The BBC Proms is a generally good institution. Sure, it's conservative, stuffy, and Eurocentric - especially under the recent directorship of the smug and self-congratulatory Nicholas Kenyon. But at least there are world-class orchestras and performers delivering music which is broadcast publicly which people can listen to for free,
But there's one down side to this institution - and it occurred tonight - The Last Night of the Proms.
This is an occasion which has become an excuse for:
- excruciating nationalism
- English wimsey
- patriotic self-congratulation
- musical cliche
- lower middle-class smugness
- flag-waving brainlessness
- mindless mob-emotion
These people are the concert-going equivalent of United Vs Spurs supporters, or the spectators at Nuremberg rallies. I feel sorry for the musicians, because they must surely know that all the braying morons in the Albert Hall are not the audience they want to attract.
It's difficult to explain how nauseating this spectacle is. I listen to music just about every moment of my waking life, but this cultural event is the nadir, the pits so far as the UK is concerned.