Saturday, May 20, 2006

Rock of Ages

I remember as a teenager the excitement caused by the arrival of first the beat groups and then the rock bands of the late sixties and early seventies. These guys (and they were nearly all guys) were a few years older than the fans, and were god-like figures, with great manes of hair and impossibly tight jeans. Thirty - odd years later, incredibly, most of them seem to be still around. Have a look who's touring at the moment - The Stones (once they've located Keef's brain) Deep Purple, Jethro Tull, a version of ELO, and so on. Of course, the members aren't the same - they are now fat and bald, or indeed dead. Which leads me to my proposition - the amalgamation of rock bands to compensate for missing members. I notice the Who are headlining festivals this summer, despite being down to 50% of their original strength due to the exits of the drummer and the bass player. There's another group who are 50% down, too, and the remaining members are - the drummer and the bass player! Step forward The Whotles, or possibly the Boo. That bass player might need the money, soon...

Friday, May 19, 2006

More trouble at mill...

Education news & jobs at the Times Higher Education Supplement

It was inevtiable that the impasse over the pay offer would lead to local bargaining, and I'm amazed the union negotiators didn't do more to head it off, especially as they are apparently blessed with telepathic powers, according to this report, where the chair of the education committee says " one member of the committee had asked union representatives why they had not put the employers' offer to their members in a ballot.

And the unions had explained they felt this would waste time when they knew what the outcome would be."

Doom and Gloom

While looking for something else entirely, I chanced upon a sort of online journal kept by one of my students. I'm not going to link to it, because I don't want to send my minuscule audience there, so you'll have to take my word about the contents. I like this student - he's intelligent, original in his thinking, and pretty diligent. He's also a Goth, with the standard-issue monochromatic clothes, multiple piercings, and, no doubt, tattoos.
He writes about his life, which seems to consist entirely of getting stoned, getting pissed, or both, playing computer games, and going to see bands with names like "Necrophagists". What really struck me, though, was the air of nihilist despair that hangs over the whole thing. Everything is shit, life is shit, university is shit, etc etc. The witty and clever young man I see in the classroom is transformed in the journal into a raging misanthrope, apparently devoid of any sense of hope or ambition. Sad to see someone of that age as cynical as someone of my age...