So-called life: Liam O’Brien

I, like many others, am in the last term of my degree at York, and like many others I have amassed a grotesquely large number of friends. It is an unsustainable and uncomfortable number. As we prepare to depart, it is time to divide them into those we must keep, and those we must discard.

Readers, you may have been seduced into believing that everyone will keep in contact, and that life will continue in its present, happy condition. Yet as you receive pleas to “come and see me in York” from people doing MAs here, or God forbid, “I’d love it if you could make my 22nd at my house in Hull,” you will regret not having implemented a careful and deeply discriminatory selection process.

So how does one divide them up? To give an example, I have a friend who will shortly be starting on £27k at Ernst & Young in London. She is a ‘keeper’. We must assess them on their practical utility to our glorious future. To begin with, get rid of those basing themselves outside of the capital, where their opportunities will be fewer and their cultural education infinitely worse. We can use their probable degree outcome as another selection criteria. Does their vacant aspect and shuffling gait suggest that a 2:2 is on its way? No one will employ these people, and you should issue them with your own personal P45.

Then consider which subject they are studying. Readers, I put it to you that in the employable world of the 2:1, 69 > 60. However, a 60 in Medicine represents a far greater value than a 69 in Management, despite the end result being the same on the degree transcript. We have all made Management friends at one time or another. We have all laughed at their inability to render their daily travails in coherent sentences, and we have all cajoled them into revealing their pisspoor knowledge of worldly events in quizzes designed specifically for our own entertainment. The devoted among us may have even dragged ourselves along to a Management social, in which we can see their specimens congeal and fester amidst their own kind. They might have been ‘jokes’ or good ‘craic’, but now is the time to detach – and quick.

Management bashing is a less popular sport than it used to be. As we visit retail outlets in York and have the subject’s graduates attend to our shopping needs, no longer are we encouraged to sneer at their misfortune. In these times of economic woe, we dare not, in case our scorn is misdirected at a former Sociology major. But on a wider level, we are now told that we must foster a collective spirit with Management students, to bring them into our circle. My Art History housemate explained to me that our Management housemate was doing well in his essays, and that he could get good marks. So I explained that when a dolphin at Seaworld paints a picture with a brush in its jaw, people applaud not because the picture was any good, but because it was drawn by a dolphin.


  1. Sometimes I wish had a ‘like’ button.

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  2. It’s quite faint, but there’s a facebook share link at the bottom

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  3. Facebook now lets websites add a facebook “like button” to their pages.

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  4. Thank you very much Oliver Lester.


    A Keeper.

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