Malcolm McLaren and education at Handheld

I never expected the creator of the Sex Pistols to be a devotee of Baudelaire, but so it is. Malcolm McLaren gave a great and thought-provoking talk this morning about education and himself at the Handheld Learning Conference. Many will have found it a ramble, but the style was an elegant exposition of the substance of his talk – which asked why we have become a “karaoke culture” in which the stupid is cool, and life is lived by proxy (reality TV) and instant gratification, rather than an “authentic” one which celebrates “the messy process of creativity.” I’ll post the link when it’s up, but MM celebrated how we should sometimes (he would say always) be enthusiastic amateurs, open to possibilities (especially those involving “glorious failure”), and celebrate learning for learning’s sake and art for art’s sake. Malcolm McLaren the flaneur – a new one on me.

It’s also the first ever time I’ve had the question “so how do we fix our culture then?” answered with a metaphor involving four-letter expletives and rubber dolls…


  1. I agree: he was surprisingly erudite and thought-provoking.


  2. Nick says:

    You can now see the talk at


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