Sunday, 5 July 2009

I mean, I'm not saying I'm not, or anything...

Yeah, so I didn't go to Pride. I make that the 36th consecutive year.


David said...

Me neither (not recently, at any rate). The main reason - one word: whistles. See over for explanation.

Chips are being worn large on some American shoulders at the moment. What IS it? I never knew anything about this effing Brits thing before I looked at Parterre.

As you say, there's only so much webbullying one can take. But you have valiantly stayed on to fighr the corner.

jondrytay said...

Yeah, well, not any more.

It's actually quite upsetting. I must have been visiting for the best part of a decade; most of my adult life. I can still remember my excitement on first finding it and I even contributed some material to the print version back in the day.

The xenophobia seems to have ramped up gradually- I certainly don't recall it being anywhere near as bad a few years ago. Like you, I was completely unaware of the issue until it was raised there. But then there isn't just one issue. It's cloaked in the gentility of 'we just would rather not have sub-standard singers foisted on us' but it always mutates in seconds into all-pile-on attacks about the British people, culture, food, press and character. And most of it so bigoted and dated, too. 'Obsessed with losing the Empire' is a good one (seriously, do you know even one person?). Patronising, snobbish, sexless, stupid, lacking aesthetic judgement, bullying (ha!), superior (even more ha!). And of course to react is instantly labelled as oversensitive.

The funny thing is I'm not even much of a patriot. I'm certainly not deluded into any kind of weird 'British is best' idea. This just happens to be the country I landed in when I was born. But as such it's also the country which contains my family, my friends, my loved ones- my life. That's why it's a constant sledgehammering to log into a site one is supposed to visit for fun and read that said loved ones are- well, you saw the list above. It's got nothing to do with singing and all to do with hate.

I tried. I tried gentle reason, flat out anger, sarcasm, humour, laughing it off, ignoring it. I even emailed la Cieca and got the stock reply about inferior singers. No more. I'm out.

David said...

Ditto re the supposed patriotism. I live here, most of the singers I happen to capture I hear here, so if I rave about Christopher Purves, say - the reaction to which was the reason I stomped off - it's because I'm impressed. And anyway, they are rebuked all the more now because his Glyndebourne Falstaff is by all accounts immenso, as I'll get a chance to hear.

But if you can steel yourself to look down objectively and compassionately on some of the trolls, you may yet be amused. One has recently said that when he goes into the Barbican or the Royal Opera House, Brits look on him 'as if I were a specimen in a Petrie dish'. To which another commentator voiced what must be the prevailing thought - 'you Need Help'.

jondrytay said...

It won't get mentioned of course, but that comment in the Telegraph (in the course of a positive review) is the only complaint about Sherman's nationality. She gets raves elsewhere- Guardian, Independent, Standard. But that doesn't fit in with the witch hunt.

David said...

'Madeleine-ness' in your MFI comment will now enter my vocabulary. What are you, some sort of writer of something? (Oh, I forgot, irony doesn't work on the web).