Poppleton rises to ‘challenge of irony’

August 7, 2014

Our Director of Corporate Affairs, Jamie Targett, has warmly welcomed the latest addition to our ever-expanding management team.

Targett said that the decision to appoint Dr Kevin Flimnap as head of the newly established Office for Irony Detection meant that our university was at last paying “proper attention” to the negative role that irony could play in relation to the realisation of “fundamental institutional objectives going forward”.

He agreed, however, with our reporter Keith Ponting that the appointment had also been prompted by the news that irony had already surfaced at the University of Warwick, where the institution’s distinguished professor of English, Thomas Docherty, had been accused of making “ironic comments” during an interview for a new member of department.

Although Targett said he’d been pleased to see that these “ironic comments” together with such other major disciplinary offences as “negative body language” and “the emission of sighs” had been judiciously dealt with by the six-month exclusion of Professor Docherty from the campus, there was a danger that “without constant supervision” irony might rear its ugly head at Poppleton.

Dr Flimnap told The Poppletonian that he was delighted by his new appointment, but had no illusions about the manner in which irony could “worm its insidious way into the most innocuous places”. He had, for example, already detected “clear evidence of irony” in the lengthy section of our university prospectus devoted to the “attractions of the campus” and discovered “intimations of irony” in the display of bunting erected outside the Department of Philosophy in honour of the vice-chancellor’s recent birthday.


Gone but not forgotten

“How can so many people go around describing David Willetts as a complete loser when even in compulsory retirement, he still comes up with such a totally brilliant idea for funding higher education?”

This was how Ted Odgers, a senior but serially unpromoted member of the Department of Media and Cultural Studies, responded to the news that Mr Willetts had, only days after his enforced departure from the post of minister for universities and science, devised a new way to remedy the totally unsustainable system of higher education funding that he had so assiduously developed during his time in office.

Odgers explained that Mr Willetts’ “latest brainwave” involved selling off the massive student loan debt to individual universities so that they have, in Mr Willetts’ words, “a direct financial incentive” to ensure that their graduates earn lots of money in their future jobs.

All that universities now had to do, explained Odgers, was rid themselves of those traditional academic disciplines that singularly failed to lead to such high-paid jobs. It all made perfect market sense. Why on earth bother with such “debt-deficient” subjects as English or History or Classics when one could concentrate all one’s pedagogic resources on providing a first-class education for future hedge fund managers?

(Please note that this item has been graded C minus See Me by our newly appointed Head of Irony Detection.)


Thought for the week

(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

In view of current judicial proceedings, next week’s reiki session by our resident therapist, Dr G. K. Maull, will not include the conventional Hands on Healing component. I hope this clarifies the position.


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