Alexander's Slander


Halloween: Looks & Nukes

Another of the modern day’s vastly overrated and over-commercialised holidays, Halloween annually reminds me to be thankful that, one day, I will die. Don’t get me wrong, the ordeal of Halloween can provide a good laugh. However, during the rest of the year I can enjoy equally as much banter without mankini-clad bohemians storming the pub or blood-drenched Barbies realising just a little too late that their £15 get-up is in fact see-through.


Other torments abound: the great swell of ‘pumpkin spice latte’ drinkers, for a start. If ever I were violently interrogated, I cannot imagine a more efficient method of information extraction than raising a pumpkin spice latte to my lips; listening to One Direction on loop would probably be a close second. 601 has simulated the latter for me, and I can confirm my vulnerability thereto.


On that note, what in life is more alienating than walking down St Andrews’ streets, observing the masses of carved pumpkins and spookily-adorned flat façades, only to have this ‘vibe’ disrupted by the thundering EDM of a rogue house party? Trick-or-treating is one thing, but to hear what sounds like a US nuclear test going wrong two doors down is somewhat more disconcerting. Whatever my costume is next year, earmuffs are guaranteed.

Eager & beleaguered


Much in the same way the Bolshevik minority seized control of the Russian state in 1917, it appears that a similarly demented and minor segment of the population has in the past few decades driven amorous discourse in all the wrong directions. Today, it has been determined that the best way to show someone you want them is to play hard to get, cold, uninterested.


The British stiff upper lip did actually used to exist, remember, meaning that sentiments of love and slop were not openly expressed. Simultaneously, to all of society’s detriment, adoration and all other forms of positive and negative emotion were strictly repressed – so as not to get in the way of what mattered: productive work and real ale consumption. What we’ve saddled ourselves with today is not a mere continuation of that stoic bottling-up, but rather the ugliest of all its mutations: the instruction to splurge your feelings to the world; to ruminate upon and suffer from them endlessly; but whatever you do, don’t translate it to whoever this week’s fancy is.


Instead, to show the lucky beloved just how much you appreciate them, try shutting their hand in a door, or flipping them off across the library, and whilst you’re at it, why not block them on every possible form of social media (if you don’t already have them added, time to get searching!). This way, they are sure to realise that you’re their biggest suitor.


Hancock & Bush Tucker

Shock and horror reign once again through a Britain aware of the fact Matt Hancock shall be a participant in the upcoming series of I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here. The nation’s favourite former health minister – which, yes, is an oxymoron – thereby follows in the footsteps of Stanley Johnson, who also took the plunge into televised farce for the stacks of cash that come therewith.


This is the second time that that pairing of names, Hancock and Johnson, will send shivers down the country’s spine, after Oxford chums Matt and Boris’ botched handling of the COVID crisis. One must pose the question, why do we have supposedly serious people – national-grade politicians – going on shows of this calibre? When was the last time we saw Hancock engaged in televised debate? When was the last time he addressed a crowd of Brits struggling under Tory austerity? Good luck finding any such interaction. Nevertheless, he finds it acceptable to eat a camel’s testicle for voters’ amusement. And in so doing, to be fair, he’s probably eating more heartily than his constituents.


In all frankness, however, what happened to this country’s political brass? Would Thatcher, Wilson, Heseltine, Benn, Major, Shore, have dared to embarrass themselves for such personal profit? Political digs aside, I doubt it. The political jungle is no place for self-servers and celebrity-seekers.



Illustration: Sarah Knight

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