Ambition


I generally shy away from celebrity news, but I’ve read recently about two famous British gentlemen who have intriguing and unexpected ambitions.

The first is Morrisey vocalist for the 80’s indie band The Smiths as well as a long solo career. According to The Guardian Morrisey is unhappy with England’s performance in the Eurovision Song Contest.

The former Smiths singer said he was “horrified” by the United Kingdom’s latest poor result in the competition. Rapper Daz Sampson could only manage a paltry 19th out of 24 countries in the most recent contest, which took place in Athens in May.

As a result of said trauma, Morrissey has been left troubled, with one issue in particular on his mind: “There is one question that I keep on asking: ‘why didn’t they ask me?’ That question keeps going round my head.”

For the uninitiated, the Eurovision Song Contest is a competition where musicians from 24 European nations battle it out for the most popular song a la American Idol. I’ve never actually witnessed a Eurovision event, but my wife who has lived in Belgium tells me that the songs are generally peppy and upbeat pop music (in other words, formulaic garbage).

Now, Morrisey is someone who sings songs titled “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now” and lyrics such as “And if a double-decker bus/Crashes into us/To die by your side/Is such a heavenly way to die.” Definitely not peppy and upbeat, but perhaps Morrisey is on to something. Depressing hokum may lead England to victory.

The other story is about physicist Stephen Hawking, the Lucasian Professor at Cambridge University and author of tomes such as A Brief History of Time. Apparently, Hawking wants to travel to space and British gazillionaire Richard Branson wants to see to it that he does. There’s probably no one on Earth who knows more about space and deserves to go. Of course, Hawking is 65 years old and disabled by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, so it will be interesting to see how he accomodates to space travel. The world has progressed a long way since the time of The Right Stuff where only the most perfect specimens of man were chosen for astronauts. I hope Hawking makes the trip.