Sport and art in Australia


Patrick Thomas, writing into the Sydney Morning Herald on Monday:

When it comes to the [arts], surely the root cause is market based, and stems directly from Australia’s passionate and over-riding obsession with sport, along with its comparatively peripheral patronage of music and the arts. You can bet, if the status quo was reversed, that politicians, sponsors and developers would be climbing over themselves to fund alternatives to redress the situation [with the Sydney Opera House].

To a certain extent, I agree. Having grown up overseas, it was eye opening for Elke and I to see the pervasiveness of sport in Australian culture. Local TV news here spend the same time talking about sport as Singapore news discusses business.

This got Elke and I thinking that, perhaps, it’s a self fulfilling prophecy. With the obscene amounts of money poured in from advertisers and gaming houses, its in the interests of Australian media companies to hype sport to an extreme, even if most of the population doesn’t care. I’m thoroughly apathetic toward sport, but since moving here I can name several animals that represent clubs; I suppose they can call that a success.

Regardless of whether the Australian media is an accurate representation of the general public’s interests, there’s no doubt sport gets more attention than the arts; cringeworthy reality shows aside.

One thing I would say though, I’d be hesitant to decry one person’s interests as less important. What I do crave is a little more balance in reporting in general; good luck with that though!

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