Tab Tries: going to an arts lecture
ANDREW BUCHAN leaves the Natsci Labs for the flamboyant existential chaos of Sedgewick
On January 16th, one brave NatSci decided to attend a PPS lecture on ‘Nationalism and Ethnicity’.
For safety reasons, he was accompanied by a native social scientist who we’ll call Olivia.
15:05 – The acoustics in here are ridiculous. How is his voice so echoey? It’s just a square, brick room. Also: Islamophobia; Identity Politics
15:07 – He brings up his desktop. There’s a firefox tab open on “there are no choices”. This is already too much for me to handle on a Friday afternoon.
15:08 – WE’RE WATCHING VIDEOS??!? OF GEORGE THE POET!!?! WHAT IS THIS?!?!
15:12 – As it turns out, reality is a construct.
15:16 – George is so good at words. Much better than me. Better than I? Better than me.
15:18 – He asked a question. Nobody answered. I feel at home.
15:23 – I’m writing because other people are. The guy next to me, who I’ll call Derek, hasn’t stopped writing for ages. It’s definitely a competition to see who can go the longest now (steady on there). He just stopped. I win this round, Derek.
15:25 – The lecturer (a Frankie Boyle look-a-like) is sitting behind several stacks of medium-to-large books which are clearly just for show.
15:30 – I have just learned that ‘feral’ is a coded racial term. Now I have to spend 3 minutes recalling any past situations in which I used that word to work out if I might have offended anyone.
15:40 – He said “white” with air quotes. What’s the difference between white and “white”?
15:43 – He made a comment about politicians trying to be social scientists. It was meant to be a put down but frankly I think he needs some perspective.
15:44 – Hell-oo, page 4.
15:49 – I wore a bright red jumper to try and fit in with the artsy scene. As it turns out, better choices would have included: red trousers, fingerless gloves, overpriced coffee.
15:51 – We’re going to talk about Charlie Hebdo soon and I can tell that I’m going to feel an overwhelming compulsion to draw a cartoon of Mohammed.
15:57 – “Whiteness is at the core of racism”. Sounds a bit racist to me, but then again that’s nothing less than what I’d expect from a white guy.
15:58 – Oh, it’s all OK. I briefly forgot that everything was a vague social construct anyway.
15:59 – “Whiteness is invisible to white people.” This sounds like a comedy superpower where you can turn invisible…but only to white people.
I can wear whatever the hell I want now anyway.
16:04 – He said the words “scientific evidence” but I think what he meant to say was “wordy speculation.”
16:07 – I fear that at “this” rate he’ll “get” me into a “really” bad “habit” o”f throw”ing qu”ote”s arou”nd whe”n I’m not “sure” if th”eyr’”e s”tric”tl”y” n”e””cess””””a””””””r”””””””y””.
16:10 – He talked about vectors. I see no vectors.
16:15 – We should have had a break by now. Shouldn’t we? I was promised a break and could really use one.
16:17 – If this is just his talking voice, then how loud is he dur…you know what, never mind.
16:32- He’s now talking about Clash of Civilisations. Isn’t that a strategy game? No? Oh.
16:35 – He’s showing a graph of percentage of respondents who are xenophobic. The percentage axis is cheekily scaled to 70% to make everyone look 142% more racist.
16:39 – OLIVIA’S ASKING A QUESTION! #[COLLEGE REDACTED]REPRESENT
16:45 – Allow me to again emphasise how much the lecturer looks like Frankie Boyle.
16:48 – I made the mistake of leaning back in my chair. Everyone looked at me like “wot the fuk r u doing m8, get back to writing” so I leaned forwards and wrote this.
16:50 – It’s not hard to deduce the lecturer’s personal views on any/all current world events.
16:52 – Then again, I guess that’s probably the point of arts lectures.