Hey, remember The VICE Guide To Dating Rich Girls? So does Tom Beardsworth – there he is, up there, with his pals, giving it the big one. Despite appearances, Tom Beardsworth isn't actually in Mumford and Sons. He's an Oxford student, an "aspirant journalist" (his words), and a secret VICE fan.
Tom Beardsworth (I'm going to keep calling him that, because it's a funny name) is a writer for some Oxford University blog called Cherwell.org. He recently wrote a piece called "A Guide to Dating Posh Girls" aaaand, well, without sounding bitter, it was obvious that he'd ripped us off.
And Tom Beardsworth's version:
Anyway, karma struck and some Oxford students freaked out at Tom Beardsworth's ham-fisted work, claiming it was awful (it was) and sexist (it probably was). And then The Daily Mail – continuing a proud tradition of assuming that the behaviour of Oxbridge students matters more than the behaviour of ones at cheaper universities – got hold of it and made a scene.
Eventually Cherwell.org took it down, (though you can read the whole, miserable thing, here) but not before lots of people started calling out Tom Beardsworth for ripping us off:
He responded with the bullish confidence of a rich guy, a man who sees suing people as a legitimate response to a little Facebook row.
Let it be clear, it really doesn't bother me that a student ripped us off in what is effectively an online fanzine for boring people, but it's quite funny that he's denying it. So, let's do a quick comparison.
The VICE Guide to Dating Rich Girls vs. A Guide to Dating Posh Girls
Well, obviously, they're pretty similar, but we can let that slide. It's not rocket science (and for all I know, Beardboy is studying rocket science) to come up with the idea. The tricky bit is making the copy good.
In the grand tradition of VICE Guides, our article was presented in a series of categories:
Tom Beardsworth's shorter version had these categories:
Meeting Her Parents
Meeting Her Friends
Beardboy, you're right. We should have done a travel section.
1. Read Tom Beardsworth's section on meeting parents:
Essentially this says that they'll be polite, but seriously, they don't want you to date her. Which is what we meant when we said:
2. Read Tom Beardsworth's (rather nasty) passage on sex:
This was ours:
3. This is what T Beardboy thought about politics:
And this is what we thought:
4. This is how Tom Beardsworth ended the piece:
And this is how we did it:
As some kind of light-hearted recompense, I had planned to go through Tom Beardsworth's previous articles on Cherwell.dull, retooling them as VICE pieces for a LOL, but JESUS, THEY'RE SO BORING. That site has an ability to turn words into concrete.
For example, buried in the bomb shelter of a short article by Beardsworth about a dating site, was this sentence:
"To avert the wrath of past and present belles, I should disclose that I came across the site tangentially – via this hilarious billboard in California. "
Which was followed by:
"(par exemple: ici et ici)"
At which point I had to go to the toilet.
I approached Tom Beardsworth for an interview, but he never responded. Tom, the internship is yours if you want it.