Sunday, 25 October 2009

Three posts in one

Gosh, it's really dark at half past six in the evening now, isn't it?!

I have three thoughts in mind, none of which are quite big enough in themselves to merit a separate post.

Re the last post - I've changed my mind about democracy and the BBC. I don't think people like Nick Griffin should be allowed to speak on Question Time. The whole thing descended into a shouting match and was no use whatsoever in terms of scrutiny. There were a lot of angry voices in the crowd from a variety of ethnic and religious backgrounds all wanting to know - and quite justifiably so - how an educated man from their country could possibly logically come out with the kind of statements that Nick Griffin has about race, the Holocaust, Islam.

But that's not what Question Time is for. There's something incredibly distasteful about an angry mob baying for blood, even crazy, racist, extremist blood. That's not what democratic scrutiny is all about. It's as though we need someone to shout at, and finally we've found the socially-acceptable solution.

Apart from anything else, it was a gift to the other participants on the panel (Jack Straw, Conservative MP Baroness Warsi, Lib Dem Chris Huhne and Bonnie Greer) who couldn't help but sound like the voice of reason in comparison with their extreme-right colleague.
In fact, all but the final question were BNP-centred, meaning the other panellists effectively escaped scrutiny. Nice work, BBC.

This is why Question Time is not the best platform for this type of speaker.

2/ (since when did I become a political blogger anyway?!)
A couple of long-awaited payments finally came through this week and my thoughts turned to the fripperies of the high street (I'm not a fashion blogger either).
Autumn is the only time I like to buy clothes. Reflecting the falling leaves, the shops are full of russets, chestnuts, ochre - all colours that I can actually carry off with relative lack of failure (the only Real Colours I can wear are red and green, and I refuse to resemble a poinsettia).
It's not only the warm autumnal colours that make me want to buy; textures are great in autumn: chunky knits, velvety cords, cosy woolly tights and leggings (yes I do translate fashion blurb). All the things that make you want to curl up on the sofa in front of the fire (failing that, the television) with a big cup of tea and some Marmite on toast.

It's all so much more civilised than summer (acid colours, not enough coverage, too many wispy synthetics), winter (no desire to buy next season's spring clothes when the outside world is full of sludge and slurry) and spring (too early to even be thinking about a bikini wax).

So yes, receiving two relatively weighty payments mid-autumn is dangerous for me. Think saving for taxes, saving for taxes.

Panic! What was the third thing?!
Oh yes.
I don't care if I never have a boyfriend again, if I never pass that accreditation test, if I never finish my touchingly humorous yet handsomely-crafted novel about the life of a brave, intelligent young language professional swimming against the tide during two years living and working in post-accession Poland...

What I want is to be able to play Whatever I Like on the piano, like this guy:

(or like Jamie Cullum, who was also on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross).

I have started practising. I'm working from a full photocopy (generously provided by a family friend, from my parents' church choir, who is well-versed in the techniques of trad jazz) of Lee Sims Piano Method (Jazz) - A Complete instructor in the new American style of "orchestral effect" piano playing and modern harmony
As far as I can tell, this involves turning everything into ragtime.

Great, I can manage that.

Currently, I'm having enormous fun adding inappropriate stride bass arrangements to just about anything really.

My favourites so far are Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen, not GF Handel) and I Need A Hero.

Any other suggestions are welcome (please send chords).


Raf said...

I could be your boyfriend. But only long distance because i love writing letters to people far away from me. From what I've seen from the Griffin-guy, I can only consider him as a joke. Unfortunately there are people who think he's not a joke. Therefor we must put him live in the Apollo, where he can try all he can with being serious and explaining his motivations and little theories, but people will still laugh at him because it's at the Apollo. Jack Dee will be pitying him by cellphone. Stop paying taxes if you believe your government is screwing you over.

pinolona said...

uhh... I don't really understand. This was not an appeal for a boyfriend, this was an appeal for songs to improvise on in an inappropriately traditional style.