Sunday, 11 April, 2010, 12:41 PM - Not TFTDDear Prof Cox
I recently read your profile in New Scientist. It was apparent from this article that you have enjoyed a successful career as a musician, including the No 1 hit "Things can only get better". Unfortunately you did not have the good grace to do as many young rock stars do and embark on a downwards spiral of drugs, sex and general destructive hedonism. No, you had to go on and have an even more successful career as a physicist.
Having attained a professorship at one of our most distinguished physics research groups you then embarked on a third successful career presenting TV and radio shows, including the interesting and surprisingly informative Wonders of the Solar System.
I would just like you to know that I find this kind of talent and energy utterly deplorable. Those of us who struggle to get any kind of a recognisable tune from a musical instrument are happy to tolerate artistic achievement provided it is accompanied by a suitably balanced lack of ability elsewhere. Similarly, as someone who has purchased no end of physics textbooks in a futile effort to gain some understanding of how the universe works, only to consign them to the bookshelf after a few pages of complete bafflement, I find it extremely irritating that someone considerably younger than me should come along and make it all look so easy.
This is part of a worrying trend these days, where Britons are going around being unashamedly enthusiastic and good at things. It just won't do. We never did things like that in my day. You could at least try to look a bit more tired, cynical and generally grumpy.
And get a haircut!