Thursday, December 06, 2007

Hero, Knight, Mentalist

Pausing briefly to hail this hero of our time, I must return to a story from yesterday (which I couldn't remark on, as the legendary NigeCorp technology was going into meltdown every time I went near the blog). When the latest international table of educational ignominy was unveiled, showing how 'our' 15-year-olds have slumped ten places or so to somewhere below Estonia in the reading and 'rithmetic league, the relevant minister, one Jim Knight, described the results as 'pleasing'. Yes, pleasing. I have been pondering this, slack-jawed, ever since. What exactly would Knight find displeasing? Presumably the UK suddenly powering its way to the top of the table. As that ain't going to happen, I guess we'll never know...
My mind is also boggling gently at the news that the noted TV mentalist (and Purley resident) Derren Brown (he's in Wikipedia) listens EVERY day - and before EVERY performance - to Bach's Goldberg Variations. He seems to favour Murray Perahia's version. Me I'm a Glen Gould 1981 man. But anyway, this must tell us something about Bach, or Brown, or both - or quite possibly nothing, what do I know?


  1. Clarkson should have been given a special dispensation to beat them bloody with his Size 12 boots and ham-sized fists. Let's face it, you could win an election on the basis of having beaten a gang of hoodies to death.

    What this country needs, in addition to perhaps First World standards of literacy, is more celebrity vigilantes, ready to take a stand against villainy and mobile phone users, men like Richard Madeley, Bryan, Clarkson, Paxman, Bill Oddie.

  2. I like the Gould 81 better than the fifties version. We are eccentric in this, apparently, Nige

  3. Eccentric maybe, but right. Perahia is very good though.

  4. Elberry, you've talking my language. That's why my blog is dedicated to celebrating such men.

    As for Gould playing Bach: there's something so deliberate and precise about that recording. I find I can't listen to other versions without thinking that it's being played too fast and without the proper background humming. Everything just seems so perfect about it.