Tuesday, 2 January 2007

R-rated (libidinous hermaphrodites may offend some viewers)

This is not the place to talk shop, but shop has been brewing such a storm of vexations, that talk shop I must.

Vexation the first
The most prominent foodstuff on display at the campus victual-monger's today was SALMON JERKY. If I want victuals, I want victuals, not a strip of dead fish pickled in salt. That it's called "jerky" should be sufficient warning that it's inedible; prefixing jerky with the word "salmon" will fool noone.

Vexation the second
So disgusted was I by the pickled fish at the campus victual-monger's that I was forced to return empty-handed to my office. En route, I spied an anaemic A5-sized student publication, pathetically aspiring to its own title, viz. UR. Back in my day (she says, adjusting her spectacles), UR was a buxom A4, published on the fortnight, overflowing with pith and wit and wankesquerie and blah. In 2002, it was determined that a monthly publication would better represent the student body's menstrual cycle, and though less topical, the rag continued to perplex and amuse. What I saw today, this truncated excuse for a UR, described itself as a YEARBOOK. Yea verily, UR is down to a whopping ONE issue per year. It would be better off entirely extinct, so thoroughly has it been purged of all that made it light and delightful. Yes, earnest committee reports for all, not just the rich. May those who voted for the Liberal senate majority, thus ushering in this brave new era of Voluntary Student Unionism, now rot in the humourless piety of their pared-back student publication.

Vexation the third
Students who once would have exercised their pamphleteering tendencies in the free and public air of a fortnightly UR will now be forced to vent their literary frustrations in their classes: but these won't be MY classes, because just as the young agitators are about to start sinking all their rhetorical energies into their tutorials, I am preparing to leave. Sturm und Drang!

All this is so very frustrating that I feel peculiarly warranted in posting soft porn, for my delectation, if not yours.


Apologies to the faint hearted.

18 comments:

St John Nottlesby said...

Back behind the editorial desk at Snodgrass, Wapthrottle and Smythe, one is not without one's own list of petty grievances.

Not the least of which is my forcible removal from the Reading Room and "The Old Teutons" - forced out upon the world in search of something as base as a living wage.

To combat this horror, I have dug myself in with a remarkably strong coffee and have begun listening to the late RW's Tannhäuser in its entirety - while, of course, I tend to whatever menial chores require my urgent attention.

alexis said...

Ah, St John, my sympathies. If only, like the snails of the garden, we could feast on nature's bounty and frolick in hermaphroditic ease without needing to indenture ourselves like so many underlings to their overlings. Don't worry, though; you're just the sort of chap the call centres want.

St John Nottlesby said...

Well, thanks. Talk about being damned with faint praise! Pshaw! I've a good mind to Write A Letter to the Authorities!

... least I intend to. Just as soon as I get to the end of the Act II.

alexis said...

Oh, right. Yes. Sorry. What I meant to type was, "I hear Kofi Annan's retiring soon. Send in your CV, why don't you? If you don't apply, you'll never know." In the unlikely event of the UN failing to cough up a secretariat-generalship, write to Morris Iemma. Suggest a live orchestral performance of "Ride of the Valkyries" before every sitting of parliament. They'll snap you up for the cabinet office before you can say "Vladimir Lenin was my grandpappy".

St John Nottlesby said...

My my... I think I'll just have a valium and a good lie down. No plans for world domination being hatched here - at least not until the global production of tweed is up to standard (ie, enough produced per annum to furnish every man over 21 with three tweed suits and a good pair of hunting breeks).

The dolts in State Parliament wouldn't know a good theme-tune if it annexed them in the middle of the night!

alexis said...

Have you thought about running Bavarian folk dancing classes? Eins, zwei, drei, tap tap tap, shoulders back. You could charge extra for tutoring in deportment.

St John Nottlesby said...

Indeed I could; that's a very sound idea. But I think to truly pull it off (er, well, quite) I would need to be highly camp. Like the head waiter at Una's (on Victoria St, Darlinghoist).

It could prove to be both a lively and lucrative career venture for me. There'd have to be enough expats lurking about to fund the empire that will be "Fritzi's Schuhplattle & Refined Conduct Akademy".

Fancy donning a dirndl and joining the fun?

alexis said...

Am seldom without my dirndl. Blond plaits only for special occasions.

Don't know how you're going to manage to do camp, though, you being such a model of rugger and VB.

St John Nottlesby said...

How the deuce ... what the devil ... oh I say!

Is my manliness being impuned, my dear Doctor? Patsies cannot grow the kind of whiskers which currently beroughen my slavering jowls.

St John Nottlesby said...

Ahem. I mean of course "impugned".

alexis said...

Certainly not! But manliness these day, as I'm sure you know, is a beast of many stripes.

St John Nottlesby said...

Indeed - and as I found out first, er, hand, the other day at the public baths.

Blast it all.

I say Doctor, what toil is it exactly that ye engage in? As our American counsins would be wont to say, "what line are you in?"

alexis said...

Gainful-employment-wise? I am currently distilling lectures on poets dead and buried for the moral improvement of Sydney's eager young minds. Will shortly be doing similar down south. Except for the moral improvement bit.

St John Nottlesby said...

There exist eager young minds in Sydney? That aren't sitting in bottles on laboratory shelves? Well well, nice work if you can get it, I s'pose. WC Fields' advice to "never work with animals or children" still echoes in my ears though. And I'm sure your garden-variety Undergraduate would be livid with father-hate were they to hear me call them "children", but, well, I rather think I'm right.

alexis said...

I've nothing against animals or children, so it suits me fine. Although there aren't enough animals for my liking.

(While I, of course, aspire to early onset middle-age, I'm not sufficiently decepit myself to disdain the underdrags on account of their youth. I quite like 'em, actually.)

St John Nottlesby said...

It warms the very bottom of the lowest cockle of my heart to read that someone else aspires to early-onset middle-age. I look forward to the day when I can wear a tweed jacket with impunity; when I can smoke a pipe with aplomb; and when I can own slippers with a certain degree of manly pride.

As for dealing with the precocious progeny of Priviledge, well, it would take someone of very patient inclination and with more than the normal share of esprit d'corps, I should imagine. Jolly good work you're doing, too, Doctor. Mazel tov!

alexis said...

This is all awfully nice of you to say. On galloping middle-age: I say, don't wait, take up thy slippers and shuffle. On my vocation: what I lack in pedagogical verve, I make up for in anagrams.

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