Here’s a question I’ve never been asked:
What exactly is The Multiphasic Phlyarological University?
Well, in a nutshell, it’s a virtual school for studying nonsense.
Because nonsense is such fun! Think of Jabberwocky, for example:
… or Vogon poetry:
… or almost anything by Monty Python:
That all seems very silly. Is that all there is to it?
The University is also a collaborative effort to build a website detailing, and attempting to analyse, classic humour, such as that created by inimitables such as The Goons, Douglas Adams, and ‘Professor’ Stanley Unwin. Comics are excellent phlyarologists by nature: they know what makes people tick as well as how to tickle their funny bones.
One of the paradoxes of humour is that the best of it, at its heart, involves truth. Comedians often present us with the truth about ourselves or our situation in such a way as to make us laugh about it. And, as they say, laughter is the best medicine.
OK, you’ve got my attention — for a while at least — how do I find out more?
The University’s website is at https://phlyarology.com. It’s (currently) a private site; to see more you would need to request access — you’ll need to set up a WordPress.com account to do that, assuming that you don’t already have one. Note that although WordPress will want you to sign up for your own domain (they are, after all, here to make money), you can have a free account if you choose a domain of the form: yourdomainnamegoeshere.wordpress.com.
After you’ve been granted access to phlyarology.com, you can take a look around the site. Nothing is hidden: but note that it’s all under constant development by the students, so much of it will appear to be incomplete. There’s a FAQ section where you can get help (once you’ve got access).
OK, so there’s a website. Looks like any old blog, to me. What’s with the ‘University’ bit?
Assuming that you’re interested in participating, you would then need to Enrol at the University. This isn’t difficult; you just have to provide your name, email address and a short bit of blurb to indicate why you’re interested in joining. This last can really be anything: its main objective is to test that you actually understand English (yes, much as we’d like to be multilingual, it may be some considerable time before that happens). If your application is approved, you will gain access to the site as a ‘contributor‘.
What are the benefits of enrolling at the University?
Ideally, you’ll primarily get a lot of laughs. If you contribute to the design of the site, you will earn credits towards certificates: diplomas, degrees and even doctorates. (None of these — currently — have any academic standing, though. It’s all nonsense!)
What’s the catch? How much does it cost?
Membership of the University is totally free. There is no contract, and absolutely no obligation to do any more than you wish to do.
OK… so how do I get this ball rolling?
Just visit https://phlyarology.com!
See you there?