Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Lynn Barber on Men

Did anyone else here Lynn Barber on Radio 4 on Sunday? I was only half listening and I didn’t hear the whole thing because I turned it off. But I did hear this bit quoted in the Telegraph today:
“My thinking after that was that I must get a boyfriend immediately and that I haven’t got time to waste going punting or to dinner with them. Why don’t I just go to bed with them first, eliminate them if they are no good and not waste time.”
I was left with the impression that Lynn was so desperate to have a boy from Oxford lined up to marry before the three years were through that there wasn’t anything she wouldn’t do nail one - she wasn’t going to bed for love or pleasure. Hearing what she said just before and what said just after (about her relationship with her husband) sealed that impression.

This seems to confirm my point:

“ (Lynn said) ‘I would criticise more what I call the Elizabeth Taylor syndrome, where highly sexed women feel they have to marry the man they sleep with. Then they get divorced and do the same thing over and over again. This seems to be happening in America now.’ (Byrony Gordon writes) Given that Barber went on to marry a fellow student, David Cardiff, with whom she stayed until his death seven years ago, you have to concede that she has a rather good point.”
Were all the 50 boys studying at Oxford?

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Kafka's Legacy

I don't think there is anything missing in this story ran in The Independent and The Guardian today. It has all the parts for an epic.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Tori Amos at Victoria Apollo

The Victoria Apollo became the best piano bar in town last night – for one night only. Tori Amos performed solo. No band, just the piano and keyboard. That’s the third time I have seen her live now; the second time up close. She really is a gifted artist; luminous, like a ray of sunlight pouring through the window of a forgotten medieval chapel somewhere in the mountains. She radiates so many visions and emotions when she performs – some of them earthly, some of them mythical – that I think she’s close to the peak of her ability as an aesthetic conduit in performance. There’s much more to an Amos show than the creation of sonic shapes and part of that “much more” is an element of reaching for the “sacred” sphere. It was difficult to tell, last night, whether she was actually highly sensitive to the moment or whether everything she did was controlled, contained and mastered: probably a bit of both. Every now and again, she’d “drink” from the audience and there was a kind of “chalice” transference, but she’d never get “drunk” on it. It’s probably taken some years to get that balance.

Highlights for me last night were Northern Lad, Space Dog, Hey Jupiter, Take To The Sky and – (the best) – Tori’s version of Personal Jesus by Depeche Mode in the encore. Wonderful (Can't match being there, though, whoever got it on camera.)

Friday, 2 July 2010

Israel and Palestine

I have not long returned from an intense week in Portsmouth covering media relations for the Methodist Church’s annual Conference. The Conference had such pulling power this year that we even had Ruth Gledhill (The Times’ Religious Correspondent) working in the Conference press office with us on Tuesday :) (she was there for the Archbishop’s address).

I have written a piece for CIF Belief on the incredibly painful decision the Conference took to boycott Israeli produce from Israeli settlements.