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Class

The Chav Hunter

I have observed before that Cambridge has Goths like other cities have pigeons. Thanks to The Guardian online (in turn thanks to Pashmina in her comment at Quinquireme), I have discovered what they get up to in the summer months: shooting townies.

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Toff Of The Pops

James Delingpole has also noticed James Blunt’s pedigree and the resulting article is very entertaining indeed. Another explanation is that dreamy, floppy, public schoolboy music – “bedwetter music” as Creation Records’ founder Alan McGee once cruelly put it – is very much in vogue at the moment, and has been for quite some time. It […]

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Nice Distinctions

British elites have been inventive and subtle in preserving their advantages. Their most important achievement has been to tilt Britain towards meritocracy and then restrict access to the means by which citizens can prove their “merit”. Those amongst the rich and connected who fancy themselves as progressives have played into the hands of the most […]

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Music and Language Roundup

I noticed this story a little while back and it made me smile. It’s like John Major sacking one of his cabinet members for screwing around (or the Independent having a go at the Guardian for printing the views of an extremist): Oasis fire Pete Doherty for lack of work ethic. Those “working class” Gallagher […]

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Segregation

The UK government has rejected the proposal by Trevor Phillips, the head of the Commission for Racial Equality that, in the hope of tackling consistent academic underachievement by that group, black male pupils be taught separately for some subjects. The Department for Education and Skills says it would have “negative effects”. Today a spokesperson from […]

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Spaced

In today’s Observer [via Hak]: On Tuesday the BBC launches the return of Doctor Who after an absence of nine years. The first episode of the new series, by Russell T Davies, writer of Queer as Folk and Doctor Who’s new creative director, will be screened at the end of this month… …this time the […]

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Class War: Two Things

Hot Wheels Helena did mention that my account of the boxing tournament between Cambridge students and residents might have given the impression that I didn’t have a good night out. I did, in fact, have an excellent time. She also mentioned that—further to my amusement at one of the university’s champions being called “Hugh”—she and […]

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Glacial Acetic

I’m ashamed to say that, after I read it at the Motley Fool, it took me fourteen hours to get this joke: “My daughter asked me for some Nikes for her birthday. I said: ‘You’re nine—you can make them yourself.’” I’m proud to say that this one from Radio Two made me laugh instantly: “Who […]

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Back To The Drawing Board

I had started on this spoof combining the Mark Thatcher and Harry Windsor stories. You know the sort of thing: “So, Mr Thatcher, this was an ironic coup? Well, yah, we’d a bit to drink and a couple of chums had dressed up in fatigues for a party and one of the fellas—an old friend […]

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Aspiring To Greatness

My dad sent me one from The Guardian. It outlines what people on this side of the Pond would consider a radical plan for “saving” Oxford University, a plan that most people familiar with US higher education would just shrug their shoulders at. Here, in cutting-edge Cambridge, a horse has just trotted past my window.

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The Third Man Got Away With It

I’ve just sat through the whole of the first in the new series of BBC Radio 4’s The News Quiz and not one of the so-called comedians on the two teams had a go at Simon Hoggart (over this of course). Worse, it was an episode featuring both Armando Unfunnucci and Alan “my offspring shame […]

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More Bimbo Fun

I watched The Incredibles with the Anonymous Economist earlier this week. It is superb. See it. The movie takes a strong philosophical line on the question of unusual excellence and the way contemporary institutions, especially educational ones, do their best to smother it: “When everyone is special, no one is.” This quote encapsulates the underlying […]

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Four-Wheel Driven

If the worst came to the worst, you would, of course, stamp on the head of that annoyingly talented and inquisitive Pakistani girl who helps her mother out in the local corner shop, but luckily you don’t have to resort to direct violence to keep the little oik out of those places at Oxbridge you […]

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v. v. shit

Bridget Jones II is so bad on so many levels that it will be difficult for me to keep this post deservingly short. If you’re in a hurry, read my title. [But first, in answer to Eric’s thoughtful enquiry, I have not been following anything like my usual routine lately. That, my being ill over […]

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Hating Themselves

Very shortly after I started PooterGeek, I posted a link to an article in The Independent, in the days when that newspaper was still in possession of some of its marbles. It described the abuse an American couple received in a British supermarket queue from a British family, abuse based solely on that couple’s being […]

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Utter Genius

I ache to do a Boris Johnson parody, but it is impossible. There is no second-form-at-Greyfriars phrase I could write, no bonkers opinion I could put forward that wouldn’t leave people thinking “that’s probably just a quote from the man himself”. I bet even Craig Brown thumps his head against his writing desk in torment […]

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An American Chavesty

Oh, Britney! Even The Sun is horrified. Are these pictures of your wedding genuine? Scroll down for the worst of it. [Thanks to Leasey.]

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Enrich Your Vocabulary

Today my car share partner and I thought we had invented a new word. In fact, a quick Google shows a precedent. It appears in this match report. I misheard her saying “travesty”. I am, however, going to post the first formal definition: “chavesty n hopelessly naff attempt at grandness, made by members or graduates […]

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Qualification Inflation

Apologies to those of you outside the UK who can’t access this whole article from The Times for free. [Email me if you want more info 😉 ] This education story attracted my attention yesterday: “TEENAGERS in middle-class areas have begun to turn their backs on university, putting at risk the government’s drive to increase […]

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The Magazine For Bonkers Old Colonels

Non-Brits must understand: Victoria Beckham is not in any way “posh”. At the time she was given her showbiz nickname she was relatively well-off; now she is simply rich. She could buy and sell many genuinely posh—that is titled rather than monied—people, but they probably wouldn’t let her. Even if they had a financial crisis […]

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Questions About Language

Firstly, for the benefit of Jon and other non-English readers, here‘s a definition of “oik” oik n. member of the lower classes of the UK—especially anyone not English—e.g. one who tends to pronounce an (i) sound as (oi) UK Secondly, Norm is both a professor of political thought and a very clear thinker—a dying breed. Today he demonstrates […]

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