Saturday, October 29, 2005

A Truncheon on the Fridge

So I flicked on the TV and the ITV lunchtime news was having some debate on crime with viewers' texts scrolling along the bottom of the screen. One text read, 'I keep a truncheon on top of my fridge.' The ITV tabloid-ey news exasperates me with its Great British Indignation. And in case we all get overheated, they end with coverage of The Royals that presumes 'The Nation' holds The Royal Family in deep respect and affection. No other option entertained. Yet I still can't put into words why my indignation (at their indignation - ha ha) is of any higher value. Maybe it's not.
We were having a similar debate at writing class on the value of 'real' literature over pulp fiction and genre books. Some of the class were saying, 'what's wrong with a bit of both?' but our long-suffering teacher was close to throwing himself out the window at our inability to ascend to the higher plane of outright fidelity to good literature. 'There's no way back,' he said.

It reminds me of the time that my English teacher at school wrote 'exasperating!' on my essay. I was actually quite pleased. I thought, well, he wouldn't get exasperated if there was nothing worth saving. It led me to deduce that I had hidden potential and maybe he'd be the one to coax it out. (The fact that I had a crush on him helped fuel this theory).

He introduced us to Shakespeare. We took parts reading out Othello. My friend and I would flick ahead to check our lines. During all the stabbing in the last scene, my pal had to shout out 'Oh, bloody period.' Aged 15, she didn't relish it at all. In fact, none of us relished Shakespeare at first, but I'm glad we did it now. Maybe I needed someone to get exasperated at me.

Well, I've digressed and I'm still no further forward in exploring the merits of good art over bad art. One man's indignance versus another's. If anyone has any answers in a sentence (or two), feel free to jump in. Or not....


No comments: