The Playgoer: Politicians: Self-Hating Arts Lovers?

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Politicians: Self-Hating Arts Lovers?

Politicians, it seems, go to arts events with all the fanfare of a married man entering a bondage-wear shop in Soho. But when it comes to sports, their spin doctors are working overtime to alert us to their attendance.

Politicians worry, I suppose, that an enjoyment of the arts will mark them out as elitist. And yet, statistics tell us, far more of us are attending live performances than are going to football matches. The audience at an event like [Royal National Theatre's] Rafta, Rafta - mainly female, racially diverse - must be the sort of people who will decide the outcome of the next election. The days of the trade union block vote and the mass culture of the working-class football match are long dead, and yet they still seem to haunt politicians of all parties when it comes to their publicised leisure time.

-London playwright Mark Ravenhill on UK pols' fear of being caught doing anything artsy.

Relevant here, y'think?

In this context, I must say you gotta appreciate Bill Clinton holding a democratic fund raiser at The Iceman Cometh!

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