WHERE WERE YOU... WHEN GRIFFIN EXPOSED HIMSELF TO DIMBLEBY?
or the first time in my life, and God hope the last, fascists interfered with my social life. I cast my mind several hours back to the early evening. The night was young and expectations were high, Gallery was in our sights. My fellow flat mates and I were having some pre-drinks in the Courtyard. While waiting for my drink a girl comes up to the bar (oi oi) and says something that has probably never been said in a bar in the history of the entire world ever. ‘Are you going to be showing Question Time?’ she asks the barman. ‘Yeah we’ll turn the TV on in a bit,’ he replies. My immediate thoughts are (in this order): oh my God I completely forgot about Question Time, why aren’t I watching Question Time, where can I watch Question Time!? That reaction might come off a bit sad to some of you; but I ALWAYS watch QT, week in week out, racist or no racist. Post 7/7, I was there. Lib Dim post-conference, I was there. Countless episodes with Alan Duncan before everyone realised he was a tosser, I was there. There was no way I was going to miss the episode that everybody was going to watch. iPlayer was not an option, I'd be in the Vision office first thing the next day and I couldn’t risk anyone spoiling it for me. Something had to be done... Somehow in the excitement of
moving from sunny south-London into the fogging rain of North Yorkshire, I have become insulated from non campus-based affairs. So after momentarily pondering how the panel were going to respond to questions about Portergate, I remembered the real reason I was power-walking out of our lush carpeted SU bar while still holding a half-full pint of beer. Nick Griffin, a man unfortunate enough to have two lazy eyes, while also looking a little bit like a pirate, was to be appearing. More importantly however, this guy is leader of the British National party, sanctuary for this country’s racists and the disillusioned white working-class. There was no time to get to the SouthWestern suburb of campus that is James K block. My compatriots and I took base in the James College JCR and prepared for the largest TV spectacle since Cheryl Cole had to mime on The X Factor.
Nick Griffin, a man unfortunate enough to have two lazy eyes, whilst also looking a little bit like a pirate... And it didn’t disappoint. In fact, for most of the people in the JCR, it was a barrel of laughs with the odd jeer thrown in for good measure. My personal highlights of Griffin's performance included his mention that Jack Straw’s father was in prison during WW2, being called ‘Dick’
F PHOTO: BBC
NICK GRIFFIN, OUT OF HIS DEPTH Griffin and his fear of ‘militant homosexuals’ preaching their sexuality to school children. This was seriously entertaining stuff; not because the content of what was being discussed was frivolous, but because of Nick Griffin’s strikingly amateurish display. He was nervous, contradictory and denied every quotation put towards him. By the end of it I was surprised by how badly he came off, and it reconfirmed my initial stance that his appearance on QT was right in principle and that the show was the right format to display his weaknesses. The next day it was the talk of the campus, and most of the civilised world. But I'm sure you saw it like everyone else did - though I almost didn't - and I'm sure you agree that Question Time was right to let him on to show himself up.
SCREW THE DEGREE, IT'S ALL ABOUT THE EXPERIENCE
fter three long months of watching Desperate Housewives reruns on 4OD and staying in bed until one in the afternoon while I waited for term to start, I was pretty chuffed two weeks ago to finally, FINALLY, become a fresher at York. Four days in, I was surprised to find that a lot of the time, being a fresher at York consisted of watching Desperate Housewives reruns on 4OD and staying in bed until one in the afternoon. Oh. Every newspaper that circulated on campus last week included articles dishing out wisdom to freshers like myself. And every one of them confirmed my belief that uni was going to be one of the most exciting times of my life. Why then, had I not screamed in excitement when Eggnog Quig launched into another Busted number? Lovely as my housemates are, how was I already getting slightly sick of spending my days sitting in the kitchen with
A bit like the cheese I found at the bottom of our fridge, I am older, more mature, and a little less hygienic... they're costing me £20 apiece! I also expected to spend most of my time with people who'd had the same experiences as me, to be presented with chances to do new things as they arose and to be guided by the university every step of the way. I've learnt a lot during my short time here, and it seems to me that the key to university life isn't really about knowing the intricacies of poetic metre, or what a genome is, or who Matthew Paris was. Rather, it is about
CHRIS BURGESS WHAT HAPPENED TO THE MUSIC?
