Pissed-off Toff

Glastonbury … or Nuremberg?

in Reviews

Pissed-off Toff loathes, despises and detests the Glastonbury Festival … which, he argues, has not a little in common with the Nuremberg Rallies.

I’ve occasionally wondered. Should one pronounce ‘Glastonbury’ – as in the festival of that name – to rhyme with ‘glass’ (pronounced in the correct upper-class way), or with ‘crass’ (ditto). On the whole I’d go for the former; but as usual I find myself in an embattled minority.

Anyhow, this last weekend – intermittently and for short stretches of time – I watched the Glastonbury Festival, brought to a grateful public by the BBC. Sometimes I managed it for just a few minutes before letting out a yell of loathing for everyone there and everything it stands for and switching to another channel. Then I found myself switching back to Glasto in order to ascertain whether it was really as awful as all that … before again changing channel, having once more confirmed my view that I hate everything about this ghastly ‘festival’ with a passion. 

The whole thing is a showcase for the smugness, conformity and sheer awfulness of the white ‘liberal’ metropolitan élite which now dominates public life and whose members are the only ones who can afford to attend this display of self-righteousness, self-congratulation, bigotry and fatuity.

Unsurprisingly, the BBC have claimed Glasto for their own, offering coverage on not just one channel, but on two, throughout the weekend. Thus on Saturday 29 June we had non-stop Glasto on BBC2 from 19.30 till 01.00 the next morning, with BBC4 offering similar coverage from 19.00 till 00.30 the next morning. Then on the Sunday, the same happened on both these channels. In other words, extended live coverage of this event, simultaneously on both BBC2 and BBC4, marking it out as something really really important … far more than any Royal event.

And oh how slavishly enthusiastic this coverage was! Indeed, the BBC2 commentator – an infuriating media female with the obligatory right-on Estuary diction – wasn’t really a commentator at all. She was an out-and-out groupy, sucking up shamelessly to ghastly ‘artists’ like ‘Liam’ (???) Gallagher. I’d never heard of him; but such, apparently, is the man’s name. From the grovelling coverage, I also gathered that he’s, like, really cool. But to me he looked like a middle-aged has-been. In fact, not middle-aged, but ancient. Shouldn’t he be down at the Post Office drawing his pension? But here he was, singing – if I remember rightly – some sort of ‘protest’ song.

Not only was it dull, totally déjà-vu, utterly passé. But hasn’t anyone told you, Liam mate, that this sort of nonsense is best performed by the young? Not by OAPs? Grandpas are not cool, right? Most especially when they’ve forgotten that they are grandpas. And yet the BBC groupy was beside herself with excitement.

* * * * *

Glutton for punishment that I am, I subjected myself to more of this rubbish on Sunday evening. Plus, I did want to make sure, once again, that it wasn’t just me being silly. But no it wasn’t. It was just as bad as before … worse, even.

On a big stage called The Park, topped by a whole array of what looked like nihilist slogans in graffiti style (how hip is that!!!), a band called The Good, the Bad and the Queen was performing. The lead singer was a middle-aged slob with a paunch, tattoos and a deformed gold front tooth.

The song, as far as I could make out as I choked into my G&T, overcome by loathing, was some sort of eco-lament about the North Pole. In front of the stage was a sea of white faces, proving beyond any doubt that the Glastonbury Festival is for the white ‘liberal’ metropolitan élite. This is worth repeating: to an extent that is rare in modern England, Glasto is a super-privileged white event. And yet in a futile attempt to disprove this evident truth and to maintain the fiction that this event is ‘right-on’, ‘hip’ and ‘with-it’, the BBC’s camera focussed endlessly on the lone black drummer on the stage, returning to him time and time and time again. Auntie doth protest too much, methinks.

And when the BBC’s camera wasn’t focussed obsessively on almost the only non-white face in the well-heeled crowds of the Glasto scene, we were shown shots of whole masses of white spectators, their raised arms swaying in unison in the evening air, smartphones with lights switched on like candles, yelling in eco-inspired ecstasy. Do white people past their first youth know quite how absurd they look when they behave like this?

Then there was another band called, I think, The Cure. I don’t know what they were singing about. All I remember is that there was a middle-aged white singer who looked indistinguishable from a rough-sleeper, and an aged white guitarist with a bald pate framed by wisps of grey hair. The song, I noted, was entitled Why Can’t I Be You? Was this, perhaps, the first tiny glimmer of self-knowledge shown by anyone in this awful Glasto crowd? A dim awareness that they are all ghastly?

Anyway, by this stage, enough was enough. I had proven to my satisfaction that Glastonbury is an utterly conformist exercise in orchestrated group-think on a mass scale. Indeed, it rather reminds me of Hitler’s Nuremberg Rallies; just that they’ve swapped the Nazis for our own brainwashed metropolitan ‘liberals’. Oh, and the show isn’t quite as well-organised as it was in Adolf’s time … nor such fun.