Superman, Stravinski and Right-Wing Snobs

If you heard the Sunday morning Radio 4 news programme Broadcasting House this morning you will have heard a speaker from the right-wing think-tank The New Culture Forum come out with the following comment about the state of culture in Britain today:

“If you tell people over a period of time that Superman is just as good as Stravinsky, then eventually they’re going to stop bothering to try to get to know Stravinsky.”

Given that one is a fictional character, and one a composer I don’t see why you can’t like both. I got my copy of Superman: Peace on Earth off the shelf to see what a right-wing think-tank would think is so terrible. That one was handy, and it’s available from bookshops.

The story concerns Superman, who one Christmas tries to feed all the hungry people in the world. He makes this statement about why he helps people:

“I look upon my powers as a gift, not mine alone but for anyone who needs them.”

About Christmas:

“It’s a time when people are most inclined to act with compassion and kindness, and perhaps for a brief moment, see in each other a fellow soul sharing the same world.”

And about the failure of his mission (due to tyrants and corruption):

“I tried to relieve world hunger, but I encountered heartbreaking poverty, not only within the slums and wastelands of the world, but within selfish men’s souls.”

You can see why a libertarian wouldn’t like this. Someone with power wanting to help rather than push people about?

For some people it doesn’t seem to be enough to enjoy Stravinsky, you have to look down on someone else at the same time. Perhaps they should check out the Lex Luthor comics published a few years ago. More their style?

And a final point – music may be a valid art form for everyone, but to appreciate comics you have to be able to read.

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