November 2, 2011

"I'm regularly amazed that the [American Players Theater] attracts sold-out crowds of Packer-jersey-wearing theatergoers to the pleasures of, say, Molière."

Says Kenneth Burns (of the Madison tabloid "Isthmus"). I think he thinks he's displaying good liberal values there, and the elitist snobbery is unintended. Keep reading the comments. Meade is in there, japing.

175 comments:

edutcher said...

I like Meade's line about Tartuffe's, but what makes Burns think wearing a Pack jersey makes you incapable of appreciating Moliere>

And I have to disagree, Madame; I think the snobbery is very much intended.

Christopher in MA said...

Is every "Ken Burns" a pompous jackwagon?

Holmes said...

The retorts to Meade don't even make sense. What was Burns referring to if not, if not working class, at least "not upper class" people?

ndspinelli said...

A young woman who babysat my kids back in the 90's is now an enviromental activist in Madison. I had a couple extra tix to the Rams/Packers game a couple weeks ago. I invited a former student who serendipitously works for the association she heads..small world. The student invited her. These are 2 wonderful people.

She wore a Driver Packer jersey. She discarded her Favre jersey after the lewd photo incident and found Driver to be a better citizen. She is liberal as they come[as is my former student] but they are huge fans. We all need to stop digging in our heels and pigeonholing people.

Kenneth Burns said...

Meade is in there saying I can't take a joke. Apparently I'm not the only one.

Henry said...

It would be comic and delightful to see a sold-out crowd of Packer-jersey-wearing theatergoers at a showing of Moliere.

Scott M said...

Elitist snobbery indeed. Football is just so...so...blue collar.

traditionalguy said...

Appreciation of fine writing is not an Educated elite's property.

It is still a pleasure no matter how much declasse you have been relegated to by the "appearance is everything" crowd.

They hated Eric Hoffer too.

Holmes said...

@Ken- did you make an intentional joke? I missed it.

TosaGuy said...

The Pack did have a better season than the APT and that is not a rip on the APT.

ndspinelli said...

Kenneth Burns commented here..Garage is erect!!

Holmes said...

This is Burns' real problem- status anxiety. The regular folks now have access to the markers of elite success that once were only enjoyed by a select few. And hangers on.

Holmes said...

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2011/10/the-rage-of-the-almost-elite/247638/

Chip S. said...

What's even more amazing is that some of those Moliere-lovin' Packer fans may be Republicans!

Kenneth Burns said...

It's better when Ann refers to me as "a man named Kenneth Burns." I think that was a Johnny Cash song.

Henry said...

Oh, jeez, people, lighten up.

AllenS said...

Is Moliere a fancy beer?

ndspinelli said...

AllenS, Moliere plays goalie for the Montreal Canadians. I hear he's also a playwright.

Mr. D said...

I think Moliere was an assistant coach for the Packers during the Dan Devine era.

Chip S. said...

I think that was a Johnny Cash song.

Still waiting for the joke you seemed to promise us.

Original Mike said...

"I think he thinks he's displaying good liberal values there, and the elitist snobbery is unintended."

Some of my best friends are Packer fans.

Ann Althouse said...

"Elitist snobbery indeed. Football is just so...so...blue collar."

It is to Burns. He used football-jersey-wearing as a literary device to refer to a certain type of person that you should be surprised to be consuming what is supposedly relatively high culture.

It doesn't matter that affluent, educated types actually consume football and may also wear the clothing that symbolizes it. Burns obviously meant to say: the kind of Wisconsin people who are not the good people of Madison.

Feel free to criticize him on additional grounds, like that he doesn't understand much about football fans, but he still deserves the criticism I lobbed his way.

Scott M said...

Some of my best friends are Packer fans.

I have to admit, I read that and looked to see who wrote it expecting Titus.

Christopher in MA said...

"Meade is in there saying I can't take a joke. Apparently I'm not the only one."

It was a joke? Ok, Kenneth, I'll take your word for it. But don't quit your day job. Either adjust your frequency or stop attending the Barack H. Obama "Typical White Person" Night School of Comedy and Hectoring.

MadisonMan said...

I am also a huge fan of Donald Driver and am beyond tickled that he got his super bowl ring. I hope he gets another one this year :)

Chip S. said...

In defense of Burns, he didn't say "football fans" or "Packer fans," he said "Packer-jersey-wearing...."

I read it more as a sans-culottes type of reference. Seriously, who wears a Packers jersey to a performance of Moliere? I mean, sure I wear my Red Sox jersey to the theater, but only if they're performing Harold Pinter.

Richard Dolan said...

"It doesn't matter that affluent, educated types actually consume football and may also wear the clothing that symbolizes it."

No doubt, they prefer it lightly sauteed and wash it down with a fine claret.

I can say without apology that I've never seen anyone at the Met wearing a football jersey. Not that the crowd is all in black tie, a la the Opera Club. But there are standards to maintain, and so maintain them we must. Even the opera-lovers from Jersey understand and comply.

Original Mike said...

"I have to admit, I read that and looked to see who wrote it expecting Titus."

Ewwwww...www

Joe Schmoe said...

Is Burns' commenter-defender a public school teacher? If so, his/her spelling made my head 'asplode' (sic).

