A note on critics, and other 45 year old observations

Today, a few excerpts from Colin MacInnes' 1961 compilation of essays, England, Half English. First, a cutting observation about critics:

"...This declaration was scornfully refuted by a columnist in one of the grimmer dailies whose special talent - being himself bereft of any marketable notions about such fragments of our world as his myopic eyes can visualize - is to pinch ideas he is incapable of inventing, and sneer at them in shop-soiled journalese..." (Pop Songs and Teenagers)

In other places, MacInnes attempts to examine the growing popularity of pop music, and the increasing economic power of teens and youths:

"...Today, youth has money, and teenagers have become a power. In their struggle to impose their wills upon the adult world, young men and women have always been blessed with energy but never, until now, with wealth. After handing a pound or two over to Mum, they are left with more 'spending money' than most of their elders, crushed by adult obligations. They are a social group whose tastes are studied with respect - particularly by the entertainment industry..." (The Pied Piper from Bermondsey)

"...To check on my observation of kid's clothes, I asked for the help of younger friends who dress much as they do ... Such minutiae it will be increasingly hard to notice, because teenagery has passed its spring. Their startling initial impact on their elders, and their own amazed discovery of themselves, had already waned by the end of the last decade; and had become on the the kids' part rather craftily self-conscious, and by adult parasites, quickly exploited without sympathy or understanding..." (The Other Man)

[tags] Colin MacInnes, pop history, critics [/tags]

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