|The victim of Stephen Bayley's scorn|
Three years ago Stephen Bayley - then described as “…one of Britain's best known cultural commentators" - had a pop at what he dubbed 'kitschmas'. At the time I found this a terribly snobbish and ignorant approach:
But Stephen Bayley and his ilk wouldn’t understand this – schmoozing round their charmed circle of the cultural trendsetters, these folk are nearly as out of touch with the real world as Ed Balls. And they annoy me…I like my inflatable reindeer, grossly overblown Santas, great fat snowmen, kids singing “Away in a Manger”, over the top lighting on private houses, German Christmas markets, re-runs of “White Christmas”, happy drunks in plastic reindeer horns…all the trappings of Kitschmas. I loved it that the car parked next to mine outside PC World had horns and a red nose.
You’re welcome to your smug little view Mr Bayley – but it doesn’t reflect what the rest of us want.
It seems that nothing has changed - yet again the Spectator has given this monstrous snob space to tell us who like our Christmas kitsch-filled that we lack taste. He even enlists another hideous snob - this time a Marxist one:
Thus the gross Furby is the embodiment of our too brightly coloured contemporary Christmas and the redundant gifts and trick effects that are part of it. The Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm is rarely quoted, directly or indirectly, with approval in The Spectator, but here is an exception. Hobsbawm said that the less educated the consumer, the greater his taste for decoration. I do not know that Hobsbawm, who unfortunately died before the relaunch, was aware of the brightly coloured Furby, but he would surely agree that, if temporary decoration may be compared to ludicrous merchandise, his idea applied here.
Perhaps next year the Spectator might like to give someone the space to make the case for house bling, tinny carols and artificial snow rather than giving this so-called "cultural commentator" another chance to parade his ghastly prejudice.