Curious George said...

Burns makes the classical liberal blunder...saying publicly what he and his lib brethren think and say privately.

Kind of like Obama's "bitter clinger" comment to his SF lib buddies.

So now like Obama he has to backpedal..."uh, it was a joke".

LarryK said...

Ken, is it your testimony to this blog that you are not, in fact, a man named Kenneth Burns?

Word verification: mistiv (i.e. a mysterious missive, a word Shakespeare might have invented)

Kenneth Burns said...

Ann, here's what I'm saying. APT has great success putting on plays by the likes of Molière, Hannah Cowley and Richard Brinsley Sheridan, and I'm surprised these shows would do well anywhere these days, much less rural Wisconsin. My remark about Packer jerseys mainly was a little jab at casually dressed Madison, where people wear Packer jerseys no matter what the occasion.

Scott M said...

My remark about Packer jerseys mainly was a little jab at casually dressed Madison, where people wear Packer jerseys no matter what the occasion.

From the horse's mouth, no less. This was what I was thinking when I read the link. Casual. Of course, the possibility that Burns is a gangsta and the crew his peeps are warrin' on be green had crossed my mind.

Chip S. said...

APT has great success putting on plays by the likes of Molière, Hannah Cowley and Richard Brinsley Sheridan, and I'm surprised these shows would do well anywhere these days, much less a small city dominated by a large, semi-elite university.

There. Not quite such a mystery now, is it?

Just own your original point: I'm amazed that people who dress like they've just come from Hooters show up at some ghey French farce.

Kenneth Burns said...

APT isn't in Madison.

janetrae said...

I have attended numerous productions at APT. Indeed, I believe those plays are what have inspired my son to major in acting (a tryout for Occupy X, I know). He saw his first Shakespeare performance there at the age of 6. In that venue, some late summer and early fall nights, you need to wear warm clothes. Similarly, in the summer, you may only be in shorts and a t-shirt (reeking of the thoughtfully supplied insect repellant). Mr. Burns's comments demonstrate the attitude of most snobs towards anyone consuming culture -- or towards denizens of the internet -- that they alone are entitled to be aware of the wider worlds of the arts, let alone appreciate them. Too bad -- and next time, I will sure to wear my Blackhawks sweater just to shake things up.

WV = scionsin

On Scionsin, On Scionsin ...

Curious George said...

" Kenneth Burns said...
Ann, here's what I'm saying. APT has great success putting on plays by the likes of Molière, Hannah Cowley and Richard Brinsley Sheridan, and I'm surprised these shows would do well anywhere these days, much less rural Wisconsin. My remark about Packer jerseys mainly was a little jab at casually dressed Madison, where people wear Packer jerseys no matter what the occasion."

Bullshit. You didn't say that at all. See my post above re: back pedaling.

Chip S. said...

Well then, never mind.

In that case, what's amazing is that they're not showing up in bib overalls.

janetrae said...

Oh, good point, Kenneth. And one of your supporters at the original post made the point that APT (of Spring Green, Wisconsin) should move to Madison because there was so much more scope for them there rather than in "provicial Wisconsin". Some of the most beautiful countryside in the world and home to Frank Lloyd Wright's original Taliesin. Go away, back to your stuffed armchair.

Scott M said...

Upon second and third reading of the quote in question, I have to echo Curious George. In the context of the article, it doesn't sound at all like your quote was regarding the casual dress of the patrons, but rather that such types of people would BE patrons at all.

janetrae said...

I wear the bib overalls under my sports jerseys.

WV = jarboy

janetrae said...

provincial -- correcting earlier typo -- APT of "provincial Wisconsin" and regularly the subject of reviews by Terry Teachout in the Wall Street Journal. It's amazing what comes from the provinces these days.

ndspinelli said...

Curious, You're correct, he's backpedaling like a cornerback covering a post pattern. Burns will probably need to ask his janitor what that means.

Scott M said...

My coach in college would have kicked my ass if I were backpedaling to cover a post pattern.

John said...

Here's the real issue, " Meades in there japing", outright racist against orientals!

Chip S. said...

janetrae, You'll be able to give a pretty informed answer to the obvious next question: About what fraction of the audience at APT actually shows up in Packer jerseys?

(Actually, that's not really the obvious next question, but I try not to work "blue" during the day.)

Richard Dolan said...

Besides, football jerseys are so common (the Latinate 'vulgar' comes to mind, but that smacks of icky class-ism). In NY, those who want to do off-beat in fashion approach the task with a little flare (the Sartorialist, for example, is devoted to showing how). I've see a guy at a Wagnerian performance at the Met in head-to-toe black leather (no one even batted an eye, and in all events he was sitting in the balcony). Marc Morris showed up in the parterre (the Parterre!, a/k/a the Diamond Horseshoe) wearing shorts and a feather boa for a performance of Tosca last year. There was some snickering until people recognized that the shorts-wearer was a celebrity choreographer. In NY at least, celebrity exempts you from many rules applicable to the little people, as Leona famously said. So if you're going to show up in a football jersey in NY, it would help if it were your own jersey form the Giants or the Jets.

cf said...

