"Singer Billy Bragg has warned that the government's education reforms risk stifling creativity and leaving the pop charts the preserve of a well-off public school elite.
Bragg used a lecture in memory of broadcaster John Peel in Salford to criticise education secretary Michael Gove's plans to scrap GCSEs in favour of an English baccalaureate. He also turned his ire on and 'culture-clogging shows' such as Simon Cowell's The X Factor on ITV1.
The singer and leftwing activist said the government's proposed new education system threatened to exclude creative subjects from the core qualifications expected of 16-year-olds.
'At a time of cuts to the education budget, the pressure on schools to dump subjects like music and drama in favour of those that offer high marks in performances tables will only grow,' said Bragg.
He criticised the 'insistence that knowledge is more important than creativity', adding: 'As Albert Einstein said, imagination is more important than knowledge, for knowledge is limited while imagination embraces the whole world'.
Bragg, delivering the second annual John Peel Lecture at the Radio Festival on Monday, said: 'Under the English baccalaureate, with its reliance on a single end of course exam, the child with the creative imagination will always lose out to the child with the ability to recall knowledge learned by rote."
(John Plunkett, 12 November 2012, The Guardian)
Billy Bragg "John Peel Lecture", photograph: Andrew Stuart/Radio Festival/PR.
"One of the best known examples is to be found in our attitude towards the events and characters of the drama; they appeal to us like persons and incidents of normal experience, except that that side of their appeal, which would usually affect us in a directly personal manner, is held in abeyance. This difference, so well known as to be almost trivial, is generally explained by reference to the knowledge that the characters and situations are 'unreal,' imaginary. In this sense Witasek, oeprating with Meinong's theory of Annahem, has described the emotions involved in witnessing a drama as Scheingefuhle, a term which has so frequently been misunderstood in discussions of his theories. But, as a matter of fact, the 'assumption' upon which the imaginative emotional reaction is based is not necessarily the condition, but often the consequence, of distance; that is to say, the converse of the reason usually stated would then be true: viz. That distance, by changing our relation to the characters, renders them seemingly fictitious, not that the fictitiousness of the characters alters our feelings toward them. It is, of course, to be granted that the actual and admitted unreality of the dramatic action reinforces the effect of Distance. But surely the proverbial unsophisticated yokel whose chivalrous interference in the play on behalf of the hapless heroine can only be prevented by impressing upon him that 'they are only pretending,' is not the ideal type of theatrical audience. The proof of the seeming paradox that it is Distance which primarily gives to dramatic action the appearance of unreliability and not vice versa, is the observation that the same filtration of our sentiments and the same seeming 'unreality' of actual men and things occur, when at times, by a sudden change of inward perspective, we are overcome by the feeling that 'all the world's a stage.'"
(Edward Bullough, 1912)
Edward Bullough (1912). "Psychical Distance" British Journal of Psychology, Vol. 5, pp. 87-117 (excerpt cited by Julie Van Camp, 22 November 2006).
Fig.1 Patricia Piccinini/Drome Pty Ltd. (2010) [http://leecasey.carbonmade.com/projects/2594595#9]
"We are a not-for-profit festival celebrating the wealth of talent working across all genres of short film including live action drama, documentary, animation, music video, and work that pushes boundaries including online or mobile content, title sequences, and idents.
The work of newcomers and established filmmakers is promoted by screening work at cinemas, screening rooms and cafes throughout Soho and London's West End. In conjunction with the competitive program [sic] we hold a large variety of debates and discussions on all aspects of media and filmmaking. The event program [sic] also builds in networking and case studies. Our aims are to provide an arena introducing creativity, new/established practitioners and those partners that can help assist in supporting and furthering people's ideas."
(Soho Shorts, 2011)
"Is Drama with Waste Management a 'Mickey Mouse' degree ... with only a few minutes research I can see a number of reasons why this combination might be useful. Sustainable waste management is a global issue, with important consequences for global warming. A number of projects use drama as a means of enhancing community involvement in these projects. One such project was part of 'Drama for Life' Africa's premier drama/theatre/performance programme. The use of drama was also a key part of a zero waste management initiative in Wakiso district, Uganda. So I personally would applaud a student who wanted to choose to combine an interest in drama (which I assume the RSC [UK Royal Society of Chemistry] are not trying to ban) with socially responsible initiatives that could result in reduced green house gas emissions."
(Chris Cooper, Saturday 13 February 2010 at 13:18)
"The Meisner acting technique is a many layered approach that relies heavily on a practice known as emotional preparation. Named after Sanford Meisner, the Meisner technique began as a systematic study of the art of acting for theatre. Based on work done by Russian actor Constantine Stanislovski, Meisner created a hybrid technique that he felt was better suited to the American actor and American theatre. ...
Actors using the Meisner acting technique have the ability to immerse themselves in an emotional 'state' of the character before going onstage. Rather than pretending extreme frustration they must ARE extremely frustrated as they enter the scene. Furthermore, Meisner believed that any actor looking to exploit the Meisner acting technique does their homework by creating and developing a complete set of circumstances and a complete emotional landscape that is in tune with the deeper cravings, needs and emotions that have caused the character to be frustrated."
(Maggie Flanigan Studio)