Tuesday, August 2, 2016

What I Want

The latest thing seems to be putting out lists of demands: university students don't want to have to take courses on Western Civilization and want higher marks, fewer tests and less homework. You may laugh, but university administrators have actually hastened to fulfill all these demands! I know, I know! I'm thinking of getting a t-shirt that reads "I'm undermining Western Civilization---ask me how!"

So anyway, if it is working for them, why not for me? Ok, getting in the spirit of things, here is a list of my demands:

  • I want Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau to come back from the dead and, accompanied by John Williams, who needs to come out of retirement, I want them to perform and record my song cycle Songs from the Poets. Preferably to be released on the Deutsche Grammophon label
  • I want at least 37% more sheer creative talent, which should bring me up to around the level of Mozart when he was nine years old
  • I want Greg Smallman to build me a guitar
  • I really think that it is absolutely necessary that Esa-Pekka Salonen, conducting the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, perform and record my piece for orchestra Rhythm Games
  • I sure would like a case of Château Pétrus 1995, which is apparently "drinking well" now
With the possible exception of the Pétrus, I think this is an entirely reasonable list. At least as reasonable as the demands of the university students! Wouldn't you agree? When I was at university as an undergraduate all I wanted was for the professors to show up on time, give challenging lectures, lots of homework, and be tough markers. I figured this was what would give me the best education. I'm really not sure what students want these days. Well, ok, they are saying what they want, but I'm pretty sure they haven't thought through the consequences.

For a suitable envoi here is Esa-Pekka Salonen conducting the Sibelius Symphony No. 4 with the aforementioned orchestra:

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