Still, I'm slightly uncomfortable with the title of Andrew Saint's tribute. Does Morris really matter? Why Morris Matters had some fascinating moments - including an atmospheric opening describing Morris's funeral (his coffin laid in a moss-lined cart drawn by a horse wreathed in vine leaves); but his importance was asserted, not demonstrated.
What was demonstrated was that some surprising people - such as Glenys Kinnock - are fans, that Sanderson still sell a respectable quantity of Morris wallpaper, that a few printers and architects draw inspiration from him, and that some fashionable ideas (for instance, about ecologically sustainable technology and planning for cities) are in line with his thinking. Does this mean that he matters? A better question might have been: why doesn't Morris matter? Why is no political party interested in his model of socialism? Why, a century after he proclaimed his ideals of beauty and utility in everyday life, are we still happy to be surrounded by glitzy tat?
Which brings us neatly to Take That, subject of two hour-long documentaries on Radio 1 on successive Sundays. This seems like a peculiar use of licence- payers' money - nice lads and all that, and with a refreshingly sharp sense of their position in the scheme of things (in the first programme, one of them said that if they'd been concerned with respect from the music industry, they'd have given up five years earlier); but not even their fans thought they mattered that much. Interviewed after the break, they declared themselves "gutted" and "suicidal", without sounding remotely sincere; they would all probably be getting married and having children, one pointed out, so it wasn't the end of the world.
The sad fact is, teenagers these days have gone all post-modern: they don't really care that much about Take That but they're prepared to go along with the act. It's all rather dispiriting. When even the teenyboppers are ironic, can anything ever matter again?
Arts & Ents blogs
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- 2 Oil tanker with $100 million cargo goes missing off Texas coast
- 3 George Galloway left with severe bruising after attack in Notting Hill by man 'shouting about the Holocaust'
- 4 Lady al-Qa’ida: On the trail of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, the world’s most wanted prisoner
- 5 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
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