Kissy “The Urchin” Sell Out v Stephen “The Alumni” Fry.

800 raucous socialites (and assorted media scum) will cram this very chamber to witness a culturual slugfest like no other in middle class debate society circles.

Mozart’s second symphony wasn’t as good as his first. BOOM!
Lady Gaga plays classic piano. POW!
You can’t dance to Beethoven. WHACK!
Have you heard that Handel re-rub? KAPOW!

Let’s get this shit storm on.

So to avoid repetition of my fuller acerbic take on this little society bash a few week ago (incidentally you can read it in the latest print issue of the ever esteemed L & Q) I feel a video reflection of the night is in only fair.

It was a night of constructive debate (society posturing); of education and betterment (they let some press riff-raff into the hallowed chambers); of objective discussion (the press should be seen and not heard); of passion (stuffy little twerps incredulous at the fact that a former board member of the Royal Opera House could so bluntly dismiss the merits of opera as a youth interest); of celebrating and pushing technological boundaries (the university debate society do live streaming, doncha know?) Just not Twitter. Or taking notes. Unless it’s with pen and paper. Or daring to suggest clubs can actually be fun.

Social posturing aside, it was interesting insight into the workings of a middle class institution – one my limited intelligence and lack of social grace could only aspire to. Old and opulent; stuffy but steeped in history, I went hoping to be proved wrong about any lingering stereotypes; enlightened regarding the debate subject; and looked forward to seeing Stephen Fry rip shit up on the 1s and 2s.

None of the above happened. Instead, we spent the night being treated with an element of suspicion and patronised to the point of ridicule. Sporting name badges with clip art “No cameras” and being asked to sign in and out upon entry; chaperoned at every turn and, with the technology blackout, actually restricted (some of us) from using the digital means to do our job – a technological progression the society was so proud to promote. It set the early the tone and the night never recovered.

Pretentious, elitist and self-congratulatory as you might expect, the evening wear and porcelain were indicative of the whole material facade. Still, if any university is going to charge you £9k a year in fees, you’ll at least get a period fireplace, grand piano and turret in your halls of residence. Oh, and the debate society’s webstream. Enjoy.