Just loving the anticipation as things heat up (notes for a critique of the Browne Review and an apocalyptic tone in advance of next week’s rampage and doom)
The architecture of the university will become a market reorganised shelf by shelf upon the layout of the department or convenience store. Just by the check outs there will be chocolates and candy, children’s toys will be displayed at pram level, the tea and coffee arrayed alongside the biscuits and cakes. Wholesome foods, fruits and needed items that do not necessarily provide the market owner with a large mark-up are at the back of the store, they are not meant to be the target purchase, and are used to entice the shoppers to browse. Large signs will promote in-store deals and specials of the day – two-for-one philosophy courses taught by bright graduates and a discount weekend ‘walk in east London’ post-graduate certificate run by Ian Sinclair for a fiver a time (photography extra, and syndicated in 140 characters to the national press 2.0). On orientation day, tasty promotional cheese snacks will be offered on shiny trays presented by young attendants in Dianne Abbot designed robes with badges saying ‘have a nice day’, without irony. There will be store cards by which you can pay interest-free for the first month and secure your bonus Barclays Bank branded copy of “Thus Vomits Zarathustra” (‘they have something of which they are very proud’). There will be celebrity ads and competitions offering free places on the telly. Jamie Oliver will run the canteen, but Gordon Ramsey will be Ofstead inspecting him. Floated on the stock exchange, certain colleges will be in receivership within a year and docked ten points, guaranteeing relegation to the Tetley’s League; Eric Cantona will return to manage the Polytechnic of Shoreditch, never rejecting an interview or chance to appear on the pundits chair on Uni of the Day (Saturday evenings on BBC10) and scratch cards with collectable chewing gum wrappers will replace degree certificates. I personally will supervise three hundred and twenty micro-PhDs (two week programmes) at a fee I set at whim. These will be taught on the 436 bus, please buy a ticket from the machine before boarding. Bring on the Browne report and the Spending Review – I am reading Virginia Wolf’s “Three Guineas” and thinking the options are clear. In for a penny, in for a pound – match me Sidney, match me.