Plain English: December 2011 Archives
"We seem to be a society that celebrates all the wrong people."
Who said that? The wisest man in Britain today, Iain Duncan Smith, once caretaker leader of the Conservative Party, Work and Pensions Secretary in the current government. He chairs the cabinet social justice committee, and what he has to say about the summer urban riots is full of good sense.
In an interview with the Guardian of 9 December Duncan Smith had the guts to blame the riots on celebrity culture. Children, he said, are regarding contestants on the degraded TV programme The X Factor and doltish Premier League footballers as role models. His point is simple and obviously true: British kids think success in life is achieved by being one of these undereducated yahoos, rather than by hard work. "Kids," he said, are meant to believe that their stepping stone to massive money is The X Factor. Luck is great, but most of life is hard work. We do not celebrate people who have made success out of serious hard work."
There's something in common - besides lack of taste - between the talentless who win The X Factor and the banksters with their undeserved giant bonuses, namely being rewarded incommensurately for the amount of skill and work involved in the performance.
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Terry Teachout on the arts in New York City
Andrew Taylor on the business of arts & culture
rock culture approximately
Laura Collins-Hughes on arts, culture and coverage
Richard Kessler on arts education
Douglas McLennan's blog
Dalouge Smith advocates for the Arts
Art from the American Outback
Chloe Veltman on how culture will save the world
For immediate release: the arts are marketable
No genre is the new genre
David Jays on theatre and dance
Paul Levy measures the Angles
Judith H. Dobrzynski on Culture
John Rockwell on the arts
innovations and impediments in not-for-profit arts
Jan Herman - arts, media & culture with 'tude
Apollinaire Scherr talks about dance
Tobi Tobias on dance et al...
Howard Mandel's freelance Urban Improvisation
Focus on New Orleans. Jazz and Other Sounds
Doug Ramsey on Jazz and other matters...
Jeff Weinstein's Cultural Mixology
Martha Bayles on Film...
Fresh ideas on building arts communities
Greg Sandow performs a book-in-progress
Harvey Sachs on music, and various digressions
Bruce Brubaker on all things Piano
Kyle Gann on music after the fact
Greg Sandow on the future of Classical Music
Norman Lebrecht on Shifting Sound Worlds
Joe Horowitz on music
Jerome Weeks on Books
Scott McLemee on books, ideas & trash-culture ephemera
Wendy Rosenfield: covering drama, onstage and off
Public Art, Public Space
Regina Hackett takes her Art To Go
John Perreault's art diary
Lee Rosenbaum's Cultural Commentary