"Francine Stock narrates a documentary chronicling the story of BBC's Third Programme. Introduced in 1946, the station was unlike anything else on the airwaves. Broadcasting only the very best of high culture, the Third Programme captured a new ideal - that elite culture was good for the whole nation. Surprisingly, it was a vision shared by both left and right."
2. a. The action or practice of cultivating the soil; tillage, husbandry; = cultivation 1. b. Cultivated condition. Obs. c. concr. A piece of tilled land; a cultivated field. Obs.
3. a. The cultivating or rearing of a plant or crop; = cultivation 2. b. transf. The rearing or raising of certain animals, such as fish, oysters, bees, etc., or of natural products such as silk. culture pearl = cultured pearl. c. The artificial development of microscopic organisms, esp. bacteria, in specially prepared media; concr. the product of such culture; a growth or crop of artificially developed bacteria, etc. Also applied to the similar growth of plant and animal cells and tissues, and of whole organs or fragments of them. Also in Comb., as culture-fluid, -tube, etc.; culture medium, a substance, solid or liquid, in or on which micro-organisms, tissues, etc., are cultured. d. The training of the human body. Obs.
4. fig. The cultivating or development (of the mind, faculties, manners, etc.); improvement or refinement by education and training.
5. a. absol. The training, development, and refinement of mind, tastes, and manners; the condition of being thus trained and refined; the intellectual side of civilization.
J. A. Froude (Nemesis of Faith): The end of all culture is, that we may be able to sustain ourselves in a spiritual atmosphere as the birds do in the air.
M. Arnold (Culture and Anarchy): The great men of culture are those who have had a passion..for carrying from one end of society to the other, the best knowledge, the best ideas of their time.
H. Johst (in C. Leiser, Nazi Nuggets): When I hear the word ‘culture’ I slip back the safety-catch of my revolver.
K. Mannheim (Man and Society): The crisis of culture in liberal-democratic society is due, in the first place, to the fact that the social processes, which previously favoured the development of the creative élites, now have the opposite effect. [Sorry, but "liberal-democratic society" is a contradiction in terms.]
T. S. Eliot [uncultured trans-Atlantic] (Notes Def. Culture): Culture is not merely the sum of several activities, but a way of life. [Wrong! - it is neither, it is taste.] Group culture..has never been co-extensive with class. [Wrong again! - there is no such animal as "group culture"; culture must be a matter for the individual.] The primary channel of transmission of culture is the family. [And again wrong, it is primarily transmitted via the homo-sexualists. e.g. Schönberg - uncultured, Szymanowski - cultured.]
And here is Sir Roger Scruton, advising us on the knotty question of whether high culture can be a substitute for religion:
In the context of this discussion, it is worth asking whether football and footballers have become part of higher culture, and whether philosophers like Roger Scruton have become part of lower culture, hence no knighthoods! Last week, the legendary bb took us to the cinema to see a film called 'Forbidden Games', and I persuaded her to write a post for 'The Radio 3 Forum'.
Anyway, to be very precise, the forbidden game in the film was for the children to steal crosses from a human cemetery and to use them for an animal cemetery. Everyone got very cross! I could not help but feel a little sympathy for the children! So to Roger Scruton I would say that culture is organic, religion is clearly part of culture, although high culture cannot really substitute for religion, or even for culture in general.
"Sorry, no, cannot. While I would like to watch several of their offerings, I have the distinct impression that the BFI is run by a load of Shylocks. When will Englishmen learn that money and Art do not mix?"
Well, the BFI is a relatively cheap place to see a film, at least in London. According to Lord Clark of 'Civilisation', Yeats actually used the example of Urbino when he addressed a poem to 'A wealthy man who promised a subscription to Dublin Municipal Gallery if it were proved that people wanted pictures.'
"And Guidobaldo, when he made That mirror school of courtesies Where wit and beauty learned their trade Upon Urbino's windy hill, Had sent no runners to and fro That he might learn the shepherds' will."
The White Balloon demonstrates, amongst other things, that money and film (and goldfish) do mix. According to Wikipedia, it is the eve of the Iranian New Year. The film opens in a Teheran market where seven year old Razieh (Aida Mohammadkhani) and her mother are shopping. Razieh sees a goldfish in a shop and begins to nag her hurrying mother to buy it for the festivities instead of the skinny ones in her family's pond at home. Almost all of the film's major characters are briefly seen in this market scene, though they won't be introduced to the viewer until later. On their way home, mother and daughter pass a courtyard where a crowd of men has gathered to watch two snake charmers. Razieh wants to see what is happening but her mother pulls her daughter away, telling her that it is not good for her to watch these things.
Back home, Razieh is upset about her mother's refusal to let her buy a new goldfish, but continues her campaign of nagging. Her older brother Ali (Mohsen Kalifi) returns from a shopping errand for their father who, although remains unseen has a tangible presence causing tension in the family. He complains that he asked Ali to buy shampoo, not soap, then throws the soap at him. Ali sets off to buy the shampoo and when he returns Razieh enlists his help in changing her mother's mind about the goldfish, bribing him with a balloon. Insisting that she can buy the goldfish in the market for 100 tomans ("You're crazy," Ali tells her, remarking that he can see two films with that money), Razieh finally gets her wish. Her mother gives her the family's last 500-toman banknote and asks her to bring back the change. Razieh sets off with an empty glass jar to the fish shop a few blocks away.
Between their home and the fish store, Razieh manages to lose the money twice, first in an encounter with the snake charmer, and then when she drops the money through the grate at the entrance to a store which has been closed for the New Year celebration.
Razieh and Ali make several attempts to retrieve the money and receive assistance from many people, including the owners of nearby shops and an Iranian soldier. The money, however, is always just out of reach. Finally, the siblings receive help from a young Afghan street vendor selling balloons. He carries all of his balloons on a wooden stick, and has only one balloon, a white one, left. The group attaches a piece of gum to one end of the balloon stick, and with it, they reach down through the grate and pull the money out.
The film ends, not with Ali and Razieh, but with the young Afghan boy, who has become an important character only at the very end of the film.
Paradoxically, it is also one of the cheapest forms of entertainment available. Even drinks cost more! Is it art? Well, it can be! My own guess would be that films like Forbidden Games, The White Balloon and Hugo & Josephine at the BFI are the closest we get to high culture for all.
Upon reflection, one reason why The Third failed was because the vast majority of people rejected the free high culture on offer! Significantly, however, they did not reject film, for which they still had to pay?
The legendary bb alerted me to your posting in 'The Radio 3 Forum', Sydney, so we found the film for free on YouTube
Thank you both both for the You-tube link and the bit of Yeats; so I have now acquired the White Balloon. "Are there any other childhood favourites worth recommending?" one of you asks. Well The Children of Dynmouth is pretty good:
From the days when TV dramas had something to say, The Children of Dynmouth is both entertaining and highly thought-provoking.
Timothy is an awkward adolescent who simply doesn't fit in his rather narrow English seaside town. He spends his days playing truant from school observing the local community through an old pair of binoculars. Accordingly he learns their hidden secrets and feels no shame in confronting them with his knowledge when seeking their assistance to put on a stage act in drag for the local village talent competition. But the truth often hurts and his observations are not always accurate.
The ensuing drama presents an uncomfortable dilemma that questions not only the morality of British society but perhaps even the truth itself.
An unknown actor named Simon Fox plays Timothy with quite remarkable insight and his character certainly gains sympathy despite his unbelievably gauche and questionable style.
Production "company" the British Broadcasting Corporation.