Frankly, we don’t care

October 31, 2013

Source: Alamy

“Where would we be without such a splendid initiative from Manchester Metropolitan University?”

This was the question posed by Dr Derek Quintock of our Department of Media and Cultural Studies as he announced “an exciting new departure” for Poppleton.

Dr Quintock told an audience in the newly opened Liam Byrne Annexe* that he’d not only been inspired by Manchester Met’s decision to inaugurate its Centre for Gothic Studies, but had also been profoundly impressed by the large number of its academics with gothic interests and by the assertion by film lecturer Linnie Blake that “the gothic is within us all”.

It was sentiments “very much like these”, said Dr Quintock, that lay behind Poppleton’s decision to create a new institute, the Centre for Apathy Studies.

“Apathy”, he continued, “is one of the most flourishing aspects of contemporary culture and certainly lies within a very large number of Poppleton academics.”

He went on to outline a series of “apathetic events” that would parallel Manchester Met’s zombie pub quiz, goth night out and gothic tour of “Monstrous Manchester”.

These would include a visit to El Sombrero, a Poppleton-based restaurant run by a chef who couldn’t care less, a trip to a local branch meeting of the Liberal Democrats and a Sunday morning visit to a Church of England service.

Dr Quintock was unable to confirm the names of the academics who would work in the Centre for Apathy Studies. So far he’d received only expressions of uninterest, which, in the context of the centre, he regarded as “rather encouraging”.

* Liam Byrne is the new Labour shadow minister for universities (do keep up).


You’re not singing any more!

Football hooligans fighting

In the wake of Poppleton Town’s recent 8-0 drubbing by Melchester Rovers, questions are being raised about the marketing wisdom of our university’s partnership with the local soccer team.

Matters have not been helped by news that fighting broke out between home supporters during the Melchester game. It seems that when a police officer intervened and asked why fans of the same team were fighting, one of the protagonists explained that a mate of his had been trying to stuff a season ticket into his pocket.

Baldy Hogan, a spokesman for the club, said that he was not altogether happy to accept criticism from an institution that, as he understood it, currently spent a great deal of time working out how to cheat the REF.


Not quite my thing

One of our leading scholars, Dr Geoffrey Comstock of the Department of English and Tendentiously Related Studies, has explained why he chose to cross the UCU picket line this morning in order to deliver his second-year lecture on “Embedded Consciousness in Emma”.

“Quite frankly,” he told our reporter Keith Ponting (30), “I crossed the line because of my connotative anxieties about the word ‘picket’. As you may know, the term primarily refers to a pointed wooden stick rather than to an impediment to admission. In my view, therefore, the meaning currently associated with ‘picket’ might be better conveyed by the use of the Gallo-Romance term ‘palicea’ or, more colloquially, ‘palisade’.” (NB: Equally specious academic reasons for not having taken part in today’s strike can be heard this afternoon in a senior common room near you.)


Thought for the week

(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

“Next week’s seminar in our lecture series ‘Raising the Status of the University Teacher’ is titled ‘The Role of the Rostrum’.”

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