the cure


No: not that Cure! (God, remember how weird they looked in the eighties? Now they just look really… eighties.)

No, I’m talking about the cure for all the stupid kids thinking nothing exists outside their little bubble. (See my previous post, on Christopher Hitchens on anti-Semitism.) I’m talkin’ about the turning of the tide, the injection of some common sense, the introduction of real, old-fashioned commonality. Yes: I’m talking about the blond toff moppet himself!

“Arts chiefs should stop patronising young people by targeting them with hip-hop and movies, and instead offer them access to high culture,” says  Boris Johnson, the London mayor, in Saturday’s Guardian.

Hear, hear.

“In a report outlining his strategy, his chief of arts and culture strategy, Munira Mirza, argues that too much emphasis has been placed on making events ‘user-friendly’.

She said: ‘Too often, it is presumed that young people will only like art that they can immediately relate to.

‘Working-class students may be steered towards popular culture like hip-hop, new media and film on the basis that they will find older art forms such as opera or ballet irrelevant’. Mirza said this was ‘extremely patronising’.

God I was sick of Ken, that weird flattening-out, all those bloody festivals, everything the same all the time. Mind you, he did create two new bus routes through Hackney, and got more buses on the 277 route.

You should have seen Mlle B’s face when I got to the part about the “arts Oyster cards” for young people, giving them cheap or free access to museums, galleries, even the theatre – eyes like saucers. And the “amnesty” for old musical instruments in people’s cupboards, so they can be given to young people to learn!

“If we achieve anything, I would like to help all people think that it is for them, or that the National Gallery, for example, is for them, that it belongs to you.”

Sorry; I’m giving you the whole thing now! And just get this deliciousness:

“Mirza said: ‘We need to have a view that culture has a value in itself, not just in terms of a social and economic value. I’ve now worked at the Greater London Assembly for six months and I’ve seen the minutes of meetings. And I get the impression there’s been a slight sniffiness about culture, that… you always had to justify it’.

…Mirza said she wanted to learn from Venezuela’s El Sistema, which nurtures more than 100 youth and children’s orchestras.

It was ‘the one thing Ken missed’ in his links to Venezuela, said Mirza.”

That, and the fact that we didn’t like him hobnobbing with Islamist extremists on our dime. Ach! Enough of that. Time for some Robert Smith, while you read your Christopher Hitchens.


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