In the past, I've been accused of a certain level of intellectual snobbery for suggesting, among other things, that people who buy Jade Goody's autobiography and then don't finish it might not be the sharpest shuriken in the banned ninja movie.
But it cuts both ways, of course. (Do you see what I did there?) Through the wonders of Radio 4's 'listen again' function, I was listening to the none-more-bourgeois music quiz Counterpoint this morning. If you haven't encountered this narcotically cosy show, it's aimed at the sort of people whose blood pressure is only raised by an argument over whether Asger Svendsen might be a better bassoonist than Per Hannevold. However, some functionary in Broadcasting House has clearly decided that a quiz all about classical music might not be inclusive or accessible enough for a 21st-century media operation, so the remit has been expanded to encompass occasional nods to jazz, rock and other dangerously populist genres.
Accordingly, in among the Mahler and Monteverdi, we were graced with a clip of 'Always On My Mind'. The task was to identify the performer. Now, I can accept that someone who gets turned on by fat mezzos might not be able to identify the sandblasted tones of Willie Nelson, and the contestant did admit that he was offering a pretty approximate stab in the dark when he offered his answer. But Robbie Williams?
Now, I suppose a grudging nod of respect should go to someone so deliriously out of touch that he thinks the world's most famous Port Vale fan might sound like a septuagenarian outlaw country legend. But it does raise a question - if we snicker at people's ignorance of high art, should our laughter be louder or softer when someone shows such comprehensive dimness when it comes to the lowbrow end of the spectrum?