The Null Device
I'm Wayne Kerr, and if there's one thing I hate... it's loud, obnoxious sports fans. Given that this was Grand Final weekend in Melbourne (something to do with a bunch of blokes kicking a ball around a field to appease the gods or something), they were out in force on public transport. As was I, commuting between the old and new premises. Last night, as I was sitting on the train, trying to read, I had the misfortune of sharing a row of seats with three drunken revellers, one of whom (an obese woman with a high, screeching voice not unlike fingernails on a blackboard) insisted on singing (or rather bellowing) the Essendon football club song and accosting other passengers, telling them to support her team. Her companions tried to tell her to shut up, but she wouldn't have a bar of that. I was attempting to read my book, studiously ignoring her attempts to strike up a conversation; needless to say, I didn't get much reading done in that journey.
Today it wasn't quite so bad (by some miracle, I avoided that particular train that would be packed to sardine-can densities with a sweaty crush of football-scarved biomass, instead getting a subsequent one with some stragglers), though the raucous, off-key choruses of football fans that kept erupting were not pleasant.
The bizarre case of the counterfeit Moscow Philharmonic. A Russian orchestra has been touring Hong Kong, purporting to be the famous Moscow Philharmonic, playing packed halls and getting rave reviews; until it emerged that the real Moscow Philharmonic is in Europe. I suppose that this is not entirely unexpected from a nation with a surfeit of highly trained, cash-strapped musicians. Meanwhile, Hong Kong's culture vultures are probably feeling rather embarrassed for having been taken in so easily.