[NetBehaviour] The privileged few are tightening their grip on the arts

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Sun Sep 14 22:17:14 CEST 2014

I agree - Michael, you're incredibly eloquent!

- Alan

On Sun, 14 Sep 2014, Joel Weishaus wrote:

> Right on, Michael.
> -Joel
> On 9/14/2014 9:30 AM, dave miller wrote:
>       Brilliantly put - well said "My greatest hope (and belief) is
>       that sometime before I shuffle off we will show them how wrong
>       they were" - yes!!!!
> On 14 September 2014 17:03, michael szpakowski <michael at dvblog.org>
> wrote:
> It's interesting that the original article uses theatre as a
> starting point. Having started out in the late seventies working
> in the theatre and keeping a toe in that camp until very
> recently I can vouch for the change.
> I remember on my second job ever in 1977 I asked one of the guys
> in the small touring company I was working for what he'd been
> before he became an actor. "A burglar", he replied. It was true
> -  he came from a poor working class area of a big industrial
> town and rebelled in perhaps not the most social of ways. He'd
> wanted out though & learned to play the bass, joined a band and
> then got into acting through the many connections and
> opportunities there were then ( and which were not tied to
> expensive training). He later became quite a celebrated TV
> performer playing a part that was related to his earlier life
> and authentically so.
> Many of the people I worked with at that time came from similar
> working class backgrounds to my own - I myself am the child of a
> Polish refugee turned furnaceman in the Sheffield steel.
> Now , unless it is someone who worked their way in through the
> soaps, working class accents are produced to order by the
> "skills" of the largely privileged cadre who can afford to make
> it through drama school. In the 90s I taught theatre to FE
> students one of whom (the daughter of a classroom teacher from
> Essex) went to RADA, through merit not connections. I went to
> see her rather star studded West End debut ( a triumph which
> gave her a good deal of class satisfaction) and she told me
> she'd spent three years at RADA playing "second secretary" or
> similar whilst the sons and daughters of those already in the
> "biz" or simply the well heeled and confident scooped the leads.
> What is the timeline? - I can tell you exactly what it is - when
> the working class were fighting and winning in the UK,
> mid-sixties to 74ish, miraculously there were ways for us to
> "better ourselves" in other ways than struggle.
> It took awhile for these gains to be chipped away but it has
> been downhill in proportion to the series of (often entirely
> unnecessary) defeats that have been the outcome of workers'
> struggles since the Winter of Discontent in the late seventies.
> The marginalisation of working class voices in the arts is a
> consequence of the fact that our rulers believe they have us
> licked and under control in general. My greatest hope (and
> belief) is that sometime before I shuffle off we will show them
> how wrong they were.
> michael
> ____________________________________________________________________________
> From: ruth catlow <ruth.catlow at furtherfield.org>
> To: netbehaviour at netbehaviour.org
> Sent: Sunday, September 14, 2014 1:53 PM
> Subject: Re: [NetBehaviour] The privileged few are tightening
> their grip on the arts
> Do we care if our arts are increasingly practiced, disseminated
> and discussed in the media by a privileged few?
> Were the post-WWII gains in diversity an illusion? or did time
> really stop, and start going backwards?
> If so when did this reversal start?
> Early 80s, mid 90s, early noughties?
> On 14/09/2014 11:12, marc garrett wrote:
> The privileged few are tightening their grip on the arts | The
> Guardian - http://go.shr.lc/1wsoLXu 
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