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The Rambler :: blog

Monday, August 22, 2005

The dumbing down of the average arts viewer 

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Prompted by this latest article fretting over the state of the classical music industry (written by Meurig Bowen, head of programming at Aldeburgh Productions), I was led to look into the results of Newsnight Review's recent poll to find their 'quintessential viewer'. The results are a little predictable/depressing (delete for preference), since they show that viewers of one of the only arts programmes left in the regular terrestrial schedules are some of the most conservative, drab, unimaginative people alive. Never mind Bowen pulling up Newsnight for acknowledging classical music as dry, stuffy, elitist and uncool by omitting it entirely from its polling categories - judging by the results, most voters haven't read a book, watched a film or listened to any music since A-levels; and they certainly aren't put off by adjectives like 'dry', 'stuffy', 'grey' or 'old':
1 - THE HOLY BIBLE by MANIC STREET PREACHERS

2 - OK COMPUTER by RADIOHEAD

3 - DARK SIDE OF THE MOON by PINK FLOYD

4 - STONE ROSES by THE STONE ROSES

5 - ASTRAL WEEKS by VAN MORRISON
I'm glad that the weekly efforts of Mark Lawson, Tom Paulin, Germaine Greer et al aren't wasted, then. What that poll desperately needs is a living tradition to shake it up out of its indie/hippie/progressive-rock-in-amber torpor...


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