I don't know if it is still true, but for many years the Milwaukee symphony had the largest number of supporters of any US symphony.Which is to say, small working class supporters--tool and dye makers, brewers, etc. regularly came home from work and went with the family to the symphony. Thy tended to be more cultured than most o today's American professional class.

Chip S. said...

@ScottM---spinelli didn't claim Burns was backpedaling effectively.

wv onessid: A rare wv error. This one belongs in the "journolist" thread.

Kenneth Burns said...

It pleases me to see an uncompromising high-culture institution being so enthusiastically supported. Other groups have much to learn from it.

Michael said...

Burns meant his comment to be snobby. On the other hand I do believe we have come to a bad part of the road when people dress for the theater or symphony as though they are going to a football or golf game. In the good ole days the theater going public would have been able to identify Burns by the shitty shoes he was wearing. so I guess tit has met tat.

ndspinelli said...

Since no one else offered kudos for having some balls and coming over here..a slap on the back Mr. Burns. Most folks wouldn't have the stones.

The guy who should be doing this is a character named Garage..he's currently choking his chicken looking @ your photo..he should join us soon.

Original Mike said...

"...and I'm surprised these shows would do well anywhere these days, much less rural Wisconsin."

In my mind, your surprise is the point. The Packer thing just puncuates it.

ndspinelli said...

ChipS, You're correct..if you backpedal covering a post or fly pattern you end up on your ass.

Curious George said...

"ndspinelli said...
Curious, You're correct, he's backpedaling like a cornerback covering a post pattern. Burns will probably need to ask his janitor what that means."

We now know he's not just a stuffy douchebag, but also a liar. He made the mistake of sating publicly what he and his lib friends say and think privately...under the false assumption that his readers are all like him.

Kenneth Burns said...

@Mike So you're not surprised that Hannah Cowley show is a big success in rural Wisconsin?

Kenneth Burns said...

Make that a Hannah Cowley show.

Chip S. said...

@spinelli--I'll second that.

Now can we return to bashing the guy?

Seriously, high-culture institution is a pre-modern, bourgeois concept for oppression of the masses that was relegated to the dustbin of history by the Frankfurt school ages ago.

Kenneth Burns said...

APT isn't a high culture institution?

Curious George said...

"ndspinelli said...
Since no one else offered kudos for having some balls and coming over here..a slap on the back Mr. Burns. Most folks wouldn't have the stones."

Meh. He came to peddle his bullshit trying to cover his original statement. I'll save my kudos for when he says "I was wrong to say that".

David said...

"The elitist snobbery is unintended."

The unintended insult is snobbery at its most pure.

garage mahal said...

My remark about Packer jerseys mainly was a little jab at casually dressed Madison, where people wear Packer jerseys no matter what the occasion.

You're new around here. They are a delicate bunch. Or more accurately, they pretend to be delicate when it suits their purposes.

Patrick said...

This was more interesting when I thought the post referred to the documentary maker.

That said, I think Mr. Burns has wrong and stereotypical ideas of who enjoys football and who enjoys the theater.

Chip S. said...

APT isn't a high culture institution?

The term "high culture" implies its superiority to "low culture," which the bourgeois patriarchy has historically used as a concept to demean the proletariat. Your amazement that proles would invade a bastion of "high culture" is precisely the sort of attitude by which those of us who prefer Hooters to Hannah Cowley are taught to defer to our cultural and economic betters.

You may be in need of some reeducation, comrade.

David said...

"So you're not surprised that Hannah Cowley show is a big success in rural Wisconsin?"

Who's Hannah Crowley?

Excuse me a moment while I put on my Badgers sweatshirt.

Chip S. said...

...they pretend to be delicate when it suits their purposes.

Spoilsport.

David said...

"So you're not surprised that Hannah Cowley show is a big success in rural Wisconsin?"

Who's Hannah Crowley?

Excuse me a moment while I put on my Badgers sweatshirt.

Kenneth Burns said...

I never said anything about proles. Madisonians of all kinds wear Packer jerseys and other casual clothes to every kind of event.

Curious George said...

"garage mahal said...

You're new around here. They are a delicate bunch. Or more accurately, they pretend to be delicate when it suits their purposes." A typical garage mahal strawman. No one here is saying that they are offended...just that Burns is an elitist douchebag, and also a liar, as his explanation doesn't pass the laugh test.

No one probably gives a rat's ass what he thinks, we are just calling a spade a spade.

This is the same reason we call you an idiot and a liar. Not because it offends our sensibilities, but because you are an idiot and a liar.

Shanna said...

I'm surprised these shows would do well anywhere these days, much less rural Wisconsin.

Are you under the impression that this comment makes you look like less of a snob?

Kenneth Burns said...

@Chip Your being upset about the term high culture doesn't mean APT isn't a high culture institution.

Peter said...

I guess I'm confusted.

Fifty years ago the Left championed the idea that high culture should be accessable to all.

Twenty-five years ago the Left insisted that there was no such thing as high culture because all culture is equally deserving.

More recently, the Left has proclaimed that culture is just an expression of the will to poewr, and thus one should reject all high culture as an act of class solidarity.

And now, Kenneth Burns is finding some redeeming virtue in Moliere?

