The OUSFG Newsletter
Hilary Term 1996 (early)
Yes, to celebrate the last year of the Old World Order your newsletter comes
with an entirely FREE bookmark! One of four extra-special bookmarks is
yours to keep and cherish, for hours of amusement and use, at no cost to you
or your society! All these gifts have been donated by NOW! as an expression
of thanks for your group's sterling contribution to the community. May you
have many happy hours of not losing your place!
Your Committee Peter Sidwell, still president and purveyor of drivel-ridden
newsletters to you all. And at Queen's, to boot.
Matt Hunt in a very real
sense the secretary, and in a yet more real sense at Magdalen.
Sarah Blake, the treasurer-type personage, at an alarmingly Wadham-like college.
The Five, of whom it is wiser not to speak.Fnord
The OUSFG Banquet
Ah, the banquet! Yes, well, probably going to be Saturday
of 7th Week, haven't a clue really. I am organising it, however, so I'll
probably have things well in hand and smoothly running by the end
of civilisation as you know it. Anyway, all the details will be given in full when
the second instalment of this newsletter is distributed, roundabout 4th
week. The banquet is a simple endeavour to eat so much you can't get drunk,
and then drink so much that you do (in the words of the immortal Charsley).
Come and join us. Share and Enjoy.
The Encyclopaedia Galactica describes OUSFG Library meetings as "occasions
when the society gather in the library, for purposes of borrowing and
returning books." The Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy, however, says this:
Library meetings attract two basic types of people: those who come solely to
get books, and those who visit purely to say "let's go the pub" every ten
minutes until obeyed. They occur wherever there is a large enough collection
of boxes full of books, and run mainly on faith. One person will say, I
would like a book by x, and if it is in the catalogue it is assumed to be in
the library. This is, of course, highly improbable. There will then be an
attempt to locate the box with that alphabetical section in it - which is an
act of faith only surpassed by the Fraddled Gimpwicks of Usurius Minor,
whose civilisation was devastated by a creature called the National Lottery.
The Gimpwicks believed fervently that if they paid this creature enough, it
would shower blessings upon them, but it merely absorbed their entire
economy and was last seen in the western spiral arm of the galaxy looking
for a new home. So great was the faith of the Gimpwicks, however, that to
this day they still believe in the advent of a saviour, Jack Pott, who will
restore to them eternal credit. The updated version may include that
minority who turn up purelyto read through my comic collection, as well. The
meetings happen in QLQ 23 (iron gates just up Queen's Lane) and the door code
is 24176; turn up from 8:30ish on Sunday evenings, and we'll head for the
Turf at about half nine.
Video Meetings Come along on Wednesdays, 8 o'clock, Magdalen Lodge, and thence to the JCR, where we have the video meeting phenomenon. Unless you
have any better ideas, we're going to try our level best to show these:
Week: X-Files! Anasazi, the story bridging from series 2 to 3, which features much
3rd Week:Groundhog Day, because it is, which is Bill Murray at his best and
darn good fun on top!
Discussion Meetings Yay! Turn up and argue viciously with our speaker; a
chance to exercise your sarcasm, satire, bathos, litotes, meiosis, irony,
and to hone your abusive skills. Also a forum for the reasonable and
intellectual exchange of views on various aspects of sf and fantasy over a
nice civilised cup of tea or coffee, often with a few biscuits, or the
absorption of new and fascinating information about fields about which
previously you'd been ill-informed. It all depends on the ebb and flow of
the psychic tides, y'know. Oh, it does, yes indeedy.
So, whom do we have
for your delight and delectation, I hear you cry pathetically. And that's a
very good question too.
2nd Week: What is Mary Gentle On? or, Hermeticism by Mr Gideon Nisbet.
4th Week:Warfare in SF, by the first fresher to volunteer a talk, Mr Alex Campbell.
that's how it'll go, anyway, but whatever happens we'll end up drinking in
the Turf, so it can't be a complete disaster. I'm sure something will go
wrong, you see, but I can't be arsed to stop it so we'll just have to
improvise. (Aren't you glad you got a president like me?)
Later meetings this term
Yes, at long last we're going to acheive the
OUSFG PUB CRAWL!.
Currently planned for the Wednesday of 5th week, unless that's
massively inconvenient for people - in which case, say so as soon as you can
and we'll try to reschedule. The principle is very simple - drinking in
pubs - and a route will be established as and when I get round to it. It'd
be nice to have as many as possiblethere, because it's the ideal opportunity
- and indeed, the final opportunity - to propose candidates and motions for
The AGM This is quite important, so pay attention. In order for the society
to survive, it is ABSOLUTELY VITAL that there is a committee, and if it is
going to actually flourish it needs one that will function as a committee.
The AGM will be on Wednesday of 7th week and generally takes the
form of not having quite enough members present to be quorate, then not
actually having contested elections (sometimes not even having much in the
way of candidates), and finally saying, to hell with it, let's go to a pub
and sort it out there. In many ways, then, it resembles most other meetings.
The main difference is that this is your chance to
- Elect your Committee
- Amend the Constitution.
Elections Technically there are five or six
posts on the committee. Firstly there's the President, who always used to be
elected from the old committee but that might be tricky this time; it is
customary to tell prospective presidents that no, they don't have to do
anything much, just sort of preside and delegate. Then there's the Secretary,
who has the jobs of liaising with proctors, writing to prospective speakers,
phoning Daily Information twice a term and organising the punt party in
Trinity (it's easy really, you tell them, go for it). Let's not forget the
Treasurer, who guards jealously the coffers of the group and stubbornly
says, no, we can't afford it. This worthy must balance the books and take
money off people, even those who can't afford it. Then there's the
Newsletter Editor, one of the jobs which, in the absence of volunteers, is
done by the President - and editor, by the way, is a euphemism for writer.
