As part of my Open University creative writing course, I need to produce something that sembles a poem by February. One of the many exercise the course book recommends is to listen to a musical composition lasting 10 minutes and then to write a reflective piece on what emotions this music conjures up.
Simple, I say.
YouTube! Because the only piece of music I can think of lasting 10 minutes would be something classical and I ain't got many of those.
I find Jacqueline Du Pre's version of Bach's Cello Suite no. 1. This should last around 8 minutes. That would do, I say.
So I listen. Ah, peace, music, classical, art, the sound of a cello wailing away all sad and lonely. I'm in the zone. I'm feeling all sorts of passionate emotions listening to this. I conjure up images of the sea, of blue skies, of a rich field brimming with wild flowers, of isolation, of hope, of love - I'm really liking this!
Then it finishes and I think, oh, how nice - how refreshing!
But this is YouTube and this is the age of virtual communities, communication, connections and conviviality across the ether, across the globe.
The net has released us from our shackles and we are able to voice our opinions freely, without shame!!!
What do I read under this most beautiful piece of music? Lots of effing and blinding as to whether Ms Du Pre's version is not as good as Rastropovich or that this cellist is better than that etc, etc, etc. I am back in the playground minus the musicians.
A few months ago I watched a clip of Rihanna's interview where she speaks about her experience of physical abuse from her ex. I cannot even begin to understand those who left verbal abuse directed at her as "comments".
There is a famous clip of a baby panda sneezing. The comments descend into racial mud-slinging. ??!!??!! It's a panda sneezing, people!
She says, ranting.