I’m sick of your moralising social-prescriptivist bollocks

On Sunday nights MILO EDWARDS and his friends wear ties, go on swaps and end up in Life. Get over it

Cambridge debate Drinking Societies milo edwards posh twats student life swaps

An article was published earlier this week which reminded me of one of the few things I really hate about Cambridge: small-minded, judgemental loudmouths masquerading as some sort of social conscience.

The fun-policing, self-appointed, social Robin Hood who goes around casting aspersions about what other people choose to do with their time at university as if they’re standing up for some oppressed majority.

I’m referring to Conor Mulheir’s anti drinking society article, but there’s a broader point here.

My aim isn’t to contest the argument that sometimes drinking societies behave anti-socially in a way which affects others (because sometimes they do), but that’s some drinking societies, some of the time.

By the same token, it’s some sports clubs, some of the time; some freshers, some of the time; or some people in Wetherspoons every Saturday night – and you should call them out on it specifically.

It’s ridiculous, however, to tar all these clubs and all their members with the same ‘I’ve never met you but I’ve decided you’re a wanker’ brush, spewing directionless hate fuelled by lazy stereotyping.

We're not all cunts

We’re not all posh cunts

The most irritating thing about this jizz-stain of an article was its claim that the sort of fun drinking societies enjoy, regardless of the effect it may or may not have on others, is intrinsically wrong.

That because it doesn’t appeal to the author personally, it is somehow impossible to understand the appeal for anyone else. This isn’t making a point about ‘lad’ culture, or sexism, or classism or anything substantial, but simply being deliberately obtuse in feigning haughty moral outrage about a difference in taste.

Well, Conor, you’re entitled not to like other people’s fun: we’re all different.

I don’t enjoy triathlons or taxidermy or icing pictures of horses onto cakes, but it doesn’t bother me that other people do, and I don’t need to comfort myself with the notion that they don’t really enjoy those things in order to vindicate my own lifestyle.

Do people from drinking societies interrupt you while you’re crying and wanking and tell you that you’d have a much better time drinking out of a shoe?

No, because they’re happy for you to do whatever the fuck it is that you do, while they get on with what they do.

Life isn't for everyone

Life isn’t for everyone

But I’m being unfair to Conor, because, although his article was ill-informed, self-aggrandising, pointlessly-moralising arse, he’s only the prominent face amongst plenty of other people indulging in this social-prescriptivist bollocks.

They’re an insidious breed of people who pretend to be everybody’s best friend whilst quietly setting themselves up as a sort of bitchy moral authority. The people who, even though it’s 2014 (as Conor helpfully reminded us), you still hear openly sowing rumours about the mental stability and moral integrity of people who enjoy casual sex, or take recreational drugs, or whatever their topic du jour happens to be, because they want to sanitise society to fit their own behavioural preferences.

It’s almost as if they feel let down by the fact that Cambridge isn’t some Big Bang Theory fantasy where everybody is a socially-awkward, tortured genius who hangs out in the JCR watching Dr Who with a mug of cocoa.

There are people who do that and that’s great, I like and get along with quite a few of those people, but on Sunday nights my mates and I wear ties, call ourselves The Speakers, go on a swap and end up in Life.

Yes, there are some people in the club who went to the most expensive schools in the country, but there are also the majority who didn’t, and the current vice-president who went to an under-performing comprehensive, gets a huge bursary and spent some of it on a tie.

The claim that all drinking societies are full of braying toffs is manifestly untrue: backgrounds are irrelevant, we just elect people whom we like and think would enjoy swaps.

Who wouldn't enjoy swaps?

Who wouldn’t enjoy swaps?

That’s the important thing: the fact that we’re just a group of people who are mates and enjoy certain things.

This recalls the time when I was appointed president of the club in my second year and someone cornered me in college and asked:

“What’s the point of the Speakers? Wouldn’t it be much more fun if you just went out with your mates and let everyone come along, like the boat club?”

This is a point which fundamentally misunderstands three things about drinking societies:

1. We are just going out with our mates.

2. The act of going out with your mates necessitates not letting everyone come, because the whole point is that you’re only inviting your mates. Everybody does this, I’ve never been invited to lunch with the pool team.

3. Of course it wouldn’t be more fun if it were like the boat club, that would involve rowing and talking about rowing and the people who like that are already members of the boat club.

Feel free to criticise behaviour which is genuinely nasty or anti-social, but that doesn’t give you the right to moralise about things just because they don’t appeal to you personally.

If you don’t like it, you don’t have to go on swaps; hell, you don’t even have to talk to us, but you might be pleasantly surprised if you do.