Sunday, March 23, 2014

Mind your makeup time

I keep seeing selfies of women without makeup.  It's a right state of affairs that women taking pictures of themselves without make-up is worthy of comment innit? 
I have some harrumphy male advice for women - Why not just save a few quid and never wear makeup ever?  It works for me!  I know it's for a good cause 'n all but do we really live in a world where that is a weird suggestion?

Sunday, March 02, 2014


Blimey, the Alumni are after me!  They seem to have got my address somehow.  Contrary to what you might think, the Alumni are not a secret religious sect somehow connected to the Knights Templar and conspiracies in the Catholic Church, but a sort of club for people who went to a particular college or university.  A bit like forming a club for people who went in a particular pub a few times I guess, or one for people who cross the road in the same place every day.  But posher – at least in their own heads.  It seems to be mainly about tapping people for money on the strength of them having some sort of imagined continuing attachment to a place they went to school.

So, out of the blue I receive a magazine from the Alumni people at the University of Leeds.  I have an Alumni number - and they know where I live!  But they don’t know that much about me it seems and would like to offer me the chance to update their records for them, presumably so they can send me more stuff suggesting I might like to provide them with a ‘career profile’ or to share my ‘career experiences’.  While I’m on I’ll do that now...I don’t have ‘a career’, jobs are shit and badly paid and mostly boring and all the money’s been stolen by the rich anyway.  And I wouldn’t want to hear anyone who’d had ‘a career’ talking about their ‘career’ anyway...

They’d like to know if I’d like to leave their rich institution money in my will (No!) If I’d like to offer a work placement or internship (er, No!) and a number of other questions partially alluded to above.

This is all based on a number of what seem to me to be strange notions:

1)    That people have a loyalty to the college / university they went to.

2)    That the people who went to that college / university have that loyalty to such a degree (no pun intended) that they’ll hand over money to prove it. 

3)    That because you attended that particular institution you're likely to be successful and rich enough to have spare cash to give away to an institution that is, to my mind, already quite well funded.

Well, what about us scumalumni?  Us feckless ones who don’t have ‘a career’ and don’t care for one and don’t really care very much about the college they ended up at as Liverpool seemed a bit far and they got bitten by a dog and lost their train ticket in Manchester - that’d be me folks and my scumalumni club of one!

Am I being unfair?  Nope, don’t think so.  Here’s a small piece of evidence which I consider crucial – the single strand of hair that has them bang to rights / stitched up like a kipper by forensics if you like...Section 1 on the ‘Update your details’ form they send is the bit for personal details.  After title, ‘given name’ (that’s first name to us scum) and ‘Family name’ the next question is... ‘Honours (e.g. OBE)...

Now isn’t that the clincher? – They’re writing to people who they think might have ‘honours’!  And if you don’t understand why that makes it inevitable that this form and the magazine is heading for the bin as soon as I’ve tossed off this little snotty diatribe then I’m afraid we have nothing in common...

For information, I did attend the University of Leeds – and I did finish.  Even back then if you wanted to dress up in a silly hired comedy hat and gown and whatnot it came to about £80 I think.  I had my degree ‘conferred in absentia’ which is bollocks-speak for ‘sent through the post’.  The rebellious youth of today queue up for the whole Adam Ant video palaver it seems to me – there must be some sulky bolshy types who still go for the ‘absentia’ option.  Which brings us back to ‘Alumni’ – I’d like to say here that they didn’t do Latin at my school (so far as I know).  It looked for a while a small number of decades ago that snobbery and class and general elitist nonsense was on the decline.  Then it all got corporate and the forces of class war were unleashed on the poor and we’ve been under the thumb without even really knowing it ever since. 

But, thanks to the Alumni I’ve been reminded.  By the way, I may be an Alumnus (pronounced ‘a numb nuts’) if my Latin serves (it serves ‘no purpose’! – Ha!)

As a postscript, I’ve just discovered in the small print that “anyone who pledges a legacy to the University of Leeds will be entitled to join the Brotherton Circle, our exclusive donor recognition society created to thank those who are supporting the University in this unique way”.  I assure you I’m not making this up btw.  It is good to see that you can still send off sixpence for exclusive membership of the Tufty Club though...Personally I’m still saving the Bazooka comics...They have a range of exclusive benefits too...
Enough already!