What's next, a rediscovery of Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms?

garage mahal said...

This is the same reason we call you an idiot and a liar. Not because it offends our sensibilities, but because you are an idiot and a liar.

Who is we?

Chip S. said...

KennyB--It's been fun. Gotta go make a couple of caramel macchiatos now. Ciao.

Scott M said...

@Chip Your being upset about the term high culture doesn't mean APT isn't a high culture institution.

For the sake of the argument, please define "high culture institution" and explain what separates it from "middle" and "low" culture institutions.

traditionalguy said...

The Playbill is a very good combination of plays and authors.

The Admirable Crichton is a fine selection for today's current events.

Shakespeare is always entertaining.

Henry said...

One man's throwaway line is another man's elitist snobbery.

Funny, whenever Althouse posts about contemporary art, everyone piles on the artists.

Chip Ahoy said...

So what were Shakespeare's audience like?


The Lower Classes, the Commoners, were called the Groundlings or Stinkards, and would have stood in the theatre pit and paid 1d entrance fee. They put 1 penny in a box at the theatre entrance - hence the term 'Box Office'

(I think they meant 1p entrance fee) The Globe.

rcommal said...

What about appreciating Moliere would make one think someone in capable of wearing a Pack jersey?

(Or that eating argula would make one unlikely to own and shoot guns. Or vice versa.)

MadisonMan said...

If APT weren't in Spring Green, how would Mazo and Black Earth and Cross Plains make money on speeding tickets?

MadisonMan said...

er, wasn't.

Lem said...

I got onto a somewhat heated argument one time with a woman at the boat house in central park.. We were playing six degrees.. I argued that there is a difference btwng a movie and a film.

She argued that there was no difference and therefore I was a snob.

Ann Althouse said...

"Funny, whenever Althouse posts about contemporary art, everyone piles on the artists."

You're calling Kenneth Burns an artist? Or you're saying somebody here is getting on Moliere's case?

pst314 said...

Kenneth Burns "I'm surprised these shows would do well anywhere these days, much less rural Wisconsin."

Spring Green may be a small town, but it is one of Wisconsin's cultural landmarks--most notably Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin.

pst314 said...

addendum: What percentage of American Players Theater attendees are Spring Green residents vs. tourists visiting the cultural sites?

BESr said...

My remark about Packer jerseys mainly was a little jab at casually dressed Madison, where people wear Packer jerseys no matter what the occasion.

From the horse's mouth, no less. This was what I was thinking when I read the link. Casual.


Actually, this is quite true of Madison. We can get quite an eclectic mix - which makes it a lot easier going out in this town (Madison). I'm not at all offended by Ken's remarks - it seems like a fun mix of cultures and makes people watching that much more enjoyable, but I guess if you're looking to be a victim, you can find that anywhere.

And janetrae, Blackhawks attire. Meh.

roesch/voltaire said...

Me thinks the ladies on this site protest too much. Truth is we liberals go to Packer games and APT, but well our dress code is a bit lax as Burns points out.

rocketeer67 said...

(I think they meant 1p entrance fee)

They meant 1d - "d" a carryover from the use of "denarius". That's why a 16-penny nail is still noted on a box as "16d."

I typed this while wearing a Red Sox jersey.

Lem said...

Good Mole is hard to find..

garage mahal said...

This reminds me of the snob that puts down t shirts that say "I TAPPA KEGGA".

DADvocate said...

Is every "Ken Burns" a pompous jackwagon?

Probably. Beginning in high school, I've been on school newspapers, company newsletters, small town newspapers and such. I've always been an athletic guy, but never cared about following sports other than what my kids were participating in.

Invariably, the editors of these rags assume I'm a big time sports guy because I look athletic and want me to write about sports, which is why I quit the newsletter at my current job.

I can't tell you the name of a single St. Louis Cardinal except Albert Pujols (sp?), no Milwaukee Brewers and only a handful of the Cincinnati Reds who play 5 blocks from where I work.

They think they're open minded and enlightened, but they're as full of biases, prejudices and stereotypical thinking as any of us. Often more so, as how could someone as right minded as themselves harbor any prejudices?

Ann Althouse said...

"Truth is we liberals go to Packer games and APT, but well our dress code is a bit lax as Burns points out."

Oh, bullshit. You know the reference was to Wisconsin "provincials" (or you just didn't bother to read the comments over there that we are talking about).

Lem said...

..but well our dress code is a bit lax as Burns points out.

Our host herself has been critical... See shorts

Kenneth Burns said...

It really wasn't, Ann.

J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kenneth Burns said...

I avidly followed pro and college football up until about 10 years ago. I was a big Bears fan during, God help me, the Dave Krieg times.

Mary said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christopher in MA said...

Oh, good God. Allie, Carol Herman and now this "Mary." Some days, reading this blog is like looking in on a high school performance of "The Three Faces of Eve."

Or reading a musty copy of "Sybil."

Petunia said...

"I'm surprised these shows would do well anywhere these days, much less rural Wisconsin."

Wow, what an incredibly obnoxious comment. I guess people in rural Wisconsin can't hold a candle to the educated, literate, tolerant population of Madison.

