Ultra Vires


Point/Counterpoint: What makes for better Pub Night venues – dance clubs or pubs?


UV Poll!


[poll id=”2″]

POINT:  Please don’t stop the Music. Music. Music.

On an average Thursday you go to school. You sit down. You talk to your friends. You stand up before sitting down again, in a different classroom. You make new friends.

So when night rolls out and the week is over, forgive me if what I really want to do is dance. And that’s what you should want, too.

The classic benefits of dancing are obvious and numerous. It’s an incredible cardio workout. It’s a great stress reliever. It produces the most memorable pub night moments. If you’re a naturally sweaty person, dancing helps conceal this [thanks for the tip, Luke!]. It also provides for more social flexibility. Ever been trapped in an awful conversation about us politics? Not a problem on the dance floor. Just close your eyes and let the music take you. Take you away from those boring people.

Now, MPG, if you’re not already convinced, you may be overestimating the depth of the conversations you have at pub night. Don’t take it
personally. But search your memory: how good, really, are those exchanges? What great dialogue are we sacrificing when we move to the dance floor?

MPG: Oh hey! How are you?

Girl: I’m great! Yourself?

MPG: I’m really good! Did you read that article about the Controversy everyone is talking about?

Girl: Yes! It was so outrageous. Isn’t this a great bar?

MPG: Yes it is! Nice talking to you. Now that we have the minimal social connection required for me to add you on facebook, I’m going to go repeat this conversation with another similarly attractive female, for maximal social utility.

Girl: Nice to see you!

There is a place and time for conversation, for exchanging experiences and teasing out the awesome in the person in front of you. That place and time is not 10 loud minutes at the Fox and Fiddle.

But we need to say more about dancing itself. You might think that you’re losing the ability to communicate when you step out onto that dance floor. You are wrong. Dancing is a language, friends. And it is a superior language, because it cannot be used to lie. There is nothing more honest as moving your body with the music, there is nothing as sincere and true as getting ‘pon de floor and not caring if you look dumb when you do it.

And really, that’s why this point/counterpoint is fundamentally unfair. I am tasked with defending dancing with mere words, printed words, static on this page. I would rather defend it with an improvised routine set to American Boy. And yes, MPG, that is a standing offer.

COUNTERPOINT: The world could do with less of Josh’s dancing

On an average Thursday Josh goes to school, and sits down. When he’s not browsing Reddit or reading Matthew Yglesias (some blogger you’ve probably never heard of), he talks to his six law school friends, all of whom are in 3L.

The only way Josh can relieve himself after such an apocalyptically boring day is to get sweaty and grimy on some club’s dance floor. With Luke Gill.

When Josh bothers to talk to anyone at Pub Night it is about unapologetically – partisan us political commentary. Did you know that Josh identifies with the socially-liberal values and fairness-based economic policies of the Democratic Party? Probs not, as Josh doesn’t like meeting new people.

That is truly a shame, because there are a great many fascinating people in ut Law, many of whom I have been fortunate to get to know at Pub Night. [This is the part of Counterpoint where I tout my own bona fides as a welcoming and friendly 3L and make ad homonym attacks on Josh suggesting that he is a jerk. Also, Josh has 80 more Facebook friends than me.]

As Ashvin said, completely un-ironically, Pub Night “is your primary opportunity to make connections with a large number of people from different years in your casual social setting—people who will be your friends, contacts and colleagues for life.”

I would also add that Pub Night is for hitting on people, because I’m shameless like that.

In my experience, these two important objectives are much more easily accomplished at non-dance establishments. These bars—such as the Duke, its classier cousin the Bedford, and Pub-Night-blacklisted Hemingway’s—have lighting and music levels more conducive to a) recognizing the person with whom you are speaking and b) hearing the person with whom you are speaking —without having to awkwardly and intimately shout into each other’s ears.

Moreover, with all due respect to Josh’s particular skill set, my personal experience is that law students tend to be better verbal communicators than they are dance communicators. I present a much better side of myself in lively conversation than I do when I attempt the grotesque movements that Josh calls “dancing.”

Crucially, no one will ever turn down your request to dance at the Duke—because there’s no dance floor. [Although I suppose that if you for some reason did ask someone to dance there they would always turn you down.]

While my excited and occasionally-affected state at Pub Nights can make it difficult to remember the exact conversations I have, I always remember the people I meet. I’m no Andrew Robertson when it comes to knowing everybody, but I make it my weekly mission to try.

Josh, I’d be happy to see your improvised routine. I suspect it will be much more compelling than your argument.


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