I don't normally listen to Immediate Response; I'm normally a FM listener, switching between More 94 and Love 97 when it comes to talk shows. This week, though, I missed several very interesting shows, apparently. Most interesting were those that criticized those in government who prefer to use excellence and mastery of craft as a criterion for selecting people to represent the country instead appearance or show.I didn't hear the show, but heard of it. I want, though, to link to Obediah Michael Smith's blog, where he puts the point better than I will at this moment. Here's what he has to say:
Such a debate needed to be fixed upon and centered around, not the nonsense giggled about, petty complaints and concerns which took up most of the two hour show, but craft, instrument, art...The audience, the public, everybody involved, must be directed by the artist to focus upon these central, sacred elements: instrument and craft. The body as sex object belongs to the profession of prostitution.A singerâ€™s instrument is the voice. A dancerâ€™s instrument is the body and a body is filled with memories, personal and cultural and speaks many languages. The singer of popular music is usually a singer and a dancer, like Michael Jackson or Tina Turner and has therefore two instruments to perfect and to play.Too often though, especially where popular culture is concerned, fascinated by the phenomenon of fame and fortune, out to exploit the public, persons take to the stage with a bit of talent and a little training, dreaming of being stars.A large part of what we in our country call entertainment and culture is inspired by and is part of this crude phenomenon. I turn away from this. I turn my back upon it.Many do attempt to disguise a lack of craft with what is gratuitous and cheap: gyrating, near-nudity; emphasizing what should not be emphasized, attempting to distract from what they have not had and have not got: training.
Hear, hear, Mr. Smith. And here's the rest.