Writer, opinionista, essayist, perfumista, picker-up of unconsidered trifles, contributor to all sorts and conditions of publication from the Daily Mail to New Humanist, devoté of Pliny Maior, author of The Chronicles of Bargepole, Big Babies and Lost Worlds, currently working with the great Mike Stoller (of Leiber & Stoller) on a musical about Oscar Wilde. Teach the occasional spot of Tragedy to keep my eye in. Pilot, harpsichordist, cook, photographer, red-hot lover  and self-deluding old goat.

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    Poor? Clever? Just Stay the Fuck Put

    Let's suppose you're clever. You get to a good university. You do brilliantly. You want to go to a conference because instead of going through the motions, you really, really want to know what's going on at the leading edge of your discipline. It's not just because of your committment to your subject, but because you want to become a professional academic, and conferences are where you meet people working in your field: people who can advise you, mentor you, bring you on, so that in your turn, you will be able t--


    Query: are you poor?

    Ah. Well, sorry. There used to be grants for promising students to go to academic conferences. Around £100, or roughly what government inefficiency wastes -- not spends, but wastes -- every half-a-second.

    Not any more.

    Because in the new world where the only single paradigm for any form of human activity is the for-profit business model, the only thing that counts is money.

    And if you're poor, you haven't got any.

    So you don't count.

    So; just stay the fuck put, would you? Okay? Bralliant. Yah.

    (Oh, and just to clarify: it's not because you're common. Now it's certainly true that if you're poor, you're more likely to be common than someone who's, say, inherited a wallpaper fortune. But it's not common that's the problem. It's poor.  Because in these times there's only so much moolah, yah?, to go round and we're like, y'know, apsley fucked if we're going to let poor people get their hands on it, okay? Is that clear? Bralliant. Cut along now.)

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