Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Friday, 17 July 2015
As far as architecture goes, 'The Arts' is the last thing to be considered and any 'art' which is glued onto the side of a new building just before the ribbon is cut, is only there because of a clause in the contract which states that 1% of the total costs must be spent on 'art'.
So the builders and architects reluctantly contact some crappy artist whose work would never be shown in galleries, let alone bought for a private collection, and then ask him/her for a back-hander for the privilege of creating the artwork at the last minute.
Of course, architects are all a bunch of frustrated artists to a man/woman, and it is a bit like the old adage, 'If you cannot do it, teach it'. Any truly artistic architect would never get a look-in in today's world of stitched-up contracts involving local government money and the profits of multi-national building companies. Soon it will be exactly the same situation with the BBC.
Just think what the BBC has done for the arts for the last 100 years. It is truly immeasurable, especially since that most of the early programs were live, and of the ones which were recorded, most have either disappeared or destroyed themselves.
Of course there has been a lot of rubbish broadcast amongst the gems, but it is not for a government of any persuasion to tell us which is good and which is bad. In anycase, if 'art is for everyone', then everyone should be given a chance, especially if the chance is provided with the aid of public funds.
It is true that many well-known film-makers began by producing TV and film adverts, but that was because it was the only way they could get a start in cinema, and the adverts had to be good in order to sell products. It was the only way they could get a track record and an airing.
Most traditional theatres are struggling and the actors get paid peanuts - there is not enough ice-cream sold in the intervals to make corporate sponsorship worthwhile, unless it is tax deductible.
Would we have seen anything like 'Sherlock' or 'Wolf Hall' and be able to watch every episode all the way through without commercial breaks if it had been funded by Coca Cola? I remember watching commercial TV when I was a kid, and everyone rushing out to put the kettle on or have a piss every 15 minutes. The National Grid reported surges in demand at regular intervals during the breaks, and power-cuts were often triggered by them during the Winter months. Every series which had adverts had to write the scripts arround them, so the standard of writing was horribly compromised. It takes a super-human writer to sustain at least 4 cliff-hangers per episode and keep it credible.
Why cannot the BBC be allowed to 'entertain' us? What is wrong with that?
I was talking to a postman friend last night, and I mentioned that Royal Mail was - finally - 100% privatised, and that I had noticed an immediate deterioration in the service already, due to a claim for damage in transit being totally ignored despite my paying for it to be insured.
"Has it?" he said, "I hadn't noticed. I knew it was going to happen so I stopped thinking about it."