Wednesday, May 5, 2010

MSM Tackles Theater

Thank God for Nick Clegg, if only for making the non-theater blogosphere talk about theater for a hot second. Here's Matt Yglesias on Clegg on Beckett:
I think people used to think that you couldn’t win a presidential election while being a black man named “Barack Hussein Obama” whose autobiography admits to cocaine use and who used to represent Hyde Park in the State Senate while attending a black nationalist church. It just turns out that there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our narrow conventional wisdom. So I wish someone would say the person he admires most is an avant-garde writer, if only to break the taboo which might, in turn, help us build a less relentlessly anti-intellectual public culture.
As usual, liking theater is apparently on par with the worst opinions of bigots towards black community members. Here's Stephen Fry on the anti-elitism that was uncovered by criticisms of Clegg:
When I was growing up ‘elitism’ was a word sneered from the lips of the Left, now it is sneered from the lips of the Right. The sneering was ugly then and it is ugly now. Knowledge, science, understanding, literacy and curiosity are absolute goods and to hell with anyone who tries to follow that American habit here and attempts to construct a discourse in which only a despised liberal elite are interested in science, the arts, history and ideas. Such wickedness reminds one of those who opposed Education For All at the end of the nineteenth century. All knowledge should be free and available and all people should be encouraged to acquire it. It will not necessarily lead to liberalism, but it will lead to understanding and a desire for openness and decent, non-tribalist exchanges of the kind that can only enrich our democracy.
It's worthwhile to note that apparently that most uncouth of audiences, the Twitter mass, seemed fairly positive.

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