"My remark about Packer jerseys mainly was a little jab at casually dressed Madison..."

Oh, please. That doesn't even pass the smell test, especially because, as you pointed out, APT is not in Madison.

Henry said...

I wrote: "Funny, whenever Althouse posts about contemporary art, everyone piles on the artists."

Althouse replied You're calling Kenneth Burns an artist? Or you're saying somebody here is getting on Moliere's case?

No, I was thinking how this thread is playing out -- in which most commenters are defending art (the APT) and its audience appeal -- in comparison to your occasional posts on contemporary painting (the Cy Twombly posts for example) in which most commenters disparage the art and anyone who champions it.

It's elitist to be surprised when art has broad support, but it's also elitist for artists to expect broad support.

Hope that is more clear. I need to rethink my telegraph style.

Calypso Facto said...

Madisonians of all kinds wear Packer jerseys and other casual clothes to every kind of event.

Especially outdoor theater that features pre-show tailgating.

While Madisonians (Wisconsinites, actually) are too-casual dressers by default, I don't blame anyone for comfortable clothes at hot/cold/sunny/rainy/buggy APT.

J said...

Elitists or even rational citizens should not object to pro- football aka pigball because it's a blue collar pastime. It's more like...pro-pigball's a part of the Mafia. Vince Lombardi-- stuffed in the Malebolge. Ahhyeahhh

(google Charles Eliot, Harvard pres. circa 1900 or so (and uncle to TS) for similar thoughts)

Kenneth Burns said...

I'm not talking about the literacy or education of rural people. I'm talking about what would seem, on its face, a tough draw anywhere: challenging plays by 18th or 17th-century writers that not a lot of people have heard of. But APT draws adoring and loyal audiences.

APT isn't in Madison but draws a big Madison audience. My paper, which is based in Madison, covers almost no arts outside Dane County except APT.

Methadras said...

They go for the blowjobs.

J said...

Chris In MA:

Trace the posts of this blowhard freak "Mary" (also Tyrone,Mito, Fred4, Petunia, etc) and yll discover a bag of white trash from Sac CA--actually an Al Gore lover, and vegan freak, and yet neo-nazis-- Ie mentally ill. AS Ive pointed out for a few weeks.

Shanna said...

I argued that there is a difference btwng a movie and a film.

She argued that there was no difference and therefore I was a snob.


And what was your argument, Lem?

$100 lipsticks

Is there lipstick that actually costs 100 bucks? Even the good stuff at Sephora is only 30. Maybe Chanel?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

was a little jab at casually dressed Madison, where people wear Packer jerseys no matter what the occasion

But of course. There is no way to possibly understand the nuances of, say, Moliere or Shakespeare unless you are appropriately garbed. Appearances ARE everything.

So uncouth. They should a least be wearing their best cleanest Carhartt shirts.

Christopher in MA said...

Mary - as I once said to the obnoxious J, go click on my avatar. There's my real name, my website and everything. Plenty to enjoy. Even for silly little kittens desperately peeing on the floor in hopes our hostess will notice you and coo over what a cute thing you are.

"Stoke a little harder?" Must be some hipster douchebag-speak I don't know about.

Now go make me a sammich, sugar tits.

J said...

Mumble away, Byro-Mary, AZ-stoner thespian . Best lil Ho-house in Tuscon, yall! Yr even too stupid for trolling, hick.

Whats really fun is like knowing how many people (like the Enterprise people, and... AT) are laughing at you as you post as a female,gay, ethnic etc

Comprendes, basura? heh heh

Dust Bunny Queen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dust Bunny Queen said...

Personally, I think to truly enjoy Shakespeare we need to adhere to the original atmosphere of the plays.

Let's all stand around in a big pit, eating, laughing, talking and throwing rotten vegetables at the actors when they displease us.

Now THAT is high culture!!

garage mahal said...

Mary - as I once said to the obnoxious J, go click on my avatar. There's my real name, my website and everything. Plenty to enjoy.

Ya? Check it now. I just took it all down. Now say you're sorry.

Michael said...

I place the blame of sloppy dressing at cultural events squarely on the backs of liberals. The lefty Hollywood rich guys began the program years ago so that they could look like regular people. Rich regular people. And regular people who used to wear coats and ties began to dress like the Hollywood people who thought they were dressing like regular people. Now, comrades, we all dress alike. Like we are going to WalMart of the golf course.

Too bad Burns wasn't making that point.

I wear a coat and tie to the theater, the symphony, church and meetings with clients and capital sources. Respect where it is due.

J said...

No Chrissy--you're not listening little man, and forgetting the First Amendment-. "Mary" is a white trash male..and occultist aka Byro from Sac--it posts here. Lying/derailing as usual. Has dozens of names on here. A perp,actually terrorist--ex-DU reg, who has been booted off across the web.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

We've well into that by now, DBQ.
What's holding you back already?


Lol...oops got ahead of me when I edited my post. Makes you look clairvoyant.

I guess the veggies ARE flying already.

J said...

Hope you're not defending the neo-nazi occultist-sockpup. here garag (not that I care for Chrissy -puto either).

Wouldn't look too good with the demo regs.

Kenneth Burns said...

"I think he thinks he's displaying good liberal values there."

