The Drury Diaries: To gag or not to gag

This column hasn’t been gagged yet

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To gag or not to gag

I believe this is what one calls ‘clickbait’. Gagging is, I must confess, infrequently part of my life; and I like it that way. Most recently, the JCR Committee banned me from communicating with Freshers after I posted a ‘too formal’ guide to dining etiquette; and in the CUSU campaign, being gagged accompanied the removal of clothes, as I was banned from making ‘twattish’ remarks or wearing anything too loud.

However, a attempt was made this week to stop me naming the CUSU General Manager and politely recommending somebody looks into whether or not he lost Cambridge students £400,000 – an amount of money that could have paid for 5 or so pints for every Cambridge student. It is of enormous credit to my Editor and others of the Cambridge fourth estate that this attempt was resisted.

Have I become the evil I sought to defeat?

In tempestuous times, it is important to have a grip of what’s going on in the world, and I try to keep abreast of showbiz. I am indebted to Anna Bridgeman for this week’s briefing, but was alarmed to hear that one hundred thousand followers abandoned Kim Kardashian on Instagram this week, apparently appalled by the release of non-photoshopped holiday snaps in which Kim shares what she’s really like.

Now my readership definitely couldn’t take that sort of casualty, but I did have a comparable existential crisis this week. In one of the few good scenes in Star Wars III, Padme asks Anakin if their democracy no longer exists and the Republic has become the very evil they have been fighting to destroy. Dark institutions, this vignette illustrates, have a way of drawing the good in and corrupting them. I wonder – has the same happened to me? Am I a CUSU insider? Am I one of Orwell’s pigs, indistinguishable from the farmers? Have I lost sight of the fact that nobody gives a toss? If so, reader, I apologise.

There is more to me than CUSU

The Wrong Socks

I made the ultimate mistake of hurriedly dressing for dinner this week, and accidentally put on the wrong socks. You may know that my favourite socks are made by the Papal tailors Gammarelli, and they produce socks in cotton and silk. I realise that in declaring my sock material, I am skirting perilously close to 60s-style personal disclosure, but the silk pair causes my trousers to stick weirdly to my legs. As a result of mistakenly donning the silk rather than cotton, I had to spend an evening without a nice natural trouser movement when I walked; huge mistake. Always cotton.

Saints & Sinners

Was the theme of a superb party this week hosted in Peterhouse. It was a costumed party, and it was most fascinating to see – out of the entire canon of the Beatified – which ones Cantabs opted to dress as. Catherine of Siena made a stigmata-ed appearance, husband Jesus in tow, but the grace she supplied was more than counterpoised by Donald Trump.

I got into some confusion with a fellow guest about my own costume. “St Hubertus is the patron saint of Hunters,” I explained. “Gosh,” she replied, “do barbers have a Saint too?” Desirous to seem Holy and learned, I quickly googled and replied “Yes, St Martin de Porres.” As my idiocy in having missed her joke dawned, she gracefully rescued me with, “Then you must be wearing a very holy outfit.”

Memes Maketh Man

My Memebridge debut was this week, as my face was stuck onto Obi Wan’s body, which was quite flattering. Memes have given us all a great gift: before them, I had no idea that other people actually had the same sort of preoccupations, or found the same things amusing. Perhaps the best thing about them is that they’re so obviously fun they are taken in a light-hearted spirit by all; I am – thankfully – yet to see a meme be labelled ‘problematic’.

Our College meme page, as well as taking the mickey out of our Master, goes a long way to illustrating what we as Caians have in common. As things I’ve learnt to walk past receive fresh attention, I have fallen in love with College all over again. I’m debating that Western Civilisation isn’t dead on Sunday, and fully intend to argue that the meme has become a vitally important organ of Civilisation’s new life.

Column Updates

My bid in this column for a real fur hood was successful, and I am deeply grateful to all those who facilitated the find, especially from so unexpected a source.

I have received one submission for a revised Jesus College crockery design, which also features a cock, but – contrary to my promise – it will not be forwarded to the College.