One of the joys of bachelorhood is that one is free to indulge oneself in matters cultural, no matter how eclectic one’s taste is. I find nothing incongruous in watching “The Two Towers” and “Catch 22” on the same day, or alternating Wagner with Motorhead in my car CD player. I have neither wife/partner/SO (call her what you will) nor offspring to protest at my cultural craziness. Or indeed, my literary style, or anything else.
When it comes to Art or anything else that ‘refined’ people are supposed to like, therefore, I can take it or leave it. I enjoy fine music, and I don’t mind viewing fine paintings. Theatre, literary novels or poetry, dance, or ballet leave me cold. Since I am single and no friends that I need impress, I don’t have to waste my time on cultural activities that I don’t want to.
Not so Tom Utley, who confesses
The shameful truth swept over me that hardly ever had I sat through a play or a concert — let alone a ballet or an opera — without secretly longing for it to end. Oh, I would tell my friends afterwards that it had been wonderful, and that they really must go and see it — particularly if the reviews were good, and the byline was something highbrow like Chekhov or Verdi. I would not add that I had spent the last 40 minutes of the show shifting my weight from one buttock to the other, sweating in the heat and dying for a pee, glancing furtively at my watch, yearning for the final curtain and the dash to the pub.
And not for the first time, reading that entertaining article, I gave thanks for being Australian; where there is no social pressure to be seen as anything other then what you are. This gives you a wonderful freedom to pursue the cultural things that give you meaning, and to say ‘bollocks’ to the rest.
Despite that freedom, a curious thing is the reluctance of Australian audiences to say that something is ‘crap’. People here vote with their feet, but they don’t often say what so often needs to be said. I suspect this is true of the UK as well. Given that this is a globalised blog, here’s your chance to tell your experiences of a art performance the got a ‘bollocking’, or that didn’t but deserved it. I have the preconception that Americans are more ready to give a ‘bollocking’ then other English speaking nations.