Friday, 20 February 2009

The sticking place

Recently, I scrunched up my courage and posted the stuff I'd been writing about Clare Wilkinson, who is a rather fabulous mezzo who sings with I Fagiolini. Unfortunately, Blogspot stuck up the post under the date when I'd started to write it, rather than when I'd finished it, so it's got a bit buried. Do please go and have a look at it - I'd be interested to know what you think (and also grateful if anyone knows how to pronounce 'paean' - A and I don't, we realised).

I had a good conversation with a work colleague a while ago about postivity and negativity, and how your mental attititude colours the world around you to become a self-fulfilling prophecy. It reminded me of something someone told me when I was a journalist, which was that to write a positive review of something is much more of a risk than writing a negative one: you really stick your neck out when you praise something. It's always easier to criticise: partly, humour comes more easily when you're being rude. Writing with a positive slant feels slightly naff.

We've been pondering the nature of fandom, too. There was a funny story in the press about a woman who'd sat outside the gate of Prince's estate for several weeks. When he heard about it, he went and asked her to come in and talk to him - at which point she got up and left. It made me think of medieval courtly love, where the adoration is the whole point and consummation would ruin the whole thing. And Petrarch, writing all his poems about Laura after she was dead. Great art, but lousy sex.

Our fandom remains at the point where what we dream about is introducing Russell T Davies to Joss Whedon at a dinner party, and getting the discussion started with some suitably geeky topics. But at least the evening would have a purpose: the problem when you admire people is that all there is to do is gush. If you get that far - when A and I were in the same room as Clare at a post-concert drink session, we stood in the corner staring at our toes and twiddling our glasses. But then you can't really stride up to someone and say baldly "You're wonderful!" - can you?

PS After being so rude about Janet Baker, I was wurgling around on YouTube and found some videos of her. Oops. She's, um, rather good, isn't she? I guess I just didn't like trained voices in the days when I didn't have one...

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