Friday, November 12, 2010

Half a million quid will get Elton John to make you cry

It's possible to defend the idea of spending a lot of EU money on a very high-profile concert to promote cohesion. It gets a bit harder when the money in question reaches half a million quid. And it turns into an uphill struggle when that money had been earmarked to promote Italian culture and defend traditional music and ended up going on an Elton John gig.

Still, I'm sure the Campania tourism exec who helped plan the event, Dario Scalabrini, can explain exactly how Elton John is promoting genuine Italian culture, and what the people of the region got for half a million:

"Elton John sang the Neapolitan song O Sole Mio for the first time ever. The audience was crying with emotion."
Ah, that old emotional crying. So different from other types of crying, like crying with algebra, or crying with a side order of chips.

You'll note that Dario didn't say whether the emotion was a positive or negative one. Maybe the idea was that if you don't protect your own culture, it'll end up being mangled in the hands of Elton John. That could be half a million well spent.