Things are now unsure. Edgy. Biting fingernails to the quick. What’s to come next besides shoulder pads and ‘the good old days’. People will always try to pull you down, the poppy will always be cut and the curtains will always be twitching for gossip, beady eyes looking to stare you into Balor stone. Petrified. I don’t want to be contrary, difficult. I don’t want to be shouting “the end is nigh” into empty air. Laughed at and derided for rowing upriver. But how else can I do it except by going upstream to start again – to find a new current.
Yes, yes, I know campaigning is a good thing. We’re all in it together, our interests are similar, we all want the same thing yada, yada,yada. But we don’t. There is no ‘we’. There is only ‘I’ in a culture of conspicuous consumption. Don’t you remember? Is your memory that short? We sacrificed the collective in favour of the individual long ago. When the going was good. And we can’t simply change our clothes when the tide turns. The whole edifice must come down before we can reconfigure our artistic constitution.
Facebook doesn’t change the world and a National Campaign for the Arts isn’t a National Campaign for the Arts. It is an ad hoc union of funded institutions, companies and boards who have finally realised that the trip downstream during the Celtic Tiger years is over. Finished. Gone. The emperor has no clothes.
Reliance on the state to make your mark only ends one way – with you in a dead end naked.
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