:: Encore Theatre Magazine :::: British Theatre: Polemics & Positions ::
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:: Sunday, January 21, 2007 ::
Simone Clarke is my hero. She has stood up to the nasty bullies and made them look like the fascists that they are.
I also have sympathy for Jade Goody. She is of mixed race and her father did not give her the best upbringing.
Thought crimes and name calling are
thought more serious than real crimes these days.
Dear Theatre Worker,
As with Radio 4 Today presenters when they stray from politics into the arts, you do sound like a bit of an undergraduate knob when you wander the other way.
Hey Anonymous, thanks for the detailed feedback. It's always so encouraging when people of such evidently detailed knowledge and understanding take the time and trouble to engage with the arguments. Yours, TW.
jade gets everything she deserves racism is very serious and jade is jealous because shilpa os better looking and is well mannered.
Really interesting post. I can't help feeling though that, even in this post-modern age, we should be able to make a differentiation between Strindberg and Big Brother. I would even go so far as to say that Strindberg was an artist and Big Brother is tedious, exploitative television and that the celebrity version is the worst because it is the least representative.
Just because something exists doesn't mean we have to see it, does it? Big Brother and verbatim theatre seem to be linked in this sense - they both place a premium on 'authenticity'. Just look at the language so frequently used in the shows: "I'm the most genuine person here".
What's amazing though is that if people are so disgusted by it, why don't they just stop watching it? It's like pornography - those who love it and those who want to abolish it are unified in the fact that they are obsessed with it.
I do agree with the points you make about Simone Clarke though. The Guardian acted recklessly by outing her and in doing so employed really trashy tabloid tactics. It was just that the victims of those tactics were BNP supporters rather than love-rat, high-jinx rugby players or cricket players, so they considered anything to be fair game.
Interesting post (despite what our smug and entirely baseless anonymous friend may think).
I couldn't agree more on Clarke, it is only now in the wake of the Guardian's counter-inuitive witch hunt that her political position could possibly have any impact. Her performance has only now, as the protesters and counter-protesters clash outside the theatre, been imbued with an element of the political. Unless the Guardian are suggesting that her membership of a (as you said) legal political party should negatively impact upon her potential employment. And if all the were wanting to suggest was the extent to which the BNP is expanding into the traditional middle-class middle ground, why the need for names?
It seems to me that the important thing was to identify Clarke as an individual and an outsider. An exception to prove a spurious rule; That the unpleasant spectre racism and division casts its shadow only over the big-brother-watching masses, leaving the middle classes and their nobler arts bathed in the glorious sunshine of liberal enlightenment.
When exactly did these reality shows like Celebrity Big Brother become something more than lighted aquariums of clumsy cheap entertainment? At best these aquariums act like funhouse mirrors that present distorted reflections of the culture in which they are placed. However outrageous, in the end they are nothing more than products in a marketplace. Culturally and politically, it’s tempest in a teapot.
I came to this “scandal” through an odd circuit of googling Germaine Greer and other feminist references about the V-Day celebrations. Of course I had heard of Big Brother, one of the original reality shows, but I had never really heard of the Celebrity version. I found it strange that Greer was even watching (and commenting on) the show, but I was dumbfounded when I learned that she had actually once been a contestant in “the house.”
Greer had had an awful time and quit her episode in 2005 and now commenting from outside the Big Brother aquarium she is convinced that “the actress” Shilpa is having a good time: "Everyone hates her because she wants them to. She also knows that if she infuriates people enough, their innate racism will spew forth."
Of course Greer has also had her own good times goading others in the medium where she's the diva. And she has no new lesson for herself or anyone in this, just that old fish-out-of-water thing. Stay within the environment that best feeds your talents and filters your shit.
This ballet dancer story and the TV story are not only totally unrelated but also totally inane except that they string together to make a newsy scandal about “racism.” Debate and discussion on this scandal then also becomes its own species of frivolous entertainment.
So I’m partially with anonymous, Theatre Worker needs to get back to work on theater. He has nothing to say here. Nobody does. There’s nothing to talk about.
nick's post is actually the best post ever.
not just for what he or she says. but for the use of inverted commas, which is "amazing".
and also for writing the two most brilliant sentences ever written.
"I came to this “scandal” through an odd circuit of googling Germaine Greer and other feminist references about the V-Day celebration" and,
"He has nothing to say here. Nobody does. There’s nothing to talk about."
I am "giddy" with love.
Really interesting post. Although I have one major quibble. I'd suggest you actually attend the occasional ballet before characterising the dancers as automatons. Better still here is a cheaper solution; go to youtube and type in William Forsythe and then watch the extaordinary differences in interpretation, better still type in Giselle and be prepared to be stunned by the differences.Post a Comment
Now fair enough if classical dance ain't your scene but to belittle it out of ignorance does your article a disservice.