Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Hmm. I need to stop reading newspaper websites.

Today, I am feeling overwhelmed. To cheer myself up, I trawled the websites of The Guardian and The Independent, until I found a dumb article that I could whinge about.

Ah, hello, Imogen Harris

Ah, burlesque. Perusing the shows at Edinburgh Fringe over the last few days, I've been struck by its abundance and popularity. It seems that burlesque grows in popularity year on year; sometimes it's as though the whole city is waving its nipple tassels at you. 

Well, interesting take on Fringe 2015, but no. As far as I reckon, burlesque reached its high water mark around three years ago. There are a few outposts where the burlesque dominates (The Illicit Thrill amongst others), but it has become far less present in cabaret nights. But anyway...

And burlesque as a concept... promises female-run spaces where sexuality and eroticism are celebrated... It requires skill, timing and imagination...  women can take their clothes off without being judged. And it's totally different from being “just” a stripper, right? Right?

Reading on, Harris just recites the usual justifications for burlesque, before insisting that most shows fail to be inclusive, empower or tease. She notes, correctly, that there is a shared aesthetic amomng many performers (the 1950s pin up). Then she moans that burlesque started off as a parody, which reminds us that she can use the internet to do her research.

But here's what I don't like. She claims that burlesque is a way for middle-class people to get their jollies without having to go to a strip-club: it has a veneer of respectability that hides its lack of artistic merit. 

And... there goes my temper.

The implication of the article is that stripping is some kind of low profession... that lap-dancers are not artists, but pandering to the basest instincts. Well, maybe they do: but Harris says it, and Harris could explain why being a stripper is so bad. She doesn't.

I have just written a response to an article that is utterly inconsequential. Sorry. 

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