Boat Eace Protest: Elitism is Bad Because It's, Like, So Elitist!
Bad luck, Oxford. I'm sure we would have won the Boat Race this year - "the Boat Race", as I'm sure you all know, being the annual tussle on the Thames between an Oxford rowing eight and a Cambridge rowing eight, also known as the "dark blues" and the "light blues" because of their team colors - had the event not been interrupted and then restarted as a result of some idiot protestor jumping into the river.
The protestor's name is Trenton Oldfield. Apparently - according to this blog he wrote prior to his publicity stunt - he was doing it in protest at elitism. Here's a taste:
When hasn’t elitism lead to tyranny? When hasn’t the belief of being ‘more’ than another person led to tragedy? Who benefits from elitism? One won’t be surprised to learn the etymology of the word ‘elite’ derives from ‘the elected’ ... unfortunately not elected by democratic means, but rather, elected by god. Yup...‘elected’, ‘selected’, ‘chosen’ ... by god ... inherited. When has this understanding of oneself or by a group of people ever been a good thing? When has this understanding not resulted in tyranny? Is tyranny surely not the inevitable outcome? And in contrast, when hasn’t the pursuit of equality, not resulted in these long passages of tyranny being overcome, even if temporarily?
And why does this man feel strongly about elitism? Probably, many are speculating, because he failed his entrance exams to Oxford or Cambridge. If this is the kind of garbage he writes who can blame them for having turned him down?
(Though he clearly fancies himself as an intellectual: he is a fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, where he describes his interests thus:
foremost preoccupations include unearthing the socio-political history of fences/railings - including when they shifted from keeping things in to keeping things out, the spaces in cities people have set out to make together, contemporary places of work, emotions in finance, the processes of creating and conceptualising ‘a home’ in a new city, the tension existing between danger & beauty embodied for example in aeroplanes and how social relations (dissolving of nation states and rise of cities) might change on earth with the colonisation of other planets. Trenton is also working on debates within inter-disciplinary urbanism around notions of ‘Darwinistic individual selfishness’ – or ‘Who Dares Wins Urbanism’ attempting to make apparent the predictable, though overlooked failures of individualism within and apparent across the 'leadership' of the centre, left and right.)
What's heartening about the story is that - at least as far as I can judge from my Twitter feed - absolutely nobody is taking this pseud's side. On the contrary, people are now lining up to mock his puerile protest and his even more ludicrous manifesto by suggesting new ways to emulate what they call "Trentonanarchism."
Here are few of the best suggestions so far:
Go to a pub and ask for a lemonade. Their alcohol based elitism must be destroyed.
If you see an elitist listening to N-Dubz, let them carry on, they're torturing themselves pretty well without your help.
If you see an elitist playing a Playstation game, stand in front of the television until they die.
If you work in a concert hall, could you cause outrage amongst the artistic elite by clapping between symphonic movements?
Study the routes elitists take as they walk and place a banana skin on their predicted path.