Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Feeling Grumpy

Last night we went to the theatre called Bozar (it's supposed to be a pun; the only thing to do with something so utterly feeble is pretend you haven't noticed is my advice) in Brussels. We were going to a concert given by the Asian Youth Orchestra, conducted by their founder, Richard Pontzious, who can be seen in the first of these videos fooling around with the musicians as they play William Tell as an encore (chosen because people in Hong Kong, where the orchestra is based, are mad about racing) (listening to it I can hear some woman there with the most dreadful laugh I've ever heard; gosh, I'd be so embarrassed, if I were her):

The concert last night was the final one of a world tour. The programme began with some Richard Strauss, then a Sibelius violin concerto, with Sarah Chang as soloist, then Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 in A Major. At the very end, the orchestra (including Sarah Chang, who you will see slipping in at left) played Nimrod, because as Richard Pontzious explains, it is a tradition, begun under Menuhin:

Well, anyway, as you can imagine, I went home furious at the end of the evening. I mean, how dare these people appropriate my culture? It really is disgusting to think that the citizens of Asia think they have the right to play our music - what can they possibly know about it? Just appalling, don't you think?

And then this morning I turned on the radio and one of the announcers said there were rumours that in the next Bond movie James Bond will marry, and the other announcer said, "I wonder who the woman will be", making the assumption, for heaven's sake, that Bond would be marrying a woman. My outrage knew no bounds.

No, it didn't. The concert was wonderful. I don't care about the announcer's assumption, because it is perfectly natural. The only thing I'm grumpy about is the idiocy of modern debate and the waves of outrage about absolutely nothing that seem to be a regular feature of life today.


  1. Are they Mencken fans, perhaps? If the "restricted" in means "restricted to US access), Googling for "The Sahara of the Bozart" will turn up other copies.

    1. Thank you, George - I shall take a look.