Aaaargh. I was discussing random stuff, out of politeness more than anything else, with someone who could best be described as a distant relative last night.
She has kids, three. One is pretty average and does what kids do. One other is not, and it turns out the she is a bit something-or-the-other on the wossnameistic scale (I was paying attention, as you can see). The other is a dolt.
Anyhow, for reasons I cannot possibly fathom, she started wittering on about the fact that her number two (no, not a euphemism) has now been given one-to-one tuition. Great, I say. "Paid for by **** County Council", she goes on to say.
"Er, what?" I say, "Paid for by me, you mean?"
She ignores this. "Also, EVERY kid in the class, more than thirty of them, have a violin, also funded by ****."
"Shit and derision", think I. She truly believes that the money tree that is **** Council, paying for thirty-something violins, is a good idea? Which demented pillock thinks that THAT is a good idea?
I know more about music than I know about most things. This will come as no surprise to both of my readers, for they surely know by now that I know sweet FA about virtually everything else. But violins?
Pianos make a noise when you bonk one of the keys. They make the correct noise. Clarinets are similar, as are recorders. Violins make a noise akin to that of a cat begin rectally abused by something sharp. They play at a pitch dependent upon the position of the assailant's digit, rather like the cat, and they can be the most fearsome torture known to man. They are not suitable tools for any but the most dedicated youngster, and then only in soundproofed rooms.
But that isn't the point. I can play many instruments, ranging in proficiency from rather well to rather badly. The violin is an exception to this, and with good reason. But why, why in the name of all that's bonkers, is **** Council providing a violin to EVERY kid in this class? Why?
And, if you think you've got even half an answer, let me tell you that **** Council is Tory-controlled, before and after the last election.
The mind boggles.