By the way, Ann, you don't know anything about my politics.

Shanna said...

I'm not talking about the literacy or education of rural people. I'm talking about what would seem, on its face, a tough draw anywhere

The problem is you felt the need to qualify that statement by singling out rural playgoers. What did you mean by that, precisely, if it has nothing to do with the literacy or education?

Christopher in MA said...

"I just took it all down. Now say you're sorry."

What are you, garbage, five years old? Even for a feces-slinging monkey like you, that's imbecilic.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

High culture is a relative definition.

Mr. Burns has his list which includes Shakespeare who at the time of his writing was considered rather "low culture".

Go figure.

Kenneth Burns said...

The main thing is that plays by 18th- and 17th-century playwrights seem likelier to be a draw in big cities, where populations are denser.

garage mahal said...

Nobody can take a joke.

Kenneth Burns said...

Whoops, that last comment was @Shanna.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Yup. Keep it up. Ups her page hits, entertains the "trolls" busy yanking on hisself, hell everybody wins!

Yup. Whiling away the time waiting for the apple butter to be done boiling down in the crockpot.

Fun times.

Kenneth Burns said...

@Queen I never said anything about Shakespeare. APT used to be an all-Shakespeare company, but that was a long time ago.

J said...

why yes King James, a patron of Shakespeare, "low-brow".

Stick to the wicca-hex books Dirt Bunny.

Scott M said...

@Ken Burns

Can you please flesh out that definition of "high culture", specifically in relation to any other level of culture?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@ Burns

I was looking at your listing of upcoming plays and saw several by Shakespeare.

My point is that defining something as high culture versus low culture puts you on shifting sands since that definition is relative to the times the culture you are standing in at the time.

Who knows.....maybe 300 years from now people will look back at Pee Wee's Big Adventure as being representative of high culture.

:-)

Lem said...

By the way, Ann, you don't know anything about my politics.

And you don't know that the professor prefers to be called by her last name.. Althouse.

LarsPorsena said...

Kenneth Burns said...
@Queen I never said anything about Shakespeare. APT used to be an all-Shakespeare company, but that was a long time ago.

11/2/11 2:24 PM
-------------------------

Ken, long time no see. I loved your 'Civil War' thing. Your current gig not so much.

J said...

OO wow lying along with your new tax cheat palsie Mary-Byro, eh Dirt Wicca Trash

Grazi for evidence satanist

Christopher in MA said...

Actually, Ken (or Kenneth, whichever you prefer), I was a little hasty in rushing to judgement. I can see where your post would simply be a snort of amazement - "Moliere? Who'd have guessed it would still be popular?" It's the "Packer-jersey-wearing" modifier that weakens the joke and makes it sound like NPR chin-scratching over the wilderness habits of the natives of Uzbeki-beki-beki-stan.

Frankly, neither Moliere nor Shakespeare are my cups of tea. But had you caught me about five or six years ago when Philip Glass' "Akhnaten" played in Boston, I'd have had about the same reaction as you to APT's season.

So apologies for calling you a pompous jackwagon. Unless you really are one, in which case embrace it and celebrate it.

wv - "viless." Snagglepuss commenting on this thread "it's one of the viless I've ever seen! Exit, stage right."

Kenneth Burns said...

@Scott The definition shifts around, but I think you're basically talking about classical music, most dance, much visual art and some theater. I'm probably forgetting something.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

BTW: I too want to give Mr. Burns props for showing up and being a stand up guy. He didn't have to do that.

Kenneth Burns said...

@Queen But I didn't invent these categories, and I do think they're useful. I think most people would agree that qualitatively, as well as in terms of audience, economics, tradition, etc., ballet is different from, say, rock.

Lem said...

Whats the Frequency Kenneth..

J said...

Dirt Bunny Queen-you don't know MacBeth from yr meth stash

Just shut up and do Reason a favor, puta,snitch, you untalented bag of wicca garbage

Michael said...

Mr. Burns, I would argue that the population is much denser in Madison.

Scott M said...

@Queen But I didn't invent these categories, and I do think they're useful. I think most people would agree that qualitatively, as well as in terms of audience, economics, tradition, etc., ballet is different from, say, rock.

Funny. I've never seen an entire sentence used to simply spell s-n-o-b.

Kenneth Burns said...

@Scott I don't think so. These are facts. And I'm a much bigger rock fan than I am a ballet fan.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I didn't invent these categories, and I do think they're useful.

No, of course you didn't. High Culture/Popular Culture or Low Culture have been around since...oh, say, Shakespeare's times.

The use is to divide people into classes and make some people think that they are superior to others.

I just find it interesting and somewhat ironic that what is High Culture today was considered Common or low in the days of its origination. In other words our culture is now classing as "high" something that may not have been all that highly regarded in an earlier society.

It doesn't make the article/play/music/art better or worse. It is all relative to our own culture.

Scott M said...

@Ken

I think "classical" is a better description of what you're talking about, if even that is applicable. Using "high" denotes that there are others that simply don't match up. Culture, inasmuch as we're talking about recreational enjoyments, is completely relative to those participating. I think when you move into deciding which form of "art" is better than others, you become an elitist regardless.

