One would have thought that dance and any sort of culture war associated with it would have moved with the times for the word ‘war’ to be delinked from ‘culture’. Elvis died 42 years ago. ‘Dancing with the stars’ and ‘Dancing on ice’ are hugely popular global programs. You would think that dance would be innocuous enough. Not so.
Dance is in the news in the States for two reasons: Sean Spicer and Prince George. Sean Spicer was notably seen as the ‘fibber’ who was in charge of press communications when Donald Trump first came to power. He has been signed up for America’s ‘Dancing with the stars’ and people are taking umbrage with political deception, as they see it, being turned into some sort of dance related reward. Prince George was born a star and is taking up ballet lessons but host of ‘Good Morning Britain’ ridiculed this on national TV.
Sean Spicer, as the New York Times puts it, was dancing to Trump’s tune from the moment both set foot inside the White House. Sean Spice famously whitewashed the lack of crowds who turned up for the Presidential inauguration by declaring that a universe of ‘alternative facts’ existed. He was a chief enabler of the ‘fake news’ thing – if something didn’t fit the facts it could be explained away by using alternative words. I have no idea why such powerful figures who misuse power go on to be seen as funny and comical figures or potential dance stars. Remember ‘Chemical Ali’? I bet if ‘Dancing with something or other’ had been on then he would have been offered a part.
Poor Prince George was ridiculed on TV by Lara Spencer, host of Good Morning America, for wanting to dance ballet. Presumably, the ridicule arose because he is a boy (to state the obvious). I can bet you that if Princess Charlotte was the one, instead, to take up ballet it would have elicited an ‘ahh’ on national TV. Twitter followers leapt to Prince George’s defence to proclaim that boys ought to be free to take up ballet. Rightly so too. Why is it that the educated masses love going to ‘the ballet’ as a cultural past time but are ready to pass judgement on boys who want to do it? I call this cultural double standards.
Also, We expect news and political programs to adhere to certain standards in which reckless political players are held to account but fluff TV is exempt from this. Will we one day have Arron Banks on Britain’s TV dancing his socks off?