Friday, 11 February 2011

I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each

I have been asked to give the after-dinner speech at this year's BAMC in Birmingham (11th - 13th April). I suspect that this is proof that (a) I am growing old; and (b) at least some people think I have retained a sense of humour. I've been thinking about what can be said that is amusing and topical and short. To paraphrase the Player in Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead:
GLENDINNING: ... well, I can do you maths and humour without the politics, and I can do you maths and politics without the humour, and I can do you all three concurrent or consecutive, but I can't do you humour and politics without the maths. Maths is compulsory, it's all maths.
BAMC: Is that what the people want?
GLENDINNING: It's what I do.
Does anyone know any good and topical jokes? Fiona says there's nothing funny about politics at the moment.

I could only think of one picture of after-dinner speaking, and since I've done TS Eliot and Tom Stoppard already in this very erudite blog, why not use Leonardo for divine inspiration? There is a connection between R&G and Prufrock -- easy to guess?!

 
Here's the full Stoppard quote (from the actors who will perform in front of Claudius and Gertrude, the head player explains what they can do):
PLAYER: They're hardly divisible, sir – well, I can do you blood and love without the rhetoric, and I can do you blood and rhetoric without the love, and I can do you all three concurrent or consecutive, but I can't do you love and rhetoric without the blood. Blood is compulsory – they're all blood, you see.
GUIL: Is that what the people want?
PLAYER: It's what we do. 

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