Kenneth Burns said...

@Scott I wouldn't call modern dance classical, but it's definitely high culture. Your not liking the term doesn't mean it isn't real and widely used -- by, among others, the Wall Street Journal's Terry Teachout, mentioned approvingly in this comment thread.

Scott M said...

"Modern dance" is whatever the troupe says it is based on what I've seen. If there is a "high culture" I have serious doubts "modern dance" is included. Do those classically trained in dance also do "modern"? Almost assuredly. That's doesn't make it "high".

I take exception to the very notion that a specific collection of NPR fare is "high" while other forms of art are not. There's simply no getting around the elitist vibe this emanates, regardless of who used the term.

janetrae said...

Hey, Chip -- sorry, I was actually off earning a living and Occupying a Conference Room. I do not take heed of what people wear to any event, unless they are knocking my eyes out with thousands of dollars of couture -- which was actually the case at the BCS bowl in Pasadena (Rose Bowl venue) 2 years ago when Texas and Alabama played. Those southern women spare no expense in dressing up for a game and the Hermes orange crocodile jacket (it was about 80 degrees) compelled me to compliment one of them. As for APT: I have attended in a dress, I have attended in shorts -- and as long as nobody is talking or texting -- who gives a shit what they are wearing? XXOO

P.S.
"And when you talk about Dylan, the man thinks your talkin' 'bout Dylan Thomas,
whoever he was --
the man ain't got no culture..."

Kenneth Burns said...

My sense is that crossover between modern dance and ballet is more the exception than the rule.

janetrae said...

Scott M. -- See Terry Teachout "About Last Night" on the NPR "culture" -- that characterizes ho-hum normal stuff as cutting edge.

Kenneth Burns said...

@Scott Your claim that NPR is a purveyor of high culture might make some high culture fans clutch their pearls in disbelief. Or rend their Packer jerseys.

Canuck said...

Althouse and Meade profoundly despise Kenneth Burns.

Kenneth Burns writes descriptions of plays for some local magazine.


I assume there is a back story here, because otherwise this makes no sense.

Kenneth Burns said...

I would love to hear this back story.

Canuck said...

So what are your "good liberal values?"


btw - I'm pretty sure "liberal" in the USA doesn't mean the same thing as "liberal" in Canada.

(our present parties: Progressive Conservatives (Tories); Liberals: NDPs; Greens; and my favorite, the Pirate Party.)

Squid said...

...you don't know anything about my politics.

You have a gig at the Isthmus. I'm going to guess that you're not a big Tea Partier. And if you were, I think we can say with certainty that management over there knows even less about your politics than does Althouse.

Kenneth Burns said...

"I'm going to guess that you're not a big Tea Partier."

Is that my only choice?

Like Ann Althouse, I voted for Kerry.

Canuck said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ann Althouse said...

Nice to have you here, Ken. I know it's lonely in the comments at the Isthmus.

Kenneth Burns said...

Thanks! Isthmus requires commenters to use their real names, which does take a toll on the numbers.

janetrae said...

Ken, Ken, Ken -- Just because I like Terry doesn't mean anybody else does. I am not aware of him distinguishing between levels of "art", except to disapprove of PBS characterizing certain programming as "art"-related at all. Here is the link http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203476804576617121838441178.html or you can google "Teachout PBS" and it will come up on the first page of results. Mr. Teachout in the linked column remarks that the only thing PBS is showing in its arts programming for the next 2 months that is not "pledge week" pablum -- to paraphrase -- is the banjo concert/history of the banjo, and I think those Packer jersey wearing folks might like the banjo. I know I do.

As for the very notion of Mr. Teachout sneering at -- or even bothering to remark on -- what people would wear to a play -- pshaw!

Face it, you thought your remark was clever - it was not. But, as Ann observes, you are certainly getting more attention here than in your own comments at the Isthmus.

Now, what is your beef with Terry Teachout as I am certain you are working up to some withering bon mot designed to shrivel all of us in our seats.

janetrae said...

I beg your pardon, he uses the term "high" three times in the column. I shall write him a strongly worded protest. In the meantime, my favorite paragraph:

"These shows don't add up to an arts festival, or anything remotely like it. What PBS is giving us instead is a stiff dose of the usual safety-first pledge-week fare, only spread out over two months. Except for Miami City Ballet's Balanchine-Tharp bill, all nine programs are carefully designed to please those members of the gray-ponytail set who prefer politically correct popular culture to high art. Straight plays? Who needs 'em? Jazz? Bor-ing. As for the visual arts, they don't even exist in the unserious, unchallenging world of the PBS Arts Fall Festival. Instead we get recycled Puccini, goosed-up Gilbert and Sullivan and yesterday's grunge rock."

Note that any play is "high" culture apparently. So Wisconsin rubes can never indulge in "high" culture -- who would have thought it?

Kenneth Burns said...

@janetrae Yes, Terry Teachout has been known to use the expression high culture, and he seems to use it in the same sense in which I use it, to denote, without judgement, a particular set of arts disciplines. This usage is commonly understood, and I do not employ it to make people feel bad or angry.

