Sunday, September 23, 2007

The future's not orange any more

In the olden days, I used to work for an organisation called PUSH, that published an alternative guide to British universities. It was a fun time, because ours was the only such guide that refused to recycle the platitudes offered by the institutions or the student unions. University PR people hated us: but the A-level students, the ones at whom the book was targeted, loved it. One of the proudest moments in my professional life came at a party after a Gene concert (I did say it was a long time ago), when a 17-year-old shook me by the hand and said: "You're Tim Footman? Every sixth-former in Dorset thinks you're God."

I left PUSH in 1997, but I've retained an interest in the various attempts being made to ensure informed choice in an increasingly crowded and complex marketplace. And I can't say I was impressed with the online advertising for one of PUSH's erstwhile rivals, the Times Good University Guide, which appears to be alluding to the Trainspotting movie poster in its online advertising. I know nostalgia comes round in cycles, but isn't that as incomprehensible a cultural indicator to today's nu-ravey teens as, say, Gene? It was released over a decade ago, fer flip's sake! It's as if I'd strolled into the PUSH office in the early 1990s and insisted that we do a marketing campaign based on, I dunno, Olivia Newton-John in Xanadu.

Which is just a long-winded excuse to offer you this:

4 comments:

patroclus said...

God only knows what would have happened to me if I had brought home a copy of PUSH before applying to university. As it was, I was banned by my parents from applying to the University of Kent in Canterbury, because they saw someone in the official prospectus sporting a mohican and decided that it wouldn't be 'my sort of place'.

Fat Roland said...

Sigh, Gene...

*reminisces*

*thinks of something better to put in the asterisks, maybe a reference to a thought bubble or a wavy-screen memory moment*

*give up and goes off to listen to Justice mp3 instead*

Murph said...

I'll never forgive her for what she did to Bruce Welch ....

Tim Footman said...

Oh God, Patroclus, those "Hey, we have a comedy punk, and ethnics and a few disableds as well" photos. But never any ugly people. Funny that. God bless prospectuses. I used to read every single one, every single year, including all the Oxbridge colleges. I can still forecast with mind-numbing certainty the amusing bit of institutional trivia that Paxo is going to trot out as he introduces a team on University Challenge.

If that's your reaction to Gene, FR, just wait for my bells-and-whistles Echobelly post...

I think Bruce Welch was quite happy with many of the things Livvy did to him, Murph. Brazen trollop.