Mass Culture?


One of my favourite ever films is just starting on BBC1. Cabaret seduces me with its mix of politics, fantastic pop songs and Bob Fosse. I think it’s my favourite musical and pretty high amongst every film I’ve seen, whatever genre.

I remember first seeing it as a kid and being utterly shocked by it. The bit when the boy starts singing ‘Tomorrow Belongs To Me’ still makes me shiver today, the first time I saw it, I think it made me cry. Of course, around then I was regularly getting beaten up by neo-Nazis so it was bound to make an impression.

I have the Cabaret DVD. But I’m watching it now, on BBC1. Why?

I don’t really know. But I suspect it’s because I’m an old geezer who enjoys being part of mass culture. I come from times when there were only three, then four TV channels. When 20+ million Britons would watch the same programme. Or listen to the same radio channel.

Now everything is fractured in space, time and genre. We’ve been fiched, quiched and now niched. We’re all in our little hutches watching channel 43 out of 800. The audiences are tiny, the playground / workplace gossip robbed of commonality. “Did you see…?” “No.” “Ahh…ummm…”

So, I’m watching Cabaret now to be part of the group of people who are watching Cabaret now.

Strange, eh?