Monday, 15 November 2010

Being Heard


  1. The destruction of anything, whether or not it’s a “sumptuous lobby” (please try to avoid tall poppy syndrome) is not “nothing” or “minor.”

    If you can’t think beyond the boundaries of self – because this is what it’s all about really, isn’t it, about More Money for Me and let’s scare some receptionists while we’re at it because we’re getting a kick out of it – then no government is going to agree with you, listen to you or kowtow to you.

    Never mind that the £9K maximum is not a blanket fee and that plenty of help will still be available for potential students (30 years to pay it back? Hey, it’s a loan! It’s not your money! Universities are businesses as well, they have to make a living and pay their staff) – it’s another example of the Loch Ness Monster argument. Believers fervently believe it (or, as I suspect, believe that they believe it) because its detractors cannot disprove it. If they hang around for long enough they’ll find some proof, however tenuous.

    Anyway, thuggery is dull, dreary and hugely inconvenient for the poor minimum wage bastards who have to clean the mess up. Think of more creative and productive ideas, please, and remember – confusing the enemy is more effective than kicking it.

  2. Marcello i dont think you've latched on the major point of encountering a principled attack on the arts by isolating it from our lives as a privileged luxury, creating the mindset that these things are expendable instead of vital. this is coming out in national policies, and the protests that the media have a playbook for reporting on are inevitably construed as meaningless diversions. but if our circumstances are so outrageous, then the natural result is to disrupt that formula. ruining a lobby isnt the most elegant version, but if the party responsible hang onto staying classy while sabotaging a critical culture, then i think it's a responsibility to side with those who'd work against them, regardless of 'tact'.

  3. Loving the Evening Standard's 'if' on the rich/poor gap. What else do they think is going to happen?

    Marcello - for what it's worth, I support the students in this, and I don't have any vested interest - I have no children of my own, or relatives currently in education, and I'm a top rate taxpayer. In fact the majority of those protesting will not be impacted by these decisions either, so can't be accused of pure self-interest (although they rightly perceive that the government is against them as a group).

    It's a case of us deciding what kind of Civilisation we want to be - the Conservatives constantly look to America, whereas psychologically the population of the UK is actually closest to Scandinavia.

  4. Alan:

    Well, many would attest that the arts are a privileged luxury and still more would claim that the best art has never needed publicly-funded support (as opposed to wealthy patronage which extends from Mozart to John Zorn) but that's a whole other kettle of teabags since it would be equally reasonable to ask where punk or indie or Britpop etc. would have been if it hadn't been for the dole!

    Universities, as I say, are businesses as well as palaces of learning and they have to keep their heads above water like the rest of us which in this age means concentrating on vocational studies, things which are going to put food on their students' tables and attract sponsorship and private subsidy. The rest of it is perfectly fine but not, in relation to (for instance) schools and health services, strictly speaking essential to the wellbeing of a nation, and if people who want to study the arts have to pay a bit more to do so then, I'm afraid, so be it. I don't believe that makes for "outrageous circumstances."

    "Disrupt the formula" - see, this is what I want the protestors to do. Not trash stuff, but rearrange it. Requires what my colleague DJ Martian calls "systems thinking."

  5. One can wax lyrical and bullshit on and on about politics and the social struggle all they want to satisfy their egoistic vocubularies, but the cold sad fact is that there is only two options for all to choose from at the end of the day.
    1: accept that the powers that be and the slave system weve been born into is never going to change and get on with living your life as best and comfortably as you can : AKA Apathy.
    2: Bloody Rebellion! : AKA Terrorism...which will hopefully lead to Revolution.

    Teach your children well, be good to those around you and keep laughing.