Tuesday, February 28, 2017

It is Margaret you mourn for

to a young child

by Gerard Manley Hopkins
MÁRGARÉT, áre you gríeving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leáves, líke the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Áh! ás the heart grows older        5
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you wíll weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:        10
Sórrow’s spríngs áre the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It ís the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Sing the Movie and Kimmel bringing the peasants into the Oscars Ceremony

The premise of Sing the Movie and Kimmel bringing the underclass in to gawk at the luminaries in the Dolby Theatre have something in common.

While these are sweet and light-hearted moments they show me that the chasm between the underclass and the super-rich is so very wide that to cross that chasm is inherently comedic, and only ever done at the whim of the super-rich.

In the movie Sing, the talented performers had no hope to achieve their dreams of their own accord. Their only hope was external to themselves, a third party, a third party of unimaginable wealth. Only when that third party was impressed were their dreams possible. It is the X-Factor sweep at the knees of the American dream - you do not make your own dreams come true. If you are fortunate, one of the ruling class will look on you with favour and then you will get the fame you want.

In the Oscars moment, which was handled with grace by Kimmel, the tourists on a bus thought they were viewing costumes at the Dolby and were ushered into the ceremony. The joke is in part the surprise, but it was the vast gulf between the tourists and the audience that was apparent to me. I loved how Kimmel threw a little mini-revolution making Theroux hand over his sunglasses but my heart died a little more because two assumptions underpin these contemporary cultural moments: (1) fame and wealth are the only dreams, and (2) it is not up to you, powerless underclass, to make these dreams come true, it is only the grace and favour of the elite.

We have even in the last ten years entrenched a class system this far. Our poor children!