Vultures Circle March 15, 2010Posted by markswill in Media, That's Entertainment.
“Clarity is the last hiding place of the man who has nothing to say.” – Friedrich Waismann.
Taking that on face value what follows, whilst woefully bereft of meaning or worth, may well be a shining model of lucidity . But of course that won’t stop me… and arguably ‘twas ever thus. But that quotation from a rather obscure Austrian mathematician and philosopher has been exercising me somewhat of late. As has the little matter of philosophy itself, because for the past few weeks I’ve been attending a course of evening classes in the subject run with a delightful informality by a retired professor of same in our local greasy spoon (or ‘multi-purpose venue’ as we prefer to call it).
Don’t worry, I’m not going to ram a load of epistemology down your throats – not least because I’m still wrestling with the very basics of what I’m trying to learn – but as Ms. S surmised when I had to scamper back home for the following evening’s lesson, for a sleepy border town of just some 2000 souls, there’s an awful lot of culture going on.
Back in January I mentioned the inaugural salon that I was co-launching and which is now well established and a modest success, and we also have music nights two or three times a months in my local pub with a quite surprisingly eclectic range of performers, classic and cabaret nights two doors up at the Assembly Rooms and the fortnightly film society in the same venue. (And let’s not forget the Xmas panto. Or on second thoughts, let’s). The film soc. is affiliated to the Bordelines Film Festival, a now well established, 14-day orgy of the indie, the arty and, um, the borderline mainstream which, whilst based in Hereford’s glitzy Courtyard Arts Centre, has screenings in remote village and town halls throughout the Marches.
Our own contribution was a showing of Rumba, a charmingly amusing if very derivative (of Jacques Tati) little flic directed by its lead players, Dominique Abel and Fiona Gordon which attracted a healthy audience for a such an obscure work. But as I pointed out to Ms. S as I was going off to see the rather better known Me & Orson Welles – albeit the last of its three performances at the Courtyard – the fact that there is so much happening culturally hereabouts, it is but a fraction of what’s available in her hometown, i.e. London. Where of course there must be more philosophy evening classes than you could shake a stick at (but exactly what, you ask, is a stick?), and certainly more music and film in a week than you could attend in a year or two down here.
As a consequence I think that the culture vultures who live here tend to be less discriminating in their patronage than those in the big cities because a sense of gratitude that there’s anything available overwhelms the specifics of their taste, however eclectic they might be. Of course much of what actually is available exists relies heavily on public subsidy and private sponsorship, and it will be interesting, and perhaps depressing to see how art in the sticks fares when the next slew of budget cuts kick in. And in a worst case many of us lucky liberals may reverse the flight from the cities that brought us here and return to London, Bristol or Birmingham where if nothing else, we can be sure of a nice night out at the Camden Town Odeon or shaking our ageing butts to Aerosmith at the O2.
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