I will admit that I'm loath to let last night's Newsnight pass without comment, however inconsequential my thoughts about it may be. After all, I wasted a good half an hour of my life watching it, and I want some return from that ordeal!
The programme ignored the news completely (despite being called Newsnight) and focused instead on the arts scene in Manchester - a few miles away from the BBC's Salford residence: namely the Manchester International Festival (abbreviated by Newsnight to MIF - though many a Twitter user claims to have misread that as 'MILF').
Poo and pubic crabs, Maxine Peake denouncing the Tory government and some former Turner Prize winner (very obviously either very drunk or completely stoned out of his mind) denouncing "Thatcher", arty types and sociology professors...That was the programme's focus.
Even the shallow and pretentious world of Twitter seemed to find it all very...er...shallow and pretentious. And inept. Insults flew in.
It wasn't exactly helped, it must be said, by the programme's technical difficulties, which included Kirsty Wark talking for about half a minute without being heard. (Not that I minded that).
Nick Pisani, the man who edited BBC One's Question Time from 2000-06 before fleeing the BBC, tweeted:
Rushed home for latest on Grexit on #Newsnight to find a mute Kirsty Wark and lots of people prancing around stages in very tight outfits— Nick Pisani (@nickpisani1) July 10, 2015
It's called Newsnight, not Artsnight. WTF is this fancy pants load of politically correct crap from Manchester?— Nick Pisani (@nickpisani1) July 10, 2015
So Pisani objects to the focus on an arts festival rather than the Thatcher bashing? The intent seemed to be discussing how much arts festivals and culturalReplyDelete
When they featured some tedious artist type moaning about how too many people are "encouraged to consume" culture rather than participate, I stopped listening. I cannot tell you how many times I've heard tedious academic artists (yes, they're always on a grant or fellowship or teaching at some college) insisting that the true perfect future of art is interactivity. It's a lovely concept, and tremendous fun when appropriate. But in general, most people actually do want to consume art. That's the whole effing point of an artist communicating to the public. I have done quite a few group improvisational pieces involving the audience, and I certainly see the point of such a thing: when that's what I'm aiming for. Or when I'm in a bind and need to come up with something in three days. Basically, you either do it because you've got a fun concept that the audience will enjoy, or you're creatively lazy and taking a postmodern relativist pose to cover it up. But I digress.
In any case, it's all part of the overall impression I get from these things. The BBC has done reports a few times scowling at government spending on cultural things like museums, because they will mostly be appreciated by the rich, arts don't help the poorest and most vulnerable, that whole trip. and this was obviously that.
Which means Pisani is obtuse and didn't really see past his own parochial viewpoint. He probably has produced pieces like the ones I've just described. Aside from that, this was basically a free promotional spot for the festival, wasn't it?
It was truly dreadful.ReplyDelete
If this was supposed to represent the Northern Powerhouse it was a disastrous wet fart.