Sunday, October 21, 2007

Keith Jarrett...?!

Speaking at the group's annual conference, Keith Jarrett will ask Police Minister Tony McNulty and Sir Ian Blair, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, to consider escalating stop-and-searches among black people to reduce the number of shootings that have claimed the lives of another two teenagers in the past week.

At first I didn’t knowwhat to think. A great jazz pianist getting into policing? It didn’t make any sense. Luckily this brainlessness was entirely due to one less cup of coffee than was wise before picking up the paper this morning.

One of my colleagues in work is a lovely man. He will approach the desk with a slim new volume of poetry every month; a periodical about art every few weeks; talk about recent trips to Paris and the architecture therein. Which is why I was knocked for six when, this week, I grandly unfolded that day’s Great Modern Buildings poster from the newspaper, and he said “Oh, what’s that?” This is a church so famous, so oft-illustrated, that I can’t believe he didn’t know it, specially in our line of work.

But what was truly amazing — and surely the Guardian must have realised this would happen — was the reaction it got from those in the office who don’t give a damn about architecture. Twenty minutes later, two people (let’s call them Agnes and Norman) were still pointing to the poster and arguing interestedly about whether the roof was thatch or concrete. I knew which, and hadn’t said a word so it was partly my fault, but I left the office feeling that the best work I’d done all day was a bit of unfolding.

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