The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #109916   Message #2303830
Posted By: GUEST,Tom Bliss
01-Apr-08 - 06:09 PM
Thread Name: Our ghastly folk tradition
Subject: RE: Our ghastly folk tradition
Kitty is right Mike

I had an emotional response to Parris because he was rubbishing something I value highly - (and I also hate to see someone with that amount of media power dump on an innocent honest, expert and talented artist). But those two reactions would not have been enough to make me write to the BBC, because - as many have so kindly taken the trouble to point out - it doesn't matter one jot on that level in the greater scheme of things.

But I had two professional reactions as well.

The first was the.. err... oh lets call it racist element because it's late and i can't be bothered to find the correct words, but you do know what I mean I think (others have expressed it well above). The ex BBC producer in me baulked at that - and at hearing sloppy, nasty, jingoistic journalism on a programme like POYW.

The fourth reaction was from the performer in me - as someone closely involved in the business and promotional aspects of the folk world, who happens to have spent many years as a corporate communications consultant.

People over on the BBC site have told me I'm just being thin-skinned. Yes, on a personal level I am, but on a professional level - well let me quote myself, again because it's late.

"There are some basic do's and don'ts in the exciting game we call public relations, and one of the don'ts is never to let someone like Parris rubbish your product without challenge, and one of the do's is to take every opportunity to put your point of view across and to promote your product by every means at your disposal, and especially to grab an opportunity like this with both sticky hands."

Folk music may be the people's music and essentially amateur and participatory and all that which we know and love here, and it may also be a cultural wellspring which needs to be cherished and nourished, but it is also very much a business, and so must sometimes behave like one.

I therefore have four reasons for wanting to at least be seen to try to persuade Parris to remove his blinkers (and earplugs) - and wanting not to hear people express a view that its a storm in a tea cup.

We sail ships on storms smaller than this.