BBC Reith Lectures, art and technology

This series of lectures from the BBC are utterly glorious, and I am so glad they’re available via podcasts. Last year Aung San Su Kyi gave some beautifully moving lectures, recorded in secret on democracy. Made me realise how much we continue to take for granted.

I’ve just started listening to this years, delivered by Grayson Perry who called his lectures ‘Playing to the gallery’. I adore Grayson Perry. I love that his pots are profoundly traditional in shape, yet cover the most bizarre subjects. Here’s an overview of an exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery so you can see what I mean. I’ve not seen his tapestries, but I can remember standing in front of a pot in the TATE Modern for ages, spellbound by the sheer red rage contained within it.

Mr Perry used to write a column for The Times, in the middle bit of the paper (i.e. not the news bit, the commentary bit), I used to snaffle commuters copies on the train to read his column weekly. While I loved the content of The Times, I have an issue with Rupert Murdoch, but don’t we all? I digress, to use a word that isn’t used very much, the columns were trenchant. On point and great fun to read, every week it made me think a little differently.

He stopped writing because he found a lot of his energies were being channelled into the column, what to write, how to write it, when to write it, and he found his true calling was beginning to slip. No pun intended.

As much as I am struggling with my smart phone and the tablet. I love that I am able to plug into a series of lectures, podcasts and documentaries at the touch of a button. I’m on a bit of an Alan Bennett fest at the moment too and last night listened to an interview celebrating the National Theatre with him and Francesca De La Tour. That was a lovely 45 minutes while I cleaned the kitchen and emptied the dishwasher.

I’m in a quandary with wanting to protect Peanut from technology, but also recognising that he will need access to it, lest he gets left behind. We can’t not have anything in the house, or restrict his playing with consoles at other’s houses, but we can restrict what he watches. Hence the ban on Wiggles, Lazy Town and the avoidance of Peppa Pig wherever possible. We tend to put DVDs on when we need a quiet half hour. But now the DVD player is going phut on us. So while he is watching TV, he’s not watching children’s TV that is being created by patronising morons. We’re Pixar and Aadrman devotees, the Gruffalo has been on repeat just lately, but he keeps changing his mind about what he wants to watch. Which proves problematical when the DVD player is grinding and groaning and not loading properly.

Peanut has already gone round several galleries, and we will continue that with him, we’re not all about sport in this family; it’s one of the things I love about the relationship I have with Hubs. We love walking round galleries, going to the theatre, cinema, bookshops, football matches (AFL not soccer), rugby, walks by the river, beach and in the country. We try to do lots of things together, lots of different things, not just the same thing over and over.

One thought on “BBC Reith Lectures, art and technology

  1. You might be interested to know that Aung San Su Kyi is delivering a public lecture at Monash Uni later this month/year (can’t remember date, sorry). I’ve deleted the alumni email that advertised it, but in sure their website will have details…


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