FRESH NO MORE them eating pasta and Dolmio? There were a lot of expectations that I'd had of university, and many of them turned out to be true. I have met some amazing people, who I already feel like I have known for years. I have drank so much that the thought of kneeling in goose poo has had me literally rolling on the floor with laughter and I have enjoyed every minute of my lectures, as I should, considering
YORK VISION Tuesday October 27th, 2009
meeting people who've done things and been places you've never even thought about, and being able to learn from them, and share some stories of your own. It's about depending on yourself to find the opportunities available and make them attainable, rather than waiting for a parent or a teacher to suggest them to you. Go out and find something to do and you'll stop overdosing on carbs, whilst waiting for opportunities to land in your lap. Scarily, I have realised that being at university is almost, kind of, a little bit, like being a grown up and that wasn't what my eager, fresh from college, duvet-clutching self was expecting two weeks ago at all! Now, I am older, wiser. I have been to lectures; I have been to Flares and although I still don't quite know where Wentworth is, I am (I think) no longer the fresher I was when I arrived. A bit like the cheese I found at the bottom of our fridge the other day, I am older, more mature, and a little less hygienic than I was a fortnight ago. As the collection of mugs of old hot chocolate by my bed suggests, while I'm maybe not a fully fledged adult, I just might have this student lark down!
reshers week is now over. Don’t worry though, I’m not going to launch into another one of those “wasn’t Freshers week great/awful/unforgettable/forgotten" type rants. I’ll control myself and be more specific: why is it that York cannot attract anyone the least bit exciting to play at Freshers events? My younger sister is at Birmingham Uni. In her Freshers week, she managed to see Calvin Harris, Vernon Kay and Zane Lowe. Now I know many of you will question the merits of each of these acts. But had she come to York, my sister would have got the Cheeky Girls and that bloke that lost the X Factor. Why is it that York University only attracts Z-listers and cheesy joke acts like these? What songs does Eoghan Quigg actually sing? Who knows any Cheeky Girls song apart from that one about touching their bums? It was the same at my Freshers ball two years ago: once B*witched played their one famous song, everyone wandered off. That’s if the acts even turn up, that is. Wiley dropped out of the Freshers Ball this year, as Noah and the Whale did at the last one. The Noisettes dropped out of last year’s Summer Ball. At least I would have recognised more than one of their songs. But no, the spectre of cheese rose up and dissuaded them from playing. I am assuming here, but perhaps they thought they were too big for York.
B*witched played their one famous song, then everyone wandered off... Perhaps I am being overly critical. Mr Hudson recently played a James event, and in my First Year I saw the Mystery Jets in JJ’s over in Halifax. But there were still problems: I have it on good authority that Mr Hudson was a bit of a diva. But more importantly the Mystery Jets’ set was performed on a cramped stage at the back of the bar, lit by a lamp placed precariously on the side of the stage. What I thought would be an intimate gig became a bunch of guys trying to find their chords in the dark. The lack of even basic technical equipment was a travesty – I’m fairly sure I remember the lamp falling into the audience at one point, only for the most die hard fans to raise it back up Iwo Jima style. The lack of a decent venue in the University is the problem. This is compounded by the lack of anything bigger than Fibber’s in town, but we can’t fix things in the city. On campus, however, we have a say. Imagine if we had our own little venue in Langwith attached to the Courtyard – where L/N/028 is, let’s say. I agree that it would be a bit pitiful to begin with. But over time we could build the music scene at this university back up to the level of the mid sixties. I’m going to trot out the old Jimi-Hendrix-played-in-Central-Hall story, but it matters. Imagine anything like that happening today; Jimi Hendrix would have to play at the back of the dining hall at the next Derwent event. To attract the big names to our Freshers events we need to establish the music scene in York here, on our campus. Otherwise we can sit about watching Hijak Oscar play Fibbers again. It will take time certainly. We’ll probably have to endure some pretty dire student bands for a bit, until the decent ones get their act together. Then maybe we could have a crack at someone bigger. But at least we wouldn’t have to look Eoghan in his puppy-dog eyed, slack-jawed face and try to work out if he’s singing a Boyzone or a Westlife song. Don’t look to me to work out where the money’s going to come from. It’s just that to attract the big names, we have to start out on our campus, and on our terms.