Britain’s chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne recently claimed to enjoy listening to American “gangsta” rap group N.W.A..
Says Dalrymple at City Journal:
…claiming the worst taste in the world won’t persuade anyone that George Osborne is a true, manual-laboring proletarian (even if most manual labor had not already been almost entirely outsourced to China), only that he is playing at being one, and that therefore he must have something to cover up, something to be ashamed of. Not a single person will be persuaded to vote for George Osborne’s party because he claims to like gangsta rap, and some might even refrain from doing so.
I suppose that’s the best case scenario.
And yet Dalrymple has clearly read an awful lot or true (and fictional) crime. So which is worse? Listening to NWA or reading – for no good reason – about the activities of poisoners, murderers or rapists? I can’t see such a big difference.
Dalrymple is the kind of man who has wide reading tastes, and yet very harrow listening tastes. I can appreciate Mozart or Schubert, aswell as Lee Scratch Perry, The Ramones or The Aphex Twin. I think it’s him who’s missing out, not me.
I think he would probably reply that the crime novels depict degradation, while NWA’s music embodies it (and I personally think he would be right). You make a good point about his wide reading tastes and narrow listening ones (though there’s not much chance of someone his age liking Aphex Twin 🙂 ). I do think a little frivolity is unavoidable in life.