Review: Daily Mail on CAESARIAN Sunday

TCS Reporter 5 May 2014

Here at The Cambridge Student, we care about good writing. That’s why we believe it’s our duty to review all aspects of the written word. We don't just do Joyce here. Our TCS Reporter has cast their eye at the most recent gripping coverage from the world's most-read online news site, The Daily Mail.

The piece's title was delicate and post-modernist: clearly calculated and well-considered. “Boozy wheelbarrow races”; invites the reader to imagine images of people having wheelbarrow races, possibly after consuming alcohol. Sadly no such photographic evidence was included. The capitalisation of the word ‘THOUSAND’ was also winning. It highlights key themes and numbers, whilst also giving the impression of the headline speaker shouting involuntarily. 

The use of micro-paragraphs is bold, futuristic and post-modernist. The use of the word “descend” was particularly inspired: a clever reminder that in a town with few hills, the metaphorical is the only available option.  

Indeed, thoughtful repetition of  its numerical statistics in both metric and imperial measurements, enables the understanding of all their readers, young, old, European or otherwise.

“The undergraduates spent the afternoon playing boozy drinking games in fancy dress on Jesus Green – just yards away from families picnicking in the Bank Holiday sunshine” (main body) AND “Around 2000 undergraduates spent the afternoon playing drinking games at the 'Caesarian Sunday' party on Jesus Green, just metres away from families picnicking in the spring sunshine” (caption).

The rhetoric of the article was, overall, successful. The dependence on declarative sentences was, we thought, somewhat heavy-handed, but slightly redeemed by the frequent yet effective use of tricolon. Repetition was seemingly at the heart of the article’s rhetoric: the writer deemed the following sentence so gloriously articulated that it was repeated not once, not twice, but three golden times:

“Caesarian Sunday is seen as the birth of the drinking parties for the summer term which ends with the notorious party, Suicide Sunday, in June.”

This is a bold and stirring artistic choice: the quotation in question is Kafkaesque on many levels, yet also Orwellian with undertones of peppermint; not least given it suggests that summer term is drinking term.

Indeed, the prominent leit-motif of birth and suicide that was chorused throughout the piece really gave a sense of the weight and scope of the occasion. Classical mythology was explored in an insightful and unconventional way with its frequently blurred lines between Caesar and Suicide – the links between these two ideas when perceived within the context of differing, and yet apparently identical, Sundays made for an eclectic re-examination of the mythological experience that is our lives.

They also appeared to dedicate undue consideration to the the kinfolk of Cambridge, with several mentions to the profoundly adverse affects C-Sunday celebrations might have on "families".  This was both modernist, neo-gricean, and post-modernist.

Comment wasn't just reserved to society. Fashion analysis was razor-sharp, direct and at times post-modernist. Readers of the article were also informed that: “Some of the students were dressed as Where’s Wally character [sic]” – this ubiquitous, all-encompassing character was not identified though. Meanwhile, we were warned that “others wore black curly wigs and moustaches or stripped down to their shorts”. Moving into future fashion, a highlight of the piece is the incredibly astute caption: “Girls appear to be wearing bin liners.” The employment of the verb 'appear' impressively distances the author from making anything that could be considered libellous, usable, or incorrect. The attempt to avoid inaccuracy was endorsed only moments later by what appears to be a neologism: "relcine".

More brave lexis include “college chiefs” and “summer term”, showing them to be forward-thinking drivers of innovation. This can be seen in the sudden, striking ending of the article, which mirrors the abrupt culmination of the Caesarians dinner it describes.

The acclaimed authors other works show a breathtaking post-modernist trope, the work ‘Still too depressed to work? Benefits Street's White Dee enjoys a £500 bottle of champagne in Magaluf as she headlines at Carnage pool party’ is perhaps subtler than this piece though still widely-considered to be a part of the canon. Once again; the literary style and effortlessly comprehensive engagement with the complexity of the space between reality and fiction have never ceased to collude to produce a dynamic textual environment.

One must commend the annual move from Cheryl Cole’s skirt length to the tertiary education sector. We look for further postmodernist advances in the future, or the past, or maybe the modern.

Bold, daring, moving, steadying and postmodernist. 

Two THOUSAND/10

 

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