Every night in Oxford, just as on every night in every mindless clone town around the country, a bout of collective insanity is conducted by our otherwise rational fellow human beings. Briefly – oh, how mercifully briefly – the pillars of Western learning are reduced to mere urinals.
The ancient cobbled streets are filled with queuing hordes of gibbering, cackling imbeciles. These are the clubbers, intention: to club. They know they will not enjoy their evening, and their only consolation is that they will simultaneously stop anyone else from enjoying theirs. Clubbing has to go. It is the bane of my existence as much as it is, admit it, the bane of yours.
They don their finery. For the ‘lads’ (ugh) there are the ‘casual’ T-shirts (yours for £70). For their female counterparts, there are the far-less practical, and far-more expensive, high-heeled shoes. Off they go. A quick pre-lash first in the college bar, merrily ruining it for those of us who just want to drown our sorrows in peace.
Thus inebriated they sally forth into the wild unknowns of the High. There they will proceed to bankrupt themselves and their parents by spending lavishly on vile beer and cocktails, flail around a bit, take 15 million photographs, flail around a bit more, laugh hysterically, and finally, climatically, head for home, another small chunk of their souls lost forever.
Theoretically the purpose of clubbing is threefold. To socialise, to listen to music and to dance. Not one of these is something that people actually do. You can’t socialise in clubs: it’s too loud and everybody’s dancing, which renders talking to them impossible. As for the music, I need hardly remark how uniformly crap it is. Not bad, not mediocre, just crap. The worst songs are the ones about clubbing: look out for them and you’ll see what I mean. And the dancing… it not only destroys talent, it creates un-talent.
The great bassist John Paul Jones once got so annoyed with people dancing to his music, he wrote a song which people physically couldn’t dance to. That’s the spirit, I say. Dancing and music should be kept strictly separate. People would have a lot less fun, but it would lead to the end of clubs, which would be infinitely better in the long run.
This is irrelevant anyway, because it misses the point. We all go clubbing for three completely different reasons to the ones we theoretically go for. One is pure kudos; the others are to get drunk and, of course, to pull. Formerly the hot-blooded males of Oxford would look for bad, unsatisfying drunken sex in the numerous and excellent brothels which were scattered across the city. This is no longer necessary, because if they preen and prance enough they might just get off with that fat girl from Christ Church with the funny eye whom you wouldn’t even look at on a ‘bad’ night.
A more serious point, in my opinion, is about drunkenness. I confess I have actually enjoyed clubbing while drunk. I don’t think there is any other way to enjoy it, unless one counts drugs. But clubbing is bad for getting drunk as well, because everything is so expensive. People do not enjoy clubs, but they do enjoy alcohol. They enjoy alcohol almost as much as they enjoy social kudos.
And that, my friends, brings us to the crux of the matter. The purpose of clubbing, as Orwell would say, is clubbing. It is an end in itself, designed to ensure that we are not seen as being out of the proverbial loop.
I beg of ye, Oxonians, to stop with the clubbing. I have never spoken to anyone who enjoys it, really. By all means get hopelessly pissed- that is enjoyable- but don’t go ruining it by a night on the town.
Go to a nice quiet pub. Sit. Calmly and serenely pickle what remains of your liver. Laugh a bit and roll around. I guarantee you’ll have the night of your life.