Take That, higher education

In a climate of savage cuts to public services and education, you can always trust the great British press to stand up to the government – right? That’s why, for instance, the Rupert Murdoch-owned Sun has posted a story about a University hosting a conference on Take That's reunion in its Showbiz, rather than education section (if it had one), neatly making it seem as though higher education institutions are awash with money to waste on frivolities.

The Sun could of course spend more of its resources looking at the chronic underfunding of schooling and universities, instead of tacitly pushing the agenda that says students should pay for their higher education, and therefore creating a society where the working classes will be further discouraged from university. It’s a classic use of using the exception to prove the rule, even if this conference is an undoubted waste of time.

‘The long-anticipated reunion of Take That and Robbie Williams, and the unprecedented sales figures for their summer tour 2011, offer an excellent opportunity for scholars from a range of academic disciplines to discuss key issues arising from this contemporary popular music phenomenon,’ wrote Time Wise at the University of Salford. ‘The break-up of a favoured band has had profound implications for fans, followers, and the music industry.

‘The convenors invite papers from any discipline which address the themes of break-up and reunion of popular music acts. We are particularly interested in papers addressing these issues in relation to Take That and boy bands generally.’

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