THIS MONEY WOULD BE BETTER SPENT ON SCHOOLS AND HOSPITALS
Yeah, I’m just going to go straight into a rant this week. I’ll not bother boring you with the details of my album release or my wonderful gig yesterday. I’ll just get on and give you rant thirsty, liberal idiots what you want. What you want are the thoughts from my mind, so to save you extracting them via psychology or hypnosis or Scientology, I’ll just write them here for your convenience.
For every statue that is erected, for every picture that is hung, for every joke that is told and for every piece of beautiful, wonderful & exhilarating music that is made, somebody will have to spend some money. Whether it be on paint brushes, paint, clay, moulds, Cubase, an acoustic guitar, a computer, some ribbons, an electric guitar, paper, some pencils, a roof over your head, alcohol, drugs, a baby, life experiences ,transport, speakers, headphones, plectrums, stencils, education, plots of land, a tiny pencil sharpener you find amusing, time, some lights, canvas, a will to achieve something, cardboard boxes, cups of tea, a desk, headphones, quiet & a degree of electricity for lighting or alternative powering purposes.
All of those things cost money to acquire personally. If they were all governmentally funded then I think people would take the piss and acquire them for the sake of acquiring them. For those of you who are under 25 – all of those things used to be governmentally funded. What has happened in your life time is; the Conservative government of the 1980s whacked it with sticks, then the following Labour government did nothing to heal the wounds and now the Coalition government are just about to kill it.
With so many ‘options’ available to artists these days the route to take becomes less & less clear. Yes it is easier to get your stuff published now online but how do you compete with the rest of the world who are doing the same? In the 1980s you had to be in the right place at the right time, talk to somebody & then sign a contract. Somebody else would do the leg work. Now, it seems the artists are expected to do just about everything themselves, meaning they have little time left in their short day to reflect & actually do what they do – which is create art, music, poetry, etc. I think musicians today and artists in general are challenged with not only too many opportunities to explore but too many obstacles to overcome.
I don’t think I’d ever fight for the right to be right, but I’d kill for the gun that gave the power to be right.
I cannot accept that every time the government invests in a statue by Antony Gormley, or invests in a musical workshop, or invests in ‘the arts’ in general, somebody, somewhere will argue ‘wouldn’t this money have been better spent on schools and hospitals?’
Don’t we have one of the best health services in the world already? And I’m guessing that the government already splash out a fair bit on schools. The last time I was in hospital, it turned out I was fine and when I tried out higher education, I found it far too expensive, so dropped out. Perhaps, the government should concentrate on the few things that they are good at. Higher education – with grants for those who achieve the grades (not everybody), Transport (this is too expensive for comedians), Health (already excellent) & funding art. You can devolve this to local governments.
If local councils had the power to fund and help their local musicians, it would mean we would be sending our demos to a bunch of locally elected idiots. I don’t want that to happen. So where do we turn? Is it the BBC?
Yes, of course it’s the BBC. The BBC has been doing this service for us musicians for many many years. I’d actually pay MORE for my licence fee. I’d like the coalition government to be overthrown and let the BBC to take over running the country as a dictatorship. As long as they remain a public service broadcaster at the same time. Successive governments appear to have bullied the BBC into a corner over the years and I think it’s about time the BBC stood up for themselves and told the rest of the establishment to piss off! BBC Introducing is possibly the only route for new musical acts to get recognised & any exposure these days. Some might call it a monopoly; I call it a saving grace.
So let the BBC make loads of money abroad, via BBC Worldwide, their commercial & private branch, then let them invest in the time and finance of our local artists, who make the place you live in a better place, cheer you up, iconise your local area, make you think and reflect on your life, make things smell nice, inject beauty and colour into you eyes, fill your mind with sound and wonder, inspire you to endorse your own life with vigour and indulgence…
But… that money would have been better spent on schools and hospitals.
Here is an example from 1997 that I aspire to and adore for musicians spending 25 grand on a cheap music video.
Brothers and sisters of the arts' revolution... if you are now inspired to be part of the solution then check out Martin's next gig on October 17th at The Central, Gateshead – show your support and read all the details at:
Martin’s gigs page: www.musicbymeiosis.com/live.html
Martin Thompson on Twitter: @MusicByMeiosis or www.twitter.com/MusicByMeiosis
Visit the Meiosis website for more local dribs & drabs: www.musicbymeiosis.com
We thank you comrades.