THE TAB takes an unbiased look at why Varsity remains Cambridge’s best student paper.
The Tab has burst onto the scene this term with its new media sheen and tabloid swagger. The Tab is exclusively online and this gives it a lot of advantages, and yet there are some that say that a paper isn’t a proper paper until it’s in print. The Tab will never compare to Varsity in their eyes, our distant facsimile broadsheet cousin. As reviews editor it is my job to review anything that’s relevant to the Cambridge experience and so I endeavoured to actually read the bloody thing for once and review this week’s Varsity. After much reflection, I decided to judge it on four things Varsity as a physical paper can do that The Tab can’t.
Mobile Onanism: **
Cambridge can be lonely at times and those who say they haven’t indulged in a bit of self-relief are liars. The Tab is on the internet (a technology I loving call the house that spunk built) but Varsity has an advantage over us as it is far more mobile and therefore could provide stimulation to those without a computer to hand. Having a flick through this week’s issue, however, gave me little inspiration. The Queen didn’t look her best on the front page and besides she’s on the front of every fiver in my wallet if she ever takes my fancy. Varsity does get two stars, however, as it can be used to wipe up any mess afterwards.
Appearing Cultured: ****
The parents have told you they’re popping round this afternoon. It’s time to put away the shisha pipe and get out the cafetiere, switch your Arnie DVDs for Herzog and Bergman, change your homepage away from the Tab and strategically place a copy of Varsity on your coffee table. With its tasteful layout and muted colours it’s likely to make your beloved parents quiver with glee at how bloody cultural Cambridge is. This week even had Newton on the front cover accompanied with weak puns about apples; I think this is the equivalent of porn for middle class culture vultures.
Swatting Flies: ***
The Tab is unlikely to kill any pesky insect intruders, unless they die of shock from the displays of bare flesh. Varsity, however, can be rolled into an excellent bludgeon that will see the end of any of those six legged bastards. It could do with being a little bit thicker, however, as it doesn’t quite give the satisfying thwack that its broadsheet older brothers do. Maybe they should pad it out with some more polls and surveys.
The Tab, being online, is almost useless for wiping your arse on. I tried with my laptop earlier and the results were messy to say the least. The lovely crisp paper of Cambridge’s oldest student newspaper, on other hand, mean it is an excellent choice if a careless bedder has forgotten to restock your loo roll. If you have to buy your own loo roll it’s even better: just pick up a stack on Friday from your JCR and you’ll have free toilet paper all term. Just don’t tell your friend whose comment piece was in that week, it might go down badly.