Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Christmas comes in March.

I have recently discovered podcasts. I know, I know, I'm at the cutting edge of 2004.

Anyway, I discovered a magnificent podcast called 'Handelmania' wherein a New Yorker called Charlie Handelman shares his extraordinary collection of rare and cherishable opera recordings. Wait, wait, come back...

He also has a wonderful collection of weirdnesses and curios. Once I've found it online, I shall without a doubt post a link to an mp3 of the performance of 'La Traviata' where suddenly and from nowhere a woman in the audience let rip with a guttural and terrifying primal scream. Apparently she then ran out of the auditorium, and nobody to this day knows who she was or why she did it. Theories abound; some say she was trying to sabotage the performance because she had had an abortive affair with its conductor, others say that she had undergone dental surgery that day and looked down to see her blouse covered in blood. Whatever the truth, it is an extraordinary and slightly scary thing.

I'm going to link to my other favourite moment from the Handelmania podcast, with apologies/thanks to the blogger who hosts it (one of many, for all I know-the first google result when you search for 'o holy night terrible singing congregation' is a blog called fredmckinnon.com). I know nothing of fredmckinnon or his dotcom, other than the fact it hosts this which, I promise, you must hear. All the way through. Once.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Well, it's late, and this is depressing.

I have been wandering round the 'groups' page of facebook and I came across this excellent group which is quite rightly objecting to one of the nastiest examples of tubthumping and pagefilling I've seen in a long while.

In summary- some of the children who survived the Dunblane shooting have bebo and facebook pages which talk about drinking or having sex, and the Sunday Express wants us to be very, very angry about this.

Just to reiterate- because I still can't quite believe this story was published- some people who were six when someone came into their school and killed a number of children and teachers are now young adults, and have made comments on the internet about how they like to get drunk from time to time. I can't quite believe that the woman who wrote this article, one Paula Murray, didn't have a moment as she filed her copy where she thought 'This is a bit rum, actually. There's no story here. And maybe calling it 'an insult to those who died' is hijacking something tragic in order to bully some teenagers whose only 'crime' is to do some things that teenagers do. Should I submit this? Might it have an effect on my immortal soul?'

Then she sent in the article.

It seems to me that there are an awful lot of self-appointed moral arbiters knocking around who need a brief refresher on what might or might not be immoral.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

I am a child.

I am a child because I was reading this and burst into uncontrollable giggles.

Can you guess why? Hint: it has to do with Ted and Ivan's course, which as you will see sadly had to be cancelled.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Why correct inflection is important

Always nice to start the day with a big, unexpected laugh, and that is just what I've done, courtesy of an actor on 'The Archers' who slightly misinflected the line

'If you ever want a job in the future, let me know'

No such misinflections (seamless. It's a SEAMLESS link) are to be found in The Death of Grass, which runs from Monday to Friday on Radio 4 at 1045 and 1945 and will also be available on Listen Again on the BBC website. It's an adaptation of John Christopher's 1950s sci fi novel, which stars That Comedian as the narrator, with some other people in it who you probably know, and, in a couple of cases, are.