"Now, what is your beef with Terry Teachout"

I have zero beef with Terry Teachout. He's a superb critic. I'm a big fan. Read him every week. I'm delighted he reviews APT, and I know the APT people are, too.

janetrae said...

Actually, Ken, I want to thank you for leaving breadcrumbs to Mr. Teachout's blog on the "Middlebrow Culture" as he describes it. Perfectly delightful. Now the problem with your remark is that you seem to think that a professional football fan is not entitled to also like to go to a play. Or, your problem is that in the amphitheatre at APT you are scoring your fellow playgoers instead of reading the program and planning your intermission drinks. Shame on you.

wv=subtlyru

Subtly R U -- not

And, why do you read him only once a week, he blogs: Ann has a link (or did once)

roesch/voltaire said...

If you compare the number of ticket holders who attend a Badger or Packer game compared to the number of ticket holders who attend the APT there is a huge difference suggesting,as most folks recognize that popular culture, let us not use the terms high or low culture here, draws more than the fine arts. And to see a small identifiable cross dressing audience attending the APTis a delight and surprise given the struggle to fill theaters in Madison- remember the REP? I read the comments, and still maintain that as usual Althouse likes to take umbrage whenever possible as the expense of her perceived Madison liberals.

Shanna said...

The main thing is that plays by 18th- and 17th-century playwrights seem likelier to be a draw in big cities, where populations are denser.

I'm not from Wisconsin, so it's hard to speak to the geography of the thing (it looks like it's about an hour from Madison and Dubuque?). Yes, big cities can support larger shows than small towns, but if you have a car, that's not a huge problem, is it?

BTW, that outdoor theater looks lovely and I wish we had one, although isn't it awfully cold in Wisconsin for that? I suppose shows only run in the summer.

"Modern dance" is whatever the troupe says it is based on what I've seen.

Ugh. Agree. Give me straight up ballet any day. And let's not even get started on modern art!!!

roesch/voltaire said...

I think given the lack of support for theater in Madison, remember the Rep, one has to be amazed to see a few of the thousands who attend a Badger or Packer game, popular culture, attending the APT in support of the fine arts.( Anyone who has been to a Badger or Packer game would not suggest, as does Meade that football fans are only working class) As someone who has attended the APT for over twenty years, I am happy they still exist, and worry as I see the audience grow grayer, about their future, therefore I am happy to see these cross culture dressing Packer fans, although few, filling the seats. Now does Burns' line reflect the distinctions in taste that Bourdieu shows simply reflect a social snobbery and social judgement, or is it a throw away line on dress code, as he claims? Probably a little of both, but Althouse likes to take umbrage at her perceived nemesis those Madison Liberals. It is her form of elitism.

ken in sc said...

I am wearing bib overalls right now. I have a sweet-potato sticking out of my button fly.

Maguro said...

So basically this was another botched joke, is that it?

janetrae said...

What is the dress code in an open air theatre for a matinee when it is 90 degrees and 90 percent humidity? I have attended LA Philharmonic concerts in blue jeans, I have attended performances of Tony Award winning theatre companies (of which there are now 5 in Chicago)in blue jeans, and I have attended dance performances (mostly ballet or formal Bahratnatyam) in blue jeans (concededly the former were at open air venues). I have also attended all of those things "dressed up". Concedely, I have only been to the Opera dressed up (except for that performance in East Berlin -- blue jeans). So suggesting that the remark to begin with was not snarky snobby is absurd and hasn't passed the smell test since early this morning.

wv = cratests

Methinks thou dost ...

MadisonMan said...

I'm not sure about Moliere, but I'm surprised people go to APT to see Chekov, whose plays I find tedious to the extreme. The Cherry Orchard? Total snoozefest out at APT. Or anywhere else, I'd wager. I had the same reaction to The Government Inspector. Maybe I just don't like Russian playwrights.

janetrae said...

That word was supposed to be "concededly".

Shanna, interestingly there is a huge part of the audience from Chicago. Lots of weekend homes in Galena (just east of Dubuque) and in the immediate area -- Spring Green, Mineral Point -- and lots of great restaurants. Not such great places to stay but I have never tried local B & Bs. Really lovely countryside.

As for the graying of the audience, that is a real problem for all live theatre in the country as some snobs have created a dichotomy between the "high" culture of live plays and "popular" culture of iTunes. See Teachout columns -- numerous -- regarding same.

somefeller said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
somefeller said...

Now the problem with your remark is that you seem to think that a professional football fan is not entitled to also like to go to a play.

That's a lie. He didn't say that and his comment can't be reasonably interpreted to mean that. Get the giant chip off your shoulder and get a life, if it's not too late for you to do so. And that goes for others having a hissy fit over the comments of Kenneth Burns on the topic of theater.

rcommal said...

Nice to have you here, Ken. I know it's lonely in the comments at the Isthmus.

Outstanding, Althouse!

***

Also, Terry Teachout is a gem, as he has been for yea, so many years.

Strelnikov said...

The good news is that none of us t-shirt wearin', toe jam pickin', theater goin' rednecks give a shit what Burns thinks.

Strelnikov said...

Burns: I'm probably forgetting something.

Me: You are. You're forgetting that you're a douche.

Kenneth Burns said...

I think that actually is a line from Molière.