Last weekend the Cambridge and Oxford boat race too place (unless there’s an official name for it, but whatever, two boats raced and they contained people studying in both those places). I didn’t see it, but I did hear lots of online commentary, including the fact that it is elitist.
Of course it’s elitist, it’s a race you fools. You can hardly call it a real event if anyone from anywhere with any level of rowing skill can take part. But that it was the Internet society has given way to – the opportunity for anyone to voice their opinions, no matter how ridiculous (yes, I’m aware of the meaning of irony).
Their point was in two parts – that the people taking part are elitist because of their advantaged quality. I’m sorry, but saying this is unfair on other people is like saying the Olympics should be open to anyone who wishes to prance around with a ball for a week. The second part was the point that the event itself is elitist, drawing attention only from particular members of society. Firstly, I don’t think this is the case. Tons of people watch that thing, and they can’t all be related to the neighbour of somebody’s cousin taking part. Secondly, so what?
High and low culture are debated terms, but whatever you like to call it, pop culture, low culture, easy entertainment, there are things that the masses like – the X Factor, for instance – and things that a smaller number enjoy – like this boat race.
The point of ‘easy entertainment’ is my main point however. I think we can all agree that one of the biggest forms of this is TV. Now, are you ready for a shock? Sitting down? I haven’t watched TV for about four months. Something to do with the signal broke in our flat and the landlord told us to sign up to a Sky subscription to be able to watch it again, and we just kind of didn’t. Shocking, isn’t it?
I didn’t have a TV during the year I lived in a studio flat at university either. I much prefer box sets of shows I like if I am going to watch something, and there is nothing that irritates me more than people who watch hours and hours of TV each night, using their whole lives to stare at a glowing box. Flicking channels is another. I never really put the TV on unless I knew there was something I specifically wanted to see, and I’d still be more likely to watch it online some other time.
So entertainment varies for all of us, but when a minority don’t consume the most common of types, they usually get seen as weird. Try explaining to a subscription sales person that you don’t need a TV package because you don’t watch TV and they’ll think you have a mental illness. But I would honestly rather do a number of any other things, and if that turns entertainment elitist, I can’t do much about that. For me, it just means never having to look at the faces of Simon Cowell, Jeremy Clarkson and numerous others I might one day murder. I don’t think it’s elitist, it’s just a little different.
Do you have any unusual entertainment quirks?