The Boat Race Swimmer

I know, it’s been a long while. I’ll save excuses for when I have more time, but I wanted to get down my thoughts on the protestor of the Oxbridge Boat Race while I’m still staring in mildly-amused disbelief at his website.

Before anything else, I want to say that I do get it to an extent – elitism and the void between classes is a big problem in our society. There’s little doubt it’s driving a lot of the less popular legislation that the Coalition is pushing through Parliament. And if you’re going to protest something like that, well, a pseudo-competitive event between the universities of Oxford and Cambridge – no doubt steeped in tradition and monocles and top hats galore – is, in theory, the perfect place.

Still, the whole thing seemed a bit…trivial. I’m still a little uncertain of what exactly Oldfield intended to accomplish by it, other than getting an oar in the face. Sure, now we know his name, and he certainly livened up an event that might not otherwise have exactly set pulses a-racing (pun unintended, for once). But I fail to see how his cause has benefited. Elitism runs rampant in the Oxbridge system and across the country? Get outta here. Seriously, we know already. And I don’t see anyone rushing to arm themselves over it because this one chap decided to take a dip in the river in the middle of a race. Perhaps I’m missing the point, and I’m sure my more politically-minded friends will be quick to hammer it home if I have.

Still. I don’t have much more to say on the subject, but would like to point out some of the suggestions he makes on his website to contribute to the ‘civil disobedience’ and ‘guerilla tactics’ that he feels will win this war on the oppressed masses.

  • ‘[If working for a corporation or government department]…work slowly, make mistakes, loose [sic] documents, sending large documents to clog up email accounts.’ – Ideal! Keep it up and you’ll be out on your arse by dinner. Being deliberately incompetent isn’t going to change the world, it’ll just get you fired.
  • ‘If you clean the bathroom of someone that considers themselves elite or is an elite sympathiser, like a right wing professor, can you never put loo paper in their bathroom?’ – That’ll learn ’em!
  • ‘If you work in a restaurant where elitists eat, can you serve the food once it is cold or cook the wrong food?’ – What a good thing that our restaurant workers so hate receiving tips.
  • ‘If you are a builder repairing the house of an elitist can you also bug it and share the footage and audio online?’ – Holy crap. Is this…is this any sort of legal?

Alright, so I’m giving him a bit of a hard time here. In the interests of fairness, I’ll highly some of his suggestions I actually quite like too:

  • ‘Can you take up the time of a ‘VIP’ you work for by arranging time consuming meetings, asking as many questions as possible? Can you make them late?’
  • ‘If you work in a call centre, can you refund people and find the best discounts?’
  • ‘If you are a student and attend a talk, can you challenge the professors? Can you take the stage and highlight to the audience the work they have done in contrast to academia?’
  • ‘If you have a tow truck company can you park in front of Nick Clegg or David Cameron’s driveway, accidentaly? Could you tow their car away?’ – I don’t actually think this is doable, but I do think it’d be really rather hilarious. Make it happen!

And that’s possibly enough of that for now. Watch closely for news of upcoming gigs – the summer draws near, and I should have more time to update (he said optimistically…).


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