Friday, 28 November 2008

Child abuse as a public art form

As if our Education Department and Arts Council haven’t screwed up enough young lives with godbothering theatrical shite (see, for example 'How To Win Government Friends And Screw Up Kids' on 10th October), they’ve done it again.
Now they want to put on a ‘Rock Nativity’ in the island’s only community performance facility (though the real community will never be allowed to perform there anyway – and that’s another issue). See for more details.
Look, I laughed my socks off with every other parent a few years back when my kid, then aged four, raced round on a wheeled toy donkey as ‘Virgin Mary’ in the nursery school nativity play. Tiny kids with towels round their heads playing holy mummies and daddies, making up their own words based on stuff they overheard at home and making you blush – that’s a proper nativity play.
Teenagers playing Joseph and Mary under threat of poor grades if they don’t? That’s seriously sick and someone should ring Childline.
I also love the fact that they’re wasting public space every night of the week ‘except Sunday’.
Do you seriously think any 14 year old with more than two braincells would be in a church unless they’re drugged up to the eyeballs?
Maybe the emergency services should just rope off the Studio Theatre at Ballerkermeen School and declare it a disaster zone, because this is getting serious.
When a big chunk of not only Education Department cash but the island’s arts budget goes into what is supposed to be a ‘community facility’, shouldn’t that community have some access, and some say in what gets put on?
We are consolidating a ridiculous position where, as churches island-wide close through lack of punters, the superstitious still dictate our public arts programs and have open access to our schools as cheap churches on Sundays, because they can’t be arsed to repair their current faith hovels or rent a room like anyone else.
Meanwhile, try booking a building anywhere on the island to show a film, host a discussion or put on any public event either critical of religion or where views might be offered which differ from godbothering dictats handed down by national or international ‘faith leaders’. I have been trying it for two decades here, and I tell you bluntly it cannot be done.
This sucks. I’m writing to the Arts Council.
I want my money back, so I can spend it on something else. Any DVD splat or shag fest you can name - I don’t care how bad it is, any gig by any loud and raucous visiting over the hill punk band. I don’t even care if some colour-blind smackhead wants to spray-paint a wall in his own vomit and call it art. Anything, and I mean ANYTHING, is better than underwriting more superstitious shite with public money.

No comments: