Cambridge Lads? That’s Shit Chat, Mate

When did ‘banter’ get so bloody boring?

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As Karl Marx didn’t quite say, a spectre is haunting Cambridge – the spectre of Laddism. Look around our university today and you are overwhelmed with the ‘banter’ of these ‘legends’, before nearly slipping over in a puddle of their ‘chunder’.

I can appreciate when this ‘lad’ culture is used ironically, but the constant repetition of the same themes is beginning to get tedious.  And the more I think about ‘lads’ the more reservations I have about them.

Can ‘lads’ can really exist at Cambridge University? Certainly, they might be curry-spattered in the Mahal and chundering in Cindies one night, but the next morning they are desperately typing away at an essay, as terrified as any other student of failure. If you are clever enough to get into Cambridge, you will be conscientious enough to prevent you living the full life of a ‘lad’.

 The day the banter died…

Within that almost meaningless term ‘banter’ can be concealed some slightly worrying views. It is the use of ‘banter’ as an excuse that allows unfunny Facebook groups like the controversial ‘You know she’s playing hard to get when your [sic] chasing her down an alley’. What results is a weird hostage situation – no one’s finding these trite attempts at ‘shocking’ humour all that funny, but we’ve got to laugh along for fear of being accused of “shit chat”.

It is also incredibly odd that the ‘lad’ culture claims to be achingly heterosexual. Ignoring the amount of time many lads will spend delicately spiking up their hair and carefully popping the collar of their favourite Abercrombie and Fitch polo shirt, the question remains why ‘lads’ seem to spend so much time pretending to have sex with each other whenever they bend over?

Now, guys, I know that as predominantly white, straight, middle-class men you have few sources of solidarity to unite you, and that this sub-culture is something which does that. But perhaps you could just be a bit more mature in your expression of male camaraderie, I’m sure the rest of us will appreciate it….

Having trouble spotting a lad? Let our Guide to the Male Drunk give you some pointers.