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  • Writer's pictureBen Pechey

Culture Isn’t Ours

I am a massive Kate Bush fan and have been as long as I can remember. I am very grateful that my parents filled my ears with the sounds of the '70s and '80s from birth. Kate Bush has always been in my life. One thing I adore is when new people discover something that so many know and adore.

This happened for Kate Bush with the arrival of the latest season of Stranger Things earlier this year. What surprised me was how many people took to Twitter to vent their frustration that so many teenagers did not know who Kate Bush was. This idea that we own culture in a sense suggests that we hold others accountable, or disregard them for not knowing things. This always makes me feel queasy.

I have come up against this in so many other situations when I say I have never watched films like Home Alone! People are always shocked and upset, and almost look at me as if I was kidnapped at birth, and have only just emerged from the cave where the wolves kept me!

One of the brilliant things about being human is our capacity to learn and experience new things every day. I think that this is magic, and so many people forget this. Hence the consternation that people did not know who Kate Bush was?! This attitude of people becoming obsessed with Ms Bush through stranger things is a small form of gatekeeping - and I am not here for it.

I love when I meet people who love the same things as me, but I know that we don’t have the same experiences - and that is what makes us unique - and that is what makes life exciting. This difference is what makes our life feel fuller.

The best way to make a connection is to introduce a friend or loved one to something that you love, and to watch them fall in love with it too - this is what connects us as humans - it creates bonds. Knowing that we can give people things we love, as a gift, is exciting. To forge this energy, to be upset that someone doesn’t know a specific reference is so silly!

So now think of all the new people worshipping at the church of Kate Bush, and how her music will be having a positive effect on them. This makes me smile, this fills me with joy. So it is a poignant reminder that culture isn’t ours to keep, it is ours to share!

Shot by Ruth Pechey


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