Thursday, December 01, 2005

Charity and Artistic Integrity

If I let you shit on my face for charity, I have still let you shit on my face.


[And now, genitals and ladymen, a brief example of what a real post on a politico-artistic journal looks like.]


I have just sat through the worst piece of theatre ever produced. (Yes, worse than Lloyd-Webber.)

"But it was for Charity!"

Stop squealing.

Let me just straighten this out for you: just because you are selling something "for a good cause", does not mean that it is acceptable for it to be shite. Providing a substandard service or product in the name of charity demeans the person selling, the person buying, and the charity itself.

The act of donation not only precludes this debasement of all parties, but is an act of actual charity - that is, giving something with no expectation in return. Don't get me wrong - I understand the necessity of, and applaude the creativity behind, selling goods and services to fund charity, but buying substandard tosh is effectively the same as making a donation and then being slapped for your goodwill.

Allow me to elaborate. I have just been to see a local amateur pantomime in aid of local charities. This is where the problems begin - I don't know which charities. However, as my brother's friend's parents produced the show, I am willing to apply a generous helping of the benfit of my doubt as to the merit of these charities (I'm not an evil right-wing bastard - the plain fact of the matter is that a number of charities are, in fact, counterproductive, due to poor management, misappropriation, and spurious causes).

The trouble continues with the word "amateur". I fully understand that it is unjust as well as unrealistic to critique nonprofit local drama to the same exacting standards as genuine theatre; however, there are some very, very basic levels of artistic ability and integrity that apply to even the most rustic* of theatre companies. The production was lacklustre, sluggish, and half-arsed in every department (musicians excluded) and at every step. The script was dreadful, and NOT ON PURPOSE (pantomime, remember); the director was clearly under the impression that it is good luck to block every scene as a triangle; the cast was, well, mis-cast; acting? what acting?; lighting plot and rigging were unimaginative and messy. The band was rather good, but alas! for not one person on stage could sing! The band did have a good singer, but he was poorly mixed by the audio tech and underused in general.


"Anyway, at least they tried - not very hard, mind. To sum it all up, for a company that clearly has no idea how theatre works, it's not bad as an attempt at their first show."

At this point I was informed that the "entertainers" in question had been producing for several years.

Just remember, my children: "If you let someone shit on your face for charity, you have still let someone shit on your face."


/Veins


*I apologise for using this word - I mean no offence to the peasantry.**
** This is A JOKE about SNOBBERY. DO YOU SEE? NO complaints allowed.

2 Comments:

At 10:45 pm, Blogger Withiel said...

So, to summarise, artistic integrity is higher up the hierarchy (a Smiths song title if ever I heard one) of virtues than giving to charity? Or rather, a lack of the former denigrates the latter? I like the tone of this one, and also that it makes its point in the first sentence. Furthermore, I feel that I am actually dissuaded from donating to charity by, say Children in Need-type events, because they are indeed roughly aesthetically equivalent to a turd in the face....interesting

 
At 10:23 pm, Blogger Sable X. Veins said...

"So, to summarise, artistic integrity is higher up the hierarchy (a Smiths song title if ever I heard one) of virtues than giving to charity?"

No.

"Or rather, a lack of the former denigrates the latter?"

Yes.

"I like the tone of this one, and also that it makes its point in the first sentence."

Thanks. Do I get a gold star?

"I feel that I am actually dissuaded from donating to charity by, say Children in Need-type events"

That's a difficult one. It is, in fact, free to watch Children in Need - payment is optional, making it a donation rather than a purchase. Also, I think that the point of Children in Need is that Artistic Integrity (CAPS for Intrinsic Moral Truths) and Dignity need not apply - it's shite on purpose, which is, in itself, a perverse Artistic Integrity. However, I'm not certain that this is actually the case, because I haven't watched it in five years.

Link back to previous articles and comments of interest: Oscilnut and Veins slam Make Poverty History, and we all slam CHARITY WRISTBANDS MADE IN SWEATSHOPS.

 

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