Saturday, 13 September 2014

Playing at artisans

Amongst the bundle of Saturday papers on the breakfast table this morning there is a supplement from the Guardian this morning called  'Do Something'.

It is a series of articles of things people can try out  over a weekend - write a short story, do archery, or be a silversmith - or a printer. Obviously the last one got my attention.

Am I alone in finding it slightly nauseating that middle class people can now play at things that working class people used to be paid for ?

The same middle class people who in their own working lives as corporate managers and marketing parasites have overseen de-skilling and off-shoring of these activities as jobs that ordinary people can actually make a living from. The same middle class people who would never dream of their own children pursuing one of these trades rather than go to university. 

I know my response is  emotional and irrational. It's good to some extent that these skills are being kept alive in some way. But I do resent the belittling and disrespectful implication that the skills and values that took a time-served tradesman four or even seven years to develop are now reduced to a leisure activity to amuse people with too much time on their hands. 

Much as I also find it disrespectful when uber Tory-toff Kirsty Allsop presents a TV series encouraging yuppies homeowners to create a 'Homemade Home' by showing how in truth there is nothing to all those skilled trades and services that the middle class once paid the working classes to perform for them.


Dr Llareggub said...

Good post. Someone ought to respond to this stuff.
Love to see these middle class hobbyists scraping ice off the roof tiles on a building site in January, on a scaffolding in pissing rain, or attempting a temporary repair to a burst gas main on your knees in mud.

Anonymous said...

Very true, who but a compositor who has served his five years, and I have my apprenticeship papers to prove mine, and I have my City and Guilds qualification to suppliement my apprenticeship. Who would know what a thick, thin, is who would know what a Em is, and wether that is dido or non, and of course there is the dogs cock and other terms that a true printer would know. The computer has a lot to answer for in killing some trades, mind you I dont mind not having black hands any more from where you use to proof the type, and then clean it off with something like petrol or some other spirit.