The Video rep is responsible for getting a room and the videos to show in
it, and organising the videos for the term. The first three posts
(President, Secretary and Treasurer) must all be undergraduate members of the
Also elected - slightly less vital to the day-to-day running of
the society, but arguably pillars of the community - are the Beard of OUSFG,
whose task is grow the society a beard (there is some reason behind this
one, but I've forgotten it), and of course the Genital Piercing Officer,
whose job is to revive the conversation (should it flag) by beginning to
speak on this unwholesome topic, thus panicking the society into intelligent
intercourse. I think that's it, but if you can think of other posts
entirely necessary to the well-being of a group like ours, why not propose a
constitutional amendment to incorporate it? (my god, can it be... a link?)
Amendments Yes, the ancient game of Amendments is about to undergo its
annual performance. The rules are simple: examine the constitution, a copy
of which is of course on display in the library at all times. If you find
something which seems outdated or unnecessary, or fail to find provision for
some pressing and dangerous problem of modern life which the society should
have an official line on, then propose an amendment to deal with it, which
must then be seconded by someone else. If it's sufficiently absurd, the
members at the AGM will probably vote it in to the constitution and you will
be remembered forever as, for instance, "the pillock who put in the quantum
Can you ask for greater riches?*
The Catch Because all proposals
must be submitted a fortnight before the AGM, they must be given to a
present committee member by the end of the pub crawl, if not earlier. Do it,
*Yes, you can.
The Fall Of The Empire
Most of you are well aware, of course, that the
Empire never ended. It is, however, time to accept that the Empire isn't
going to last much longer, and our contacts up in the Justified Ancients
have been quite rightly, if a trifle heretically, predicting its fall, and
perhaps more importantly the death of Little Mu. Putting this in print is of
course inviting the attentions of all sorts of extremist underground groups,
but if we don't act soon we will die with Mu and the Empire, and that
doesn't have to happen. The Five suggest that if we can open sufficient
third eyes, there is the chance of survival. But "There is no us, there is
only I," - and perhaps we ought to start thinking of ourselves.
others, the Christian factions will be working for the Eschaton this year,
arguing that since the Christ was actually born round 4 BC this year is the
real second millennium. The Five won't allow them to carry it, but it's
going to be difficult for us all. It's only coincidence, but with them now
backing the Project, we'll be fighting rearguard for a while. Remember -
mind games are murder. They're well armed, and They will be well defended.
We still have to hit them hard.
We have to remain Invisible, friends, but
let's make ourselves felt.
A Special one-liner, er space filler, er message to any
kleptomaniacs out there...
you can always take something for it.
Just to note the formation over Christmas of the Interplanetary Archaeology
Society, as featured on one of our FREE! bookmarks. (Obviously, as yet it
has relatively little to do, but it's an impressive piece of forethought.)
Sod it, we'll have an editorial
Hello, and a happy new year to you all.
After all, it may be your last. And what a year it's been so far. Yes, well,
here we are, one page less than the eight I was sort of aiming for, and it's
probably something to do with the size of the font I'm using (odd how
newsletters written at the beginning of terms are packed with text and
gibberings, in 9pt writing, but the mid-term stuff is always wide-spaced,
large print stuff. Hmm.)
So what shall I do? Scour the pages of SFX for
interesting information that you might say "oh" about? No, not this time,
I'll save it for the second episode. I'm just filling space, that's all.is
there anything I should explain? No, it's all pretty clear until the last
page, and all I can say about that is the Five wanted it that way - who am I
to argue? (little do they know).
Oh yes, saw our friends the K Foundation's
new contract, and by god, Bill Drummond's handwriting is crap. Bright spark
from back home got themto sign a fifty quid note, that'll be worth something
in years to come. About fifty quid, I'd've thought.
The blurb on the back, by
the way, is (and I'd like to make this categorically clear, in a non-Kantian
sense) nothing to do with me. I was sent it by an anonymous something and
asked to distribute it via the newsletter, so I have. This so-called Hell
Society, however much it may interest odd members of OUSFG, is definitely
not connected to it in any other way. Sound like a bunch of nutters to me,
Oh yes, write and submit stuff
for Sfinx, you bastards, ideally to Vicki Seaman at Magdalen, or bring it to
a meeting. If we don't have a decent amount by the end of this term Vicki'll
be coming round to kneecap you, except for those of you who'd enjoy it.
well, nearing the end of the page, newsletter, and job of writing the
bastard. Congratulations go out, by the way, to Alex Williams, one of our
new members who was weird enough at the Christmas Party to upgrade to
eternal membership of his own free will and accord.
Drug news. Go out and
buy "Mat's Prozac", by Mice, especially if you liked All About Eve. If you
didn't, get it anyway, it's quite different from their other stuff. If
you've never heard any, try some and then decide. And listen to Bowie's
latest, Outside, because I want opinions as to whether he was on anything, and if so,
what. Looks like good stuff.
Oh, and don't miss the excellent "happy pills, real people", out soon.
Peter Sidwell <firstname.lastname@example.org> uploaded
1st February 1999 by
Tim Adye, <T.J.Adye@rl.ac.uk>