In brief: yer all savages

I’m not one to defend the general British public (see forthcoming entry on culture when it, erm, forthcomes) but I feel that I should get my spake in, albeit briefly, about this.

BBC Newsnight presenter Jeremy Paxman has described the British public as “barbarians” who are too busy working to find time to appreciate art.

I’m not a huge fan of Paxman’s, it has to be said, for I find him more much more offensive and condescending than I do challenging and interesting, and the above strikes me as a typical statement of his.

Here are a few simple sums for you Mr. Paxman: earnings of £XX,000 per year, X children, £XXX,000 mortgage, and £XX,000 in car loans/ student loans/ credit card and other debts don’t leave many of us with whole lot of Xs to play around with. We work all the time, just to make our ends meet. And you wonder why we plebeians spend all of our time working and little of our time perusing art galleries? We’re flipping exhausted!

I would have thought it was f-ing obvious, even to a snob like you who makes considerably more Xs than the rest of us put together, and who doesn’t have to worry at all about where his next paycheck comes from or goes to.

6 responses to “In brief: yer all savages

    • I don’t think it’s a money thing in terms of paying for art galleires etc. – it’s a time thing. So many of us work so hard and so such long hours that visiting an art gallery is the last thing we want to do when we get home. My point about money is that the likes of Paxman don’t have to work as hard for it as the rest of us – he can do what he likes when he’s done his handful of hours work for a small fortune of pay. Many of the rest of us are stuck in this vicious circle where our time is not our own. He’s not.

      PS. I’ve added a little something to perhaps make that a little clearer. Well, it was clear in my head anyway but we know that you’re a bit thick! (JOKING!)

  1. Maybe he’s making a point, and one that I do agree with, that society as a whole ought to try and get out of the circle of spend-more>work-more by, wherever possible, getting into less debt and so having to spend less time at work.

    I know it’s a lot easier in principle and that some debts are for us unavoidable, and I wouldn’t necessarily use the word ‘barbarians’, but most of the country are wage slaves…

    We *need* a new flat screen TV so we work extra hours to fund it…

    • Yeah, I take your point. I agree that it would be desirable indeed for us all to take in more culture, in whatever form that may be, but his delivery and arrogance irks me.

    • I think it is a little more complicated than working because we’re material guys and girls who want the next gadget. Sure I could have a smaller mortgage but to be honest I’d just fritter away any money saved on frivolities that I can’t currently afford like a pension, money for my children’s education or a fund for care for my arthritic father. I might even send a bit of cash my brother’s way so we can move out of the flat he lives in with his young family, the one where water runs down the walls because it is so damp and it isn’t safe to turn on the lights because the wiring is so shit.

      Or I could buy a telly that is less than 10 years old.

      I suppose if I did have enough money for all that (and I’m by no means poor) AND I paid off my debts AND had some cash for investments then I might be able to pop off to an art gallery one in a while.

      BTW my local free museum (which makes for a cheap day out especially for younger children) is under threat of closure due to lack of funding. It is only open now because the won a lottery grant to keep them going. I suppose I could buy an extra lotto ticket to help fund the arts….

      No, Paxman’s a knob.

      • I hear ya, Jason. To be honest, it does seem that you are quite savage-like. I’m sure your brother and his family could survive in their flat for another little while so you could get your philistine ass to a cultural event!

        Irony about the local museum!

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