It seems as if the student occupations and protests of last year have already passed into legend. There have been documentaries, books, e-pamphlets, anthologies, songs and now TV dramatisations. In last night’s episode of Fresh Meat, Channel 4’s new (and increasingly funny) comedy about being a first year at university, the Manchester housemates took a coach to a London march. The screen split in two, and as the fictional students on the top of the screen pulled moonies and discussed which target they would throw their pigs’ blood at, the real students marched on Parliament Square below.
When the fictional students finally got to London, the sweet, floppy-haired boy stuck in a kettle with the vixenish drama student asked the Met officers if he could be transferred to an adjoining one, where he could be with his sweet, shiny-haired housemate; the posh boy who’d only caught the coach to watch the rugby in Fulham stripped off and threw bottles at the police after they shoved a girl in a wheelchair; the floppy-haired boy used the megaphone to announce he was no longer a virgin, to everyone’s cheers.
It made protesting look like fun, which it often is. It also looks that way to the Daily Mail, which has had quite a bit of fun pointing out the expensive brands of jeans, the visits from celebrities like Kanye West and Susan Sarandon, the holding of hands, the naked body-painting of young people at the Occupy Wall Street protest – as if their having too good a time could somehow nullify the protesters’ political point. But because it’s fun, it’ll keep going: the Occupy London movement, with their human mic and Guy Fawkes masks, will find somewhere else if the Dean of St Paul’s no longer wants them; the placards on 9 November will be even wittier than last year’s.