All socially aware people know of the political, and cultural, nonsense peddled by the intelligentsia, whose loyalties lie anywhere but with their own country, or the interests of ordinary people, but who like to regard themselves as so superior to those they regard as plebs. Show them a union flag, and they sneer, the National Anthem gives them a fit of the vapours, dare to suggest that perhaps this country is already too crowded to accommodate the millions of the third world who would like to move here, and they cry racism, while a male merely expressing a healthy interest in a member of the opposite sex, invites being treated as some sort of predator.
Of course these people do not limit themselves to the above but also infest the world of the arts, and it is this aspect of their malign influence which I would like to address, as it illustrates both their perverted view of the world, and also offers a hope that they are finally being rumbled by normal, sane people.
During the course of our holidays my wife and I have visited numerous galleries, inter alia the Uffizi in Florence, the Hermitage in St Petersburg, the Louvre, and Musee d’Orsay in Paris, the Belvedere in Vienna, the Frick Collection in New York, cultural icons such as the Vatican, and of course our own National Gallery, Tate Britain, the Queen’s Gallery, plus many others. We have stood in awe before such masterpieces as Michelangelo’s David, his Pieta, and the Sistine Chapel, the great works of the Neo Classicists and the Romantics in Paris, the Impressionists, and the beautiful pictures of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.
Probably unwisely we have also visited the galleries at the Arch at La Defence, and the Pompidou Centre, in Paris, MOMA in New York, Tate Modern and several other similar institutions, which specialise in modern, and abstract art. This is where one encounters what I can only describe as pretentious rubbish, produced by those who only talents are to think up absurd titles, and to write the utterly idiotic descriptions attached to the pieces. For the most part the nearer to our time one approaches, the worse the pictures on offer become. I know that it is often said that in the past the public in some of the totalitarian states states ignored their masters in order to visit such galleries in preference to those containing Soviet realism, or Nazi propaganda, but I suspect it was more an act of political defiance than any great interest in the actual exhibitions.
I have seen visitors discussing the great significance of what is no more than a blob in the centre of the paper, one rectangle on top of another, or one looking like which that my cat produces when disposing of a fur ball. The output of Jackson Pollock, who considered using a technique of pouring or splashing liquid household paint onto the canvases a valid means of creation, are known as Pollocks, but my assessment would replace the ‘P’ with a ‘B’. We are asked to believe that unmade beds, piles of bricks, and elephant dung are great art. Nevertheless I know that those such as myself would be dismissed as philistines by the great and the good of the art world, whose livelihoods depend on offering positive comments on such nonsense.
The same affectations infest the world of opera. My wife has worked both for the ENO and the ROH, and we have attended performances at both houses, in Vienna, Prague, even Glyndebourne, seeing such iconic performers as Domingo, Carreras, Pavarotti and Kaufman live, as they appeared in great operas by those composers such as Verdi, Puccini and Wagner. However we have also endured, and in fact walked out of, insults to the paying public perpetrated by arrogant directors, who think that their insane concepts add to the performances, rather than ruining them. Beds halfway up the wall, scenes set on the M25, conductors accessing the orchestra pit by climbing over the dividing wall, and at least one Glyndebourne production which I can only describe as repulsive. Once again the so called experts wax lyrical over these aberrations, brushing off those who point out that the ‘King Has No Clothes’ as vulgarians, who are incapable of understanding the real value of such offerings.
The point of all this is that the sort of people who help to inflict these perversions of art upon us are part of that wider intelligentsia who think themselves so superior, not realising that the reaction of many normal earthy types is ‘you’re having a laugh’. Common-sense is a good guide to detecting what is no more than a confidence trick. Unfortunately for the country this elite does not limit itself to matters of taste, but also hold antithetical views to those held by the majority on such matters as patriotism, even democracy. They have become accustomed to their opinions on cultural and political issues being treated as holy writ, so were astounded when the vote on Brexit went against them. It is my hope that the fact that so many ordinary people having gradually had their eyes opened to the malign influence of these self important and opinionated snobs will cause their removal from sensible public debate. Their have enjoyed many years of receiving approbation, but their arrogance may now lead to their downfall. After all nemesis follows hubris.