Thursday, 15 December 2011

Pot-pourri, some of it seasonal

Wonderful notes, but a bit wide of the mark?

It’s the time of year - when could be better? - for listening to Bach’s wonderful Christmas Oratorio

I particularly love the section ‘prepare thyself Zion’. In magnificent uplifting song, Bach calls on the nation to be ready for great joy. But which nation is that? Why, it’s Zion, the spiritual home of the Jews. And the joy? Why, it’s for the birth of Christ. So, in some of the most glorious music Bach wrote, and by that token some of the most glorious music ever written, Bach calls on the Jews to celebrate the founding event of the Christian religion.

How can you avoid admiring Bach's sense of music? Second to none. His sense of spiritual significance? Probably right up there with the best. His sense of irony? Well, could perhaps have tried harder.

One more for my occasional series on toiletries: this WC is not disabled.

There was a time when toilets that could be used by people in wheelchairs were referred to as ‘handicapped’. But as that term came to be seen as pejorative, it was replaced by ‘disabled’, leading to glorious notices proclaiming ‘disabled toilet’, which ought to have made any possible users nervous about trying their luck.

But now I see that we refer to them as ‘accessible’. Which suggests that toilets for relatively able-bodied people should perhaps be inaccessible.

They might be up on the roof somewhere, offering a challenge to prove that users really are able bodied. While also providing them with the opportunity for a little exercise.

The Chancellor regrets

Saw a glorious sign in a hospital yesterday. It was on a blocked door, closing off access to a whole corridor. And I could hardly imagine anything more appropriate.

Appropriate. And not before time
George Osborne, our esteemed Chancellor of the Exchequer, as we Brits quaintly like to call our Minister of Finance, has been building himself quite a reputation for closing the doors of opportunity and blocking off the way through to hope. And hospitals are a lot of the punishment.

Has he finally at least found the decency to apologise for the pain he’s causing?

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