October 1, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Alan Jones has hijacked sensible factual political discourse for a surprising number of years. His “pick and stick” approach is to bully and harrass those who disagree with him and praise those who pander to his point of view, which he in turn presents as “fact.”
The only way to circumvent this is to neuter his “credibility” through financial, political and factual means. If sponsors withdraw their support, politicians refuse requests for “interviews” and everything he says on air continues to be scrutinized for its veracity, his Jurassic media model faces extinction and he knows it.
But he won’t go down without a fight. He’ll be kicking, screaming and spewing forth bile whilst encouraging his apoplectic listeners to call in and do the same. This is how the shockjock’s feedback loop works. He’s probably loving the attention he’s getting at the moment, but as his sponsors begin to evaporate he may start to realize that this time, like Icarus, he’s flown a little too close to the sun.
2GB holds a broadcast license. With that license comes the right to broadcast his points of view. With that right however comes their reponsibilty to observe the required standards of how those views are expressed.
Although Jones’ remarks about the Prime Minister were made off air, they were made in a public forum. One which hailed him a hero in the wider political debate. Prime Minister Gillard has chosen not to dignify Jones’ most recent offensive remarks and his quasi apology with an official response.
If politicians of all persuasions were to boycott Alan Jones’ radio show his ratings would nosedive.
Freedom of speech is a right we all share.
I’m exercising mine now.
Exercise yours if you like by signing the following online petition.
May 26, 2012 § Leave a Comment
The parlous state of music in public schools means not only are our children missing an important dimension in life, but they miss out on something that promotes brain function and social skills. China and Venezuela understand the value of music very well, and so do Australian parents, but our politicians are tone deaf. Reporter: Stephen Crittenden
A link to the Radio National show from 2009 examining this important question can be found here
July 25, 2011 § Leave a Comment
If ever you needed proof as to why the Arts in all their forms matter in Australia, have a look at this uplifting video of the inner workings of the Sydney Opera House, set to the music of Nick Cave and performed by some of the many performers at Sydney’s iconic masterpiece.
Historian Geoffrey Bolton, a former WA Citizen of the Year and emeritus professor at Murdoch University, said posterity would severely judge “a generation of provincial philistine pygmies” http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2011/05/23/3224295.htm
Although referring to the parlous state of affairs with reference to Arts funding in Western Australia, Professor Bolton’s comments could well be applied to those considering drastic cuts to the full-time membership of Orchestra Victoria.
An appalling decision to close the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) in 2008 was averted after concerted political pressure and lobbying from the public.
Melbourne takes pride in itself as a major cultural centre of Australia. So how can it be possible for two of its major arts institutions to have been threatened with major cuts or closure? What lessons have been been learnt from the ANAM debacle?
I hope Victorians and the wider Australian arts community rally together, write to and visit their local members, contact mainstream and social media in order to voice their outrage at proposed cuts to Orchestra Victoria. It can and DOES make a difference if you do.
Let’s band together to help ensure a positive outcome for an important part of Victoria’s cultural fabric.
Make a start by joining the facebook group devoted to this cause.
October 19, 2010 § Leave a Comment
Update… this argument by Stephen Fry debating against the motion that “classical music is irrelevant to todays’ youth” echoes many of the sentiments expressed by Jose Antonio Abreu, the founder of El Sistema.
“Music has to be recognized as an … agent of social development in the highest sense, because it transmits the highest values — solidarity, harmony, mutual compassion. And it has the ability to unite an entire community and to express sublime feelings.”
(José Antonio Abreu – founder of El Sistema in Venezuela)
The results of this incredible music system can be seen here in following inspirational clip of the Teresa Carreño Youth Orchestra.
Here in Western Australia we have the WA Youth Music Association
It should be supported nurtured and cherished by all West Australians.
“Established in 1974, the Western Australian Youth Music Association (formerly the Western Australian Youth Orchestra Association) has enriched and diversified music practice in Australia, which in recent years has been through the delivery of eight ensembles, comprising close to 500 members. The Association regularly reaches live audiences in excess of 30,000 per annum.”
March 25, 2009 § Leave a Comment
Graham Abbott’s musings on the vexed questions surrounding one of our most famous icons.
Sydney Opera House – my two-cents’ worth.
“As a child visiting my grandmother in Milson’s Point in the 60s I have vivid memories of the Opera House being built across the harbour. I was a high school student when it opened in the 70s and I attended one of the first concerts in the Concert Hall (the German Bach Soloists with Monika Leonhardt and Marilyn Richardson as soloists in an all-Bach program).
The current talk about the renovations to the Opera Theatre seem to be viewed by some people as an attempt to restore the building to Utzon’s original plan. Whatever the merits (or otherwise) of the current proposal, they most certainly do not represent a return to Utzon’s original plan, as far as I am aware.
If I remember correctly, the original plan was the have the big hall (now the Concert Hall) as a proscenium theatre which would double as an opera/ballet venue AND a concert venue. For this, some of the most advanced stage machinery in the world at the time was built, and this explains the height of the Concert Hall ceiling, as this was the original fly tower.
The smaller hall (now the Opera Theatre) was to be a drama theatre, so no provision was made for a pit of any great size.
When Utzon left the project the interior plan was changed to what we now have. One result of this (much-mentioned in arts circles at the time, I recall) was that the stage machinery for the original large theatre was sold for scrap as it was obviously too large for the proposed Opera Theatre. The continuing problems with the smaller theatre as an opera and ballet venue are too well-known to mention.
The fact remains that if we were to return to Utzon’s original plan we would have a building totally inadequate for the needs of Opera Australia, the Australian Ballet AND the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Can you imagine these three organisations attempting to share the one venue? Such a thing was conceivable in the 50s when the building was designed, but it’s certainly not an option now. So let’s not pretend that returning to Utzon’s original plan will solve all our problems. And let’s not pretend that the current discussions about the Opera Theatre renovations are anything to do with Utzon’s original ideas either.
If anyone wants to see how lousy an “all-purpose” proscenium theatre trying to be a concert hall can be, one need look no further than the Adelaide Festival Theatre. The fact remains that because of this line of thinking, Adelaide still has no concert hall worthy of the name.
The Sydney Opera House is miraculous in so many ways and like many such things, it has its flaws. I think we’re stuck with it and that a larger theatre for larger opera and ballet productions should be built elsewhere. Not an ideal solution but one which would probably alienate a lot less of the public than spending a billion dollars on the present building.”
Graham Abbott is a professional conductor, and a radio presenter on “Keys to Music” on ABC Classic FM.