Three times per academic year St Catz MCR is organising a BOP (see here for terminology). Just to be clear – this is a Graduate event! So you would be wrongly expecting anything like a wild high school/college fraternity party as depicted in most internationally successful US American movie productions. In fact, usually, you are more supposed to think about some grown-ups slowly moving to some 80’s/90’/early 00’s tunes with a beer in their hand before they get back to their monotonous lab and library work the next day.
This time things seemed a bit different to many people! And it was not only the “glow” that was omnipresent at this bop … but before we get into details of the theory behind how this was so, let’s start with some of the press commentaries that followed up the event
“Tonight’s BOP was phenomenal, probably the best one that we have had in a loooong time!”
— The Daily Julian
“[The crowd of nocturnal animals, ninjas and pirates] drank the bar DRY!”
— Gilli Gazette
“I realized that when I wrote my song ‘Party in the U.S.A.’ I made a grave mistake: It should be ‘Party in the Catz M.C.R.’ instead!”
— Miley Cyrus
“We had such a good time together.”
— Barack and Vladi
As correctly observed by the Gilli Gazette the bar was indeed impressively dry in the end. However, both the atmosphere and the floor were absolutely compensating for this by being surprisingly wet. It almost seemed like, with all the recent events that make the academic utopy of a harmonious and compassionate world crumble on its surface, ‘living the moment’ took the leap from being a possible hipster-y album title to becoming the manifested motto of even Oxford’s academic sphere. “Why do we need the lab? Will the world end tomorrow?” Both questions cannot be answered by author. However, we are always happy to see that Barack and Vladi have had a good time together.
That’s the theory, here comes the evidence: The evening started quite innocuous. Setting up the sound system in the afternoon, gluing some lights to the ceiling, painting the walls in UV paint, pumping up some baloons, pumping up some muscles etc. … the usual stuff. Doors opened at 9:30, and with a free drink promised until 10, people actually started showing up at 9:20 (being early to a party is treated as another ‘novum’ here) – Preparations weren’t finished when the first UV paint started flying around, and the first beats were dropped on the dance floor. In a hurried round of shots, a last burst of prayers that everything would go well was sent upwards by the organizational committee from Catz and Brasenose.
Let’s spoiler this: Everything went exceptionally well. The MCR filled up quickly, with the two bars working non-stop. The dancefloor, set up in a separate room and kept dark apart from a dim UV light glow, was populated with magically glowing nocturnal beings moving to beats which according to the author did definitely not qualify as 80’s/90’s. In the final half an hour, when rationality finally lost the battle against universal altruism and alcohol, the genre tipped over into electronic regions and the dance floor seemed to almost be approximating CXEMA culture.
Consequently, there was some disruption of the vibe felt when people were woken up from trance at around 2 am — with this being the necessary official ending time of the BOP — and some discussions of “after parties” were in the room, though finally due to a lack of options mostly not realized. (Instead of asking “Why do we need the lab?” the question “Why do all parties in Oxford/the UK end so early?” also seems very valid to the author). What is left from the evening? Pictures and memories of colors and smiles, of energy and movement, of people and friends both new and old.
Avicii is technically not 80’s/90’s
May the force of this BOP be with us, and the next BOP.