Ars longa vita brevis

brunero-ladettesNot a show I watch I admit, but as Troppo’s reality TV correspondent I read this piece from New Matilda “Reality TV Sh!ts In Its Nest”

It’s an expose of Ladette to Lady.  I though it would explain how the girls were exploited in the sense of being deliberately set up to be typecast.  It does a bit of that and on that I’m very sympathetic and very unsympathetic to the producers for whom, we are all just so much feedstock.  

But the article’s major concern is a union complaint.  

It’s an issue with a lot of differing viewpoints, but a simple core. While opinions differ on whether reality TV participants should share in the profits of a show they help to make, most people would agree the simple principles of fairness dictate that the mostly young, inexperienced participants should not finish these shows with less money in the bank than they started with.

Less money – more fame (which can often in its turn lead to more money – though that’s largely beside the point).  It’s a tradeoff people have made since Roy Emerson stayed amateur to win Grand Slams while Rod Laver was safely on the pro tour and indeed it’s the tradeoff that so many creative people make. As a matter of fact I’m making it now. 

What’s the big deal?

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14 years ago

A trade-off like going to uni…oh wait, basic fairness demands that that be free.

Personally I think more artists should be in the ‘private sector’. If they can find someone to actually want their product/idea (as opposed to someone who thinks that someone might possibly one day care and gives them a grant accordingly) then great they can get paid to make it otherwise well they can either go out on a limb with their time or just forgo the opportunity. I can guarantee you that that logic applies to my creative products, no matter what how highly I may think of them (albeit, happily for me, I can often quantify their value in dollars saved!).

Gummo Trotsky
Gummo Trotsky
14 years ago

This post is in keeping with the general attitude that anyone who goes on reality TV is worthy of contempt as either a fame-whore or a gullible fool and therefore deserves to be exploited for the entertainment of the masses. That’s a pretty shallow outlook, comparable to the widespread belief that the rich, while they may not deserve to be happy, sure as hell don’t have any business living unhappy, troubled lives. Disappointing.

I’m not sure where Patrick’s segue into the topic of Arts funding came from – I gather his objection to artists getting grants on the basis that ‘that someone might possibly one day care’ about their work is to Gummint funding of the Yartz through the Arts Council, and similar organisations. Presumably he has no such objections to private sector support of the Yartz, and artists, such as that provided by Rupert Murdoch’s mum who, so I’ve read, has few strenuous objectiopns to slinging her own money in the direction of artists whose work shows promise.

14 years ago

Yes you are right Gummo, at least if I have understood your comment. Although ‘no objections’ is too mild, that is exactly how I think art should be funded. Fwiw I almost don’t care what Dame Elizabeth does with her money (although I note that she avoids tax very very adroitly indeed).

I actually think that art would be better if we returned to the classical model of patronage/commission funding. In this spirit I would be happy for governments to commission art for particular purposes, and to the extent that the Government participates in scholarships/education/etc then I have no problem extending that to art, but I am opposed to simply giving people money to do ‘art’ (whatever kind, filmmaking especially included). I do see this as qualitatively different to funding pure research even though I think that program is pretty poor as well.

Of course, all this is obviously only because I am a reactionary philistine. Maybe one day I will see the light.

By the way, I strongly agree with the general sentiments expressed in your first paragraph, albeit I didn’t really think Nick’s comment was an example of the attitudes you were condemning, almost the opposite in fact.