Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Page 43, Liars…

OK, the awards ceremony wasn't like the Golden Clerics (watch it here). For all my teasing, the prize-winners were the magnificent intellectuals I really miss - Selina, Dorota, Katrina and Ed (of this parish) who took the English prizes and have gone on to great things at prestigious institutions while others are similarly forging their own paths and it was lovely to see them all again.

However - management almost succeeded in turning the event into a something with all the charm and fire of a lost luggage queue: no inspiring speeches on the value of education or the students' achievements until the very end, when Andy (associate dean) did pointedly add a much-needed injection of politics and emotion to the proceedings, in stark contrast to his colleagues.

Highlight of the evening was Rachel Whittaker, winner of the History prize. In a very few minutes she managed to accept the prize, attack the notion of prizes in general, defend the principle of free education and proselytise very convincingly on the virtues of anarchism with astonishing intellectual acuity (we discovered later that she thinks syndicalism is anarchism while I think one wing of anarchism is syndicalism). In a couple of minutes she inspired those of us who might be feeling defeated or weary, and certainly reminded me why I'm an educator.

Anyway, tomorrow's a big day. Firstly, I'm off to Purcell's proto-opera The Fairy Queen in Birmingham, and secondly my boycott of The Archers is over. Normally I don't listen to it because it's smug and dull, but I've been not listening to it deliberately rather than accidentally for the past few weeks because I object to Radio 4 being used for monarchist propaganda: Camilla Windsor - Old Jug-Ears's Comfort Woman -  made a guest appearance today. Typically, the BBC ignored the cries of the peasantry.


ed said...

Great to finally meet you in the flesh Vole! I'm sorry, however, that I didn't get a chance to pick your brains for obscure indie and lo-fi. This is attributable to two reasons:

1. I have the social skills of Emily Dickinson.

2. There were free pastries. I'd walk over my own mother for free pastries.

Zoot Horn said...

Sorry to have missed that, Ed and distinguished company, but after Vole's masterly synopsis I feel like I was there (and you can pick his brains electronically Ed - far less messy)

Benjamin Judge said...

"we discovered later that she thinks syndicalism is anarchism while I think one wing of anarchism is syndicalism"

As Bart Simpson once said, "that is funny on so many levels"