Saturday, 16 July 2016

Academic mishap

For some people, the overwhelming presence of pop music in modern life, spoiling any situation with its auditory manure (as Solzhenitsyn would say) is not enough: it is supposed to need funding and academic attention. 

“Simon Zagorski-Thomas, professor at the University of West London, has used his 15 minutes of fame on BBC Radio 4 to argue that popular music should be given more academic attention and funding.”


This 'professorial utterance' is just another example of egalitarian thinking, product of 20C anti-bourgeois ideology which was under the delusion that classical music was an instrument of cultural class warfare.

There are many people out there who hate high art – the best art of their own culture – because they feel incapable of experiencing it, and instead of making some effort, they try to diminish it, to besmear it, to make it go away – this nagging reminder of their lazy inadequacy. For them, pop music and quasi-academics demanding serious academic treatment of it, are a gift from heaven, because it confirms their own bad, seriously underdeveloped taste. In this way, pop music is like the misuse of religious absolution: the lazy barbarian is forgiven his inadequacy about which he felt so guilty, and does not need to try to improve himself.

There is nothing against pop music, which is simple entertainment for the masses, but where it tries to get its hands at high culture, the motive is always to conquer a place which it does not deserve. It is the attempt of the loser to present his failure as an asset, and to paint any critique as snobbery.

In the Second World War, survivors of bombing scrambled along the ruins to get to the concert hall where the players, in their coats like the audience since there was no heating, performed some repertoire works, and halls were always full: because of the hunger to experience something that gave the people for a short while the confirmation back of their humanity. And in free, liberal and wealthy societies of the West, there are many people who want to get rid of exactly this type of experience.


Simon Zagorski-Thomas, professor at the University of West London, has used his 15 minutes of fame on BBC Radio 4 to argue that popular music should be given more academic attention and funding. - See more at: http://slippedisc.com/2016/04/dead-musicians-get-a-better-deal-than-live-ones/#sthash.4Xk6Qg2o.dpuf

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