Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Slippery Prose

Beauty and the Beast
I am looking forward to seeing Disney On Ice’s Princess Wishes with two daughters in about two weeks time.

It has certainly been a while since I last saw a live show.

There is a world of difference in watching a performance right in front of your eyes compared to the comforts of one’s home.

Certainly the latter is far more economical, though, and this is one of the reasons why I normally shunned live shows – theatres, concerts etc.

I do hope they would enjoy the outing. We did have some great times watching the starry show at the Planetarium, so this one should prove just as good a hit, if not better.

Speaking of the Arts, I am somewhat baffled by the RM20million allocation in the SSP said to be for “the local arts community to produce creative works in a systematic manner” and that “RTM will implement several projects to develop the local music industry”.

Fans of the hilarious “Yes Minister” series may well recall a chapter “The Middle Class Rip Off” where the issue of popular sports versus Arts was skimmed through, with the Minister James Hacker for the vote-winning former and his Permanent Secretary, Sir Humprey Appleby, for the latter.

The story involved Hacker’s decision to demolish an art gallery in his local constituent, sell the land and use the proceeds to save the local football club.

Sir Humprey’s response to this was a typically snobbish “subsidising self-indulgence”, though not to his Minister’s face directly.

(The Brits are really masters in the art of wit. “Yes Minister” is filled with deliciously, wicked, witty cracks like this one: “"Railway trains are impartial too, but if you lay down the lines for them that's the way they go."

Tres AmigosBy the way, that is from Hacker’s Private Secretary (“None of us types”) Bernard Woolley who makes inane quips to avoid answering potentially controversial questions that requires him to take sides between Hacker and Sir Humprey.)

Being fans of the arts in all its various forms, I must say that I am in agreement with Sir Humprey in this issue.

I don’t believe for a moment that artistic establishments such as Istana Budaya, Dewan Philharmonik and the many art galleries could survive, much less thrive, without some kind of economical patronage.

In simple word: subsidies.

Realistically, these establishments will bleed money and commercial is the last word than can be associated with them. (I stand to be corrected.)

RM20 million is not much money these days but surely there are better creative art causes to which the allocations can be made than something as crass (opps!!) as “the local music industry”.

The local music industry might not be the huge commercial success that they could be, but on the same vein, struggling artists ala the late Tan Sri P. Ramlee are a dime a dozen these days.

Perhaps, the allocation is looking more at the angle of “stimulating” local fans.

If so, then it should be money well spent.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

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