It’s okay to be serious. Seriously.

Someone has to play the straight man on campus, and it might as well be us

I am writing this on my recycled, sustainably sourced hemp computer, sporting my favourite “Save the Dolphins” T-shirt as a pile of bras smoulders quietly in a corner. But I will take a moment to put down my roll-up and consider the point that if there is one thing Nouse is constantly accused of, being po-faced liberals with a sense-of-humour bypass surely fits the bill.

This year, comments have ranged from the idiotic (“Nouse are fucking communists”) to those which probably have more than a grain of truth about them.

Firstly, over the past year, the news – and therefore the comment – in Nouse has centred around some of the following issues: a drowned student, a student rapist, massive administrative incompetence and racism on campus. Well, whack on the laughter track. One of the maxims of comedy is that it’s all about timing. There is an appropriate place for satire and humour.

The fact is that often, the biggest news is also the most serious. Trawling through the Nouse archives, I have come across an ex-James college Treasurer who was fired for the unfortunate tendency of repeatedly removing all his clothes when intoxicated, but that kind of comic gem is outweighed by the more weighty news pieces which must be dealt with in a professional manner.

Secondly, Nouse has always been in spirit, and is in physical form this edition, a broadsheet. We have a tabloid on campus and we are not setting out to emulate it. Therefore, the more serious tone of our articles is because that is what we are hoping to achieve: stimulating pieces that provoke reasoned debate on campus. We are a forum for people to put across their views, and it just so happens that we attract more political societies, cause groups, interviews with MPs and authors than our counterparts.

Being serious and reasonable is often what is demanded in order to handle issues sensitively. Perhaps we weigh down a little heavily on one end of the scales, but I believe that is no bad thing.

And so we will continue to have our little rants about injustice because we have every right to do so. But every so often, we promise that we will crack a smile. Anyhow, you must excuse me, I have a Gay Socialist Atheists Against Carbon Emissions protest to attend.


  1. A small bone of contention – since this time last year –

    MPs – David Blunkett, Menzies Campbell, Oliver Letwin, Iain Duncan Smith

    Authors – Terry Pratchett, Polly Courtney, John Haynes, Joanne Harris

    All unstimulating fodder from the rag.

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  2. 1 Aug ’07 at 12:22 am

    James MacDougald

    How does it feel, Jenny?

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