So, you may have noticed something. This blog is over three days late. That’s three days Oxford had to exist without some extended ramblings tenuously linked to a piece of poetry found at the last minute in a college library- people were roaming St. Giles looking broken and lost, constantly checking their phones for the Cherwell update that never came. What caused this disaster? Kidnapping? A surprise sink hole? A game of hide and seek gone very, very wrong?

No- much worse. It was, of course, because of The Man. That’s right, people. The one who makes the final decision, that bastard who reduces our lives to abject misery. The Man. The Head Honcho. My tutor. The scientist who discovered dark matter, Fritz Zwiky, was notoriously a grumpy old git, who enjoyed calling people ‘spherical bastards’ because, whichever way you looked at them, “they were still a complete bastard.” Gentlemen, you only have to look at your tutor: here is a spheroid sod of the first degree.

Now, when I began my studies at this esteemed establishment, I was told my almost everyone I asked (the girl at the newsagents, the police officer that Friday night, everyone) that Oxford University had a ‘unique one to one tutoring system’. I only realise now, when it’s far too late to turn back, that this was a warning, not an attraction. You poor, innocent first years will already have had your blood spilt by these maniacs- us hardened second years are like Catnip Evergreen or whoever it is, are used to the brutal Hunger Games nature of the tutorial system. I can only imagine the haggard, bloody-knuckled life of the third years: some sort of re-enactment of The Revenant, perhaps.

Many noble friends have fallen in the arena of the tutorial: if I could initiate a moment’s silence over a blog, I would (I’m afraid you’ll have to organise that amongst yourselves). Now, I’m not trying to initiate some Les Mis style of rebellion: I’m pretty sure that how Cambridge started, and look where they are now the poor sods. No, I’m suggesting a much more subtle style of revolt: of constantly taking the piss. It’s honestly the only way to deal with Oxford and to subvert The Conspiracy: like a really sarcastic Republic in Star Wars. This has been going on for years: even Philip Larkin, ex-St John’s and professional manic depressive, was in on the act. This recently discovered poem, written in response to Fritz Zwicky’s comment, shows the full power of brutal, cutting sarcasm at its best. I’ll leave the rest to Phil: so remember, when tutors give you lemons, don’t make lemonade: deliver a damningly snarky comment, call them a spherical bastard, drop the mic and leave, preferably high fiving someone on your way out. Oh, and happy 3rd week everyone.

The response of the spherical bastards by Philip Larkin* (probably)

“Astronomers are spherical bastards. No matter how you look at them they are just bastards.” – Fritz Zwicky, discoverer of Dark Matter


Yes, but we’re not all that bad Fritzy:

At least we’re all 3D dickheads,

Not those shallow, 2D circular bastards

That have no bloody depth.

And you shouldn’t really blame us,

It’s not our fault your horoscope is bad

And that you can’t find love

Simply because your stars aren’t aligned.

Face up to it. It’s science. (Well, kind of.)

Anyway, that’s all rich coming from someone

Who’s supposedly discovered ‘dark matter’-

What the fuck is that? Some filthy space version

Of the Darknet- like porno for scientists?

It all sounds slightly racist, in our opinion.

You dirty old scientist with your greasy hair,

Sweaty palms and your dodgy ‘dark matter’.

We don’t care what you call us anyway,

We happy to be named spherical bastards

By some sad fucker with a stupid name

That sounds like a crappy stripper alter ego

And who can’t square up like a man

And accept his personally triangulated star sign.

We can just roll with the punches.


*the author may perhaps have been shamelessly promoting his own work under the guise of Larkin, another grumpy old sod.