hms iron duke

hms iron duke

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Oxford Blues

Alphen, Netherlands. 20 March.  Sometimes my alma mater Oxford University needs to be dragged kicking and screaming into the eighteenth century (Enlightenment).  The sacking of a librarian and graduate student, the wonderfully-named Calypso Nash, is just another example of a college leadership completely out of touch with the young people it serves.  The 'crime' was that some students performed something called the Harlem Shake in the library of St Hilda's College (always a bit uppity and conservative).  One can almost hear the tut-tutting amongst the fossilised academics in the Senior Common Room who probably think the Harlem Shake is a cocktail and are still wondering how one can dance such a thing. 
What is particularly galling is that back in the seventies when I was an undergraduate at University College, Oxford (the oldest and the best) some of the things we got up to in the college library makes a thirty second performance of the latest u-tube craze seem like a papal inauguration.  We even played cricket! 
So, Hilda's wake up, smell the coffee and remember that you are an institution dedicated to the education of young people and that within reason a little bit of creative exuberance should be celebrated not crushed.  Above all re-instate Ms Nash because her sacking is unjust and makes you look like an ass.  Clearly, someone called Calypso can hardly be sacked for permitting the occasional library dance!  As some of your young people might say (so I have heard) - der!
Julian Lindley-French

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