Culture House Daily

TV snobs hate the telly because it’s watched by those born on the wrong side of the tracks

9 June 2014 15:15

Growing up in the 1970s I watched as much TV as humanly possible. When we had important visitors to the…

Why politicians should turn, turn, turn to the bible for timeless prose

7 June 2014 10:29

The Bible may be creeping its way back into England’s classrooms if advice from University of Exeter study is taken…

Spectator competition: redefine ‘oolite’ and ‘ampthill’ (plus: your meaningless proverbs)

7 June 2014 9:30

The latest call, for proverbs that sound profound but have no meaning, attracted an enormous entry. It was a pleasure…

Was Kenneth Clark wrong not to ‘understand’ the value of abstract art?

6 June 2014 13:58

Kenneth Clark’s view of culture may by now be ‘outmoded’, but I was surprised to read that it was also…

Did we know TV was crap in the old days?

4 June 2014 14:54

Here’s a question for those of you old enough to remember 1980s television: did we realise at the time how…

Xiaolu Guo interview: ‘Westerners have to read more non-western materials’

3 June 2014 18:56

Born in a remote fishing village in south eastern China during the Cultural Revolution, Xiaolu Guo is now known as…

An introduction to Death Cafés

3 June 2014 10:42

listen to ‘The Death Café’ on Audioboo Spectator readers who were listening to the Today programme this morning would have…

Dick-swinging filmmakers like Ken Loach constantly write real women and our struggles out of history

2 June 2014 14:04

I hadn’t seen a Ken Loach film in years because I got sick of his schmaltzy sexism but yesterday decided…

Spectator competition: defend the unexpected (plus: your tepid opinions about the BBC)

31 May 2014 9:30

The latest challenge, to supply a poem in praise or dispraise of the BBC, fell on somewhat stony ground. The…

Tracey Emin’s knickers – a short history of contemporary British art

29 May 2014 16:04

Tracey Emin’s bed is to be sold at auction this summer with a guide price of £800,000 to £1.2 million,…

Julie Bindel goes to Hay-on-Wye and comes back with trench foot

28 May 2014 15:50

I am trudging around a field in the middle nowhere with mud up to my genitals. The joining instructions for…

British Museum’s director Neil MacGregor trips up over technology wars

28 May 2014 12:33

Mr S found himself at the British Museum, for the launch of the new exhibition ‘Mummy: The Inside Story’. The…

Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies: ‘a major theatrical event – don’t settle for one, see both’

25 May 2014 7:43

In Hilary Mantel’s Tudor England, it never stops raining. As she writes in her evocative programme note for the RSC…

Spectator competition: write an elegy for Jeremy Paxman

24 May 2014 9:30

The latest challenge to competitors was to submit a poem commenting on Scottish independence in the style of William Topaz…

I can’t recall a time when the destruction of a structure made so many people so distressed

23 May 2014 23:47

It really is rotten luck, and also cruelly ironic. Just as Glasgow was done debating how best to demolish its…

In pictures: Fire engulfs Glasgow School of Art

23 May 2014 16:00

The footage of fire tearing through the Mackintosh building of the Glasgow School of Art on Renfrew Street is more than…

Expecting opera critics to be uniformly kind to singers defeats the point of their existence

23 May 2014 10:32

Should fat be an issue in opera? Are our opera critics overgrown schoolboys with a body fixation? To judge from reports and…

P.J. O’Rourke interview: ‘Telling jokes and lying about politicians – what’s the difference?’

23 May 2014 10:04

P.J. O’Rourke’s chickens are giving him trouble. ‘Two of them aren’t laying eggs right now,’ he explains. But he doesn’t…

Monty Don, Kirstie Allsopp and Bear Grylls – we get the TV shows we deserve

22 May 2014 18:04

We’re now on day three of the Chelsea Flower Show, and this year the BBC have taken their coverage to…

Why I’m sending my new comic to Washington DC

20 May 2014 12:58

When I was eight years old I had the Stars and Stripes hanging up in my bedroom. This isn’t especially…

What makes art art? And why gaming may not make the grade

19 May 2014 18:37

Every now and then, you’ll come across an article which puts a case for something or other being taken seriously…

Masterchef is a food programme by tossers for tossers

19 May 2014 12:47

There is so much to hate about massively successful TV series Masterchef that I have been glued to it for…

Spectator competition: invent a meaningless proverb

17 May 2014 9:30

The latest competition, in which you were invited to compose a poem celebrating a famous duo, produced a colourful cast…

A Waiting for Godot that’ll make you laugh as much as it’ll make you despair

15 May 2014 17:49

I have to remind myself that Waiting for Godot is a confounding piece of theatre. It’s supposed to be. The…

Michael Jackson’s back from the dead. Again.

13 May 2014 11:34

Pop humpty-dumpty Michael Jackson has a new album out today. If that statement seems odd, you don’t know the half…