting flat and innocent when the men returned, making the whole experience akin to a rapist’s reworking of Toy Story.But I know The Sun might be wrong, and frankly I can’t waste time caring. It doesn’t claim to be the font of all truth and wisdom – and it doesn’t have to be, because I enjoy it, and fun always beats thought. I like laughing at poor people’s problems. I like pretending that we’re all being steered by gays and gypsies in a flaming binge-and-needles handcart towards hell’s very centre. Sometimes there’s more than intellect to everything, and it doesn’t matter who’s right, as long as someone’s enjoying it. This works whether it’s me advocating genocide for sheer thrills, or Rupert Murdoch calling to gun down anyone in tracksuits; some things can just be taken less seriously than others. None of us are out lynching any time soon; not everyone gets corrupted. You have to have a little faith in people.


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