best in class

I’m fairly middle class and have no obvious material hardships to speak of, so my inverted snobbery is even more nonsensical, and perhaps even flawed.  In truth I’m not sure how legitimate my criticism is, or how much it’s influenced by my own bitterness and severely stunted, never-out-the-blocks ambition.  There’s my caveat for what follows, which could all be bollocks.  Or partly bollocks.

However, it increasingly seems to me that those in front of and behind cameras are rich kids done better.  At the Royal Albert Hall last Sunday the room seemed largely populated by the already rich and powerful, even the youthful ones had that sheen of belonging.  Not many looked like they didn’t fit.  The BAFTAs host, Jonathan Ross, and his buddy Ricky Gervais stand out because of their comparatively modest roots, the fact they had to work harder to be brutally different and stand out.

In the DVD ‘making of’ extras for gritty urban British debut film, ‘Shifty’ – done on a shoestring budget of a hundred grand and shot in four weeks – the makers, producers, writers, didn’t seem all that gritty and urban to me.  More like they could have been called Rufus or Will.

If there’s talent and ambition and drive enough, we can hope it will come through.  But my sense is that today it’s only getting a whole lot harder.   For this generation of recessionary strugglers, those who don’t or haven’t had parents able to tide them over while they chase their dream, the reality of having to make money means ambition can easily bleed away.

I’m similarly cynical about successful business start-ups.

When the risk is reduced because the financial parental cushion is behind them, or because Daddy’s mate runs a successful VC company, there’s more freedom.  When the fear of failure is reduced, it’s much easier to try.

With the added ‘who you know’ bonuses, a splash of dedication and a sprinkling of ability, you’re well on the way.

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