From the sardonic to the absurd, Pi Comment’s very own Humour and Satire column casts a light-hearted look at modern problems and student life. In this skit by Alex Castillo, Tony gets visited by some ghosts of the political past.
It was Freshers’ Fair and Tony was struggling to traverse the packed, sweat-drenched North Cloisters. His shirt was being tugged this way and that, “Come join the Finance Society,” they shouted as they casually flicked ten pound notes at him. “Dance Soc is where it’s at!” a man exclaimed as he did the worm on the table. “Join the Louis Theroux Society,” said an expressionless Louis Theroux.
“Join the Marxist Society if you want to stand up for justice and social change!” This caught Tony’s attention.
“I don’t know much about politics, but Karl’s beard game is strong. Maybe it’ll be fun.” Tony thought as he took a flyer.
The next morning Tony was disturbed by a noise coming from the bathroom. He got up and opened the door slowly expecting to find a cockroach or two (this was Max Rayne after all). But what he found instead gave him the shock of his life.
“Oh, Jesus Christ!” He shrieked as he fell backwards.
“How dare you call me that? Religion is the opiate of the masses,” bellowed the mysterious creature.
“Wait a minute… I recognise you from somewhere. Who are you?”
“I am the ghost of Karl Marx of course, you silly child. I have come to educate you on the plight of the proletariat.”
“Why me?” asked Tony.
“Well, you see. The Marxist Society is a bit short on members. Apparently being Marxist isn’t ‘cool’ anymore or whatever. So they conjured my spirit to convince you to join. Now come with me, little shit. We have much to learn about the historical dialectic.” Tony took a chair and they talked.
It was the evening and Tony was taking a break from pounding cans of Strongbow at a nearby house party, while Karl lingered in the background like a bad smell.
“Come on, have another,” Karl said.
“I should probably slow down,” Tony replied.
“If you want to join me you better learn to keep up, kid. The tides of history stop for no man. Now down that cider, you weakling!”
“What does this have to do with Marxism?” Tony pleaded.
“Marxism is everything! It’s the struggles we live through, the ideas we have. The superstructure of society created that beverage you have in your hand.”
“Pretty sure it’s Sainsbury’s Local.”
Karl fumbled around in his pocket and took out a lighter and some rolling paper.
“What are you doing?” Tony asked.
“It is right and just that the proletariat share in the fruits of their labour,” Karl said as he lit the joint.
“You can’t smoke in here. It’s illegal.”
“The law was created by the ruling classes to keep the workers in check. We must rebel.” He took a long hit. “Boy, oh, boy. It feels good to rebel.” Karl snatched Tony’s drink and took a swig.
“Hey, that’s mine,” Tony protested.
“From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs. And I need to get druuunk.”
“Aren’t you here to teach me?” Tony asked.
“Yes, you’re right. Come with me,” he gestured to the toilet door.
“Seriously?” Tony said, unsure. Karl winked and ushered him inside.
Karl reached into his pocket and pulled out a long needle.
“What the hell is that? And how deep are your pockets?”
“Well, when you’re a ghost you can have pockets as deep as you want.”
“No. I bought the coat at Superdry. It was on sale. Now try some of this.” Karl waved the syringe at Tony.
“Not until you tell me what it is.”
“This… this is Grade A, premium ideology. This will make you into a true Marxist.” Karl jabbed the syringe into Tony’s arm and injected him with the serum.
“Wow. I feel amazing. Was that really a magical serum?” Tony asked.
“No. I lied. It was meth! First rule of Marxism: always talk about Marxism. Second rule of Marxism: don’t trust anyone. The bourgeoisie could be anywhere.”
“This is horrible. What’s wrong with you? I just want to join a cool new society and now suddenly I’m a meth addict. Why would you do this to me?” Tony was on the verge of tears.
“Cruelty and injustice can only be ended when the workers unite. There is nothing to fear. The unstoppable forces of history are behind us,” Karl shouted with his fist in the air.
“I’ve had it with this. I’m never joining the Marxist Soc,” Tony said, as he walked out the door.
“You can walk away from me, Tony, but you can’t walk away from the contradictions between productive forces and the relations of production!”
Tony returned home and tried to forget the night’s events as he lay on his bed. He heard a rustling in the bathroom.
“This better be a damn cockroach.” He opened the door.
“Hello,” the deep voice echoed, “I am the ghost of David Lloyd George and I am here to teach you the many wisdoms of liberalism… basically Lib Dems are having a tough time and we need to pump up our numbers. You in?”