November 2004

<lj-cut text=”Dancing and that”>

GD on Friday was fun. CDC had been running events all day to raise money for Children in Need. In the evening, we had silly games at General Dancing, including the one where you put hats on people, play a quickstep and tell them to put the hats on other people. You stop the music occasionally and people who still have hats leave the floor. I got knocked out fairly quickly: I claim I was disadvantaged by dancing with Safi, who is too short to plonk hats on people’s heads from above (having the woman do this is clearly the best strategy, as it leaves the man free to steer). Ginger Joanna and I did win one of the “one dance to the tune of another” competitions, but cannot for the life of me remember which dances were involved. There was also a ceidlidh, although that suffered from the caller and band being a bit quiet (possibly down to a dodgy sound system) and assuming that we all knew what things like “set to your partner” meant. Oh, and they played the St Bernard’s Waltz painfully slowly. But it was all for charidee, so I shouldn’t grouse so much. I then decided I wasn’t rigged for hip-hop so ran away when that came on.

Went to a better ceidlidh on Saturday, for Allen’s birthday. It was a one man show by the inestimable Karl Sandeman. A good time was had by all. Thanks to Karl’s dressing up bag for use when dancing The Flying Scotsman, I now have a new user icon (the bigger version is even scarier). My attempts to channel Rab C Nesbitt were described as “actually scary, even though I knew it was you” by one onlooker. So, can yer mammy sew?

You can’t have one of these updates without mentioning religion, so I thought I’d point out an interesting article on Ship of Fools about university CU missions (like CICCU’s Promise this year). There’s a link at the top of the article to a longer PDF version, which is worth a read.

The author talks about most students being apathetic toward religion and student politics as if this were a recent change. I’m not sure I believe this, though. Kate Fox’s Watching the English mentions “The Importance of Not Being Earnest” as a general rule of Englishness: we’re naturally suspicious of anyone who appears too keen on anything. When she talks about religion, she also notes that while many people will say they’re C of E on census forms, few people actually care about religion enough to bother arguing about it. The hothouse environment of the vast Cambridge friends-of-friends web magnifies the importance of religion, since it is full of people who have thought about it and decided one way or the other.

This is probably a good thing, since it means that there is no political capital in placating the fundamentalists in this country. No Bush for us: Tony keeps quiet about his (quite serious, by all accounts) Christian faith. We’re far more interested in class war: witness the way that, as shreena pointed out, the ban on foxhunting got far more press coverage than the introduction of civil partnerships for gay people.